“A man raised in one part of the desert would know its flora and fauna backwards. He knew which plant attracted game. He knew his water. He knew where there were tubers underground. In other words, by naming all the ‘things’ in his territory, he could always count on survival.” A line from Bruce Chatwin’s, controversial, Songlines.
By using skills, the wilderness, either geographical or personal reality, can be faced head on as an adventure because survival is more than just learning how to put up a shelter in the rain, getting those soggy bits of wood to burn and feeling cold and lost. It seems to us that developing skills and knowledge appropriate to `whatever your wild country is’ underpins a means of survival.
Having recently been inspired by both the pioneers of Old America and the current Olympians, we thought we’d acknowledge those who facilitate ‘the acquisition of skills and knowledge required to live and travel in wild country’ through the gathering of knowledge, as opposed to the hunter-gatherer philosophy.
‘Bushcraft exemplifies the spirit of pioneering; living in, and traversing wild places. With its romantic aspirations and harsh realities, Bushcraft informs and equips the individual for expedition and adventure travel; instilling a powerful sense of identity and self-reliance’. Whether for a reconnection with the environment, or adventure travel, the team of instructors and specialist wilderness guides at Woodsmoke offer opportunities for groups and individuals to acquire skills and experience that empower.
Co-founders Ben McNutt and Lisa Fenton , along with their amazingly experienced team, offer a cornucopia of new experiences and perspectives, in stunning locations, amongst which are wildlife tracking and nature awareness (including plant lore and ethno biology), foraging, cooking, crafts (such as whittling and hide tanning) and expedition training, all accessible via their website with insightful tutorials.
Offering a new perspective on the natural environment whilst pushing back the boundaries of capability and being with enthusiastic, informative and friendly people, the earth has a finite level of natural resources but it seems that Woodsmoke’s strength is that they haven’t finished naming all the things attainable in their territory; but survival counts on the likes of them.
(Image and Article credit: Copyright SUF. Video courtesy of Woodsmoke)