November 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm #28401
Firstly, do you think there is one? I am astonished at how many people think and use these terms as seemingly interchangable…
Secondly, what do you see as the key differences between:
A) Survival vs Bushcraft training?
B) Survival vs Bushcraft skills?
All thoughts and viewpoints appreciated!November 5, 2014 at 4:26 pm #28405
Much depends on your location as to which definition may be used or if there’s really a difference.
However “survival” encompasses so many things, including economics and politics that it really is a more general and all inclusive title.
While bushcraft is pretty much relegated to outdoor studies and practices.
A hundred years ago, Kephardt even broke up much of ‘bushcraft’ into two books, “Camping and Woodcraft” which were combined in one book in 1916/1917.
Here’s a link to the 1906 version:November 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm #28411
Good point! I should have been more specific, I posted in the Wilderness Survival category, but omitted to say specifically ‘wilderness survival’ in my text!
So Wilderness Survival vs Bushcraft is more my question…November 5, 2014 at 7:20 pm #28415
Okay, a better analogy/example for explanation of this.
Ray Mears vs Les Stroud.
Mears style even in survival is more relaxed and closer to camping and living outdoors.
Mears will sit down and make a spoon or ‘russian oil’ (see Belarus episode) while out and about.November 6, 2014 at 12:26 am #28426
Bushcraft is what you learn how to do before you get into a wilderness survival situation! One is the practice (bushcraft), for the real deal (wilderness survival).
Hopefully, if your bushcraft skills get to a high enough level, what would be a wilderness survival situation for most people, will be a pleasant camp-out and scout for you.November 6, 2014 at 1:00 am #28429
I would think that they are the same thing , with survival ( Need ) being the motivator , and Bushcraft being the technical end of how to get what it is you need .November 6, 2014 at 1:13 am #28431
You might find this post and video about the difference between knowledge and common sense very interesting about bushcraft and wilderness survival. Sometimes things aren’t what we think they are.
I used to tell people that they had about 15 minutes for self-rescue in freezing water before a person would lose dexterity. This is not true for a trained individual. If you practice cold-thermogenesis you can greatly improve your survival time and function.
Arthur Haines recommends to “Practice hormesis. Expand your physical tolerance limits. Recognize that you can endure greater levels of cold, heat, hunger, and physical discomfort than you believe. Thermostats and instant meals have blunted your ability to be comfortable when outside the home. Walk barefoot on the cold ground (or in the snow). Push yourself (safely) during exercise. Experience the elements and allow your body to broaden its range of what feels comfortable. You will gain strength and your metabolism will adjust. Learn to enjoy the climate of your local setting.”November 6, 2014 at 6:55 am #28449
While a lot of bushcraft skills can be used for wilderness survival, there is still a difference between the two.
Today, seldom is rescue more than 3 days away. So many of the older bushcraft skills like making semi permanent shelters has been discouraged.
When in survival mode, you’re hardly going to be making a spoon.
Or compare making a decent fish weir to a simple fishing spear.
One is long term the other immediate.
An overnight slit trench versus a dugout cabin.
A poncho raft versus a bull boat.
Eating grubs versus smoking a deer.
Improvised bow and arrows versus deadfalls and pit traps.
A stone axe versus a Hudson Bay axe.
The difference as I see it is time and intent.
With bushcraft I may be hiding, but I’m not running.
With wilderness survival I am likely in a time crunch, to make a fire and get dry, to staunch a wound, to make sure rescuers find me.
When I’m making a rabbit skin blanket versus huddling under a pile of leaves? That’s bushcraft.
The Jews in the Belarus forests used bushcraft to live, but they used wilderness survival skills to make fire, to escape and make it to where bushcraft could be used to live not just survive.November 6, 2014 at 9:10 am #28451
Like one of my friends once said: “Survival is an art of staying alive. Bushcraft is like roots for survival. First was a Stone Age, than bushcraft and finaly survival”.
I personaly think that sometimes survival and bushcraft are hard to distinguish. Making fire for example. Survival skill or bushcraft skill? Planecrash – I have to make fire. I live in woods during my 2 months holiday – I have to make and sustain fire. Smilar, same? Yes and no.
Survival comes from “survive”. Something happens and man has to survive.
Bushcraft is made out of “bush” and “craft” (like woodcraft). For me it means: how to live (more “live, thrive” than “survive”) in wilderness.
In suvival situations I rarely need skill like makig spoon or building wooden cabin (bush/wood/wildernesscraft). But I need skills like making fire, obtaining water, food, etc.
Survival/bushcraft skills/training? You obtain skills by triaining them.
I think there’s no one correct definition of survival and bushcraft.November 6, 2014 at 10:00 am #28465
C, While I agree with the concept of hardening and acclimation to harsher weather both hot & cold, experiencing a longer time of effective directed energy in very cold water is not something to expect. Even if you could endure an extra 5 or 10 minutes totally immersed, in most cases it probably is not buying you enough time to escape the water without help.
