Children's Bushcraft

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On the topic of Childrens Bushcraft I am very excited to present our new venture to you all

I hope you like the look of our website, we are currently developing a gallery of children achieving the most amazing things. Last week we had a 9yr old achieve fire by friction on there own! Days like that just make us smile :)


Nov 29, 2010
Dalarna Sweden
The problem is, is that many these days can not deal with all the gory details anymore.
As long as there's blodd and guts on tv it seems te be ok, but in real life?
On the other hand it show the kids where the meat really originates from. That is once was a real living animal and not some hump of "meat", wrapped in foil from the supermarket. It all depends on your audience....
Personally I'd say go for it.....

I would like to add that I practiced what I preached the other day and showed my children how I took apart a large bird. They were fascinated!!! Allthough my oldest daughter was not too happy about the looks. But they now know how things are in real life.
Another lesson I learned was that children have a different bodyheatmanagement than us adults. They tend to get cold quicker than us. Keep that in mind! A quick energising snack works better for them than to sit around and wait for some warm brew up to get ready. Thanks, Toddy! That was some sound advise!


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Dec 12, 2006
paddling a loch
When you first gut a fish, I #think# I was 10, it does stink but after a minute you realise it's just meat. It's more the lingering smell on hands etc.

I was also at a Cub Camp at Fordell Firs, Angus, and a leader showed us a rabbit run, set a noose, then we went back after tracking. He then drunk a can of coke, twisted the empty can, used it as a knife. We then tracked back and found a caught, dead, wabbit in the noose. He then skinned it and I was amazed, and revolted, that the fur just came off like a jacket. We made lucky charms out of the feet and ear fur. I also recall a friends farmer dad skin a still born dead lamb and use it as a jacket over a newborn lamb who's mum rejected it, clever.
Jun 13, 2012
Hi everyone, Ive got two kids 2 & 9 and luckily for us my in-laws own a good sized farm just below the Roaches in the Peak District with its own woods. Was just looking for ideas of what I can teach them and hints or tips in keeping them interested.

We were planning on going camping before we go up to the farm but the weather has conspired against us, so the kids are complete novices.

I think just being out in the woods with your kids is a good thing, full stop.... But whilst you're out there just make them aware of stuff that you spot like not touching fungi, maybe learning the names of some of the more common ones, tree and plant identification etc. Then if you want to actually do an activity with them, maybe fire lighting basics, using a firesteel and maybe cooking something simple like a pan of beans.

My kids are 5 and 7 and just love being outdoors and I just teach them as we wander through the woods...


Jul 11, 2012
My 15month old son has taken over his brothers room, and with his favourite sleeping bag I think he's being introduced to bushcraft nice and early


Hi all, wonderful thread as I am just thinking of taking the step of camping out overnight with my 8yr old daughter. Wonderful idea about laying down food for animal tracks, that has really given my brain a kickstart :)
I shall continue lurking now.........


Mar 28, 2011
I just read your post stevet and I'm impressed. The suspended patrol tent is pure genious, some good lashings going on there! I'm a scout leader myself and try to get as much bushcraft in as possible. (although I get resistance from the "I'd rather have them camp on a grassy field with everything provided" crew)


Nov 25, 2012
My biggest competitor is video games. My two eldest grandsons live in the city and our physical contact is limited. I try to remember that kids have short attention spans and a craving for audio/visual stimulation that I never had. So...short lessons and relevance. When I taught my 10 year old grandson how to shoot with a .22 caliber rifle a couple years back, he got bored with targets. I set up a dozen or so beverage cans and water bottles in the weeds and ferns, distanced from 30 to 90 yards. I told him to think of them as zombies and he used up a hundred rounds without a complaint. Best part was, he hit the targets about 95% of the time with iron sights.
Teaching fire is an easy one. For some reason kids love fire. When you give them the opportunity to have one but, only if they make it, the motivation level rises dramatically. Ever since the grandkids were toddlers we've gone on nature walks together, it became a kind of ritual to spend the day alone with Grandad when they visited. Each of them got to spend a day with me one on one, I should say, I got to spend a day with each of them. Since we have very warm relationships with one another, they equate the woods with positive feelings.
I think the biggest things to remember with young folk is to keep things positive and use small doses of education. For myself it was a little hard to remember that my upbringing was completely different than theirs. I learned the woods because it was part of my culture and woodcraft was just what we did. Their motivations are much different and need to be discovered in order to make woodcraft relevant to them.
children are probably the hardest to teach.

due to:
keeping them safe so as not to allow them to cut off their finger on the first outing :)
keeping them interested
keeping them involved
keeping them enjoying it

but why not start simple and just get them out into your local forest and getting them out there

really does depend on their age but why not start by showing them simple like telling the different trees apart. Then next time showing some use's like birch and how easily it can catch fire!

all little steps but progress!
Jan 26, 2013
South Wales
i agree the fire thing. all children love fire and my 3 and 5 year old and when we go out walking they dont want me to use a flask. they want a fire to make hot chocolate!

my husband is paranoid about knives. i cook and my knives are hair splitting sharp. i have been teaching them to use small ones safely... he wants me to blunt them!!!!! he will not accept that a blunt knife is difficult to use....

we take a trap and make shelters, make cake and preserves from fogaged fruit... life is an adventure ....Children love to explore... turn the computer off..... let them live xx imho.


