How is bushcraft different from survival?

2021-04-23
How is bushcraft different from survival?

Survival master Les Stroud describes the art to which he has devoted his entire life: “Survival is not a game. There is nothing beautiful about it. Forget about convenience. You may have to endure pain, struggle with fatigue and loneliness, and eat things that you would not otherwise put in your mouth. Perhaps you will be in danger. Perhaps it will be a matter of life or death. " This is what is taught in Polish special units. Trainings of the Military Commando Unit from Lubliniec or the world-famous GROM are exhausting, multi-day missions, during which operators struggle with a deficit of water, food and sleep at the limit of the efficiency of their own organisms. This is described in detail by the former GROM Naval operator in the book "Surviving Belize".

A few words about survival

Survival is not a picnic in the forest. It is the ability to use a lot of knowledge from various fields of science in the face of life threatening conditions. It is above-average efficiency and adaptability of the organism. So, is it possible to talk about survival in the context of sports activity or hobby, which bushcraft undoubtedly is?

Of course. Survival (understood as the ability to survive in difficult terrain) can be trained. Such trainings consist in conscious exposure to unfavorable weather conditions and the improvement of navigation techniques and the ability to live in the field.

When does bushcraft end and survival begin?

So Survival and Bushcraft have a lot in common. Skills such as building a shelter and lighting a fire are applicable to both. It is said that survival begins where bushcraft ends. How to understand this statement?

Let's imagine that we went alone in the mountains, taking a bushcraft kit with us. We plan to rest in the bosom of nature, lie in a hammock and eat dishes prepared on the fire. However, at some point our plans are swept away by a blizzard unleashing in the blink of an eye. The perceptible temperature drops sharply, the body begins to cool down, visibility is only a few meters, and the trails are covered with snow. Now our priority is to reach civilization using the skills learned from bushcraft forays: building a shelter, lighting a fire, and so on. Bushcraft ends and survival begins.

But what is the difference between the mentioned survival training and the commonly understood bushcraft outing? You can find out for yourself during my individual training sessions or by watching the training report.

Author: Kajetan Wilczyński

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