American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Unloading superfluous gear

As Stephen Covey would say, I've had a bit of a "paradigm shift" since coming back from the Primitive Skills Course at Briar Patch.

I'm finding all kinds of knives, tools, cooksets, mess kits, shelters, etc. that I no longer feel I need.

Being a gear junky has caused me some storage problems as I've simply got to try the latest whiz-bang gadgets and gear. This means I've got more stuff than most tribes could use in a lifetime.

I go to Primitive School and find that I need a good axe, a good knife, and a good wool blanket. Everything else is just gravy.

Sure the tarp may keep you dryer than a bark roof in the short term but a little tweaking of panels will keep you dry once you've got everything dialed in. The billy can is easier to use than a bark container but making a bark container with spruce roots is NOT a terribly difficult task.

It's strange really. I feel a bit more free knowing that I don't need all this gear but I also feel a bit sad knowing that I've got a crawl space FULL of the latest and greatest outdoor and camping gear...

It's going to have to go up for sale. The proceeds will be earmarked for future classes at Briar Patch, the Wilderness Learning Center in upstate New York, and elsewhere. After all, the brain is the most important tool we carry with us into the city, the woods, and everywhere in between.

Thanks for reading,



At 10:04 AM, Blogger Gear Junky said...

Senor Bushman,

As a longtime reader of your blog I've always enjoyed your reviews and observations and would be interested to see what you have for sale. . . . where will your stuff be listed?

At 10:38 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...

That's a good question. eBay I suppose would be a good place to check once I get around to taking some pictures and getting things posted.

Heck, I might just unload some of the stuff right here on the blog to those of you who like to use and review gear.

I'll make some sort of announcement once I get moving forward.

Thanks for stopping by,


At 11:04 AM, Blogger Mungo said...

I would very much like to see a list of what you have, I am interested in some basics like tarps, etc... I strive to reduce my gear load, and I guess a good wool blanket would be great - I'll see if I can pick one up at a shop!
You could perhaps put them up for sale on That's free...

At 2:05 PM, Blogger Gear Junky said...

I'd say list here first. . . .I know what I'd be getting from you. . .Ebay, in general makes me nervous.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger torjusgaaren said...

Good to see that you are jumping the fence. All that stuff is encumbering. And you don't have to quit being a gear junkie anyway... You are just changing to self-made gear.

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Pablo said...

Hi Bri,
Great post. I'm also striving to reduce kit, but I still need those essentials to make life comfortable. I wouldn't shed absolutely everything. You might regret it.

At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your recent insight! I have to admit when I first read your post I thought "wow, my favorite gear reviewer is having a sale!" However, after ruminating on your words I must say I sincerely admire the simplicity of your recent post.

Your new philosophy is reminiscent of Mors Kochanski's "The more you know, the less you carry". Kochanski's perspective is profound enough to have been continued through my generation (mid 20's) by two of his famous students Cody Lundin and Ray Mears. I have always seen that philosophy as an enlightenment I have yet to achieve. I can only hope to someday attain the frame of mind you and others have accepted as "bushcraft". The harmonious adaptation of feeling at home in the bush instead of surviving against it.

I count myself lucky to have vicariously witnessed the transition of a "gear-junky" to the ideology of bushcraft. You have inspired me and I have decided that instead of bidding on your gear I will budget for enrolling in a primitive skills school. My wife and our budget will be happy to hear there may be hope for me yet. :^)

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Mary said...

Me, being the novice outdoors person, would be interested in more stuff like the stuff I have... keep it in mind!!! I'm not quite ready to go primitive, and doubt I ever will, but then again... I'm a "car"camper... But, at least when I rough it it's not in the local motel 6... it is in an actual tent.. though I do like the luxuries of some things....


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