the bushcrafter you are today

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by dnhald, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. dnhald


    Oct 11, 2010
    i know at least most if not all people on here have that book or that experince weather with a father or a brother or a friend when they were younger that rewired them in to mountain men (or women;) ) that we all are today. what i want to know is what did it for you? what made you the bushcrafter you are today?

    for me it was three books l read in 2nd grade

    where the red fern grows
    island of the blue dolphins
    and my side of the mountain
    i read all three so many times growing i have had to replace them all over time due to wear:rolleyes:
  2. Brian Sargent

    Brian Sargent

    Jun 6, 2008
    Great books! I've actually been to the island of the blue dolphins (it's a semi-true story).

    I guess what really got me was spending a week in the Seqouia National park when I was pretty young. I was always into the wilderness and Native Americans from that point on.
  3. mcjhrobinson


    Nov 2, 2008
    this may sound weird but i found the joy of the outdoors through work....i got a job landscaping and had some time to tend to plants and enjoy all events throughout the day.

    i think i got my romantic wilderness ideas from reading Thoreaus Walden in 9th grade...
  4. dnhald


    Oct 11, 2010
    haha that is weird lol :D but i have never read that book i will have to look it up
  5. JMAN86


    Sep 7, 2009
    I grew up in a rural Pennsylvania town. As kids we used to build shelters, whittle, attempt friction fires, sleep out by the fire, track wild game, etc. We spent most of our spare time in the woods.

    I don't remember having cable TV, internet or video games, maybe that had something to do with it.
  6. jca21


    Apr 12, 2006
    i read hatchet by gary paulsen as a kid and used to fall asleep watching dick proenneke's alone in the wilderness.

    good times.

    edit: come to think of it, i'm pretty sure i read my side of the mountain as well. lol.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  7. Moosez45

    Moosez45 Custom Antlers, Factory Knives... Moderator

    Jul 14, 2010
    I grew up in the Smoky Mountains. I moved away for 11yrs, to all sorts of places. Never got the mountains out of my blood.

    When I was about 9yrs old, I read something called Foxfire. Then, a book called "The Most Dangerous Book for Boys", I believe is what it was called. I hit the woods with family, then on my horse, then on my own. I remember my first night in the woods, alone. I was scared to death. Took some time to get over it, but I soon realized, there was nothing out there, in the dark, just the woods. Now, its the most peaceful place in the world.

  8. cmurphy


    Jun 18, 2010
    On Christmas this year my Mom gave me this little piece of $#!* pocket knife. It was all rusty and looked like it has been in a tidepool for a few decades. She told me that she came home from work one day when I was 8-9 and I was running around in the nearby field in a nothing but a pair tighty whiteys that I had cut into a loincloth. I guess I had cut ALL my undies into loincloth's with that little POS knife so I could play "Natureboy":eek:

    I dont remember any books but I remember catching kingsnakes with my brother and putting a few of them in a paper bag to take home. I guess I was just born this way.
  9. macmiddlebrooks


    May 24, 2010
    Two words: Boy Scouts. I'll never forget all the monthly camping trips, jamborees, ect. The first multi-day hike on the AT in Virginia with my Father (I was 15 or 16) would be the seed that got me thinking "why am I not doing this all the time?". Only after I got older and studied anthropology would I come to the realization that our brains are "hard wired" to be in the natural world due to Millions of years of surviving without cities/agriculture/etc. These are really brand-spanking-new developments to our species and it's no wonder to me that many people suffer from a myriad of addictions/personality disorders living in a concrete jungle and moving around in boxes :).
  10. wildmike


    Nov 17, 2007
    For me it was Larry Dean Olsens "Outdoor Survival Skills". Later went into the BSA. Followed by serving in the USMC. After all that the mold was pretty well set.
  11. Guyon

    Guyon Biscuit Whisperer Staff Member Super Mod

    Mar 15, 2000
    I don't know that I'm a bushcrafter, but I love the outdoors. Grew up in rural Alabama with pretty much nothing but nature around me. It was the sort of place where, by the time I was 14 or 15, I was driving my dad's truck to the river by myself with a canoe in tow. I roamed the outdoors as a child. I fished. I hunted. Old-school skills were just part of the deal. You figured out how not to die in a natural setting. You cleaned and ate what you killed. You grew vegetables and put them up for the winter. You worked with your hands. Those attitudes and skills have stayed with me and served me well. There's still a lot I can learn about outdoor survival, but I got a pretty good head start just by growing up in the country.
  12. iamonespfn


    Nov 28, 2006
    For me I think it started with a gifted subscription to Ranger Rick magazine when I was about 6. Then it progressed into My Side of the Mountain and Hatchet. My Dad deer hunted quite a bit too and I always wanted to tag along. Shot my first squirrel and rabbit at 8 yrs old. I think what really solidified it though is reading all of Tom Brown Jr.'s books when i was 12. Later I learned of all the inconsistencies surrounding him but man those books sure gave me the itch.

