Free Shipping on USA Orders $150 or More

Waynearing

by Brian Griffin December 11, 2019 2 Comments

Waynearing

Sometime in fifteenth-century England a new word came to be. It was a new term for travelers who went abroad through the countrysides, especially those who traveled longer distances on foot. It has gone through a couple of spelling changes since then, but the modern version we use today is Wayfarer.At that time it would be a couple more centuries before table knives would even become a thing, and most inns didn't supply knives with meals. Eating foods with bare hands and fingers was still a common and accepted practice, in fact at that time how many fingers the person used when eating was used to gauge their social status. So the inn keepers would only portion the foods into what they considered manageable sizes, and if the patron wanted the hunks of food reduced any further, for whatever reason, it would be on them to supply the knife to do it with. For most wayfarers this wasn't an issue, they were usually just glad to be under a dry roof by a warm fireplace and didn't mind at all supplying their own cutlery. Most wanderers in the middle ages carried knives with them wherever they went anyway, so they certainly carried them when they traveled through the countryside for multiple reasons. Since there were no fast food restaurants along the way, those who roamed great distances would need to hunt wild meats along the way if they wanted any. Thus they would need to be able to clean, cook, and portion any game they hunted. And with them being out in the wilds, away from those who governed the rule of law, they may very well be obliged to defend themselves in a hard world as well. So at that time personal knives were seen as weapons first, and common every day utility was a secondary consideration.Now seven centuries later, whether by taking our own vehicles or taking mass transit, most of us regularly travel much greater distances in an hour than those fourteenth-century wanders could have managed in a couple days of pushing their hardest. And we do so traveling lighter with much more advanced tools in the process, and usually using Google Maps' global positioning system on our smart phones to navigate our way there and keep ourselves on course through any necessary detours.These days, with the cosmopolitan nature of almost every developed nation on Earth after centuries of global immigration, we live in such a wondrous and remarkable time. For if we like, and many of us often do, we can easily experience the cuisine of more cultures in a single week than most of our Middle-English counterparts experienced in their entire lives. Indeed, in some eateries with all the various courses and beverages on offer, we can exceed most if not all of their culinary experiences in a single meal.Yet even today I almost never encounter an eatery that supplies sharp knives with their meals. Or at least not ones sharp enough to neatly split a burger on a lunch date, when you have a really busy evening planned and want to maintain a high level of mobility. Which is fine by me, as I too am almost always more than happy to supply my own cutlery.After wandering several miles through urban woodland trails, and crossing a wide river in the blustery winds rain and mists of a cold autumn night, I'm usually much to glad to have made my way to shelter, and be enjoying the view while warming my old bones by the fire to mind supplying my own cutlery.Having spent the last four decades meandering many pathways through several large cities at night, I have learned from personal experiences that the danger levels in the darker and more remote areas of our modern urban jungles are sometimes only marginally improved over those encountered by our wayfaring ancestors. So just like my fellow wanderers of by-gone days, even when it is only a three mile walk to one of my favorite coffee houses and back, I still take the possibility of having to defend myself in a hard world into consideration.

We live in such an amazing time in our known human history, with so many things wondrous things out there just waiting to to be experienced. Life is shorter than we think it will be at first, and it really does fly by. Wherever your adventures take you, whether woodland wildernesses or urban jungles, I hope you do find some things worthwhile and enjoyable in every one of them. 




Brian Griffin
Brian Griffin

Author

Brian Griffin is an author, photographer, wilderness and survival skills teacher, knife enthusiast, outdoor gear researcher and product development consultant. He has a decades-long history of using and developing outdoor related tools and gear.



2 Responses

Brian
Brian

December 26, 2019

Thank you Craig, I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I try to include at least one of the lessons I’ve learned from my crazy wanderings in every article I write here. I teach a lot of different things to different students in my classes and presentations. A lot of it is about survival, some wilderness, some urban, and sometimes just surviving our being human, which can be a challenge in and of itself sometimes. Or at least it has been for me, and that compels me to share some of my experiences. In both wilderness and urban environments environmental awareness and knowledge of threats is crucial to survival but the threats in the urban areas can be more confusing and the predators can have better camouflage. I have a thing for exploring parts unknown and for reading and making maps :-)

Craig Bachman
Craig Bachman

December 12, 2019

I enjoyed his ideas and now look to see what other little bits of wisdom and experience he has gained through his wanderings. The first pic also looks like he was planning an expedition to explore parts unknown. I liked his comments about maybe needing to protect yourself much as our ancestors did. I have learned that it is a good thing to take a good look of your surroundings and what is going on, one does not want to walk Into a situation. Just my two cents.

Leave a comment


Also in Articles

Why Fillet?
Why Fillet?

by Brian Griffin March 18, 2020

One cold day in February, my daughter came in from school while I was filleting some Branzini for our dinner. As per her habit, she just quietly watched me work for a few minutes to take in what I was doing, but there soon came the usual questions. Staring with, “why do you do that sometimes, and take out the bones like that, but then not at other times?” 

Read More

Kits for the Gram
Kits for the Gram

by Kevin Estela March 11, 2020

#Flatlay is a popular hashtag on instagram. If you’ve spent any time on social media you’ve seen them even if you weren’t aware of their name. A flatlay is a stylized layout of contents tailored to a particular audience. There are flatlays for the gadget crowd that include fidget spinners, multi-tools, and minimalist multi-function items. Other flatlays focus on the gear carried to defend life such as pistols, spare magazines, tourniquets, and flashlights. A good flatlay can garner hundreds of likes. If a surgically-enhanced instagram “influencer” posts it, the picture could be liked thousands of times mainly by poor saps duped into believing liking a pretty girl’s photo will win them points for the day they’ll meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. No matter how you cut it, flatlays are popular and as ridiculous and obsessive compulsive as they seem, they do serve a good purpose. A proper flatlay can educate the viewer and help them improve their level of readiness. I’ve assembled some of my favorite kits and presented them in the flatlay format.

Read More

Finish Strong
Finish Strong

by Kevin Estela March 04, 2020 2 Comments

When I was in high school (as a student, not my current job as a teacher), I remember my psychology teacher presenting a lesson on the primacy and recency effect and how it relates to our memory. The primacy effect is the bias we have to remember what we hear or see first and the recency effect explains why we remember what we hear last or most recently. To illustrate this, here is a string of numbers, 39, 87, 3, 18, 41, 26, 52. Chances are, if I were to ask you what numbers you can recall, you would have 39 or 52 in your lineup. We also have a tendency to remember what we hear frequently, what we can rehearse in our heads, and what we can associate with other cues. The mind is a powerful tool and ever since I sat in Mr. Baril’s classroom for this psychology class, I’ve been intrigued by the study of the mind and how it relates to our daily routine, habits, and capabilities. The recency effect is something I haven’t forgotten about and I relate it to the act of finishing strong in all I do. Finishing strong, you’ll find out, can set into motion the right mindset to be successful from that point forward.

Read More

Knives & News

Sign up with your favorite email.