Friday, 18 May 2007

Backyard Bushcraft Experience

Personal Project 1 The Backyard Bushcraft Experience
Picture - lighting the tinder bundle.

To boldly go where you may not have gone before. For this project we are going to recreate a wilderness survival experience in the safe confines of your back yard. If you haven't already got one, borrow one, or turn your front yard into one, or actually go some other place; or as a last resort use your home!

- The Weekend Self Taught Backyard Bushcraft Survival experience:- making a ditch bag, no electricity, where's water, where's food? Just a knife.

We're going to learn by ourselves how to safely purify water, make a campfire, improvise a shelter, look for some wild food, and we're going to spend the weekend outdoors. All of it if possible. To do this we're going to improvise. We're not going to buy huge amounts of kit (though you can if you want) and we're not going to start eating any poisonous plants or going to the toilet on the lawn.

Before we go anywhere we're going to consider the wisdom of 'a Ditch Bag'. This is a bag that contains useful things. Sailors carry ditch bags so that if they have to leave the boat in a hurry and use the life raft they'll have a few things that make life more comfortable.
Do you have a ditch bag already? If before you head out your front door you've grabbed your keys, your money and your coat; in a sense you've grabbed your ditch bag. These are your urban survival tools.Cash and credit card are our survival tickets for all of our basic necessities. But as many of us have experienced in times of crisis - fuel crises, powercuts, hurricanes, floods etc, Sometimes they don't work. Sometimes you just can't find a cash machine with any money in it; or your pin number has escaped your memory, or for extremes sake the garage has been crushed by a tree with your car in it, the electricity depot has exploded. The tap's dried up.

If you don't have a credit card or cash a city can become a desert and for many homeless people that is their experience. We have created for our 'convenience' streets without seats, places without running water, land without food, corners and alleys without safety. As I already said it is for our convenience that we have replaced the liberty of gathering our own food from the wild, and choosing where we'd like to live, with the measure of our income and how far it stretches or doesn't stretch. Many people have the mistaken perception that hunter gathering was a tenuous life style that was raw and difficult and led to an early grave. In fact it was hunter gathering that allowed people to survive and flourish for thousands of years; you can see the comparison particularly well in Return of the Tribe and Macintyre's Edge of Existence.

A ditch bag has the following:
1-Pure water and purifying tablets/solution
2-Emergency food and matches
3-Survival kit
4-Spare clothing and blanket/sleeping bag
5-Torch and batteries and candles
6-Important documents
7-First Aid Kit
8-Emegency Shelter (tarp, light weight tent, or bivi bag)

It's not a survival kit, but having a survival kit in your ditch bag is a good idea. A ditch bag is for if you have to leave your home in a hurry for whatever reason, maybe its a forest fire. It has enough for an individual to carry easily. If you have family make sure they have their own ditch bags.You may want to tailor the contents to suit your needs (personal medication etc) but always make sure you have the above necessities. You can update the food/first aid contents and water, using them and replacing them before they go out of date.

Having a ditch bag is a simple thing and its surprising how often a power cut happens and you have to run around searching for candles. If you have your electric/gas cut off its a good idea to have a camping stove of some sort with spare gas cartridges.

The best ditch bag is your own knowlege. The wild places are where we came from, so we shouldn't forget some of the simplest ways we knew how to survive there.

You can have your own fun making a survival kit, I suggest though that its your use of it that will be most helpful. there is plenty of information out there on making one.

In bushcraft, it is learning how to craft nature to your benefit. So what's in a bushcraft survival kit. The knife, axe and the handsaw are basic tools for practice, and with them you need a sharpening stone and spare blades. Stepping further back you would have to learn how to make a stone/metal knife/axe and that is something you can pursue separately if you're interested.
With these tools you have nature's supermarket at your disposal - if you know how to use them.

