Wilderness Survival Guide: 37 Bushcraft Skills

bushcraft survival skills

Have you ever been stranded in the wild with nothing? Few have and even fewer have lived to tell the tale. Surviving in the wild with nothing. Knowing how to use the natural resources all around you in the wild is where the skills part comes in.

These are just a couple of examples of what bushcraft skills are. In this guide, we cover 37 different bushcraft survival skills that will help you prepare and survive in the wilderness when SHTF.

What is Bushcraft?

We know from the Survival Dictionary page of Bushcraft, Bushcraft is essentially another word to describe wilderness survival. Bushcraft survival is a term that essentially means Wilderness Survival. Bushcraft is the art of surviving in the wild. Think of it as advanced outdoor survival skills.

37 Bushcraft Skills Every Outdoorsman Should Master

When it comes to this area of survival and preparedness, situational awareness is a skill to further develop. To such an extent we couldn’t include it in this list. Another primary wilderness skill that’s needed is the ability to stay calm in intense situations.

Panicking when facing a dangerous wild animal will serve you no good.

This list of skills will serve you well to thrive in a wild environment. There are many others, but this list is a good place to be. Keep in mind, this is a more advanced topic in surviving in the outdoors. Bushcraft by default means, in-depth knowledge, and skills in the outdoors environment.

Let’s get started.

1. Meet Your New Best Friend…

I wanted to kick off the bushcraft survival skills list with one of my favorite survival items.

A Bushcraft Knife.

A bushcraft knife is a knife designed for carving wood mostly.

2. Learn The Art Of Redneck Fishing

redneck fishing tips

Nobody fishes like a redneck. They go hard and they don’t leave without a massive bass.

Go here to see the full post on how to fish like a redneck.

3. How To Build Long-Lasting Fire

Many ways to make a fire. One way is with a battery that we’ll get to soon in this post. Learn different ways to make a DIY fire so you can use what is available to you.

4. Start a Fire Without a Spark

Speaking of starting fires, ever start a fire without a spark?

Watch this video on how to do it.

5. How To Open a Can Without a Can Opener

Forgot or lost your can opener?

Sometimes we don’t have what we would like to have to get the job done. But there is always a way. Here’s how to get the can open. Open a can with your knife.

Watch how to open a tin can with a knife.

6. Get Drinkable Water

You could be in the middle of the Atlantic and die from not getting any water in time. Water is no good unless you can drink it.

Go here to see how to make drinkable water. There is an infographic explaining how.

7. Get Survival Tactics No One Else Knows

There are tactics and then there are survival tactics. There is gear and then there is survival gear.

What separates the two is the intent behind the use of the gear. We’re survivors. We learn and adapt based on the situation. We develop our skills, knowledge, and tactics like no one else.

Click here to learn survival tactics no one else knows.

8. DIY Cotton Ball Fire Starter

9. Cut a 550 Paracord Without Using a Knife

10. Start a Fire with a Gum Wrapper

There are many ways to start a fire, even with common items like a pair of binoculars or as simple as a pair of rocks. Watch the video below to learn how to use a gum wrapper for fire starting.

11. DIY Survival Cement

12. Identify Edible Plants

Some plants can harm you just by standing near them! There are even poisonous berries that resemble blueberries. Identifying what is good and what is not will serve you well when foraging for food.

13. How To Keep Your Cool in Stressful Situations

This one is tough. It’s one of the hardest abilities to develop.

How are you supposed to keep your cool when a 900 lb grizzly bear is 10 feet away from shredding the skin off your back? Well, when I think about it. Only one word comes to mind.


The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be. And more importantly, the more likely you’ll actually know what to do in the situation because you prepared by learning what to do, developing the skills, and have the right survival gear with you.

You won’t panic or get “stressed out” when the grid goes down and you have 2 years of food stored away and learned dozens of survival hacks for living off the grid.

14. Master Your Crossbow Shooting Skills

15. Bake Your Own Survival Ration Bars

These can get expensive if you have to keep buying them from stores. Learn to DIY and save the money.

16. Identify Different Types of Wood for Your Fire

Knowing what type of wood you’re working with is critical information. Using the wrong strategy, methods, and tactics for the wrong wood is what we want to avoid by preparing.

17. Learn Alternative Fishing Methods

Why not just fish with your bare hands?

Bass Pro has a good article on different methods for catching fish.

