What is Bushcraft?

It would be fare to say that until the fairly recent popularity of Bushcraft on our television I had not heard of the phrase. The phrases of Woodcraft and Backwoods were more familiar.

I have no objection to the term Bushcraft and what it defines but I  we need to remember the terms woodcraft and back woods.

Because all of these subjects overlap some people think it’s survival others think it is more spiritual. Some think they are indigenous techniques and some think it is a load of old bunkum that we do not need in the 21st century.

To be honest I think Bushcraft is what you want it to be, but could be defined as:

A popular term for wilderness skills in certain parts of the world including UK, Australia, New Zealand, the term was probably popularised in the southern hemisphere by Les Hiddens (The Bush Tucker Man) in Australia as well as in the northern hemisphere by Mors Kochanski and has gained a considerable following in the United Kingdom due to the popularity of Ray Mears and his books, dvd’s and television programmes and is also becoming popular in urban areas; areas where the average person has lost contact with nature and has a craving for a reconnection.

Bushcraft is not just about surviving in the natural environment, but thriving and learning the skills and knowledge to do so. Bushcraft skills include; Campcraft, Tracking, Trapping Hunting and Fishing, shelter building, Firecraft and Woodcraft being self reliant through the use of tools such as knives and axes.

Foraging, traditional woodland crafts, the use of natural materials to make containers, “Barkcraft” How to make cordage and rope from different materials as diverse as hide through to nettle fibres. These are the kinds of skills well known to our ancestors, many of which are still practiced today as an everyday skill amongst aboriginal and native peoples around the world.