Bushcraft 101: Bushcraft Tools and Skills You Should Know

Video bushcraft basics

Bushcraft skills are essential for survival, especially if you plan on bugging out to a remote location.

The ability to use resources from the environment can save your behind when SHTF—and even help you thrive after—so it’s important to take the time to learn them.

In this article, we discuss bushcraft 101, from basic bushcraft tools to vital skills like foraging, building shelters, making fires, acquiring food, and more. You’ll also find useful tutorials throughout the article, so if you think you need to sharpen those bushcraft skills, read on:

Bushcraft 101: What Is Bushcraft and How Will It Help You Survive TEOTWAWKI?

Here’s the simple truth: Mother Nature provides all of your needs. All you have to do is figure out where to find these resources and know how to use them.

Bushcraft, used interchangeably with “wilderness skills,” focuses on using resources available in the natural environment for survival. This skill set includes fire making, foraging food, tracking, trapping, hunting game, and shelter-building using basic bushcraft gear.

Learning and mastering bushcraft skills will inevitably help you when SHTF.

Remember, in a large-scale disaster, most modern conveniences will go to the dogs. Without the grid, food supply, clean water, functional sewage, and the internet, society as we know it will plunge into chaos.

People will have no choice but to learn the old ways or perish. As a prepper, you’ll have to learn how to make fire, forage for food, purify water, build a shelter, and make tools with what little you can find.

By arming yourself with a sharp set of bushcraft skills, you’ll learn how to survive in a short-term emergency and even be self-sufficient in long-term scenarios. Once you’ve mastered these skills, you can go on to teach others.

Essential Bushcraft Tools

To do bushcraft, you must have the right bushcraft tools. Here are some of the basics to have in your arsenal:


A sharp and sturdy knife is indispensable in bushcraft. Without it, you’ll be unable to make fire, set up your shelter, hunt and prepare your food, carve other tools—plus a slew of other small tasks.

a good bushcraft tool is a sharp and sturdy knife

A durable full-tang knife with a fixed blade is often used for bushcraft. Full tang means the knife’s steel extends all the way through the handle, making it less prone to breakage and damage.

While folding knives are portable and great for EDC, they’re not exactly the safest or most reliable for tasks like woodworking, so stick with a fixed-blade knife instead. A knife with a drop point and a flat or Scandi grind is great for most bushcraft tasks, too.

How long should bushcraft knives be?

Bushcraft knives are usually around 3 and a half to 6 inches long. This length allows them to do both small, detailed tasks and heavy-duty work. Anything smaller will be hard to handle; anything bigger, on the other hand, will be a machete.

Should you go for a high carbon steel or stainless steel bushcraft knife?

As far as material goes, it’s a contest between high carbon and stainless steel. Your choice of steel will depend on your needs.

Carbon steel blades are durable, easier to sharpen, and tend to throw better sparks when used with a ferro rod. They’re more prone to rust and oxidation, however, so they need higher maintenance compared to their stainless steel cousins.

Stainless steel blades, on the other hand, take longer to sharpen, but they keep their edge longer. They require little maintenance and are virtually rust-proof, making them great for humid environments.

Don’t forget about the knife handle

The knife handle should feel good in your hand, too. Bushcraft knife handles are usually made from hardwood, but this absorbs moisture over time, so you can go for synthetic materials like Micarta or G10 fiberglass.

Knife Sharpener

Since you’re using a knife, it only makes sense to include a sharpening stone among your bushcraft tools. There are many knife sharpeners out there—the most common of which include Japanese water stones, whetstones, or oil stones.

Most sharpening stones have two sides: a coarse side for the initial sharpening and shaping, and a finer surface for the finishing touches. Leather belts also make for good stropping materials to keep your knives sharp even when on the field.

Check out the video above if you need pro tips on how to sharpen your knife while on the field or in your bushcraft camp.

an axe is a good addition to your bushcraft gear

Bushcraft Axe

Next up on our list of must-have bushcraft tools is an axe.

