Bushcraft is a broad church.

Truth is, the vast majority of my ‘bushcrafting’ activities actually include cycling. Is it buschrafting? Is it cycling?

I don’t know. But my attitude to it is more about being in the countryside and nature and the things I see and hear than feeling the burn of doing 30 miles, upping my average speed. I don’t give a toss about any of that. For me, cycling is the means to an ends, it’s not the end in itself.

My cycling is about getting into the country, getting off the beaten-track. Sometimes I have to push – going up hill or just too off-road – sometimes I am happy to stop and just sit beneath a tree and take in the view, or if I have my carving tools with me that’s what I’ll do, or do a bit of wild cooking, do some writing, drink a bottle of real ale, do nothing.

And that doesn’t sound too un-bushcrafty to me.

So today I was out for a ride. I stopped by one of my favourite sit-trees – a place I have enjoyed many solitary and fine hours just watching the clouds change, the sun move across the sky, listening to the crows and ravens, the aircraft puttering in the sky from the local air field, the rabbits edging closer and closer as their confidence gains.

The logs sit beneath a sweet chestnut tree, and has a amazing view south across the Weald of Kent. I went armed with a couple of ham and tomato rolls, a packet of crisps, a camping stove, a 12cm Zebra billy and 58 bottle of water. The sun was warm and I boiled up some water for a mug of green tea with jasmine (because I’m a ponce who likes poncy teas).

Those logs also form a good source of crampball fungus, for those who like to use natural tinders. There were several clumps of the stuff. I left it in place, but plan to collect some before the next time we go out. I’ve collected crampball from these logs before, so don’t like to take too much and strip it clean.

About half way up the tree is the most massive burl you’ve ever seen:

I’m sure the carvers and knife makers among you would love to get hold of some of that. Can’t see it coming down in my lifetime, though.

It was while sitting there, sipping my posh tea, that I saw a deer. The picture is a bit blurry because it was taken on a phone camera, but the thing was only about 150 yards away. You can’t see it in the picture, but the deer is on the other side of a fence that defines a large deer park.

So that was my day out – bushbiking is what I call it. You can call it what you want.



  1. Randy said,

    April 4, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Nice story.

  2. Dark Horse Dave said,

    April 11, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Nice post. I used to do this sort of thing myself, often cycling up to a nearby bit of woodland with a pannier full of bits ‘n pieces to try out, and sometimes with my lad attached to a pull-along at the back. Nice times, and you’ve inspired me to get my bike out again, so thanks for that. He can ride himself there now, so it’ll be a bit easier too!


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