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Long Walks & Anarcho-Primitivism:

About the Blog

A description of Paul Mobbs’ blog on lifestyle change and simplicity, exploring the ecological and psychological dimensions of regularly spending time outdoors

At its simplest, in this blog I take the best images from my walks journal, and using my skills of simple living, attempt to portray a practical alternative to the future so often described in my work blog

In this page I outline the background to creating the blog, as well as the inevitable legal-technical baggage which comes with it. What follows is actually two introductions: One ‘lighter’ one for those who like plain English; and a ‘heavier’ one with jargon and links to lots of background information.

Page bookmarks

(use section number as a hotkey to jump to it).

  1. About the Blog.
  2. The ‘light’ introduction.
  3. The ‘heavy’ introduction.
  4. A quick note about the references.
  5. This is a long-term project; feedback is appreciated.
  6. With content comes the inevitable issue of copyright.

The ‘lighter’ introduction

Over many years, walking out from the town, I have been struck by a sad fact; there’s no one here!

Making nettle tea outdoors on the stick-fire grate.
This is me doing what I love – spending time outdoors walking and foraging (click image for video).

The image on the left is a still from a video1 which shows how to make a simple grate to cook on outdoors. It was making that video which was the starting point for this work. It began a discussion, and that discussion ended up here – with this new section of the web site.

At the root of this discussion is a very simple question: “What if, one day, everything just stopped; could you survive?”.

I don’t mean some kind of ‘terminal’ apocalypse. I mean engaging with the very practical reality that long before human civilisation ends, or nears the end, ‘consumerism’ will have collapsed long-before. And the reality today is that for many people, the collapse of the consumerism paradigm will not only leave them jobless, hope-less, and adrift in a world that no longer has any meaning for them. For most it will compromise their ability to feed and shelter themselves.

‘A Winter Sunset from Crouch Hill’, 21st January 2020
‘A Winter Sunset from Crouch Hill’

Although for many this will seem like the ‘end of the world’, the collapse of consumerism will take place far sooner than the collapse of human society in general. And in fact, on current trends it is inevitable within a decade or two. Except as apocalyptic disaster films or mind-numbing documentaries, society doesn’t really like to address that question. And even when people do address those points ‘seriously’, don’t expect to appear in the mainstream media with that.

That’s because the moment you raise the question seriously, you invalidate the daily, mindless, care-free consumer existence that our modern affluent society seeks to project.

Ramblinactivist, relishing his role as camp cook at the Free Range Weekend, 2008
Relishing my role as camp cook at the Free Range Weekend, 2008

Even when those TV shows or newspaper articles do open this box of horrors, there’s inevitably an, “and finally”, point at the end. They always conclude with some abstract and unlikely techno-fix, that will save you from this-or-that problem, enabling you to go back to sleep once more. No lifestyle change required. No need to question the consumer paradigm and your place within it.

That doesn’t invalidate the underlying research which raised these concerns. But it ensures people are not overly distressed, and perhaps question why more fundamental political changes are not taking place.

That is what this series will explore. How it is possible to learn to live “when the lights go out”, and to do that very easily and cheaply. How, by spending time developing practical skills outdoors – outside of the restrictions of today’s everyday ‘normality’ – you can learn to move beyond the restrictions of that life. And hopefully move yourself towards something more sustainable, as the inevitable breakdown of ‘normality’ grinds inexorably forward over the next 10 to 20 years.

The ‘heavier’ introduction

Here’s a more referenced, more challenging view of the above: Essentially, there is no future but what you are able to make, simply, yourself.

An image of ‘Welsh Lane’ from Banburyshire’s Ancient Sites
‘Welsh Lane’

Everything must change. As the extent of the ecological crisis is finally beginning2 to dawns amongst less ‘fringe’ communities, the reality is beginning to bite. That we are past the point of no return and there is no ‘going back’3 to some previous idealised normality.

To make a new route out of that terminal decline of consumerism, people need to find a means to progress4. To leave behind5 the industrialised lifestyle6 of the past three centuries, and the consumer lifestyle7 of the past seven decades, and find alternatives8.

It seems that people are endlessly arguing about how bad things are9. Unfortunately they too-often distract themselves with simplistic techno-fixes10 to preserve the existing, malfunctioning way of life which created those problems11 in the first place.

Here, we do not do that12.

Here, the focus is on gaining basic skills and practical experiences. The objective is to to discontinue13 the old way of doing14 things, and to find a new approach15 to living.

The good news!, there is a simple and cheap way to move yourself into a different lifestyle. What you need to do is learn the skills of low impact lifestyles – and the best way to start doing that is to spend time outdoors16. That is what this series of works has been put together to explore.

A quick note about the references

As you will already have appreciated, the references I link to in these pages are pretty, ‘in your face’ – strewn down the margins of the page. This is deliberate.

In recent years it’s become fashionable for references to be, ‘seen to be made’, to perpetuate the reverence that ‘scientism’17 has for knowledge. But often references are not ‘made to be seen’, as so often the material linked to doesn’t actually expand the point being made.

References are included in these blog post not for decoration, but because I am specifically citing this as something I think you should read, or watch. They are intended to further your understand the point being made. As far as possible they represent the best and most recent research available to illustrate the point(s), cobbled together from my own work around current developments in ecological research.

In a world which constrains attention spans, and fillets complicated details for the sake of attention-deficit-feeding media streams, this blog takes a deliberately counter-cultural approach to linking to material. Highlighting the link being made in order to attract your attention to it, in anticipation that you will read or watch it. I hope that you will avail yourself of these links, and expand your understanding of why these links are made to the issues discussed here.

This is a long-term project; feedback is appreciated

Wildcamping above Avebury for Beltane, May 1st 2019
Wildcamping above Avebury for Beltane

These articles are hosted as a separate area from my ‘work’ and ‘relaxation’ blogs in part because they represent a synthesis of the two: I will be drawing on the photographic resources of the ‘Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal’ to illustrate what I am talking about; and as a result the style will be more ‘natural’ than my work-related ‘Meta-Blog’.

That’s the view of the world I want to project as part of this series of articles. As Jung said:

‟We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect; we apprehend it just as much by feeling.”

An image of ‘Snow on Mynydd Du’, from Mynydd Llansadwrn
‘Snow on Mynydd Du’ (from Mynydd Llansadwrn)

This project is planned to stretch over a number of articles, looking at different areas of outdoor/bushcraft skills. And from that practical exploration, the relevance of anarcho-primitivism, and why that’s important for how we might meet the rather bleak future that the conventional Western econometric, technocratic society holds for us. These articles and videos will be published as and when time permits. There is no planned schedule.

In the meantime I’d welcome any feedback you might have via email (or see links to social media presence above):

    (replacing ‘☮’ and ‘·’ with the usual symbols)

It’s entirely up to you whether you try any of the activities that I will outline in coming issues of the blog. If you do, you may end up having a nice time or you may not. In terms of today’s mainstream view of society though, your greatest risk may be that you find out something ‘authentic’ about yourself, and your relationship to the nature of the world around you.

Of course, any damage that such experiences cause to your present-day affluent consumer lifestyle are carried out entirely your own risk!

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