Bushcraft and survival are terms that are often viewed as synonymous. But is it right? You’ve probably read our article on 3 simple tips for a beginner bushcrafter. So you know more or less that he is calling. Now we will show you, in which church. Are you curious? Read on.
What is the difference between bushcraft and survival?
While bushcraft and survival seem to mean the same at first glance, upon further exploration, we can assure you that there are some significant differences. Don’t worry if you didn’t know about it, or if you can’t tell exactly what the differences are. We guarantee that even experienced enthusiasts of survival sometimes have trouble explaining why survival and bushcraft are not interchangeable terms.
Survival, or the art of survival
Survival is an English word meaning “continuing to live or survive”. Can you take that literally? Of course. Survival is the art of survival in various, often extreme conditions. You can voluntarily choose to spend your time to experience an adventure or prove yourself. However, there may also be a situation in your life that suddenly, unexpectedly, you will find yourself in difficult conditions and you will have to survive, perhaps also help others. This is when all the survival skills you’ve learned before will come in handy.
There are 3 types of survival:
Military Survival: modeled on the rules prevailing in the military, it is based on the acquisition of skills that will help to complete a specific “mission”.
Urban survival: it is the art of survival in urbanized areas, during various types of disasters and other exceptional situations.
Survival green: it’s about surviving in nature.
How will you prepare for survival? The answer is simple: learning about both the old survival techniques and the modern ones. Survivalists do not close themselves to technological innovations, on the contrary – the more skills they acquire, the better.
What can you take for survival?
In fact, everything as long as it is light and handy. Survivists use:
- modern fabrics, e.g. thermal T-shirts or gore-tex jackets,
- multifunctional flashlights,
- various tools,
- special food rations,
- first aid kits,
- a canteen and a steel cup,
- and many other useful items!
Any gadget that will make your survival easier is your friend. Whether it’s a water treatment or an ultra-light and super-warm sleeping bag, these things will help you survive.
Purpose of survival? Surviving
When going to survival, you just have to survive. Both in the wild and in the city, using traditional techniques, as well as modern ones, using what you have around you and the equipment prepared. You should know how to light a fire with two sticks and a birch bark, but also with e.g. car fluid. The key is to be able to use not only the gifts of nature, but also whatever other things you have available. You never know in what conditions your skills will come in handy, so it’s best to learn as much as possible.
But how is this related to bushcraft?
Bushcraft – harmony with nature
Bushcraft is a relatively new term that has not yet been embedded as strongly in the minds of Poles as survival. It consists of two parts: “bush” and “craft”.
The art of living in the wild, regardless of the conditions, temperature or season, using mainly the gifts of nature and the simplest tools – this is how you can briefly explain what bushcraft is. It is not only about surviving, but most of all it is about a specific feeling of being one with nature and the world around you. If you are fascinated by nature, you are excited to associate with wild animals and you want to feel like an American trapper – bushcraft is just for you.
How to prepare for bushcraft?
by choosing to pursue bushcraft you give up modern solutions. You learn some basic techniques, such as starting a fire with flint or two sticks. You don’t take matches with you, and replace the sleeping bag with a blanket. You boil water in a piece of wood bark, and instead of modern fabrics, you choose clothes made of cotton or wool impregnated with beeswax. Any skill that allows you to use the gifts of nature increases your chances of survival.
You don’t take any electronic gadgets with you. You only use the simplest tools and items, such as:
- classic knife,
- ordinary backpack,
If you go out into the wild in winter, you also take trapper snowshoes or wooden skis with you. Instead of a jacket, you wear leather or wool outerwear, and to protect your face from frost, you smear it with animal fat.
Ordinary fun or a spiritual experience?
Bushcraft is about more than entertainment. The Bushcraftman doesn’t just want to survive and get out of the wild, his goal is to stay in it and get used to it, using almost only what nature has given. Such closeness to nature is an unforgettable experience. Provided you survive 😊
Bushcraft vs survival – how do they differ?
The first difference is that survival uses both traditional survival techniques and modern ones, while bushcraft involves cutting yourself off from civilization and its achievements, and using the simplest solutions.
It is clear that the survivalist will make use of many bushcraft techniques. However, he will choose those that require less work, because his goal is to quickly get out of a given situation. The bushcraftman can afford to use time-consuming methods because he is in no rush.
The goal of the trip is the main and most important difference between bushcraft and survival.
The goal of survival is to survive in difficult conditions. Bushcraft, on the other hand, is not so much about survival as it is about… enduring. Spending time, prevailing, being in the wild. On taking pleasure in the closeness of nature, on blending in with the surroundings, on a peculiar journey in time.
Similarities between survival and bushcraft
Of course, survival and bushcraft are areas that are very similar, and in some places even interwind. Survivalist should be familiar with primal survival techniques. He will not always have modern tools with him, and he will not always find the materials he needs around him. The knowledge of classical methods increases safety and the chances of success of the action.
It is said that:
bushcraft is always survival, although not every survival is bushcraft.
However, we do not fully agree with these words. As we wrote, bushcraft is something more than survival, so it’s hard to consider any such expedition as survival. Yes, technically this thesis seems to be accurate, but bushcraft is also a kind of spiritual experience. And in this case it will not be strictly survival – because it is not about surviving and getting out, but about learning to live in the wild and enjoy it.
Bushcraft or survival – what to choose?
Whether you are closer to the classic art of survival or living in the wild, know one thing – both options will give you an amazing experience. Such an adventure can completely change your life, or it can remain a great memory for years.
Being able to survive in harsh conditions, use what you find around you and manage without modern gadgets is something that can be useful in many moments of your life. You should learn basic skills, such as striking fire without matches, finding food in the forest or navigating with the stars. You never know when you will use them – on a Masurian cruise, a trip to the mountains or a forest camping with friends.
So feel the call of nature and set off on your adventure with survival or bushcraft. And to get started somewhere, get a good knife – for example, following our tips in this article.