Global Bushcraft Symposium 2019 Keynote Presentation

Global Bushcraft Symposium 2019 Keynote Presentation

The 2019 Global Bushcraft Symposium (GBS) seemed a long time coming. Almost three years before, I became aware of the intention to hold this conference in Alberta, Canada. As time went on, more information came out and speakers began to be invited, then appearing on the Global Bushcraft Symposium website. There were going to be some big names present, grandees in the realms of bushcraft, survival and traditional living skills. I was going to go anyway but then I was also invited to be a keynote speaker. This was a real honour, to be a keynote speaker alongside the likes of the North American titans André-François Bourbeau, David Holladay, Mors Kochanski, Tom Lutyens and Dave Wescott, as well as one of my old Swedish mentors, Lars Fält. In addition to me, the U.K. keynote speakers were Lisa Fenton and Patrick McGlinchey.

GBS: A High Quality Audience

The group of keynote speakers, however, was only the tip of the iceberg. The list of other illustrious individuals scheduled to present at the conference was long and the collective experience of these people very deep. You can check out the list here. Then there were the delegates, many of whom were seasoned educators in their own right, from civilian outdoor leaders to military instructors to academics. Those who were not directly involved in education or guiding were all committed enthusiasts of the skill-sets and knowledge-bases represented. It was a very high quality crowd of around 250 people in total. The organising board of the symposium, largely made up of experienced and highly-respected outdoor educators, did an excellent job of bringing these people together and creating an atmosphere of collaboration and sharing.

The Aims Of The 2019 GBS

The 2019 Global Bushcaft Symposium was an international gathering to promote bushcraft, survival, and traditional skills instruction through the open exchange of philosophies, pedagogical methods and dissemination of best practices within the industry. This was set to be achieved by…

1/ Developing connections across generations of instructors and cultures of practice.

2/ Emphasizing the critical importance of teaching accurate, fact based and tested skills in their proper context.

3/ Honoring those who have lived, rediscovered and promoted the traditions before us.

The Aims Of My GBS Keynote

So, it was in this context that my keynote presentation was made. I wanted to bring something of my educational philosophy to the table, along with my experiences of growing my presence, and business, in the field of bushcraft within the digital information age. The aims of my presentation were to encourage those serious about sharing knowledge of bushcraft, survival and traditional skills to be somewhat less protective of what they know, share more freely, increase the quality of online materials on these subjects, as well as help them grow their standing and businesses.

Watch My GBS Keynote Presentation

With the foregoing text being understood, then please enjoy the following video of my keynote presentation at the 2019 Global Bushcraft Symposium. I was able to capture only one static viewpoint of the stage but I have edited my slides into the presentation so they can be seen clearly. Even if you were at the GBS, you will likely be able to see my slides more clearly in the video below…

View the slides I used in my GBS presentation here on Slideshare.

Links and References

Bruce Zawalsky – Boreal Wilderness Institute
André-François Bourbeau’s 2019 GBS Keynote
Dave Wescott talking with Dale Kyselik: Why The Global Bushcraft Symposium
Peak Experience (Maslow)
The Adventure Experience Paradigm (Priest)
Dunning-Kruger effect
Yerkes–Dodson law
1,000 True Fans (Kelly)
The first collaboration video with Mike Pullen, TA Outdoors
The second collaboration video with Mike Pullen, TA Outdoors
Online Bushcraft Courses

Related Books

Related Material On Paul Kirtley’s Blog…

PK Podcast 036: Mors Kochanski And Jon McArthur On The Global Bushcraft Symposium

Paul Kirtley Podcast 042: Mors Kochanski, Northern Bushcraft Legend

Real-World Expeditioning With Bushcraft Skills (2018 Bushcraft Show Main Stage Presentation)

7 thoughts on “Global Bushcraft Symposium 2019 Keynote Presentation

  1. Thanks Paul for your great presentation. Wish I had known about conference earlier

    1. Thanks for your comment Carlan. I’m glad you enjoyed the recording of this presentation. I’m sorry you didn’t know about this conference sooner. We will try to do better with the next one. Please save the date – July 26-30 2021.

      Warm regards,


  2. Hi Paul.
    You’ve done it again, another great presentation, I think you may have rattled a few feathers but your honest approach is commendable.
    To let you know, your use of YouTube and putting information out there works, I found you by accident on YouTube, I watched your videos and blogs, I found frontier bushcraft and I am now waiting to meet up with you on the forest hunter course in October, so it proves your system does work.
    Many thanks again for another great article.
    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Nige,

      Thanks for your positive comments about this presentation as well as my online materials in general. I’m glad you have found value in them and I am looking forward to meeting you on the Forest Hunter course later this year.

      Warm regards,


  3. Similar story for me as for Nigel. I recognized the quality of your free content, and found tremendous value in that. Because of that content, your quality as an outdoorsperson, educator and spokesperson for the (global) community became apparent.

    Then, I learned about the course offerings of the Frontier Bushcraft school, and now I am following the Tree & Plant ID course, and will be in a weeklong field course this summer.

    And I’m not even from the UK 😉

    1. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing your story Matthijs. Looking forward to finally meeting you on your course in a few weeks time.

      Warm regards,


  4. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for for sharing this article along with countless others and the vast wealth of knowledge you upload freely Via various media outlets.
    Like most I found you merely scrolling Youtube searching through various Ray Mears/Dave Canterbury/Les Stroud bush craft and survival videos.
    I am very pleased to not only have joined this years Tree/plant Master class but have attended the bush craft foundation course run by yourself and some of your great team, which was truly a fantastic experience, to not only have met you and your team members but the knowledge and experience as a whole has been one of the best decisions I have made thus far and I look forward to next years elementary course.
    Thanks again for willingly sharing your knowledge and experiences so openly and with such enthusiasm to pass this on.
    Kind Regards.
    Wayne Knight

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