Discussion in 'Sports, Adventure Training and Events' started by NurseyMai, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. I'm not sure if this is the best place to put this...

    Does anyone know of or recommend any (uk based) bushcraft courses?
  2. There's me thinking it was a Lady-Garden Topiary thread :sad:
  3. Thanks Polar, I'll have a hunt round the site

    FC - sorry about that!

    CP - looks like an interesting site too thank you
  4. For the most part, I don't get it.

    Want to go camping? Don't buy a tent and sleeping bag, spend three times as much on gubbins and make a tent and sleeping bag while you're out there.

    Eh, no. Yer' all right.
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  5. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    bushcraft courses are a serious waste of money, if you want to learn survival as a starter then do a survival course which is usually 400 quid cheaper and properly structured. the bushcraft bit is added on by you as you go along as its only arts and crafts - the whole bushcraft machine is designed to rip you off from day one so spent carefully. survival schools are usually staffed by ex mil types who know how to teach, a lot of bushcraft schools are part time affairs run by people who really should know better and are ruining the market in the same way during the 80's everyone tried to cash in on lofty wiseman. there's a couple of good ones but it depends on where you are.

    trueways run survival courses all around the country, the instructors are generally ex raf st mawgan. for bushcraft then woodsmoke take a lot of beating.

    there's a million videos out there and hundreds of sites if you want to self teach. most stuff can be done in the back garden or in front of the telly.

    if you just want to sleep in a hammock carving a spoon and making nettle string then do the BCUKbushmoot in july at merthyr maw - all the workshops you want will be there and you can make enough friends to find a niche.

    there's usually enough bcuk members around the country to find a few locals to go out into the woods with, they usually like passing skills on. most will tell you dont bother with the course use the money to buy some decent kit.
  6. Never mind. Here's some pictures of furry muffs...



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  7. Thanks Grumble - the Trueways courses look like the sort of thing I'm after and much cheaper than those brought up by a quick google search. I think I'd want to do some sort of course before I joined a bushmoot as I have no experience so I'd want to be able to contribute without having to be shown everything!
  8. I dunno, the whole thing grips my shit. You've these twonks that have half a dozen bits of formed, machined and anodised alloy that clip together in some sort of arcane fashion to make a pot stand with a reservoir for a gel fuel refined from molasses and they reckon that it's more "back to basics" and "primitive" than just buying a Whisperlite.

    granted there's a couple of guys that have their head screwed on the right way, but 99.9% of the "bushcrafters" I've encountered are some sort of inverted geardo. Lighting a fire with a ten quid refined firerod and a five quid carbon steel striker isn't any less or more skillful or reliant on commercial/industrial infrastructure than sparking up with a Ronson.

    Which in and of itself is grand, but the whole mystic ethos ballix that the chubes attach to it bores me ******* rigid.

    If you can have a grand time in the outdoors on a semi permanent basis with nowt or at least, very little, that you've had to exchange those funny bits of paper with the Queen's face on for.... I'm impressed.

    Otherwise, just go to ******* Millets (or whatever's left these days) and ask for an "I'm a camper, me" package deal - same difference.
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  9. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    the big summer moot is cheap and aimed at families and beginners, you take out of it what you want, the old timers turn up to socialise the newbies to carve spoons. it costs no more than regular camping and you will see a lot of family tents with a hammock next door that has dad in it and a faint smell of whiskey. schools go there to socialise and run classes alongside the regulars who just like teaching as its an excuse to get more kit, you can learn as much doing that as you would on a course.

    the main difference is structure, a survival course will teach you a process like a fire drill so you know what order of importance to do things and not to panic when things go wrong. most bushcraft courses will concentrate on stuff you can do at home because its easier for the instructors who might be out of their depth.

    as I said just turning up to a social event will be enough to get the ball rolling, they are usually a likable bunch and happy to teach or advise. plenty of ex serving and lots of scout leader types who are used to passing information on simply and efficiently. often you end up on a scout camp site tucked away in a corner.

    spend a few weeks reading the bcuk site as there's loads on there since it became a home to re-enactors and those whose crafts cant raise enough people to justify their own forum. loads of stuff you can pick up and sit and do at home.

    there is allways the huge debate about survival kits and survival as a discipline as they have the urge to believe that bushcraft is the be and end all of everything. survival gets slated with the american armed application or bear grylls stunts.

    for sheer information though the US sites have much much more content as many are JJH types who live in the middle of nowhere so prepping is second nature with survival just being the skills to cope when it all goes to ratshit after a tornado blows through or they get snowed in and lose power.

    you would probably be surprised at how much you actually know, what you will lack is the when to apply it. :)

    I'm not connected to trueways other than being on their very slow forum for years, they've had a few issues in the past with the way the business was overstretched so didnt expect 2008 but glynn has it sorted out and lofty wiseman is still part of the equation if only to keep him off the streets.

    there's a few bcuk members on here kicking around. for those who miss living in the woods its a nice way to spend the weekend. depending on where you are you might get a PM or two.

