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– Etymology
– The Oxford English Dictionary defines bushcraft as skill in matters pertaining to life in the bush.
– The term has been used in Australia and South Africa since at least the 1800s.
– “Bush” is a direct adoption of the Dutch “bosch,” originally used in Dutch colonies for woodland.
– In North America, the term “bushwacker” is reminiscent of the Dutch “bosch-wachter,” meaning forest-keeper.
– Historical books where the term “bushcraft” has appeared include works by Francis Galton, Ernest Favenc, and Miles Franklin.

– Trademark
– The word “bushcraft” was registered as a trademark by Bushcraft USA LLC in 2013.
– The trademark covers providing an online forum for bushcraft discussions.
– Concerns arose about the mark’s validity due to prior uses by figures like Mors Kochanski.
– As of 2021, Bushcraft USA has not actively enforced its trademark against other forums.
– No formal opposition was filed against the trademark registration.

– Promoters
– Richard Graves, an Irish-born Australian writer, authored “The 10 Bushcraft Books.”
– Mors Kochanski, a Canadian wilderness instructor, published “Northern Bushcraft” in 1981.
Ray Mears, Cody Lundin, Les Hiddins, Les Stroud, and Dave Canterbury have contributed to the popularity of bushcraft.
– The term has gained recent popularity due to the influence of various television programs.
– An article by Daniel Stables in BBC Travel discusses the resurgence of bushcraft.

– References
– Scott Heiman’s works “Bushcraft & Survival” provide valuable insights into the topic.
Ray Mears, a prominent figure in bushcraft, has been a key reference in the field.
– Information on bushcraft can be found on websites like Ray Mears Bushcraft and Springfields Bushcraft.
– The Galton Archive and Kochanski’s webpage offer further resources on bushcraft.
– Interviews with Mors Kochanski provide valuable insights into survival and wilderness living skills.

Bushcraft (Wikipedia)

Bushcraft is the use and practice of skills, thereby acquiring and developing knowledge and understanding, in order to survive and thrive in a natural environment.

A hatchet, a knife, and sometimes a saw are staple tools for bushcraft.
A billhook (a common tool in Europe) with a saw blade, used as a bushcraft tool in France

Bushcraft skills provide for the basic physiological necessities for human life: food (through foraging, tracking, hunting, trapping, fishing), water sourcing and purification, shelter-building, and firecraft. These may be supplemented with expertise in twine-making, knots and lashings, wood-carving, campcraft, medicine/health, natural navigation, and tool and weapon making.

Bushcraft includes the knowledge to handle certain tools such as bushcraft knives and axes. A bushcrafter can use these tools to create many different types of constructions, from dugout canoes to a-frame shelters. There are various types of shelters to construct or use in the wilderness. The first is a purpose-built shelter like a tent. Another example is an improvised shelter, like using a large tarp or blanket as a tent. Indigenous shelters include a snow cave or bark lean-to. Lastly, natural shelters include caves, underneath a tree, or within thickets.

Bushcraft includes the knowledge to tie different knots for different purposes. These knots include the reef knot, figure 8 loop, improved clinch knot, clove hitch, and snare noose. The reef knot is also referred to as a square knot. It is good for bundling items together because you can tension the rope during the first part of the knot tying. Tying bondages together like a sling is a common use. The figure 8 loop is a strong knot because it forms a loop that will not draw tight. You can use a figure 8 loop at the end of a fishing line to tie on a hook or lure. This knot is also useful to hold loads or to lift or drag items. The improved clinch knot is often used to attach a hook to a line or to attach an anchor to rope, or fore tying up to a pole or tree. The clove hitch can be used when creating a raft or to attach a shelter to a tree. It is commonly used to start a lashing, binding one thing to another such as a shelter frame. The snare noose use is commonly used to catch animals. The snare consists of a noose attached to an anchor point like a shrub. As the animal moves through the noose, the line will tighten around its neck.

The term bushcraft was popularized in the Southern Hemisphere by Les Hiddins (the Bush Tucker Man) as well as in the Northern Hemisphere by Mors Kochanski and more recently gained considerable currency in the United Kingdom due to the popularity of Ray Mears and his bushcraft and survival television programs. The origin of the phrase "bushcraft" comes from skills used in the Australian bush. Often the phrases "wilderness skills" or "woodcraft" are used as they describe skills used all over the world.[citation needed]

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