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Bristol Meet 2 – My views

Thought Scythe would want to say something about the Bristol Meet but he only alluded to it on the forums so I thought I would write something.

I had decided to make a day of the trip and had arranged an early morning session with John, the Bristol Meet and an evening session with my brother at a club making it quite a busy day. Obviously it costs quite a bit to get around and I wanted to maximise the bang for my buck so to speak.

So arrived earlier than planned at the Trenchard St car park and sent a message to John, who purely by coincidence had arrived at the same time so we met up outside and made our way to the Boston Tea Party shop. John is helping me with the FTP site which is currently behind schedule as I have little spare time. The status is that the site is now ready and we have the arduous task of uploading and labelling all the files. John has been collecting these files for 15 years and has done a sterling job of sorting them out. I will build the directory structure and we will start the uploads and when we have a few up we will open it for access.

After we had finished this we wandered along to the park to await the others and as we arrived earlier than the start time we did a little exploring. There is a watchtower there build in the late 1890s which has a fantastic view of the surrounding city and countryside. The park itself hold a wide variety of wildlife and non native plants. Worth a visit especially armed with the plant sheet that was distributed on line by Terry and brought nicely laminated by Scythe.

As we didn’t know anyone from the area and I had only see a picture of Scythe we spent some time trying to identify any of the others we were expecting. Eventually we spotted Scythe and after introductions, Scythe thought John was BigPaul, we settled down to wait for the others and chat. It was a long wait and thus we had a long chat.

As before, at the Book Meet, I found that I had a very interesting time talking in a small group and we discussed many different things. Scythe had his Vibram shoes on and those were discussed as well, Scythe had also brought some shelled peanuts which he used to feed the squirrels, tree rats, and pigeons, flying rats, there was a nice variety of bird life there ranging from the usual culprits to jays, ravens and magpies.

It started to get could mid afternoon so three hardened survivalists gave up waiting, retreated to Starbucks to get warm and eye up the local talent. After another discussion and a drink John left and Scythe and myself went back to see if anyone else had turned up. Nobody had so we sat talking for a while longer before we left at 1700.

I went around to Scythes pad and looked at his location. It isn’t as bad as he makes out and he had plenty of capability for bugging in. I’ve made some suggestions to him about caching but, as always happens to me, I thought about it again later and think he should consider staying in place until the event has calmed down when he can consider the situation. I’ll talk to him about this offline.

Went over to my bothers then and after something to eat we went down to the Fleece to watch some live bands. The only thing there is how young the girls were. Made me feel old.

Although I was a bit disappointed about the turnout I still enjoyed the day. Although so far the turnout at all of these events has been low. This is pretty much the standard of the group that we are. Being paranoid and keeping your head down does mean you don’t want to get well known. I’ve already arranged the Bow and Arrow Meet and that one is an experiment. If it works out I’ll arrange others including more adventurous ones over longer periods but if it doesn’t I’ll be simply sticking to local pub meets when I’m arranging anything.

Why it is most of us talk about a UK or local community but we don’t seem to work towards one? My personal view which I have made public is that I’m looking at making local links for after an event whilst making wider links for friendship, knowledge and experience sharing. I don’t advocate, as some do, that I want to be alone after an event. If you think the same and don’t want to be alone then you need to start getting involved. I’m building up my relationships and feel that so far I have some good contacts.

12 comments to Bristol Meet 2 – My views

  • Northern Raider

    Hate to say it but I told y’all so. (deleted the rest of my post as its pointless repeating myself)

    • Northern Raider

      I’ve travelled from Co Durham to Birmingham and back for RZs out of 41 people who promised to attend 12 turned up, I originally organised an RZ at what is now Centre parcs in the lakes after assurances that over 30 people would turn up only 3 did, I lost over £2000 for my efforts. Another time one of the Exeter crowd organised a meet dozens promised to turn up only about 10 actually made the effort, only that one I had a round trip over over 650 miles but people living within 60 miles could not get off their arses and keep their word. Last year BP arranged a meet at the 2011 WG over 12 people said they would go, in the end it was BP,Jane and me and my missus. I’m hardened to it all these days but I find it very saddening that folks as kind and motivated as SD and Scythe make multiple efforts to get the community rocking only to be failed by apathy as usual.

      • Paul

        Apathy might not be the only reason for not attending.

        Yes it’s wrong to say you’re going and for no good reason don’t turn up BUT low attendance numbers are sometimes caused by other factors.

        Take this years Bushcraft Show. I’d love to go.
        Weekend ticket for two £160 plus 240 miles of diesel(£34). A total of £194. Way too rich for me and I suspect others.
        A simple afternoon meeting costs too.
        Same fuel to Bristol, £34.

        Some like me exist on a fixed income where a simple entrance fee or a tank full of gas will mean little or no food for the following week let alone no fuel.
        I’m not being stupid or dramatic but sometimes those in good employment or on comfortable pensions often seem to ignore that point.

