How would it be…
…to escape from the modern world, just for a short while.
To get away from modern technology, modern demands, modern problems and modern life.
To practice a handful of the ancient skills that give the deep satisfaction of providing your own warmth, shelter and sustenance.
To share this experience with other men who face their own day-to-day challenges.
To take time, to get perspective on who you are, and who you might want to be again. To to return to the modern world, recharged, refocused and more able to find yourself amongst the noise.
More you in yourself, more sure in your decisions and more content with who you are.
“Keep close to Nature’s heart,
and break clear away, once in a while,
and climb a mountain or
spend a week in the woods.
Wash your spirit clean.”
John Muir, American naturalist and author
Making the modern man
Sometime around the turn of the last century, the idea that a person had to ‘be’ a certain way to be successful was born.
This wasn’t based on any scientific measurement of life expectancy or happiness, but rather the realisation that the ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ was a personality trait that could be exploited. Men started to be told ‘how to be’, in order to worry them into spending their hard-earned cash.
As competition for this cash increased, so the urgency of the messaging and the strength of the claims grew, and the pressure increased.
Then came the evolution of the caring, emotionally mature and deeply confused ‘nineties man’, and ultimately the complete disappearance of good male role models. This was the birth of Modern Man, and it is not surprising that he has no real identity, no clear purpose in life and no one to turn to to ask for help.
So what does he do? Typically he ends up down the pub ‘drowning his sorrows’, sharing tall tales with his associates, in complete denial of the reality of his existence.
Denial and alcohol can lead to misunderstandings, which sometimes end in violence – domestic or public – which can soon escalate into broken homes and marriages, possibly custodial sentences, addiction and depression.
When these pursuits are undertaken to ‘numb the pain’, then a worse outcome is often inevitable, potentially even suicide.
The most common thing said amongst the associates of the Modern Man who commits suicide?
“I had absolutely no idea that he had a problem.”
“Our research underlines that so often their own worst enemies, men need new rules for survival. Outmoded, incorrect and misplaced male self-beliefs are proving lethal and the traditional strong, silent response to adversity is increasingly failing to protect men from themselves.”
Jane Powell, Chief Executive of CALM
The pressures on modern man
There is a constant pressure to be the ‘alpha male’, always joking, up for a laugh, successful, rugged, attractive to every woman and respected by every man. It’s exhausting.
It’s easy to suggest that you just don’t, that you just turn away from the constant demands to be just so, that you switch off the phone, television and radio, that you become pious and self-righteous by ignoring temptation and sacrificing everything. But that isn’t modern life, nor is it particularly inspiring, or even good for you.
We are surrounded by people and things that are constantly telling us that life would be so much better if we simply conform.
If you want to see a few examples of these pressures, and look at some ideas on how you might overcome them or turn them down, have a look at the blog that we wrote on what we do…
“Modern Man is alienated from himself, from his fellow men, and from nature. He has been transformed into a commodity, experiences his life forces as an investment which must bring him the maximum profit obtainable under existing market conditions.”
Erich Seligmann Fromm, German Psychologist & Psychoanalyst
Do you want to be a better man?
One man’s ‘better’ is invariably another man’s worse. People telling you what better looks like is the reason that you are here, and the reason that we created Stone Circle.
So, what do we mean by ‘better’?
If you feel overwhelmed by Modern Life, and feel the need to escape it, then we believe the only way to do this is by being better than you currently are.
What you define as better could be completely different to the next Man, ultimately it’s what makes you feel better than you do today about being a Man. Only you know what better is, only you know if doing something makes you feel like a Better Man.
Why not bring some space into your hectic life now, with the objective of coming back refreshed and recharged, than keeping on doing the same thing week after week and just hoping things will improve.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
A Man who is a little bit more in control of his life today than he was yesterday.
A Man who knows himself, and knows what makes him better, and what doesn’t.
A Man who is able to ask for help when he needs it.
A Man who can make space for himself when he needs to escape from Modern Life.
A Man who doen’t give more of himself than he is able to, and know how to say ‘enough’.
A Man who looks at every problem as a challenge, rather than a burden.
We want to be Better Men, that’s why we created Stone Circle.
Every day we try to do something positive and challenging to make ourselves better than we were. Most weekends we can be found out in the Wild somewhere, you can see some of our exploits on our ‘Two Men in the Wild‘ site.
We believe that being out in nature, learning some of the ancient skills that our ancestors took for granted, being Men in the Wild, is what keeps us sane.
Over the years we’ve found that getting some proper ‘Man Time’, either alone or with other Men, is a simple and truly effective way of coping with Modern Life. We create shelter, cook a meal, get a good fire going and talk until the early hours about what’s going on for us, all the things that are stopping us being better men.
Then we go home, back to Modern Life, where we are able to be productive, positive and supportive Men. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
We go out with groups of men to learn new skills from experienced craftsmen with generations of experience behind them, to do pieces of community work like rebuilding dry-stone-walls and learning a new skill in the process, to go somewhere none of us have ever been with just a map, compass and what’s on our back, or sometimes simply to relax in the Wild and do nothing more than just poke the fire.
We also pass on our learning in how to make the most of being out in nature at different times of the year, to be comfortable in the Wild in all its seasons and in every type of weather that the British Isles have to offer.
We start by helping Men to become comfortable with being in nature, spending time ‘under canvas’, getting the hang of the basics so that they are absolutely comfortable making a shelter and fire, cooking a meal and all the little things that make the difference between and ordeal and an adventure.
After that we share the skills and experience that a Man needs to have the courage and skill to go into the Wild, to spend a day, evening or even overnight in the Wild on their own, so that when the world becomes too much for them, they have everything they need, packed and ready to go. They can escape from the Wilderness and journey into the Wild, to return recharged and reinvigorated, able to deal more ably with what Modern Life has to throw at them.
We ask Men to do these two steps with us first, so that they can come on any future Adventures self-sufficient and prepared, able to join with other men as a group to spend a weekend with us, learning, exploring, contributing and unwinding.
So, if you would like to come on an adventure with us, why not have a look at the first two courses we offer, Escape into the Wild, and Alone in the Wild.
The table below gives the dates and locations of the next four weekends, the full list of dates is available on the ‘Come with us.’ page.
This weekend is an introduction to spending time ‘under canvas’ the Stone Circle Way. Its an opportunity to learn the basics of making fire and shelter in a safe and secure manner.
We look at a number of techniques for making shelter from ‘tarp’ and ‘paracord’, and making fire using natural resources. These fires are then brought together to make a central camp fire on which we cook our evening meal, then take some time to talk about the challenges we face being a Man in the Modern World.
It’s a great opportunity to learn some of the basic skills that all Men once took for granted: how to be free, safe and comfortable in the Wild. It will give you the basic skills, equipment, courage and experience to take yourself away from the Modern World whenever it becomes too much, even if it’s only for a few hours.
This Weekend is for any Man over 25 years of age, who is suffering from the pressures of Modern Life, regardless of your previous experience of being in the Wild.
We use a number of campsites around the country, to give ourselves as much variety as possible. This also means that weekends will never be too far away for any Man.
Amazing introduction to being outside in nature, I feel really recharged and able to go back into the world now. So looking froward to my next adventure and spending more time in the wild.Knut Nygaard
Its great to simply spend time out in nature, away from work and pressure. It’s really helped me to get away from the pressures of modern life for a while, and recharge.Andy Kerr