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As kids we couldn’t do anything without fire, if we were outside we were burning shit. For us as kids it was all fun and games but every fire had a purpose and and there was always a lesson to be learned and earned.
I was 5 years old when I earned my first bush-craft knife, all I had to do was climb a mountain without crying or being carried. In our family responsibility was earned and regardless of age once we earned something it was ours for keeps.
Many lessons came from that knife but it was climbing the mountain that was the most important lesson. It was my fathers way of saying if you want something badly enough you can have it but first it has to be earned and once you earn it it can never be taken away.
We were the fortunate ones growing up with no internet or electronics, it was the days before answering machines and and smart phones our days were spent outside living not cooped up under flickering florescent lights staring at a blue screen watching all of the wonders of the world in electronic form. By the age of 10 I was fully proficient in back-country living, I could make a fire by rubbing two sticks together and drop a meal with my slingshot, I had already caught my first fish with my bare hands and was well on my way to developing the skills that in only a few short years would save my life in Central America.
I have always carried a bug out bag with and am always working on perfecting the balance between enough and too much. My father would always remind me, the more you know the less you need. I could list a thousand reasons for carrying what I call a cut and run pack but in the end its just a bag with a bunch of fun toys to occupy my abundance of free time. Some day those toys may again save my life but then again maybe they already are. My bush-craft kit is stripped and minimal but has everything I need in any given situation.
It was a cold rainy day and I was feeling Lazy but cabin fever was starting to set in. I declared and emergency, bugged out and cooked a nice hot lunch on my tiny fire as rain drops started to bead on my flannel shirt the snap crackle pop of the fire warmed my soul and the piping hot soup had just the right amount of spice to warm my frozen bones.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.