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Bushcraft is a style of camping that stems from wilderness survival skills. It is about thriving in the natural environment, and the acquisition of the skills and knowledge to do so.
Bushcraft skills include shelter-building, natural navigation, firecraft, tracking, hunting, water sourcing, fishing, twine-making and foraging. Learning bushcraft also gives you the expertise needed to handle certain tools such as bushcraft knives and axes. You’ll use these tools to create many different types of constructions, from dugout canoes to a-frame shelters.
The term bushcraft was popularized in the Southern Hemisphere by Les Hiddins (the Bush Tucker Man) as well as in the Northern Hemisphere by Mors Kochanski and more recently gained considerable currency in the United Kingdom due to the popularity of Ray Mears and his bushcraft and survival television programs. [ citation needed ] The origin of the phrase "bushcraft" comes from skills used in the bush country of Australia. Often the phrases "wilderness skills" or "woodcraft" are used as they describe skills used all over the world.[ citation needed ]It is also becoming popular in urban areas where the average person is separated from nature, as a way to get back in tune with their rural roots.
The Oxford English Dictionary definition of bushcraft is "skill in matters pertaining to life in the bush".
The word has been used in its current sense in Australia and South Africa at least as far back as the 1800s. Bush in this sense is probably a direct adoption of the Dutch 'bosch', (now 'bos') originally used in Dutch colonies for woodland and country covered with natural wood, but extended to usage in British colonies, applied to the uncleared or un-farmed districts, still in a state of nature. Later this was used by extension for the country as opposed to the town. In Southern Africa, we get Bushman from the Dutch 'boschjesman' applied by the Dutch colonists to the natives living in the bush. In North America, where there was also considerable colonisation by the Dutch, you have the word 'bushwacker' which is close to the Dutch 'bosch-wachter' (now 'boswachter') meaning 'forest-keeper' or 'forest ranger'.
Historically, the term has been spotted in the following books (amongst others):
The word bushcraft was trademarked by Bushcraft USA LLC. The application was submitted July 30, 2012 and issued November 12, 2013. This trademark is a service mark, for the general use of the word bushcraft and is not limited to electronic forms of communication or commerce. However, the validity of this TM is in question (nullified) since the Mark was used in commerce, by Mors Kochanski in 1981, 31 years prior and again in 1988, 24 years prior to Bushcraft USA making claim to the Mark.
The Irish-born Australian writer Richard Graves titled his outdoor manuals "The 10 bushcraft books".
Canadian wilderness instructor Mors Kochanski published the "Northern Bushcraft" book in 1981 and an expanded edition of the book in 1988. He hasstated on numerous occasions that book title was an explicit reference to Graves' work.
The term has enjoyed a recent popularity largely thanks to Ray Mears, Cody Lundin, Les Hiddins, Les Stroud, Dave Canterbury and Mors Kochanski and their television programs.
Ted Kaczynski, American mathematician and political theorist, is a notable advocate of wilderness survival and self-sufficiency.
Bush or Bushes may refer to:
A tinderbox, or patch box, is a container made of wood or metal containing flint, firesteel, and tinder, used together to help kindle a fire. A tinderbox might also contain sulfur-tipped matches.
Major Leslie James Hiddins AM, known as "The Bush Tucker Man" is a retired Australian Army soldier and war veteran who is best known for his love and knowledge of the Australian bush. Hiddins is recognized by his distinctively modified Akubra "sombrero" hat and big grin.
Survival skills are techniques that a person may use in order to sustain life in any type of natural environment or built environment. These techniques are meant to provide basic necessities for human life which include water, food, and shelter. The skills also support proper knowledge and interactions with animals and plants to promote the sustaining of life over a period of time. Survival skills are often associated with the need to survive in a disaster situation. Survival skills are often basic ideas and abilities that ancients invented and used themselves for thousands of years. Outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing, and hunting all require basic wilderness survival skills, especially in handling emergency situations. Bushcraft and primitive living are most often self-implemented, but require many of the same skills.
Raymond Paul Mears is a British woodsman, instructor, businessman, author and TV presenter. His TV appearances cover bushcraft and survival techniques. He is best known for the TV series Ray Mears' Bushcraft, Ray Mears' World of Survival, Extreme Survival, Survival with Ray Mears, Wild Britain with Ray Mears and Ray Mears Goes Walkabout.
Mors Kochanski was a Canadian bushcraft and wilderness survival instructor, naturalist, and author. He acquired an international following and instructed for both military and civilians in Canada, the US, the UK and Sweden. He died from peritoneal mesothelioma in 2019.