The most imporatnt thing is to consider the effect of your actions in the long term. Safety is paramount when there are sharp blades in use and the best place to learn this is with someone professional who already knows. It is surprising how many woodsman have bad habits. Three things that are very important are to always have a FIRST AID KIT at hand when you are using tools/working with fire. To never cut towards yourself unless you are using controlled grips; and to be aware of follow through where the direction of the cut is going and make sure you and anyone else are out of the way. Pay particular attention to the main femoral artery on the inside of your thigh; which people often forget when using tools. Try working to one-side of you instead.
Learn the correct methods for using theses tools. If possible in a workshop that a professional is running and know how to treat problems if they occur. I always try and let someone know if I'm planning on working with my axe/knife/saw, for safety's sake.
Well maintained tools are safer than blunt ones (I cut my thumb on a half sharp/half blunt blade to learn this one). So learn how to keep them sharp and in good condition.
The use of a block between you and the blade, that will stop a cut is necessary. You can use a wood block, downed tree or even the ground (but be aware that the ground and blades don't mix and will damage your blade).

What do we take?
So if we're going camping for the weekend, what do we need?
We need to replace all the things we usually need with what we can carry. Practising Bushcraft allows you to learn ways of living in the wilderness that enables you to carry less, CAUTION - its not an overnight process. You are the governor of your knowledge and comfort level. If you head out for the weekend in December with just a knife you will either end up very cold and uncomfortable/suffering from hypothermia/frostbite or very comfortable, maybe even too hot - depending on what you know. That is the big difference.

So for the moment I am going to pretend 'I know nothing...', nada, rien etc.
I have to replace my running water, my central heating, my walking around the house with less on than I might in public, my refrigerator, my sofa, my bed, my lighting.

Journey of learning
When I first set out on this journey, I was about eleven years old on a school trip. We set up the tents provided by the school. We collected water from a spring. The teacher built a fire while we collected wood. I went off happily to canoe in the lake with one of the teachers. A thunder storm blew up, it was raining but we were immersed in watching a heron fly and dive and catch an eel; then proceed to have its dinner not feet from our still boats. Though it was the middle of summer goose bumps appeared on my skin I was only wearing a swimsuit and plimsoles, we were soaked through but mesmerised. As we were carrying our boats back I looked forward to drying out by a nice fire and having dinner.
When we got back to the camp, I was shocked. Tents were being taken down, the fire had been put out and all my clothes were strewn on the ground soaking wet and covered in mud. Needless to say I was disappointed. Some of the other kids and staff had made a decision in our absence to go home they didn't like the rain and the cold (one of them had asked where they could plug in their hairdryer)and they were generally unimpressed and complaining. Not only was I disappointed, but I was freezing cold and very hungry; the difference was, even so, I did not want to go home. I wanted to stay there. It was a beautiful place, with ancient oak and beech woodland, these lovely lakes that were created for the iron industry in the Industrial Revolution. But back then I wasn't thinking that. I was feeling. I was feeling joy and boundless freedom. I was feeling nourished and fulfilled. I was feeling purposeful. It was like everything made sense and I didn't feel separate but very connected.

That is the feeling I'd like to share with you as you leave you home and go for a bushcraft experience. Later on as a bushcrafter you can get bogged down by wanting what I call 'know how'; how to make a hand drill? how to build an all night fire? where the fish bite? what tree that is? These things are good knowledge but not if they are at the expense of your experience. It is your experience that is your life. I would rather you went out with everything you could possibly need in the back of your car or in your rucksack ( you know cool box, deck chair etc) somewhere wild and beautiful and just enjoyed it all weekend - than that you went out with your tiny tarp and all your field guides and got yourself and them damp, dirty and unhappy.

The knowledge downloading requires a time and a place, but it should be at a comfortable pace. Even your comfort level should be pushed at a comfortable rate. The idea is discomfort teaches you the need for the knowledge, but the knowledge gained means you don't have to do the discomfort. Gain it slowly. Pace yourself. Make sure your foundations are strong.

