Summer is here and there is no better time for getting out in the woods in the beautiful British countryside. Not only is being outside in the summer fun it’s also good for your mental health.
In fact, studies show that regular time outdoors can reduce stress, anxiety and make you feel more relaxed. For children being outside regularly can help them to develop confidence and develop their imaginations. Learning bushcraft as a family is a great way to encourage children to get outside, for all the family to learn new skills and for children to learn respect and deference to the natural world.
Bushcraft, harmony, and nature
Bushcraft is one of the best ways of getting out in the woods and learning new skills together as a family. More than that though it is a great way of teaching children respect, responsibilities and a greater understanding of nature. Through bushcraft, children can develop a deeper connection with nature by learning the names of the trees, plants, and animals they see around them. In turn, this understanding teaches children to respect and value the natural world. This is the true nature of bushcraft, not the bushcraft that you see on TV! After all, bushcraft is about so much more than just survival.
Bushcraft and responsibility
Not only does bushcraft teach children respect for nature and give them a deeper understanding of the natural world it also teaches them responsibility. By teaching children how to safely use tools such as knives or axes and basic bushcraft skills such as fire lighting they can learn responsibility and respect for such tools and skills. It should go without saying though that it is best not to let children use knives and axes without supervision.
How to introduce your family to bushcraft
The world of bushcraft is huge, and it can be overwhelming to try and introduce your family to all of it at the same time. The best way to introduce your family to bushcraft is to start small. Look at the basics and then break them down into easily understandable chunks.
Introduce your family to shelter building
Shelter building is a great place to start introducing your family to bushcraft. You don’t need to start with building a shelter from scratch, why not introduce your family to sleeping outside under a tarp first? This can be a particularly good starting point if you have younger children who are not used to camping. If they enjoy sleeping outside under a tarp then you can introduce them to basic lean-to shelter building.
Introduce your family to fire lighting
In addition to building a shelter or sleeping under a tarp, fire lighting is a great bushcraft skill for children to learn. After all, what can beat sitting around a fire out in the woods? The first place to start with teaching fire lighting is to make sure that you’re doing it in a safe place that can’t cause a wildfire. Friction fire lighting might be too much of an advanced technique for children to learn straight away but learning how to choose the correct wood and build a fire can be a great place to start.
What to expect on our family bushcraft course
At Wildway Bushcraft, we believe that introducing children to bushcraft works best in a structured, friendly and enthusiastic environment. On our family bushcraft course, you and your family will learn how to build your own shelter, how to track animals, start a fire, cook over an open fire, carve a spoon and even make a bow and arrow. It is the perfect way to enjoy spending time together in the outdoors while learning new skills. This course can be run at any time convenient to yourself, just let us know when you are free and we will do our best to accommodate you.