Properly sharpening an ax and knife, primitive fire making, shelter building, wilderness first aid, foraging and wild medicinal plants. For the past year now I have been dabbling into the art of bushcraft. While it’s considered an “art” it is also so much more. The skills learned in bushcraft go beyond a simple weekend camping trip or survival.
In the year I have been learning new skills as well as fine-tuning others I have discovered the bigger picture behind the art of bushcraft. Time. Every bushcraft skill requires time. Today with the vast amount of outdoor gear available starting fires, having shelter, and cooking food, we can have these things in an instant. On any given backpacking trip I can easily unpack my pocket rocket stove, fuel canister, and dehydrated meal and within minutes have a hot meal without the task of building a fire.
When it comes to bushcraft in its traditional form preparing and eating a hot meal take time. From gathering dry firewood to building the right fire for a proper burn to lighting and getting it started takes time. And meals are typically cooked fresh, not dehydrated. There is no rushing fire. You’re on its time, its schedule and it answers to no one.
While getting outside has taught me to slow down in our fast-paced have it your way in an instant thinking, practicing the art of bushcraft is teaching me to slow down even more and truly enjoy the outdoors. But it’s also reminding me to have more gratitude for what I have.
Try as hard as we may, the truth is nature will eventually catch you and force you to slow down. It answers to no one and lives by its own rules. We can spend millions of dollars and countless hours in planning meetings creating more gear to equip us for simpler and easier outdoor adventures, but we’ll always be on natures time.
My journey into the art of bushcraft is still going. Skills I’ve already learned need refining while other skills still need to be learned. And it’s these skills I will carry with me into all my adventures not only for survival purposes but also to remind me that when it comes to the outdoors I am NOT on my time.
In two days I’ll be heading to an event here in Pennsylvania called Uitwaaien Bushcraft Gathering hosted by PA Wilderness Skills. During my four days there I, along with others will be learning new skills and refining existing ones. We’re making the time to take time to slow down and value time. We’ll be connecting with new friends as well as some existing friends, and social media connections will become real-life connections.
While HBF Outdoors is about inspiring others to get outside and connect with an outdoor experience. Uitwaaien Bushcraft Gathering will be my time to be inspired and connect with others in an outdoor experience. I’m looking forward to taking a few days off to slow down and learn.