My love of bushcraft

And how it came to be

When I was a little girl I used to sit and watch western movies and television shows with my dad. I loved a good western! Today, I'm so thankful for the influence and the memories of those old wild west shows. It gave me such an appreciation and love of the outdoors! Which is really kind of weird when you consider I grew up in Southern California in the 60s. However, when you combine my love for westerns and my desire to be a hippy, you have the me of today which really isn't so weird. Not me, the idea. I'm still weird, lol.

That was the thought that came to my mind as I was sitting here in my big comfy blue recliner with my laptop on my lap watching YouTube videos about different aspects of bushcraft. I should be working on putting together some of my homemade DIY MREs. And, I need to organize my BOB, not to mention I have some frozen green beans waiting for me to dehydrate. There are so many things that I need to get done. Instead, I'm procrastinating by not only watching YouTube videos, but writing this article. I'm probably the queen of procrastination!

Getting back on track here. I grew up watching westerns, wanting to live the life of a hippy, and my mother taught me that being prepared is better than being sorry. Those three things were the greatest influence on my life. Those three things are a big part in making me who I am today. A Christian/prepper/survivalist.

Westerns gave me a desire to want to live in the great outdoors. Hippies influenced me to love like Jesus. In fact, I learned a lot about Jesus from some local Jesus freaks (Christian hippies). I rejected the idea of Him at the time, but their love of sharing about him and their community lifestyle definitely influenced me. And, my mother influenced me to save up for a rainy day. What am I getting at here? Well, for as long as I can remember (that is, at least since my teen days), it has been my desire to live out in the middle of nowhere in a community of like-minded people. Homesteading and living off the land.

I have had some of those desires fulfilled. A couple of years after getting married and having three of our four children, we moved back to the Midwest and lived on a farm. It was my husband's parents' farm land and we had our own house about 3/4 of a mile down the road from them. While living on the farm, I had a HUGE garden and canned lots and lots of vegetables. I even made my own baby food by pureeing some of those vegetables. I learned a lot about food preservation and living off the land during that time.

The first time I ever went camping was shortly after we moved to the farm. I was around 20 years old at the time. We only went a couple of times then, but I really fell in love with it. Then, one year for vacation when our four kids were ranging in ages from around 8-12 years old (we had moved into the city by that time) we went from the Midwest to Central California, and back. Instead of staying in hotels, we camped out each night. In a tent. We cooked most of our meals over a campfire or on a camping cook stove. We took different routes each way so we could experience travelling through many different states. It was an exciting and very memorable experience!

Flash forward many, many years to when my children were barely adults, but they were adults. I went camping a lot then. We referred to it as rough camping. Camping in tents. Sometimes (rarely) there was an outhouse and once or twice there were flushing toilets. But mostly, it was in wooded areas. Sometimes my adult children would go along. It was mostly weekends, but sometimes a week or so at a time. This went on for at least 20 years. Yes, I'm old. I know it. I haven't been camping for at least nine years now. And, I miss it terribly! But, at this point in my life I don't have anyone to go camping with. Now, that's another story for perhaps another time.

The point I'm trying to make is this. A couple of years ago I heard about "prepping". I understood the necessity of it. After all, being prepared is better than being sorry, right? So, I started out by buying some non-perishable food items to keep in a small storage area. Then, I heard about this thing called a bug out bag, or BOB. So, I got a backpack and started filling it with items that would come in handy if we ever had to bug out. I was already familiar with many of the items that would need to go into the BOB from my experience in camping. However, when you've got the back end of a pickup to fill up with camping gear and food, well, it's kind of hard to fit all of that into a BOB. So, I had to research to find items that would work but would take up less space. And, I researched, and researched, and researched. In fact, I still research today!

Eventually, I also ran out of storage space for the food items. So, I began researching different food storage ideas. While researching food storage ideas (yes, I always research!) I came across something called DIY MREs. Then, while researching DIY MREs I came across these videos on dehydrating foods for camping/hiking. And believe me, I went crazy with that idea! I bought a food dehydrator, started dehydrating food and putting together our own MREs for our BOBs!

Whew! I'm out of breath from talking so much! Anyway, the last paragraph above is mostly what lead me to starting this blog. I had discovered so many helpful things that I wanted to share them with as many people as I could. In writing the blog articles, I had to go back to my research for items for the BOB. That's when I came across bushcraft! Wow! I was amazed! My eyes were opened so wide, I thought they would literally bug out!! Well, maybe not, but I did have my eyes opened.

Many of the things that I had learned in my camping years fit so well right in with bushcraft. But, the most amazing part of my bushcraft discovery was that I had actually been packing my BOB with a lot of the bushcraft necessities!

So, for the past couple of months I have been watching video after video of bushcraft ideas and training. There is so much to learn, and so many different perspectives to learn it from. I have a feeling, that just like prepping, it is a never ending learning process.

The only problem I see with all of the bushcraft videos I have watched is that they don't teach you how you're actually supposed to live in the bush (woods). Things such as how to obtain your water and food. You need to have the prepping skills, along with the ability to make your own meals for your BOB to even be ready for bushcraft. in addition, you need to learn (and practice) hunting skills. If you have enough food to get you to a place where you can set up an actual camp then hopefully, you will be able to forage for food there. Can you guess what my next research will be on? Thankfully, we have family members who are skilled at hunting deer and wild game. But, I still feel the need to learn everything I can about hunting for survival.

I got a little off track there with that last paragraph. Anyway, I absolutely love how prepping and bushcraft seem to blend in with each other. I am very grateful that I am learning both. While I've had the opportunity to learn and put into practice prepping, I haven't had the opportunity to do so with bushcraft as of yet. So, I am researching (there's that word again!) and learning all that I can about bushcraft and am hoping and praying that I will have an opportunity soon to put that learning into practice and have it become an actual skill before SHTF.

Combining my love of westerns, knowledge and skill of prepping, and the desire to prepare rather than be sorry, it only makes sense that my prepping would evolve to learning bushcraft skills. Adding in the factor of my love for westerns and desire to live in the great outdoors, you would think this would be perfect and I would be able to survive an apocalypse. Not necessarily though. Even with all the knowledge in the world, in a SHTF scenario, that knowledge won't be of much use unless it's backed with practice and skill. Just like with a firearm, you need to practice, practice, and practice. The same holds true with bushcraft.

And that's how my love for bushcraft came into being. I have most of the tools I need now, and I can picture myself out there in the woods practicing what I've learned. But, for now, I have to keep researching and wait for the opportunity to practice. And, I have some MREs waiting to be put together :)

Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!