Mar 06 2014

What is Bushcraft

What is Bushcraft  tom brown tracker battonning wood

Anyone who wishes to venture out into the wilderness and survive for a long time must have a good knowledge of bushcraft skills – but What is Bushcraft and what does it mean?

As we become more and more dependent on our modern lifestyle we are drifting further away from nature – our ancestors were masters of bushcraft, they had to be, in fact we would not be here now if it were not for their skills and ability to live with both off the land, and with the land.

Their success was born out of a pure necessity to survive and with that came a natural belief of being ‘at one’ with the wilderness – only taking out what is needed and being part of the natural cycle of life. 

Our slow disconnection with nature makes it is very unwise to just go out into the wilderness and attempt to live of the land without a good amount of knowledge and wilderness skills to back you up.

However, “Wilderness Skill” is very much an American and Canadian term and is now fast being superseded by the more popular and world wide term of ‘Bushcraft”. Originally thought to have come from the Australian Bush and more precisely from one man, Les Hiddins also known as The Bush Tucker Man – so literally translated that would mean – The man who gets food from the bush (wilderness).

In various other parts of the world, we see experts like Ray Mears, showing us skills on how to live in the wild and survive the hardships by teaching us exactly “what is bushcraft?”

Ray has written many books on bushcraft survival and is considered to be up there with the best and most skilled survival experts.

Some names that you will always here as renowned experts are Dave Canterbury, Les Stroud, Mykel Hawke and Cody Lundin – all bushcraft experts who have lived and breathed the skills they teach. 

With these experts to rely on, it’s easy to find information about all the survival skills you need to know and how you can learn it for yourself.

What is Bushcraft?

Bushcraft itself can be quite simply explained as the skills needed to enable you to survive, live and thrive in a wilderness environment – generally without any outside amenities, these skills can only be gained through knowledge and real life wilderness experience.

However, Bushcraft is not simply all about how to survive in the wilderness –  it goes far beyond that. It is all about creating sustainability and being able to live comfortably within a natural environment, and being able to live your life by being part of our natural world using a more indigenous human approach.

Using these skills to live of the land is one of the most satisfying things you can do, both physically and mentally, the connection you get back from nature is hard to compare with anything modern life can offer – these skills take time and effort to learn, but all are learn-able, for everyone, regardless of age. 


                          The main survival skills that make up the basis of bushcraft are:                                 

  • Forming a camp or ‘home’ – which will include 
  • Obtaining your Food        
  • Preparing & Cooking Wild Food
  • Using Survival Tools        
  • Obtaining Your Water – drinking, washing & sanitation
  • First Aid Skills
































But remember, all these skills  are carried out without any of the modern conveniences that we have come to rely on, like electricity and a local Walmart on the corner, or an internet delivery service.

It’s just you and the wilderness –  

But, to be precise and answer the question of “What Is Bushcraft” – It is essential to learn these wilderness survival skills, you must be prepared to live with nature and learn to use and share what is out there in the wilderness.

In some wild areas, you may be considered the more intelligent, but there’s a good chance you’re not top of the food chain.!

Nature and especially wild animals have got a big head start on you, so learning bushcraft skills is the only way to both live in, and enjoy the wilderness. 


Bushcraft books that are worth buying as a source of information AND to carry with you in the wilderness