I had a bushcraft weekend this past. 6 camps and 11 people including two tots of 6 and 8 years.
Truth be known these tots have probably spent more time in the woods than most adult preppers. They are seasoned outdoor veterans and require only minimal supervision and are a blast to watch during their adventures.
The group consisted of retired professors, retired sailors, one professional outdoor guide, a security agent studying to be a doctor, an office manager and one accountant. One of the only uniting factors among us appeared to be that each and every one of us had served in the Forces during out youth, including two of the three women in the group. One Army, one Marine and a bunch of Squids (our term for sailors).
Camp was 250 miles from the house, a short drive by our standards, in a big National preserve called Big South Fork Wilderness Area. The area starts on the Cumberland Plateau in north central Tennessee and runs north to the Ohio River. On the north side of the Ohio River it picks up again as the Wayne National Forest and runs north to Lake Erie. All this provides a wilderness preserve that is 200 miles wide east to west and runs about 1000 miles north to south in some of the prettiest hill country God ever decided to create.
Yes, we camped with the bears. We also had all the other camp thieves such as raccoons and possums with the occasional rogue squirrel stealing biscuits.
Temps were right at the frost point at night and a warm sun and cooling breeze during the day.
We had lots of projects and information exchanges, some gear trading and this particular camp has become famous for all the craftsmen in the bunch. We try to outdo each other making small items of unique construction that we give away as a group exchange. The items range from small trinkets to hand forged fire strikers, hand forged bushcraft knives, fishing kits, sewing repair kits or any other handy devices we can contrive.
The camps are a mix of modern car camping and primitive minimalist gear. One thing everyone had was a coffee pot, sometimes two, and we kept those in good use throughout the weekend.
I spent all day yesterday cleaning gear. Then spent the evening exchanging e-mails as folks arrived at their widely scattered homes. Apparently everyone returned safely to the fold.
I do have one casualty to report. I used a new tent which I set up for the first time at the event. It went up easily enough but there is no way that tent is going back into the tiny stuff sack it arrived in. It is like trying to get 10 pounds of flour in a 5 pound sack!