This bad boy is capable of doing tasks your knife can’t or shouldn’t do, like felling and limbing trees, cutting and splitting large pieces of firewood, and building permanent shelter.

Like your knife, axe blades can be made from high carbon steel or stainless steel. A bushcraft axe doesn’t have to be the biggest or longest, either.

Large axes with heavy bits may penetrate wood better, but they also require more energy for you to swing. That’s why most bushcrafters prefer using smaller, lighter axes they can conveniently stow away in a backpack. These are easier to carry around and can be used with only one hand.

Another important factor to consider when choosing this bushcraft gear is sharpness. An ideal axe should be able to keep its edge well even after use and abuse.

Lastly, an ergonomic hardwood handle is key for a good grip and chopping power.

Bushcraft Saw

Not all bushcrafters carry axes. Some enthusiasts prefer using a folding saw for woodworking since it’s significantly lighter and easier to carry around. It also makes for straighter cuts in the wood, which is great for building shelter, especially if you want a sturdy one to outlast the elements.

Saws are also more efficient since these bushcraft tools take less energy to cut through wood and produce more output in the same amount of time. Less effort means you have more time and energy left to do other tasks necessary for survival.


A compass is a pretty straightforward device. You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles in a compass; you just need to have a reliable one that orients accurately. Moreover, you have to know how to use one to find your way in the wilderness.


using a ferro rod

The last thing on our list of essential bushcraft tools is a firestriker.

Firestrikers or ferro rods are capable of creating fire through friction. Unlike lighters or matches, fire strikers work even when wet, are effective at any elevation, and don’t need fuel. They’re also easier to use compared to their flint-and-steel counterparts.

To know more about ferro rod fire starters, check out this comprehensive review.

Bushcraft Skills You Need to Learn

Now that you know the basic bushcraft tools, it’s time to dive into the skills you need to possess. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you have the sharpest knife or the most accurate compass out there if you don’t have any idea how to use them properly.

Below you’ll find an extensive checklist of all the bushcraft skills to have under your belt:

Foraging for Food and Medicine

Foraging, by definition, is the act of finding and gathering flora and fauna mainly for food. However, you can also use your foraging skills to find medicinal plants and herbs, natural cordage, firestarters, or materials for shelter.

Foraging for Food

Humans started out as hunter-gatherers. Before the dawn of agriculture and industrialization, the forests were our ancestors’ grocery stores.

Some examples of food you can forage in the wild include:

  • Fruits
  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Mushrooms
  • Tubers
  • Shoots

Flowers, seeds, and weeds like dandelions and nettles are less obvious choices, but you can also forage and eat them when the going gets tough.

Know Your Local Geography

To be a good forager, you first have to know the lay of the land. What types of plants, fruit-bearing trees, and vegetation grow in your area? Where can you find them?

Take cattails, for example. This wild edible is common in most parts of North America and can be found near ponds and marshes. Cacti, on the other hand, are common in the West and Southwest regions of the States and can be found in dry, arid areas like deserts.

berries growing in the wild

Plant Identification

Plant identification is crucial in foraging. Make a mistake, and you’ll end up with a bad allergy, a busted stomach…or you might not live to tell the tale at all.

See also  The Best AR-15 Magazine Brands [2024 Update]

Remember, Mother Nature may provide for all your needs, but she also has a lot of plants that can kill you on the spot, too, so it’s important to know how to distinguish friend from foe.

Ask yourself:

What do these edible plants look like? What are their distinct qualities, and how can you tell them apart from dangerous ones?

Some wild edibles, like root crops and bulbs, grow underground, so you also have to know how their leaves and shoots look above the surface.

If you’re a complete beginner, keeping a pocket guide with colored illustrations can help a lot. Make sure this pocket guide covers the area or climate that you’re in and carry it with you when out camping or backpacking. Try to identify the plants you can find along the way and take down notes with your personal observations.

