4 key components exist for any equipment pack in bushcraft: food, water, fire and first aid.
Your pack, otherwise known as a bug-out bag, will need to handily deal with all of these requirements.
But, to be honest, it’s extremely easy to get a small pack containing anything you need.
Many online markets or videos will try to sell you a lot more than what you need.
Instead, you can build a pack full of everything you need for a fraction of the price.
Check out the equipment I use here: My Personal Bushcraft Equipment
Bushcraft requires exercise, a lot of it. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet throughout is important.
You do burn a lot of calories so a large intake is needed.
However, getting the right nutrients is just as mandatory.
Part of this is bringing the food with you.
Looking out for natural foods you can find can also be a huge boon to your survival experience.
Check out the list of the Top 10 Edible Plants You Can Find Nearby
Plenty more exist, of course. As do plenty of different edible fungi types. Due to you just starting out, recognising those simple plants will be enough!
For food to bring with you, consider:
Weighs a lot but tasty and packed full of nutrients and calories.
Little in the way of nutritional value but weighs nothing and can be mixed with other ingredients.
Extremely calory dense. Keeps you full for sustained periods.
- Energy bars
For that boost of energy before setting out for a long walk.
- Dried fruits
Full of nutrients and surprisingly addictive.
A cuppa in a forest is just as good as a cuppa in front of the telly.
Expensive but MREs can be a day’s worth of food in a tightly packed bag.
Contains plenty of sugar & carbohydrates, great snacks while on the move.
Risky as they can lose their appeal if not cooled.
For cooking utensils, you’ll need:
- Stainless steel cup
- Cooking pots/pans
- Stainless steel cutlery
- Stainless steel woven wire mesh
- Tent pegs
The tent pegs & wire mesh serve as a raised platform to place your pots & pans on.
Bringing a gas cooker is a lot easier than making a fire, but also a lot heavier and more unreliable.
Instead, cooking on a fire is the recommended method.
It’s best to just bring a good supply of water with you, however it’s also important to obtain and practice using other safe water acquisition methods.
Not all water you find will be safe to drink. Dirt, bacteria and particulates will make it taste disgusting and make you seriously ill.
Boiling water (on a fire) will kill bacteria. Filtering it will remove any debris.
So, get yourself:
- Water purification tablets
- Sawyer life straw
- Stainless steel water bottle
They’ll be all you need for your early bushcraft stages!
To make a fire, you need 3 things:
I have a few articles already on these:
Tinders/Kindling You Can Easily Buy in the UK
Natural Tinders/Kindling You Can Easily Find in the UK
A Simple Guide to Fuel for Fires
Igniting those resources requires equipment. You need:
- 1-2 lighters
- Storm proof matches
- A good firesteel
- A spare, smaller firesteel
Barely any space taken up in your pack, yet enough ignition sources to last for years.
Note: While being able to ignite tinders with a firesteel is a valuable trait for anyone to have, it’s perfectly fine to use lighters/matches for the majority of your fires.
Cuts, infections and illnesses are commonplace in the outdoors.
Don’t let that deter you, they aren’t a problem at all with the right resources.
- TCP Anti-Septic Liquid
- Cold/Flu Relief
A med-kit containing all of the above will be more than enough to cover your basic bushcraft tips.
You’re most likely to get a deep cut. Simply apply some anti-septic liquid and add a steri-strip to close the wound up.
Put simply, the outdoors can get boring sometimes. Bringing along a piece of equipment, purely for entertainment purposes, can be worth its weight in gold.
Of course, weight is an issue here. As is sustainability. A Nintendo Switch might not weigh much and will happily fit in your bag, but the battery won’t last forever.
- Playing cards
- 1-2 books
- Spare mobile phone batteries
For simple day trips out, feel free to bring portable video game consoles!