John Boe is a British military veteran with PTSD. In this podcast episode we have a candid discussion about John’s condition, how it manifested itself and how he came to realise he found solace in time spent in nature, especially in the woods. This ultimately led to a second career as a bushcraft instructor, delivering courses through Wildway Bushcraft, based in the South West of the UK. Having John join me on this podcast was also a good opportunity to discuss aspects of John’s experience in establishing himself as a bushcraft instructor and starting his own bushcraft school, and to draw out some broader lessons for those looking for a pathway in bushcraft instruction.
Winter is often characterized as a season of dormancy. The winter woods are quiet and sparse. Unlike the evergreen northern forests, the deciduous trees of Britain lose their greenery and leave stark, dark wooden skeletons. When it comes to plants, in foraging books and websites, I often see reference to spring greens. Far less common is mention of what herbs can be gathered in winter. Once you know what to look for, however, there are plants we can seek out for some winter greenery. To get you started, here are a dozen candidates that are common and widespread….
It’s always great when a combination of equipment equals more than the sum of its parts. In this post I run through an axe and saw combo I really like for wilderness trips from spring to autumn. It’s not just the solid tools that make this a great combo, though, it’s also the additional small details that add up to make a big difference. I start by explaining how to make sure you have everything you need to make the most of your saw. Then I run through a number of modifications and improvements I have made to a fairly standard axe to bring it up to its full potential…
Answers to questions about the effects of Covid/lockdowns on the bushcraft industry, office to outdoor career transitions, how to remember bushcraft and survival uses of plants, and how to promote good outdoor ethics, including leave-no-trace, to people outside of the usual outdoor community.
Cliff Jacobson is one of North America’s most respected outdoors writers and wilderness canoe guides. He is an outdoor skills instructor and a professional outfitter and guide, a canoeing and camping consultant, and the author of more than a dozen top-selling books on canoeing and camping. In 2003 the American Canoe Association presented Cliff with the Legends of Paddling Award and inducted him into the ACA Hall of Fame. In 2009 Cliff was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America. Canoeing, camping and sharing his experience has been a lifelong passion for Cliff. He seems to have paddled every river in North America, certainly in Canada. His wilderness experience is massive and the relevance of the conversation this podcast goes far beyond the context of canoe tripping….
Les Hiddins became well known through his ABC TV series “The Bush Tucker Man”. In 1980 Les had received a Defence Fellowship to research survival in northern Australia and looked heavily into traditional bush foods, with the help and cooperation of Indigenous communities. His work was compiled and used by the Australian military in various forms, including the clever idea of “snack maps”. He was also the principal author of the Australian Army’s military survival manual, published in 1987. Les retired from the Australian Regular Army in 1989 with the rank of Major. In addition to his TV work and writing, he continued to work with the Australian Army Reserve until 2001, working with Indigenous Australian communities in northern Australia. He is still actively researching and sharing his information and we get into this and a whole lot more in this podcast episode….
In this podcast episode Gordon Dedman and I talk bushcraft and survival in Australia. Gordon is a survival instructor in NORFORCE, an Australian Army unit conducting patrols in remote wilderness areas of northern Australia. He provides civilian training via Bushcraft Survival Australia. Gordon also works as a guide in Kakadu National Park, which at 20,000 square kilometers is Australia’s largest national park….
In this presentation I share practical examples of how a greater knowledge of the land through which you are canoeing can increase not only your understanding of the environment but also provide tangible benefits to your safety, wellbeing and enjoyment of the trip. Even if you are not a paddler, I would encourage you to watch the presentation as there is much useful tree and plant information in this talk which will apply to a much wider audience of outdoorspeople too…
If you travel in wild and remote places, you will likely end up using axes that are not your own. In my experience this most often occurs if you are staying in wilderness camps, remote cabins or huts with axes already in the woodshed, or if you have been provided with an axe as part of a larger outfitting of equipment, on a canoe trip for example. Before you start swinging an unfamiliar axe with any sort of gusto, you’ll want to make sure the axe is sound. There are some tell-tale signs to look for, indicating an axe is neglected, abused and potentially unsafe to use….
Bruce Zawalsky is a professional wilderness survival instructor and author, with over 25 years of experience as an outdoor educator. He teaches survival courses, wildlife and bear awareness courses as well as wilderness navigation. Here in Podcast 48, Bruce talks with me about all these subjects and more, which have much wider application than just in his native Canada….