We ussually become uncomfortable well before we are physically in danger and can adjust over time with conditioning. We can’t over come physics, heat loss totally immersed in water is extremely effective and would be hard to over come while alone.November 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm #28474
Interesting topic. My experience with our MAG is that people talk about survival but when the time comes to go to the woods to learn, experience, and grow, many do not follow through but make excuses for not being able to train. Honestly, I have done that at times though in general I have taken training almost every time it was available.
It seems to me that training must be incorporated into our prepping, for if we do not, how do we know we really have the skills to survive? Yes it costs money and takes time, but I see no way we can avoid it and really be prepared. Your thoughts?
For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!November 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm #28475
Ghost, Complete agreement. However it’s not necessary to travel into the deep woods to try a lot of skills, the back yard will do. Of course the neighbors will think you’re weird sleeping in your makeshift shelter, cooking over an open fire and butchering a pig.November 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm #28483
Ghost Prime, in the last few years, I have done most of my bushcraft study in my backyard or in the forestlands minutes from my home. (I live on the edge of a city of 90,000.) Many, if not most of the bush skills can be practiced in your backyard as long as your neighbors aren’t too nosy. (I’m thinking about starting and making small fires which people might smell.) I “camp-out” for 7 months of the year in my backyard. (None of my neighbors know I do it. That’s also why I have developed an interest in stealth housing.)
74, you can really improve your tolerance to cold. I particularly had a problem with tolerance to cold because I have a long history of pituitary-thyroid-adrenal axis problems resulting in a low, normal body temperature. I have greatly improved my physical tolerance limits by sleeping outside for 7 months of the year.
Also, I have done cold-themogenesis training. I first started with immersing myself in room temperature water for 20-30 minutes until I would start shivering. When I got used to that, I added ice frozen in buckets to the room temperature water. I got to test myself on a canoe trip to the Broken Island Group when I spent 30 minutes in Pacific Ocean water while maintaining dexterity. (The test I use for dexterity is the ability to easily touch my thumb to my pinky finger on both hands.)
Further, I have experimented in how little I can eat and operate effectively. Though experimenting, I have learned I can do use ketogenic diets to become a fat-burner and easily go without meals. I can maintain my weight and physical function on one evening meal followed by two meals the next day. I never eat breakfast when I’m in ketosis. I can repeat this process for weeks without losing weight. If I go down to one evening meal each day I will start losing body fat fast. If I was in a survival situation I would get myself into a ketogenic state as quickly as possible so I could access to my fat stores. (Actually, I go seasonal into deep ketosis during the winter and spring.) In this state even fasting is very comfortable. This means I know I can cut my rations in half while maintaining my function and increase food stores for others. (That’s why I found Mors Kochanski’s comments on fasting for survival a really good idea, though I would disagree that people could eat anything close to 150g of carbohydrates a day and get into a ketogenic state. For many very active people the number is between 50-100g and under 20-30g for people with metabolic disorders like diabetes.)
A person in a survival situation would be better off not eating anything or eating a very high fat meal such as salted pork bellies which has about 90% fat and 10% protein. Never eat your meal for breakfast! Therefore, a high-carbohydrate “survival bar” will kill you faster then not eating at all. Here’s my favorite bush food recipe. Remember to keep the lard and use it for frying-up wildcrafted greens or lean meats.
PS: I couldn’t believe how Ray Mears processed his fish. He cut off the head and the fins and tail where all the nutrition is… And what happened to the organs? If you want to get the most from a fish, eat the organs first, raw if possible, or lightly cooked. If there is any roe, eat it fresh or lightly salt for later. Follow with the fish head and the fatty fins and tail. Eat all the skin with a bit of the muscle meat. Smoke, salt and/or dry the rest of the muscle meat. Use the fish bones and any waste for making bone broth.November 6, 2014 at 6:49 pm #28495
Ray = Trains SAS
Les = Burn self alive inside drift wood shelter.
Never be afraid to do the righteous thing, nothing righteous is ever easy.November 6, 2014 at 7:51 pm #28499
KOS, I hope you did not consider my comment about Ray Mears an insult. I do not know anything about Ray Mears’ work or his history. I was just commenting on how he consumed the fish, from a survival perspective. Of course, the youtube video was for a BBC audience. Maybe when Ray Mears is training SAS recruits and not doing a BBC show, he teaches the SAS recruits how to eat the whole fish, not just the muscle meat.
I did enjoy the SAS Survival Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere by John Wiseman. That’s about the limit of my knowledge of the SAS.
For bushcraft, Mors Kochanski’s book Bushcraft is excellent, especially for people in the northern Boreal forest. He has many line drawings and diagrams in the book that help explain bushcraft skills. I have seen other books that have taken pages of descriptions to describe what he gets across in a simple line drawing.
I was impressed with Les Stroud’s book Survive. I was so impressed that I went through the trouble of watching a few Survivorman shows. I don’t watch TV. (I liked the book much better then the TV show. I really don’t know how people watch that kind of stuff.)
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