Bushcraft is the art of survival in the bush. These skills have been known since the beginning of our existence on the earth but have since faded as we moved into modern life.
In recent, years bushcraft skills have seen a resurgence. Especially with celebrity bushmen like Ray Mears and Bear Grylls.
If you love extreme survival in nature, read on for seven cool bushcraft skills that will up your bushcraft experience.
1. Make a Feather Stick
Every survivalist knows that you need a fire when you are out in the wild. You need to stay warm, cook your food, purify water and keep animals away.
But if you usually rely on a firestarter, why not learn how to make a feather stick instead?
Feather sticks are priceless homemade bushcraft gear that can help you start a fire even in wet conditions. Making these is easy to do while sitting around camp and all you need is a knife and a rod of wood.Split the wood down into quarters. Take a razor sharp knife and shave the dry centre of the wood down into curls from one end of the stick to the other. Then you can light the fine curls with a fire steel.
Early humans learned how to make tools out of rocks almost 2 million years ago. The earliest remnants of this skill are found in Tanzania, Africa and are simple flake tools that may have been used for cutting hides.
To learn this bushcrafting skill will require patience. You'll likely have cuts and blisters on your hands before you master the art.
You can make spears and knives that you can use in the wilderness. Check out this beginner's guide to flintknapping.
3. Making Rope from Plants
Making rope from plants is an excellent bushcrafting skill to learn. If you are in a survival situation without being prepared, making rope from the plants around you can help you make a shelter, make traps and so on.
This rope is made from twisted yucca. Yeah, it does take a lot of patience to make strong rope but you'll be glad you know how if you find yourself in a survival situation.
Learn how to make rope with no tools from dead plants.
4. Learn to Make Traps
When you think about bushcraft cooking, images of MRIs and eating insects come to mind. However, if you learn how to make traps, you can enjoy some larger and more satisfying protein.
One of the simplest and most effective traps is the deadfall trap.
Get a heavy object like a big rock or log. Build some sticks to prop up the object. When an animal touches the sticks, the rock will fall and crush it.
This trap is great for catching mice and rats, but you can make bigger ones for larger game too. Just watch your fingers when you set it up.
Bring your Warrior compact stove for simple ways to cook a quick meal or make a cup of coffee.
5. Make a Birch Bark Container
This is definitely one of those hardcore bushcrafting skills that help you be prepared for anything.
If you find yourself out in the wilderness without a pot or canteen, you can make a primitive container using birch bark. Birch is waterproof so you can collect and store water - both essential out in the bush.
You can make a cup from birch bark in minutes.
Find or cut a semi-circle of birch bark. Remove any loose bark, fold it over and hold it in place with a stick that has had a slit made in one end. This serves as a handle.
Other types of bark also work but birch is the easiest to get off the tree.
You can make containers that are much more sturdy with an Exacto knife and some glue.
6. Rock-Boiling Water
Now that you've made a bark container, you can use it to boil water.
First, heat rocks in a fire. Then add the rocks into the bark container. The heat from the rocks will cause the water to boil.
Keep adding rocks to the water so it stays boiling.
This is a useful technique that lets you boil water even if you don't have a pot that can go over the fire (such as the bark container).
7. Build a Shelter
Every good survivalist knows how to make a shelter in the wilderness.
The first thing you need is a ridge pole. This pole should be very sturdy and as long as your height plus your arm extended overhead when you lie down.
It's important to create a shelter that is the right size for you. Your shelter must be small enough that your body temperature can heat the space. Make sure to bring a fleece or thermal clothing to keep you warm.
Prop the ridge pole off the ground on a log to give you some extra room. Next, find some Y-shaped sticks to prop up the ridge pole at the other end. These need to be sturdy as it is your framework.
Make sure that when you push down on this edge, the Y-sticks don't fall over. If they do, you need sturdier sticks.
Now, add a layer of leaves to the bottom of the shelter. This will insulate the ground and keep you warm.
The next step is to add ribs to your shelter - this is the sides of your shelter.
Try to pick sticks that are the same height as the ridge pole as they will help make the shelter less likely to let rain in. Lay these sticks close together along both sides of the ridge pole.
Layer in some thin branches of the same height to help the leaves remain in place - this is the lattice. Add leaves all over to insulate your shelter and keep your body heat inside.
You can now make a door by gathering four Y-shaped sticks. Create a frame on both sides to make the opening smaller. It should be just large enough for you to wiggle in.
Ground these Y-sticks in and lay more sticks across the top to make a porch roof for your shelter. Add leaves and crawl in feet first.
Final Thoughts on Bushcraft Skills
We hope you've enjoyed these bushcraft skills that can help you embrace your survival mode.
Remember, bushcrafting takes time and patience to master. As you work at it, you will get better and enjoy the experience more and more.
Make sure you are properly outfitted for your next adventure. Visit Ramco Textiles for all the clothing, footwear and accessories you need.