        This is a national forum covering the whole country. NATIONAL! ALL OF IT!
        Hold a meeting in the Midlands and it’s still a long way for some so please don’t blanket knock those who don’t attend as suffering from apathy as some of us can’t.

        • Skean Dhude


          Nobody is saying that it is simple apathy in all cases. As I said in my comment below there are many other reasons. Even those working cannot afford the fuel and entry costs and I myself will not be going to the Wilderness Meeting because of the cost of the trip.

          I was told by others who had done this before that attendance would be low. People would say they would come but wouldn’t turn up.

          I’m not blanket knocking anyone. Just making a point.

        • Timelord

          Hello Paul. the Crux of it is about those that say they are coming to a meet and then do a “no show”. There will always be some who have genuine reasons with last minute issues. There are also those who say they can not committ for sure – which is fine. The dissatisfaction felt is with the percentage of folks who just don’t bother because – well they cant be bothered on the day. Yes this is a human trait and is expected. It is just annoying that often out of say a group of 10 that say they are definitely coming and so the organiser puts his own time in – then out of that 10, a few will suddenly find last minuite that they have other committments put in front of them. A large part of this will be genuine, but some of it could of been planned for better and their verbal agreement to attend is easily offloaded in favour of minor tasks. Ok, so maybe running the missus to the supermarket is personally more important than attending a meet 30 miles away, but should we all discard our “word” so easily this way. What would that say about our organisation and ability to work with & trust others if we all followed this conduct.

          So over the weeks preceding a meet or hobby show of any kind, you will expect to get a drop out rate of maybe 40% by the eleventh hour. On the day with a niche hobby of strangers, then you could well expect another 30% to not turn up and thats without any communications. I have seen it hundreds of times where an individual thinks, well its only me – if I don’t turn up, it wont really matter because everyone else will be there. Unfortunately, this notion is not isolated to one or two individuals.

          By the above reckoning you might expect 30% to still make it and if as an organiser you had realistically expected only 50% of the initial confirmations to actually turn up, then you have not done too bad. For these recent prepper meets the rate has been even lower, which does point to either apathy or a conscious late notion not to turn up due to opsec or a myriad of other prepper related perceptions. Could this point to the fact that trying to organise any soley prepper type event is possibly going to usually be a poor turnout?

          Paul, it is recognised that whilst this forum is a national hub, the members would not “normally” travel that far afield to attend any type of event. The costs, time constraints, practicalities & a whole host of other reasons contribute to this. No one is suggesting that any members or otherwise are expected or obligated to travel around the country to distant meets or even local ones for that matter. No one should think that any of this thread/article is proposing or critical of this as such. It is already underway that local geographic groupings will naturally form and these are suitable for those local members that wish to avail themselves of its resources. If anyone wishes to travel far & wide then that is their conscious choice as their situation allows.

          Just, if someone says to an organiser that they are going, then barring genuine reasons, please do go. The person should try to work out their capabilities in respect of fuel & time management before making any comittment. It is saddening to see that even alert prep minded people can let down like minded people so readily. The statistics speak for themselves. (Not so different to the so called sheeple in this respect)

          Safe travels, TL.

  • Scythe13

    I think the problem with attending events is either lack of belief, lack of motivation, or lack of desire to survive.

    At the end of the day, it’s not going to kill me if nobody turns up and benefits from the things we do, speak about, learn, discuss, or anything like that. However, it could kill them not to turn up. The thing they miss out on, could well be the thing that saves their life at a later date!!!

  • Timelord

    Funny how some people can get so worked up & vociferous online, yet when it comes down to keeping promises involving physical effort ……. only tumbleweed ensues!!

  • Timelord

    Waah waaah waah waah waaah!…

  • Timelord

    My posts are not directed at the comments above! Just those who know who they are and that goes for all hobbies & groupings of people. It is the same throughout! Some say we get more cynical the older we get. This is not true – we get more hard earnt experience the older we get and are not blinded by youthful ignorance anymore.

  • Skean Dhude


    Thanks for that. I was aware that in many cases prepping is a stay at home activity. There are some who can walk the walk but just don’t want to meet others. That is fine and I do not have an issue with that as they help where they can. Some are too far away and on limited budgets, they would like to come and would if they could. Again, they help when they can. As has been pointed out. It is the nature of people from all walks of life not just prepping.

    Just so we are clear. I get what I want from this site and these meets. The Bow and Arrow meet is the only one so far that has required a spend beyond fuel and what happens next depends on how that goes. I’ll be more than happy just going to meets and talking, the old woman that I am, although I would prefer something constructive because theory and practise are two different things and we have a few very practical people on the sites who are willing to help us all. If you choose not to take advantage of that then that is your choice. Myself, I’ll learn all I can. Build the right relationships and if an event happens I’ll be in a much better position than I am just downloading files and thinking I can do that. It’s easy until I find, too late, it is not.

    The choice is yours.

  • fred

    Scythe had his Vibram shoes on and those were discussed as well

    Can’t beat prose like that.

    • Skean Dhude

      They look uncomfortable and difficult to clean but I am assured they are not.I’m tempted to try a pair from the feedback on the forum.

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