Bushcraft Skills V Prepping Equipment
Prepping and Bushcraft go hand in hand,
they overlap in so many areas it hard to see how they can exist without each other.
Going back to the very early ages, man had no prepping equipment at all, all the tools were either found or improvised from natural objects in and around the area.
But pretty soon man learned to make tools and this stone age prepping equipment made survival so much easier.
These 'home made' tools were his prepping equipment, albeit crude and rudimentary, they can be only be described as prepping survival tools and equipment.
Nowadays there's a big distinction between bushcraft skills and prepping equipment, with some people saying bushcraft is all about using no equipment at all.
But you have to start somewhere, you can't just magic an axe out of thin air, it has to be made, and as such becomes your bushcraft equipment.
So in my eyes, bushcraft skills and prepping equipment go hand in hand.
I love to try to challenge myself by going out with the barest of gear, and actually survive with little prepping equipment.
You should try it - I have, and failed miserably..! It is incredibly hard to motivate yourself every time you realize that a simple task is going to take you all day.
What do you prioritize first? Your shelter, your fire, your water? Whatever one you decide, it's going to be a full on mission without and survival gear to help alone the way.
All that happens is I know how much easier it is to survive with good prepping gear, and how much more comfortable my life becomes.
My bushcraft skills allow me to make a fire using the natural materials around me.
But before I can even think about making that fire I need to fashion the tools to help start the fire, to create the ember that will eventually become my camp fire.
Without my knife or axe to cut and trim down the timber to make a bow drill, for example, I am practically at a standstill. Without that knife or axe I need to spend more time foraging about for something to give me a sharp edge to even begin to think about creating the cutting tool to start the first part of the fire making process.
That bushcraft verses prepping example goes to show that, yes it is possible to survive, but it's an unbelievably hard process without even a small amount of prepping equipment.
After all, prepping is all about thinking ahead and being prepared.
So if you were dead set on having a camp fire, then carry basic prepping equipment like a knife, axe and fire lighting kit is a must when you out in a bushcraft environment.
If you really want to test your basic skills, then go a little 'old school' and leave the Turbo Flame lighter or your Ferro Rod behind and try something different.
However, I often think: why make things difficult for yourself?
The essence is testing your skills and ability to survive on nothing, but as preppers, we know you will always have something to make our life easier.
In fact, that is what we plan for - an easy post SHTF life, with modern survival equipment.
In a bugout scenario, and if you were ever forced to make an escape and try to remain under the radar, and go somewhere remote from the cities, your bugout bag, packed with your essential survival equipment would be one of the first things you grab.
In your bag would be all the gear you think you will need to make your survival life more comfortable.
No one in their right mind would just up and go, thinking 'I have bushcraft skills, I can survive'...!
However, combine the two and you have just doubled your chances of not only surviving, but thriving in the wild.
Having a mix of good bushcraft knowledge and a bugout bag full of useful equipment will give you the very best survival chances.
Learning from a good, experienced survival instructor is essential, there is only so much you can learn on your own, and by taking advantage of their knowledge, you can learn these bushcraft skills properly and safely.
When it comes to choosing your bushcraft course, star from scratch. Enrole in their basic couses and work from there, don't think you already know stuff.
I made that mistake long ago - I though it would be easy to teach myself skills, and consequently wasted a lot of time trying....
There are quite a few survival and bushcraft courses you can attend, from one day to full on immersion courses run over months which will give you an actual qualification.
But whatever you do, learn from an experienced instructor - why?, because you don't just learn a basic skill. I have found that bushcraft instructors are a great bunch of people who genuinely want to impart their knowledge and you learn so many peripheral skills alone the way.
Two Survival & Buchcraft schools that I would recommend, because I know the instructors and know their passion for teaching bushcraft are: Jack Raven Bushcraft, based in Kent & Woodlife Trails based in Hatfield Forest, Essex.
It may come the time when you wish you had natural survival skills, but it may also be reversed, and you need modern survival equipment to stay alive.
Either way may sure the two compliment each other.......
I think it is important to balance your bushcraft level with the amount of prepping equipment you have in order to ensure you have all the bases covered.
One complements the other and when mixed make the perfect recipe for survival.
Happy Prepping Folks,