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Thread: Bushcraft popularity?

  1. #11
    Moderator Adam Savage's Avatar
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    I think it seems like bushcraft has taken a dip, but only because we've just come out of winter, and a fair few folk are fair weather campers (nothing wrong with that though, least they are getting out sometimes). We should see another burst before too long I'd guess. Another contributing factor, is the lack of cash going about. People have to put in the extra time with work, or simply can't afford to take holidays.
    Having said that, quite a lot of forum members (across all forums, not just ours) will often disappear for a month, or two, or three, or four, before coming back into the "lime light".
    I don't think people have stopped wanting to do these things, it's simply a case of having the time to do them, and if they do, having the time to get on a forum (or other public space) and share their outings.
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  2. #12
    Natural Born Bushcrafter luresalive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    When I say other commitments, those who know me will know that my other commitments get me deep into the outdoors but just no time to sit and develop bushcraft skills. I am to be found, every other weekend, out on the moors training this year's ATC Ten Tors teams.

    Oh, and that isn't the first time that the Wilderness Gathering has been cited on here for its poor treatment of people who attend. Come to the Cornwall RV at Easter each year for £10 per night or to one of the very infrequent NaturalBushcraft meets which used to cost about £3 per night from memory to see what it's really all about. I despair at the 'must make a profit' culture that has grown in Bushcraft over the last few years.Martin

    That is my most deeply held bugbear, that really annoys me too!

  3. #13
    Moderator & Poshcrafter™ Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    What poor treatment is that then? Anybody who knows us and mentions any problems to us regarding The Gathering knows that we are open to suggestions and feed back to improve the event for all concerned. People only have to talk to us rather than post dubious stuff on forums.

    As far as previous comments in this thread are concerned, wristbands are issued and checked as a means of identifying those who have entered via the front gate legitimately and those who have jumped the fence. That is to make it fair to those who have paid to enter and therefore contributed to all the infastructure on site that everybody uses.

    Martin, I assume you don't want to make a living or feed your family with the money you earn from your career. That is all we do.

    Roger
    www.wildernessgathering.co.uk
    Roger. I can't find the post which catalogued the problems encountered but the member concerned did talk to someone and was given fairly short shrift. It was about access issues as he suffers from a severe bad back.

    I'm sure we won't agree on this matter, but it is the belief and philosophy of NaturalBushcraft that ancient skills should be shared freely as they were for generations. No one charged for passing on their knowledge although, of course, the blacksmith charged for his skills, as did the baker, the fletcher, the cooper, the wheelwright etc etc etc. I have no problem with making a profit for tangible things and services rendered, but I'm very glad that NaturalBushcraft is free and that people value it highly enough to make purely voluntary donations which go some way to paying for the costs of running the website and forum.

    The NaturalBushcraft meets charged exactly what the land owner charged us, not a penny more. In fact, Ashley used to spend his own money on materials for fire lighting demos. I have been given several items at meets, particularly precious is my wooden cup which was turned by Bernie who is a member on here, as well as a couple of fire steels and a knife. Many people have contributed food for communal meals and there has never been a suggestion that we should charge for this, even though only a few of us have actually contributed. These are purely not for profit affairs and always will be.

    Anyway, each to his own, like I said, I'm sure we won't agree on this matter but I still respect your right to hold a differing opinion to me.

    Martin
    Last edited by Martin; 02-04-2012 at 09:51 PM.
    Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

  4. #14
    Moderator Adam Savage's Avatar
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    I can see both sides of the charging argument, but I won't even start to get involved lol. There will always be a for and an against, and there will always be people that will and won't pay the charges. I shall leave it at that
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  5. #15
    Tribal Elder Kernowek Scouser's Avatar
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    I wonder, if you defined 'Bushcraft as we know it' how many people would agree with the definition and how many would say 'No Bushcraft is...'

    On a very general level, a level that includes folks who just spend a night or two at a campsite, in a tent upwards, I'd imagine the number of people participating is increasing. Whether this is due to an increase in genuine enthusiasm for the outdoors, or folks simply cutting their cloth to fit tighter constraints on their finances and opting for a 'staycation' not too far from home and in a tent, I don't know.

    On a more specific level, a level that includes traditional and/or survival skills, I would go with plateau. I can't back this up with any stats or examples, it's just a gut feeling. I do know from my time in online retail, that any participatory experience you care to put under the 'bushcraft' label, sold poorly, both on an individual and corporate level and provided instructors involved with bugger all repeat enquiries, let alone business.

