Here are 5 tips that will make every woodsman’s day better
So, you’re a fan of survival trips, fishing, hunting, shooting, hiking, and wild camping. You love the outdoors and all of the challenges it brings. But you don’t consider yourself a woodsman. Are you ready to take things to the next level?
In this article, we’re going to cover 5 skills, investments, and activities that will take you from ‘love of the outdoors’ to true woodsman. Let’s not waste any more time.
Know how to cook without a pan
All good woodsmen are prepared for any kind of disaster – including losing all your cooking equipment. Do you know how to cook without a gas stove? Do you know how to cook without a pan? Do you know how to start a fire without a fire-starting kit?
If you don’t, you’ll need to learn these skills so you can become a true woodsman. Here are a few tips that will help you get started on that journey:
- Keep a spare set of matches on your person in a waterproof case
- It is possible to start a fire using only one match
- Large flat rocks make a good alternative to frying pans
- Crushing dry twigs between two rocks can make great kindling
- Even pocket lint can be used as makeshift kindling
2. Get the right ax
Your ax is a tool of your trade as a woodsman. It is something that you will be using all day, every day, for years to come when you’re out in the wild. So, it’s an investment you shouldn’t skimp on.
Whilst are the other tips and purchases we mention on this list are important, this is the one that you should be paying attention to. If anything is going to improve your quality of life as a woodsman, it’s finding yourself the perfect ax.
You should be looking for the best ax for felling trees, that suits your swing and grip style. Ax’s are a multi-use tool that doesn’t have to exclusively be for cutting down trees. That being said if your ax is good enough to cut down trees, it will be good enough for everything else you need it for.
3. Know your shelter building techniques
What is the type of basic shelter that every good woodsman should know? A Bough structure.
Why? Because they are great at reflecting fire warmth and they make excellent windbreaks.
Here’s a quick guide on how to make a Bough structure:
- Find or make two forked poles( if possible use two close-growing trees, this will provide better shelter for you). Place a third pole in the forks of the original two poles. Lash this pole in place.
- Collect a set of branches long enough to reach from the third pole to the floor. Use a series of young branches to weave these poles together. This will form a wall.
- Lash this wall to the third pole, in the gap between the two forked branches/trees. Your shelter is ready.
4. Know how to navigate by the stars
Another emergency you should be prepared for is losing your maps and compass. When on survival trips you want to avoid extending your trip if possible. As it means having to source extra clean water and food.
When traveling in the Northern Hemisphere, start your navigation process by locating the North Star. You can then apply your knowledge of wear north is to everything you know about your journey (i.e is your endpoint north or your location, have you been traveling west for the whole trip, and need to return in an eastwardly direction?).
You should always try to memorize key locations and triangulation points before heading out on your journey.
5. Know your mushrooms (and other edibles)
Before you head out on your next trip you should gift yourself a guide to local mushrooms and other wild edibles. Mushrooms are a great source of protein whilst on survival trips and they make a great addition to many meat-based meals.
However, as you probably already know picking mushrooms can be a dangerous game. You really don’t want to pick any with psychedelic properties, or even worse poison mushrooms. Spend some time getting to know which mushrooms are safe to eat in the area, and do some practice foraging.
Other edibles you should be looking out for include:
- Wild garlic (perfect for adding flavor to dishes)
- Wild onions (can add bulk to your meals)
- Watercress (a great source of leafy greens in the wild)
- Acorns (1 pound of acorns provides 2000 calories)
- Chicken weed (this weed is incredibly tasty)
- You could even search rivers for freshwater muscles