Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course (5 Days)

Finally: a top-quality bushcraft course for young people.

Have you been searching in vain for a bushcraft course that is in-depth, authentic, taught by expert instructors and available to under-18s?


Student blowing a bundle of bracken into flame

Student blowing a bundle of bracken into flame with ember from bow-drill friction fire-lighting.

Have you seen a fantastic bushcraft course, then realised it's for over-18s only?

There are some great bushcraft courses on offer but many of them are only open to those who are at least 18 years old. If you are younger and keen to learn bushcraft skills, this is massively disappointing. Having to wait a few years until you are old enough is very frustrating.

Despite being really interested in the subject, you can't do the great courses, jam-packed with authentic bushcraft and survival skills. You've seen the list of skills you want to learn in the adult course but then you are forced to find a kids course.

Are all the courses for your age group too short or too lightweight?

Bushcraft courses offered to young people are commonly very watered down and can be really superficial. They exclude the good stuff in favour of easier activities, with lots of downtime in between getting stuck into something useful.

A junior bushcraft course for a wide age range, 11-16 years for example, typically doesn't suit everyone on the course. Either it's too hard for the 11-12 year-olds or it's too easy for the 15-16 year-olds. This means that bushcraft courses for young people are normally made easier rather than harder, so the younger children don't struggle. But if you are 16, you don't want to be doing an 11-year-old's course.

What about teaching yourself?

Learning some bushcraft on your own is certainly possible. If you have access to survival manuals and a good range of bushcraft books, you can try out some of the techniques. But getting them to work can be a slow, trial-and-error process. It's easy to become demotivated by lack of progress.

Imagine your ancestors, long before farming. Think about how they would have learned the skills they needed to live as part of their natural environment. Their bushcraft and survival skills were passed down from generation to generation.

Your ancestors didn't learn from books or television shows. They learnt first hand from other people. As a species we are very good at learning from others. We've been doing it for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years.

Learning directly from others is still the quickest way to learn a practical skill. And when you are in your teens, you can learn a lot very quickly if you put your mind to it.

Introducing Frontier Bushcraft's Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course...


Young man blowing tinder bundle into flame

Learning core bushcraft skills.

The Frontier Bushcraft Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course is a challenging, fun and enabling bushcraft course for young people.

Closely modelled on our adult Elementary Wilderness Bushcraft Course, the Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course delivers a comprehensive syllabus of core bushcraft skills.

The Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course is designed to provide a thorough grounding in the foundational skills of wilderness bushcraft.

If you are aged between 14-17 years old and are are committed to learning bushcraft, this 5-day course has been designed for you.

No need to wish you were doing the adult course

The Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course programme is based very closely on our Elementary Wilderness Bushcraft Course (which is for people who are over 18 years old). We have added a few topics that will be particularly useful to young outdoors enthusiasts who want to get out there and use their skills.

We cover all the bases

The Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course is not a watered-down version of an adult course. It is a course designed specifically for young people who are keen to learn the core skills of bushcraft. You will learn all of the most important skills and techniques.

It's not a bootcamp

While the course is jam-packed with great skills and knowledge - and there is a lot to learn and practice - it isn't a bootcamp. The Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course is an engaging, rewarding and fun week in the woods learning from some of the best bushcraft instructors around.

Learn with like-minded people

Because the course is aimed at young people who are committed to learning bushcraft skills and willing to attend a comprehensive and challenging course, you will be learning alongside others who are likely to be as motivated as you. This is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people of your own age.

So Why Should You Attend the Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course?

Here are the main reasons why we think this is the best bushcraft course for young people on offer today:

Comprehensive Course Programme: Don't settle for less than a course that offers instruction in the cornerstone techniques of bushcraft. On the Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course you will learn all of the most important skills and techniques relating to fire-lighting, shelter-building, finding water and making it safe, finding, preparing and cooking food, and navigation.

Proceed Directly to More Advanced Courses: Having completed your Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course you can proceed to our more advanced, adult courses once you are 18 years old. Some bushcraft schools insist you do the basic adult courses before you attend the more advanced courses, even if you have completed the basic junior course. The high standard and comprehensive syllabus of our Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course means you can progress directly to more advanced bushcraft and survival courses, saving you time and money.

Expert Instructors: Frontier Bushcraft has some of the most experienced, qualified and well-respected bushcraft instructors teaching today. Rather than using junior courses as a test-bed for trainees, we believe young people should be taught by the best instructors. This is why our senior instructors teach our Junior Elementary Bushcraft Courses. We aim to inspire and give you an excellent foundation for a lifelong interest in bushcraft skills.

Experienced Assistant Instructors: In addition to top-level course instructors, the assistant instructors also have a good deal of experience in teaching young people. This is not only from teaching on bushcraft courses and other outdoor activities but also includes experience from mainstream education and Scouting.

High Staff-to-Student Ratio: As with all of our courses, we endeavour to provide the best learning experiences available. Keeping our maximum course sizes relatively small creates courses with a better dynamic and more staff-student contact time. With 4 staff and a maximum of 12 students on our junior courses we have an industry-leading staff-to-student ratio of at least 1:3.

First-Aid Trained and CRB-Checked: The safety and protection of young people on our courses is paramount. All our staff receive regular first aid training to keep their skills fresh and up-to-date. Any of our staff who work with children have to be CRB checked.

Both Male and Female Staff: We have both male and female staff on our Junior Elementary Bushcraft Courses. If there are any personal problems or issues during the course, members of staff of the most appropriate sex are available to counsel.

