Children's Bushcraft

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May 23, 2007
Peterhead, Aberdeenshire
I often take my little brother down the rocks and have a small fire etc. I let him collect the wood pick what he wants to cook and let him fill the messtins with water etc.
Aswell as when were about to go out i let him get the bag ready. If he wants ive promised he can have my old 3 inch fold knife when hes 9.


Jun 9, 2005
Gone feral...
What would you pack in a Lost Kit/PSK for a younger person, say 7-ish? I'm trying to put something together that is both highly practical, safe and small (and potentially airport safe - i.e. no sharps, no mysterious powders and no Anarchists' Cookbooks...).

Any thoughts? So far I have:-

signal mirror (mini CD)
1 x Calpol sachet
1 x bin bag
1 x fudge slab
1 x mini torch.



Apr 20, 2007
Abingdon, Oxon
As a scout leader, I teach my troop quite a lot ( and some of the parents). Most love it. Recently we did a 'fire lighting without matches' evening. We had them using my bow drill and other things like a brillo pad and a battery. Most made smoke with the bow drill as they are quite small but one lad did it. The look on his face was a joy to behold.
Children love making camps and dens and fudging about in the woods. It's what children do. i don't think we need to worry if a gaggle of crazy beavers bash the hell out of a load of stingers. take the stingers and show them how to make some string. I did this at a cub camp and they spent ages making nettle cordage and rubbing dock leaves on their legs and hands.

This weekend with the great help of buckshot (cheers Mark) we took a group of explorer scouts out where they learnt about shelter building, how to prep and cook a rabbit, making pine needle tea, making cordage from nettles. Everyone enjoyed the day and learnt a great deal, even the leaders. I found a supply of crampball which i collected to give to the explorers after they already learnt about its properties for firelighting in a session about 3 months ago, when i went to give this out to them they produced there own collection. this i found amazing as they had only seen it once and a while ago but had remembered what is was. It just shows that if you give younger people the oppotunity to learn something new or different they will remember it.


Aug 23, 2007
Michael, my 13 year old, is now coming along nicely. I got him a GB pocket/mini axe for christmas (Woodlore were doing them cheap) which he adores, and I've passed him down a frosts training knife, which he has learnt to sharpen very well indeed.

So far he's had the odd nick when using the knife, the axe he is very careful with and so far has only dinged his knickles on the chopping block!

He now wants to do some training, but being a big 13 year old he is in a sort of limbo where he is mentally and physically able to do a lot of the things he wants to, but a lot of the schools have a minimum age of 18 for doing anything involving cutting (insurance I imagine). So its now down to me to pass on what I can, as soon as I feel competent to teach him.

At least it gives us some quality outdoors time together.


hi dave I'm 12 (at the monent) and this is my 1st post

i'm suprised you've been to Woodlore and you havent looked at the Junior Fundamental Bushcraft ? you don't need to be 18 to use a knife I'm going in 2008 and I plan to write a review.

links me website still in develoment on content


Oct 10, 2007
I have been a scout leader for quite a while now and we take the kids out as often as possable in to the woods to teach them bushcraft, fire lighting, shelterbuilding, etc etc. we used to teach knifecraft as well but so many parants were woried and complained that there child might turn in to a maniac (thanks to the press) that we had to unfortunately stop doing that. on our last trip out they all had a go at making a pit oven, was great fun and the kids realy enjoyed themselves. think you have to keep it interesting as you are compeating with the ps3 and xbox 360.



May 7, 2005
I'm slightly ashamed to say it. I went on the Youth hostel asociation's do it 4 real survival course I was the oldest one there (I think I was 16, nearly 17 ), we did basic first aid, fire making (with fire steels and silver birch bark), water purification, shelters, skinning ang gutting rabbits and preparing and eating pidgeon, map reading, basic foraging.

we stayed out in the shelters for a night tents for another night went on a trek, and were allowed to use knifes saws and fire which for a kids course was pretty impressive. its also very cheap. I do however have a few personal problems with the course butI don't think it fair to post them on a public forum (if anyone is interested in the course or my problem with the course and would like to ask PM me)

but my main point is as long as the children are checked that they haven't brought their own knives (one more than one occasion and when they're not expecting it) and the correct supervision is given there is no problem with knifes, saws, fire ,etc so long as its in context.



New Member
Nov 11, 2006
Brisbane Australia
I have spent some time as a Scout leader and more recently I ran a Survival course for a group of Army Cadets.
The trick I've found is to have is to set the lessons up as sequential.
EG start with a reef knot, ten fifteen minutes tops, when you go back to knots the you up the ante and make the knots more complicated, as you go on. Then you end up at lashings. This ties in towards the end of the course. With them using all the knots they have learnt to build a shelter and camp funiture.
We start fire making with a lighter and paper, move up to one single match, then spark and Vaso-cotton, finally light a fire with spark and natural tinder. In the final fire test it has to light from one spark and boil 500ml of water with out being tended.
Cooking starts with not burning spam ( don't laugh)
cooking with brought groceries, and finally bushtucker.
But the trick is to make the lessons short, varied and as I said seqential one leads on to another, The lesson uses the points taught in the previous lesson. It reinforces what has been taught previously but the kids work out that they need to pay attention or they are stuffed for the next one
That is a class situation. My little fella is two and we fish and cook together, he is a little young to hunt yet. I explain everything I do as I do it EVERYTHING. From making the bed to cleaning my boots.
Our kids (13, 12, 12) are just getting to the age where some stuff is too much like hard work! When we are away each day I set 3 challenges, each challenge gets a first, second and third place, OR a team challenge gets points depending on effort and success. At the end of each day, around the fire these placings and points turn into marshmallows or other treats.
Points will be deducted if the firewood/water isn't collected and other jobs around camp that can sometimes seem like a drag to them .

