What is Bushcraft?

Bushcraft is a term that you may have heard but not understood. Around the world, people use different terms to refer to natural places: wilderness, wild, outback, bush, backcountry, and so on.

 All these words refer to places that have not been significantly impacted by humans; they are dominated by natural communities and by the weather and the elements.

 Bushcraft is a term that is used in various communities to describe the set of skills necessary to recreate, survive, and thrive in the bush—that is, in nature.

 Bushcraft encompasses a wide range of skills. Some of these are relatively modern. For example, some would consider the ability to use a chainsaw to be part of bushcraft. However, for most people the term bushcraft refers to skills based on blades, natural materials, and human skill—not modern technologies.

 Here are a few of the elements of bushcraft.

Blade Skills

Knives, axes, saws, and similar tools are essential to surviving in the wild. These tools provide a lifeline, and as such knowing how to properly use and maintain them is essential for any outdoor person. Learn how to handle, sharpen, oil, and otherwise use and protect various types of blades.


Perhaps the most important element in any survival situation is shelter. Exposure to the elements can kill you much faster than hunger, and faster even than thirst. The ability to build a variety of shelter, such as debris huts, lean-tos, tarp shelters, tipis, and small cabins—is part of the bushcraft skillset.

Fire and Cooking

Another critical element in survival situations is the ability to start and maintain a fire, and to cook using fire. This can encompass many different skills, such as the use of a flint and steel, fire steel, bow drill, hand drill, fire plow, and so on.

 Also important is the ability to move a fire, which often involves knowing which materials locally can be used to insulate and maintain a coal when you move to a new camp.

Bushcraft Skills For Fire starting

 Cooking over fires seems simple, but it isn’t. The variety of methods available (spit, stick, pit, clay oven, rock boiling, and so on) are varied, and different methods are effective for different foods. All should be considering important for effective bushcraft, as they could save your life in a survival situation.

Procuring Water

Water is the second most important factor in survival outdoors. Finding water can be difficult; finding drinkable water can be almost impossible. Those who wish to master bushcraft should learn about springs, hydrology, and various water purification methods—as well as what locations may contain water that is pure without filtration or treatment.

Hunting and Gathering

Bushcraft has a connotation of not simply surviving in the outdoors, but actually thriving. Food is an essential element in thriving, and as such learning how to hunt, trap, and gather food is a central part of bushcraft.

Making and Mending Necessary Materials

Here again, bushcraft is distinguished from survival. In a survival situation, you may only use those human-made materials that you began with, such as high-tech clothing and camping gear.

 However, bushcraft involves living off the land, and that means using what the land can provide: bark, logs, skins, feathers, plant stalks, sticks, and so on. These materials can be used to provide all the goods necessary for humans to survive in comfort. Learning to use these materials can be an immense boon for survival, can make you healthier and build a connection to the land, and can be a great deal of fun.

 And of course, if the SHTF, then these skills will be essential.

About Dan Stevenson

Dan Stevenson is a chief editor of The Survival Corps and an experienced survivalist who is incredibly passionate about everything survival and preparedness, be it in the great outdoors or in an urban environment.Besides his primary job functions at The Survival Corps, Dan has been recognized by the survival community for his extraordinary commitment and an insatiable desire to always achieve absolute excellence in everything that he undertakes. Being a survival expert for a very long time, Dan has acquired extensive knowledge and experience regarding preparing for camping trips, hiking, hunting and any other outdoor adventure and surviving in the wilderness. He also knows quite a lot about preparing for emergency situations in the concrete jungle when one would need either self-defense or other survival skills in various cases of crisis, such as a natural disaster. Dan’s remarkable knowledge and expertise, absolutely tireless work ethic, astonishing passion and commitment and unparalleled focus is what truly sets him apart from all the other survivalist enthusiasts. He is truly the lifeblood of The Survival Corps and we can honestly say that we wouldn’t be where we are without him. He is a professional and a true leader that anyone would love working with, both in and out of the office walls. He has an incredibly friendly and open personality and loves helping others, which is exactly where he finds constant inspiration and passion for learning more and providing people with tips and tricks for all things survival. He is curious, imaginative, creative and always puts other people first, never failing to really help them put safety in their lives. If you’re a passionate survival enthusiast, The Survival Corps is the right place for you, as Dan will never cease to amaze you with valuable information for helping you plan, prepare and survive both in the wilderness and in an urban environment.

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