Bushcraft Tree and Plant Identification Apps – Good or Evil?


whoa I can’t believe it
I’ve just seen something on YouTube that I disagree with so I’ve got one of two
options. I can either hurl abuse and rant and rave in the comments below that
video or I can head out into the woods to record a constructive response
offering my perspective hmm… hi folks I’m Craig Taylor and as always a huge thanks
for joining me here on my youtube channel
the bushcraft Padawan let’s get back to this YouTube video that I’ve just been
watching them first and foremost I have to say that I’ve spoken with Ralph from
Ralph wolf and bushcraft the YouTube channel in question and I’ve explained
to him that I’ve got a counter perspective to his thoughts and he was
very very happy for me to publish it and welcome that sort of open debate about
what he’d said and welcoming differing opinions so this isn’t just me picking
on somebody on YouTube or going off on one I’ve had a you know I’ve had an
exchange would laugh and he’s very happy for me to go ahead and there and record
this video I’m gonna link to the video in question in the description below
this on YouTube I think its importance is incredibly
important to go and watch that either after watching this video or before you
finish watching this video go and have a look at that video just watching this
without the context of the video that I’ve seen might not make a load of sense
and it’s also a good reason to go and check up Ralph’s channel as well and
probably subscribe to it whilst you’re over there if you haven’t already so
let’s get to the crux of the the things that Ralph mentioned in his video that I
didn’t agree with and that I did agree with the video in question from Ralph
was around a series that he’s come up with called bushcraft BS and he looks at
things in bushcraft that he doesn’t agree with and that he thinks he’ll a
load of old BS and this particular video was around the use of apps
mobile apps to assist with tree and plant identification and Ralph’s
position was broadly that he did not think they were a good idea I’ve
actually written down on a post-it here on a couple of books I’m going to refer
to within the first 15 20 seconds he said that term ID apps were absolutely
useless towards the end of the video he posed a question back to himself as to
whether and it was considered whether he considered an identification apps to be
useful or not to which he replied with an emphatic no I think he said that
absolutely worthless as a tool to help you or assist your journey as a forager
or words to that effect but absolutely worthless so they’re useless
they have no use they’re absolutely worthless
it’s those points from Ralph’s video that jumped out at me and made me want
to to challenge that and and offer a different perspective before I do let me
say there were huge chunks massive chunks the majority of Ralph’s video
that I absolutely agreed with completely I’m not disagreeing with the video in
general it’s a few points and I think there are a few important points in that
I disagree with broadly he was saying that just using apps for identification
and these are my words not his but I’m pretty sure I’m representing his
thoughts just using apps for train plant identification is not a good idea
it’s foolhardy it’s foolish it’s dangerous it has really potentially
serious consequences just relying on an app for train plan ID is not a great
idea and I absolutely agree with that sentiment no argument for me whatsoever
about that it was those references to them being absolutely useful useless
absolutely useless whether useful No absolutely worthless
as a tool those things that I want to challenge and this is why I am a novice
tree and plant identifier I’ve been undertaking an online program
with Paul Kelly and frontier bushcraft for I think I’m just entering just about
to enter my third year of doing that now and I still consider myself an absolute
novice I I’m learning every time I go out there’s a little bit more of the
puzzle being put in place I am a novice I am a newbie I am a newcomer I am wet
behind the ears and all of those entry-level words that you might you
might describe somebody like that I will eye on books a great deal when I
go out I rely on books a great deal when I’m at home as well so help me with that
I don’t think anybody would argue or maybe they would that books are a bad
idea to help you with tree and plant ID right they’ve been around a long time
they’re getting better they’re getting more colorful get they’re getting more
detailed books I think would be in any tree and plant identify as repertoire in
their toolkit I don’t see many people arguing against books the problem oh
it’s not a problem but the the factor to be considered when using books is this
book I’m reading from the back here features over 1,100 species of
wildflower so on and so forth this book the 1500 odd color images are clearly
laid out over 1,600 photographs so there’s enough there’s a couple of
thousand in there there’s just over a thousand in there there are several
thousand trees and all plants across these two books in the British Isles
