Bushcraft Outdoor Competency Level 1

This is a two day hands on Bushcraft course based entirely outdoors in the heart of the Lake District National Park. This is a thorough course that focuses on essential skills but it will also give an individual the supportive knowledge behind these skills refining their understanding of the methods they are using.

Who is this course designed for?

Are you completely new to bushcraft and primitive living skills? Perhaps you have some experience and you want to develop this? Maybe you have your own equipment that you want to use or refine so you have a reliable system coupled with a good foundation of Bushcraft skills?

If this is the case then this course will be an ideal course for you to attend. It is by no means a basic course and the subjects you learn will be challenging but these challenges will only push your skills and knowledge beyond your own expectations. If you are new to bushcraft then you will leave the course with a sound knowledge of Bushcraft skills and the ability to go out and use these skills in a natural environment utilising equipment along side natural resources.

Course Details
  • Duration: 2 day course from 9:30 till 4:30pm following day
  • Instructor: Michael McQuilton
  • Location: Lake District National Park
  • Group Size: maximum of 10
  • Minimum Age: 12 years (under 18 yrs must be accompanied by adult)
  • Cost: £195 per person
  • Kit List: Please contact Nigel for a Kit List
  • Food: You will be fully catered for and please let us know when booking if you have any dietary requirement.
  • Booking: Our courses are currently on hold until we have established ourselves in Sweden. 

Course Syllabus 

Understanding and selecting Knives, Saws and Axes

We will work closely with select tools that can be carried easily and used in a wilderness environment. Knives, Axes and Saws come in many forms for many reasons and as we work together we will cover using these tools safely and effectively, exploring cutting techniques while creating something very special. The items you create will require the use of all these tools and you will need to take great care in creating these items as you will be using them to achieve something really special on the second day.

Shelter setup and learning essential knots

The importance of shelter cannot be stressed enough, and in the Lake District the weather will soon highlight any cut corners in your shelter. Learn how to string and setup a lightweight DD Tarpaulin so it can be deployed at a moment’s notice and packed away easily. Together we will go through selecting a location to sleep in the woodlands, arranging the ground to adhere to your body shape so that you can get a comfortable nights sleep. You will also cover essential knots so that you can string up and take down your setup without complication.

Understanding fire lighting skills

Fire lighting skills are fundamental to good bushcraft and like all bushcraft skills its the resources that directly surround you that are available for use. We will break fire lighting down into usable methods directly relating them to our environment and weather conditions so that you can understand what to look for and how to make its successful. Tinder fungus, barks, resins and dead standing wood types will all be covered and once you have had some hands on experience we will head into the woodlands where you will gather your own resources to successfully make a fire.

Learning how to dress a freshly killed animal for food

We all need to eat and if you eat meat then you should enjoy the game stew we have in store for you, first though you will need to prepare the animals you are eating. Together we will go through inspecting a freshly killed animal and then begin the process of dressing it for the pot. Each student will have their own animal to prepare.

A walk around the woodland

After we have finished dinner and had some downtime we will take a short walk through the woodlands up to a viewpoint were we can see some spectacular sights of lakes and mountain ranges. I always have my eyes open for interesting edible and medicinal plants and will point anything out that is relevant. If the night sky is clear Nigel will cover some natural navigation and show you the constellations. The evening is fairly relaxed at camp and if people have questions or equipment they wish to casually go over this is a great time to do it.

Learning how to maintain or sharpen a Knife and Axe

Keeping your tools in check is very important and often a skill that many find difficult. You could have a stunning hand made knife with an edge that can shave the hairs off your arm but if you cannot maintain or put that edge back when needed then it will start to perform poorly. After breakfast we will cover knife maintenance starting with edge maintenance on the strop and targeting areas of the blade that need attention with field stones. After this everyone will move into sharpening where everyone will bring a dull blade back to life. Axes will follow on from this, so if you have your own knife that you want to sharpen then this is a good time to do it.

Creating insulation by weaving plant fibers

As a group we will explore some of the basics of natural shelter construction and briefly touch on one form of natural cordage. After this we will create thatching using grasses with a simple weaving loom that can be constructed from basic materials. This highlights the importance of insulation on the ground but also how to bind sticks and almost all plant fibers to make thatching for roofs and walls in a simple way.

Fire by friction

When you start the course your very first woodworking task is to create a bow drill set that suits your posture. This may seem advanced at this stage when learning Bushcraft skills but its a fantastic way of pushing people past their own expectations. Creating a bow drill set requires an emotional investment because while making it you are conscious that getting the details right means you are that much closer to success. I will be making a set on the day along side you and if you look after your set and keep it dry then you have a great chance of getting and ember. Once I have demonstrated how the set works you can take yours and head into the woodland to find a comfortable place to burn in and begin working the set.


You are able to take your sets home to further practice your bow drill technique although it is tradition to burn the set once you have successfully made a fire with it. This is an immersive experience and a very hands on one and I hope to meet you in the near future if you’re interested in joining myself, Megan and Nigel for a Bushcraft experience you won’t forget.

Please find booking information and course details at the top of the page.



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