Practical Projects

Fire -To purify water, you need to heat water. So you need to be able to make a fire. What are the main conditions for making fire? Which locations shouldn't you have a fire? (think about dry brush in summer, peat and pine forests)What local trees and shrubs provide good fuel for a fire? Is their wood fast or slow burning? What is the nearest tree to you that provides good available wood for making a fire? What structure should you consider for making a fire? What is the fire for? How do you harvest wood for a fire? Is it better to collect from the ground or among the branches? Which is best dead wood/greenwood? How does damp dead wood burn in comparison to green wood? What is a platform? What puts out fire? How should you leave your campsite after you've had a fire?

Finding out the answers to these question is your experience. Don't just guess. Find out the correct answers and if you don't know them ask.

Water - So you know how to make your fire. How do you purify the water? Why is filtration important? What is the simplest method of filtering your water?
Is it good to get it to a rolling boil for ten minutes or for five minutes? Could you just leave at 60degreesC for ten minutes (handhot)?
When purifying water with tablets or solutions which kind do you prefer? Why? (Check out iodine solution and silver tablets) Where is it easier to have these methods to purify water? (consider places you may need to purify a lot of water for consumption like the Jungle).

Food - Now you've got a fire and water to drink/use for cooking. What can you eat? Now we're not about to go hunting here or catch a deer, but I can introduce you to a small edible plant that most of us are very familiar with, the Dandelion (Taxicum Officinale). What is dandelion good for? How do you prepare it? Does it have any look-a-likes that you can't eat? How do you tell if a dandelion is a dandelion and not an Orache or a Hawksbeard. You can find a lot of information at An interesting thing I recently found out about dandelion is that regularly drinking a tea made from dandelion root can cure Hepatitis C. This is a severe illness affecting the liver that can be very dangerous, (before I knew how healing dandelion root could be for the liver). I try and eat a few young leaves every day and find that it clears my skin and I simply feel healthier. I must add here that I am not a qualified herbalist, (though I have studied Tibetan Medicine for four years), but Michael Tierra L.Ac., O.M.D. is and he wrote the excellent 'the way of HERBS' where I learnt this bit about Dandelion.

Shelter - For the moment maybe you've brought some camping food, or you've made your own ration pack up, maybe you're trying out your new stove. Sit back now and look around and consider. A fire offers some warmth, but if its raining or going to rain, or if its very hot, you need your shelter. If it has been raining or is cold you'll now understand why shelter is so important and why really when you arrive at the place you've chosen to camp; (what are the reasons for camping there is it a good spot, what makes a location good and bad?) you'll want to get your shelter up right away - this varies according to occasion, but its a lot easier getting a tent up when its dry than in the dark when its suddenly decided to rain on you.

Have you got a tarpaulin? A tarp offers immediate shelter from the rain if you know how to put it up and which knots to use. It can be useful in group situations where more people can gather together near a fire but out of the rain to socialise. A bivi bag is all very romantic and practical but it's completely antisocial. Without these things, what kind of shelter could you build with what's around you? What's a debris hut? What's a snowhole?
What does nature have to offer in terms of building materials? How long does it take to build a debris hut for one? Or for a group? Is it practical?
Do you know the difference between A-Frame tents, Dome tents and the Geodesic variety? Can you put them up?

Hygiene - You can't know this stuff unless you've done it. So here's your opportunity. Don't forget if you want to wear the same clothes the whole time that's up to you - it's not like you'll have an entourage. But cleanliness is important as far as health is concerned even though its might seem more awkward outdoors than in your own bathroom. It's also an opportunity to check for ticks/ bites that require treatment, why do they require treatment? What's Lymes's Disease? What's Leptospirosis?

Passing the time
Messing around in your garden is a great place to learn about yourself. If you're wondering what else to do consider:-
Finding any poisonous plants, that grow in your garden, then leaving them well alone.
Finding any edible ones? I recommend strong caution until you are absolutely confident in your ID abilities when using wild plants. The Kamana Naturalist Programme or a local Botany programme are brilliant for this.
Listening to the birds. Identifying the birds. Does their song stop and start according to when you approach or settle?
What wildlife or insect life are also living in your backyard?
What trees can you see? What are they specifically used for?
Can you make a bow drill or a hand drill to start a fire?
Do you know any tracking techniques? Track your dog or cat, friend, or yourself by putting trays of sand down and standing, turning and running across them. Learn to ID different tracks, and trails.
There's plenty to do.
I hope you have a great Backyard Bushcraft experience.

