Family bushcraft activities

Wild North Discovery

Bushcrafts, wild food foraging, birdwatching, wildlife, nature and ancient craft skills in North East England and the North West Highlands of Scotland


Bushcrafts cooking fireFundamental Bushcrafts week

An in depth week developing key bushcraft skills to a good level of proficiency

This week is aimed at beginners and those with some basic knowledge wanting to improve their skills. You’ll explore in some depth the key skills needed to survive and you’ll get plenty of practice with expert guidance in developing your skills. The week includes shelter building, firecraft, wilderness cooking, foraging, water collection and purification, knife and tool skill development, cordage from natural materials, useful knots and camp furniture.
 
Day One

Shelter

Shelter is essential; it protects us from the weather, keeps us warm and dry and is psychologically important for morale.
  •     You’ll learn how to make a one person emergency shelter using the materials found       around you
  •     You’ll learn how to make a lean-to cold weather shelter that maximises the benefit you get from the warmth of your fire
  •     You’ll learn how to use a tarpaulin to construct a shelter
  •     You’ll learn a range of useful knots and lashings

Knife and tool safety and use

  •     You’ll learn the safe use and sharpening of cutting tools such as knives and axes
  •     You’ll practice knife and axe skills through a number of useful projects
  •     You’ll cover the legislation relating to these so you don’t fall foul of the law
Day Two

Fire lighting

Fire is one of the oldest skills known to mankind; it is thought that our evolution as an intelligent, dominant species was helped greatly by our ability to cook raw food. Firecraft is a central survival skill; it warms us, it dries us, it makes water safe to drink, it cooks our food, it lifts morale.
  •     You’ll learn several different ways to generate a flame without using matches
  •     You’ll find out about collecting, preparing and using a wide range of tinders to get the flame going
  •     You’ll learn how to build the flame up into a fire you can cook over using different fire lays for different purposes
  •     You’ll light a fire using three different techniques and natural tinder types and you’ll use three different cooking set ups:
Swedish steel, fulcrum set up
Flint and steel, tripod set up
Fire by friction, multi-pot beam set up
  •    You’ll learn ways of lighting fire in damp or wet conditions
  •    You’ll learn how to manage the fire from start to finish to minimise impact on the surroundings
Day Three

Camp fire cooking and foraging

There are few things more satisfying than preparing and sharing a meal round an open fire; it takes us back to our basic social instinct as a species and when we share food round a fire we re-enact something humans have been doing for hundreds of thousands of years. It is an experience that is deep inside all of us and links us closely to our natural past and more closely to each other.

  •     As a group you’ll set up your camp fire for cooking, using a method of your choice without matches
  •     You’ll discover how to use the different areas of the fire for different cooking techniques
  •     You’ll bake, grill, stew and smoke your way to a tasty meal of bread, fish, meat or veggie stew and a dessert if you fancy it. We’ll add a few seasonal wild ingredients as available.
There is plenty of food growing wild around us. 7,000 years ago, our ancestors started growing their own food but before that we hunted wild animals and picked wild plants to eat. It was really important to know what was edible and what was poisonous; it could be a matter of life or death!

This is an introduction to a very big subject but we’ll get you off on the right foot. We’ll be out in the field looking at identification, discussing preparation and some tasting. We'll cover:   
  •     Wild plants and the law
  •     Easy protein sources (not for the squeamish and we won’t make you try them!)
  •     Safe foraging
  •     A selection of edible leaves, flowers, roots, berries, seeds and nuts found locally
  •     A word on fungi
Day Four

Water collection and treatment

Surface water found in Britain is rarely safe to drink.
  •     You’ll learn how to identify possible water sources
  •     You’ll learn a number of different ways to collect water and process it for safe use. These will include:
Collecting ground water
Collecting rain water
Collecting transpired water
Making a solar still
Making a natural filter
Modern filtration and purification

Making cordage from local plant materials

Out in the wild there are no nails or screws for constructing the things you need but there are 101 uses for good cordage.
  •    you’ll learn how to make strong useable string from plants around you such as nettles, brambles and tree bast

Natural plant medicines

Knowing which plants you can use to heal wounds or cure disorders could save your life.
  •    you’ll learn a range of very useful common plants that will sure a range of illness including diarrhoea, digestive problems, fever, pain killers and antiseptic wound treatments
Day Five

Camp furniture, simple utensils and baskets

We’ll explore a range of additions to your camp site and bushcraft existence including making camp furniture from round wood, making simple baskets and some useful utensils.

Duration: 5 days

Cost: 250 per person for two people ; 50 per additional group member.
(For example a group of four will pay 150 each for the week; a group of six will pay only 116.67 each and so on). Individual one-to-one booking available at 500. Accommodation not included; see booking information.

Booking: Ring or email to book a week that suits you; tel. 01388 529154 or email enquiries@natureholiday.co.uk then fill in and return the booking form (by email or post) and click on the button below to pay online.

Download booking form

Further information: Minimum group size two; maximum 12. Participants should be 16 or over. Bring a packed lunch each day.

The activity leader is qualified through the Institute for Outdoor Learning to teach bushcrafts to groups and has been involved in bushcrafts and woodland skills for over thirty years. He is DBS cleared.

Location: North Pennines - Harehope or Hamsterley Forest, Weardale or Kielder

Booking options


Gift Vouchers

The ideal present; buy a half or full day activity gift voucher open for use on any of our activities emailed direct to you.