Bush tucker, also called bushfood, is any food native to Australia and used as sustenance by Indigenous Australians, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, but it can also describe any native fauna or flora used for culinary or medicinal purposes, regardless of the continent or culture. Animal native foods include kangaroo, emu, witchetty grubs and crocodile, and plant foods include fruits such as quandong, kutjera, spices such as lemon myrtle and vegetables such as warrigal greens and various native yams.
"The bush" is a term mostly used in the English vernacular of Australia and New Zealand where it is largely synonymous with backwoods or hinterland, referring to a natural undeveloped area. The fauna and flora contained within this area must be indigenous to the region, although exotic species will often also be present.
Scoutcraft is a term used to cover a variety of woodcraft knowledge and skills required by people seeking to venture into wild country and sustain themselves independently. The term has been adopted by Scouting organizations to reflect skills and knowledge which are felt to be a core part of the various programs, alongside community and spirituality. Skills commonly included are camping, cooking, first aid, wilderness survival, orienteering and pioneering.
Extreme Survival is a survival television series hosted by Ray Mears. The series airs on the BBC in United Kingdom, it is also shown on Discovery Channel in the United States, Canada, India, Italy, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Russia, where he demonstrates his wilderness skills and presents tales of survival from some of the world's most difficult environments. The show was first broadcast in 1999, after the success of World of Survival from 1997–1998, and ended in 2002.
Bradford Angier was an American wilderness survivalist and proponent of back-to-earth living. He authored more than 35 books on how to survive in the wild and how to live minimalisticly off the land.
The term woodcraft — or woodlore — denotes skills and experience in matters relating to living and thriving in the woods—such as hunting, fishing, and camping—whether on a short- or long-term basis. Traditionally, woodcraft pertains to subsistence lifestyles, with implications of hunting-gathering. In more recent times, and in developed countries, it relates more to either outdoor recreationalism or survivalism.
Outdoor recreation or outdoor activity refers to recreation engaged in out of doors, most commonly in natural settings. The activities themselves — such as fishing, hunting, backpacking, and horseback riding — are characteristically dependent on the environment practiced in.
Ray Mears' World of Survival is a survival television series hosted by Ray Mears. The series airs on the BBC in United Kingdom, it is also shown on Discovery Channel in the United States, Canada, India, Italy, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands and Russia. The show was first broadcast in 1997 with "The Arctic", and ended in 1998. It would be followed by Extreme Survival.
Bushcraft is a survival television series hosted by Ray Mears. The series airs on the BBC in United Kingdom, it also shown on Discovery Channel in the United States, Canada, India, Italy, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Czech Republic, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, Romania and Russia. Following on from Extreme Survival, Bushcraft was first shown in 2004, and ended in 2005.
Wild Food Documentary is a documentary television series hosted by Ray Mears. The series airs on the BBC in United Kingdom, it is also shown on Discovery Channel in the United States, Canada, India, Italy, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands and Russia. The show was first broadcast with an episode set in Australia and ended with "Woodland". The theme tune is not unlike the one heard in World of Survival.
Ray Mears Goes Walkabout is a survival television series hosted by Ray Mears, showing Mears in Australia. The series aired from 2008 on the BBC in United Kingdom, and was also shown on Discovery Channel in Canada, India, Italy, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Russia, and the United States.
Survival with Ray Mears is a 3 part television series hosted by Ray Mears, as he tracks predators in their natural habitats. The series was broadcast by ITV, and was billed as the return of the Survival brand. It was followed by Wild Britain with Ray Mears.
Bruce Duncan Zawalsky is a professional Canadian outdoorsman, Bushcraft instructor and author. He founded and owns the Boreal Wilderness Institute based in Edmonton, Alberta. He is the author of A Guide to Canadian Wilderness Survival published by Liard Books in 2017. Zawalsky guided his first backpacking group in the Rocky Mountains in 1981. In 1989, as part of a small six-person group in three canoes, he completed a 92-day 3,600 km canoe expedition between Rocky Mountain House, Alberta and Thunder Bay, Ontario. The expedition involved over 60 portages and 200 km of upstream river paddling, lining and poling, and was conducted as the completion of an Outdoor Education training program at the University of Alberta. He studied with the famed bushcraft expert Mors Kochanski, and at Augustana University College, PADI College, the Nordic Ski Institute and in the Canadian military. He has been a member of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment for more than 34 years.