Bushcraft is an incredible hobby, not only teaching you some amazing life skills but making those outdoorsy trips a lot more fun.
In recent years, bushcraft has skyrocketed in popularity.
Many videos are getting millions of views, online communities are seeing plenty of new faces.
But many of them don’t make that jump from online to outdoors.
Not making that jump isn’t down to the person, it’s the lack of resources online.
Many new enthusiasts are turned away by the fact that they have nowhere to go, or are simply too overwhelmed. This guide is intended to provide some key targets for any new enthusiast.
I’ll be providing some stages along with key points.
To elaborate on them, links to specific points going into further detail will be added in the future.
Once you’ve got at least 3-4 bullet points done for each stage, it’s fair to say you’re now at that stage.
- Watched videos & read resources
- Relished the idea of getting out there
- Looked at possible areas you can visit
- Talked to friends/family about it
- Looked at equipment
Most enthusiasts find themselves at this stage for many years. Those YouTube videos are just too entertaining.
There’s nothing wrong with being at this stage. It doesn’t mean you have a deep calling to the outdoors, but it does mean you have a keen interest.
Moving onto stage 2 doesn’t mean you need to get out there and do stuff!
You can still go further without fully committing.
- Purchased equipment
- Visited potential bushcraft spots
- Organised your pack
- Handled equipment
- Attempted to build a fire
At this point, you’re ready to get out there.
Maybe something is stopping you. The weather, time constraints, lack of a good area to find.
Whatever it is, fair enough but you’re at a good stage so take any opportunity you can get!
- Ignited a fire that lasts for at least 5 minutes
- Recognised natural resources
- Collected natural resources
- Have at least 1-2 spots you trust to use
- Successfully set up a shelter
After a period of time getting your brain full of knowledge, you’ve got out there and had a go.
Pat yourself on the back, not many people make it this far. Ask yourself a few questions. Did you enjoy yourself? Was it too tiresome? Too boring?
You’ll probably answer; yes. Because starting bushcraft is hard, really hard.
But humans are good at doing hard things. You’ve got everything you need to succeed, you just need to keep going…
- Successfully built & maintained a fire
- Used natural resources to assist in one of the 4 bushcraft components: fire, food, water or first-aid
- Performed a few tasks with your knife
- Cut down your pack size for your personal needs
- Been out at least 5 times
The fun is really starting to happen at this stage. Things seem a lot easier than you ever thought, friends and family are being impressed by your feats.
Journeys are far more comfortable, enjoyable and worthwhile.
Few things are as enjoyable as relaxing next to that first successful fire you’ve built. There’s plenty more to come.
All bullet points are required to reach stage 5
- Consistently able to get a fire going, even in wet weather
- Spent a night wild camping
- Are comfortable using a knife
- Have boiled water on a fire
- Have cooked food on a fire
- Understand medical resources and their uses
After reaching stage 5, you’ve got the fundamentals of bushcraft down to the tee.
Far from being an expert, you can safely say you’ve got what it takes to spend a full day/night out in the wilderness, on your own.
The sky is the limit from here!
I recommend the Bushcraft UK Reddit community for discussing how you’re going to further yourself.
Some people like to build their own huts/shelters. Some like to do week-long stays in forests or hills.
While others just like to stay where they are, happy with the skills they’ve already learned.
It’s up to you…but congratulations on making it this far!