What is "Bushcraft"?

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I'm a bit confused after reading posts for the last month.
From beautifully crafted fish traps, handcarved spoons, handmade, on the spot, camp furniture and hand forged knives to stainless steel factory made knives and high tech useless camping gear. Shooting bears in the back of the head with 44 calibre handguns to living and walking through a forest leaving as little trace as possible.

What does it mean to practice bushcraft?
 

KAE1

Settler
Mar 26, 2007
579
1
52
suffolk
From what I can make out Bushcraft = outdoor survival skills. However most of us do not practice this in most of our free time, I guess its just not practical. If you look at my poll 'Whats your main outdoor activity' you will find fishing, camping, hiking, canoeing etc.

For me the really good thing about this site is the diversity of interests of the members, its not easy to pigeon hole the members, the site or the subject.
 

Wayland

Hárbarðr
It's a catch-all phrase for a range of activities that are hard to define any other way.

This topic raises it's head every couple of months and creates such heated argument that the thread usually gets locked and a couple of people throw their rattles out of the pram and leave.

Quick answer is Bushcraft means whatever it means to you. :dunno:
 

mace242

Native
Aug 17, 2006
1,015
0
50
Yeovil, Somerset, UK
The way I see it is that bushcraft is making the natural world a comfortable place to live without destroying it in the process. I separate it from survival skills in that they tend to be about surviving in the wild for as short a time as possible. Bushcraft = living in the wilds, Survival = getting out of the wilds. If that makes sense. It's too early and I'm at work :(
 

Squidders

Full Member
Aug 3, 2004
3,853
14
45
Harrow, Middlesex
I would guess the 2 words comprising the name give the game away... from the Oxford dictionary:

Bush Originally from Australia and Africa meaning wild or uncultivated country
Craft an activity involving skill in making things by hand. Skill in carrying out one’s work.

So, to me any hands on skill relating to the wilderness, be it a skill for carving wood, hunting animals, traversing terrain or an almost infinite other activities.

For me, both words are important, if i'm not in the wilderness at all or i'm not developing a skill i'm not bushcrafting.

It really is a massive generalisation isn't it... similar to being a martial artist.

Cheers,

Joe
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,363
1,339
Bedfordshire
Oh boy, this question again :rolleyes: :lmao:

Why does it matter what other people think that some handy catch-all term means? Based on previous threads, there are some good definitions around, but they will never suit everyone.

Anyone can read the content of this site. To someone, nearly everything on this site is related in some manner to bushcraft. If you read parts and feel that they do not fit your personal parameters, how can you expect to have the word "bushcraft" neetly pigeon holed by the membership?

The term "Bushcraft" is a useful blanket description for a very wide range of skills and interests related to the outdoors. Its utility is that it is not precise. It means different things to different people in different places and yet it still conveys the gist of general meaning in conversation.

There are many activities which on their own can be better described by terms other than bushcraft. Forging, making knives, hunting, archery, knot work, leather work, pottery, the list goes on. However, they can all be complimentary to wilderness living skills, even to survival skills, hence they are on this site and people will chat about them. :D
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,363
1,339
Bedfordshire
If we made everything a sticky you would have to go to the second page before you found the first normal thread!:lmao:

And anyway, I am pretty sure that people read stickies only fractionally more often than they use the search function. ;)
 

Hardworms

Member
May 23, 2007
36
0
37
Huddersfield
What Bushcraft isn't is survival, eeking out a living from the land. It's far more than that. It's the art of living. It's being in tune with the natural world, knowing and understanding it in a personal way, so that we can utilise its resources.
The aboriginal peoples of the world don't understand the term. They view these skills (which we think of as unusual and alien) as an everyday part of life. Making fire is their equivalent of turning on the washing machine.
In order to understand Bushcraft we have to look at the peoples of the world who use the treasure trove of knowledge in order to eat, sleep, work, bring up their children, relax, get married, and die.
 

spamel

Banned
Feb 15, 2005
6,833
21
45
Silkstone, Blighty!
If we made everything a sticky you would have to go to the second page before you found the first normal thread!:lmao:

And anyway, I am pretty sure that people read stickies only fractionally more often than they use the search function. ;)

Some sort of points system is needed for each time you use the search button. Once you get enough points, you get a sticky bun or a shiney penny!!

I cannot understand why they don't get used more often. I use the search facility quite a lot, but it is normally to find a really old thread that I remember from a year or so ago!
 

baggins

Full Member
Apr 20, 2005
1,472
214
46
Coventry (and up trees)
Bushcraft means different things to different people, as seen by some of the debates (free and frank exchange of ideas:AR15firin ).
What does it mean to you?
Too me, it means being as far from the modern, western, idea of civilisation. To appreciate the natural world, free from the noise and distractions that rule our lives.
Learning and experimenting with skills and techniques once taken for granted, now frowned upon as slow and pointless.
You're very lucky, living where you are (me too soon). There are is plenty of space and, ofcourse, a percentage of the population that still embrasses the older ways.
Make Bushcraft what you will and above all, ENJOY IT.
Baggins
 

Mikey P

Full Member
Nov 22, 2003
2,256
6
49
Glasgow, Scotland
I'm a bit confused after reading posts for the last month.
From beautifully crafted fish traps, handcarved spoons, handmade, on the spot, camp furniture and hand forged knives to stainless steel factory made knives and high tech useless camping gear. Shooting bears in the back of the head with 44 calibre handguns to living and walking through a forest leaving as little trace as possible.

What does it mean to practice bushcraft?

All that you said and more.
 

rich59

Maker
Aug 28, 2005
2,212
20
62
London
Hi Cariboo,

What I like about this forum is that old threads do get lost/ hard to find. If they didn't then we would stop communicating with each other and enjoying chatting and sharing our take on whatever is the subject. If old threads were always there to refer to then it would just become a "been there, done that" boredom site.

Go on! Do post the most obvious and over worked questions if you want to!!! Have a good chinwag. Don't look at the old threads unless you just want to read quietly by yourself.

Bushcraft to me is an exciting word. A good use for it might be in the question "What's your bushcraft?" It entails all the craft you yourself have gained about living in natural environments. For some it's knowledge, for others it's skills, for others it is how to have a great time sharing jokes and stories around a fire, for others it is a living............... Most especially it is the things about living in the natural environment that give you a buzz.:red:
 

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