Wilderness Survival - An Introduction to Bushcrafting

 

Using the resources available in nature at its best is what Bushcrafting is all about. In the simplest words, bushcrafting = wilderness skills. If you are going on a trek, use some basic bushcraft tools with excellence and make your outdoor living easier than ever. Let's talk about the tools & skills you must know to become a proficient bushcrafter.

The Essential Components of Bushcrafting

Foraging

Foraging means finding the best edible food when one is in the wild. From hunters to fishermen, everyone should be aware of this skill to survive on their own. It’s important to be familiar with the edible plants that grow wild in any area you’re visiting to survive without getting sick or without affecting the immune system adversely. The ability to forage efficiently means that you can carry less to begin with on your excursions and can be a major step towards survival in the face of an adverse event.

Foraging is a key skill in bushcrafting

Shelter

Shelters are important in the wild, no matter the season. You must be prepared for any condition. Temperature drops, excessive unexpected rain, and unseasonable heat causing dehydration are just a few examples of situations where a proper shelter can be the difference survival and tragedy. Being able to use elements readily available in your surroundings like pine bows or branches, leaves, and mud to build an insulated, protective shelter with only simple tools like a knife or hatchet and some cordage are a sign of a bushcrafter.

Building a shelter is a key skill in bushcrafting

Here are five different types of shelters for the beginning bushcrafters to master:

     1. A-Frame
     2. Swamp Bed
     3. Lean-to
     4. Snow Cave
     5. Debris Hut

All five of these shelter types can be practiced on weekend excursions, and some of them could even be practiced in your backyard depending on where you live.

Tracking

Tracking and stalking game is another essential part of bushcrafting. Using this technique, you stalk animals to see the places they visit for food or water and make a routine chart in your head.

Tracking and trapping are key skills in bushcrafting

This helps in hunting and foraging in the area. After knowing the patterns, you can set up traps for food or fulfill other needs. When you know about your prays movements, you can plan strategies accordingly.

Tools

You must learn to use the basic bushcraft tools for survival. Some of the basic bushcraft tools are; Knife, Hatchet, Saw, Firestarter, Cords and Ropes, and something to cook in. With the proper use of these tools, you can be prepared for any situation that might arise.

Correctly using tools is a key skill in bushcrafting

Check out Dave Canterbury’s book "Bushcraft 101: A field guide to the art of wilderness survival", for tips on how to properly familiarize yourself with each of these tools and what purposes they serve.

Choose the right bag to carry your gear

In addition to knowing your tools, consider adding a few more essentials to kit like a tarp to help with shelter construction, notebook and pencils to keep track of tracking patterns, wool blanket to help with temperature regulation, and a durable backpack like the Velox II or Outlaw II to carry your gear in.

Fire

Lighting a fire is crucial for survival in the wild. Fire building is also considered one of the essentials of bushcrafting. Fires can help save you from cold, keep predatory animals at distance, and, of course, provide a method for cooking. So, become adept at this skill.

You should know how to gather and use objects in the wild to properly light a fire. It’s also a good idea to carry multiple methods to create fire, and know how to use all of them. You can carry fuel lights, flint and steel, matches, a mirror or magnifying glass, but all is for naught if you don’t know how to use them.

Navigation

Navigation skills are another key to survival. A bushcrafter must know to navigate while looking at the heavenly bodies like Sun, stars, Moon. Compass and map skills are also important. Marks on trees or type of trees should also be remembered to avoid moving in the wrong direction.

Knowing how to navigate without GPS is a key skill of bushcrafting

These are just some of the things that you must know about bushcrafting. Be prepared when you venture out and enjoy your time in nature knowing that you have the skills needed to survive should anything happen. It’s going to be worth it.


About: Malik is an avid outdoorsman and loves to write in his spare time. He is also a regular contributor at 9ightout.com

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