One of the most important skills of bushcraft, is to leave no trace that you have ever been to that area after you’ve left. Bushcraft is about respecting the environment and others that use the area. Leaving no trace is key to being a responsible bushcrafter.
The importance of leaving no trace
If you have a camp fire, you should make sure that the area is left safe, clean and as you would hope to find it.You need to make sure that the camp fire site is safe from fire before you leave. Make sure the fire is completely out and dead by thoroughly dousing the site with water. We recommend you choose a site that is quite close to water, or you take extra water with you. You will need quite a lot to ensure the ground is cooled down enough and safe to leave.
If you choose to set up your fire at a site where there is already an established fire circle, you still should not leave it with inflammable rubbish and burned logs. Even if the site has not been tidied before you, you should make sure that all traces of your fire have gone.
Along with clearing away all remnants of the fire, you must also take away everything you used in cooking, like packaging, foil and tin cans.
Here are some important ‘no trace’ rules to remember when you are out bushcrafting:
- Consider what type of fuel and how much you will need – it will primarily be used for cooking and keeping warm.
- How long will you be camping for? You may want to practice judging your fuel so there are only ashes left by the time you finish your camp.
- Will you be camping near a water source? You may choose to take water with you, but you need to make sure you pack enough and remember you will have to carry it to the site.
Natural shelters should only be built using dead material, to avoiding making any impact to the local area. Before you leave, remove all of your shelter and take it away with you. Leaving a shelter up spoils the area and could also be dangerous for the local wildlife and future visitors. Using a tarp or a tent is a much better option.
Take all rubbish with you
When you have finished, pack away all your rubbish and debris and dispose of it away from the site. As you leave the site for the last time, look back and give the whole area another look around. It’s always worth checking a final time to make sure you haven’t left anything.
Bushcraft is all about respecting the environment and wildlife, while enjoying the great outdoors. If you join us on one of our Wildway Bushcraft courses, we will show you how it is possible to enjoy bushcraft without impacting on the local environment. To find out more about us and our courses, just get in touch.