Seven bushcraft tools that everyone needs – words Al Woods

Are you interested in getting into bushcraft or polishing up your survival skills? Whether you fancy yourself as the next Bear Grylls or you would just like to learn the basics before you head out on a wilderness holiday, it’s always smart to improve your outdoor abilities. One popular way to develop your skills is to take a bushcraft or survival basics course, like those offered by Into the Blue.

But once you’ve honed your skills you need to invest in a good set of bushcraft tools. Without the right tools, even the most experienced explorer can find themselves in trouble. Here are seven basic bushcraft tools that everyone needs to have before they venture into the wilderness.

 

Blade

Perhaps one of the most important bushcraft tools is a good quality knife or blade. Knives are the ultimate multi-purpose tool that come in handy for everything from preparing food, whittling, carving, cutting down branches and starting fires (more on that in a moment). Many bushcrafters like to invest in two different types of knives – a large knife (or machete) and a small knife. Having one of each will make it easier to carry out a range of different tasks that would be difficult if you only had the one knife.

Ferrocerium rod

Starting a fire is one of the most vital skills for any bushcrafter and there are many ways that you can accomplish the task. Whether it’s through striking flint, a bow drill or using a lens. But it pays to invest in a tool that can make fire creation something very simple. A ferrocerium rod (or ferro rod) can be used to create hot sparks. All you need is a good quality knife and a rod in your bushcraft tool kit and you can get a fire started in moments. Of course, you could bring matches along, but matches run out – a ferrocerium rod can be reused as many times as you need.

Axe

An axe is another enormously versatile piece of equipment that can be used for hunting, cutting wood and even as a hammer. Make sure that you keep you axe blade sharp as it can also fulfil a lot of the functions of a knife or blade if you lose yours. When choosing an axe it’s important to know how to select the one that’s right for you. The ideal size of axe for you should measure no more than from the tips of your finger to the bend of your elbow.

Torch

No matter what kind of survival skills you have learned, it’s important to remember that you can’t see in the dark. That’s why you need to invest in a good quality torch in your list of bushcraft survival equipment – ideally one that you can wind up, so you don’t need to worry about your battery running out at the most inconvenient moment. Do your research into the wind-up torches that are available and choose one that provides you with as much light as possible.

Folding stove

You need to be able to cook in the wilderness and so it can be a fantastic idea to buy a folding stove. Whilst many pieces of cooking equipment are extremely heavy and bulky, a folding stove can be conveniently stored and carried. You simply add twigs, branches or other organic material to the bottom of the stove and start a fire. From this you can get a high cooking temperature.

Water purifier

Every bushcrafter needs to have a way to purify water. There are bottles, kits and filters that you can buy that do a fantastic job, but it’s also worth having a LifeStraw on your person at all times. This small, cigar shaped tool can turn up to 1,000 litres of contaminated water into water that is perfect safely to drink.

A good rucksack

And of course, don’t forget that you need a good quality backpack to carry all of your bushcraft tools. Choose one that both has plenty of space and prioritised comfort – don’t just make a snap decision based on whether you like the design or not.

Seven bushcraft tools that everyone needs – words Al Woods

 

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