What is Bushcraft?

You might be new to the term “bushcraft”. You may have also heard it somewhere, but until now you still do not know the meaning. So what is Bushcraft exactly?

…What is Bushcraft?

It’s a term so widely thrown around in discussions that center around or point to the word,”survival”. But what does it denote?

To answer your question, Bushcraft refers to wilderness skills. Since wilderness skills mostly mean to sustain the one applying them, the link between those discussions and the term bushcraft appear.

Two people mainly popularized the bushman concept. In the southern hemisphere, we have Les Hiddens, an Australian who authored the Australian Army’s military Survival manual. And in the north, we have Mors Kochanski, a Canadian wilderness survival instructor.

Bushcraft is all about surviving in natural environments, well more or less. The skills needed learned and fostered through experience and application. These “bushcraft” skills include but are not limited to hunting, fishing, tracking and firecraft.


For some etymology, the word has roots from the bushmen of Africa and Australia. The usage of the word dates as far back as the 1800s. These bushmen by the way were indigenous hunter-gatherers.

Well… not all about surviving

Actually, bushcraft isn’t just about surviving against nature but instead also harmonizing with it. Hence, thriving and not just surviving. Living not just struggling to get out where nature lies.

In another post, we talked about survival skills basics. This “survival skills” discussion then brought up several general categories of skills to secure some specific basic human needs. Keep in mind how these “survival skills” can apply in any survival situation, hence are general, while bushcraft is specific to the wilderness. In the wilderness or any other setting where bushcraft might apply, these general categories of skills would be on a tangent with the more specific skills of bushcraft.

Bushcraft skills of hunting could get for food. Then other skills for cooking and preparing said food.

Bushcraft also talks a whole deal lot about using specific tools and techniques. Lots of them by the way improvised.

These skills here.

Enjoyed that read? You might find interest in knowing some “Basic Tips for Building Bushcraft Shelters“.


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