The Definitive Bushcraft Skills List

The Definitive Bushcraft Skills List

Bushcraft is the art of living in a natural environment, within and in harmony with nature. It is distinct from (though it shares a lot with) survival, where the mindset is only about getting out at the other end as safely as possible. Bushcraft will teach you skills not just to survive, but to thrive in comfort, and rely not on your gear, but yourself.

This is a list of the skills you will need. Water is almost certainly the very first thing to worry about when learning bushcraft. The rule of three gives you a maximum of three days without water, which goes down to one in very hot, arid conditions.

Remember that even once you have found water, in most cases it will then need at least to be filtered and possibly distilled or boiled before it is safe to drink. There are many, many different ways to purify water, and there is not space here to do justice to all of them, but suffice it to say that filtering will remove only the larger particles, distilling will get rid of smaller stuff, and boiling will kill bacteria. Sometimes all three may be needed.

There are three ways to find food in the wild: foraging, hunting and trapping. Foraging is by far the easiest to learn, and is likely to produce the most reward. Learn what plants you can eat, and how best to cook them, but be very careful of lookalikes and mistakes.

It is best to take a knowledgeable guide out with you at least for your first few trips, and to begin with ingredients and recipes which are simple and well known, like nettle tea and blackberries. Richard Mabey’s Food for Free is an acknowledged Bible for foragers.

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