Getting started in Bushcraft (Gear needed)
Bushcraft Gear to have to get you started
Firstly, You don’t have to go out and spend loads of money to get started in Bushcraft.
Have a look at this list. Then first see what you have at home.
Of course businesses want you to come in and spend loads of money on the most expensive gear to get started. I’m going to try to guide you in a cheaper direction. Remember, this is to get you started. I am one who believes that if you are just starting out, then get what you need. But don’t spend too much money until you’ve firstly confirmed you really want to do this.
Once you’ve decided that Bushcraft (or anything else) is good for you. Then slowly start investing.
Next. Before you start spending all of you riches. Learn why and how to use each item of equipment you carry. It’s easier to buy, and later upgrade a piece of equipment when you understand better why you need it.
And last point. Remember. The more you know the less you carry.
So, let’s get started.
What are the most important items to have on you.
Well, my first list, are the 10 essentials.
- Water Bottle or container (Plastic or metal) (Metal can be heated over the fire)
- Extra clothes for the season (extra socks, underwear, t-shirt and a sweater)
- Sun Protection (Sun Glasses, Sun Cream)
- First Aid Kit (Including any medications and Water purification tablets you may need)
- Flashlight (Headlamp with extra batteries)
- Trail Food (Anything you like that will give you extra energy)
- Rain Gear (Poncho, Rain Jacket, Pants, Gaiters) You decided.
- Map, Compass, Notebook, and pencil (Know how to use them)
- Knife (Folder of a fixed blade. I carry both)
- Fire Lighting Kit (Don’t forget you need to know how to light a fire)
With these 10 items you are ready to build.
You will need the proper clothing for the season to wear. If you are comfortable with shorts, t-shirt and sandals. Then great. Some items may be found in the 10 Essentials list. But this is starting out.
But, I’m going to suggest these items.
-T-shirt (Synthetic or wool)
-Long sleeve shirt, light in weight or even wool. (keep the bugs off and protects against the sun)
-Long trousers. In the summer even those zip-off trousers will work. But I prefer shorts or long trousers. I also don’t suggest wearing denim, or cotton trousers. But go with what you feel comfortable with. Again this is starting off. So don’t buy something if you have something that will work.
-Outdoor shoes. Although, be careful of the weather. But a pair of trainers will work.
-Socks. (wool). These dry faster, and protect your feet better. (Avoid cotton)
-Hear gear, a cap or a larger sun hat will do. See what you have around the house. That Pirates Baseball cap will work.
-Gloves. I carry leather gloves. But even a pair of garden gloves will work. But I suggest not bringing something cotton, nor something that could melt when hot. (Handling that hot pot over the fire)
-And a leather Belt. As you get more experienced you’ll see what a leather belt is best. But bring what you have. Need to gives those trouser some support.
Now that we know what you are wearing. How about the pack
-Backpack, You can use anything to hit the trail. I’ve seen people using those grocery bags they stuffed everything in. But if you have a pack at home. Even a school pack. And it’s at least 30 – 40 litres. Then use it. Again, this is starting off. You can even use a garbage bag.
Now for sleeping.
-Sleeping Bag or Blanket, Use what you have. If you only have a blanket, then use it. A quilt. Surplus army sleeping bag. There are loads of suggestions. You don’t want to get cold at night. This turns people off of camping and bushcraft fast. Borrow if you have to. Or just go out, and buy a cheap one with a good temperature rating.
-Ground insulation. I suggest you find a piece of foam padding. Need to get up off the ground. Makes all the difference in camping.
-Tent or tarp, For your shelter, you can do one of several things. And old tent. Unless you have a new one. Or a Tarp. This can been found cheap or look around the garage. You may have one. You can go to the hardware store and buy a. 8 foot piece of Tyvex. Or a piece of plastic. You’ll also need some cord.
If you are already proficient in some outdoor skills. You can build a debris shelter or even a log cabin. Some to sleep under. Or protect you from the sun. You can even Cowboy Camp, and sleep under the stars.
-Cooking gear and food, This is easy, you can bring what you already have from home. Although I don’t recommend Teflon or aluminum pots. Look at what you have. And make sure you can use it over a fire. Food, well, that’s easy. Anything you want to carry, but are willing to cook over the fire. And make sure you carry a meal more than needed. You can even eat from the Pot. But carry a spoon at least.
-Cutting Tools. I prefer to carry with my a good Fixed blade knife. But a folding knife will work. But you are limited too small and light work. Don’t attempt to split a log with it. Not only could you break the knife, but also injure yourself.
-Fire Kit (inside should be at least three forms of fire lighting) (And don’t forget like everything else, you need to learn how to best make a fire.)
-Here are some extra items you might want to carry. But like the items above you need to educate yourself on why you carry them, and how to use them correctly.
-Hand Axe (Very dangerous if you don’t learn how to use safely)
So, you can find these items on the cheap. Or like I said they may be laying around in your garage. I grew up with very little kit. But I found what I needed around the house. I made due with what was out there. I learned as I went along. You can do the same.
As you get proficient in the outdoors, you will learn that you need little to enjoy life in the wild.
Learn about plant and fungi life. What you can eat and what not to touch. Even learn to Hunt and snare animals.
Carry Candles not only for lighting the night around camp. But for melting and waterproofing kit.
As you gain confidence, and experience. Then go out and improve your gear. I started out with a Mora Knife. Cost 10.- I still use More Knives, but my main knife is a better knife. Much more solid, and dependable. Hold a edge better, and I have more confidence in it when doing heavier jobs. I carry an axe, and saw. These help with the work.
My clothing is better made outdoor clothing. Better suited for the wilderness. My pack is comfortable to carry the load. And the size I need.
I am more comfortable outdoors. And more confident. With more knowledge I have lightened my load, and carry only what I really need.
So, get started. And have fun learning, and loving the outdoors.