You can also take classes with a forager to help you learn faster. These experts have years of insight and may have tips and learnings from their experiences that you can’t find in guidebooks about bushcraft skills.

Growing Seasons for Foraging

Aside from knowing the plants’ geographic location and appearance, you also have to be familiar with their growing seasons. When do these wild edibles grow most abundantly? Are they available only in certain seasons, or can you find them all year round?

Many edible mushroom species, for example, grow abundantly during the hot and humid summers. They grow at the edge of forests at the start of the season, especially after a nice, warm rain shower. By July to August, you can find tons of mushrooms in oak and beech groves or in areas where evergreen trees grow. They can also be abundant in south-facing hill slopes since these areas receive more warmth.

Foraging for Medicine

Plants aren’t only good for food. Many of them also have medicinal properties. To take advantage of these, you must know which parts of the plant to use and how to use them.

Here are some examples of common medicinal plants and what they can help with:

  • You can steep willow bark into a tea and use it to treat aches, pains, fever, and swelling.
  • Fennel tea also helps soothe an upset stomach and fight bloating and nausea.
  • Yarrow leaves and flowers can be used to aid in blood clotting to slow down bleeding. You can also use it to treat fevers and coughs.
  • Dandelions, usually passed off as weeds, can be turned into a salve for muscle aches and joint pain.
  • Plantains have excellent anti-inflammatory properties and make good poultices.
  • Comfrey poultices or compresses are great for fixing wounds and fractures.

Dos and Don’ts When Foraging

bushcraft 101 foraging tips

Building Bushcraft Shelters

Exposure to extremely harsh conditions can kill you in a matter of minutes, so knowing how to build temporary and long-term shelters is one of the most important bushcraft skills to know.

The good news? There are tons of ways to make bushcraft shelters from just about anything you can find in the environment.

Making cordage using natural materials

Cordage is one of the most vital components of bushcraft shelters. If you find yourself without rope or 550 paracord, you can use natural cordage to assemble frames or lash poles together for your shelter. You can also use cordage for other purposes, like climbing—and creating snares, traps, fishing lines, or bow drills for fire.

Cedar bark is one of the best sources of natural cordage. You can find these trees all over the country, especially if you’re in the Pacific Northwest region. To make cordage from cedar bark, you want to harvest the inner bark or bast of the tree. That’s the stringy, fibrous layer right under the protective outer bark.

As you can see in the video above, you’ll need to peel the outer bark off in one go and harvest the bast to create cordage from the fibers. You’ll want the bark to dry and age before turning it into ropes, though, since moist bark can shrink over time.

Plants like nettles also make for good cordage. Remove the leaves, flatten the stem, and carefully peel the nettle skin off. Once you’ve done that, twist the fibers until you form cordage. Unlike cedar bark, you don’t have to wait for the nettle stalks to dry out before you can use them. They’re also strong and capable of withstanding tension.

Just wear gloves when harvesting these plants—they’re not called stinging nettle for nothing.

Other natural materials you can use as cordage include some species of tall grass, willow saplings, roots, and jungle vines.

Tying Knots

Knot-tying is another one of the most basic but essential bushcraft skills to learn. If you don’t know how tie decent knots, cordage would be of little use.

There are various knots for different purposes. Here are some of our go-tos:

  • Square knot – This is a multipurpose knot great for tying or connecting two lengths of rope.
  • Figure eight – This knot retains the strength of the cordage well. It doesn’t unravel with pressure, so it’s good for climbing, creating footholds, or pulling someone to safety.
  • Bowline knot – Also retains the strength of the rope or cordage. You can tie this with one hand, making it excellent for rescues or for tying down objects.
  • Clove hitch – This is a quick-release knot for securing cordage to trees.
  • Tautline hitch – It’s used to adjust the tension on tarp shelters.

For an in-depth look at more knots you can use for bushcraft and survival and how to tie them, check out this post.