18. Navigating

This is one of the essential wilderness survival skills. If you don’t know how to navigate your way through the trees and over the mountains, the odds of making it back home are slim.

This video goes over different ways to navigate your way through the wilderness.

19. Make Prepper Paracord Bracelets

Have you ever made a survival bracelet? These tools are great for EDC use. There are many different versions you can make.

Go here to see the list of different survival bracelets.

20. Build A DIY Winter Shelter

It snows in the woods too. Knowing how to make a winter survival shelter built for retaining as much heat as possible is what we want to build.

21. How To Tie Different Fishing Knots

Fishing can entail many different skills. One of those skills is knowing how to tie a few different fishing knots. You’ll need to know how to tie these as you’re likely to be in a situation where it requires a certain type of knot.

This video from Milliken Fishing does a good job showing you the 4 knots every fisherman must know.

22. Make Your Own Rope

It’s actually easy to make your own cordage.

Watch this video showing you how.

23. Collect Water With a Transportation Bag

Seems simple and a no-brainer. But it is a skill like any other.

This video demonstrated how to collect water in the right way.

24. Handle a Knife Like a Pro

In order to do this, we need to practice with our knives daily. Practice is an improvement. Learn the essential knife skills and practicing them over and over. The more we practice, the more we’ll get used to using it and the safer using it will be.

25. Why Knot Learn More Knots

Why not learn more about tying different knots with your cordage? Start with the most basic ones which have more than a handful of uses in a survival situation.

26. Make A Fire With Everyday Household Items

When SHTF and you need to start a fire with no time to waste. There are items right inside your house that can do the trick.

Watch this video to see the regular household items that you can start a fire with. One of the uses for bacon grease is to coat cotton balls which make great fire starters.

27. Develop Your Survival Archery Skills

Improving archery skills are important for hunting. Check out our ultimate guide of bowhunting skills to help you improve.

28. How To Cook-Off The Grid

Some people wonder, is cooking a survival skill? It absolutely is. When it comes to cooking off the grid, it’s a much broader skill set than cooking in a modern-day kitchen.

29. How To Find Clean Water

We can only survive about 3 days without water.

Here’s how you can find and drink clean water.

30. Boil It Down To The Basics

The majority of results will always come from the basics. So it’s important to practice and get good at them.

Go here to brush up on the basic survival skills every man needs to know.

31. Go Gigging

Have you ever used a split-tip gig to catch critters? Hunting with a multi-pronged spear is one of the most, if not, the most simple way to catch fish with. This is also called gigging.

This video shows you the rough edges.

32. DIY Neck Knife and Wallet Fire Starter Kit

There are different kinds of fire starter kits, this is one that gets the job done.

33. Tie a Bowline Knot

This survival knot is known as the most important and most useful knot in the world. It’s magic.

Learn how to tie the bowline in the ultimate guide on knots.

34. Starting A Fire With Just A Battery

You never know when you’ll need to start a fire and what you’ll have to make one with. When SHTF and you only have a battery, here’s how to make a fire with it.

WARNING: Age Restriction. Here’s how to make it.

35. Build Your Own Emergency Survival Shelter

We can only survive without shelter for so long. We need it to survive. Learn how to make a DIY emergency shelter so you can build one when the time comes.

36. Learn Survival Lessons From History

The greatest survival skills and knowledge most likely aren’t contained in modern-day survival magazines on the shelf. The greatest lessons for surviving are from survivors. People that have survived through some of the toughest times in history. Study them.

37. Send A Survival Signal

Properly sending a survival signal can mean the difference between help finding you and you being stranded.

Here’s a guide on how to signal for help.

Recommended Reading

If you want to develop your bushcraft skills. Learning and acquiring knowledge is an important part of that. There are some great bushcraft books listed in the Survival Library that are some of the best for learning bushcraft and wilderness survival skills.


Bushcraft is one of the major categories of survival and preparedness.

Bushcrafters are able to live and survive in the wild like no other. Wilderness survival skills are their expertise.

There surely are a lot more bushcraft skills to practice out there which may not have been mentioned. Don’t hesitate to let us know about them in the comments below. After you’ve learned a few from these bushcraft skills videos, you can start looking at bushcraft supplies.

But that’s a whole nother article.

Do you think bushcraft skills are worth learning and developing? Some preppers may disagree.

We hope this article helped you learn how to survive in the wild by learning some bushcraft survival skills. You may also want to see our guide on the basic survival skills everyone should know.

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bushcraft survival skills