The Benefits of Bushcraft Skills and how to forage from the wild

Well there sure has been a lot covered in the 30 Days of Preparedness.  Because of our lifestyle we thought we would end the month talking about the need for bushcraft skills and foraging in the wild.  We live a very traditional and even primitive minded lifestyle and these two skills are something that we utilize a lot and feel others should definitely consider.

Whether you are looking at a 3 day survival situation, lights out for a night or the current condition of our country, we feel that knowing what our ancestors knew and stepping back in time a bit may be the way to progress into a new future.  Our ancestors survived a lot of situations and the key word is survived.

I am not saying that you have to live day to day like we do, but I am saying that knowing some of these age old skills can be incredibly beneficial.  Something as simple as knowing how to can and preserve your food in varying ways like I spoke about in How We Prepare Food, is a great first step.

Just to give you another thought, we live 100% off-grid with solar and chose to do away with 99.9% of all electric appliances and needs.  I have antique counter parts hanging on my wall such as an antique Arcade cast iron and glass coffee grinder on my wall, a WonderMill Jr. Deluxe grain mill (not an antique, but manual), antique bread mixers, hand mixers, two man cross cut saws, antique hand drills, my grandfather's forge and my great grandfather's vice and my husband has many of his ancestors tools as well and many are decorations on our walls and weekly removed from their location and used.  The point here is having the necessary tools to get the job done if the modern day counter part is no longer useful because we do not have power.

These are progressive and organized steps you can take to improve your ability to survive anything.  Learning new skills and trades of the past can be so valuable.  The Mountain Man is a blacksmith and jack of all trades and he wouldn't agree with me, but I say master of all.  I will never need to call a Mr. Fixit for ANYTHING!  He has it covered – I refer to him as my MacGuiver – the one that can make a pistol out of a paperclip. 🙂   So learning some of the traditional and primitive skills can really be essential to your well-being and provide you with a skill that others will need.  If you are interested in learning such skills as blacksmithing, canning, brain tanning hides, smoking your own meats, etc., you may wish to subscribe to our newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/MzMfj.  We intend to be adding webinars this fall to enable you to learn these age old skills.

These have really been more traditional skills, but let's talk a bit about some of the primitive and bushcraft skills that can even kick things up a notch.  You could learn how to use materials in your surroundings to trap food, learn how to utilize the bones of an animal to make an arrowhead for hunting or protection, make lard from the fat of the animal, you can use the tendon of the animal or the sinew to create cordage to sew clothing and you can utilize the hide of an animal and brain tan it for clothing.  Your deer, elk, moose, caribou, antelope, mule deer and bear are examples of great animals for the above.  Beaver hides would make a great comforter which is something on our list of things to accomplish in our time on this earth.

You can learn how to make a bow from the materials in the wilds around you to hunt for larger game such as elk and deer.  Each member of my family owns and enjoys long bow hunting.  We enjoy practicing and perfecting our skills as a family and a goal for each of us is to shoot an elk with a long bow.  This will be quite the task and you can be sure we will tell you all about it if this is something that happens in the near future.

Now I know some of the above may have made you turn your nose, but reality is, if you are in a survival situation you may need to do such things and knowing how to do them before hand will be very useful.

We have brain tanned several hides and they are absolutely amazing.  The Mountain Man made me an amazing possibles bag out of a piece of the elk hide.

Bushcraft skills include making baskets out of materials in the wild, wood carving bowls and spoons, and so much more.

Knowing how to utilize things in the wild, utilize common sense and bushcraft skills can make your experience in the wild and outdoors one of comfort too….

Below is a video the Mountain Man's Paracord Survival Net that he makes and how you can utilize them:

Paracord Survival Net – Part 1:  http://youtu.be/ihvk45oM43U

Paracord Survival Net – Part 2:  http://youtu.be/C6610s1j3PY

Our main image for this post is utilizing the same paracord survival net.   Creativity goes a long way!
All these skills will help you live beyond today's conveniences that many have all grown so accustomed to.  We stepped away from the modern conveniences in 2010 and we have NO desire to go back!  Less is more, but it is not for everyone.  However, knowing these skills I feel is an important aspect of survival even today.

You can stock pile, save and stash as much as you like, but eventually these things will be depleted and then what will you do?

So bushcraft skills will help you in so many ways and aid you in harvesting food, but another way to get your food from the wild is foraging.

We do a lot of foraging here in Idaho and it is something we both grew up doing.  You may also do it right now and may not consider yourself foraging, but if you have collected a bucket of raspberries, huckleberries, elder berries and even crab apples you have already begun your foraging experiences.

The first and foremost important aspect of foraging is being educated!!!  So many plants in the wild have what we have called an Evil Twin.  These are plants that closely resemble the each other and one is poisonous and the other is edible.  So if you are not familiar with foraging – I highly recommend that you connect with someone locally that can assist you in identifying your native plants properly.  There are many good books on Amazon that I would recommend, but it is still important to take the time and share the experience with someone that is educated on the process.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel TrayerWilderness for ongoing education on Bushcraft, Homesteading, Survival, Foraging, Solar Cooking, etc.

Here is a link to the Mountain Man's video on Wild Edibles:  http://youtu.be/U5Ox4m4UwC8.

