View Full Version : want to start bushcraft, wheres a good place to start
my name is simon and im 26.
i have been interested in bushcraft for some time now but havent been in a position to do anything about it.
could someone please give some advice on how to get started. i like reading and wanted to know what books are good and i would benefit from.
also, a course. i will be living in leatherhead for a year and wanted to know if there are any courses in that area. money is an issue at the moment. around £150 maximum somthing over a weekend that would involve a bit of everything. what sort of gear would i need. boots bags and other stuff
any help would be greatly appreciated
Ogri the trog
Whilst not a book, this site offers one of the most comprehensive reads you find anywhere - choose your subject and someone will have discussed it here. Books by Mors Kochanski and Mr Mears are popular, though they are not the only authors that provide excellent information.
I'll leave information on courses to someone else more likely to be closer to your area.
Ogri the trog
Welcome to BCUK Simon.
Your question about where to start is rather a difficult one to answer. it depends on where you are, what access you have to suitable locations and frankly what your inclination and interest leans you towards.
As Ogri mentioned there are a number of general bushcraft books that will give you a better idea of all the different areas in Bushcraft.
By far and away my favourite recommendation though is to surf around the various section on BCUK - ther is so much information on so many bushcraft topics. Set aside an afternoon or two and just see what's around. You'll then have an idea of what you want to concentrate on learning first.
Another idea is to keep an eye on what moots are coming up that you can get too. People on the moots have a wealth of practical knowledge and advice and are more than willing to share it.
Hiya Simon, Welcome to the site, as Ogri says, there is lots to read here for starters and can help say some pennies on books etc.
Its a hard call to make on the course front. But Personally i'd like to say not to jump in with a course to start with but to try and get along to one of the day or overnight meetups that are often organised on here. Most the time they are totally free and it will mean that not only can you ask any questions face to face, but will also mean that you can decide wheather you are sure you then want to spend out a bit more for some professional training.
I would suggest though, that if you do go to an informal meet before doing a course, and if you haven't had any outdoor experiance before using say cutting tools, that you do seek some assistance on the safe use on these tools for both your own safey and those around you.
In terms of actual schools, there are some good ones in the surrey and sussex area:
the ones that spring to mind are:
there is also Bearclaw Bushcraft, which is a little further away in Essex.
There are a lot of threads on here about these schools already and a quick search should bring up some reviews and may help answer any other queries you have. If they don't then people here should be able to help.
Welcome aboard Simon,
Nothing to add to what the folks have already said.
Keep an eye open for local meets and ask question there or here on the forum. Have a good look around via the search engine and remember, there's no such thing as a stupid question :D
Given you're apparently in Portsmouth at the moment, there are a few of us nearby. Could probably organise some sort of impromptu show & tell on kit & books, for example.
i'd really recommend just going out there and doing it!
a sleeping bag, orange survival bag and a lighter should get you going a treat, wrap up warm and pack some grub, maybe a flask in the winter. going out on your own is an amazing experience if you can, but drag a mate out if not. take your mobile, tell someone where you'll be and when youre going to be back.
there are a million bits of kit, but the only thing that matters is getting some knowledge.
go out a few times and you'll soon know more about what you personally want. there's probably far more info on this site than in any book and its all tried and tested!
best of luck!
i to was like you a few months a go but this site along with mors k's book and a couple others has given me lots of info and a starting point
If you aren't a single man - beware. I get my ear chewed for reading here all the time.
Welcome, I've gained an amazing amount from the supportive and friendly bunch here. I'm sure you'll get the same.
at the moment i am in portsmouth, but on monday will be moving to leatherhead for a year. anyone in leatherhead.
who is mors k? are there any books on flint knapping.
is that right, "knapping". im interested in tool making. i would also like to make a bow. like the one on the ray mears show. he went out with some tribe in africa and the guy made a bow and they put poison on the arrows.
this, and building shelters, starting fires.
mors k is the bushcraft guru lol
Mors L Kochanski.
He is the author of a book called Northern Bushcraft, which is commonly used as a bushcraft bible. He is Canadian, but has been known to attend these shores (have a look at some of the pictures of the Bushmoot from this summer, there is to bound to be at least one of him in there). In person the man is amiable, patient and a veritable vortex of information.
Best way to learn is to get out and do!
Read here as there is vast amounts of infomation on most subjects, I would also try and meet up with a few folks from the forum if possible as they will be the cheapest course you could go on! :lmao:
Kit is a big question and my answer changes all the time!! Ray Mears didn't have much money when he started out, he wanted to watch foxes at night and talked a mate into staying out with him. He used a blanket and some polythene for a shelter. He could have made a leaf litter shelter quite easily, but didn't know about them at the time. Couple a leaf litter shelter, blanket and fire with a good bed of spruce boughs or leaf litter and bracken for a mattress and you will have a comfy and warm night, so long as the fire keeps burning!
A knife can be as simple or expensive as you wish, but a mora will be what you want to get first. They come in carbon steel, which can rust if you don't take care of it, or stainless steel which is a bit more hygienic and won't turn fruit brown when you cut it!! The clipper can be picked up for under a tenner and is a great knife for the money. Look up the Five pound sharpening kit (http://www.bushcraftuk.com/community/showthread.php?t=11571&highlight=sharpening) thread to get a cheap but effective means of keeping the knife sharp. A sharp knife will save you from getting tired and making a mistake. Look up safe uses of knives, there will be a thread here somewhere, but one doesn't come to mind immediately.
If you have any more questions, just ask. Someone here will know the answer, I guarantee that!
Do we know anyone with any kit :D?
Shame you moving Simon, as Peter says there are some great guys around here. Look us up when you get back okay?
Ninjaman. I see you were in Portsmouth. Were you training in Portsmouth?
I am hosting a meet on 5-7th of Jan if your interested near Arundel.
Do we know anyone with any kit :D?
Er... I might have a couple of crates of the stuff somewhere... :D