Basic Types of Bushcraft Shelters

Bushcraft shelters come in all shapes and sizes. You can find shelter in nature, as in uninhabited caves, under rock overhangs, or near large fallen trees. You can also construct your own from tree limbs, branches, and foliage. Some types of bushcraft shelters you can make include:

  • Lean-to shelter – a common free-standing shelter with three walls and an open side. This is one of the easiest bushcraft shelters you can construct.
  • A-Frame shelter – has a triangular, A-shaped frame with a main ridgepole that runs along the top. Also known as the double lean-to shelter.
  • Dug out shelter – a shelter made by digging a trench on the ground
  • Fallen tree shelter – a shelter made from the flat base of a tree root

You can read more about how to build these bushcraft shelters and more in this article.

General Shelter Building Guidelines

Whatever type of shelter you’re looking for or are making, here are some things to consider:

  • Pick a good location. Your shelter should be able to offer adequate protection from the environment and shield you from harsh rain and wind. It should also be located a safe distance away from your water source (about 200 meters).
  • Choose a relatively flat location to avoid floods.
  • Avoid setting up camp under large trees. While they offer shelter from rain, they also have thick branches that can fall on you. Plus, they’re prone to lightning strikes and their leaves will drip long after the rain has stopped—their cons outweigh the pros.
  • Your shelter should be able to reflect and conserve heat. Stone faces or large boulders make for good heat reflectors. You can also construct a wall from medium-sized sticks and line it with foliage and moss, which are natural insulators.

We’ve previously talked about survival and bushcraft shelters at length in our other articles. Here’s a directory of useful info to help you out:

Bushcraft 101: How to pick the perfect campsite
Bushcraft 101: Kinds of survival shelters
Bushcraft 101: What to avoid when sleeping outdoors
Bushcraft 101: super shelters

Waterproofing your shelter

Since your shelter is mostly made of wood, you’d want to take extra measures to make sure that it stays dry.

As we mentioned earlier, choosing the right place is essential in keeping dry. Pick a relatively flat and well-draining location, away from trees with a lot of leaves to prevent dripping. Stay away from ravines or canyons—they may be bone-dry now, but they’re notorious for flash-flooding after mild showers.

When building your shelter, don’t make it too big to conserve heat.

You also have to create roofs at an angle so that rainwater flows at the sides. Cover these steep, angled roof frames with broad leaves, starting from the lowest part and working your way towards the top. This way, your roof can work like shingles and shed rainwater without a hitch. Don’t forget to dig a rainwater runoff around your camp so you won’t wake up in a puddle.

See also  Arrow FOC Explained and Why It's Important for Bowhunting

Another way to waterproof your shelter is by simply bringing a tarp. Tarps are cheap, hard-wearing, and multifunctional. You can use different configurations to turn it into a shelter, use it as a ground sheet or to put on as an additional layer to your bushcraft shelter’s roof.

When using tarps to waterproof your shelter, make sure that it’s stretched out tautly and is securely pegged to the ground or to a tree so that it doesn’t collect rainwater. If you can’t afford a tarp, use a thick drop cloth or repurpose an old shower curtain.

Related: Waterproofing your survival gear and supplies

Making DIY cement from wood ash

Basic carpentry and woodworking are undoubtedly crucial bushcraft skills to know when making long-term shelters, but if you want to take it up a notch, you can create makeshift cement from wood ash.

As the name suggests, wood ash cement is made by burning biomass like dried bark and leaves. These materials are more common than the usual ingredients used to create makeshift cement like limestone or shells, but contain the same minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. When done properly, you can use wood ash cement as mortar to reinforce your shelter, or you can turn it into little blocks for various purposes.

The process is pretty labor-intensive and time-consuming, though, so it’s best to make this only if you’ve got the time and resources. As seen in the tutorial above, you’ll need a kiln or oven, a lot of ash from biomass (hardwood ash works best), and some clay or terracotta to use as aggregate.

