Bushcraft. What Is It?

Know More, Carry Less.

There are multiple variations on the definition of bushcraft, but the general consensus definition is a set of skills that allow you to survive in the wilderness. These skills range from the basics like starting a fire to hunting and trapping for food and identifying edible plants. Much of the focus of bushcraft is exactly like the saying above, being able to utilize what is already in nature to meet your needs instead of carrying it all on your back. 

It is important to note that most bushcrafters will emphasize the fact that bushcraft is more than just surviving in the wild, that it is living and finding enjoyment in the wilderness rather than just sustaining yourself with the bare minimum.  

Basic Tools

While the focus is to carry as little as possible, there are a few tools that you could not catch a bushcrafter without. The most important of these are a knife, a hatchet/axe, and some form of cord. Knowing how and being able to effectively use a knife and hatchet in order to create all you need is the goal. Whether it is a simple task like splitting firewood to more complicated endeavors like carving a cup or utensils or building an intricate shelter, having a quality knife and axe can make all the difference. Building off of this is having cord, without it many tasks become more difficult to execute effectively such as strengthening or attaching parts of your shelter. Check out this link and the video for some more in-depth information about basic tools and skills.

Video by TA Outdoors.

Video by The MCQBushcraft Archive


Another vital skill set that supplements the others are knots. Knowing efficient and effective knots to be able to connect materials can be the difference between having your shelter stay standing or collapsing in the wind. They also play a large role in more complicated skills like trapping, where your knot-tying knowledge and ability can potentially be the deciding factor in whether or not you catch dinner. 

Leave No Trace and Bushcraft

Lastly, one of the big concepts that I think many folks connect with bushcraft is Leave No Trace (LNT). If you go to LNT’s website you will find the 7 principles that are the focus of LNT which are:
- Plan Ahead & Prepare
- Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
 -Be Considerate of Other

It can be noted that some of these points do not completely line up with the definition of bushcraft such as leave what you find but that can get way into the weeds on these topics. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of how the two can work together and co-exist, but we encourage you to research and talk with others to learn more to better understand your impact.


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