5 Of The Best Bushcraft Books For Children

Post Updated: 26 Feb 2023

I’m sure most parents try to encourage their kids to play outdoors as often as possible. In this age of electronics and social media it’s more important then ever to switch off and enjoy the natural world as much as we can.

This pandemic has really been an awakening and has kind of made the world a lot quieter, but a lot of good things have come out of it as well.

We’re spending a lot more time together as a family, trying to appreciate the simple things, trying to keep the kids busy… trying not to go CRAZY!

But kids don’t really appreciate a nice walk in the woods or an afternoon helping dad with the garden… They want to do COOL STUFF! My go-to activity for keeping the kids outside and active is teaching them as much as I can about bushcraft.

There are so many different aspects to bushcraft for kids to get into, there’s always something new to show them. And most of it is really useful stuff. One of the easiest ways to get your kids into bushcraft is to buy them one of the best bushcraft books for kids!

I’ve made a list of 5 of the best bushcraft books for kids for anyone interested in teaching their kids some handy outdoor skills that will stay with them for life.


Best Bushcraft Books For Children

1. Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival

(9 – 12 years)

Survivor Kid teaches young adventurers the survival skills required if they ever find themselves lost or in a dangerous situation in the wild.

It’s filled with safe and practical advice on building things like fires and shelters, signalling for help, finding food and water, learning how to navigate, and avoiding injuries in the wilderness.

Projects include building a simple brush shelter, using a reflective surface to start a fire, casting animal tracks to improve your observation skills, and testing your navigation skills with a treasure hunt.

“A splendid volume for young adventurers.”

– Kirkus Reviews

Survivor Kid was written by Denise Long, a licensed private investigator and a former search and rescue (SAR) professional. She teaches wilderness survival classes for kids.

The book contains practical advice and descriptions of basic survival skills in a style that is easily understood and digested by kid readers.

Check full details and price on Amazon Here

2. The American Boy’s Handy Book

(9 – 13 years)

I have fond memories of this book as a child. Written for children way back in 1882, and still as relevant for kids today, this classic handbook contains projects, crafts, plans, games, activities for camping trips, hikes, or even in the backyard… One of the very best bushcraft books for kids.

There are detailed plans for all kinds of kites and hot-air balloons, ideas on fishing tackle. Also how to make a water telescope and how to camp without a tent.

There’s everything from boat and canoe building to making squirt guns with amazing range and precision, learning bird calls and so much more.

The author Daniel Carter Beard was a founder of the scouting movement in America and wanted kids to enjoy the outdoors as much as he did.

He promotes a deeper appreciation of nature while having fun at the same time. This is truly a wonderful book for all ages.

Check full details and price on Amazon Here

3. Survival for Beginners: A step-by-step guide to camping and outdoor skills

(9 – 12 years)

This beginners survival guide for intrepid young explorers is an essential book for outdoor adventure, navigation and camping.

From picking the best tent for your expedition to knowing how to pitch it. This book gives clear step by step instructions and really good illustrations.

Learn how to peg out your tent, when to slacken the guy ropes and why not to camp beneath a tree. Once you’re tent is pitched, discover how to forage for food, light fires with flints and tinder, and cook an outdoor meal.

Survival for Beginners is one of the best bushcraft books for kids and is divided up into four sections. Navigation, On The trail, Campcraft and First Aid. It outlines what to take on an expedition, how to plan your route, and what to include in your essential survival kit.

How to use a map and compass, or the Sun and stars as a guide is an excellent primer on basic navigation. It includes the different ways to hike over diverse terrains such as forests, swamps, mountains and deserts, and how to predict the weather by observing cloud formations and wind direction.

The author is an ex-SAS soldier with a wealth of real experience in survival and the range of topics gives a real foundation for kids looking to explore the outdoors!

Check full details and price on Amazon Here

4. The Stick Book: Loads of things you can make or do with a stick

(8 – 11 years)

The Stick Book will give you lots of inspiration for what to do with one of natures oldest toys… the stick.

There are 70 inventive ideas and projects for spending quality outdoors time with your kids. From the adventurous to the magical, creative ideas to playing games, making music or building bug hotels.

This book might just get you out of one of those, ‘Mammy I’m bored’ situations. Activities include:

  • Making a DIY tent or den
  • Creating a woodland monster or magic carpet
  • Wild weaving or making your own natural wind chimes
  • Playing capture the flag or a woodland mapping game
  • Making a bird feeder or a stick and paper lantern

“A beautiful and inspiring book, bursting with practical suggestions which will appeal to every child’s imagination. Reading it, I wanted to rush out to my nearest wood immediately!”

– Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo

With almost limitless potential for play, there will be something for every little adventurer, dreamer or budding ecologist in The Stick Book. One of the best bushcraft books for young kids and all you need to get started… is a stick!

Check full details and price on Amazon Here

5. Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Nature and Survival for Children

(9+ years)

America’s most popular nature reference books, Tom Brown’s bestselling field guides are designed for both beginners and experienced explorers.

Fully illustrated and comprehensive, each volume includes practical information, time-tested nature skills. And exciting new ways to rediscover the earth around us.

Tom Brown was the technical advisor on The Hunted, a major motion picture starring Tommy Lee Jones and Benecio Del Toro. In 1978, Tom founded the Tracker School in the New Jersey Pine Barrens where he offers more than 25 classes about wilderness survival and environmental protection. He knows his craft!

Topics in Field Guide to Nature and Survival include:

  • Observing and identifying animals and plants
  • Lost-proofing children
  • Stalking and tracking
  • Finding water and food in nature
  • Safety and first aid

Extremely well written and includes all of the standard bushcraft skills you would expect in a useful field guide. One of the best bushcraft books for kids and one of my faves.

Check full details and price on Amazon Here


It’s more important than ever to get your kids outdoors to enjoy the endless possibilities for fun in the wild! These 5 best bushcraft books for kids have been an inspiration to me and my family over the past year or so.

I hope at least one of them will bring you as much fun as we have had in these strange times.

Look after each other.


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