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Overview of Bushcraft Qualifications

Bushcraft is quite a subjective term and can incorporate a whole host of skills and activities. For the sake of this guide were concentrating on woodland based activities that are commonly used in the UK outdoor industry. The way in which outdoor organisations will run and implement bushcraft varies quite a lot.

The most common activities are firefighting (friction, chemical), shelter building, plant and tree identification, use on knives and basic water purification.

The art of bushcraft

The subjectivity of bushcraft is what makes it so unique and exciting skill set to acquire. You’re not as confined by NGB’s, set qualifications routes and strict guidelines, you are there for freer than ever to go learn and explore for yourself.

There are 2 main aspects to taking bushcraft sessions are:

  1. Personal skills & knowledge
  2. Ability to deliver an awesome session to a group of adults & kids

If you can nail both you’re onto a winner but bere in mind they are quite different skills.

It’s fair to say that getting specific bushcraft qualifications is less important than other activities (it’s not a licensable activity by ALLA) whereas it is pretty much essential for kayaking or climbing etc. If you have the skills and experience either from your own endeavours or through picking things up on the job then you may not need to gain any official awards or training.

However, doing some bushcraft course can really accelerate your learning and boost your skill set. If you go through the accredited training routes you can not only improve your skill set but they will also make it a lot easier for potential employees to appreciate the experience you have and ultimate make it easier to employ you.

Basically, there are 2 main accredited training route are:

  1. IOL run their own training course (BCC) MORE INFO
  2. Attend a course that is run but organisations approved by IOL or NCFE and are benchmarked against national criteria. IOL have only just started this so there aren’t many courses running yet. More info on NCFE HERE

Private  Training

There are many bushcraft organisation that run quality courses & training where you will learn a huge amount. Make sure you chat to them and find the right company for you. Here are a few that we keep coming across:

We’ll be doing a review of these and more soon!


With thanks to…

John Boe from Wildway Bushcraft . John set up Wildway a few years ago and it’s going from strength to strength. Bushcraft and canoe expeditions in Sweden, yes, please!

Wildway-Bushcraft