Bushcraft survival refers to the art of using things in nature to survive. This term has been popularized by Ray Mears seen by many on television and also Les Hiddins (The bush Tucker Man), well known in Australia and other countries in the southern hemisphere. It involves the use of bushcraft knives, wild edible plants, natural shelters, fire survival, water procurement and purification, natural cordage and many other skills. Although many of these skills have been all but forgotten, mountain men and of course the American Indians knew them well.
First, these survival skills are useful for outdoor hobbyists who like backpacking, hiking, fishing or hunting. Things can go wrong out in the wilderness leaving a person in a potentially dangerous situation if they don’t know how to keep themselves alive using only what they have at hand. It certainly seems irresponsible to engage in these kinds of activities without being prepared to deal with the unexpected.
But what about the rest of us? Unfortunately, everyone now faces the very real possibility of disaster scenarios in this new terrorism age when the actions of a few people can put hundreds of thousands or even millions in peril if they don’t know how to survive. A mastery of these skills can actually mean the difference between life and death for you and your family.
There are a variety of ways to learn these skills, from books and videos. While many videos are available on youtube, there are also websites devoted to the development of bushcraft survival skills. But really, the bottom line is to try out the various techniques yourself after reading about them or watching them demonstrated in a video. It’s one thing to know about them, and quite another to know, by experience, how to do them. With practice, you can become very proficient in the art.
Bushcraft survival is a great family activity. It gives kids the sense of satisfaction that can be obtained by learning to be creative at solving problems using what is at hand. That ability alone can be invaluable at learning to tackle life’s challenges. In future articles we’ll look more closely at specific skills themselves. Hope you join us!
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