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Bushcraft Blog

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By Andrew Armstrong, Dec 11 2017 12:06PM

Bushcraft is a year round skill set. Each season has its own challenges and knowledge base, a new lens to view your skills through. Winter is one such time, often misunderstood, but still undoubtedly the most demanding of the seasons. That said, its one of my favorites, each time it snows, or there’s a hard frost, it gives me the desire to go camping in the woods and mountains.

The test of the skills, bushcraft, mountain craft, are no more in effect than in these times. The rewards are also the greatest, the views of the wilds transformed by the changing of our liquid water to hard ice and soft snow.

The crackle of a warm fire, prepared and harvested form the wild is so rewarding and more welcome than at any other time of year. The ability to move and exist safely in the more extreme temperatures is a great experience and the knowledge base takes many years to build and appreciate. The UK has a harder winter than many who live here appreciate, as our temperatures hang just above freezing, allowing for high humidity and lots of liquid water to pull the warmth right out of you. We have had both Canadian’s and Norwegian’s in the shop, complaining about the cold, having just left minus 20 Celsius. It’s the damp that gets them. So never underestimate our climate, it has more challenges than you might think. Give me minus five over plus five any day!

We have had a number of warm, damp winters recently, but this one, so far, is shaping up to be a cold one, I just hope I get the chance to test those hard fought winter bushcraft skills!

By Andrew Armstrong, Aug 8 2016 11:51AM

In our relatively short time on the planet, we have spent most of it in what might be called a tribal existence. In a sense, modern communities still have a tribal structure and our close social groups are estimated to still remain around the 40 mark. This said, the essence of any community is made from families, the basic building block of society. Our hunter gather ancestors would have started their apprenticeship young, learning the basic aspects of wilderness living, the foundation blocks to allow them to learn the advanced techniques of adulthood. Even today, children are taught a huge amount by their parents and immediate family, something that can often be underestimated.

Family Bushcraft is a chance for that most fundamental unit to come together and learn and practice new skills. It can be a great way for families to connect and share with each other.

We have lived in nature for millennia, only recently isolating ourselves from that most important wild space. Seeing children and adults re-connect and thrive in our once home is one of the most rewarding experiences as a bushcraft instructor. It is also a rewarding experience for the families, giving them at the least a great family memory and at the most a reconnection with each other and their founding environment.

By Andrew Armstrong, Mar 31 2016 02:41PM

This weekend the wildcraft team will be looking at the classic bushcraft skill of creating and maintaining fire, known as Fire craft. Fire craft is arguably our oldest foray into “advanced technology”. Fire starts as a privilege and ends in a responsibility. In Fire Craft we start with modern, convenient techniques and then take a tour though the ages, stopping off at the Iron Age and ending at the Neolithic. The privilege is heat, light and entertainment. With heat we can cook food, purify water and modify the materials we find in our environment. With the light we can extend our day activities, carving and producing goods from the resources we have found. Not only is the fire your “bush TV” but also it’s a focal point for a group to gather and socialise. The responsibility is to make sure the fire is contained and when finished with, the remains are processed so as to leave no trace or lasting scar. A great and essential outdoors skill and one that is central to bushcraft practice.