Teaching Bushcraft: Carving And Building

Teaching bushcraft these days is as much about helping people to eliminate the extraneous as it is showing them something new. Put another way, it’s as much carving as it is building.

Much of what passes for common knowledge in bushcraft and outdoor living is fantasy, created and fed by poorly conceived books, movies and videos. As a result, there are a lot of crazy ideas as to what are foundational skills and techniques. In almost every course I’ve taught there have been people who had to spend a significant portion of their time pruning this chaff from their heads.

Old books were, for the most part, written by professional writers, not guides and professional woodsmen. Be aware of this, and understand that just because someone has a big following doesn’t mean they had (or have) a lot of first-hand experience. The same goes for authors of newer books, YouTube celebrities, etc.

In the end, the test is not only whether something works, but also if it’s the simplest, safest and most straght-forward way to accomplish a given task.

Blog, Educational Philosophy

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