So you are saying to yourself “We live in a city, there is no place to practice bushcraft”. I get it blacktop and shopping malls do not exactly lend their hand to bushcraft activities, but there is always a way to practice some of your skills even in an urban environment.
BUILD A FIRE
With something as simple as a small hibachi or fireplace and some kindling you and your kids can practice fire starting using a wide variety of methods. As a matter of fact, we have used aluminum foil plates or a couple of layers of aluminum wrap or even a terracotta flower pot as a base for our fire. You don’t have to build a huge campfire every time, just practice the skills of starting a sustainable fire. Once you have a small sustainable fire you can use it to make char cloth for survival kits and future fire lighting.
TIE SOME KNOTS
A vital skill of every outdoorsman is knot tying. Knowing 4-6 good knots with a variety of uses is important for building shelters, repairing equipment, emergency rescue and hundreds of other uses. We don’t want to spend the precious little time we get in the woods to be spent learning our knots and we don’t have to. Get a good knot book plop yourself and your kids down on the couch and get to practicing. Once you learn a know do it over and over again until it becomes muscle memory so when you need it in a hurry you won’t even have to think about it.
COMPASS & MAP
Here is another skill we can learn and practice in our neighborhood. Get some topographical maps and compasses and teach you kids how to read and navigate. Local parks and playgrounds can be a good practice place. Set up a primitive geocash or scavenger hunt that require a map and compass to find the prize.
Another skill that you can begin to lean from the comfort of your couch is plant identification. Get a big book with good descriptions and lots of color pictures. There are even flash cards available with plants on one side and the name and description on the other, use them to test your kids. Go to local plant stores and green houses, talk to people around you and learn what they know. REMEMBER never eat anything unless you are sure!!!!!
The last idea for today is Knife Skills. Learn to use your knife, learn to sharpen and care for your knife. Get some small wood and carve something, make something useful like some primitive tools. Carve yourself a spoon and a bowl. Pass these skills onto your kids, show them how to hold and use a knife safely and let them explore all the things a good knife is useful for. What age should your kids be to start working with a knife you ask… There is no hard and fast rule, but for me 7-10 years old my kids used sturdy folding knives with locking blade, 11 and up I have them using good full tang survival knives with a 3-4 inch blade. Of course you will have to be the judge of your child’s skill and ability.
Thanks for checking us out, check back soon for part two. If you have any ideas for practicing bushcraft skills in an urban environment leave a comment below.