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.