Still, it’s a good-to-know skill that might come in handy when you’re building a semi-permanent bushcraft dwelling or bug-out camp.

Primitive Firemaking

Fire provides you with heat, light, and protection. This indispensable resource also allows you to cook food, purify water, and fend off predators. Needless to say, knowing how to make fire is one of the top bushcraft skills you should master.

You only need three ingredients to create fire: oxygen, heat, and fuel. These factors are collectively known as the combustion triangle. If one is missing, you can’t ignite a flame.

Oxygen, of course, comes from the air around us. You can best harness oxygen by allowing proper ventilation and by creating efficient firelays.

You can produce heat primarily through friction. Once you create a spark or an ember and it catches on to your fuel, chances are you’ll be able to create a fire.

Fuel comes in the form of combustible materials and is generally classified as tinder, kindling, and firewood.

Tinder is the smallest and finest of the bunch, usually made from thin wood shavings, feather sticks, and other fibrous materials. Its purpose is to catch sparks or embers to burn kindling like sticks and twigs. Once your tinder and kindling are burning, you can feed it larger chunks of fuelwood to keep it burning and to produce hot coals.

Natural Firestarters: Tinder, Kindling, and Firewood

Shavings or curls from fatwood or from resinous trees like cedar, birch, and pine make for excellent tinder, and you can find them almost anywhere in North America.

Tree bark also makes a great tinder and firestarter. Red cedar bark is especially fibrous and can be lit even when damp. You can fluff up red cedar bark to create a “bird’s nest” to catch sparks or live embers.

Birch bark is rich in resins which help them ignite faster. It’s also resistant to moisture and easy to gather. Simply skin dead fallen birch trees with a knife, and their barks will come off in sheets. You can tear birch bark into strips and bundle them up to start a fire.

Fatwood is another term for pine heartwood drenched in resin. Though not as common nor as easy to harvest as the other firestarters mentioned earlier, fatwood shavings light almost instantly, even in super damp conditions. You can also cut them up in chunks and use them as kindling or firewood.

Other natural fire starters include:

  • Tinder fungus – This black and spongy species of mushroom is used to hold coals or reignite fires.
  • Cattails – Dry and fluffy, cattails can be found near water or in marshlands. They don’t burn for very long, so they’re usually considered flash tinder.
  • Pinecones – Like fatwood, pinecones are resinous and can be used as fuel.

Batoning and splitting firewood

Batoning firewood has been a very polarizing topic among preppers. Should you do it and risk ruining your knife? Or should you never do it at all?

Well, whether you’re in favor of it or not, you have to learn how to baton and split wood when you’re left with no other choice.

Batoning is the process of splitting wood with a knife and another blunt piece of wood called a baton. The idea is to lodge the knife onto a block of wood and strike it with the baton, thus splitting the wood into smaller chunks perfect for a campfire. Batoning can sometimes be easier than using an axe or saw, especially when you want to split small pieces of wood quickly.

The downside is that batoning needs a lot of practice, and it can damage your knife in the process. If you’re not careful, you might even end up hurting yourself.

The trick to successful batoning is to make sure that your knife is sharp and its edge is placed perfectly straight onto the block. Then, strike it with the baton nice and hard to split it right down the center.

Primitive Ways to Make Fire

Since primitive folks didn’t have matches or lighters, they primarily made fire through friction, and they produced friction through drills.

There are many types of drills out there, but they more or less have the same basic components: a spindle or a long stick that one uses to create friction and a fireboard, which is a flat piece of wood that collects the embers made by the spindle.

