Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine – Issue 86
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill
This issue of Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine would have been our last before The Bushcraft Show 2020, and I had intended to focus on all the exciting features and activities we had planned for our 10th annual event. However, as I write the world is in the grip of an unprecedented health and economic crisis.
The global spread of the COVID-19 virus has claimed many lives, overwhelming health care systems in several countries. To reduce the spread of this extremely contagious disease, we’ve all had to make significant changes to our lives. The world of bushcraft is no exception. For this reason we’ve decided to postpone the Show until later in the year. We hope to reschedule for late August/early September, although at this stage there’s still too much uncertainty for us to confirm dates. We will be updating our website and social media as more information becomes available.
This magazine is called Bushcraft & SURVIVAL Skills for a reason. Survival is about having the correct mindset and the skills to adapt to any situation. What may seem an insurmountable problem may turn out to be a valuable opportunity to reassess our situation, to emerge stronger than before. So, rather than focussing on the negatives and the limitations, let’s concentrate our energy on what we can achieve by sharing ideas, and planning our future direction.
Being confined to quarters, unable to spend time in the outdoors, is proving to be the most challenging part of this process for me, as I’m sure it is for so most of us in the bushcraft community. However, a lockdown doesn’t mean we have to spend the whole time on the sofa watching Netflix. There are plenty of bushcraft related activities available without leaving our homes and gardens.
Maintaining equipment is an excellent use of all this spare time. My knives have never been so sharp. What about learning a new skill? A friend recently tanned a couple of beautiful red deer hides in his back garden; a laborious and time-consuming, but the end result is a durable fabric that can be used to make everything from clothing and footwear, to pouches and bags.
Try to develop a daily routine. Exercise is vital for both physical and mental health, so aim to combine your once a day exercise activity with something bushcraft related. I like to condition myself for future backpacking trips by carrying a fully loaded pack on my walk. I’ve also been harvesting hazel shoots and other useful materials from local hedgerows. With shortages of some foods it’s also a great idea to forage the ingredients for a wild salad, or nettle soup. Packed with nutrients, wild foods are a great way to boost your immune system. Just make sure you know what you’re picking. Don’t take any chances.
Another good routine is to learn a new knot each day. You can never have too many in your repertoire, so check out some of the great ropework videos on Youtube.
Finally, we’re in the midst of an historic event that will have profound effects on our lives for a long time, so why not keep a journal of your experiences, perhaps even start a blog? Also, don’t forget to send us your ideas for lockdown bushcraft activities. These are challenging times, but they will pass, and when they do, I look forward to joining you all around the campfire. Stay safe and look after each other.