Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine – Issue 90
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” – Earnest Hemmingway
I can barely contain my excitement as we tick off the days until The Bushcraft Show 2021. The Show will be held at a brand new and much bigger location at Chillington Hall, a move that really does signify, to me at least, new beginnings. As we put the past behind us and allow our imaginations to run wild with hopes and visions of a bright and exciting future, it’s a time for us to also embrace change.
Bushcraft is a term that encompasses many different aspects. For some it’s primarily a journey to rediscover and pass on the skills of our ancient ancestors, or those of indigenous peoples. For others, it’s an opportunity to test out the very latest piece of equipment to help make their time in the outdoors more comfortable and enjoyable. This broad appeal is what makes bushcraft such a uniquely diverse pursuit. It really does offer something for everyone, and different aspects of bushcraft can come to the fore as we get older and our circumstances change.
Likewise, bushcraft can enhance our experience of other outdoor activities, such as bikepacking and cycle touring, overlanding in Land Rovers, or indeed any other pursuit where a deeper understanding of the outdoors and our place in it can allow us to travel further, for longer and reduce our impact on the natural environment. With this in mind, we will be reaching out to experienced contributors from different activities and exploring how an understanding of bushcraft relates to what they do.
I can’t help noticing that this issue does seem to have a few more creepy crawlies than usual, so if you’re a tad squeamish you may want to get someone else to turn the pages for you. Personally, after having countless bugs make a meal out of me over the years, I think it’s only right and fair that we should return the favour. After all, insects are an excellent source of protein, and many cultures don’t have the same aversion to eating mini beasties as we in the western world do.
I’ve eaten quite a lot of different insects while on my travels, from grasshopper burritos in Mexico to scorpions in Thailand. But my favourite insect gourmet experience by far is the Green Tree ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) of Australia. They taste of lemon sherbet and Australian aboriginals powder the eggs and ants into a form of bush Lemsip, as a treatment for coughs and colds.
The only insect I wouldn’t be in any hurry to try again is the Asian giant water beetle, which I can only compare to eating a beer mat.
I’ll leave you with that pleasant thought, and if any of you have interesting stories about eating bugs, or anything else for that matter, I’d love to hear from you.