1. The Blade
The Cutting blade, the most important tool to the Bushcrafter. It is as important as the sword is to a warrior or teeth and claws are to the Lion. A good Bushcraft blade is sturdy and light and is made from the highest quality materials with the tang running the full length of the knife. With appropriate use, the Bushcrafter can use this blade to stab or cut to give or take life.
The ability to make fire under almost any condition is essential part of Bushcraft survival. With Firecraft there are many techniques to building a fire; a fire drill, smoldering plants and trees, sunlight, striking rock that contains iron such as flint, and of course matches and lighters. Firecraft in the ability to create, control, and use fire to aid in one’s survival. Another critical skill in Bushcraft is the ability to transport fire, usually by carrying a burning coal around in some type of dry sage grass to keep it smoldering.
3. Knots / Ropecraft
The ability to join two or more pieces of natural or man made material is a vital skill to have for Bushcraft survival. By joining two or more pieces together, you not only increase the strength of the material but also the usability as shelter, a raft, a weapon or a sled.
4. Hunting and Trapping
In Bushcraft, hunting and trapping is the pursuit of animals and fish for food. A mastery of many elements in Bushcraft including tracking and ropecraft lead to the ability to hunt for food by use of traps, nets and snares or weapons that stab and cut.
Shelter is an important aspect of every outdoor venture. Your first layer of shelter is the clothing on your back, this provides you just enough to stay warm and dry for short periods of time. Your second layer of shelter is a stationary structure whether it is a small tent or a full blown log cabin. Knowing how to make shelter for you and your family is an important skill in Bushcraft.
Tracking animals and humans is an important part of Bushcraft survival. Tracks made by humans and animals on the ground, when read correctly, show a pattern of the habits of the animal or human. Once you establish this pattern, you will have the ability to continuously and carefully observe the animal’s movements and patterns. It is important to recognize that animals you find in the forest are as much creatures of habit as human beings. A particular animal you are stalking will follow the same path to and from water each day or to and from a food source. It will hunt and forage in the same area and only leave when it is driven out by an outside force, predator, fire, flood or drought. This pattern forming characteristic of all animals makes it possible for the experienced bushcrafter to predict the animal’s movements, and so he selects the sites for his traps, snares or ambush.
Have you ever looked at a wild plant or bush, and wondered if you could eat it? For the Bushcrafter, foraging is very important element to survival. All hunters and fisherman know that if it was easy, they would not call it hunting and fishing, they would call it catching. Being able to identify and eat plants without getting sick can make the difference between surviving and not surviving.