#AskPaulKirtley 66: How To Reach The Northern Forest, Generating Interest In Bushcraft, Multi-Purpose Bivvy Bags

#AskPaulKirtley 66: How To Reach The Northern Forest, Generating Interest In Bushcraft, Multi-Purpose Bivvy Bags

In this episode of #AskPaulKirtley I answer questions about how to get to the Northern Forest, how to combat loneliness on wilderness trips, how to get people interested in bushcraft, the many purposes of a bivvy bag and share some thoughts on cooking sets for canoe trips.

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Links For This Episode of #AskPaulKirtley

Winter Clothing For the Northern Wilderness part 1
Winter Clothing For The Northern Wilderness part 2
Winter Camping Trip In The Northern Forest
Lightening The Load Part 1

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What Is #AskPaulKirtley?

#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).

Click here to find out the different ways you can ask me a question.

Related Material On Paul Kirtley’s Blog:

#AskPaulKirtley 65: Tips For Fires Under Tarps, More Bushcraft On TV, Typha Fibre Extraction

Winter Bivvying – How To Stay Warm In A World Of Cold

Do Tarps Keep You Dry In The Rain?


21 thoughts on “#AskPaulKirtley 66: How To Reach The Northern Forest, Generating Interest In Bushcraft, Multi-Purpose Bivvy Bags

  1. yet another great show , ive been trying to think of a question for you since the bushcraft show last year and think you have covered everything I hoped to know keep up the good work , (tho I cant see how you can maintain this )
    many thanks

    1. Cheers Paul. Well if you do think of a q, then you know where I am. Glad you are liking the shows. Cheers, Paul. P.S. hope to see you again at the show this year.

      1. I will be there and also booked on one of your walks too

  2. Further to Adrian’s question at 23:40, I wonder if the answer to how to get more people interested in bushcraft is to *not* try and get them interested in bushcraft?

    Let me explain…. as we all know the phrase ‘bushcraft’ includes a range of different areas, subject fields, topics etc etc – many of which are probably not that obvious to a layperson as falling under the umbrella ‘bushcraft’ term. Instead of trying to pitch ‘bushcraft’ to people, it may be better to try and tap into their individual interests and see if there is a parallel into ‘bushcraft’.

    In some of my previous roles I have been responsible for bringing new ways of thinking and practices into businesses. Sometimes everything goes to plan and other times it takes a lot of persuasion and thinking on my feet – over this time I have come to use the phrase “go where the energy is” which means that even if people aren’t necessarily going for my Plan A – the fact that they’re heading in that general direction is a positive thing and one that I encourage and nurture in the hope that in time Plan A will be achieved.

    So I guess what I’m getting at here is that even if folks rail against the term ‘bushcraft’ they *may* be interested in birdwatching, wildlife, weather signs and forecasting, having a beer around a campfire, camping in a tent, mapreading, hillwalking, climbing, foraging, tree and plant ID, woodworking etc etc – any of those (and of course more) could be where *their* energy is and could be something that you may be able to tap into.

    1. Good points Craig. Thanks for bringing your professional experience to bear in order to provide another perspective. It’s all very useful.

      Warm regards,


  3. I would try to remember what got you interested in the beginning, and your journey. I agree with Paul and Craig, there is such a cross over with bushcraft and so many other outdoor pursuits that there is likely to be an area of common interest. Something simple as offering a wild edible while on a walk, or putting up a tarp for a bit of shelter is the best demonstration of “bushcraft” to the uninitiated.

  4. Hi,
    Enjoyed that Paul, thank you.
    Regarding getting people into bushcraft. We live on a relatively compact and populated island, my concern is that too many people get into finding the quiet places, then there won’t be any!
    But the more personal answer is just enjoy it for yourself, people will be drawn to that peace and contentness .
    Finally I find the thing that is our primary personal tool is the same thing that puts a rapid barrier up, we love them, have too many (guilty), you guessed it….the knife. At least my experience is people are suspicious of the knife carrier. That’s what we do isn’t it, carry a UK legal pocket knife, that is our piece of that outdoor world carried all the time, the link to good times. Is that the link and the barrier?
    Kind regards

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for your comments. Yes, encouraging people to seek out the wild places can seem like a double-edged sword.

      But you are right, different people have many reasons and motivations for seeking nature and wild places. Everyone needs to find their own motivation (rather than being told to go) if it is going to be genuine.

      And yes, people can be suspicious of knives/people who have one, particularly in highly urbanised countries.

      Warm regards,


    2. My logic is the same that I have for hunting. Encouraging people to get out will cause a shortage of space/animals so people will wake up about how much we are trashing our planet and start voting accordingly which hopefully will improve things for future generations.

  5. I love your clear-mindedness, Paul. Being alone in nature is exactly that, in nature, and if we lose sight of that, our mind can play tricks on us and make us feel inadequate or incomplete. Nature has sounds, sights and tangible feelings (wind, sun, cold, heat, wet, etc) which can overwhelm us, or can be ignored, depending on where our own mind is. Like you, I am not a psychologist, but from personal experience, I find being immersed in nature alone or with a like-minded friend is really what being in nature is about. Our relative skills in nature are just skills to adapt while there, but nature can be felt, enjoyed, observed with or without skills.
    Good blog.

  6. Thank you once again for some more useful information. Your wealth of knowledge is amazing! Hope the weather warms up a little for you, so you are not sitting in snow! 🙂 And, I look forward to episode 67! All the best, and have a good one! Mr Kevin B.

    1. Thank you Kevin. I’m glad you found this one useful.

      See you on the next episode!

      Warm regards,


  7. I can’t believe how great this site is. You keep up the good work. That’s my advice pal.

  8. Hi Paul.
    We met at the Swedish Bushcraft Festival, Found your podcasts.. fantastic.
    Regarding involving people in Bushcraft, I joined a hiking club. Norway is full of hikers and skiers, I use my time with them to tease them into the idea of bushcraft.. all be it performing “voodoo” with resin or birch bark , firesteels etc .. its amazing how many people want to try.. before you know it they’re hooked.
    You can go a longway with a lunch conversation over the amazing diversity of the humble tampon in a wilderness environment.
    All the best

    1. Hi Kevin,

      Yes I remember our meeting. It’s good to hear from you again.

      Hope all is going well for you and you have enough of a winter over there to be able to fully enjoy it. It’s been very mild here in the UK…

      Warm regards,


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