As humans, we have an innate desire to explore nature and the wilderness. We want to experience the beauty of our planet and challenge ourselves in new ways.
That’s where bushcraft comes in – it’s all about using your skills and knowledge to survive in the great outdoors. From building a shelter to finding food, bushcraft requires a lot of preparation and practice.
But one of the most essential aspects of bushcraft is having a well-stocked pack. Whether you’re going on a day hike or embarking on a long camping trip, having the right gear can make all the difference between a successful adventure and a disaster.
In this article, we’ll discuss what you should put in your bushcraft pack so that you are fully prepared for any situation that may arise during your time in nature. Why Having A Pack Is Important
A well-stocked pack is essential for any outdoor adventure because it ensures that you have everything you need at your fingertips. When you’re out in the wilderness, there are no stores or fast-food restaurants nearby; instead, you have to rely on yourself to provide for your basic needs like food and water.
By packing wisely, you’ll be able to stay hydrated, fed, warm, dry, and safe even if unexpected things happen. Moreover, being properly equipped means that you can fully immerse yourself in nature without worrying about anything going wrong.
You can focus on enjoying your surroundings rather than fretting over whether or not you brought enough water or food. And above all else, having a backpack filled with everything from first aid supplies to navigation tools gives peace of mind knowing that no matter what the wilderness throws at us we will be ready for it!
Water bottle and filtration system: Keep hydrated
Bushcrafting requires a lot of physical exertion, which can lead to dehydration. Drinking enough water is essential for survival, and carrying a reliable water bottle is a must-have in any bushcraft pack. Stainless steel bottles are durable and can be used to boil water over an open flame in case your filtration system fails.
Filtration systems are critical for making your water safe to drink. Microorganisms like bacteria, protozoa, and viruses can make you sick if ingested through untreated water.
Water filtration systems come in various forms such as pumps, straws, drops, and tablets. I always recommend carrying multiple filtration options because you never know when one may fail.
Knife or multi-tool: A versatile tool
A knife or multi-tool is one of the most versatile tools that you can carry in your pack while bushcrafting. They can be used for cutting rope or paracord for shelter building, carving sticks for roasting marshmallows over the campfire, or even preparing food.
When selecting a knife or multi-tool for your kit, it is important to consider its durability and ease of use. A blade made from high-carbon stainless steel that can hold an edge will ensure longevity while using the tool frequently on trips.
Firestarter and matches: Stay warm with ease
In outdoor situations where weather conditions are unpredictable, warmth becomes crucial. Firestarters such as lighters and waterproof matches are essential items in any bushcraft pack as they help start fires quickly without much hassle.
However, firestarters have their limitations with windproof butane lighters not working under wet conditions whereas waterproof matches would work better when striking against rough surfaces like rocks; make sure to carry both types.
Compass and map: Find your way
A map and compass are essential tools for navigation in the wilderness and will never let you get lost. Knowing how to read a map and use a compass is not rocket science; anyone can learn it with a little practice. Carrying both tools ensures that you remain oriented while bushcrafting through unfamiliar terrain.
It’s important to note that in today’s technologically advanced world, many people rely heavily on GPS devices or smartphones, which often fail when electricity runs out or the signal is lost. Therefore, always carry a physical map and compass as an alternative backup.
Tarp or Tent: A Tough Call
One of the most important elements of any bushcraft pack is a reliable shelter. It’s essential to have something that will protect you from the elements, whether it’s rain, wind, or snow. The two most popular options are tarps and tents.
Tarps are lightweight and versatile, making them great for quick setups and taking up minimal space in your pack. However, they offer minimal protection against bugs and offer little privacy.
Tents, on the other hand, provide ample protection from both bugs and weather but can be bulky and heavy. When deciding which shelter to bring with you on your next bushcraft adventure, consider the climate you’ll be in, how long you’ll be staying in one location and what kind of sleeping arrangements you prefer.
If you’re concerned about weight or need a quick set-up, a tarp might be the best option for you. If comfort is a higher priority than weight savings or speed of setup, then a tent might be more appropriate.
Paracord or Rope: Making it Stable
Once you’ve decided on your shelter type (tarp vs tent), it’s time to think about how to secure it into place once set up. That’s where paracord or rope comes into play as an essential element of your bushcraft pack essentials list. You can use a rope to tie down stakes for your tent or tarp if there are no nearby trees to tie off on.
There are several types of cordage available – from traditional thick rope-like manila to thinner synthetic cordage like paracord – each with its own advantages based on durability and strength requirements that match user needs.
A good rule of thumb is always carrying at least 50 feet (15 meters) of cordage in case more than one structure needs reinforcement or in case of an emergency.
Sleeping Bag or Blanket: Stay Warm
Another critical element of your bushcraft pack is staying warm at night. A good-quality sleeping bag or blanket will keep you cozy, even in the coldest weather.
