June 1, 2024 @ 9:30 am - June 2, 2024 @ 5:00 pm£20 – £190
Whether you’re new to bushcraft or a veteran of the outdoors, let our experienced instructor guide you through core skills of bushcraft; shelter, fire, water, cordage and using edged tools. Our weekend long course is all set against the backdrop of mixed woodlands, wetlands and open meadows of Park In The Past, with 120 acres of wild space to explore.
This two-day course is an immersion into the world of bushcraft, perfect for both beginners and those who already enjoy the outdoor lifestyle but want to take their basic knowledge of bushcraft further. Over the weekend you will gain a deepened connection to nature whilst experiencing how bushcraft can enhance your enjoyment and appreciation of the outdoors. You will learn a range of practical skills you can use to thrive in the wilderness; whether you want to pass some exciting new skills to your family members on a camping trip, you’re aiming for solo wilderness camping with just your backpack and knife, or you’re simply looking to connect with your inner hunter-gatherer for a weekend. Wherever you are on your journey into bushcraft we aim to bring your confidence and skillset forward to the next level.
This course acts as a natural progression from our Bushcraft Essentials day but attending that course in advance is not a requirement.
- Build weather-proof shelters from natural materials, that really work.
- Create fire using modern and ancient methods, including fire by friction.
- Build your knowledge of key tree & plant species that can aid us in bushcraft.
- Improve your techniques in knife and saw work, using safe and effective grips.
- Get to grips with axe skills; split, cut and shape wood.
- See the natural world through the eyes of our ancestors.
- Learn how to find and filter water using natural materials & modern methods.
- Share a delicious freshly cooked campfire dinner (vegan option available).
- Learn how to manage an open fire for outdoor cooking; boiling, roasting, grilling & baking.
- Discover Natural Navigation techniques to find your way in the wild.
- Make your own cordage from plant & tree fibres and put it to good use.
- Craft clever campfire gadgets to aid you in cooking outdoors.
- Improve your health & well-being by reconnecting with nature.
- Camp out under the trees and stars (optional)
Your Tutor: James Kendall
James is the Head Bushcraft Instructor at Woodland Classroom, having worked in outdoor education & conservation for over 10 years. James’ approach to teaching steers students toward fostering a deeper connection with nature through understanding the landscape around us; “Bushcraft skills are an effective way to do this as we learn how to make use of natural materials and live lightly with the land, whilst also connecting with our own ancient past by seeing the land through the eyes of our ancestors.”
In 2017 James received the Bushcraft Competency Certificate awarded through the Institute for Outdoor Learning after 2 years of teaching experience and practical study. He is also a member of the IOL Bushcraft Professional Practise Group. The group aims to promote best practice in the growing industry of bushcraft activity providers.
Skills you will learn
Over the course of the programme you will learn a range of skills, including…
YOUR WEEKEND IN THE WOODS
Your adventure will begin with arrival at our woodland basecamp set amongst ancient trees and wildflowers. From here we will take a short walk out into the woods to learn how to view the natural world through the eyes of our ancestors.
Having each been issued with your own knife to use for the weekend, we will then look at the wealth of natural materials available to us and then put these materials to the test with a practical session of shelter building as your tutor guides you through the skills required to build two styles of simple but effective shelter using all natural materials from the woodland itself.
Next we will gather around our new woodland homes to practise further safe cutting techniques with our knives which can be used for a range of practical applications. You will also be shown how to use a folding saw effectively, avoiding the pitfalls that come with poor technique. Next it’s time to get to grips with the axe as you are introduced to a variety of types; which axe for which task, how to split wood safely and with minimal effort and basic carving techniques. Throughout this session you will learn how to make smart decisions about which living materials we should harvest and which we should consider passing by.
Your first afternoon will be spent focused on firelighting skills. You will gain skills using tried & tested techniques. Choose from; firesteel, solar fire, chemical, electrical or traditional flint & steel to produce embers and flames of quality. Then we will be exploring the woods on the hunt for natural tinders, kindling and firewood, including how find them even in wet conditions.
Next you will unlock the secrets of fire by friction by learning to use the bow drill, an ancient form of firelighting. We guarantee you will have success using this iconic technique. Your tinder and firewood will be put to good use as you learn how to use these to build your own campfire. Finally you will be be shown how to minimise your trace and lessen your impact on the land when bushcrafting.
On the Saturday evening we come together as a group to prepare freshly cooked campfire meal in our traditional dutch oven. You’ll enjoy good food and good company around the campfire as humans have done for thousands of generations. Then you have the option to join us for either a natural navigation session by starlight (weather dependent) or a night-time tree ID walk, an exercise which will really hone your senses.
Day two will introduce further key skills as well as build on the foundations you already have. You will discover how to source, filter and purify water from natural sources. Learn how to make water safe to drink. We will then turn our attention to making natural cordage from woodland plants and trees. Having made your cordage, you will then be testing its strengths and applications by rigging tarp shelters with what you’ve crafted.
Your final afternoon will aim to bring all your new skills together with a range of challenges designed to put into practise all you have learned. Using your sharp tools, you will create campcraft devices to make outdoor life easy and you will go through the whole process of creating your own campfire using natural tinders and fire by friction to boil your own woodland brew – which, we assure you, will taste very satisfying indeed.
On the Friday and Saturday nights you can choose to sleep out in your own built woodland shelter or tree hammock and wake up in the woods. It’s going to be a weekend you won’t forget.
This course costs £190 per person and is open to adult learners aged 16 years and over. There is the option to sleep out in one of our natural shelters in the woods, on both Friday and Saturday nights at no extra charge. Or you can bring your own hammock or tarp system to setup under the trees here. Hammocks (with covering tarps) are available to hire from us at an additional £20 for the weekend. You can read our Event Terms & Conditions here.