    Back then it was all about the Nostalgia of it, I never really had anyone to show me the skills. The past 10 years for me have been all about learning the skills now, plus some Nostalgia here and there ;)
  13. Doc13


    Apr 10, 2010
    I was definitely influenced by the books I read as a child.."Where the red fern grows" was one of my favorites, among many others.

    I was also a member of Cubs>Scouts>Venturer growing up. The adventures that we had, and the friends we made were amazing. Growing up in southern Ontario, we had hot humid summers and freezing cold winters. All of our time was spent outdoors.

    Every pair of pants I had were torn at the knees, repaired, then torn again.
    Good times!
  14. gytheran


    Apr 6, 2009
    I spent a good majority of my "growing up" years in Alaska hunting, fishing, camping, and doing all things "Outdoors." I loved it!
  15. j williams

    j williams

    Nov 14, 2005
    Frequent trips to the mountains as a kid. I rode mountain bikes pretty young and loved being outside. Read Hatchet by Paulsen, alot of Jack London books, and loved the old Pirate stories. I always was into knives and survival knives as far back as I remember. I think it really started when my father gave me an old US Navy survival manual. Probably a little too much TV too. lol.

    I didnt have a person who was an influance with the outdoor stuff. Actually I didnt have anyone who was even interested in it around me at all. I think that gave me something that was mine, something special.
  16. sicily02


    Nov 23, 2005
    HI all,

    I grew up in a rural area and on a farm. All the older guys hunted and fished and trapped. Grandpa lived through the 1930s on his farm and hunting and trapping were providers besides raising some cattle, Great Grandma
    had 400 chickens and a hugh garden.
    The milk cows provided the milk and cream and the chicken provided eggs for sale in a near by town that they went to every friday. That was the cash money that they got.
    They also picked what edible plants they new. Lambs quaters were really
    a big plant and then Mullberry also.

    so I grew up with those lessions learned. I was wanting to learn more about the woods. I told my mom that one day and it was not long that she found a book at the book store. It was written by Larry Dean Olsen. Like wildmike I read that book and pracitced what skills it taught. My cousins and I really got more into woodcraft then.

    That is where it really started for me. I just chatted with a fellow that was a student of Larry Dean Olsen last week.

    After getting that book my mom ended up getting me a edible wild plants book and that really started me into the plant world and whats edible.
    Thinking back that was 33 years ago lol. how time flies :D

  17. sadiejane


    Feb 6, 2009
    the adults in my life growing up. for my pops, brothers, a couple of sisters and grandparents, being out of doors, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, wild food gathering, bird and wildlife watching, cave exploring, berry picking, artifact hunting, carrying and using knives and axes, guns etc etc was simply part of life. i was fortunate to grow up out outdoors.
  18. cody1


    Jan 8, 2008
    I grew up on a small ranch in Colorado. We had horses and goats, and various other animals. Family vacation, was often a week long pack ride in various mountain ranges.. Dad showed me the out doors and really started me down my path and love of the wilderness. Hunting, and fishing together are some of my most treasured memories..
  19. BearKinder


    Dec 24, 2010
    The wilderness has always been a sanctuary for me.

    I did not have a nice home growing up. We were poor, my parents has hours long screaming fights nearly every night and when they were done gnawing on each other they'd turn on me.

    Going into the woods was an escape for me. Heading out with my border collie was the best. Then one of the rich kid's fathers offered me to join the Cub Scouts, he was the den leader or whatever they were called. He bought me a Cub Scout knife and an ALICE pack, and I got to go to Scout meetings and such.

    After that ended due to not enough people wanting to be involved, my friends from my street and I would go exploring the woods and take one of their dad's canoes across to the small islands in the lake where we grew up to explore, eat blackberries until we got sick, go fishing and all that good stuff.

    I also got hand me down Ranger Rick magazines from friends, and watched the likes of Daniel Boone, Davey Crockett, Swamp Fox and Grizzly Adams. I had the dreams that most kids have of growing up to be the hero, or at least someone important.

    Later, when life showed me otherwise, I kind of dropped out of life for a while and became a woods bum roaming National Parks and Forests and such.

    That's how I got myself here.
  20. Cougar Allen

    Cougar Allen Buccaneer (ret.) Gold Member

    Oct 9, 1998
    Two Little Savages by Ernest Thompson Seton

    There were other books, especially a 1940s era Boy Scout Manual, but that was my main influence.

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