    Here if you want any info, public or PM makes no difference :)
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  10. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    yeah it gets me as well - it started as a ray mears tribute fashion thing but then morphed into a self righteous monster convinced it was living with nature with a carbon footprint the size of a bushman village.

    they scorn and have a go at survival tins just like they have done on here because they don't understand them - its a repair kit for when you have nothing else and somewhere to keep easy to forget items. bushcrafters will quite happily lug around a leather possibles pouch circa sealed knot 1973 which is ten times the size but does the same thing.

    the making your own stuff side of it can be at both extremes, some will fashion what they need on site, others will lug in super light highly machines jewel like bits of kit costing hundreds of pounds.

    I started a thread on bcuk years ago called 'are we still allowed to be called survivalists' as I practice survival skills not bushcraft. it makes the harrier, slr, puttess threads seem mild with the abuse and bullshit thrown around. it was hillarious the santimonious crap which came out of some mouths. akin to scientology probably with the self brainwashing going on. its a sore point that ray mears wrote a mediocre survival book before he nicked bushcraft wholesale off les hiddins. floppy hat and all. just like jesus and the disciples were jews first, survival skills come before bushcraft ones.

    I know loads of them on there but haven't been there for ages, I'd rather be on here. occasionally I go off camping with a few of the mods for the giggle.

    one idiot seemed to think those left in new orleans after katrina were ill prepared and that his bushcraft skills would have made it a doddle for him. not sure what he would have done besides carve a giant spoon to use as a paddle as he was a total fcukwit.

    survival is 'improvise adapt and overcome'. prepping is 'prepare and repair'. bushcraft is 'do you take paypal'

    when you pull in to the bush moot there is a huge banner saying camping in comfort which sums bushcraft up, survival is camping without kit :)

    it seems odd that the main thing keeping survival alive was the military and scout groups, scouts now teach bushcraft and do it very badly compared to how they taught survival the previous 30 years.

    I had to laugh when I found out that the merthyr maw site which is excellent and used to be a paintball centre was not used mainly by the LARPA crowd every weekend. so most of the time its full of stargate away teams and elvish warriors which fits in well with the shrafters or whatever name they've come up with for themselves now :)
  11. Hang on I'm just making my nettle tea [stirs with self carved spoon].

    Yeah, what Grumblegrunt said.

    I got quite interested in the bushy thing as I like feckin off to the woods and thought I might learn something. I went to a couple of the big meets before deciding if I wanted to latch onto a group for the learning process. I found that they save all their pocket money for handmade knives - which are nice but not necessary - and then when they go out "in the woods" they generally drive to within 100 yards of their intended camp location, soend an hour schlepping over the beer, barbie and cooler box then spend the nights sitting around a fire getting shitfaced eating burnt steak.

    As well as being an ex squaddie I am an army brat, well travelled, spent my childhood and yoof camping because we could'nt afford hotel holidays, went on a couple of army organised outdoor learning experiences then later some outward bound courses. Together with my own army experience my previous yoof experience put me at more than on a par with most bushcrafters I met. The only thing I found I needed to have taught to me was how to make fire using friction methods and I accomplished this on a one day course that cost me 70 quids..........pathetic really, I had spent months trying to master it on my own and kept getting smoke but no glowing coal. Then when I went on the days course the bloke did his initial demo and banged out a glowing coal in less than 30 seconds ............. happily I can say that I reached that level of competence too.

    I think if you have some experience of field living, camping, land nav, a bit of hunter gathering, bunny skinning and go on a St Johns outdoor first aid course you are well ahead of the basic bushcraft game. You don't need to spend hundreds going whizzy fig bushy courses run by a social worker on a part time basis .......... the former St Mawgan crowd are more experienced, as Grumbles said.

    Honestly though, buy a couple of good books, a decent of the shelf knife (the old cheap Frosts Mora are excellent), a hammock set up, practice basic skills in the garden or the woods and you have probably achieved as much as an xspurt will charge you 400 quid for over a weekend.

    I made an Ikea stove a couple of weeks ago, I'll whang up some pics sometime.

    Anyone ever wants to come over and go bear-shit spotting in the Poconos Mountains for a few days give me a shout.
  12. Bushcraft is anything below a four star hotel, or a five star hotel without an English butler.
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  13. My Mrs would give you a like for this, so have one from me.
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