Monday, November 7, 2011

We're All the Same

   I often go online to the Bushcraft USA forum to view and participate in the various posts that are there. We discuss various aspects of woodscraft or bushcraft or woodsmanship - whatever title you like to attach to that sort of activity. Camping, hunting, hiking and fishing - all outdoor activities designed to get a person into the great outdoors.

   Recently I have seen contributions to this forum (bushcraftusa.com) by a couple of members from Russia. Very interesting! They have posted photos of their camping and trapping trips during the winter in the Kirov region. It looks very cold! These are just a few of the many photos they have posted.

   The reason I bring this up is this: We older folks in the USA grew up during the 'Cold War' era and the propaganda that were exposed to gave us the impression that Russia (or at least the Soviet Union) was a dark and dreary place to live! After seeing these photos posted by Russian outdoorsmen I have to change my perceptions. If I had been told that these guys were from Wisconsin or Minnesota, I would have had to reason to doubt it.

   The country shown in these photos is beautiful in that stark way that any winter scene is portrayed. The men in the photos are outdoorsmen and that doesn't change from country to country. Wearing warm clothing as they demonstrate universal bushcraft in order to be comfortable in the cold.

   Their camp shelter is simple but well done. It provides shelter from the wind and snow as well as keep in the heat from their stove. This provides much more comfort than just a tent and sleeping bag.

   Since I don't read Russian, I  feel that (from their photos) the purpose of their trip is to build a more permanent shelter for future trapping and hunting expeditions. The shelter starts as a dug-out with interior walls of split wood then roofed over in a way that will shed snow and be easy to make waterproof by means of a tarp or plastic sheeting. With a small wood burning stove inside it will be very nice.

    I have often wondered about the Russian people and life in that huge country. So much wilderness to see and the different customs to experience and understand. As I look at these photos and others that are too many to post here, I get the sense that the universal skills and methods that are inherent in bushcraft and outdoor survival are what make me feel a kinship to these men living on the other side of the world.

   I look at the readership of this blog and I have discovered that I have readers from all over the world, including Russia. This is to my Russian brothers who apply their skills and experience to survive in the wild! There is so much of the world that I would like to see in person but as I get older I no longer desire to travel long distances as I once did. I have to be contented to see the world  through the experiences and photographs of others.

   As a Geezer, I enjoy my warmth too well to go camping in the winter but I often envy the experiences of those hardy enough to brave the elements.

1 comment:

  1. We are all the same, it's the governments that are the problem. If people were left on their own chances are we'd all find a common ground to agree upon. Survival is a biggie! I too am often in awe of the scope of my readers on "Le Petite Crone Musings" - and wonder why I'm read, why in the countries that show up. My only thought on that is that a search for a spiritual life and to make sense of the world is also a common need.
    Le Petite Crone

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I'd be interested to hear your comments. Thanks for reading The Geezer Guide!