DAN WOWAK DISCOVERS THE WHY BEHIND BUSHCRAFT


I’ve sat around a lot of campfires with a lot of people over the years, and one thing I often get asked is, why do you do this?

I remember back in the beginning. I remember sleeping in a mud puddle  – wet and miserable – because I didn’t know how to properly set up a shelter or pick a campsite. I remember cold mornings where I let my fire go out and couldn’t get it restarted fast enough. I remember being in Patagonia for 51 days, catching only 9 fish and losing 54 pounds. I remember that feeling of failure. I remember… just not doing good. 

Harnessing the power of fire.

But I also remember the first time I rubbed two sticks together, got an ember and blew it to flame. I remember the smell of the smoke and the excitement in overcoming a huge obstacle. I mean, I’d tried that hundreds of times without success. And then I got it. I figured it out. And over the years… through these experiences, I became pretty good out here. I learned what to do and not do in less-than-optimal situations.

Wisdom can be found in both failing and succeeding in building a fire.
Wisdom can be found in both failing and succeeding in building a fire.

Then I realized I had these experiences… these fun, exciting, miserable yet powerful moments of growth that I should share. So that’s what I did. I opened a school to teach people outdoor skills. To teach them how to come out here and become better versions of themselves. I know what I’ve been through. I know it’s helped me answer their questions and give them the information they need to grow… to make them better. And I know I have my answer to why I do this.

Whether it’s the struggle or sharing the experience, bushcraft brings about moments of growth.

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