Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Back to bushcraft - Bushcraft Sverige Riksträff 2016

The back to bushcraft-title actually is more appropriate for this post, really....

The very first national meeting for members of the Swedish bushcraft association or Bushcraft Sverige Riksträff. The preliminaries I already wrote about. This post is all about stepping out of my comfort zone and having fun doing it!!
I was going to meet a whole bunch of new people and intensively, socially interact with those for 2 days and to do so I had to drive a long distance myself! If you want the un-me in a nutshell... voilà.
But before that all happened I was going to meet another stranger, going by the name of Lee. He lives quite a bit further up north, is a non-native like me and would love to attend the meeting as well, but that would mean he'd have to get up at 04:00 and be on his way by 05:00. Feeling that that would be a bit to much, we invited him to come and stay over at our place, so we could make the trip together. We had "talked" for a while back and fro via facebook already and the vibes both he and I picked up seemed to be good. So he showed up at our place on friday night and we all pretty much instantly got along very well. This was to remain that way for the entire weekend. We spent a very pleasant evening, chatting and having a drink and went to sleep a lot later than planned. Nevertheless the alarm clock sounded at 06:00 saturday morning, since we had to pick up a third person at 07:30 and it would be a 30 minute drive there. The pick up and the drive down south went without any noteworthy incidents and just before 10:00 we arrived at our destination; a scouting facility by the name of Brittmäss near Sparreholm.

All loaded up. By the time we were going the trunk was completely filled!

Home away from home.
The tent was up in under 30 minutes and I learned that there's enough room for 5 beds, with plenty of room to walk around.
Good enough for the family!
One item that I truly enjoyed, was the canoeing "classes" by Josef Hegart from Josef Hegart Canoe and Outdoorlife. I thought I could paddle a canoe a little..... NOT! In 2 short, 1 hour sessions he explained and taught us/me the very basics and it was a real pleasure being out the on the lake with him. The way he very casually moves across the surface with his canoe is almost uncanny and his handcrafted paddles and canoes made my eyes glisten like a kid's in front of the window of a candystore. Later on the saturday evening he told us about his almost 10(!!) week long canoeing trip in Canada, or more across Canada, but my eyes kept getting smaller and smaller. Instead of just falling asleep and loudly snore during his tale, which might be considered a tad rude, I withdrew tactically and headed for my tent. During that retreat I was treated to a splendid starry sky. The night was so clear.... I never cease to be amazed, looking up in awe......




Yours' truly in the back
pictures taken by Jonathan Sälg
Josef is the guy standing...
Another "class" we had, dealt with mushrooms and plants and their uses. Unfortunately due to the extreme drought, there weren't many mushrooms to be found and, another unfortunately, we were quite out of season in order to see and learn about the most common useable plants. However Aleks and Johan were still able to show and learn us a bit about these subjects. Foraging never was my strong suit, so I really need to dive deeper into this.

Aleks talking mushrooms.....
 I always thought green blended in????
and Johan talking plants.....
The other classes, blacksmithing and netting, I skipped. I had done my blacksmithing-bit and know it's not for me and fish, fishing and related subjects are completely wasted on me. I think I could live my life without fish.... really.

On the first night was a very unexpected highlight; a very interesting presentation made by Lisa Fenton, one of the driving forces behind woodsmoke.co.uk, among a very impressive list of credentials. She talked for, I guess, at least 1,5 hour about bushcraft, its origins, its meaning(s) and its different branches. She did or is doing a paper on the subject for het PhD and I am really hoping to read that some day. She caught me, interested me and inspired me, by the way she delivered her message; full of fire and enthusiasm. She mentioned the words "pivotal point" quite a few times and I feel like this meeting, her presentation and maybe het study might be pivotal points for me; back to bushcraft with its broad horizons and diversity! Back to the source of my transformation. Back to the thing with which it all began.

However the main activity was gathering around the campfire; socialising, having conversations and discussions, getting to know one another, having coffee and preparing food. Being treated to tacos on the first night really helped my logistics. I had forgotten the meat for my own meals at home... 
Normally I would feel drained of my energy after dealing with such a group of people (nearly 30), but strangely enough not so! The vibe was a good one, a relaxed one, feeding not draining. I truly enjoyed the company of all those like minded folks, despite all the differences in background. 


The very heart of the meeting; the large fireplace.
This one and the next one are Lee Fraser's

I took this one with Lee's camera.

Nature's own art....
Lee's as well, on my request.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Ron! Lovely captured, both in words and pics! Just came back from a long trip in Europe which I enjoyed but taught me much on transportation and the challenges we face in the long transition to something sustainable.

    Best,

    Johan

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  2. Just for this post or more, but your back to bushcraft looks good ;-)

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  3. Love that tent. It looks like a "ger" or "yurt". What a wonderful time! Keep that bushcraft alive!

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