Training for an aspiring bushcraft professional?

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Putmeback

New Member
May 8, 2020
1
0
38
New Forest
Hi all

I've dabbled with a number of bushcraft topics for many years but my actual experience and knowledge is pretty superficial. However I would be interested in taking this a little further, maybe starting with some freelance 'teaching' for young people. I'm an ML and have worked in an outdoors centre for the past 3 years where I've taught basic flora identification, fire lighting and shelter building. All our training was in-house. My question is: is there a specific professional body that I should join and what courses should I be looking to complete?
many thanks!

thank
 

gra_farmer

Nomad
Mar 29, 2016
330
146
Kent
Woodlore do an instructor course, it's full on and hard going, the requirements is to complete a number of the entry level courses and work your way up to the instructor course.....and I would recommend doing that.

When I was doing the woodlore courses, I met a professional Russian ballet dancer, whom had broken most of the bones in his body for his art.

He wanted to change direction, and open the best bushcraft school in the world....his drive was in sane. To do this, he attended each of the famous bushcraft schools, and started at the bottom level of each and worked his way through every course, then went to the next school.

He started in Canada with Mors, and worked his way down through the USA, going to the likes of Dave Canterbury, and Joe Flowers, then over to Iceland, Finland and down to England to Woodlore, where I met him....then over to Europe, working north to South where possible.

I met him in 2013, so his school should be setup now....he was impressive

I would do woodlore courses, first, and see if you can find that guy. He would be in Russia.

Now for your in-house training while in lock down, get to grips with your plant identification first, I would study the national vegetation classification of the UK... NVC, I was lucky enough to be trained in botanical identification by the person that wrote the revision to the NVC, and call him a friend. Know your plants and you honestly cannot go wrong....honing axe and knife skills should come later.
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,368
2,560
Mid Wales
As gra_farmer has implied; it's a long hard road these days. Gone are the days when someone with a few years practicing from books will get away with opening a school - it will cost both time and money. For every day you spend on a course you will need to spend weeks of dirt-time. The route most seem to have taken is to start at a school and, if good enough, volunteer to help for a while then, if lucky, start instructing at that school and finally leave and open their own school.

If you are planning on this being a career I think you need to appreciate that it's a very competitive environment and that a lot of schools are struggling to keep their courses full and profitable - the costs (woodland, tools, materials, help, insurance …) can be quite high as well.

Having said all that, if it's your passion and you have the determination, have a go. I should point out that in one of my lives I advised small business in start-up and growth and a lot of my effort was making people consider reality before they wasted their savings :)
 
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gra_farmer

Nomad
Mar 29, 2016
330
146
Kent
As Broch, stated it is a long road, and will be a investment to skill development for the rest of your life.

To stand out from the crowd, what can you offer that others cannot? For example I used to be a farmer, carpenter/engineer, university lecturer and I am a scientist. when I volunteer for a forest school, I bring veterinary level skills, medical knowledge of plants, materials use and knowledge on applications, and environmental chemistry.

Look to your strengths, previous knowledge, experience and skill set....see how those can build into your bushcraft. Remember, it is very telling and obvious if you are not knowledgeable in the areas you are teaching
 
Last edited:

gra_farmer

Nomad
Mar 29, 2016
330
146
Kent
As gra_farmer has implied; it's a long hard road these days. Gone are the days when someone with a few years practicing from books will get away with opening a school - it will cost both time and money. For every day you spend on a course you will need to spend weeks of dirt-time. The route most seem to have taken is to start at a school and, if good enough, volunteer to help for a while then, if lucky, start instructing at that school and finally leave and open their own school.

If you are planning on this being a career I think you need to appreciate that it's a very competitive environment and that a lot of schools are struggling to keep their courses full and profitable - the costs (woodland, tools, materials, help, insurance …) can be quite high as well.

Having said all that, if it's your passion and you have the determination, have a go. I should point out that in one of my lives I advised small business in start-up and growth and a lot of my effort was making people consider reality before they wasted their savings :)
Broch, am I correct in reading somewhere you teach wilderness skills? You should share how you got in to it
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,368
2,560
Mid Wales
Broch, am I correct in reading somewhere you teach wilderness skills? You should share how you got in to it
I'm afraid I am not a good role model :)

I don't actually consider myself a teacher at all but just someone that spends time with others passing on a lifetime's worth of experience (and usually learning something back).

Like a number on this forum I come from the 'old school'. I have the luxury of being retired and so I do not do it as a living. I was being taught wilderness skills by my Mother and my (Maternal) Grandfather from the age of five. I was wild camping solo when RM was a toddler and I've been hunting and foraging for as long as I can remember. I now own and manage for conservation 20 acres of woodland so spend a great deal of my time working in the wood. When I do run sessions it's with a maximum of four participants so totally uneconomical if I was trying to do it as a business.

Having said all that, I am still learning and I can learn something new every day!
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,368
2,560
Mid Wales
Hi all

I've dabbled with a number of bushcraft topics for many years but my actual experience and knowledge is pretty superficial. However I would be interested in taking this a little further, maybe starting with some freelance 'teaching' for young people. I'm an ML and have worked in an outdoors centre for the past 3 years where I've taught basic flora identification, fire lighting and shelter building. All our training was in-house. My question is: is there a specific professional body that I should join and what courses should I be looking to complete?
many thanks!

thank
Apologies, we've ranted on but not answered your question - to the best of my knowledge there is no professional body that defines standards or required content and achievement; this is such a broad subject I think it would be difficult to find consensus.

Wayne (a MOD on this forum) runs Forest Knights - he will be in a better position to answer your questions than me.