Have you ever wanted to explore the great outdoors, truly disconnect from the world, and connect with nature on a deeper level? If so, then bushcraft may be the answer.
Bushcraft is an ancient practice that allows us to use nature’s resources to build shelters, find food and water, identify plants and animals, and develop a unique connection with the natural environment. It’s a way of living off the land that has been around for generations—and one that can still be used today.
In this article, we’ll cover what bushcraft is, how it ties into survival skills, and how you can get started on your own bushcraft journey. Whether you want to explore wilderness survival or just gain a better understanding of the outdoors. So let’s dive in!
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Introduction to Bushcraft
- Essential Skills for Bushcraft
- Types of Bushcraft Activities
- Tools and Equipment Required for Bushcraft
- Benefits of Bushcraft
Introduction to Bushcraft
So, what is bushcraft? In short, it’s an outdoor activity that uses skills to survive and thrive in natural environments. Bushcrafters learn how to build shelters, make fire without matches, identify edible plants, hunt or trap animals for food, and craft primitive tools – all with a respect for the environment and its creatures.
If you love the outdoors and want to know more about wilderness survival and crafting with natural materials, then bushcraft could be for you! It’s not just about watching Bear Grylls; it’s about making use of your existing skills and learning new ones to gain confidence in wild areas.
Bushcraft is about being creative with the resources you have available – it can be a great way to tap into your natural creativity.
Essential Skills for Bushcraft
You may not need to know how to build a shelter or start a fire in your everyday life, but these skills are essential for successfully engaging with bushcraft. Bushcraft is all about using natural materials found in the environment to survive and thrive outdoors.
Learning the basics of bushcraft requires tapping into knowledge from centuries past – knowledge that our ancestors passed down.
Most of us have made campfires, but firecraft goes beyond that. With the right tools and knowledge, you can use flint and steel, bow drills, ferro rods and more to get a fire going no matter what environment you find yourself in. This is critical for staying warm at night, boiling water or even cooking your meals out in the wild.
Have you ever wondered how you would survive if you were lost in the wilderness? Shelter-building is an important part of bushcraft; it involves building both simple (debris shelters) and more complex (e.g., A-frame) structures with natural materials around you to protect yourself from the elements.
Types of Bushcraft Activities
So you’ve heard of bushcraft, but what do people do exactly in bushcraft activities? There are a variety of bushcraft activities that draw on the skills and knowledge of our ancestors in order to survive and thrive in the wilderness. Here are some popular options:
One primary focus of bushcraft is utilizing natural materials to construct shelters. This is especially relevant to areas with extreme weather and temperatures. Building your own shelter, such as lean-to’s and teepees, are key skills passed down in the tradition of bushcraft.
Foraging for food
Foraging for edible plants is an important part of bushcraft as it helps you understand what plants are edible and which should be avoided when out in the wild.
Through foraging you can identify plants that can be turned into meals, such as mushrooms, berries, nuts, and roots. Learning about edible plants also allows you to make connections with nature that will last a lifetime.
The ability to start fire is essential for both warmth and cooking in a survivalist situation. Knowing how to start fires from scratch will allow you to stay warm during cold nights and prepare food with ease. Fire starting includes methods like using flint & steel (magnesium/ferro rod) or bow drill methods.
With these three activities (and many more!), you can learn how our ancestors stayed alive out in the wilds – something that’s become increasingly popular over recent years with the rise of ‘survivalism’ or ‘primitive living’ lifestyles.
Tools and Equipment Required for Bushcraft
So, you want to explore the art of bushcraft? Great, let’s get started with the essentials. Bushcraft is all about relying on, and connecting with your natural environment to make your own or repair existing objects or items.
To do this effectively you will need a few essential tools and items that can help make your mission easier. The exact equipment you need will depend on the type of project you are doing and the region in which you are residing.
Essential Bushcraft Equipment [Infographic]
When it comes to bushcraft, having a good quality knife is paramount – it really is your best friend in these situations. A good knife should be able to perform a variety of tasks such as cutting rope and fabric, building shelters, making traps and preparing game. Not to mention it can aid in the splitting of wood for kindling and fire-starting.
You should also invest in quality camping tools including a saw (for larger pieces of timber) as well as an axe or small hatchet (for smaller pieces). For shelter building materials try looking into waterproof matches/fire-starters, string/paracord (super useful for many tasks) and tarps/tents for shelter.
Related Article: Best mini hatchets for camping and bushcraft!
Other essential items for basic living during bushcraft include water bottles or canteens; cooking equipment such as pans and utensils; and even things like bug repellent might come in handy!
Regardless if you’re brand new to bushcraft or an experienced outdoorsman, having the appropriate tools and equipment is essential for any successful bushcraft adventure!
Things you might need…
Benefits of Bushcraft
Bushcraft is rewarding not only because you get the chance to learn about craftsmanship, but also for the mental and physical benefits.
Mental strength and confidence
Creating something from scratch with nothing more than natural materials gives you an immense feeling of satisfaction, as well as boosting your problem solving skills by leaps and bounds.
As an added bonus, learning bushcraft taught without any technology means that you can fully immerse yourself in nature while learning at the same time.
Tree and plant identification
Bushcraft is all about getting back to nature, so it’s important to take the time to learn about things like tree identification for example. Knowing what kinds of trees are around can come in handy when looking for shelter and firewood.
Additionally, it helps with learning about edible plants and medicinal herbs found in different forests around the world.
Learning how to observe and track the habits of animals in the wild is a great skill to learn, especially if you want to progress to hunting. Nevertheless, tracking wildlife is an amazing experience when you start to pick up the habits and rituals of different animals – without being detected!
Bushcraft is a fantastic way to reconnect with nature, as well as yourself. The skills and techniques you learn will help you build confidence in rough and unfamiliar terrain and build an appreciation of the natural world.
Bushcraft is also an excellent way to practice self-reliance and survival skills. It teaches you to be resourceful and resource-conscious, while also connecting you with the great outdoors in a meaningful way.
This skill set is invaluable in the wilderness, and with a little practice and the right attitude, you can become a master of the art of bushcraft in no time!