There are many tools that the DIY bushcrafter will rely on. Some of them, like a wood mallet, can be crafted from the very wood that surrounds them. Others, like a folding saw, require a little more craftsmanship. You will likely put them all to use in your DIY Bushcraft camp.
Having the right tools will make building a bushcraft camp much easier. You will likely do a much better job, as well, because you will be prepared. It's easy to cut corners when you have tasks before you that are far too difficult for the minimal gear you possess.
Whether you are building a bushcraft camp in your backyard or on a swath of land you own, you should create something special. The only way you can do that is if you bring good metal tools. The question is:
What tools do I need to store in my DIY bushcraft camp?
Preparing to Manage your Wood Resource
At least 95% of your bushcraft camp is going to be made from wood. This means you should come to understand the relationship between man and wood. It has been a building material, among other things like cooking fuel and even medicine, for thousands of years.
When you are working with wood there are some very important things that you must be able to do with wood. Wood as a building material must be processed or managed in at least 5 ways.
You need to have a tool, or a few that give you the ability to split the wood. This is paramount for things like making fuel. There are several tools for this, but you need at least one.
Cut it With the Grain
Cutting wood with the grain is how you create some of the most powerful cuts. In fact, when you create a survival bow you begin by cutting the wood with the grain and then you shape it.
Cut Across the Grain
Of course, cutting wood across the grain will yield you those long ridge poles or other lengths of wood for building the skeleton of your DIY bushcraft shelter. This is also essential for creating wood fuel for fire.
Bore Through it
This is a specialized task that can be incredibly important depending on what you are trying to create at your camp. Boring through wood can be a simple process with the right tools or it can be a nightmare with the wrong ones
Shaping wood is how you make lumber. Its how you make anything that requires smooth edges or flat and level lengths. Crude poles can be made by cutting across the grain, but you are going to need to shape the wood if you want something better than that.
Choosing the Best Tools to Store in your DIY bushcraft Camp
The axe is one of the oldest tools in the humanities toolkit. Still, it has stuck around. Now, axes have changed a lot over time and have become truly things of beauty.
A hand crafted axe with a powerful wooden handle is something very special. In our age of quickly and cheaply produced tools, its always nice to own something of high quality. There is a special connection between a woodsman and his axe.
A full size axe is likely something that you are not going to need when creating a bushcraft camp. You will want something smaller like a woodsman’s axe. Try our Woodcraft 19inch Pack Axe which is a great option for a project like this.
Made from 5160 heat-treated steel, this axe is everything you need to fell small trees and split firewood in the woods.
Something like the Bahco Laplander is another essential tool to keep at your bushcraft camp. The serrated edge of a folding saw makes cutting saplings and branches a breeze. This is very important because these “poles” that you create are likely to become one of the main building materials that make up your bushcraft structure.
Whether you create a simple lean-to or an elaborate shelter with multiple walls and a roof, having a folding saw will be critical.
For the pioneer’s saws were a true blessing. Access to these serrated blades is a relatively new technology when you look at the broad spectrum of history. Most pioneers didn’t have a saw because they couldn’t afford it. Now everyone can!
Adding a folding saw to your kit makes good sense and its very affordable in 2019.
After talking about the two powerhouse tools in a saw and axe, you might be wondering what a survival knife is going to do for you. Well, there are tasks, intricate carving tasks, that require a razor sharp knife.
As a bushcrafter this should be a no brainer. There is no replacing the survival knife or the belt knife on your hip.
The Habilis Bushtools are incredible! They look great and they feel great in your hands. You need to consider these as part of your pack. The Pathfinder by Habilis is the perfect example of a DIY Bushcraft Camp tool. This knife has everything you will need in a survival knife.
Your survival knife is also a contingency at the bushcraft camp. What happens if something breaks? A handle on an axe or something along those lines. Your survival knife not only gives you options to cut when other cutting tools are compromised.
You might also whittle a new handle for that axe, if you have the skills.
A crooked awl gives you the ability to punch through leather and even some smaller cuts of wood. A bit and brace or an auger of some kind is going to be needed to bore through serious wood. However, the awl is a great means of punching holes.
In a bushcraft camp you will find a number of reasons to punch through things and hang them or add them to other things.
The simple crooked awl by PKS is made of high carbon steel and gives you the ability to not only punch holes but also throw sparks with flint or chert. So, now your tool does a couple of things.
The hook knife is a great tool for the bushcrafter and woodworker to carry. Your bushcraft camp can be about much more than building the structure. The hook knife is a great tool for making your own wooden bowls and spoons.
These are not only very cool little tools to make but they are also a great means of practicing your bushcraft skills.
The Wood Carving #164S is a great little hook knife that can be used for all the tasks we mentioned. With that beautiful oiled birchwood handle and curved blade, this is a necessary piece of the DIY bushcraft camp kit.
Packable Draw Knife
If you don’t have a quality draw knife than you are not going to be shaping wood. The shaping of wood is a big deal and it is how you will create lumber. Now, you could carry a full size draw knife but that is quite the undertaking.
There are better options for you to consider.
The Packable Draw Knife is a perfectly sized tool for the bushcraft camp. This tool is lightweight, it’s a blank and allows you to put your own handles and your own beveled edge on it. It’s incredibly affordable and very effective.
Storing Tools at the DIY Bushcraft Camp
In your shed or shop, you likely keep your tools in good shape and store them in a way that allows them to be at their best when they are needed. You likely have racks to hang axes and saws, you might have a special place for a draw knife.
At home, you probably use things like linseed oil to coat your handles and mineral oil to coat the heads of your tools. These are all great practices. Don’t throw that mindset out just because you are at a DIY bushcraft camp.
The French chefs of old developed a phrase called Mise En Place, or things in place. This is one of the cornerstones of cooking professionally. It boils down to the idea that everything has a place and there is a place for everything. In your bushcraft camp, your tools should have a mise en place, too.
When I need my axe, I go here and when I am done it goes back there. This is the most effective way to run your camp. Otherwise, you will spend most of your time searching for things rather than doing the work or enjoying your time.
Using your tools create things like hooks to hang them around the camp. Store some of your tools in a haversack. You might even build a rack into the walls of your bushcraft camp. No matter how creative you get just be sure that you care for your tools at camp just like you would at home.
The reality is that most of us have been on either side of this thing. We have been through a situation where we have had the right tools for the job at hand. It’s a great feeling to come out on top and have that standout success.
Of course, most of us have also taken on at least one job where we did not have the correct tools and we paid for it. That is the lesson. You might have finished the job, but I am sure you look back and say, “If I had what I needed that would have been much easier.”
This day and age there is no reason not to have what you need. If you want to get better at bushcraft and learn survival skills, its an investment. Its one that takes time. It takes dirt time. You cannot learn it from reading articles like these. You must go experience it.
Take that leap. Invest in some quality tools and be prepared for what might come. Also, be prepared for adventure. Bushcraft is an inexpensive and incredibly fulfilling endeavor that connects you with nature in a time when that opportunity is shrinking.