If you’re traveling light, a wool blanket can be versatile as it can be wrapped around you with thicker garments to create a makeshift sleeping bag, as well as used for warmth when sitting around the campfire.
On the other hand, if you prefer more cushion and insulation while resting at night, a quality sleeping bag that compresses down into its carry sack is ideal for packing convenience and comfort.
When choosing between the two options, consider what type of climate you’ll be camping in and where you’ll be setting up camp. If it’s an area that gets very cold overnight, then a high-quality sleeping bag would likely be your best bet to ensure safe and comfortable rest throughout your trip.
Food and Cooking
Lightweight Stove: Making Cooking More Convenient
One of the most important things you can bring with you on a bushcraft trip is a lightweight stove. It’s essential for cooking and boiling water, which will keep you properly hydrated and fed throughout your journey. While some people prefer to build fires to cook their meals, having a stove is much more convenient, especially when the weather doesn’t permit starting an open fire.
There are many types of stoves available, from small backpacking stoves that use propane or butane canisters to wood-burning stoves that also double as heaters. When selecting a stove, it’s important to consider factors such as fuel efficiency, weight, durability, ease-of-use, and maintenance requirements.
It’s also recommended to test out your stove before heading out on your trip. Make sure you know how to properly set it up and use it so that you won’t be left hungry in the wilderness.
Cookware, Utensils & Plates/Bowls: The Bare Necessities
When packing for a bushcraft trip, don’t forget to bring along cookware and utensils for preparing meals. While space is limited in your pack and it might be tempting to leave these items behind in favor of saving weight or space, having them with you will make mealtimes much easier.
You’ll need at least one pot or pan for cooking food as well as utensils such as spoons or spatulas for stirring things around. There are many lightweight options available for cookware made from materials like titanium or aluminum.
Additionally, consider bringing along bowls/plates that can withstand high heat without melting or releasing toxic chemicals into your food. Metal cups are also handy for boiling water over an open fire or heating soup or beverages in cold weather conditions.
High-Calorie Snacks: Fuel Your Body for the Journey Ahead
Bushcrafting requires a lot of physical activity, and you’ll need plenty of energy to keep going. When packing your bushcraft pack, be sure to include plenty of high-calorie snacks like trail mix, energy bars, or jerky. These foods are easy to pack and can be eaten on the go without requiring much preparation.
They’re also a good source of protein, carbs, and other essential nutrients that your body needs to keep functioning properly. While it’s important to bring nourishing snacks with you on your trip, try not to overpack.
Consider only taking what you think you’ll need depending on the duration of your trip, as carrying too much food will add unnecessary weight to your pack. With proper planning and some research about what type of food is best for outdoor adventures, you’ll be sure to have everything you need for a successful bushcraft trip!
First Aid Kit
When you’re in the great outdoors, it’s important to be prepared for any unexpected injuries. A first aid kit should be an essential part of your bushcraft pack, no matter how short or long your trip may be.
Bandages, gauze, and medical tape
Injuries can happen at any time and having bandages, gauze and medical tape can help to minimize and treat these injuries before they become serious. Blisters from hiking boots or cuts from sharp objects can easily become infected if not taken care of properly.
Having a variety of bandages and gauze will allow you to cover wounds of different sizes while the medical tape ensures they stay in place.
Antiseptic wipes/sprays are important for cleaning wounds to prevent infection. They are specially designed to kill bacteria that can cause infections on cuts, scrapes, or burns caused by exposure to the wilderness elements.
It’s recommended that antiseptic wipes/sprays containing benzalkonium chloride are carried in the first aid kit as it is effective against most common germs.
Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen come in handy when you have a headache or other pain-related issues during your bushcraft trip. Having a well-stocked first aid kit is essential when out in the wilderness as it allows you to take care of minor injuries before they become major problems.
Be sure to check your first aid kit contents before each trip so that you always have what you need when things go wrong.
A GPS device or smartphone app with maps downloaded
When you’re out in the wilderness, it’s important to know where you’re going. Depending on the terrain, it can be difficult to navigate using just a map and compass.
Fortunately, there are a variety of GPS devices and smartphone apps available that can help keep you on track. These systems range from basic compasses to full-blown handheld GPS units that offer detailed topographical maps and turn-by-turn directions.
One popular option is the Gaia GPS app, which allows users to download topo maps for offline use and track their hikes with detailed stats like distance traveled and elevation gain.
For those who prefer a standalone device, the Garmin InReach Explorer+ offers built-in GPS navigation as well as satellite communication capabilities for emergency situations.
Whistle for signaling for help
Even if you’re an experienced outdoorsman (or woman), accidents can still happen. That’s why it’s important to have some way of signaling for help in case of an emergency. One simple tool that should be included in any bushcraft pack is a whistle.