Large Woodland Course Area: The quality of the course venue should be considered when you are choosing a bushcraft course. Frontier Bushcraft has access to a wonderful area of woodland for the Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course. Large, beautiful and varied, the course venue is a perfect training ground in which you can hone your bushcraft skills. Our course programme is not limited by a lack of plant/tree diversity or only having a small training area. This course is run over many hundreds of acres of woodland. It's a fantastic place to immerse yourself in learning bushcraft.

Affordable: Top quality instruction, supervision and outdoor leadership combined with fantastic venues and experiences are what we consistently deliver. Hence, Frontier Bushcraft courses will never be the cheapest on the market. But they aren't the most expensive either and we believe we offer excellent value for money. Frontier Bushcraft provides an affordable means of gaining access to courses of the highest standard.

Students watch as assistant instructor prepares small-stick fire.

The Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course provides top-quality bushcraft instruction with staff-to-student ratios of at least 1:3.



The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

If you are participating in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, to achieve your Gold Award you need to complete an extra section, known as the Residential.

This involves spending 5 days and 4 nights away from home on a shared activity with people you’ve never met before.

If you are taking part in the DofE Award and keen on bushcraft, why not consider our Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course for your Residential?

Three boys in front of a campfire on a bushcraft course

Spend 5 days away from home, camping in the woods and learning bushcraft.



Teaching Methodology

Our teaching style is friendly and open

We believe knowledge is for sharing. We hope you will squeeze as much as you possibly can from our instructors during your time with us.

The aim of the Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course is for participants to not only see the techniques, or even just ‘have a go’, but to fully participate in learning to apply them in a realistic way.

Practice does indeed make perfect!

The skills and knowledge of bushcraft are carried in your mind and in your muscles. Only through directly applying knowledge and practising skills will you make them your own.

Our training methods are simple and proven

The course involves comprehensive instruction with a high instructor-to-student ratio. Throughout our courses, key skills are taught in a structured way:

  1. techniques are first introduced, explained and demonstrated;
  2. you will be given the opportunity to practice under the watchful eyes of the instructors;
  3. throughout the course, techniques are built upon and added to;
  4. you will come back to core techniques repeatedly;
  5. in approaching techniques from various angles and using them in different situations, the aim is to turn technique into skill.



What some previous students say about this course...



What You Will Learn on the Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course

  • How to choose cutting tools for wilderness bushcraft;
  • Safety in the use of cutting tools;
  • The knife techniques of bushcraft;
  • Carving skills and making useful utensils and gadgets;
  • Knife sharpening – at home and on the trail;
  • Methods of fire-lighting, including friction fire-lighting;
  • Choosing and preparing tinder and kindling;
  • Fire management and creating the right fire for the job;
  • Cooking with fires – with and without a cooking pot;
  • Water – finding, collecting and purifying;
  • How to choose and use a tarp;
  • Shelters from natural materials;
  • Making cordage from plant fibres;
  • Trees and plants for food and medicine;
  • Poisonous trees and plants;
  • Small game preparation;
  • Wilderness fishing techniques;
  • Wilderness environmental hazards;
  • Outdoor Hygeine;
  • Looking after the land and leaving no trace;
  • Elementary natural navigation;
  • Navigation with map and compass.
Paul Kirtley demonstrating knife-sharpening techniques.

Paul Kirtley demonstrating knife-sharpening techniques.



All the Other Details You Need to Know...


You don't need to spend lots of money on specialist clothing or equipment for this course. What you will need is some basic outdoor clothing and camping equipment.

A full kit-list is available here. The kit-list will also be e-mailed to you with your e-mail receipt after your booking has been accepted.

Other specialist equipment will be provided for your use during the course. This includes the use of a tarp and a bivvy bag.


This course will be conducted entirely outdoors, from an expedition-style base camp and you will be camping out for the duration of the course.

There will be a covered teaching area which also serves as a communal area for breaks. There is a fire, kettle, tea, coffee, biscuits and cordial available here.


All food is provided but much of the preparation and cooking will be done by you and your fellow participants. If you have any allergies, food intolerances or other dietary requirements, please make sure you include this information when you book. There is an opportunity during the online booking process to tell us about this. This information can also be added and edited later once you have created a log-in and password for our booking system.

Experience Required

No previous bushcraft or camping experience is required to attend this course.

Badge that says FREE

FREE Equipment with this Bushcraft Course

During the course you will receive a carbon steel bushcraft knife by Mora of Sweden, and the latest Model 2.0 Swedish Firesteel, with re-designed striker and much improved ergonomics.

These are important pieces of kit and will be yours to keep.

Mora Companion Clipper Knife and Swedish Firesteel 2.0 Army model

FREE with this course: Mora Companion Knife & Swedish Firesteel 2.0 'Army' Model.

Availability and Booking: Junior Elementary Bushcraft Course

Duration: 5 days; 4 nights. Price: £450 Deposit: 25% on booking; Balance: 9 weeks prior to course date. Suitability: 14-17 years old. Course size: 12 participants (maximum). Location: East Sussex. Course Leaders: Paul Kirtley or James Bath.

Course Dates:Check Availability
04/08/14 - 08/08/14

Money back guarantee  

100% Money-Back Guarantee
If you are not completely satisfied with your course, we'll give you your money back. Just let us know after the course and we'll provide a refund. It's 100% risk free!