Northern bushcraft training

Northern Bushcraft is “the art of living in the Northern woods”.

What exactly is Northern bushcraft or Uteliv as they say here in Sweden? A combination of behaviour, knowledge and skills to comfortably, and with simple means, live in the Northern woods as can be found in Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and Russia. During every season of the year. Many of the ´´primitive´´ techniques and skills used in bushcraft come from the Sámi, Inuit, Tlingit and other people inhabiting the Boreal area. This survival knowledge has been passed on from generation to generation and has been improved upon. By now bushcraft has become quite a hype, so apparently the hunger for this knowledge still resides within us!

Fire:

One of the most important skills is being able to make a good fire for numerous purposes. A cooking fire is different from a fire which warms you throughout the night. Being able to handle matches, fire starter, fire steel, bow drill, fire piston and bow drill is an advantage, because the more techniques you master, the greater your self-confidence will be. A campfire will turn any place into a home, it warms you, you cook your meal there or a cup of tea, and you can sit and stare into it for hours, without it getting boring.

Accommodations:
There are several shelters which you can build by using your saw and axe (woodcraft)…If there is enough snow you will use it. A good alternative for when you are staying at one place for an extended period is the Lapland tent. This is easy to set up and not as flammable and fragile as the small high tech tents. A big advantage is that you can make a small fire in them. So, they are also perfectly suitable for lower temperatures.

Water:
A great advantage is that the water in these areas is not yet chemically polluted, with the exception of some areas in Russia and Alaska. That doesn’t mean that it is always best to boil all the water. Some parasites like Giardiasis and Cryptosporidium also inhabit these vast areas.

Food:
In the Northern woods a whole variety of edible plants exist. Recognition, correct determination of these plants and knowing where to find them will result in an excellent meal. There are also several mammals, fish and birds which can be caught with simple traps or small hooks. Think of the many salmon and trout varieties that exist in these areas.

Materials:
What you’ll definitely need is a good cast-iron cooking pot. For cooking, baking bread, melting snow and ice, or, for example, to collect berries, tubers, etc… You can use it to dig in snow and sand. And you put out your fire with it. The axe is the most important tool to take along when you go hiking in the woods. A good sharp axe will provide you with fire wood and logs for your shelter and your bed. An axe also is necessary for making a lot of other handy objects. The axe, in combination with a good foldable saw and a good sharp knife, are actually all the tools you need for life in the Northern woods. A knife is very handy as a cutting tool, as long as you know how to handle it safely. Otherwise it will quickly result in a large cut in thumb or finger.
Rope, as in a few meters of paracord, is very handy when building shelters or building a raft. Of course you can find other materials in the forest for binding, like the roots of the pine tree, willow bark or the intestines of mammals. Only it will take a while before you have several meters of it.
A Tarp, a piece of canvas, can also be used to easily and quickly provide a shelter.

Bushcraft first aid:
During the course we will discuss recognizing several illnesses, which are related to living outdoors. Like the vole or Hanta virus, food and water poisoning, hypothermia.

During our bushcraft courses in Sweden and Canada we will review these matters more closely. The aim is to become familiar with the different materials and to learn numerous skills. Of course behaviour also plays a major part. If you’re in a hurry or start fighting the environment, then it becomes a lot harder to reach that which you set your mid out to do.

Learn and make use of the natural sources which nature has to offer!