bike bushcraft

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
Hypocacculus
Posts: 316
Joined: 23 Mar 2010, 2:00pm

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby Hypocacculus » 24 Aug 2011, 10:11am

You are correct when you say raw materials determines the size of the population but I think you have a rather rosy idea of the grim reality of such a system. If there isn't enough to go around and, left to nature, there often isn't, people starve to death (especially their children) and the population is magically reduced to fit the circumstances. It happens to animal populations all the time. The "balance of nature" is a rose tinted fiction perpetuated by the BBC and hopeless idealists who haven't done the maths. There is no balance, only consequences and the reality is continuous, sometimes fast, often slow, complex interlinked cycles of boom and bust, not unlike the stock market. In ecology, the only certainty is eventual extinction.

I have no doubt that the hunter gatherer lifestyle is marvellous in times of plenty, but nasty, brutish and short when there isn't. Population growth is inevitable in times of plenty, and eventually and inexorably resources will fall short. Conflict is the equally inevitable consequence of such circumstances. I've heard it said that we are all only ever five (number varies) meals from anarchy. An overstatement perhaps, but nobody ever sat around nobly watching their family starving to death if they could help it.

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 14984
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby Si » 24 Aug 2011, 10:20am

Edwards wrote:
Si wrote:You would have made a good C19th missionary


What a horrible thought Jonty in his stiff suit clutching hid Bible supervising what positions are used. :oops: :roll:

Seriously Si in this country what sort of area would be needed by a small group of people to live as hunter gathers in a sustainable way?


Very hard to say based upon how they lived in the mesolithic because the landscape has been changed to such an extent. In the mesolithic we were probably talking a population of a few tens of thousands (at the max) for the whole country, although it's very hard to give estimates as there is such a small amount of evidence to go on. On the other hand, HGFers in the NE of the Americas, before the Europeans came along, probably had relatively large populations, complete with small settled towns, such was the abundance of resources available.

Jonty

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby Jonty » 24 Aug 2011, 10:26am

Hypocacculus wrote:You are correct when you say raw materials determines the size of the population but I think you have a rather rosy idea of the grim reality of such a system. If there isn't enough to go around and, left to nature, there often isn't, people starve to death (especially their children) and the population is magically reduced to fit the circumstances. It happens to animal populations all the time. The "balance of nature" is a rose tinted fiction perpetuated by the BBC and hopeless idealists who haven't done the maths. There is no balance, only consequences and the reality is continuous, sometimes fast, often slow, complex interlinked cycles of boom and bust, not unlike the stock market. In ecology, the only certainty is eventual extinction.

I have no doubt that the hunter gatherer lifestyle is marvellous in times of plenty, but nasty, brutish and short when there isn't. Population growth is inevitable in times of plenty, and eventually and inexorably resources will fall short. Conflict is the equally inevitable consequence of such circumstances. I've heard it said that we are all only ever five (number varies) meals from anarchy. An overstatement perhaps, but nobody ever sat around nobly watching their family starving to death if they could help it.


Absolutely, if being a hunter/gatherer is so delightful why didn't we stick with it? The blackbirds in our garden are hunter/gatherers and then are always squabbling, having to compete for a worm and dying off when it gets cold, whereas I get on well with my colleagues, can forage comfortably in Marks and Spencer and can turn the central heating up when it gets cold.
I think we should reject the Victorian sentimental concept of the "noble savage".
jonty

Jonty

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby Jonty » 24 Aug 2011, 1:32pm

Si wrote:
Jonty wrote:
swagman wrote:Hunter gatheriing existence is sustainable as the supply of food and raw materials determines the population growth. This has happened since the birth of man and there are some last remaining tribes living a nomadic existence today. It was when man found other ways to increase food production to his own means and greed that the system collapses. A tribe would only eat what is plentiful at the time and say only cut down enough wood and catch enough fish that was needed at the time.
It was the man that would catch more than enough than he needed and traded for other goods or monies that pressurises the system just as capitalism has today and i can guess how thats all going to end.


It may be sustainable but it's an appalling way of life: a life expectancy of perhaps 30; a huge infant mortality rate; little or no education or healthcare; running around the jungle in a loincloth firing poisoned arrows at monkeys; perpetual inter-tribal warfare; no bicycles.
Give me a hot bath, a glass of claret and a Marks and Spencer Chinese take-away any day of the week, after a hard ride.
If sustainability means running around like homo erectus erectus, count me out.
jonty


You would have made a good C19th missionary with your ability to change the facts to suit your views, and find excuses to 'civilise' the savages :D
HGFer lifestyles in areas where that was the predominant life style were pretty good, especially compared to the local proto-farmers and semi-pastoralists. Healthier, more leisure time, lifespans at least as good, no warfare, etc. As far as education is concerned - again, your views would go down well in the days of the old Empire, the smug assumption that only what is taught in the western 'education' system can be called an education, and that the rich cultural heritage of any other peoples counts for nothing.