A good whistle should be loud enough to be heard at a distance but compact enough to fit comfortably in your pocket or on your keychain. The Fox 40 Classic Whistle is one popular option that meets these criteria – it can produce up to 115 decibels of sound without requiring any additional power source.
Additionally, many backpacks come equipped with built-in whistles on their chest straps or buckles as an added safety feature. Whatever type of whistle you choose, make sure it’s easily accessible so that you can quickly alert others if needed.
Clothing and Personal Hygiene Items
Warm Layers (Depending on Climate)
When it comes to clothing for your bushcraft pack, you’ll want to pack for the climate you’ll be in. This means bringing enough warm layers to keep you comfortable when the temperature drops. If you’re heading out into a colder climate, consider packing a warm hat, gloves or mittens, and a fleece or down jacket.
A good rule of thumb is to bring at least one extra layer than you think you’ll need. Another important factor to consider is moisture-wicking technology.
You’ll want clothing that can wick away sweat and moisture from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable during physical activity. Merino wool base layers are a popular choice among bushcraft enthusiasts because they offer excellent moisture-wicking properties.
Extra Socks and Underwear
In addition to warm layers, don’t forget about packing extra socks and underwear for your bushcraft trip. Wet socks can lead to blisters and other foot discomforts, so it’s always better to have an extra pair on hand in case of unexpected rain or water crossings.
When it comes to underwear, quick-drying materials like nylon or polyester are great options because they’re lightweight and easy to wash when needed. You might also consider packing chafing cream if you know that walking long distances will be part of your trip.
One often-overlooked item for any outdoor excursion is the toilet paper/trowel combo. While it might seem like an unnecessary luxury item, this combo can make all the difference in staying clean and hygienic while in the backcountry.
A trowel will help dig holes for human waste disposal which is essential when practicing Leave No Trace ethics while out on trails or camping sites whereas toilet paper ensures that you leave no traces. It’s important to pack out all toilet paper, so be sure to bring along a plastic bag or two for waste disposal.
Optional Gear (depending on preference)
If you’re a fishing enthusiast, adding fishing gear to your bushcraft pack is a no-brainer. Depending on the type of fishing you plan to do, your gear might include a lightweight rod and reel, fishing line, hooks, lures or bait, and a small tackle box.
Fishing can provide an additional food source if you’re lucky enough to catch something and can be a fun activity in the wilderness.
One important thing to keep in mind when including fishing gear in your pack is to ensure that it’s legal to fish in the area where you’ll be camping. Be sure to check local regulations before casting your line.
Binoculars are another optional item that can come in handy during a bushcraft trip. They can help you spot wildlife from afar or scout out potential campsites that might not be visible from ground level. If you’re interested in birdwatching or just enjoy taking in nature’s beauty up close, binoculars are definitely worth considering.
When choosing binoculars for your bushcraft pack, look for lightweight models with good magnification and durability. Remember that every ounce counts when carrying everything on your back!
A hammock isn’t strictly necessary for survival in the wilderness but can make for a more comfortable camping experience. Setting up a hammock between two trees allows you to sleep off the ground and away from bugs and critters that might crawl into your tent at night.
Plus, they are great for taking afternoon naps or relaxing after a long day of hiking. There are many different types of hammocks available today with varying weight limits and features such as built-in bug nets or rain tarps.
Consider how much weight you want to carry before deciding on which model is best for you. And, of course, always make sure to follow Leave No Trace principles when setting up your hammock and camping in the backcountry.
Related: Mastering Primitive Survival Gear: A Comprehensive Guide
After going through the essential items that make up a well-stocked bushcraft pack, it’s clear to see just how important it is for any outdoor adventure. Having the right gear and supplies can be the difference between life and death in certain situations.
Whether you’re camping for a weekend or going on a long-term survival trip, having these items with you will give you peace of mind and increase your chances of survival. One of the most critical items in your bushcraft pack is water filtration.
Without safe drinking water, your body will quickly become dehydrated, leading to fatigue and eventually serious health problems. A reliable filtration system not only ensures that you have access to clean drinking water but also prevents illnesses caused by contaminated water sources.
Along with this, shelter-building materials are essential to protect yourself from harsh weather conditions while providing privacy and comfort. In addition to those basic necessities, food and cooking supplies should be included in your bushcraft pack too.
High-quality snacks can keep you fueled throughout the day while cooking equipment lets you prepare hot meals even when out in the wilderness. A well-prepared first aid kit can treat injuries when accidents happen, so it’s crucial not to overlook this aspect when packing.
Navigation and communication tools add another layer of safety and help ensure that you don’t get lost or stranded without help nearby. With all these essential items included within your bushcraft pack, you’ll be well-prepared for anything nature throws at you.
So get out there and enjoy the great outdoors, but make sure you’re prepared with a well-stocked bushcraft pack before setting out on your adventure!