I’ve been preoccupied lately… visiting websites, looking at pictures, reading books, following social media accounts. Why the obsession? Wellll, partly because of my nature, but to be honest, Bushcraft just seems like a logical progression for me. I’ve been teaching basic survival off and on since ’04, and fairly regularly for the last five years. I’ve always focused on teaching others the skills needed to survive those ever critical “72 hours”. In every class, I begin with the caveat, “This class is not about extended survival or primitive living…” I’ve never given a second thought to the question, “What if I had to survive for an extended amount of time?” Could I?
Experts claim that within the first 72 hours most people are found and rescued, but I’ve seen countless stories of people who have had to survive for many days, and some even weeks! What then? Are basic survival techniques sufficient to see you through a long term scenario? The best advice I could give someone about preparing for a potential survival situation is quite simply, be prepared! I know that’s extremely general advice for a possible life or death crisis, but being prepared through: planning, knowledge, and communication are paramount.
Now having said that, from what I gather, bushcrafting skills give one the ability to not only survive, but to thrive in their environment. Learning skills such as: firecraft, fishing, trapping, foraging, shelter building, and construction of necessary items from natural materials, will give you the advantage to overcome obstacles and meet your survival needs for an extended period. In my opinion, if a knife is akin to survival, then bushcraft is the fine edge you put on it.
I immediately think of the History Channel’s Alone series. The winners are surviving 50, 70, and even 80 plus days in harsh and unforgiving environments using bushcrafting skills. This is such a no-brainer! To me, this is the obvious next step in my survival skills progression.
“Bushcraft is what you carry in your mind and your muscles.” – Ray Mears
So what’s the next step for me? Definitely gear! I’m a gear junkie by nature so I already have most of the things I’ll need. If you’re new to bushcraft as I am, researching what gear to acquire can vary depending on which site you visit. I found a good beginner gear list put out by Paul Kirtley (a well known bushcraft expert from the UK). Here is a link to his blog: Getting Started With Bushcraft. I plan on sharing my progress in future blogs, so keep an eye out for new content coming soon! In part 2, I’ll be posting my selection of gear. If you have any suggestions for gear you’ve used and trust, please pass the info along in the comments. I would greatly appreciate it!
Thanks for taking the time to read the blog!
Remember, “Life’s an adventure… so don’t just survive it, live it!” – Joey Rivers