You will be able to see the list of books we recommend in our Resources.

This is a new one that hasn't been added yet.  Our friend Dave Canterbury just released his 1st book titled Bushcraft 101 – A Field Guide To The Art of Wilderness Survival.  He too, is very passionate about these same skills and his book is amazing as is his YouTube Channel WildernessOutfitters.  We have followed Dave since he started on YouTube and he has amazing content that I highly recommend as well as his book.  Stay tuned for an interview with Dave on the Mountain Woman Journals Radio.

I will be foraging elder berries in a couple of weeks and I will be sure to take you along for the adventure as well as show you all the yummy, delicious and medicinal goodies I will be making.  While on this trip I will point out some of the other wonderful things that are available to be foraged here in Idaho.

Something else I do is carry many heirloom seeds in my pack which include a variety of medicinal plants and teas.  By doing so you can eliminate the need to forage if you have to relocate in a long term survival situation, but foraging is the BEST.  All the free and wonderful goodies at your fingertips, ready and waiting for you.

Something as simple as the roots of a cattail stalk can be a delicious sauteed meal.  You can save the cattail fluff and add that to your survival pack and char it in your next fire to use as a quick combustible material.

Peppermint tea is great for an upset stomach.  You can chew on the leaves, eat it in a salad or brew yourself some tea.

Dandelion is a great for both tea and salad.  The roots can be used to make tinctures or teas.  The entire dandelion plant is edible.  You can read more here on my post about dandelions and all they offer as well as a hot bacon dressing recipe.

There are SO many things available to us out here such as mullein, yarrow, St. John's Wart, peppermint tea, fire weed, dandelion, and the list goes on and on.  All of the edibles of the wild have wonderful qualities some edible, some medicinal and some for the pleasure or our taste buds such as the morel mushrooms.  You can read more about morels on the post that I contributed to GNOWFGLINS.COM or you can also read here about our adventures morel hunting.

A lot of what your forage from the wild has incredible values for you and your body.   From vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and SO many medicinal values.  It is really worth your while to educate yourself on what is available in your surroundings that can be a viable food source as well as a necessary plant for an ailment.

I feel that both bushcraft skills and foraging ARE life saving practices for many reasons and I highly encourage you to learn some of these skills for fun as a family so that when you need these skills you have them.

Be sure to join us and subscribe to our YouTube Channel at TrayerWilderness.

What are some skills you would like to learn?  

What is something you would like to learn to forage from the wild?


Thanks for joining the Prepared Bloggers as we work our way through 30 Days of Preparedness. September is National Preparedness Month so you will find everything you need to get your preparedness knowledge and skills into shape.

Take one post each day, learn as much as you can about the topic and make it a part of your preparedness plan.

Day 1 – Ready, Set, Get Prepared! Welcome to 30 Days of Preparedness from PreparednessMama
Day 2 – The Family Meeting Place and Escape from Laughingbear Adventures
Day 3 – I'm Safe! How to Communicate with Family in an Emergency from PreparednessMama
Day 4 – Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan? from Home Ready Home
Day 5 – Preparedness For Pets from The Busy B Homemaker
Day 6 – The Escape Exercise from Laughingbear Adventures
Day 7 – It all Falls Apart Without Mental Preparedness from PreparednessMama
Day 8 – It's a Matter of Emergency Kits from A Matter of Preparedness
Day 9 – Nine Great Emergency Light Sources Other Than Flashlights from Food Storage & Survival
Day 10 – Cooking Without Power from Mama Kautz
Day 11 – The Importance of a Shelter & Staying Warm and Dry from Trayer Wilderness
Day 12 – The Importance of Having The Right Tools In Your Pack from Trayer Wilderness
Day 13 – Practice Living Without Electricity from Food Storage Made Easy
Day 14 – How We Choose The Right Gear – (including the MultiFlame Tool) from Trayer Wilderness
Day 15 – Water Storage & Purification from The Busy B Homemaker
Day 16 – Food and Water for a 72 Hour “Go Bag” from Homestead Dreamer
Day 17 – 8 Foods You Should Be Storing and How from Melissa K Norris
Day 18 – Planning Your Pantry from The Organic Prepper
Day 19 – Stocking Up on Non-Food Items from Living in Rural Iowa
Day 20 – Dutch Oven Cooking: Off-Grid Before Off-Grid Was Cool from The Backyard Pioneer
Day 21 – Pressure Canning the Harvest from Timber Creek Farm
Day 22 – Personal Protection & Awareness from Living in Rural Iowa
Day 23 – KISS First Aid from Herbal Prepper
Day 24 – Mommy, I have to go Potty! from Mom With a Prep
Day 25 – Fire Starting 101: The Why and How of Lighting a Fire for Survival from Food Storage & Survival
Day 26 – How to Filter and Purify Water from Prepared Housewives
Day 27 – How To Make A Shelter from Trayer Wilderness
Day 28 – Put Your Preps to the Test with 24 Hours Unplugged from The Organic Prepper
Day 29 – What Is Char and Why You Should Have It To Start A Fire from Trayer Wilderness
Day 30 – How To Utilize Bushcraft Skills and Forage From The Wild from Trayer Wilderness

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