bushcraft camp

Bushcraft weekend survival skills in North East England, the North Pennines, Northumberland, Durham and Kielder

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bushcraft cooking on a camp fire

Bushcraft survival skills weekend

Bushcraft survival essentials: shelter, fire, food and water

The bushcraft weekend allows more time to practice skills and look in more depth than the one day or 24 hour course. It is aimed at beginners and those with some basic knowledge wanting to improve their skills. During the bushcraft weekend you’ll learn the key skills needed to survive:
  • different ways of building a shelter from natural materials
  • useful knots and a range of tarp shelter set ups
  • how to light a fire several different ways in difficult conditions
  • fire by friction using a bow drill
  • how to manage a fire and cook on it
  • wild food foraging and wild medicines
  • how to ensure you have a supply of safe water.
During the bushcraft weekend you'll use your knife and other tools to make some very useful items, developing your tool use skills.

You'll sleep in your shelter. You will then get your fire going again in the morning and cook your breakfast on it. It doesn't have to be a weekend you can also book two consecutive days during the week.

Saturday/Day 1

Foraging for wild food and medicines

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 introductory activity to a very big subject we’ll get you off on the right foot. We’ll be out in the field looking at identification, discussing preparation and some tasting.
  • 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, nuts and wild mushrooms varying with the season

Shelter building

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 a range of knots and put up a tarpaulin shelter

Fire lighting - the basics 

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 including with flint and steel
  • You’ll find out about collecting, preparing and using a wide range of tinders to get the flame going
You'll cook your evening meal on the camp fire

You'll sleep in your shelter. You can also do the weekend without the overnight stay if required.

Sunday/Day 2

Advanced fire lighting skills 

  • You’ll learn the ultimate in fire lighting techniques, fire by friction, using a bow drill
  • You’ll learn ways of lighting fire in wet conditions
  • You’ll learn how to build the flame up into a fire you can cook over
  • You’ll learn how to manage the fire from start to finish to minimise impact on the surroundings.

Camp fire cooking

People often say food tastes better cooked outdoors over an open fire.
  • You’ll set up a camp fire for cooking
  • You’ll discover how to use the different areas of the fire for different cooking techniques
  • You’ll cook bread cakes, make soup and bake food in the embers as well as have a brew up. We’ll add a few seasonal wild ingredients as available. 

Knife and tool use

You'll learn how to sharpen knives and axes and undertake a number of useful projects that will develop your skills.

Collecting and treating water

Surface water found in Britain is rarely safe to drink.
  • You’ll learn a number of different ways to collect water and process it for safe use.
Duration: 2 days

150 per person for two people, 50 per additional group member. Individual one-to-one training available at 300. There is an additional overnight fee if staying at Harehope Quarry of 6 per person.

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

Download booking form

Further information: Minimum group size two; maximum 12. Participants should be 18 or over. Bring a packed lunch on Saturday. Price doesn't include food ingredients which you will need to bring yourself.

The bushcraft weekend 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.