It is hard to believe that March is upon us and it has been a strange winter for all of us here in southern Minnesota. The strangest of all of course is the small amount of snowfall we have had so far. I guess I can not complain to much, as it has made for some great outings and has allowed me to finish my BushclassUSA Basic certification. As I have shared with you all in a previous post back in February, it was a great success and a good finish with my final Outing #5. So with that, I celebrated with something that has been a tradition with me since my days in the Boy Scouts. I was able to finally put together my BushclassUSA patches on my day pack, and I must say they look pretty smart to me.
I have found patches to always be a good way to mark a particular event, expedition, adventure or training. I have collected several patches from many of Minnesota's State Parks, and a few from some National Parks and Monuments and also a few showing completion of certain skill sets.
Although not so bushcrafty, patches are somewhat akin to the very earliest means of recording the passing of events and that was with cave paintings and petroglyphs. The symbols and drawings and carvings found in paleo-lithic times were markers of events and observations by the people of those times. They were important enough to record and remember and pass on, as part of the sharing of experience and to show growth and to add to the collective wealth of knowledge and wisdom that formed their communities.
I like that my patches show a shared experience and when I meet other members of the bushcraft community at large, if I see the same patch, I will know we have traveled down similar paths to bring us to this place. I hope this will encourage you to find new adventures, and maybe even begin to collect some patches for yourself. Show others how you are getting out there and doing things, getting in some "dirt time" and learning the ways of bushcraft. I can think of no better way of sharing the experience with kids, then rewarding them with a patch for their experience. I think I need to get a few patches for my bush buddy and his day pack. Until then, Happy Exploring.