Bushcraft skills use the natural materials around to get food, build shelter, and defend yourself. As a survivalist, you should not be content with knowing just a few bushcraft survival skills. Learning new bushcraft and survival skills and practicing applying them to whatever disaster situation you might find yourself in greatly increases your chances of survival. So start learning the following bushcraft skills and adapt to the mindset of using the resources in your surroundings to get through any disaster, be it in the wilderness or an urban setting.
25 Bushcraft Skills Every Survivalist Should Brush Up On
1. Learning from History
Don’t just rely on a survival skills magazine to build your wilderness skills. Take it from the survivors of the Great Depression. These people have learned invaluable survival lessons the hard way which should not be taken for granted.
2. It Boils Down to the Basics
If you’re an experienced survivalist or just starting out, these basic skills are the foundations every prepper needs to know in order to survive. Preppers survival is going to rely on simple outdoor skills or even a simple survival kit.
3. Build Your Own Emergency Shelter
With just your natural surroundings, you can use bushcraft skills to protect yourself from the elements. You don’t need to be a master woodsman when it comes to shelter building in the wilderness. Build your own emergency shelter for your bushcraft camp.
4. DIY Survival Cement
You’ll never know when you need to fortify your makeshift shelter in order to withstand the elements or be able to cook inside without worrying that it’ll catch fire. To know how to make survival cement is definitely an important skill for survival which is beyond primitive skills.
5. Why and Why Knot?
Why not learn more about tying different knots with your cordage? Start with the most basic ones which have more than a handful of uses in a survival situation. Then slowly progress to advanced knots as you master each one. Make sure you know how to use non-conventional materials as a rope if you don’t have anything handy.
6. Tie a Knot with a Purpose
Cordage is an important bushcraft equipment you need to always have in hand. Knowing which knot is the right one for the task at hand is essential for survival bushcraft. Master these knots to keep yourself prepared for any situation.
7. Cut a 550 Paracord Without Using a Knife
You don’t need a knife to cut through your paracord. With the use of your feet to keep the paracord in place and friction from the same paracord, you can create friction through a sawing motion to sever it at your desired length. It’s one of the most ingenious primitive living skills for wilderness bushcraft!
8. Make Cool Paracord Bracelets
These paracord bracelets may look fashionable, yet in times of survival, these little handiworks can do wonders from sawing trees, catching fish, starting a fire to keeping survival gear and bushcraft tools inside them. You can even make a dog collar for your pet.
Check out the Firekable paracord bracelet: the perfect EDC tool on your wrist.
9. Paracord: From Fashion to Practical Uses
From tying down your tent to survival bow and arrows, from setting up traps and using it as a tourniquet to sutures. This life-saving cord has tons of uses that can certainly be a life changer. Always make sure your paracord is in your survival kit before heading out into the wilderness.
10. Learn to Open a Can Without a Can Opener
Forgot or lost your can opener? That doesn’t mean your canned goods are suddenly deadweight. Learn how to open a can without a can opener. This amazing bushcraft skill will make sure you have your fill whenever you get hungry.
11. Identify Different Types of Wood for Your Fire
Different firewood types have their respective pros and cons. Having the ability to determine which ones make the best firewood will surely make your stay around the campfire enjoyable. Brush up on your bushcraft skills by making sure you know what types of trees are growing in your neighborhood, and which works best for campfires in extreme conditions.
12. Learn to Cook-Off the Grid
Learn to cook your food or boil your water without the use of electricity. Unless you want to eat your meat raw and your water unsterilized, master this bushcraft skill to let yourself enjoy warm food while in the wilderness.
13. Start a Fire with Everyday Household Items
One of the best household items that can be used as fire starters is by dipping cotton balls in Vaseline. With just one strike of a flint, it will most likely catch fire. Be sure to practice precaution when disposing this fire starter to avoid accidentally starting fires around your camp.
14. Start a Fire with a Gum Wrapper
These little fire starters are often in your pockets anyways. Refrain from throwing them away as they can still come in handy. One of the basics of bushcraft skills is being able to ingeniously utilize anything for your survival.
15. Start a Fire Without a Spark
You can actually start a fire without the use of a lighter, a match, a fire starter, and a lighter. With the proper know-how and tools at hand, you’ll be one heck of a fire starter. This is one of the most important bushcraft skills to master.
16. Learn about Survival Archery
Survival Archery is great for hunting your own game while in the wilderness. Being an all-around tool, one can use it in different scenarios. Being as stealthy as it already is, your target will never see what’s coming
17. Improve Your Crossbow Shooting Skills
If you’re hunting for your wilderness survival, it’s important to brush up on your crossbow shooting skills. A miss on your target can mean more hours of stalking another prey. Improve your accuracy by adding accessories, such as a rope cocking device and a bipod/monopod. Make sure you have the correct bolt and spine for your crossbow!
18. Learn Alternative Fishing Techniques
The different fishing technique you can apply (depending on the body of water and type of fish you wish to catch) could be the difference between eating and starving. Know more about alternative fishing techniques to give yourself the best chance of surviving the wilderness. Having the proper tools will also surely shorten the waiting time.
19. Learn to Tie Different Fishing Knots
What’s the best fishing knot for your fishing line? Learn to tie a knot for fly fishing, clinch knot, Palomar knot, and the loop knot, just to name a few, and you’ll have perfected one of the most valuable bushcraft skills.
20. Learn More about the Art of Fishing
Before you can master any skill, having some knowledge of tips and tricks will definitely help. There are so many ways and tricks to catch fish. With these unique tips, you’ll soon be fishing like a pro.
21. Convert your Neck Knife and Wallet into a Fire Starter Kit
Convert your neck knife or wallet into a fire starter kit. All you need is a 550 paracord, duct tape, a ferrocerium rod, and a little bit of creativity, and your neck knife and wallet can be instant fire starter kits!
22. Handle a Knife Safely
Learning the different safety tips in handling fixed-blade knives begins when you reach for it. Basically, you just have to keep two things in mind to be safe: the point and the long edge. Proper handling of your tools can heighten your survival skills anywhere.
23. Make Your Own Rope
Forgot your cordage and a paracord? With the use of different materials such as the roots of spruce or fir trees, milkweeds, Dogsbane, maple or Cedar trees you can make your own rope by utilizing various methods.
24. Learn Survival Tactics Like No Other
Learn to bake your own ration bars and use duct tape in 10 different ways. This may be the cream of the crop of survival tactics that will give you the highs if you want to learn more than what is already out there.
25. Learn to Keep Your Cool in Stressful Situations
Sometimes it’s not enough to master every bushcraft skill if your mental state isn’t suited for the outdoors. The ability to stay calm under any wilderness situation will definitely be a key to your survival.
Watch this video from Bushcraft Bear to find out how to turn a wood bark into a food container:
Bushcraft skills, from the basic to the most advanced, can take some time to master. Whatever your level of mastery, these skills will have you better prepared, boost your confidence, and enhance your ability to adapt to new challenges. It is easier said than done but like every skill, it can be mastered.
There surely are a lot more Bushcraft skills out there which may not have been mentioned. Don’t hesitate to let us know about them in the comments below.
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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on July 14, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.