Personal Compass

Interview with Thomas Paterski

Thomas Paterski – Leśne Rzemiosło.

“Thomas Paterski. Traveler, artisan and survival instructor. He is connected the craft of trapping on a daily basis, he makes his own equipment for his trips to the northern areas of the taiga. He is the organiser of many expeditions and trainings and is the founder of Leśne Rzemiosło.”

With these words Szczepan Zmarzliński, creator of the Kompas Osobisty (Personal Compass) website and the author of the book by the same title, began a short interview with me. On September 13, 2018, the interview saw the light of day, presenting Szczepan’s listeners and readers my perspective on my profession and perhaps, inspiring others to go out into the wilderness. The interview is available at this address: click here for more.

1. What good do you bring to the lives of others through your work?

I think, above all, resourcefulness. But also strengthening the psyche when people go through hard conditions during training or on an expedition, naturally they have faith in their abilities. In addition, despite the harsh conditions I provide a lot of joy – when, for example, they manage to light a fire using a traditional method. Living in nature’s bosom opens people’s eyes to what surrounds them. Exploring knowledge about nature, its mechanisms and relationships results in a greater understanding of our place on the planet. In essence, Bushcraft through recreation primarily helps to acquire skills that could once save lives.

2. What moves you the most and fascinates you in your work?

Freedom, total freedom when I traverse the wilderness on long expeditions. When I leave the shelter in the morning and the sun lazily rises over the horizon, I light a fire and pour the morning coffee. A thick spruce forest all around, a buck grunting in the distance and a scent of coffee and resin in the air. Then I realize that everything is as it should be, that I am in the right place at the right time. I pack into a canoe and go on enjoying this state of things. This is it … But also the happy faces of participants on the expeditions and training, it gives me great satisfaction to see a person who is unfamiliar with the subject after a few days can take care of the basic issues in camp life.

3. What is your mission, what is your message?

Do not follow where the path leads. Instead, go where there is no path and mark a trail. Do what you love.