If you have enjoyed reading this site please help me to keep raising the standards by leaving a donation

Related Articles:-
Course Outline,
An Introduction to Shelter,
Habitat-Shelter from the Skin Up,
how to remove a tick
Return of the Tribe,
Progress is Process - Training program
How to put up a tarp and Hammock
Learning to Identify Plants
plant medicine
Navigation by using the sun

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tags - backyard bushcraft, making a ditch bag, finding water, finding food, survival course, bushcraft course, bushcraft, camping, Hepatitis C,

Introduction to course

Picture - Free Wild Edible Salad ( I have borrowed this from students of the Wilderness Guide Programme who run the Kamana homestudy Naturalist course which I highly recommend)

Each of my articles are ideas and practical projects that that will help make you more confident in the outdoors and in your own life. For a long time I have travelled around the world looking for what works, for the actual solutions to problems I have had in my own health and my life, and for everyone. The real fruit of these labours has been measured by how I've succeeded in implementing these positive changes into my lifestyle. I have learnt, often frustratingly along the way, that this is a process all of us have to go through. It has practical components and psychological ones. Sometimes I have been in very empowered situations and sometimes not. Right now this course is what I'm doing to climb to create an empowering situation. I hope it is of help to you who are reading this and as many people as may possibly benefit from it and that we all learn something along the way. I'd love to hear/share your stories too, so get in contact:- is my email address.

I will be using the best resources I can find for this course and will sometimes
link to videos I find. If you see that any of these links aren't working please contact my email address. Thankyou.

The basic Outline for the course is as follows:-

1-An Introduction to Shelter - we'll look at shelter in general.
Personal Project - The Backyard Bushcraft Experience

2-Habitat - Shelter from the skin up fire - what is shelter? How is shelter provided? What are illness/ problems from lack of shelter. Shelter at home - Your Ecological Footprint, Ecological restoration/renovation, Strawbale, Cob and other healthy and efficient shelters.
Personal Project - Different Shelters. How to use a tarp and hammock. Damp,Wind and Sun!

3-Water/Fire - (The need for fire to purify water) Introduction to Fire. What you need to build a fire safely. Future articles will include different types of fires and ways of cooking. Alternative Fuels.
Water - Where to find/How to filter and purify. Water at home - living machines and grey water systems.
Personal project - Bushcraft Purifying Water. Build a Grey Water System. Build a solar water heater

4-Food - Foraging for Plants, Learn your POISONOUS PLANTS first!, Bushcraft tucker, Growing what?, Permaculture Design, Community Shared Agriculture, Tribal living, a hunter gatherer in the supermarket, emergencies, long term.
Personal Project - The emergency Ration Pack, Drying foods, Make your own Jerky and Pemmican, Preparing fish, Preparing animals, Road Kill, Preserving. Using a throwing stick.How to grow your own food? Which foods are best?. Growing a forest garden

5-Medicine - Bushcraft First Aid, the health experts and the sickness experts, in the wild, balancing pathology and holistic medicine, my apprenticeship of Tibetan Medicine, what else is out there? the Icelandic Paraplegic who is learning to walk, for Multiple Sclerosis, for cancer, for Asthma and Eczema, M.E or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Getting Old and getting young, Miracles are just big medicine, medicine is just little miracles.-
Personal Project -First Aid Kit (modern), First Aid Kit (bushcraft), Learn your medicinal weeds, prevention rather than cure.

6-Communication - in the wild, Taking your mobile telephone, silent signals, bird language, body language, speech, owl eyes and deer ears, tracks, telepathy exercises, Navigation,Global Positioning Systems G.P.S, VHF/UHF Radio, Satellite phones, Leaving Route Cards and Emergency Contact details I.T, fight/flight. What you're wearing is it blaring?