To be fair, the HGFer lifestyle is harder in areas where farming is encroaching, the HGFers often being restricted to marginal land. But, again, the life style is not necessarily any worse than that of many in the westernised world, where war, disease and poverty kill thousands every day. You, of course, fall into the trap of assuming that the over-privileged few, such as yourself, are typical of the industrialised/agricultural world. Alas, for all your civilised education, you do seem to have little idea of the realities of the subject.

Thank you for the opportunity to spread a little more western education.


Thankyou for suggesting that I could have made a good C19th missionary. I am not convinced however; I'm not particularly religious and I dislike foreign travel (too hot, can't communicate, the food looks suspicious and the insects are much too aggressive). I even find France a challenge.
Where you are definitely wrong IMHO is suggesting that I don't respect foreign cultures. I am a great respect for foreign cultures. What I was saying was that I and, I suspect, most people in the country and many others, would prefer to live in a modern developed society rather than a stone-age lifestyle. Obviously this view is based on partial information; I have never lived in a stone-age society. But from what I've read, on balance, I prefer to live today rather than during the stone age.
You of course may think differently.
I take your point that there could be many people throughout the world who are living in conditions which may be inferior to that enjoyed by hunter/gatherers thousands of years ago. But I'm not terrible sure what the significance of your point is. These people can't return to such a lifestyle as such a way of life can only precariously support relatively small populations.
It's highly likely that modern highly-urbanised societies will not last forever. We could be wiped out or almost wiped out by a large meteorite, disease etc. It's not a question of if but when.
Most of England will be under the sea in 10,000 years time and I have read that if the Atlantic Drift stops we will be covered in a kilometer of ice. Also the next ice age could start anytime soon.
So eventually we will return to the stone age and become hunter/gatherers, at least the few of us left. Surprisingly I think I could survive better than most in such conditions, so long as I have a ready supply of medihalers. :wink:
jonty

User avatar
al_yrpal
Posts: 7425
Joined: 25 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Location: Where pasties are crimped at the top!
Contact:

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby al_yrpal » 24 Aug 2011, 1:40pm

When we go back to the stone age M & S takeaway fans will die out!

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

Edwards
Posts: 5978
Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 10:09pm
Location: Birmingham

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby Edwards » 24 Aug 2011, 2:25pm

In the present I think using twigs and a Kelly Kettle is mush more sustainable to make a cup of tea.
The main principles off Bushcraft as in respect for nature and do not take to much food items is certainly one we should all adopt.
As regards a fire, it is possible to have a very small cooking fire and leave no trace at all plus not do lasting damage to the countryside. Only if it is done with respect an awful lot of thought and planning.

As has been said using a gas stove is not very sustainable, but at times needs must, so I have only my conscience to deal with.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

Jonty

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby Jonty » 24 Aug 2011, 3:44pm

So far discussion has centred on environmental sustainability but what about the equally important aspects of economic and social sustainability? If you have a cup of tea in a tea shop with perhaps a slice of cake you are supporting jobs (the tea shop owner and the baker of the cake) as well as a community facility where people can meet and be sociable.
The tea shop owner will also pay taxes which I believe the Government finds helpful.
So taking a more rounded view of sustainablility, patronising a tea shop is much more sustainable than brewing a cup of tea using twigs somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
It's also more comfortable, there's a wider range of tea and cakes, and if it rains you don't get wet.
But if it makes you feel better using twigs and damp matches (or perhaps striking flints together would be more appropriate) don't let me stop you.
jonty

mark a.
Posts: 1349
Joined: 8 Jan 2007, 2:47pm
Location: Surrey

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby mark a. » 24 Aug 2011, 3:56pm

Jonty wrote:So far discussion has centred on environmental sustainability but what about the equally important aspects of economic and social sustainability? If you have a cup of tea in a tea shop with perhaps a slice of cake you are supporting jobs (the tea shop owner and the baker of the cake) as well as a community facility where people can meet and be sociable.
The tea shop owner will also pay taxes which I believe the Government finds helpful.
So taking a more rounded view of sustainablility, patronising a tea shop is much more sustainable than brewing a cup of tea using twigs somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
It's also more comfortable, there's a wider range of tea and cakes, and if it rains you don't get wet.
But if it makes you feel better using twigs and damp matches (or perhaps striking flints together would be more appropriate) don't let me stop you.
jonty


Why on earth do you cycle?

Jonty

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby Jonty » 24 Aug 2011, 4:39pm

mark a. wrote:
Jonty wrote:So far discussion has centred on environmental sustainability but what about the equally important aspects of economic and social sustainability? If you have a cup of tea in a tea shop with perhaps a slice of cake you are supporting jobs (the tea shop owner and the baker of the cake) as well as a community facility where people can meet and be sociable.
The tea shop owner will also pay taxes which I believe the Government finds helpful.
So taking a more rounded view of sustainablility, patronising a tea shop is much more sustainable than brewing a cup of tea using twigs somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
It's also more comfortable, there's a wider range of tea and cakes, and if it rains you don't get wet.
But if it makes you feel better using twigs and damp matches (or perhaps striking flints together would be more appropriate) don't let me stop you.
jonty


Why on earth do you cycle?


