Getting crafty in the Great Outdoors
"Survival", or more fashionably, "Bushcraft" vacations are increasingly becoming the recreation of choice for many Poles.
Only 100kms separate this place from Warsaw, but one could feel like they'd being flung from the city and straight into the Stone Ages. "Survival", or more fashionably, "Bushcraft" vacations are increasingly becoming the recreation of choice for many Poles.
"Bushcraft" is a holiday in the middle of nature – e.g. sleeping in a self-made hut or daily trips to the nearby forest for food and water. It is also about gaining knowledge about millennium-old medical practices – like learning that red ants not only bite, but are an effective cold agent.
Such stays in the wilderness are organised by more and more tourist companies.
"Year by year we are getting more customers – not only stressed businessmen, but also young people or teenage children whose parents want to drag them away from their mobile phones screens," says Sebastian Kostanski from "Lifetrip" company.
His company started with organising trips of a survival type.
"This means learning to survive in difficult conditions. People need this kind of a reset, it gives them more energy than just plain walks. But the offers are constantly growing – you can even take a weekend course in "wild cooking" and learn how to cook different meals on the campfire while looking for spices in the forest."
"The millennium generation want to be high on emotions and intense experiences. Over the past 10 years, Poles have considerably changed their preferences for how they spend their free time. Companies offering entertainment, such as extreme sports or survival, have popped up like mushrooms after the rain," said Grzegorz Rożalski from the "Gift of Life" company.
According to a survey conducted by the company, 24% of respondents have already tried extreme sports and 26% are seriously considering it.
"Interestingly, women are increasingly looking for attractions such as bungee jumping, aerodynamic tunnel flights or parachute jumping during their holidays," says Rożalski.
And for shorter excursions Poles, more often than not, instead of a barbecue in a nearby park, choose "City Break" trips – a weekend flight to another city or "dynamic sightseeing" – a flyboard, an airplane sightseeing flight or a paraglider.
New recreational trends are not only driven by the desire for a thrill, they have become more accessible due to better infrastructure and cheaper airline tickets.
And when it comes to survival, another reason is identified by experts – the abolition of compulsory military service in Poland 8 years ago.
"Boys of a certain age want to learn how to take advantage of the spoils in forests, how to fight, or – as in some courses of the 'military survival' – how to combat terrorism," Maciej Kruszewski from Lifetrip company says.