When the wind blows

It is winter, the dormant season for plants (above ground at least) – it’s the time to plant your trees. What I find interesting is that if you plant your healthy young sapling and help it to stay upright with a big stout stake and strong straps, then it is unlikely that it will grow into a mature tree;

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The woods and the womb

This is something I find I hear a lot:

“Wow – you own a wood!  Are you going to build a cabin?’

I own a wood.  It is great.  It is sunny, rainy or cloudy in the daytime, dark in the nighttime if there aren’t any moonbeams,

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Surviving the mainstream’s extremes

Here’s a second pattern that I’ve noticed during my time as a bushcraft instructor:

“My son isn’t keen on the outdoors – he’s just not the gnarly ‘survival’ type”

Machismo did not die after the 1980s, it just got clever.  One trick it performed was to elevate itself into pseudo-aspirational but unattainable places. 

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Little consolation from the console

I have spent a lot of time in the outdoors with adults and kids, often with teenage lads on a string of 3-day outings together, in undomesticated environments like woods, moors and rivers.  One lad recently pointed out to me that, out of the last 18 months, cumulatively he had spent an entire month with me,

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Insights from the Outdoors

Hello again, reader.  If you are reading this, then it means that at some time between 2011 and 2015 you subscribed to a blog I wrote, called ‘Chris Packe’s Freedom Blog’ back then.

The experiment has moved on a bit, and it’s now called ‘Insights from the Outdoors’. 

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Charity from out of my closet

Decluttering has never felt so good.  It really came into fashion in the last few years – getting rid of all that junk you accumulated and heading towards a life of simplicity.

Something always felt missing in that decluttering fad though.  It can often be temporary and superficial,

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Where have all the men gone

This year has strongly featured getting out-of-the-blue invitations from people, usually asking me to do something that makes me feel nervous, and quickly accepting.

None more surprising and uncomfortable than being asked to participate in the Clear Lines Festival, which runs from this Thursday 30 July to Sunday. 

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My landlords came round the other week to make sure that the house hasn’t been too trashed in the 2 years we’ve been living here.  No big issues.  Their only observation was that “the garden could do with a bit of attention.”

You know what?  They are absolutely right,

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Exclusivity, and a desperate call for elders

I call this the Freedom Blog, but that doesn’t mean that freedom is always a good thing.

For instance, I often find myself worrying about the crippling dangers of Free Markets.  And the Charlie Hebdo thing brought attention to the shadow side of Free Speech.

A good dose of restrictive exclusivity can often be very wise when applied in the right places,

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Working out what the work is

Knowing what I now know about the disastrous destiny of the culture I live in, how can I possibly participate in it?  Since I need money to survive and am reliant on this system, how can I possibly not participate in it?

Still wrestling with that one.

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