Reading that back it all sounds really brutal, but the challenge might be to name 10 plants, or to make a pot from river clay, a miniture raft race is ALWAYS favourite, and shelter building (team challenge) they might have a challenge to come up with some form of entertainment for fire time, or to read that night's story...... but without the firewood or the water they lose points!
It's probably the time when we enjoy each other's company the most, I feel really close to them when we are out in the woods, they never debate or argue these points, it's just accepted as part of the team work of being outdoors, which is great, at home I can barely get them to stack the dish washer, but in camp they'll carry twice their body weight in wood without a murmur.......... as long as I pack the marshmallows!

W x


Aug 23, 2007
we used to teach knife craft as well but so many parents were worried and complained that there child might turn in to a maniac (thanks to the press) that we had to unfortunately stop doing that.

who on earth gos there. stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid parents, you where teaching them a valuable skill. stuff like this makes me what to destroy the earth but thats just stupid.

+ :) my web site been up dated :wow1: but i am doing a lot :thinkerg: for it still.:Wow:


Mar 11, 2008
Whitley Bay
Im also new here, i'm 17 years old and a Young leader at the local scouts, up here bushcraft is dissapearing in scout tradition with very few groups still actively doing it, mostly our group ( 19th Earsdon) our number shave increased because of this, the scouts enjoy it, we are trying to bring it back into scouting tradition by teaching basic skills, this weekend i will be involed in a survival camp teaching scouts basic bushcraft, surving for the weekend, with little input after they have learnt the skills, bushcraft should play a major part in scouting , i will update you all to see how it went, Cain
Apr 10, 2008
I've read this thread with great interest, we had a boy on 11 Jan 08, we already have a little girl aged 3 who lalready oves roaming around the woods and looking at the plants and animals with me. I've booked myself on a 5 day survival course to refresh my bushcraft knowledge, not actively practiced my skills since at uni 15 or so years ago, so I can pass the skill sonto my son and daughter.

Anyway to the point.... young kids are like sponges when it comes to information and learning....a couple of weeks back, I showed my daughter how to light a fire using a firesteel and shaved Silver Birch bark and how to tap the birch for its sap. I collected her from nursery the other day and the nursery had taken the kids out , her carer told me how she had informed the carers that this tree was a silver birch and what its uses were...I take her out as often as I can we revist what I have already shown her and I try to show her someting new...last weekend on Cannock Chase she pointed to a muddy patch telling, me a doggy had been here and she could see its foot prints in the mud....It reminds me greatly of when my dad used to take me when he went shooting on Romney Marshes in Kent when I was a young boy. It also makes you feel very close to your kids, its healthy and its fun...I will continue to do it with my kids for as long as they want to! Robert


Full Member
Aug 30, 2007
South Shropshire
I have twin sisters, 9yrs old and they love the woods, we are hopefully going to rough close again, they thoroughly enjoyed the first session and learnt a lot. They both have carbon moras that I bought them for their birthday and although one of them sliced her hand the second time she used it she has the ultimate respect, the other also, after seeing what it did to her sister.

Bimbles are a great idea, just pointing stuff out and getting them to try the wild foods they find is a great way for teaching them. They know to leave no trace and it always looks as if we haven't sat down and 'camped' for a bit.

I sometimes send them off on their own with a couple of books and tell them to come back with something they didn't previously know about and they always do! Sometimes they end up teaching me and they love it.

I'm going to practise fire building with them soon, they can get fire from loo roll and a ferro rod but not much more than that and they want to take it to the next level. I believe that it's best to work and teach at their pace, that way they learn everything fully before moving on.

Kids are amazing :)


On a new journey
Aug 29, 2007
hiy guys i know being twenty and all, i ant really a kid but i have to say i wish i had been taught more bushcraft when i was younger because i all also went through the scout movement and loved it.
The things i have learnt are: Knots, navigation on land, at sea (but forgotten on the sea how to do it due to not done in age) also camping, and basic fire cooking, sailing.
Other things i have learnt thanks to my mother is how to sew and also how to use sewing machine also taught this in scool.
Also even though my mum and dad arnt campers/bushcrafters as such they do have and still go caravaning and have along with my brother taught me how to camp and use a tent.
Apr 10, 2008
My 3 yo daughter started her first fire with Firesteel and birch bark last weekend...I think I have created a little pyro :)

When it started burning she did a little dance, again..again..again she said when it went out.

When we got home she swaggered into the front room and pronounced to mum and friends... been up the woods with dad starting fires...priceless :) Although I'm still trying to calm my wife down :)

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