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Monday, 15 July 2019

Bushcraft Bushido - Integrity.

As the years go by and I get a bit more life experience, though maybe not wisdom, I find myself ruminating on matters of morality and conscience. I recall hearing Ray Mears talk one time and two things he said stayed with me, one that the bushcraft path is spiritual and not just a physical journey and two that the path breeds stoicism and fortitude.
I often think in moralistic terms and would probably say I'm rather old fashioned and would consider myself to have traditional values to those akin to the values of chivalry or those of Bushido.
In fact I think the Bushido way typifies the way we should dedicate ourselves to our craft and to our home lives also. The Bushido way consists of seven virtues all of which are woven in a web and they do not stand alone and to ignore one would be to have a detrimental effect on the others and as a result on our bushcraft journey and also on our personal lives.

The first of these is Integrity.

Integrity is being bound to the truth at all costs and being willing to stand alone for what is right if that's what the situation demands, even when facing an onslaught which you feel is out of place or against what you believe to be right. Facing this builds character and fortitude and stoicism, exactly the attributes Ray was talking about, be true to your self and your craft, even if others are baying around you.
But it also means being able to reach out and offer an apology when needed, and I am as guilty as everyone else of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, we all are fallible. However if you feel you have spoken the truth then stand tall, but if in that stance you know you have hurt someone then never be too proud to say I'm sorry, to be gracious enough to reach out and offer a way to ease the hurt,  but only to those who are deserving, there's no point offering an apology to those whom you know will throw it back in your face, those that berate or shun you lack this most precious of virtues, nature does not do this, scold you she might, but it will be so as to teach you a valuable lesson, learn it.  So it is with our bushcraft path, be humble in nature, we are learning from her, she is teaching us, not the other way around, be ready to fail and yet ready to try again and succeed, dedicate yourself to an open mind and the pursuit of knowledge, pick up the pieces and continue on with your integrity intact and pity those who have none or if they do posses it just simply ignore it.

If you can keep your head when all about you 
are losing theirs and blaming it on you
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies
or being hated, don't give way to hating
and yet don't look too good nor talk too wise...(Kipling)


Friday, 12 July 2019

New steel striker.. it's a bit special.

Thought I'd treat myself to a new steel striker, it is one of the nicest steels I've seen, and it throws sparks like a , well like a dragon lol.
Just need to find a few pieces of nice red jasper to compliment it..what do you think?

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Roasted cattail roots

It's one of those plants that has a multitude of uses, from fire to cordage to woven mats to shelter building and not least of all food. The roots are particularly tasty when roasted on the campfire. Obviously make sure you identify the plant correctly first, the new growth can be eaten raw and has a cucumber texture with a slight bitter aftertaste but the roasted rhizome tastes like potato. Give it a try.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Lough Erne expedition

Myself and quite a few of the guys spent a great few days on a mini expedition on Inish Davar on Lough Erne , although a few skills were practised and a few old ones recovered this was mainly a break for the guys after all the hard work they've put in at events in the first half of this year, here's to the second half.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Buzzard Bushcraft at the Scarva game fair 2019

As usual we were asked to put up a stand at this year's game fair in Scarva. The weather wasn't great but it didn't stop around 30,000 people turning up over the weekend and at times it felt like they were all at our stand! In years past just the two of us would do this show but as it's getting bigger every year it took 7 of us to deliver it this time. We made some great contacts and saw some old friends, here's to an even bigger show next year.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Orange tip butterfly

This is the first of this type of butterfly I've seen this year, pics where taken about a week ago, what a beautiful thing.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Seeking a bit more plant knowledge

No matter how much you know about plants it's never enough and there's always more to learn, so I enrolled in a few plant based science workshops in this year's NI science festival to try and get a bit more in-depth knowledge, all class room and lab based classes but very helpful.
Any knowledge is always helpful.