Bushcrafting is an activity where one uses resources from the natural environment to survive and thrive outdoors. It’s just not one thing to learn since this is a group of related skills that will help you overcome obstacles. Bushcrafting is a combination of the knowledge of how to use plants and animals with only a few tools to make outdoor living more efficient and convenient.
Although traditional bushcrafting emphasizes survival in the wilderness, what makes it different is that it is more long-term and a comfortable approach to living in the wilderness. Its mindset of using the world around you can be applied to an urban or suburban setting.
Continue reading to learn more about the art of bushcrafting.
Before anything else, one has to remember that bushcraft teaches you how to do these skills with just a really few tools and the knowledge in your head. Here are some fundamental bushcraft skills that are most related to survival:
- Food Foraging
- Trapping and Hunting
- Water Gathering and Purification
There is a lot more to learn about bushcrafting. In fact, it can take several years or longer to master these skills. However, the good news in that is, there are many small skills that you can quickly learn in just a few days, hours, or even minutes. These include:
- Making knots
- Batoning branches
- Carving tools
- Knowledge of local plants
Again, bushcraft is the act of going out in the woods and surviving with nothing more than clothes and an edged tool. Almost every skill when bushcrafting requires one for an easier labor. Pick one of the two best tools as your bushcraft essential. Aside from those, you can also consider a saw or a machete!
This is one of the most common bushcraft tools that will make many camp tasks easier and faster. It helps make snares and traps easier, prepares food, carves wood, batons smaller branches, and many more. Choose a knife that has a good grip even when it is wet. It should also have maximum versatility and high-quality construction for durability.
If you choose a knife, you will also be needing a sharpening stone. While it is not required for just a single day out, it is good practice to have one when you are out and about.
A small ax can also be highly versatile. Generally, the design of this tool makes it suitable for heavier duty tasks like chopping wood, digging, hammering stakes, etc. When picking a hatchet, make sure you go for one with a great power-to-weight ratio, a sharp spine and beard, and also a great grip.
These other tools are necessary for convenience but not really a requirement for bushcrafting. Still, don’t underestimate their benefits of keeping you safe and less exhausted!
Of course, if you plan to bring other equipment, you need a bag to carry them all. Make sure to pick a comfy one that matches your body type and is easy to carry. You also need it to be waterproof with many compartments than just one large sack for better organization.
Strong cordage is hard to produce quickly from plant fibers, so carrying some good-quality, strong nylon cordage is sensible. Useful for everything from a washing line in camp to repairing a rucksack strap to lashing a shelter, paracord has many uses.
Head Torch or Lamp
Having a headlamp especially during the winter when nights are longer would really require you to have a lamp.
You will need to deal with cuts that you might suffer from your knife. You can also be injured from natural abrasive materials, sharp plant fibers, thorns, and even the campfire! We recommend putting together your own kit to have items you want in the appropriate situations.
There are so many skills to learn and tools to prepare that you might be confused about where to start. Here are some things you need to know to get started with bushcrafting.
Know Your Health Condition
This factor has always been overlooked by many preppers or survivalists. Do you think you can be able to handle cold, windy, weather? Can you survive in muddy places? All these situations can lead to issues, injuries, hypothermia, asthma, and even heart attack.
Make sure you consult a doctor first.
What Does the Law Say?
In some states and countries, doing activities in the wild need permission, especially if it’s a private or government property. Doing so will keep you away from trouble.
Many places around the world have local customs and traditions that you don’t want to violate. Sometimes, local regulations cover this. Other times, they don’t. Find out yourself by asking the locals and doing your research. For instance, local customs in some cultures forbid you to urinate in the river.
Choosing a Bushcraft Campsite
Don’t just pick a camping location with a nice view. Determine the tent direction based on the wind direction. Learn the possible dangers in the area such as landslides, hurricanes, flash floods, and wild animals. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Enjoy Nature and Improvise!
Just enjoy your surroundings and have fun improvising! That is what bushcrafting is all about. It’s all about how best you can maximize the resources around you. This activity has been gaining popularity these days as people do it for a hobby with very diverse goals. While some enjoy nature, some seriously try to train themselves to make the most out of the environment.
Remember that you don’t have to go alone in this outdoor activity. Feel free to join other people until you can finally master the basics and have the confidence to do it alone. Like any other outdoor activity, bushcraft has its own risks. So reaching out to experts, other groups of survivalists, or maybe even your friends with the same interest is definitely a good idea. Learn slowly and just enjoy the process.