7-Transport - fitness, walking, breathing, mind over matter, systema breathing, our body the all terrain vehicle, quality of life;of 'aliveness', care of animals, the importance of shoes, sledges, snow shoes, carts, bicycle, motorbike, car, boats, Parachutes, Planes and other crazy stuff
Personal Project - How to make your own moccasins, a fold up canoe; a raft. How to make Bio Diesel

8-Money - increasing your value in £/$, the value of your community, unwinding from the daily grind.

I have a personal goal which is to travel on a long journey using my Bushcraft Skills, in a remote area. I also have a Community Goal which is to set up self-sufficient 'Refuges' demonstrating Positive Impact Living Lifeskills (P.I.L.L.S)in as many places as possible. At the moment I'm simply trying to build a firm foundation from which to steadily grow. Living a simple life in France, only working part time and concentrating on honing all of my skills and learning new ones. Including how to set up a web site! It's all new to me.

What are your personal/community goals? Do you have a life list?

THE BIG PROJECT - the journey and the refuge

What's your BIG PROJECT?

In providing this course. I want to empower as many people a possible in their own lives as well as my own. I'm doing it because I want to get fitter. I want to be inspired and motivated enough to be as fit as I can be. I want my lifestyle to be a vehicle for achieving optimum health - that is what all of us have a right to.

One thing that I have noticed over the years is that many stories about teachers of ancient traditions, native living and actual tribal peoples have reflected that they have maintained an extremely high level of fitness well into old age, see Tom Brown's description of Grandfather Stalking Wolf in his book 'Grandfather'. After Tom Brown accompanied him on a hard trek 'He was not in a hurry, but rather took his time. To someone who did not know any better they would never have known that he had just finished the same long trek we had. He seemed so totally unaffected by the whole trip' This was a man in his 80's and 90's who also hunted, and swam. Also in studying the Eastern Traditions especially Tibetan Bon and Buddhism, their understanding of health is so deep that even after four years as an apprentice of Tibetan Medicine I still felt like I was learning the ABC of this vast subject.

I recognise that our motivation is tempered by our life experience and that although everyone may want to be 'successful' not all of us have a realistic vision for ourselves that is detailed enough or large enough to reflect our personal value and purpose.

Going out into the wilderness I have been privileged to find a sense of peace and of place, and returning to 'civilisation' I have been privileged to find lots of 'work' just waiting to be done.

If you think you can write an article suitable for this site relfecting the above categories or offering a new one, please contact me subject 'Article submission' with your suggestion and I will add a link for you once you've sent your article with a short bio about yourself and your own link URL. I am also happy to swop links; if you send me the link URL where you have posted my site link to the above email subject 'PILLS Link Swop', then I will add you to my Links.

Enjoy the course!

If you have enjoyed reading this site please help me to keep raising the standards by leaving a donation

Related Articles:-
An Introduction to Shelter,
Habitat-Shelter from the Skin Up,
The Backyard Bushcraft Experience,
how to remove a tick
Return of the Tribe,
Motivation to do anything!,
What is my ecological footprint?,
Progress is Process - Training program
How to put up a Tarp and How to put up a Hammock
Learning to Identify Plants

To join my newletter, with the latest Positive Impact Living Methods and News and please fill out your information in the box below (it's confidential), it will arrive once a month and you can easily unsubscribe, thanks Louise

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Shelter from the skin up

Habitat, shelter. The first shelter is our skin. People who spend there lives outdoors are more conditioned to deal with the elements. They're thicker skinned. If you're used to staying indoors with central heating etc, camping may be an uncomfortable experience and so might going out for the night forgetting your coat because you didn't know it was a bit colder than it had been and freezing!
So here's a picture of one of my doorsteps. In this one I'm in the Swiss Alps on top of a mountain on Swiss Independence Day, having a small celebration watching the fireworks going off from all the other mountain huts. Here my shelter is a blanket purloined from our mountain hut and a fire. We'd spent all day climbing and the physical exercise kept us warm, but exertion also made us more suceptible later on when our bodies were refuelling. It's a good idea to look at how other mammals have shelter, where do deer go when it rains? Our minds contain the best shelter, in it we have the imagination to bend the natural world to protect us and that knowlege is the most reliable bricks and mortar. That and practice because our comfort level relies on our expertise.

