shelter building on a weekend bushcraft course

More Than Just Survival

The word ‘bushcraft’ is becoming more commonly used nowadays. It is becoming associated with almost any activity that takes place in the woods or out on our moors, a by-word for campfires, tarps and cooking things on sticks. Partly due to the popularisation of so-called ‘bushcraft’ by certain TV personalities, it has also taken on something of a ‘macho’ ideal; what matters is the size of the axe – not the skill with which you are using it.

In this blog, we are going to talk a little about what bushcraft means to Wildway and how we demonstrate these values to you when you take part in our bushcraft courses.

Bushcraft is about more than survival



To Wildway, bushcraft is about harmony. It is not about ‘surviving’ or overcoming nature. Rather it is about living in harmony with the natural world around us. By understanding and respecting the role that plants and animals have in the ecosystem and understanding the properties of these plants and animals, we are able to use them most effectively.  At its most basic, this can be seen in understanding the different properties of trees. They are not all just firewood to be chopped up and posted on Instagram, rather trees are sources of water, of food, some more suitable for shelters, or traps of bows than others. By living in harmony with nature you will learn to see the woods not as some wilderness to be tamed, but as an extension of yourself; filled with useful resources.

“There is a power in nature that man has ignored. And the result has been heartache and pain.”

― Anasazi Foundation, The Seven Paths: Changing One’s Way of Walking in the World 

Basics of shelter building


With harmony comes respect. By respecting the natural world we help to preserve it, for its own sake (and all of ours), but also for the enjoyment of future generations. Respecting the woods also helps us to use its resources in an effective and sustainable manner – making long term living in the woods possible.

“Listen to the air. You can hear it, feel it, smell it, taste it. Woniya wakan—the holy air—which renews all by its breath. Woniya, woniya wakan—spirit, life, breath, renewal—it means all that. Woniya—we sit together, don’t touch,

but something is there; we feel it between us, as a presence. A good way to start thinking about nature, talk about it. Rather talk to it, talk to the rivers, to the lakes, to the winds as to our relatives.”

― John (Fire) Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions 



Our modern lives are hectic. Screens, advertising, social media – it is all noise that dominates our lives. Mastering bushcraft enables you to live in the wilderness in peace and quiet, with harmony and respect. The student of bushcraft finds peace and quiet in the woods; not fear or worry. There is no need to try to overcome nature, rather embrace it and work with it. It is increasingly being recognized that spending time in nature is beneficial for our mental health [SOURCE].

“Unfortunately, modern man has become so focused on harnessing nature’s resources that he has forgotten how to learn from them. If you let them, however, the elements of nature will teach you as they have taught me.”

― Anasazi Foundation, The Seven Paths: Changing One’s Way of Walking in the World

Shelter building with wildway



We believe that bushcraft is about more than just survival. Don’t underestimate us because of that though, our instructors can do everything that we show you for real and their skills have been tested time and time again. What we do is use those skills, and teach you those skills, to help you on the path to true bushcraft – living in harmony with and understanding nature.

On our weekend bushcraft courses we teach you how to use the materials around you to build shelters, light fires by friction, catch food to eat, identify certain plants, make natural cordage, find and filter water and so very much more. We teach you to make the most of the materials around you to live in the woods in comfort – not to try and overcome nature. 


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