Monday, January 30, 2012

An introduction follow up....

Well, most likely you read my intro, so you know a little bit about me and my background.

I want to tell a little bit more about me and how I got into the outdoorhobby and how this has influenced..... no, changed my life and my vision of the world...

As I said, I started out in the army in the very early '90's and was loving the time in the field. I loved sleeping in a tent and sleepingbag, cooking in my messtins, using esbitburners and eating MRE's..... But I liked it even more when we had to improvise, make our own shelters, build our own ovens and prepare raw food.
I loved tactical movements, especially at night, when we had to be quiet and alert, although I must admit a lot of the time I was watching other things than "the enemy"... Being the squad MG-gunner had its advantages. I had a nightvisionscope on it and that was great for watching wildlife!!

Later on, as a civilian, I took up camping again and, because a lot of it was done on a motorcycle, I bought the standard light weight, manmade material-gear; plastics, nylon, aluminium etc.... In those days I thought nothing of it....

After that came the decade of career, kids and trouble, so motorcycle, camping and outdoors went out the window. Within this periode, the second half mostly, there was a profound change within me. I never was a real peopleperson, liking small groups with close contacts, but I turned into someone generally not liking humans at all. I felt more at home in the plantworld. I also opened my eyes and saw the horrible, wastefull and disrespectfull ways of humans toward fellow humans, enviroment and planet, which deepend my disliking even more.... Within me grew the desire to disconnect from the modern world, going back to the days of simple life without consumerism, polution, missuse of natural resources and general disrespect for the world we live in. I knew also that that would not be possible or wise, since we had children and they needed the connection to the world around them in order to fit in and have a future. But we also started to teach them to see things differently.....
In that period an Englisg gentleman by the name of Ray Mears first started to appear on TV (yes, we did have one.... but just one!) and this man showed me that I wasn't the only one with thoughts like that! He turned out to become one of my main inspirators in those days and I was fascinated by the things he did and showed, but was also struck by his calmness, his gentleness.... Not your average yelling, screaming, up and down running tv-celebraty. Not a loudmouth bragging about his skills and overdramatising them....
My interest in the outdoorworld was refueled again, but I looked at it with a whole new way of seeing things... I found several forums about this new thing "bushcraft" and I started to buy outdoorgear. No fancy, new expensive stuff.... I could not afford that and even if I could I wouldn't.... Why should I? There was enough surplus around, which meant saving on money, but also saving on resources and waste. If I bought second hand, it would get a second life, thus not ending up as waste and there would be no need to use resources to proiduce new gear. To me a win-win-win-situation, as it is so popularly called... I started out with military surplus, which nowadays is all in synthetics and in camouflage patterns. At that time I thought it would be perfect. It was cheap, reliable, easily replaced and I could have a very low profile if I did not want to be seen, keeping in  mind some sort of doomscenario....
In those days we, as a family, started to visit Sweden on a very regular basis; at least once or twice a year. I was struck by an awe for the nature in the country. I saw it with new eyes and lost my heart to it.. Offcourse it wasn't long befor I put my new hobby and my renewed love of the outdoors into practice there, too.
After a short while I noticed some more change within me. That modern surplus gear, made of manmade fibres was not what I really wanted.... I did not want to use synthetics anymore at all! And so I started selling and swapping it. Out went the plastics and nylons, in came the leather, cotton, canvas, wood and steel. This changed mindset still goes on today and has even extended into our home and everyday life. Where ever and when ever possible the changes are made.
With this change of heart also came new interests; the desire to make things myself out of natural materials or the reuse of materials. I started to make things myself and learned how to use leather and wood; leather pouches, moccasins, a scabbard for a machete.... I restored old hatchets and knives, worked on kuksa's and discovered woodworking.
All this fired up another desire of me; selfsufficiancy. We had taken our first steps down this path by growing our own vegetables and fruits a few years back, but were "driven away" by our gardening neighbours, who contineously used to spray their crops with all kinds of chemicals and, more often than not, did our patch of land, too, because it was "messy" and "overgrown with weeds". They didn't care for natural gardening. They were only interested in getting maximal harvests...

And now.... well, I used to call myself a bushcrafter at first, but have since realised that I am not.... I think I am more of a woodsman, if I even have to give it a name.
I can not sustain myself by living of the land, which is what bushcraft is to me, not by a long shot. Maybe one day I might, but not now... I have never even killed, dressed or skinned an animal!
What I do know is that my skills and understanding about the use of natural resources to accomodate everyday life out there is growing, bit by bit.
For now I see myself more as a 20th century cityboy, who has to become reconnected with our natural world, befor I can even begin to make it my home.
So... there you have it....
This is me and the way I stand in this world.... Now enough of the talk. I'll start showing you what I did and how I did it, next...

2 comments:

  1. Hi Ron.
    I have not read your introduction before now.
    You have an interesting background. We do have different backgounds, but I feel I can relate to your mindset.
    Hope all is well.

    Regards.
    Skaukraft

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hej Skaukraft,
    it sure was interesting....

    ReplyDelete