Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bushcraft?




Bushcraft what is it. The Oxford dictionary says a skill for living in the bush!

Not that descriptive really however; it is a tough question and there are a few different schools of thoughts on the practice of bushcraft and often survival skills are thrown into the mix. In the UK it appears to be a very popular pursuit all thanks to Ray Mears. There is a great site Bushcraftuk which suggests a sizable community of enthusiasts. The UK adherents are into basic outdoor skills such as making traditional shelters out of the resources at hand, fire lighting techniques, and woodworking skills using small 4inch blade scandi ground knives.

In the US it appears to be more about survival skills, big knifes, hunting and hiking. Although I confess that I have not really explored the US philosophy in the same depth as the UK counterparts.

In Australia, well there really isn't a movement as such. The Bush Tucker man (Les Hiddins) popularised many of the skills necessary to survive in the outback in his show but since then there has been no well known exponent. I suspect that there are many people in the Australian wilderness using bushcraft skills with out labeling them as such.

I guess from my perspective I define bushcraft in a very general manner. It's about outdoor pursuits, such as hiking, exploration and traditional yet proven skills used to thrive in nature; finding water, fire craft and techniques for setting up camp. A minimalist approach using a small kit of tools as opposed to carrying every gadget under the sun would be how I classify my style.

I guess I shall flesh out my idea of buschcraft over the proceeding posts. What to expect, well lots of reviews on equipment, exploration of techniques and discussions on life in the wilderness.

And yes the above insights are horrible generalisations......but I had to start somewhere.

18 comments:

  1. Gday Mate.

    Name's Glenn, I live in Esperance, WA with a couple of young kids and a wife. I loved camping with my folks when I was a kid, and wish to pass these memories on to my kids once my youngest is a little older so he stops running away.

    Have decided to start researching, and doing bits and pieces here and there so I am more than prepared for when that time comes.
    Have been using youtube as a learning tool, as I can download the vids and put them on my phone for later perusal, plus I have very limited funds for purchasing books/dvds etc.

    It is hard to find Australia specific information, like plant identification, how to find water and other region specific information.

    I am also a member of an Australian Knife Community, which also has some likeminded people on board.

    I have a list of links you may or may not wish to use.

    www.laventrix.com
    http://www.asmguides.com/survival.html
    http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/community-and-education/community-programs/outback-safety-and-survival-courses.html
    http://forum.ih8mud.com/ca-bc-coastal-cruisers/226057-australian-bushcraft-survival-guide.html
    http://www.youtube.com/user/RDPproject
    http://www.youtube.com/user/trapperjacksurvival

    I look forward to your updates

    cheers

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  2. Hi Glen, thanks for the comments. Yeah not a lot of info available that is Australian Specific or local bushcraft specific groups. As I find Oz resources I intend to list them on this site. I too am interested in sharing the camping/outdoor lifestyle with my kids. They are just reaching the age where this is feasible and they really do enjoy their limited exposure to camping out. Thanks for the links, I'll take a look. There are some amazing knife makers in Australia, something I'd love to learn at somepoint in the future. Cheers Ross

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  3. I plan on adapting my blog accordingly when I reach Australia to use my training and knowledge to display as many local plants, animals, and skills as I can. Just putting that out there so I can contribute to the Australian Bushcraft community.

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  4. Michael said

    great work guys I to am in to bush craft try the opele (spelling) rang of knife for a great cheap folding knife I have not found anyone that sells the mora knifes in W.A if you know of any one let me know

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  5. Ended up purchasing mora knifes from the Bens Backwood site in the US. Cheap and reliable seller.

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  6. Is thre any one in W.A wanting to do a bush craft meet

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  7. I have just found your blog, good to see another Australian based bushcraft blog.
    I am the founder and primitive skills instructor of the New England Colonial Living History Group here in Armidale NSW. We are an 18th century New World Living History group involved in bushcraft, primitive skills, period living skills and historical trekking.
    Although we focus on the New World 1680-1760, our bushcraft is very much Australian orientated.
    Our group site is at: http://historicaltrekkers.ning.com/

    My Blog is at: http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com
    I will add your link to my blog.
    Regards, Le Loup.

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  8. Any news on the new bushcraft forum yet?
    Regards.

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  9. Bob Cooper is in WA and does wonderful Australian Survival Skill courses and has an online shop with limited info. So these guys are around just more word of mouth I guess. http://www.bobcoopersurvival.com/index.asp

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  10. Hello,
    This is all about the bushcraft.Bushcraft is not about survival it goes beyond! Bushcraft is about sustainability, living comfortably within a natural environment.Thank you for this information.
    Jack Raven Bushcraft

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  11. Good article, Bob Cooper is great! I also got some of my survival gear from www.survival-kits.com.au.

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  12. Waiting for more updates from your site :) Also, you might want to check out www.latestsurvival.com for other survival and prepping articles.

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  13. Most people talk of bushcrafting simply as outdoor survival. However, there is much into Bushcraft. It is the skill of living in wilderness areas. I like your explanation of bushcrafting; you talk of the activities, such as hiking and exploration. Great post! Learn more skills here: http://wildernessmastery.com/camping-and-hiking/bushcraft-skills.html

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  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  15. Hi there, I'm traveling through SA with my daughter and would love to connect with some people who can teach us some bushcraft skills. Does anyone have any ideas or know of any contacts in the bushcraft/homesteading skills area?

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    Replies
    1. Hi I recommend that you join BushcraftOz and ask the question on the forum.
      Cheers
      Ross

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