If you could only keep one Bushcraft skill?

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Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
Mid Wales
I think this question can be answered in two ways: by considering the hierarchy of need or by treating it as question of personal enjoyment.

For me, hierarchy of need would be my main consideration, so it would have to be foraging skills - plant ID, seashore foraging, and small animal capture (but I'd have to be prepared to eat it raw :). When man first stepped out all he had was a big stick to poke and dig with and he foraged for roots, berries, leaves and ate any grub and small animal he could get his hands on and scavenged. There's no point carving cooking and eating utensils, or starting a fire to cook on, or even building a shelter, if you don't have the skills to find food to keep you alive.

If it's a non-essential skill, not required to keep me alive, it would have to be the ability to sit quietly staring into a camp fire for hours :)


Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
The thing about Bushcraft skills is that they are intertwined, and the question is, is it possible to single one skill out, even foraging combines the skill of where to look, and what to look for, as well as what should you not eat, so quite a comprehensive set of skills, just to get something to eat. wood carving the same, the need for skill with the knife, what wood to use, how to keep the knife sharp, and safety aspects to keep yourself safe by different holding positions, again a comprehensive list of associated skills, the one skill or mindset I would keep, is the willingness to have a go.
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
Food, Shelter and Clothing are your three needs in the temperate zone.
Humans placed an early premium value on fire. I would like to be the guy who can always make fire. It's light, heat, defense and offense and cooked botanicals (400,000 yr old evidence)


Full Member
Jul 29, 2014
Skills fill the gaps in your equipment
- shelter building because you have no tent
- firelighting because you don't have a gas stove and lighter
- foraging because you don't have food
So at risk of flying in the face of the whole ethos of bushcraft, the skill I'd choose is to be prepared with enough gear to get by with no other skills.

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
If I were to chose one that was the most useful for survival it wold be plants, foraging etc. I would be lovely to be like you Red with a deeper understanding of the cycle of things, but in reality I've not invested the time to learn, maybe one day.
Any time you are passing us Tony, you will be welcomed
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Spirit fish

Aug 12, 2021
I was pondering the other day about which would be the most important skill for me to keep if I had to choose just one that I could hold onto and use forever more. It's hard because I like having fire skills, wood and carving skills, cooking skills, water and shelter skills etc... I think I settled on wood and carving skills as the one I would keep, to a large degree they wouldn't save me and mine if the world went apocalyptic but they bring me pleasure and I find them relaxing and mindful. So, it's a very personal thing.

If it was for survival it would be different I'm sure, but for now it's wood and knife/axe stuff.

How about you?


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