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The Best Beginner Bushcraft Gear

The Best Beginner Bushcraft Gear

The world of bushcraft gear can be intimidating. There's a lot of great gear out there, and unfortunately, some not-so-great options, but you don't have to break the bank to get started in bushcraft and survival skills. If you're just looking to get started and want to gather some kit to practice skills, we suggest the items below. It's everything you need to get outside and start expanding your bushcraft skillset.

Knife: A reliable fixed-blade knife is a must-have. Look for a knife with a blade length between 4-6 inches, crafted from high-carbon steel for toughness and ease of sharpening. With a midsized fixed blade knife you can carve wood, cut cordage, make feathersticks, split small wood, handle camp cooking duties, and more.

The BPS Adventurer CSHF is a great option. It features 1095 steel, a 5.3 inch blade, walnut scales, and it includes a leather sheath and a ferro rod. Speaking of ferro rods.

Fire Starter: Essential fire-starting tools are non-negotiable. Not only is it essential survival gear, but fire-starting is also a big part of bushcraft. A ferrocerium rod, also known as a ferro rod fire steel, generates sparks when struck against a steel surface. Combine it with a solid striker or the back edge of your knife to easily light tinder, making it crucial for warmth, cooking, signaling, etc.

There are plenty of really nice ferro rods out there. Some include storage for emergency tinder, lanyards, or other features, but when you're just starting out, you only need the ferrocerium and something to strike it. A basic model like this Ferro Rod only costs $6 and provides tens of thousands of strikes and 3,000-degree sparks.

Cordage: A versatile and robust cordage is priceless in survival situations. It can be utilized for constructing shelters, setting traps, making lashing projects, fishing, or snares. We've already dove into the wide variety of manmade cordage HERE.

No matter what kind you decide to carry, keep plenty on hand so that you practice knots, set up shelters, etc., and if it's a variety that can be broken down into smaller strands, all the better.

Metal Water Container: We all know clean water is essential, and that still applies in a survival situation. Plus, boiling water is also great for cooking freeze-dried meals, making a fireside brew, and obviously making wild water clean. A good stainless water bottle will help you carry water on the trail, and once the lid is removed you can suspend it over the fire with the previously mentioned cordage, or you fashion a pot hanger with your knife.

Notebook: This might seem a bit nontraditional for bushcraft equipment, but taking notes while you're on an outing or even a to-do list before you head out is a great idea. Plus, when you're in the wilderness, you can make notes on your observations, plant identification, and more. It's also a great way to track your bushcraft goals so that you're sure to continue on your journey.

This option from Field Notes features waterproof paper, works with pens or pencils, and it's the perfect size to stick in your pocket for easy access when you want to jot something down. 

From this basic kit, you can add in a tarp for heading out in inclement weather. Then, a sleep system for overnight outings. From there, you might decide to get more into carving, fishing, foraging, or some other specialty interest. The world of bushcraft is a great skill set, so don't hesitate to jump in. Grab some gear, and get out there.

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