If you want to be literal, bushcraft is the skill needed to survive in the bush.
These are tactics and survival techniques required when you are living in the wild.
You need bushcraft when you go camping or hiking in a remote area without any inhabitation.
These skills include fire lighting, building shelter, looking for wild food, and so much more.
Before I started outdoor adventures, I’m not sure I had heard of the word bushcraft either.
But I have learned with time what it’s all about.
I reckon it’s time to give further explanation, so read on to find out what Bushcraft is.
1) Foraging and Preparing Wild Food
One of the basic skills for survival is finding food in the world.
You have to identify and harvest fruits, seeds, berries, nuts and other edible items.
Finding food in the bush is not as easy as it sounds because some wild plants are not fit for consumption.
You have to avoid all the toxic plants.
You will need prior knowledge of the local plants.
Otherwise, it will be challenging to know which plants can be used for food.
You also need to cook at your camp. So making a cooking place is crucial for survival.
Come up with a stable cooking place possibly sheltered to avoid moisture.
2) Lighting Fires
You need fire to live or survive in the wild. Without it, off-grid living is not possible.
Fire keeps away wild animals, cold, and it cooks the food you forage.
Learn all the ways to build a fire without matches and other modern equipment.
Once you build a fire pit, collect enough firewood.
Collect enough wood to last you a while so that you are not outside in the cold whenever you want to cook or keep yourself warm.
3) Building Shelter
Bushcraft requires you to use the natural resources around you.
Building a shelter will take time, but it will be one of the most satisfying things you will ever do.
Batoning branches and felling trees skills are needed here.
You will need to harvest all the materials needed for a shelter.
You also need to know weaving grass or bark because it’s crucial for the shelter.
Natural insulation and roofing are things you will have to figure out.
Knot tying will make your shelter robust and compact. As you can see, it’s not going to be an easy task, but it’s necessary for survival.
4) Gathering and Purifying Water
There are lots of methods to collect water. You may use ice or birch sap from trees.
Gathering water will be tricky when you don’t have a container to store it.
You will have to make a container first before you start foraging.
The simplest way to purify the dirty water is through boiling it.
But you can also make a filter where you will be passing your water through before drinking.
5) Hunting or Trapping Game
When it’s for enjoyment, you can carry your food to avoid hunting.
But when situations force you to survive in the world, you will learn how to hunt.
You have to craft your tools for daily use.
You also have to learn how to track game and reading different animal signs.
Using lures and traps will help you catch your next meal. This is one of the skills that trouble most people.
That is why most people prefer wild fruits and herbs instead of meat.
But with determination, you can learn the techniques.
The only thing that will make surviving or living in the wild bearable is by having the right tools.
Tools will help you look for food, build a shelter and even make more tools.
If you are setting off on a trip off-grid, ensure you carry all the things you require.
It will make your time there less miserable.
These are some of the tools you need:
- Bushcraft knife
- Backpack and a bushcraft book
- Travel and navigation tools
What Is Bushcraft?
Bushcraft is all about surviving and conquering the wild.
Survival will only need the basic skills, but you will need much more if you want to live off-grid.
The two main things to remember with bushcraft are:
- Bushcraft skills
- Bushcraft tools
Both of which are covered extensively in this post.
I am an independent safety and survival expert and consultant. I have over 15+ years of experience working with corporations and individuals to help identify, remediate and prepare for threats and and disasters. I help clients understand risks and blog about my thoughts and techniques at DisasterShelters.net