Here are some examples of primitive fire drills:

  • Hand Drill – The hand drill can be operated by one person and is perhaps the most easily recognizable fire drills out there. The idea is pretty simple: you roll the spindle really fast between your palms, running your hands down its length very quickly until it produces embers. The embers are collected in a small nick or depression on the fireboard and are then transferred to a pile of tinder. Tinder ignites and boom, you have a fire.
  • Bow Drill – The concept is pretty similar to a hand drill, but this time, you use a flexible stick and a piece of cordage to create a bow. The bow is used to turn the spindle and creates the friction for you.
  • Two-Man Friction Drill – This one is essentially a bow drill but instead of going at it alone, one person holds the drill upright while the other operates the bow to create friction.
  • Pump Fire Drill – This type of fire drill is a bit more complicated than the rest. The bow is powered by a manually operated pump mechanism that creates friction.

Aside from drills, another primitive way to create a friction fire is through a fire plough. Instead of using a spindle and a small depression on a fireboard, you make a groove along the length of the fireboard and slide another piece of wood along it, creating friction horizontally. The stick should be around an inch thick and made from softwood for best results.

You can also use flint and steel. This is how they used to kick it back in ye olde days. On one hand, you’ve got a striker made from carbon steel, and on the other, a hard stone made from flint or chert. Striking these materials against each other creates sparks, which catch on dry tinder.

You can perfect this method through practice, but a more convenient way to create fire through the same principle is by using ferrocerium rod fire starters instead.

Which Firelay Should You Use?

It’s not enough to light a fire—you should also be able to keep it going. An excellent firelay will help your fire stay lit throughout the night with little to no maintenance, so it’s important to pick the right one.

See also  The Perfect Ladder Stand Setup For Deer

Here are some examples of firelays you can construct:

  • Tipi firelay – As the name suggests, the tipi firelay sports a triangular shape like a tipi shelter and can be made from sticks and twigs. To build it, all you have to do is start from small kindling and work your way to the bigger ones, leaving an opening on the upwind side to ignite the tinder.
  • Log cabin or upside down fire – This is a self-feeding firelay that burns from top to bottom. Up top, you have your tinder and kindling. The pieces of fuel get thicker as you go down the firelay, allowing the fire to produce a big, hot, and consistent flame with minimal tending.
  • Star fire – This one is really simple. Start by building a small pile of tinder and kindling, and around it, place large pieces of firewood. The idea is to gradually push the larger pieces of fuel into the fire to keep it going.

Wanna know the nitty-gritty details of making these firelays? Check out these tutorials. If you want to learn more about firemaking in general, here’s the full roster of useful guides and resources:

Tips to start a fire
How to make a fire in a wet environment
Homemade firestarters
unique ways to make a fire

Finding and Purifying Water in the Wild

Hydration is key for survival, so knowing how to find and purify water in the wild should be bushcraft 101.

Like the other bushcraft skills mentioned in this article, you can find many sources of water out there by first knowing the lay of the land, and by reading natural indications of water, like the following:

  • Gurgling or rushing sounds – These indicate the presence of running water. Since water flows downward, you can most likely find it in low-lying areas, canyons, and valleys.
  • Plants and vegetation – Certain plant species, like lilies and cattails only grow near water, so look out for these. Note the quality of the soil, too—muddy or marshy ones obviously indicate water. Large, thick vines and trees can also be sources of water themselves. Before you drink up, however, make sure that the plant is not poisonous and it doesn’t ooze bitter or cloudy sap.
  • Presence of animals and insects – Grazing animals and herbivores are more likely to lead you to their watering holes. Watch out for birds, too. Birds will fly low and in a formation when in search of water, and will likely hop from tree to tree after having a drink.

When you can’t find a lake, river, or stream to get water from, you’ll have to get creative by collecting rainwater, creating a solar still, or looking for alternative sources of hydration. Here’s a guide on how to go about those methods.

Bushcraft Water Purification

A bandana or shemagh is excellent for taking out debris and dirt from your drinking water, but if you don’t have one on hand, you’ll have to make your own filter. The video above describes the process of how to make one with a bottle and some natural filters like rocks, leaves, and soil.

The idea is to stack the filters up in layers. The large and loose ones, like rocks and pebbles, go at the top to filter big pieces of debris. The filters gradually become finer to take out minute contaminants until you get clear water.

