Bushcraft survival skills is something I started learning in 2020. I learned some of the most amazing skills which I recommend we would all benefit from knowing. My belief is that everyone should possess these skills and that society needs to become more self-sufficient and nature is calling us towards that direction. A friend of mine bought Bushcraft to my attention and I started to investigate it further on You Tube, bought a Bushcraft book and even attended an introduction to Bushcraft course for a weekend. It was one the most amazing experiences of my life.
Being connected with mother nature is probably the best relationship I have and I am always in awe of her brilliance, her beauty and what she does for us. Sadly sometimes, this is forgotten. During this intro weekend I learnt how to make a fire, identify trees, forage, assemble a hammock and much more. There is nothing quite like laying in your hammock at night, listening to birds, rabbits, foxes, dears, touching the cold, and feeling this magnificent presence in a forest that is mother nature, for which there are no words to describe.
I went in the month of September and the nights were very bitter and cold, so make sure you stay warm and dry by buying the right equipment. I will leave links of where you can buy the relevant equipment at the end of this article.
The instructors that were leading the course were ex-military, so they have the best experience. Even though I am not an advocate of war, you have to listen to what they say if you want to learn and get the best out of it. They will recommend all the equipment that you need to buy.
The best equipment to use in Bushcraft is military. This is to ensure you are getting the most suitable equipment which carries out the function you need them to; whether that will be a decent and warm sleeping bag or the most appropriate Bushcraft knife that will be long-lasting.
There really might not be much you need to take on the course itself as they can potentially provide most of the equipment for you, but you will need to discuss this with the instructors beforehand. I was told to wait and complete the course first to learn what I need. However, you will definitely need to provide your own warm clothes, waterproofs, thermals, rucksack cover, walking boots, note-book and pencil, and water. Food may be provided for you but take something any way like tin food.
Just as an FYI, the basic Bushcraft tools and general equipment that you will eventually need to purchase will be something like this:
Black Mora Bushcraft Knife
Decent Sleeping Bag
Better Kip Mat/Sleeping Pad
First Aid Kit
Cook Set (one I was recommended was a Swedish Army Trangia or Billy Set)
Jetboil (will be handy if you would like one)
Water Filter Bottle
Candles/Night Light/Head Torch
10m Paracord or Nylon Cord
Power Bank Charger
Anything else that you will need you will learn in time. I am a vegan so I purchase equipment that is either plant based or made with synthetic materials. I still try to buy cruelty free products when it comes to Bushcraft or camping equipment. Be extremely careful when using any of the tools, especially a Bushcraft knife as it is very easy to cut yourself when using a fire steel with it to light a fire or even just handling it. You will be taught the safest way to use these tools.
You will find foraging an amazing experience too if you have not done it before. You will learn the names of the different plants, such as goosefoots, blackberry leaf (make a tea and it’s good for sore throats, gums or mouth ulcers), sloe berries for your gin, pineapple mayweed (also to make a nice tea), dock leaf (good for stings and are also edible), and mushrooms like chicken of the woods if you are lucky. It all depends which country and area you are in.
You will also learn how to make a fire using the most appropriate wood. Beach, oak, chestnut and ash are great for firewood but sweet chestnut will spit out hot embers, so it is best to avoid. Alder wood is poor in heat and does not last.
The most important information I took away from the course was learning to identify the hemlock plant. I would not touch this or any other plants around it. The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates carried out his own execution by consuming a deadly potion of this plant. Now that I am able to identify hemlock, I can steer completely clear of it. Learning knowledge like this makes me extremely grateful.
I believe nature is pushing us to use our instincts and to be more self-sufficient. We rely heavily on the system we live in but if it ever were to collapse would we know what to do? Would we be prepared enough to survive and thrive in this situation, be able to find and grow food, would we know how? I think these skills are essential in life and should be passed on generation to generation if it is not going to be taught in schools. Learning to make a fire and creating a shelter should be a basic life skill and we all still have an opportunity to learn these things. It is not something the government is ever going to encourage us to do. If we research enough, we can find evidence of farming and agriculture systems going back thousands of years. They were completely self-sufficient and had the basic survival skills, but they did endure tough times. I have believed for a long time now that relying on others to provide our food and water supply is an extremely dangerous reality and it’s something I feel we all could be providing for ourselves. We only have to look how sick society is. The food that we are provided is not healthy. The soil has been poisoned with synthetic fertilisers, which in turn poisons our food, nature and humans.
We can place all that power back into our owns hands by taking control of our own food and water supply and learning self-sufficiency and survival skills. It might be something we need to prepare ourselves with one day.
The tools are all out there for us to learn.
A great Bushcraft book I was recommended is in the link below. It will include all the practical skills and knowledge essential for you to survive in the wilderness:
Bushcraft : HYPERLINK “https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/9781772130072?gC=5a105e8b&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIq_WZkved7QIVIQZ7Ch0fRAcpEAQYASABEgI8jvD_BwE” Mors L. Kochanski (author) : 9781772130072 : Blackwell’s
Introduction to Bushcraft course:
Wildcrafts – Essex Bushcraft School
Bushcraft tools and equipment:
Water filter system: