By Nick O’Law – Modern Survival Online
Bushcraft is the art of living in a natural environment, within and in harmony with nature. It is distinct from (though it shares a lot with) survival, where the mindset is only about getting out at the other end as safely as possible. Bushcraft will teach you skills not just to survive, but to thrive in comfort, and rely not on your gear, but yourself. This is a list of the skills you will need.
Finding and Purifying Water
Water is almost certainly the very first thing to worry about when learning bushcraft. The rule of three gives you a maximum of three days without water, which goes down to one in very hot, arid conditions. Remember that even once you have found water, in most cases it will then need at least to be filtered and possibly distilled or boiled before it is safe to drink.
Finding water is often just a matter of understanding your surroundings well, such as knowing that water flows downhill, so valleys and gullies are always a good start. Humans are only animals, and all other animals need water too, so following animal trails or watching for birds flying quickly (they fly slower after drinking, because they are heavier) are also good strategies.
There are many, many different ways to purify water, and there is not space here to do justice to all of them, but suffice it to say that filtering will remove only the larger particles, distilling will get rid of smaller stuff, and boiling will kill bacteria. Sometimes all three may be needed.
There are three ways to find food in the wild: foraging, hunting and trapping. Foraging is by far the easiest to learn, and is likely to produce the most reward.