I’ve been camping for years and over that amount of time I heaved learned some great bushcraft tips and tricks, and I’ve also learned some dumb ones, inside this article you will find a list of what I enjoy and what I would like you to learn as well.
Carry Your Hatchet The Easy Way
Most bags will come available with some sort of netting on the sides, with some straps to tie it securely in place. Take full potential of this and place the head of your hatchet into the netting and strap it tight to the bag. ==> Learn my favorite axe/hatchet skills
Using A Corkscrew To Untangle Knots
Uhh, what a pain, those stubborn knots are getting the best of you – however I’ve learned to untie them the simple way. If you have a pocket knife (like you should) then use the corkscrew to undo them.
If you don’t carry a pocket knife because you’d rather use your Swiss Army Knife for the screwdriver, no worries, use the Can Opener on your pocket knife as a substitute.
Cotton Bandana, WHAAAT?
You read that correctly, this little guy only weighs about an ounce and takes up virtually no room, and if it needs a clean, just rinse it in a stream. So how has this little item got any usage? Well here are my favorites:
- Handkerchief – Our nose tends to run more when it is cold, having one of these is a handy idea
- Rag – I don’t have to tell you how many uses a rag has
- Hand Towel – Good substitute if your original hand towel is wet
- Emergency Toilet Paper – It’s never a good thing to run out of toilet paper
- Neck And Face Scarf – Some days can get quite chilly, did you know heat gets lost through our head, neck, ankles and wrists? Use a bandana or 2 and cover sensitive areas and eliminate more heat from getting lost
- Strainer – This can be used as a strainer for silt water
- Protection – Eliminate burn hazards by using a bandana when grabbing hot pot handles
- Bandana – Have to look the part, right?
I recommend that you keep the bandana in a Ziploc bag to keep it dry until you need to use it. If you need to remove any grease from the bandana, just boil it for a few minutes.
Water-Resist Your Heads
There are some rubbish products out there – such as gun oil, mineral oil, petroleum oil, when you could have been using the most easy-to-get water repellent finish out there.
Rub paraffin-wax candle on the head of your axes, hatchets and machetes. This will give you an affordable resistance to your gear AND it won’t come off as easily while in the sheaths.
Pro Tip: There’s no need to rub the entire head with a thick coating, just use your finger to cover most of the surface and you have yourself a cheap and great water repellent finish.
Fire Steel Hack
If you lose your striker (from your fire steel) there’s still hope for you yet! Don’t panic and call it a day, there’s still ways you can get a fire blazing. Use Nature to your advantage, here’s some good alternatives you can use:
- Sharp Rock (silica based, such as chalcedony, agate, obsidian, jasper, chert, obsidian, quartz or quartzite)
- Dead Seashells
- Broken Glass (if you have no such luck with finding the items above)
If you decide to use a rock, make sure you sharpen it first (if you can’t find one that is already sharp) using other rocks to strike it. This can also be applied with the other items.
When you have one ready, use it EXACTLY like you’d use the steel striker and you’re away laughing.
How To Clean Your Water Bottle
Over time your water bottle will build up bacteria and dirt, giving your bottle nasty odors and tastes. This is likely to happen when you’re not frequently cleaning it or you are storing it incorrectly.
Maintaining Your Water Bottle (the easiest way to keep it clean and bacteria-free): After every use, rinse it out and let it sit to dry completely
If your water bottle is already letting off nasty taste and awful odors, then complete the steps outlined below.
Removing The Funky Odors/Taste:
- Place a teaspoon each of bleach and baking soda, then fill it with water
- Leave it there overnight
- Rinse it out completely with water
- Then complete the step above – Maintaining Your Water Bottle
Pro Tip: If you don’t have time to leave your bottle overnight or you simply don’t have another one spare, you can always try an antibacterial mouthwash which in most cases, can remove the nasty tastes and odors.
Stop Your Axe Bit From Chipping
Camping in the winter is a harsh task to do, only if you don’t know what you’re doing. Your axe bit can chip or break (the coldness will make it brittle) in the cold winter as you first use it, only if you don’t warm it up.
There’s so many ridiculous methods people will try and tell you to warm your axe bit up prior to using it, such as warming it up under your armpit first, not only is this highly dangerous but is extremely uncomfortable and COLD.
Here’s how to do it the right way:
Do a few LIGHT chops into a piece of wood, this will warm the blade up a lot faster than any other technique.
I recommend 10-20 strikes before you chop at full power.
Leaf Insole Hack
Prevent blisters and give you extra cushion comfort for your feet by placing some leaves inside your boots/shoes, these can be obtained from the mullein plant – you can’t miss it, this plant is very distinctive with leaves thick, durable and fuzzy.
The beauty of using this plant, it’s also antibacterial, and because they are so large – can be a go-to source for toilet paper and paper towels!
Capture Water Using Leaves
Before you have to resort to gathering dirty silt water and struggling to filter the junk out, you should remember that rain is the EASIEST source of fresh water in the wilderness.
Harvest Water Hack:
- Dig a small hole, just enough to fit your rain catchment in
- Grab the largest, clean leaves you can that contains a tubing inside the stalk
- Place the leaves around your catchment with the stalk-tubing pointing into it
- To stop your leaves from blowing away, use rocks to hold them down
You now have more of a chance to harvest water and actually fill your container.
Pro Tip: Of course, everyone knows that duplicating something will multiply your reward, so create more of these rain catchments and obtain more fresh water.
Know The Correct Shelter Position
This is basic survival knowledge, but also overlooked. It may not cross your mind, but knowing where to position your shelter is vital and can mean the difference between life and death.
Look out for danger zones when searching for a good shelter spot – Rotting trees, Fallen/Hanging trees, Rock Fall areas, Avalanche potential.
Oftentimes people will think that low-lying areas (ravines, ditches, valleys or swamps) will make a perfect choice to stay safe from the elements, when in actual reality – you’re setting yourself up for a horrible experience, such as a flash flood at the worst possible time, while you’re SLEEPING.
Don’t make this mistake and instead, put your shelter on hills, slopes or flat ground, while following the rules to stay away from dead trees, rock falls etc.
Surviving in the wilderness can be a huge achievement if you ever get lost, however your chances of surviving are really slim if you know absolutely nothing about survival.
Learning more about the wilderness and gaining more knowledge can sky rocket your chances of living and returning to civilization, so if you found these tips useful – please leave a comment below! 😀