7 Bushcraft Skills That Changed My Life
From improving conscious awareness of your surroundings to building and maintaining a fire, bushcraft skills can change your life.
Our modern lifestyle is all based on a very fragile premise which can be destroyed with something as common as a hurricane or tornado.
Having the knowledge and skills necessary to live off of the land will provide you with confidence in all kinds of situations and provide you with an alternative perspective on our current way of life.
You will gain a whole new appreciation for the convenience, availability, and luxurious resources available to us in modern times.
Benefits of Bushcraft Skills
By learning and developing bushcraft skills, you will greatly improve your well-being and quality of life.
Not only is this way of life healthier, but it will provide you with the knowledge of how to be a self-sufficient survivor.
It will bring you confidence in everyday situations from remembering landmarks to assist with driving in unfamiliar territory to managing your stress at work.
Whether the wilderness survival situation is temporary, self-imposed, long-term, or a forced emergency, these skills can be the difference between life and death. Acquiring these skills is guaranteed to change your life for the better.
1. Avoid getting lost or being found with orienteering.
Orienteering describes the traveling of unknown terrain with the aid of a map and compass.
Originally, this skill was designed as military training for Swedish soldiers. It has since gained international popularity and even become a world renowned sport.
This skill involves identifying terrain features which would provide natural barriers in the path. Those unfamiliar with orienteering may be surprised that it is usually impossible to simply travel in a straight line across long distances.
Practicing this skill has immeasurable benefits including strengthening decision making, improving mental acuteness during fatigue and stress, and constant awareness of the surroundings. With this skill, you will never get lost again.
Even if you are not sure where you are but you know how to get back to where you started, then you are not lost.
2. Knowing what is edible is a bushcraft essential.
Finding edible wild food is a survival necessity.
If you don’t have a food source, you will not have the mental capacity or the energy to focus on survival.
One of the most important aspects of foraging is being informed about what you can and cannot eat.
Many plants in the wild are poisonous if ingested while looking like harmless berries to an inexperienced forager. Acquiring this skill will benefit not only in survival situations, but in our everyday lives as well.
Wild plants and fruits are much richer in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals than those found in the grocery store.
3. Animal tracking will strengthen awareness of our surroundings.
Identifying an animal by its tracks can tell you so much about the area you are settling in.
Tracking will assist in hunting animals for food or fur. Trailing an animal can also assist you in finding a fresh water source or even a food source.
The main benefit of learning to track animals is minimizing the risk these animals will pose to your survival.
It is especially important to be aware of your predator’s normal pathway to avoid unnecessary confrontation with the animals.
4. Hide-tanning ensures none of the animal is wasted.
Bushcraft skills often promote maximization of resources and reducing waste.
Hide-tanning is one way to ensure that none of the animal is wasted, while also providing numerous benefits including clothing, shelter, and storage.
Leather provides resistance to harsh wind, making it an excellent addition to any long term clothing or shelter structure.
It is tough, durable, and long lasting making for excellent storage bags as well. This skill will provide countless benefits while living off the land.
5. Gardening saves money and improves your health.
Gardening is an important long-term bushcraft skill because it will provide the nutrition and stable food source your body needs.
In everyday life, gardening will consistently bring fresh produce, stress relief, and assist in your body’s regulation of the immunes system.
You will not only soak in Vitamin D from the sunshine but will also be absorbing the friendly bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae from the dirt which all stimulate your immunity.
6. You can easily tap trees for water and sap.
Trees will pull water from the ground and filter it through their roots.
The water will stay in the tree all winter collecting nutrients and providing nourishment to the tree until spring.
Humans can tap into trees and produce a maple or birch sap. This delicious natural energy drink is high in manganese, electrolytes, and vitamins.
It also contains abscisic acid which helps remove sugar from the blood stream and stimulate the immune system.
7. Building and controlling fire is the most important bushcraft skill.
Controlling fire is exceedingly the most crucial bushcraft skill to acquire.
Fire was and still is one of the most necessary prerequisites to survival. Control of fire is what in fact makes us human.
About 1.8 million years ago, our ancestors discovered and harnessed the amazing power of fire.
By adding cooked meat to the human diet, we were able to add more calories to focus on the brain, resulting in an unprecedented increase in brain size.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, people in the wild will usually only survive a few months without cooking even if they have access to raw meat.
In addition to providing a method of cooking, fire will provide a method of producing safe water, warmth, light, and shelter.
From tanning hides to learning to identify edible wild food, acquiring these skills can provide you with countless benefits and significantly improve your quality of life.
These skills will help guide you into the bushcraft lifestyle.
This way of life provides for better health, mental acuity, and preparedness.
Modern life has brought us far away from the way of life of our ancestors.
Facing the wilderness can be deadly for many modern humans who do not value the benefits of bushcraft and cannot even produce fire, arguably the most significant skill ever to have been learned throughout humanity.
Acquiring these skills is sure to be life-changing in a positive direction.