Although the exact definition of Bushcraft Camping is the subject of vigorous internet debate, let me propose a middle ground. Bushcraft camping is essentially camping that uses wilderness survival skills.
Whether you are staying in a tent with some creature comforts and going out and practicing survival skills or bringing the bare minimum gear into the woods with you for a full immersion experience, I think you are still bushcraft camping. If your intent is to practice or gain new skills for surviving in nature, I feel it qualifies. (Bushcrafting purists, please don’t stone me.)
The following are fundamental skills to learn and practice for surviving and thriving in the wilderness with minimal modern gear available. I have placed them in alphabetically order for ease of scanning through them. All are important skills to grow and many overlap. For example, the ability to tie a variety of knots comes in handy for shelter building and catching food.
Mastering these skills takes time and practice, so I do not recommend trying to learn them all at once. Start with the basic, fundamental skills such as the navigating, knot tying, and fire building and moved to more advanced activities from there.
At the bottom of this article, I have placed hotlinks to resources to help you hone these skills.
So you don’t have the aid of matches or a lighter to start a fire? No chopped and ready to go fire wood with you? How do you build and sustain a fire without fire aids?
First Aid With Minimal Equipment
No handy first aid kit with you? How do you treat an injury in the woods with minimal supplies to work with?
Foraging And Catching Food
Which plants and berries can you eat and which could kill you? How do you catch game and snag fish to provide yourself with much needed nutrition?
What are the different types of knots that come in handy while out in nature? How do you tie them?When do you use them to help with other bushcraft skills?
Not a clue how to read a compass, but know it sure would be helpful to learn? Is it possible to navigate by the stars or other signs in the outdoors?
When you don’t have a tent with you, how do you protect yourself from the elements? Which shelters are best for which conditions? Where should you put your shelter?
Water Purifying And Collecting
Know staying hydrated in so important for your body to function? How do you find water and make it safe to drink without modern water purifying equipment?
Why, how, and when to carve things out of wood?
Where to Go Bushcraft Camping?
So where can you go camping and practice your bushcraft skills? Many of these skills, can be practiced in your own backyard. For example, knot tying, wood carving, first aid with minimal equipment and, possibly, fire making.
Some skills can be practiced on friends or family’s private land with permission. In the United States, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service Lands may be a good option. Just take the time to learn their regulations and restrictions.
Resources For Learning Bushcraft Skills
Animated Knots-Watch clear video instruction on how to tie the knots that will be most helpful to you. Available via the website and through an app.
How To Videos Boy Scouts of America-Learning bushcraft/campcraft skills are an essential part of the Scouting program.
And, of course, YouTube offers hundreds of video tutorials you can search by the particular skills that you want to master.
For more Camping Tips: