It has been for me a phenomenal year with so many adventures in bushcraft. It has also been a great year for personal growth and learning and for making a lot of good friends, many of whom I can now call brother or sister and feel the camaraderie that comes with sharing our love and passion for bushcraft.
The start of 2012 saw me trying vigorously to finishing all of my lessons for BushclassUSA Basic certification and I finally finished that with the completion of my Outing #5 on February 18th. Here is the video of that outing, although it is a bit lengthy, it is one of my favorite adventures.
With April, came my commitment to meeting up with some friends who were interested in learning bushcraft. On April 2nd, we would begin meeting every Saturday at 9AM in a local state park. Little did I know that even 9 months later, I would still be going to the park every Saturday, rain or shine and meeting someone or anyone who would care to come and share the adventure.
I have met many BushcraftUSA members now, all from Minnesota, who have found my little piece of wilderness and they have come and enjoyed meeting up and sharing the time and practicing and learning the ways of bushcraft. We just get together and have fun and share the dirt time. Here is a video of one of the larger gatherings we had on a Saturday morning.
I have also found a great companion and friend and fellow bushcrafter in my nine year-old bush buddy, my son Christian. He and I have actually spent the last two years together on various adventures and expeditions and he has grown with every turn. He will one day, make a very fine bushcrafter in his own right. He helps to remind me how to be a kid again and to keep the sense of wonder and imagination. Here is a video of one of his latest accomplisments, of which I am very proud of him. He made fire with his fire steel, using natural tinder, that was in itself a little moist, and he did it without my coaching. He figured it out on his own.
With the hot summer months of July and August, I was able to play with many more new things. I continued to polish my firecraft skills, including many bow drill fires and working on one stick and split wood fires. I have also come to appreciate and enjoy my flint and steel kit a whole lot more than I ever did in the past and choose to use it more often then any other method, and especially trying to always use natural tinders. Here is a short video of using the power of the sun to ignite some false tinder fungus. This method has now become an elective for BushclassUSA and I will have to do it again real soon to submit a fresh video entry for the elective credit.
I have found a good friend in a BushcraftUSA member who goes by the user name "Sticker" although I now know him as Terry. I met him and his wife, "CallmeKris", as a result of my commitment to the Saturday morning 9AM MeetUps. He and I are about the same age and share the same love for bushcraft. I think he gets out about as often as I do, and we have met now several times and most of those times, it is just the two of us, having fun with him working on completing a Bushclass lesson or two and with me just playing and practicing and having fun showing him stuff he can try. Here is a video of one of my favorite outings with Terry. I thought it was at first going to be just me, heading out for a solo trip, in the rain. But as I got out in the bush a little ways, I slowed to take some video and low and behold, Terry caught up to me and we had a great time, in the rain, just doing bushcraft.
Which, as you can see by the snow in the last video, brings me to the last couple months of the year 2012.
I know that I have grown, and I have found deeper meaning for myself in the art of bushcraft. I know that I have been able to improve on my story telling about my adventures both alone and with others and recently I have been refining my video style and adding music and getting more creative about the way I see things and the ways that I want to tell it.
So here finally is a video of a solo trip that I am very proud of, with a lot of effort given to trying to emulate my bushcraft story telling hero, Les Stroud. I like his style and will continue to study his videos and then work to refine my own brand of story telling.
Of course, there is the last and final bushcraft trip of the year and I went out with a new christmas toy I gifted myself, a 1" Scotch-eye Auger. It was fun to be able to use a tool to make another tool.
The year 2012 has been a great one for Bushcraft and looking forward to 2013 it looks like it will be even better, with even more adventures in store. I look forward to sharing it all with you and look forward to hearing from many of you as you follow along or maybe perhaps even join us here in south central Minnesota. So until next year, Happy Exploring.