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Category: Bushcraft

High quality Bushcraft articles written by professional wilderness bushcraft instructor, Paul Kirtley.

Labrador Tea – Tonic or Toxic?

Labrador Tea – Tonic or Toxic?

Labrador tea is the name given to three closely related Rhododendron species. These plants were traditionally used for many medicines as well as Labrador tea, most commonly made from , becoming a popular beverage tea. But is it safe to consume?

Bushcraft Take-Aways From The Manitoba Museum

Bushcraft Take-Aways From The Manitoba Museum

What can you learn about bushcraft and wilderness living skills from a museum? Lots, as it turns out. If it’s a good museum, that is. And the Manitoba Museum is a good museum for nature, native skills, bushcraft, self reliance, anthropology, history of wilderness living, voyageurs, trappers, surveyors and first nations…

Waiting For Gooders: A Minor Inconvenience In The Wilderness

Waiting For Gooders: A Minor Inconvenience In The Wilderness

There was a backlog of flights. In the previous couple of days poor weather had disrupted float plane services. Now the pilots were playing catch-up, ferrying fishermen, canoeists and gold prospectors out to the bush. As soon as a plane came in, it was being turned around again, made ready with another load. Our outfitter passed on the information that we should still be good to go first thing in the morning. All being well, the backlog would be cleared…

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BCB Crusader II Mug Review

BCB Crusader II Mug Review

Here’s my thoughts on the BCB Crusader II mug. I don’t post a lot of gear reviews but a metal mug is one of my core pieces of personal kit. So, I was interested to try the redesigned hard anodised aluminium mark II mug to see how it compared to the classic stainless steel Crusader mug I’ve used for years…

Carving A Set Of Utensils For A Frost River Utensil Roll

Carving A Set Of Utensils For A Frost River Utensil Roll

Other than knocking out the occasional small spoon for eating with, I’ve not had much time for carving recently. It’s not that I don’t like carving. Quite the contrary, I really enjoy carving. But, of late I’ve been occupied with leading general bushcraft courses, making wilderness journeys, writing articles, photography and, of course, running a business. So I was really looking forward to running Frontier Bushcraft’s new Woodcrafter course, which revolves around axe skills, woodcraft and carving. One afternoon during…

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Lightening The Load pt 1 – Tarp & Bivvy Sleep Systems

Lightening The Load pt 1 – Tarp & Bivvy Sleep Systems

I’m asked a lot of questions about kit, which is a little bit ironic because bushcraft, fundamentally, is about knowledge of nature and what you can use from nature. Most of us go out with at least basic equipment, most of the time. We typically don’t go out in just our underpants, building a natural shelter every time we go out camping. We’re going to take some equipment with us, particularly if the purpose of our trip is to move…

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As Thick As A Capercaillie: How To Build A Long Log Fire

As Thick As A Capercaillie: How To Build A Long Log Fire

I have in the past written about the value of a long-log fire in the context of articles detailing the building of a lean-to shelter and later, the renovation of a previously used shelter. This has prompted readers to ask questions about the long-log fire itself, how it should be built, how it should be established. First Things First Get the right firewood. When I worked with Lars Fält he used to say there was an old saying that, “logs…

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An Emergency Winter Survival Shelter For The Forest

An Emergency Winter Survival Shelter For The Forest

When snow falls in the forest, you have multiple winter shelter designs to choose from. One of the classic northern forest shelters is a lean-to with a raised bed and a large long-log fire in front to keep you warm through the coldest of nights. I’ve written about the classic northern forest lean-to shelter design before, along with my experience of using it to sleep out at minus 20 to minus 30 celsius. It’s a remarkable way to spend the…

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How To Generate Water In The Frozen North

How To Generate Water In The Frozen North

Because they’re frozen, extreme cold environments are practically deserts. In this video and the associated article I share a couple of really effective methods of generating water in a frozen environment. Unless you have a specialist tool to cut through ice, getting at the water underneath the ice is extremely difficult. There is plenty of water present though, in the form of snow and the key to accessing it is…