This website is a great idea. Well done for creating it.
I used to go camping a lot with my family; this is back when I was a kid. Fairly tame terrain really, not so much the bush but the lakeside (Lake Taylor, for anyone who knows it). But in saying that, there were, of course, plenty of dangers present. So we (myself, siblings) naturally learnt to identify them. My father was pretty switched on when it came to outdoor pursuits - he used to hunt and trail bike with his buddies back in the day. A lot of his knowledge rubbed off on me. I used to read plenty as a boy, always let my imagination go with Huck Finn and Sawyer, R.M. Ballentyne and the likes. Good adventure narrative.
Grew up with alternative ideals, went to a good school (Steiner), stood up for what I believed in and always understood the argument. Got fairly involved with activism. Still am.
I never did outgrow my connection with the bush - my sister did, she is, in fact, scared of the place. So it goes. But not me, If I'm scared of anything it is society. and Quasars. I made plenty of camping trips with my cobbers from school - there were seasons when we got away every weekend. School huh, those really were the days. Typically the autumn and winter would be reserved for hiking trips. I read Thoreau's 'Walden' as a teenager, and that pretty much sealed it. having graduated I skipped town, and made my way around the south island for some months. Picked up a few odd jobs along the way. Wound up at the top of the West Coast - just above the Heaphy track. Spent a couple of months on the edge of the bush there. Got a lot of reading done, explored, swam, made music, experimented and met a few really good people - Occasionally I'd have a stray hippie or two wander by. This was back at the beginning of 2000, but I couldn't have known that where I was.
Since then I've traveled abroad, held varied positions in various sectors, have studied a number of disciplines and still spend a considerable amount of time thinking about the bush.
Most of my gear these days is moderately expensive and new - American blades for instance. There is no particular reason for this but to try different things out. One clear benefit of this is the weight reduction. Must of my gear in the old days was picked up in junk shops along the way, or otherwise made. In time, I will replace my current kit with a more personal selection of items. I'll likely pass on my current tools as I feel fit. Realistically, though, I can't see myself abandoning my camping hammock (Hennesey); it really is marvelous: sheltered, dry, insect proof, comfortable, small, light and practical. I even carry it if I'm going out for a few drinks with my buddies. Three minutes to setup and I've got myself a home within the botanic gardens.
I'm new to the term 'bush-craft', as I've always known it as 'living deliberately'. But whatever one calls it, it's a pretty good thing.
Well anyway, I've probably rambled on enough. On this particular post, that is. But I'll continue rambling in the real world. I'm always up for an excursion, so let me know if you need a companion.