that I could potentially be looking at when I go up to do some tree and plant
ID or there abouts that’s a lot that’s a lot of book for me
to flick through an admittedly these books are broken down into sections so
you couldn’t you know the time of the year you said you saw coniferous and
that the the the shape of that the buds thus the structure and layout of the
leaves but even when you’re looking in the right section of the book there’s
still a hell of a lot to look at it also means this is important I need to be
walking around with these in my pocket every time I potentially go out and come
across something that wants to identify that’s just not going to happen okay I
take these out when I know I’m going out to trim plant ID there are plenty of
occasions that would say more occasions when I stumble across something walking
the dog when I don’t have these with me so what do I do
I could take a photograph and take that home and start my journey there and
sometimes I do that but a lot of the time a lot of the time I take my phone
out I open up one of the apps and I will use that app and I think this is the key
thing here I think it is where I’m challenging Ralph I will use that app to
help me filter to filter the information to get me potentially looking at the
right species I completely agree with Ralph when he
says that sometimes an app will bring up the right species alongside the wrong
species I agree I also agree when he says it
could sometimes bring up a safe to consume species alongside a toxic or
poisonous deadly species absolutely it could and I think he showed some
examples in his video of where it brought up and conflicting or a range of
species some of which were quite what worked were quite serious if you’d
consumed them I absolutely agree with that and that’s why I think just using
the app is foolish but Ralph didn’t say that Ralph said he said he thought they
were the right words useless had no use absolutely worthless and that’s what I’m
challenging I think they have a place I think they can help you to filter so at
least you can then turn to the book and look at the four or five that it’s
suggested and be able to hone in more accurately and make a determination then
so I think they have a place in fact I know they have a place and I know they
have a place cuz I used them horses I’ve never seen horses in this area before
galloping past so I know that these apps have a place they have a use because I
used them and I used them to great effects and I find them useful I find
that they have worth I find them beneficial now clearly that’s a
conflicting perspective to Ralph’s and that’s why I’m recording the video not
because I do not think Ralph has a good point and many good points in his video
about the dangers of using trim plant apps but I think if somebody were new to
trim plant identification they were considering using an app and they came
across Ralph’s video it might put them off completely and they may never go
near one and I think that would be a shame I think that will be a shame if
they did not help or they did not use an app to help them filter the 1100 species
the 1,600 species to a handful or so I do think it would be foolish of them to
simply use an app and go from the results of that without digging deeper
into there that there are that multiple references to help identify that so
there we have it our tree and plant identification apps and good or evil I
believe they are good are they useful or useless I believe they are useful do I
believe that using them solely is a good or bad idea I think using them solely is
a bad idea hopefully you’ve enjoyed watching the
video hopefully Ralph if you’re watching the video I think maybe more importantly
you’ve enjoyed listening to a counter perspective I would say just in closing
go and check out Ralph’s Channel go and check out the video you may agree with
Ralph you may agree with me you may have an alternative perspective but I think
the key thing to take from Ralph’s video is there were huge chunks of it where
where he stresses simply just using an app he’s dangerous I would absolutely
agree with that and I think by now we’ve perhaps realized the aspects of AVI
statements that I would disagree with thank you ever so much for watching
thanks for tuning in I really appreciate it I’m very conscious that I haven’t
been on camera and uploading anything for a little while despite thinking that
I was back in the swing of things I won’t go into detail if you check out my
last video which I will link to at the end of this video you perhaps have some
context as to n as to why I’ve not been in front of camera or even unbeknownst
to you I’ve not even been out in the woods the first time bit in the woods
and for some time hopefully I said this in the last video hopefully this will
kick-start me getting back out into the woods again thanks as always for
watching if you’re not a subscriber what on earth are you doing with your life
you know what to do by now click on that red subscribe button if you are thank
you and I’ll see you I hope in my next video very shortly
Cheers

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