Taking a Course: A Few Questions!

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Full Member
May 21, 2009
Good Ole' Lancashire
Ok folks,

I’m going to take the plunge and drop between £500 and £750 on a weeklong bushcraft course. However, before I commit that kind of money I have a few questions:

1. What should I be looking for in a course? There are so many course suppliers out there it’s hard to tell the reputable people from the charlatans.

2. How would you decide on what course to take? They all seem to teach relatively different things.

3. Any personal recommendations? I’m not far from the Tamarack centre so that may be the way to go.

*I’m not sure if I’m allowed to ask for specific names, etc, so please edit if this breaches forum policy*


Aug 30, 2006
Nr Chester
I suppose it depends on what your current skills are and what you would like to move towards. If you want the basics then go for a basic type of course. If you want to stray into tracking then go for that. I only have experience of "survivalschool.co.uk" and they were great, the guy who runs the courses is called Johny crocket i kid you not!

No affiliation etc.


Dec 15, 2005
Woodsmoke, Woodsmoke, Woodsmoke ;)

Woodlander, Native or Abo course ;) ;)

Ben and Lisa are top people and will happily answer any questions for you.
Nov 29, 2004
I only have experience of the Woodlore School, however I do know folks who are involved with or who have attended courses with Bushcraft Expeditions and the Woodsmoke School, I would have no problem in recommending those.

Woodlore courses are booked up well in advance however you may sign up to a mailing list that will inform you of any places that come up due to cancellations.

The websites of these schools are quite informative and should help you plan out what is best for you.



Full Member
Nov 12, 2005
I suppose it depends on what your current skills are and what you would like to move towards. If you want the basics then go for a basic type of course. If you want to stray into tracking then go for that. I only have experience of "survivalschool.co.uk" and they were great, the guy who runs the courses is called Johny crocket i kid you not!

No affiliation etc.
Johny crocket is a great guy and runs a good show, but their weekend courses, really only cover the very basic basic stuff like showing you an axe, or showing you how to build a shelter (the size of a dolls house) That kind of stuff you can get for very little cost, you could learn all that and more if you even only spend a day at the moot.

£700 would get you a week at woodlore


Jun 26, 2009
sheffield for now
A good course provider should give you a kit list as well as giving you the course content, compair that with other courses and see how they match up for cost.
Look to see if the course has had any feedback, although some courses can just through in a few names themselves if they are a bit dodgy....
Ask yourself what you want to gain from the course and see how they all match up to what your paying for.
Do a few internet searches on each course to see whats been said about it. Wish you luck in finding the right course.


Oct 13, 2008
Speak to Lyndon at survivalschool.co.uk (I am not affiliated whatsoever)

If you are unsure which course to take or school to use, it does make sense to speak to a few of the folks at the various schools, let them know your interests and get their course recommendations....

Take this approach with a few schools and you will certainly be better informed and armed with sufficient knowledge to take a firm decision.

Hope this makes sense.
I was on the woodsmoke course back in June and i must say it was excellent, and now that I am back from it I can see the outdoors in a new light. Im sure there are other good schools out there that would be cheaper and teach other things.

I think the reason I picked that school was due to the recommendations from people on here. We wanted something that would show the basics of bushcraft which was far easier to learn in person rather than through pages in books.
There are also specialised courses that people offer if you want to focus on one particular area.

Good luck with whatever course you do, you will surely enjoy it.


Mr Cake

Jun 20, 2005
my house
Bit far from you but I've been on two courses with Wilderness Survival Skills in Wiltshire (reviews elsewhere on BCUK) and can heartily recommend them.


Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
The guys that run or are Wilderness Survival School used tio instruct for one of the schools already mentioned.

Not saying which one on a Public Forum as that may not be good etiquette (? )


Oct 22, 2008
I did the woodsmoke woodlander last year - was a very good week.

I already had a lot of outdoor experience and bushcraft skills but came away with a lot of new knowledge and skills and with old skills well revised and practiced. My bowdrill went from so-so to far more of a sure thing (well, it's never going to be 100% all the time...).

A lot of the schools are going to want you to have done the basic course before letting you onto more advanced courses (such as the native and abbo). They will take you through all the fundamental skills of fire, shelter, water, cordage and other field skills.

The great thing about these courses are that they are total immersion in an environment where you are alowed to do anything bushcrafty - instead of having to sneek around your local woods.

If you are looking for a core package then the woodlander is a good one to go for.
If you fancy doing some other skills rather than core bushcraft there are plenty of these courses too - woodsmoke are doing hide and buckskin, bowyer, foraging and axe courses. Other schools have lots of other things to choose from.


Full Member
May 4, 2009
I'm just back from Woodlore Fundamental Bushcraft, so would happily rant about the best week out I've had in many years. Can't sing its praises highly enough, although I'm sure there are equally good courses available. Despite the long waiting list, places do come up (I think there was a spare place on this week's one).


Jun 26, 2008
Depends what you want to learn.

Something dedicated to a specific topic like Fire making, cooking, carving, tracking, shelter making, foraging, etc.

Or a general one, where you only scrape the surface of each subject and may end up doing something you're not interested in for a day or two.

Mr Cake

Jun 20, 2005
my house
You could always enter the competition here on BCUK to win a place on the Hunter Gatherer course in August and maybe get taught for free.
I've been the "Woodsmoke Woodlander" 4 or 5 times now, once as a student and the rest a course assistant (work experience type thing) and I enjoyed everyone, each one is a little different but all very well taught, it's a really good week.

The Native is a really good course, it's more crafts orientated, did that as an assistant and it was fantastic, we made fish traps from willow and all sorts of things.

and The Abo' course is very tough but a really good challenge and very rewarding, I'll be doing my second this year :D can't wait.

and the site & location is just fantastic, in the middle of the Lakes, some great views.

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