Your Ultimate Checklist of Bushcraft Skills for Beginners

Whatever tomorrow would bring, you’d have better chances of survival if you know the basics of bushcraft skills for beginners. As they say, the better you will be prepared if you’re knowledgeable of these skills.

Today, we’d share this bushcraft article to help you discover what it is and what skills you must learn for it to grow your abilities and knowledge in emergency and survival preparedness.

What Is Bushcraft?

Making use of the available resources from the surroundings in order to live, survive and thrive in the wilderness or vast outdoors. Is what bushcraft is all about.

For example, the art combines ways of using animals and plants along with a few bushcraft tools so that you can live efficiently and easily in the wild.

There are many benefits to learn bushcraft skills, and a few of them include  improving your ability in adapting to even the most difficult challenges in the wilderness, growing confidence, being sufficient, improving your survival skills, and becoming prepared during emergencies or facing chaos and unforeseen events.

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Bushcraft is not only one skill that you can learn, but it is a group of skills, which can help you live and thrive in the wild especially when trying to cope up and overcome challenges and obstacles you don’t normally meet in your daily life.

While wilderness survival is the focus of old bushcraft, its main principle is using nature (or the world around you) to survive in an urban/suburban environment or setting.

What Are Bushcraft Skills? Here Is Your List

Nature has all the things and resources that our ancestors and us need to survive (and keep living), but it is not all too easy. While resources are available, you should know how to use and what to do with them.

These bushcraft skills can be applied in many situations and activities, including bugging out, camping or hiking outdoors. So without even saying, these skills are interrelated (and very important) to help you thrive with nature’s resources and your backpack.

With these skills, you’ll be more self-sufficient, less depending on commercial supplies. So even if these stuffs would run out, it won’t make you panic because you know how to use nature and its abundance of resources – all at your disposal!

And with beginner’s bushcraft skills, you can also thrive even in city survival situations. Check out the following for what you need to know about bushcraft skills survival.

Navigating and finding your way

Even the most advanced survivalist can get lost – and it is not impossible at all.

Land navigation helps you go back on track and find your way even if you get lost or if you lost the trail. The very basic here is to learn how to use a compass and read the stars and sun.

You may also have to learn how to follow water flow and other things that will help you find your way back to the camp or your point of origin.

Tip: Moss always grows on the northern side of trees.

Starting, building and keeping the fire alive even in rainy or wet surroundings

Fire building skills is a special ability of making, controlling and using fire to survive and thrive in the wild. Just imagine how you’re going to make fire if you don’t have matches at the moment.  The same proves much important when building fire in wet conditions.

In this case, you must learn how to build a fire with nature’s resources, including branches, leaves and a rock. Plus, you should know how to move fire from one place to another so that it can keep going, such as in dry grass.

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Repelling insects and bugs

Another best way to learn bushcraft is to know how to repel insects and bugs. Whether you like it or not, you will meet plenty of them in the wild. Just a single bite from a disease-carrying mosquito can make you sick of dengue, malaria or yellow fever.

You should always be ready with an insect repellent and apply them on your skin and clothes. You can do it by finding alternative pest control solutions.


Escaping detection, hunting, hiding supplies and stalking a prey animal, this skill is the best to use, so you should know how to do it correctly.

One of the basic survival skills to master in camouflaging is to keep your supplies away from looters. It can also help you save food for and feed your family.

In short, camouflaging is the skill that gives you the ability of hiding or blending into the surroundings. It is useful both for urban and wood environments.


It involves using tools to catch fish, but that is not to say using a conventional reel, rod and hook. In the bushcraft world, fishing is done is alternative ways of carving a hook or spear from a stick with a knife or setting up traps.

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As you may already know, it’s a method of catching animals for food.

While using a rifle is the easiest way to go when hunting, it is not always available. For this reason, you should know how to hunt with other alternative skills, such as using a bow, tracking, knowing the use of scents and baits, setting traps and tying cordage and knots. You also have to know how to clean and cook the game.


Aside from hunting, trapping, such as making use of traps and snares, are useful in both fishing and hunting. Trapping is one of the basic bushcraft skills to learn especially making and setting one based on your target game. Know that you have to secure the food fast in the wilderness and use as little energy as possible.


It is not the same as hunting as some may think it is. Instead, foraging involves learning ways on how to recognize or identify plants – and of course, how to know the difference between poisonous and edible ones.

