I am a UK-based wilderness survival instructor and have been enthusiastically reading the content of your website as well as your postings on FALFiles for some time.
Although bushcraft and wilderness survival has become quite a popular subject in this country over recent years, the UK does not have a strong Preparedness/ Survivalist movement at the present time. Something that I believe is partly to do with the Media perception of survivalists as paranoid nutcases.
However, through my work as a bushcraft and wilderness skills instructor I have recently noticed a marked increase in the number of “normal” people expressing concern about the future. I am often asked to run courses for people who want to learn how to survive a disaster, or simply to learn how they can live off the land when the normal order of things comes to an end. Events such as the Asian Tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina have caused many people to review their own vulnerability to natural disasters, as well as other possible catastrophic events.
Most of the courses I run have been designed as back to nature adventure experiences, and not as preparedness courses. Although many of the skills we teach could be employed under these circumstances. Skills such as emergency shelter building and firelighting, as well as trapping and identifying edible plants are an example of these practices.
We are currently developing some survival workshops and courses that will specifically cover subjects such as stockpiling, Bug out Bags and 72 hour kits as well as some more traditional wilderness survival skills.
I would like to maintain contact with like minded people in the USA where the survivalist mindset is more established. At some point in the future it may also be worthwhile for me to bring groups to the U.S. for courses on specific subjects. I would therefore be very interested in establishing contact with organisations involved with the teaching of Preparedness skills, defense etc.
I also feel that there may be a market for preparedness related products that are not available here in the UK. I would be in a very good position to promote these products through my website. If you could suggest any suppliers that would be able to supply and ship to the UK I would really like to hear from them.
Best Regards, – Andrew Price website: http://www.dryadbushcraft.co.uk
JWR Replies: Readers should note that a trading relationship with someone in the UK could be very valuable. It need not be one-sided. There is some fantastic “kit” made in the UK that is hard to find in the U.S. that would be great to trade for. This includes Bergen rucksacks, camouflage scarves, DPM camouflage clothing, and those well-crafted British rabbit snares and gill nets. There are also some great bargains available–sadly, as the result of the recently-enacted firearms restrictions in England–in particular antique wooden pistol boxes, WWII-vintage european pistol holsters, L1A1 parts, et cetera. For any of our readers in the U.S. that rent gun show tables or that run a part-time eBay business, I highly recommend pursuing this!