Once you’ve got a decent amount of water, purify it via boiling. Boiling kills microorganisms and viruses that might cause disease.

Related: Best Ultralight Backpacking Water Filters

Trapping and Hunting Game for Food

Berries, roots, and edible plants will keep you alive well enough, but if you want to fill your belly with something more substantial, you will have to learn how to track, trap, and hunt game for food.

Here’s what you need to know about these bushcraft skills:


The biggest advantage of trapping is that it saves you time and energy. Unlike hunting, where you have to actively chase after a single quarry, trapping lets you catch a lot of prey without having to run after them.

You can set up traps in different places to increase your chances of catching a meal. This multitasking feat frees up a large chunk of your time, letting you do other stuff like building a campfire or reinforcing your shelter.

When setting up traps and snares, it’s important to develop a keen skill for tracking animals. Know what kind of animal you’re trapping by watching out for things like:

  • Pawprints
  • Fresh or worn tracks
  • Droppings
  • Disturbed vegetation
  • The animal’s usual diet within the vicinity

Once you’ve determined your prey, it’s time to move. Here are tutorials that show how to create some of the most common traps out there:

Deadfall Trap

The deadfall trap is one of the earliest and most effective traps known to man. It’s used to catch small to medium-sized prey like rodents and squirrels.

Spring Snare Trap

Simple yet effective, the spring snare trap uses a length of wire or string to create a noose that tightens around the animal’s leg or neck.

Woven Fish Trap

This trap takes a long time and a lot of skill to make, but the payoff will be worth it. This trap lets you catch medium-sized fish and eels.

Prawn Trap

This is a smaller version of the fish trap for prawns and smaller species of fish.

Things to Remember When Making Traps

Traps take a lot of skill and practice. Here are some useful tips to remember when constructing traps and snares:

  • Prepare the parts of your trap away from the area to avoid disturbing the vegetation and alerting the animals to your presence. All you have to do when you come to the site is to assemble it.
  • Stay downwind.
  • Always wear gloves when handling your traps. Animals have a keen sense of smell and can detect your scent. Rub plants, dirt, or the innards of your previous catch onto your trap to mask your own scent and confuse the animal.
  • Blending in is key. Make sure that your trap blends well with the environment by camouflaging it with leaves, mud, and vegetation.
  • Avoid using young twigs and cordage when making your traps. These release a scent that alerts animals of potential predators. If you can’t find old materials, age your trap by exposing it to the sun.
  • Choose your bait wisely. Don’t use bait that the animal can just easily find elsewhere. Instead, use something that will potentially catch their attention.

For an in-depth look at other primitive ways to catch, cook, and eat food in the wild, check these out:

primitive cooking tools

Other Bushcraft Skills You Have to Know

Shelter, fire, water, and food are the four foundations of outdoor survival. Once you develop your skills in these areas, you’ll be able to survive out in the wild without modern resources.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to stop there. These intermediate bushcraft skills will help you take your survival know-how to the next level:

Making Bushcraft Tools

What separates humans from other primates? Our ability to create and use tools to help make our lives easier. This video shows 7 useful primitive bushcraft tools and contraptions you can use in and around your camp.

Natural navigation

You need to know how to get your bearings when out in the woods. When you don’t have a compass and a map, natural navigation techniques will prevent you from getting lost in the wilderness.

Creating watercraft

At some point, you might have to leave your camp and venture out into bodies of water to get food or to explore. You can create a canoe from reeds, as shown in the video above, or construct a raft from driftwood.

Final Thoughts

You know what they say: the more you know, the less you need. Having a sharp set of bushcraft skills will not only help you survive in the wild; they will also help you live off the land and thrive without modern creature comforts long after SHTF.

How good are your bushcraft skills? Do you think you can survive an extreme bug out situation in the woods? Let us know in the comments!

Previous articleWill 10mm Stop a Bear?
Next articleElk Calling Strategies for Today's Public-Land Hunter
Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>