    In the age of 'I want it now' the thought of investing, days, weeks, months or years of your time, to learn and hone a skill that may have no practical application other than it makes you happy, appears to be anathema to a lot of people. And when you attach a price to the learning of the skill, the few who are not averse to investing their time, become fewer.

    But, as was said above, the few who remain will not include those who just go out and do it, on their own or with a few friend and neither know or care about forums like this one. How many people this would be, I have no idea.

    As far as the for profit/for free argument goes, in my experience while some courses and instruction appear at first glance to be more than a tad expensive, when you factor in land and facilities rental or mortgage, kit and materials provided, public liability insurance etc. then look at what is left for an instructor to call their take home pay for actually giving instruction; in many cases you'd see that the instruction / skill sharing is the least expensive part of the package. So whilst I'm always happy to learn something for free, I'm not going to condemn anyone just trying to make a living, teaching others what they know.

    Anyway, that's my rambling on the matter.

    Happy Camping/Bushcrafting/Outdoor Activity-ing
    Ansum La

  6. #16
    Moderator Adam Savage's Avatar
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    Well said, and better put than I could ever do lol
    Jack of all trades-Master of none

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  7. #17
    Moderator Roadkillphil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post

    I'm sure we won't agree on this matter, but it is the belief and philosophy of NaturalBushcraft that ancient skills should be shared freely as they were for generations. No one charged for passing on their knowledge although, of course, the blacksmith charged for his skills, as did the baker, the fletcher, the cooper, the wheelwright etc etc etc. I have no problem with making a profit for tangible things and services rendered, but I'm very glad that NaturalBushcraft is free and that people value it highly enough to make purely voluntary donations which go some way to paying for the costs of running the website and forum.

    The NaturalBushcraft meets charged exactly what the land owner charged us, not a penny more. In fact, Ashley used to spend his own money on materials for fire lighting demos. I have been given several items at meets, particularly precious is my wooden cup which was turned by Bernie who is a member on here, as well as a couple of fire steels and a knife. Many people have contributed food for communal meals and there has never been a suggestion that we should charge for this, even though only a few of us have actually contributed. These are purely not for profit affairs and always will be.

    Anyway, each to his own, like I said, I'm sure we won't agree on this matter but I still respect your right to hold a differing opinion to me.

    Martin
    And this is what I feel is the soul and centre of bushcraft (or whatever you choose to call it), Trade. You give, you receive. We share, we learn. It's what I like about my involvement with Natural Bushcraft.

    I understand that there are overheads at these events and that some folks have chosen "bushcraft" as a career and as with any job expect to be paid. However, personally I feel that to mix moneymaking with any of my chosen hobbies would kill off a certain amount of joy. That's why for me it will always be a hobby.
    Of course, there will always be a price for skills put to good use, the blacksmith doesn't make a blade for free!
    I pay the smith because I can't make a blade myself. But I will pay a fair price.
    At the Cornwall RV I will be doing one workshop ( it's all I can afford) I will nonetheless be paying for knowledge and skill sharing. But I feel it is fairly priced, both the event and the workshop.

    As for the popularity, I agree with a lot of posts here. It's probably hard to measure, we'm just coming out of winter and times are hard.

    I just hope it doesn't get too popular, I quite like being the only guy in the woods
    Storms have a way of teaching what nothing else can.

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  8. #18
    Trapper KaiTheIronHound's Avatar
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    Phil, i also like being the only one in the woods! I dont mind other people when they are responsible with the environment. Unfortunately many of my good spots have now been invaded by bloody motorcross idiots who tear up the ground and leave trash everywhere. Makes me angry!

  9. #19
    Tribesman Humakt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadkillphil View Post
    I just hope it doesn't get too popular, I quite like being the only guy in the woods
    That.
    Over the past couple of years I have seen more debris shelters and firepits in the woods than I have in the previous 15 years combined!
    On one hand the increase in popularity is a good thing. On the other, it's bad. On balance, for better or worse, I'd be happier with fewer people.
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  10. #20
    Moderator Adam Savage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadkillphil View Post
    However, personally I feel that to mix moneymaking with any of my chosen hobbies would kill off a certain amount of joy. That's why for me it will always be a hobby.
    I have to agree with you there. I really used to enjoy making knives, and I could have done it all day long, but since I started selling them, it's lost some of it's edge (pardon the pun). Don't get me wrong, I still like making them, just nowhere near as much as I did, and believe it or not, there isn't much profit in making knives in small quantities. I'm lucky to make 15% profit, which isn't exactly life changing money lol.
    Jack of all trades-Master of none

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