Friday, May 30, 2014

Integrating Bushcraft With Modern Outdoor Life by Paul Kirtley

Paul Kirtley is a UK bushcraft instructor, and runs Frontier Bushcraft, a well recognized school. He also has an excellent blog that you can see here. Typically, I don’t care much for bushcraft instructors, as I find many of them to simply use flowery talk about unity with nature combined with a few knife tricks they have seen in a Ray Mears DVD, to sell a product to people who think that picking berries lets them “thrive in nature”. Paul however is a different sort, and while time does not permit me to travel to the UK to attend his classes, I’ve been reading his writings for a while and I have a lot of respect for him.

At the 2014 Bushcraft Show, he gave a presentation, which you can watch by following the link or clicking on the picture below, titled Integrating Bushcraft With Modern Outdoor Life.


I thought the presentation was very interesting and very well put. He speaks at length about how in many respects bushcraft has unnecessarily become isolated from more general outdoor pursuits. He describes his approach, which involves using the skills which bushcraft gives him and the deeper understanding of his surroundings that provides, within the context of a larger outdoor experience, involving longer, more mobile trips into the wilderness.

In many respects, he describes my thinking on The Modern Woodsman, and how all of these outdoor skills can be incorporated into one larger outdoor experience and a more well rounded woodsman, rather than the cliché little subgroups we have created. 

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