Stay out of the wind, stay dry, moderate your body temperature according to conditions. If you have a cold shower every day and proper exercise your circulation will be good and so will your ability to bear hot and cold temperatures. Of course you don't have to but it helps you feel 'alive'. Learn about what happens if you don't have shelter when you need it, about the symptoms of hypothermia, heat stroke and heat exhaustion, about wind chill, immersion foot. These are the reasons we have shelter see if you can think of some I haven't listed.
You can spend your time 'surviving' or you can spend your time 'thriving' its up to you. You can spend all your money on gear or you can spend your time on finding the knowledge.
The Eskimos have a story about a women who was caught in a storm three days from her village it was the sort of storm that would kill one of us, caught out in the open. What did she do? She sat down, for three days and waited for it to pass, and then she walked home. The Eskimos say that if you don't have enough clothes on that you can sit down and fall asleep, then you're not wearing enough.

Find out how to build a fire with minimum resources? What local fuels are good for fires?Why? Where shouldn't you build a fire? What are the three main conditions you need to have fire?
What can being able to build fire do for you? What building materials are freely offered in nature?

Head out for a night's camp in sensible weather see
(The Backyard Bushcraft Experience), with the right equipment (find out if you don't know) but this time make your shelter from what's around you. What is the safe way to make fire? What can put a fire out? What is the nature of fire? (how does it behave?)
Every instalment I will be asking these questions and the depth to which you answer them is up to you. I will point you in certain directions that may offer other ideas.
The houses that we build for ourselves vary historically, from the cave we have chosen to make our home, to the Whale bones and skins that the native people use on the Skeleton coast. To a skyscraper in a big city, a grass hut on the plains of Africa, or the wattle and daub of saxon England, or a cardboard box/tarp for an unlucky person on Oxford Street.
Would you know how to build a log cabin, a debris hut, how to put up a tarp and hammock (which knots to use), or a tent different from your own. Do you know how to use snow as a building material? Do you know how a brick house is built? ( my father does because he was a builder). The more you know the more versatility you have. What questions you answer depend on where you want to go with this. I for example don't know how to build a fire pit correctly in a tipi. I've slept in a tipi where someone else had built the pit and it was very smoky when you sat up. I read that tipis were used on the plains where a constant wind would blow usually from the same direction and that fire pits were built with tunnels to channel air so that it burned in a way that was less unhealthy. I still wouldn't know how to build one right now unless I looked it up.
What I would like to learn is how to build a fire that pilots used in the war and partisans in the forests of europe, that is a two pit fire with a tunnel leading from one to the other, where the air from one pit allows the fire in the other pit to burn with its flames just below ground level so they cannot be seen and you can rest pans directly on top of the rim of the hole. It sounds simple enough so i'm going to try it out.
What you learn is up to you, but trying out different things is great so long as you pay respect to local resources and don't over harvest. Stopping and asking a plant/object if you can use it and waiting for an answer isn't just superstitious. It reminds you to consider the effects of taking the resource from out of its environment - whether that will have a good/bad outcome for everything else that may rely on it as 'home', and saying thankyou serves the same purpose.
Finally, there are technologies today that are simple and unpolluting. There are methods of design that allow us great benefit without harming the planet. Look at strawbale design and cob, which offsets the costs of building waste (one of the biggest waste products) becasue it is a renewable material. Yet it is long lasting and amazing at reducing heating/cooling cost, while at the same time being (apparently) more flame retardant than an ordinary brick single shell house. Think about adobe houses and stoves that use the least wood and have the least emissions for efficiency. Things that last. A new technolgy is the solar cooker, which is like an aluminium upturned satellite dish that uses the power of the sun to cook food and boil water. It's a great idea for solving fuel use around the world but where does the aluminium come from is it worth the damage of that extraction process?
Actions must be taken after weighing things up on balance. Just because cob/strawbale are brilliant sustainable design materials doesn't mean we should all go out and build one when there a lot of empty stone built homes witting around waiting for some insulation!
Here also is where the social problems of homelessness, displaced persons and immigration raise their heads. There are solutions; there are ways to solve these problems now. A lot of the ideas around property and ownership are just that ideas. Even the red tape though it appears as a material part of our reality, it is still just an idea, and tehre fore within our power to remove or instigate at will. This is something we have to remind ourselves. Our social landscape is mutable, it is able to be affected by us in a good way. The law isn't set in stone, if there is something within our history that is causing suffering today, we can change it today - that's what we're good at.
I find I have a lot of distaste when it comes to 'private property', the whole world could end up as 'private property' and that would be a sad thing. It's already happening like that. Our waters are being bought up, our lands already been carved up. Even the moons and stars are being dissected and sold off by someone! Today and in the past, people have learned to live respectfully in 'commons'. What does that mean? What kind of societies, tribes, co-operatives demonstrate that and how do they make it work? We have to know these things, because our futures rely upon them. I believe our hearts are broad enough to solve these problems, I think our vision just needs a little encouragement.
'Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty we are free at last' Martin Luther King
(what a powerful affirmation)
Mi casa es su casa