Nov 29, 2010
Dalarna Sweden
Kids, who use knives will cut them selves. That is a fact. So what? It hurts, they bleed, you take care of it and comfort them. Lesson learned.
Start with simple cuttingtasks and use a sharp knife, so if it goes wrong, the damage will be limited, yet the lesson will be imprinted for life.
Same goes with fire. They will get burned, because of their tendency to play with it, as their confidence grows. So no nylons around camfires, no waving burning sticks around. And if they do get burned, make sure it will not be a major burn. A hurtfull red spot is a better teaching than a constantly correcting adult.

As for keeping them involved; give them tasks and responsibility. If they do it right, praise them, so they get that same sence of accomplishment we get when we do complete a task succesfully. Let them collect wood, let them build a fire and let the light it. It'll boost their confidence, if it goes right and if it goes wrong, you have something to explein to them (and share a few moments up close with them) and then start over the proces.
Feb 7, 2013
Just spent my evening reading through this fascinating thread from start to finish. I am currently putting together an after-school bushcraft activity for around 12 weeks for about 2 hours each time during the Summer Term, hopefully ending up with a camp out night in a wooded area of the school grounds. Looking at the thread and other ideas I have come up with the following ideas. What do you guys think?

Shelter building
* Using tarps or bashas
* Bivouacs.
* Improvising bedding.
Basic knots and lashings.
* Clove hitch. Timber hitch. Highwayman's hitch.
* Square lashing. Diagonal lashing.
Firelighting methods
* Kindling. Maya sticks.
* Matches and lighters. SAFETY!
* Friction methods. Firesteels, firebow. SAFETY!
* Using the sun. Magnifying glass.
Simple cooking on the fire
* Making a hot drink. Using a billy can. Kelly kettle.
* Marshmallow toasting on a stick.
* Simple cooking in dutch pot. Stew. Beans and meat.
* Baking bread in the dutchie. Soda bread recipe.
* Finding animal tracks. Making plaster impressions of animal tracks.
* Drag trail. Large log pulled by child through the woods. Follow the trail let in leaf litter etc.
Finding water
* Solar still
* Bags over tree branches.
Survival kits
* Survival priorities? Shelter, water, food.
* Contents?
Signalling. Whistles. Making whistles. Elder?

I have left knives and axes off the list as the kids are age 10 - 11. Might do a bit of bladework on a one to one basis.
Just some initial thoughts. I have a little of my own kit but I will need to get a few bob out of the Head's slush fund.

Any particular kit do you think I will need to ask for?

Many thanks in advance for any input.



Dec 20, 2012
Hi Loz, what you have planned looks great.

Based on my experience with Forest School I'd consider adding some games/free play time into each session. The children have to concentrate a lot when we are teaching them some of this stuff, so need time for their brains to rest and absorb one lot of info before we give them the next. Low slung rope bridges and scramble nets pinned to the ground or home made obstacle courses proved popular.

Kelly Kettles are a great way to introduce fire and camp drinks. We start in week one by showing the children the kettle and demonstrating it. Over the next weeks we get small groups of children using them (1 adult to no more than 3 children), then on our sixth week the children (again in groups of 2-3) all made their own hot chocolate using the kettles, just supervised by the adults.

I'm involved in something similar this coming summer term - a two day overnight stay on the school field with 60 Y3 children. We'll be doing some of the stuff you mentioned, but obviously won't have the time to go into the depth you will.

Have fun


Nov 25, 2012
Hi Loz, what you have planned looks great.

Based on my experience with Forest School I'd consider adding some games/free play time into each session. The children have to concentrate a lot when we are teaching them some of this stuff, so need time for their brains to rest and absorb one lot of info before we give them the next...............

Sounds like it will be a very busy time and busy hands are happy hands. I couldn't agree more about the play time to refresh their minds.
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Nov 25, 2012
Just spent my evening reading through this fascinating thread from start to finish. I am currently putting together an after-school bushcraft activity for around 12 weeks for about 2 hours each time .................


Sounds like a very full and comprehensive curriculum. Please keep us posted as things progress.

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