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Survival vs Bushcraft

December 7, 2017

Survival-noun-the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances. "the animal's chances for survival were pretty low"

Bushcraft-noun-skill at living in the bush.

 

So I wanted to talk alittle bit about the 2 words I have in my title, survival and bushcraft. Lately I have seen the 2 used a lot but it seems people might have misunderstood the words they were trying to use. Also I want to explain my name alittle why I didn't use Survival, even though I teach it, and used Bushcraft instead.

 

Survival is just that, surviving and if you've ever done it survival sucks. Sure you 'll have a great story to talk about after, but that is if there IS and after. The art of survival takes a lot of variables but one of the most overlooked is the will to survive, or mental toughness. There are a lot of popular ways to say it not, nut up or shut up, cowboy up, man up, put your big girl panties on, What are these saying? you have to want to get busy living or get dying. The will to survival is a huge factor, I've seen tough guys just shut down when the stress of survival is on them. It was shocking, and I've seen little 110 pound woman keep it together and fight on to stay alive and get through their hardships. one had mental toughness and one didn't. The next thing about survival is being able to adapt and overcome obstacles. After you've thought out your plan and need to execute it you need to do it with whatever it takes to carry on and live. So that might mean, leaving something really expensive behind, or destroying something so that you can live. If you read about real survival like the expeditions of the arctic or south poles, they were faced with some really hard choices, so

 

me of those were even cannibalism. But I'm getting a little off track,  my point is Survival is hard, dirty and really crappy.

 

Now Bushcraft, When people ask me what is Bushcraft? My answer is "being able to look at the forest as your toolbox". So what does that mean, first it means that we can live with the woods, we know what plants are for medicine and what plants are great tinder for fire. We know that these types of trees are strong and there plants have great fibers. You can see already that it means you have a better understanding of the forest or "bush" around you. So this is why I teach bushcraft, because I want to teach you how to start a fire on the first try, I want to teach you how to find that wild edible to eat, or to navigate and find your way home. It's these skills that make it so much better when you're in the bush. You now have a deeper understanding, and you can start to see more when you go out. I now see animals that have been there, knowing that they used that same trail I am using now only hours before me. Seeing the plants eaten by a moose, and being able to track it's path as it grazed along the river. So with bushcraft we have a much better experience in the bush, but if we ever get into a survival situation we have some great tools to get us out.

 

So the difference I think to make it quite easy to understand, is Survival Sucks! and bushcraft is Awesome! haha of course that's a biased opinion, but really one is something you do because something went wrong, and one is something we do to be closer to nature. I think that's a fair way to put it.

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