What’s the difference, you ask? To many outdoor enthusiasts, being a practitioner of survival skills is all about being prepared for the times when things go wrong (and there’s nothing wrong with that). But I’d like to offer a different point of view. The growing bushcraft movement displays a paradigm shift in the outdoor community. More and more people are learning outdoor skills for the sake of bushcraft rather than survival. The difference is simple, yet profound. In survival, you are trying to stay alive in the wild, often with the goal of getting back to civilization. Yet with bushcraft, you are trying to be a home in the wild, and you’ll often head into the wild to do so. Yes, you could be performing the exact same skills. Fire building, open fire cooking, trapping and foraging are all skills of both bushcraft and survival. The difference is simply this. The survival mentality means that you’re fighting against something, and the bushcraft mentality is more about belonging and being at peace. Even if you do find yourself in a wilderness emergency, your bushcraft skills could be a lifesaver. And when that times comes, which sounds like a more productive strategy – to fight against nature? Or to work with it?
And if that’s not enough, you can:
Follow Tim on Twitter @timmacwelch
Take one of his survival classes at www.advancedsurvivaltraining.com
and check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles at Outdoor Life Magazine’s survival site, The Survivalist.