By learning how to identify these plants, you can keep yourself safe from harm of poisoning and diseases.

Foraging is a skill that comes in handy when there is lack of game supply in the area where you are. Identifying plants correctly, you will also be able to use certain types for medicinal purposes.

Tip: Do not eat wild mushrooms.  While they might look exactly as in your books, they can be risky to eat due to poison content.

Cleaning your game

When done catching the prey, you need to clean it by first hanging its head so that the gut won’t be breaking.

Next, you have to cut it from its sternum towards the groin.

Take the entrails out. Clean it from the top to bottom.

For the fish, it must be scaled. Catfish must be scaled from its head down and the rest to their head.

Building a tripod for cooking

When done cleaning the game you’ve caught, you need to cook it properly – not undercooked.

You should learn how to build a cooking tripod to make your life easier for this task. Just use three wood pieces that have the same length and a cutting tool.

Collecting and purifying water

Include this on the bushcraft skills checklist! As a general rule of thumb, you should have water supply to last an average of three days.

But if you’ll take longer time outdoors, you should learn how to find, collect and sanitize or purify water for drinking or cooking.

For this reason, you might as well build a camp near a water source. However, be mindful of areas prone to flooding and places people and animals are passing through.

You should also learn how to filter water to get rid of debris and other pollutants. Next, boil water at least five minutes to kill pathogens, bacteria included.

You can drink water from melted snow, but you must get it to a reasonable temperature. Do not drink cold melted snow or you may have to expend too much energy heating it in your stomach.

Tip: To pre-filter dirt and debris from snow, use a bandana and then melt snow into a clean container.

Building a shelter

Making a shelter is another important task to do when bugging out or trying to survive in the wilderness.

The shelter must be able to protect you from temperature changes.

For example, hypothermia is dangerous, so you have to protect yourself and your family from it while outdoors. The shelter must also be able to protect you from animals passing and lurking by.

You can make use of resources, such as moss, leaves and tree branches and other materials to find if you don’t have a tent. Some items in you bug out bag, such as poncho, tarp or paracord, can also be used in building a survival shelter.

Tying knots and using a rope

One of the basics in bushcraft skills is using a rope and tying knots, which are needed when making a trap or building a shelter. It can also be used in securing knots you would need if you have to climb trees.

You can also increase the material strength of the things you’re building with rope craft skills. And that can be a lifesaver during emergencies.

Knowing how to use axes and knives

One of the bushcraft skills to practice is to know how to use these tools because they are needed not just for security but also for other tasks, such as building a shelter, hunting and fishing.

Know what each blade is capable of cutting, slicing or chopping. Doing so, you can also prevent injuries and accidents.

But also, you should know how to maintain these tools in good working condition through repair, proper storage and sharpening. Finally, you must also know how to make a blade out of nature’s resources, such as wood.

Carving wood

This skill serves plenty of purposes, including making weapons and tools, such as mortar and pestle, spoon and fork, snares, clubs, traps, tomahawks, wooden spears and bow and arrows.

Batoning wood

This skill involves wood splitting. It is done where a knife is wedged in a wood piece and then struck using a baton-shaped object, which resembles another wood piece. For batoning wood, you will need a hatchet or a bushcraft knife to spare the blade of your knife.

Tracking animals and people

You will be able to find a missing person fast if you know how to check for and track signs. By just looking at tracks, you will be able to do it as well as find out if it is a woman, man or a child, the number of people in the group and the length of time they have been there.

Many animals also have the habit of following the same path when trying to hunt for and find food and water. By knowing these habits, you will be able to track these animals fast and set up traps in the right places,, eventually increasing your chances of catching them. Also, you have to look for clues, such as overturn rocks and torn branches.

Treating wounds

Anything can happen out there. Injuries and accidents can too. For this reason, you should learn the important survival skills in the wilderness of how to treat wounds to help deal with injuries – an open wound, a broken bone or a skin cut.

The best thing to do is to take fist aid course before camping in the wild and learn how to make a splint, seal a wound or clean a cut.

Final Thoughts

Learning bushcraft skills for beginners can be a lifesaver whether you’re in the wild or an urban survival situation.

Campers, hikers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts also have their better chances to live, survive and thrive more efficiently with the basics of how to survive in the wilderness and bushcraft skills to practice.

The more skills you have the less dependent you will be on store-bought supplies because you’ll know how to make the most of nature’s resources.

What bushcraft skills do you think is the most important? Tell us in the comments!

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