Hi, Ben. I am posting this in reply to your query as to my background, etc. I'd love to tell you that I was a bushman from way back, that my father used to take me hunting and camping every chance he got, and we had the times of our life. But that would be a complete lie. I have never been hunting, either pigs or deer. My sad loss.
But I have been camping, in the Urewera when I was possum trapping, and in the Raukumara ranges, doing the same thing. I used to camp out in my back yard as a child, dreaming of the day when I could do it for real. (My family thought I was nuts). I used to use an old sheet for a tent, an old blanket for a groundsheet, and occasionally Mum would let me make a fire, but I had to put it out before I went to bed.
Although I may not be a 'bushman' by yours or anyone's standards, I love the bush. I love being out in the bush. I love sitting by a campfire at night, listening to the sounds of Nature, watching the stars that are not hidden from view by the glare of artificial incandescent bulbs. I love hiking the trails, wondering where the track leads, and looking forward to what is around the next bend. I love the smell of woodsmoke, as it seems to cleanse the spirit of 'modern life'.
Due to responsibilities, I don't always get away as much as I would like. So I have had this dream of starting a Bushcraft School for the last decade and a half, never going beyond thinking about it, always listening to those who told me to work for a living, and stop 'dreaming', and face the realities of life.
That's why I need to have the input from people like you. Those with more experience than I have. Those who can teach me as well as teach those who have never slept anywhere but in a bed, in a house, in a suburb. I am aiming this at people, young and old. People who dream of going camping and learning something of the 'old ways'. I have seen hardened city folk humbly ask if I could teach them how to chop wood, or how to start a fire, and what would be the best way to tie a knot.
Those people are out there. We only have to reach them. We could host the Scouts, Boys Brigade, youth groups, church groups, the list is almost endless.
What I need is people with bushcraft experience to help share the Dream.
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