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Is it really better than nothing?

Hey everyone, It’s Greg and I figured it’s time to have some real talk and maybe dispel some “Bushcaft/Prepper” BS.


“It’s better than nothing”


“I don’t need/carry that, I’ll just improvise.”


Anyone that knows me well, knows I put those two phrases right up next to circus peanut candy and cats on things I can’t stand.


Let’s talk about the “Better than Nothing” mantra people just love to throw out. This chant seems to be especially alive and well in some preppers’ vocabulary.


“Better than Nothing” would imply the speaker is naked, floating in the vast void of outer space with absolutely no other option. This phrase is so often used to justify the speaker’s ignorance or make up for his/her lack of knowledge or skill. I’ve even had people stick to this phrase after being shown that their method was certainly going to lead to failure. They fall back to that statement instead of seeing the truth and learning from it. It’s a pride thing. Give up your ego, open your mind and learn. Expand and explore the tool box in your brain, you’ll be happier and more well-rounded when you come out the other side. The best teachers are still students of life, always learning and expanding their knowledge base. You should strive for the same.


The second take away from that phrase and this leads us into the “I’ll just Improvise” discussion, is the question “Why would you sell yourself/your students/your family/your team short by coming out so ill prepared to deal with a situation that you literally have to resort to “anything goes” because “it’s better than nothing”? I’ve spoken to students and coworkers who refuse to carry a legit tourniquet. Their defense? “If I ever actually really get shot, I can improvise with my belt or shoe laces”. They actually hold firm to that and then, when told how that’s not a good idea and why, they revert to “well it’s better than nothing”.


Improvisation has its place. Improvisation is fun. I get it. Despite photo evidence to the contrary, I really had fun making cedar bark cordage capable of holding up a ten-pound weight in the rain during a Campcraft class. I still have that string. I liked the project that much. BUT Improvisation shouldn’t be your go-to solution when you head out into the world. I had several different types of cordage with me that day and used all those until the instructor staff took them from us and then and only then we had to improvise.


Greg making his cedar bark cordage

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

In the same class as my soggy cedar string experience, another student broke a very expensive, very unique Bushcraft knife trying to baton a log. He could’ve cried and quit. He could’ve picked up a pointy stick or sharp rock and said “Well, it’s better than nothing”. Instead, he put his head down, improvised a new handle, lashed the pieces back together and rocked on. The moral of this story is that he didn’t go out into the woods without the tools he needed and just plan on winging it. Instead, he came out prepared but due to unforeseen circumstances, he found himself in a crappy situation and he improvised and overcame adversity.


Broken Survival Knife


I am by no means saying you shouldn’t practice how to improvise items and skills in all kinds of environments. I’m saying, don’t go out to start your day, already putting yourself in a deficit because of your ego, inferior gear or bad information/lack of knowledge.


Tampons for gunshot wounds, shoe strings as tourniquets, wasp spray as a self-defense weapon, aren’t better than nothing, they’re just dumb. Improvising a piece of kit or a technique you should have owned and packed shouldn’t be the first step when you hit the road.


Don’t sell yourself short. Buy legit gear that you can afford from a reputable company. Once you get your kit dialed in then train how to use it properly. The staff at Campcraft Outdoors and Campcraft Tact-X are always willing to give guidance on gear selection, training or any other related topic that may be floating around in your brain bucket.


Rants over. Now get out there and train with your gear. Be safe. Be blessed. Hope to see you soon.


#campcrafttactx #training #campcraftoutdoors #overcome

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