If you have enjoyed reading this site please help me to keep raising the standards by leaving a donation

Related Articles:-
Course Outline,
An Introduction to Shelter,
The Backyard Bushcraft Experience,
how to remove a tick
Return of the Tribe,
Ultimate Fitness Program...
How to put up a Tarp and How to put up a Hammock
Progress is Process - Training program
What to do about sports injuries
Learning to Identify Plants
free medicine, free health

To join my newletter, with the latest Positive Impact Living Methods and News and please fill out your information in the box below (it's confidential), it will arrive once a month and you can easily unsubscribe, thanks Louise

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tags - strawbale, cob, commons, habitat, new technologies, sustainable living, hunter gatherers, tribes, survival, course, solar power

Thursday, 17 May 2007

An Introduction to Shelter

Picture - debris hut

Let's begin in the wild. I'm wandering on a trail, the sun's out its hot, I find a patch of shade and sit down.
The first thing I've done is look for shelter and that's the first thing we'll cover in our course in solutions to living with a positive impact.
There are few of us today who can say I like that grassy spot there I think that's where I'll build my home without having to consider a large transaction of money, but it was possible once.
I'd like to encourage us to consider this freedom that all of mankind once enjoyed, to roam where we wished, to owe nothing to no man. In fact I will be urging you to explore this freedom in every area of your life. I believe it is one of our most prescious possesions - that freedom to choose.
I have experienced many different homes in my life. It is rare that I've known one place for longer than a year. When I was once working in London I stayed in twenty different places in one six week period, The longest being a weeks stay in a friends flat. I had no time off to look for a flat as I was working in two jobs and discovered myself with only one saturday off in a month.
I am an Advanced Bushcraft teacher and so I know how to build the most primitive of shelters and have a comfortable nights sleep. I have gained much joy from nights spent in my hammock swinging under the trees, looking up through the branches and being lulled to sleep by the sound of the wind through the leaves.
So here we will look at some simple ways that shelters are built throughout the world and in different habitats. Which I will post over the following days.
Not all of us have what I consider to be the luxury of wild camping and some people would consider it to be the burden of poverty to live in such shelter. For many of us in what are termed 'developed' countries we have the options of a room, a bedsit/flat or house. Some of us don't even have those options and must lie in the street in damp sleeping bags on bits of cardboard. Where we live is governed and limited to our means and many of us are feeling the pressure of rising property prices in an uncomfortable way.
There are other options and by the end of this course, if we learn to keep our minds and hearts open perhaps we can create even more options.
I must remind you that this is a journey I am also taking, so we'll see what kind of success I have, using the knowlege I am going to share.


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tags - shelter, freedom, homelessness, debris hut, alternative, property, prices, mortgages, survival, sustainable living
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