A few posts ago we talked about how you and your body is your first and best weapon in a SHTF scenario, I want to justify that statement by adding the will to live and knowledge to the mix.
It is no good having the best gear available if you don't know how to use it. Knowing how to survive in an off grid urban environment or wilderness setting is paramount, second only to having a good level of fitness and stamina and neither of the above are of any use at all if you do not have the will and drive to stay alive as the world as we know it crumbles around you.
With all the will in the world and all the best Prepper tech available, if you had to grab your bug out bag and move to one of your bug out locations, the only thing you will be able to rely on will be your fitness, your will to live and what you know. How to light a fire when it's cold, windy or raining, how to make a shelter, get water and purify it when your out of those little tablets and you cant find your life straw, what wild foods you can and can't eat, how to snare and hunt animals for food and everything else that goes with having to live in the wilderness.
This is where Bushcraft comes in. Bushcraft in my opinion is an umbrella term for being able to survive in a sort of comfort in the wilderness, being as comfortable as possible and at home in the wilds, knowing what I can and can't eat and being able to find and/or make some kind of shelter.
If you were to ask 500 people who are knowledgeable in bushcraft, what bushcraft is, you will get 500 different answers. Some will say it's wilderness survival, others might say it's being able to know the wilds or have knowledge of the wilderness and how to best use it.
Either way, what ever your answer is, knowledge of bushcraft is paramount if you are going to survive in a SHTF situation. After all, what are you going to do if you have ran out of food, your in the middle of a wood, surrounded by spruce trees, have no water and your bug out bag floated off down a stream two days ago, the only things that you have on you is what ever you had attached to your belt, a knife, a torch and some string..
Any bushcrafter will say that if you have a good knife on your side, you have everything you need to survive. I myself have joked a few times with my kids when they ask me what I have in my bag and I tell them,
They used to reply with something like "What, you have a house, or a billboard in your bag?"
To which I would reply, "I have a knife and some string so technically, yes, I do have a house and a billboard in my bag, all I need to do is find some wood and make them"
The picture above is not my bushcraft gear,, though I wish it was and admittedly the house would be more of a lean to among some trees and the billboard would be what ever I wrote on a wall of cliff face with a chunk of burnt wood I took from the last fire I made, but you get where I am going with this.
I am new to bushcraft and everything that goes with it but I have a decent size bag with enough in it to start me off, I have a good hunting knife, I have a bigger 120 litre bag with everything else I need in it (or it will have by the time I have finished) and most of all I have the will to learn.
I know that I am going to make mistakes and fail at almost everything I try but failure is part of the learning process and it is better to get it wrong now, than when the lives of my family and my self depend on me getting it right.
Up until this year I would say that I was almost 100% connected to the grid, I depended on it for just about everything, food, water, warmth, security and everything else that comes with society as we have come to know it. I don't want to be that person any more, which is why I have cut down my time connected to the grid via my computer, the TV and my phone by almost half. I hardly ever watch TV now and only use my computer for making these blog posts, recording and editing my podcasts and research.
Instead I am outside in the garden or going for walks, every time I go out, even if it is just to the shops I grab my day bag on my way out and I have to say, I do feel better for it both physically and mentally.
It has been and will be quite the journey I am taking and I want to take you along with me, through my successes and my failures.
That being said, lets grab a rucksack and get out there..