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

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Woodcraft and Camping -- Nessmuk

I'm re-reading Nessmuk's Woodcraft and Camping and read this quote last night
Never any more
Can it be
Unto me (or anybody else)
As before.

at the end of Chapter VI and found it to be so true and so fitting.

He's talking about how the world of his day was so different from the world of his childhood and, by extension, how our world is so different from Nessmuk's world.

The "wilderness" is mostly gone now here in the US and the rules of Nessmuk's day have been replaced by more and more rules on where and how we can enjoy the remaining "wilderness." Pollution and urban sprawl have destroyed streams and woodland where once we could fish and camp and hunt.

It's not all been a step backward however. We now have game laws in place to encourage the improved health of deer herds, animals that were once on the brink of extinction through over-fishing and over-hunting are making strong comebacks, and we better understand the impact of industry on our air, water, and soil.

Then I spent some time wondering if Nessmuk would find some of our everyday hiking gear like firesteels and silnylon tarps useful. His ultralight pack could be even lighter with today's materials and construction. His tin cookware could be replaced by stainless, aluminum, or even Titanium.

I may take some time to work up a list of Nessmuk's gear and see where he could, today, reduce weight even further just for fun.

Thanks for reading,



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