When the term “bushcraft” was invented by Les Hiddins, he would have barely thought that it would become so popular everywhere, especially his own country, Australia. It didn’t take much time for it to spread to other countries as well, especially South Africa and New Zealand. So let’s come to the term itself. Bushcraft means the craft or skills to survive in a raw environment like a forest or desert where you would have only your perseverance and surviving capacity to help you. In other words, it’s like going back in time to thousands of years back and living like our ancestors did making use of only the resources of the nature.
There are different factors that comprise bushcraft. Here are a few of them:
Learning the environment
This involves the study of the behavior of wildlife. Living in the raw nature, as you would’ve guessed, is all about adapting to the surroundings. Understanding and predicting the actions and reactions of the animals in the bush where you are is very important. Similarly, being able to identify the plants and trees also help you survive. It tells you how these plants can be used for different situations as well as why some of them should be avoided.
The main purpose of hunting is of course to find the food to survive in the bush. It involves fishing as well as tracking. Tracking lets you find and follow the foot tracks of the animals and finally get them for food. And if it is a ferocious animal, tracking also lets you escape from the animal.
Fire serves many purposes in a forest. From providing you safety from animals at night to preparing food, it is the best gift nature has provided you. Besides the warmth and comfort that fire provides you, fire can cook food as well as preserve many items. It sterilizes wounds and also helps create smoke signals to get rescued.
To erect a shelter in any environment is one of the most important aspects of bushcraft. It is highly important to know how to make a shelter, be it a tent or a caravan, to protect yourself from animals or other natural damages.
To know how to twine ropes together to make different items is also another important requisite while dealing with natural environments. Rope twine making has several mechanical uses like making pulleys, knots, etc.
Bushcraft involves many tools that can help you manage in the forest. Some of them are:
Cutting tools (axes, knives)
Cooking tools (bonfire pots)
The basic idea behind bushcraft is always to make use of the available resources. This requires some pre-knowledge that can let you take the maximum advantage of the items that you come across.