Because I enjoy it. Like all of my cycling colleagues it's even more enjoyable if we can combine it with a stop for tea and cake and another for lunch. Do you go on a fast when you cycle?
jonty

mark a.
Posts: 1349
Joined: 8 Jan 2007, 2:47pm
Location: Surrey

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby mark a. » 24 Aug 2011, 4:51pm

Jonty wrote:
mark a. wrote:
Jonty wrote:So far discussion has centred on environmental sustainability but what about the equally important aspects of economic and social sustainability? If you have a cup of tea in a tea shop with perhaps a slice of cake you are supporting jobs (the tea shop owner and the baker of the cake) as well as a community facility where people can meet and be sociable.
The tea shop owner will also pay taxes which I believe the Government finds helpful.
So taking a more rounded view of sustainablility, patronising a tea shop is much more sustainable than brewing a cup of tea using twigs somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
It's also more comfortable, there's a wider range of tea and cakes, and if it rains you don't get wet.
But if it makes you feel better using twigs and damp matches (or perhaps striking flints together would be more appropriate) don't let me stop you.
jonty


Why on earth do you cycle?


Because I enjoy it. Like all of my cycling colleagues it's even more enjoyable if we can combine it with a stop for tea and cake and another for lunch. Do you go on a fast when you cycle?
jonty


Not at all. But here you're talking about how great it is for us to make use of modern trappings, paying tax etc for social and economic stability, when you can do all that and more by driving. You can get to more cake shops, you pay more tax: everyone's a winner!

Let us all enjoy a spot of cycling and let us (and others) enjoy a spot of bushcraft.

Lawrie9
Posts: 1011
Joined: 4 Oct 2007, 11:23am
Location: Powys, Wales, UK

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby Lawrie9 » 24 Aug 2011, 5:03pm

Ah yes indeed but its much more fun sleeping inder a shleter from made from bracken and willow and stirring your rabbit and sorrel stew on a fire from branch wood with your own spoon that you have carved from a piece of hazel and drinking nettle tea. Going to a cafe.. where's the fun and challenge in that.
No jam doughnuts stored here overnight

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 45544
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby Mick F » 24 Aug 2011, 5:13pm

Jonty wrote:Do you go on a fast when you cycle?
Generally, yes.

I have a breakfast, I go for a ride - 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, or even 80miles, then I come home and scoff and drink beer.
Mick F. Cornwall

reohn2
Posts: 34667
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby reohn2 » 24 Aug 2011, 6:16pm

Lawrie9 wrote:Ah yes indeed but its much more fun sleeping inder a shleter from made from bracken and willow and stirring your rabbit and sorrel stew on a fire from branch wood with your own spoon that you have carved from a piece of hazel and drinking nettle tea. Going to a cafe.. where's the fun and challenge in that.


You forgot the bit where you flail yourself with a birch twig :roll:
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 14984
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby Si » 24 Aug 2011, 6:30pm

Jonty wrote: would prefer to live in a modern developed society rather than a stone-age lifestyle. Obviously this view is based on partial information; I have never lived in a stone-age society. But from what I've read, on balance, I prefer to live today rather than during the stone age.


This is the problem - none of us have ever really experienced living a real HGFer lifestyle and so it may just be 'better the devil you know..'. But when you say that you prefer to live today, what I believe that you mean is that you prefer to live your modern life, rather than the average life today. Not so much stone age vs modern, but rich western styled life vs anything else. And that is fair enough, after all, you are fed, warm, have a roof over your head and probably want for little. However, quite a bit of suffering has had to happen to get you there. Question is, are your benefits worth the hardships that so many other have had to go through to get you there?

Regarding the choice between HGFer and modern western type of lives, well I recognise all of the advantages that I have, but would still like to give a proper HGFer lifeway a go. But at the end of the day, the ideal might be to take the positives from both to make a hybrid that is better than either.

Jonty

Re: bike bushcraft

Postby Jonty » 24 Aug 2011, 6:30pm

[quote="mark aNot at all. But here you're talking about how great it is for us to make use of modern trappings, paying tax etc for social and economic stability, when you can do all that and more by driving. You can get to more cake shops, you pay more tax: everyone's a winner!
.[/quote]

But I don't enjoy driving. That's why I have a car which is fun to drive. It makes driving slightly less unpleasant. So I help the economy by paying for a car which we don't use much.
Unlike cycling, driving doesn't keep me fit; I can't drive down bridleways; and when driving you can't enjoy the countryside because you have to keep your eyes on the road.
I also don't enjoy flying - that's why I haven't been in a plane for 10 years. The last time I went abroad I went by train.
I also don't enjoy going abroad very much; I find the UK sufficiently exotic.
You see, I practice sustainability rather than just talk about it.
I also help economic sustainability by buying British-made bikes and I reduce my carbon footprint by having an allotment and eating the trout I catch.
jonty