Keeping fit in 2018 with bushcraft is a great way to do something outdoors and get fit along the way.

Like anything there are some common sense rules you should follow, for instance lifting with your knees and having a straight back, etc. Below are some of the physical tasks I do whilst preparing for and running a bushcraft course.

1. Preparation for the courses

The long walk from the vehicle to base camp carrying in the equipment for the courses certainly gets your heart beating fast. With between 8-10 water containers holding 20kg of water, boxes of food and specialist equipment for each activity, all of which needs carrying in. Its a combination of cardio and strength with this task.

Some of the equipment needed to run a bushcraft course

Just some of the equipement required to run a bushcraft course.

Some of the pots and kettles on dispaly

Some bushcraft pots and kettle that are used on our courses.

2. Collecting and processing firewood

Collecting firewood warms you up fast from the initial locating suitable timber through to lugging it back to base camp to process. Sawing and splitting of the larger firewood down into manageable pieces also helps with strength and stamina.

Carrying wood back to base camp

Tom on his way back to base camp with a large piece of firewood.

Adam splitting down large pieces of firewood

Adam splitting large pieces of wood using a gransfors bruks axe


3. Demonstrating the Bow drill method of fire lighting

Demonstrating this method of fire lighting while explaining what you are doing as you are doing it, can be a challenge. The stamina needs to continue to bow whilst breathing and talking at the same time can sometimes catch you out and you forget to breathe. This method of fire lighting helps to get your heart beating faster and aids in strength and stamina.

Adam demonstrating the bow drill method of fire lighting

Bushcraft demonstration of the fire by friction (bow drill) method of fire lighting by Adam.

Blowing the tinder bundle into flame.

Adam blowing the tinder bundle to flame whilst demonstrating this method of fire lighting.



4. Shelter building

Building a woodland shelter from scratch is a physical task, first of all, gathering all the materials needed to construct a weatherproof shelter is no mean task. The framework timber required from the main ridge pole(s) through to supporting forked sticks and then the brash and finally the leaf litter covering it all. The task can take an inexperienced person 3-4 hours of physical labor.

Bushcraft shelter construction - initial stage

Building a bushcraft shelter from natural resources found in the woodland.

The finished woodland shelter

The finished woodland bushcraft shelter.

5.Keeping hydrated

Being outdoors around the campfire will dehydrate you without you realising but add in a physical task of firewood collection, shelter building or lighting a fire using the bow drill method and you will quickly need to rehydrate. Being dehydrated is not fun, you feel sluggish, have a headache and this can be a dangerous downward spiral unless quickly resolved.

Keeping hydrated on a bushcraft course

Chris keeping hydrated whilst on a bushcraft course.

6. A balanced meal

Having a balanced meal whilst out in the woods is vital, you have to keep your energy levels up so that you can get through the physical tasks. A meal consisting of veg full of nutrients and carbohydrates, and free-range meat (pigeon in this instance)  full of protein and fat will help your energy levels and keep you strong and fit.

A nutritionally balanced bushcraft meal

A nutritionally balanced meal being cooked over the bushcraft fire.

Thanks for reading, to find out more about keeping fit whilst enjoying bushcraft please visit our bushcraft courses page.



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