You don’t need “bushcraft” to enjoy hiking!

Beaver marks on trees
This tree was not harmed by “bushcraft” enthusiasts, it was chewed on by beavers. Leave the trees to the beavers, please.

There are more and more videos and blogs out there about “bushcraft”. Many of them get a lot more views and likes than hiking videos. I’m hopeful that most people won’t feel the need to apply stone age methods in the 21st century world. 

“Bushcraft” is irresponsible

This bird encourages you to avoid breaking trees and creating fires.

Some of the “bushcraft” content teaches people the exact opposite of what responsible hikers would do. I have a blogpost about responsible hiking and “Leave no trace” which I encourage you to read. 

Take for instance, creating shelters. Of course, if you happen to be in the woods by accident or you get lost and can’t find your way back and need to spend the night – then it’s perfectly sensible to build a shelter and a fire if you can do that.

But if you are not lost and just want to spend time in the outdoors, you should of course stay in a tent or use a tarp that you bring with you.

It would destroy our national parks if most of their visitors started chopping down small trees and branches to create temporary shelters. That’s just silly.

The same goes for fires. It’s fine to build a fire if it allowed and you are at a campsite with a fire ring with enough water at hand to put the fire out if necessary.

Making a fire anywhere leaves a pretty big trace and should be avoided. 

Uncomfortable and unsafe

You should stay on trails to lessen your impact on nature.

Some of the stuff that these “bushcraft” influencers do is just ridiculous. Like wearing heavy animal skins instead of efficient and breathable hiking clothes. 

Well, first of all, I think it’s great that more and more brands are not using any animal fur in their products!

And secondly, it might look nice in a video or Instagram post, but it’s ridiculous and uncomfortable when you’re actually hiking. 

Same goes for old canvas tents (which can be dangerous) or igloos – they are heavy, they are uncomfortable. Why use them? 

My advice is to just ignore the “bushcraft” content out there and use the skills that responsible hikers have used for decades to stay safe and comfortable and leave no trace when hiking.

Further reading 

Most of this blog is about clothes, gear and skills you need to hike. There are some posts which I suggest you should check out if you wan’t to stay safe and comfortable during your hikes.

On sleeping – don’t build shelters. Use a tarp or a tent. Here’s a post that will help you decide which if a tent or a tarp is a better solution for you.

Eating and drinking. Don’t “trap your prey” or whatever. Use a reliable camping stove and bring hiking food. Here’s a post about what to eat while hiking. I’m sure you can have a lot of fun collecting rain drops on a big leaf but I suggest you purify water by boiling it.

And then there’s hygiene issues – from washing your clothes to bathroom breaks. Here’s a whole blog post devoted to hiking and hygiene issues that should cover most issues in that particular subject category.

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