#AskPaulKirtley Episode 32 – LNT vs Bushcraft, Overcoming A Fear Of Foraging, DIY Sleeping Bags, Stoves

by Paul Kirtley

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In this episode of #AskPaulKirtley I answer questions on how to get over a fear of wild edibles, is Leave No Trace completely at odds with Bushcraft, which other methods of fire by friction work in the UK, my view on firebox stoves, whether wood stoves get around no-fire rules, ideas on DIY sleeping bags and can you use two sleeping bags together for the winter, plus what shirt am I always wearing?

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The Association Of Foragers
MSR Whisperlite International Backpacking Stove

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#AskPaulKirtley is my Q&A video and podcast series that aims to answer your questions about bushcraft, survival skills and outdoor life.

The idea here is partly to take the strain off my email inbox and get answers out to people in a more timely fashion.

Rather than send an answer to just that one person, I’d like others to benefit from the answers too. So, just in the same way I’d previously write an email answer, here I’m going to speak the answer (which is much quicker than me typing out an answer, so I’ll get more questions answered as well as benefiting more people).

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Related Material On Paul Kirtley’s Blog:

Bow Drill – They Keys To Success

How To Light A Campfire With One Match

How To Leave No Trace Of Your Campfire

How To Live In A Heated Tent


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Paul Kirtley is an award-winning professional bushcraft instructor. He is passionate about nature and wilderness travel. In addition to writing this blog Paul owns and runs Frontier Bushcraft, a wilderness bushcraft school, offering bushcraft courses and wilderness expeditions.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim Iredale

Hi Paul,

The LNT vs Bushcraft question is something that regularly pops up in my mind, as you state in the video taking a small amount of fire wood from a area if done responsibly has no/low effect on the environment, this is also the case for a nature shelters if using dead material and destruct the shelter once they have finished.

What I think has a larger effect on the woods is when people go out to learn a bushcraft skills/crafts and gather that materials from something living, for example gathering bark from a live tree to make containers.

One thing you tend to see on YouTube is people going into the woods and gathering the raw materials from a living tree (Willow bark for cordage or Sweet chestnut/Ash for bark containers) which again the person who watches may go out and do the same thing.

Personally I would rather gathering from a dead tree/ fallen limb, but coming across the materials in the right conditions feels a bit of a lottery.

How would you suggest people ethically harvest materials to learn/practice skills?

Cheers Tim


Kes Harker

Ello mate.
Wise words all round. Love these vids they are like miniature courses keep it up Paul.
Cheers Kes


Craig Oswald

Hi Paul,
Thanks for giving us another great episode, always highly informative. Re. the discussion around making your own sleeping bags, there are some kits available which help you achieve this. I’ve made a sleeping quilt and rucksack from Ray Jardine ‘s website previously and they work well. The kits are well thought out and if you don’t have any issues purchasing from the USA good value. Other kits are available from the Web if you have a look around.
Also as an aside, once you start making your own kit you do get a better “connection” with it and can produce exactly what you want. Plus it’s fun!



Hi Paul

As always some good detailed answers there Paul. I think you comments with on the small wood burner stoves are quite accurate, they require far too much TLC in my opinion. Also interesting to hear your thoughts on sleeping bags, in particular the bit about filler bags to increase the warmth. I have often wondered about getting a filler bag/quilt for my 3 season but have held off as I think it better to get a dedicated bag for the season.

Also thanks (to Amanda) for sending the spoon knife.




Pär Leijonhufvud

Two points:

1. Sleeping bags.

1a. I know of someone who did make a functional sleeping bag with bulrush/reedmace/cattail (Typha latifolia) down. Not compact or light, but warm.

1b. I know some people who use insulated quilts like the Jerven Fjellduk together with a sleeping bag that is not quite warm enought Considering the cost of the Jerven this is not the economy option!

1c. Double bags: I agree with you about the hassle of two sleeping bags and one bivy (plus perhaps a liner…), but I still suggest it to people who is doing their first winter camping with our winter survival course: unless you know that you are going to use it again a dedicated winter bag is not a reasonable outlay for most people.

2. Fireboxes. The advantage of the honey stove (etc) is that you can use either a Trangia burner or small biomass (pine cones, etc) depending on the conditions. That said, they are fuzzy to use.

In winter I often use another firebox, the Moskosel one (sold by Tentipi as they are now called). It allows larger pieces of firewood, and also can be “suspeded” over the snow (it has two crossbars, than can be rested on longer sticks, and thus float on top if the snow). Not light (almost 1 kg, IIRC), but very nice to cook on and quite a bit more fuel efficient than an open fire. it does share one disadvantage with all other fireboxes I have tried: it is no fun assembling them with mittens on (doable, thought, if you have patience).
You can see it in these two pictures: http://www.leijonhufvud.org/images/picture.php?/199/category/Friluftsliv and http://www.leijonhufvud.org/images/picture.php?/237/category/Friluftsliv

Also, I agree with you about the comparable environmental impact of a natural bushcraft/survival shelter and a modern tent/tarp/hammock setup. But legally I can here in Sweden I can pitch a tent/tarp or hang a hammock almost everywhere I would want to, but not build shelters without the landowners permission.


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