Successful Family Bushcraft Course

I’ve just returned from running a private Family Bushcraft course at our new bushcraft course venue in East Sussex.

Adult and youngster working together on bushcraft project.
Adults and youngsters worked together on various aspects of bushcraft. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

We had an enjoyable, if busy, 4 days in the woods with a great group of people. Activities over the long-weekend included campcraft, fire-lighting, the safe use of saws and bushcraft knives, carving, small game preparation and lots of outdoor cooking.

Legs of lamb roasting over the fire on a Family Bushcraft Course.
Legs of lamb roasting over the fire. These were delicious. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

Meals included ponassed salmon, leg of lamb roasted over the fire and an excellent rabbit stew. There were also some very good bannocks produced to accompany Sunday’s cooked breakfast.

Bannock bread baked on Family Bushcraft course
A young man very pleased with his bannock-making efforts. Photo: Paul Kirtley

All of the meals were readily consumed. The combination of fresh air and activity gave everyone a hearty appetite. There were certainly a large number of calories burned off during friction firelighting, with an impressive amount of effort and determination being shown.

Bow-drill friction fire-lighting on a Family Bushcraft course
Bow-drill friction fire-lighting. Photo: Paul Kirtley.
Bow-drill success on a Family Bushcraft course.
Bow-drill success! Photo: Paul Kirtley.

It wasn’t all frantic activity though, with everyone able to relax a little before leaving the woods again. Whittling and carving proved a popular and therapeutic activity with some interesting objects being produced.

Carving and whittling under the parachute.
Carving and whittling under the parachute. Photo: Paul Kirtley

For the final evening meal we prepared rabbits for the pot and a delicious stew was cooked. It helped that there was a chef amongst the participants! We picked up some great tips that we’ll certainly apply on other Frontier Bushcraft courses.

Family Bushcraft Rabbit Stew
Billy cans of rabbit stew cooking over the fire. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

There was an excellent campfire atmosphere from start to finish but no more so than on the final evening when, as we tucked into bananas and chocolate cooked on embers, there were some impromtu theatre turns, many of which were truly hilarious.

We love running this type of private family bushcraft course. They are a lot of fun for all involved. Please see our Private and Bespoke page for more details.

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Paul Kirtley is Founder and Chief Instructor of Frontier Bushcraft. He has had a lifelong passion for the great outdoors and gains great satisfaction from helping others enjoy it too. Paul writes the UK's leading bushcraft blog. He is the author of Wilderness Axe Skills and Campcraft, as well as having contributed to several other books. Paul has been involved in teaching bushcraft since 2003. He is also a Canoe Leader, British Canoeing Level 3 Canoe Coach and UK Summer Mountain Leader.

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5 Responses

  1. Duncan Stillwell
    | Reply

    That looks like it was a most enjoyable few days bushcrafting, glad it all went well. And plenty of learning going on for the youngsters. Hope you didn’t take too much advantage of the visiting chef though…LoL. One of many successes for FBL. Have you a course feedback section on the website? It would be interesting to see peoples comments.

    Question: I see you are making use of a parachute for the central area, How is it set up? and has the apex been sewn up or left open? The reason I ask is I have a parachute but have never used it for a shelter (at least not yet).


  2. Simon Holdsworth
    | Reply

    It had fallen to me to organise this year’s bushcraft and camping experience and working with Paul and Frontier Bushcraft has been fantastic.

    The weekend that we have just had was superb in every aspect, my heartfelt thanks to Paul and Emma for their excellent guidance.

    Our aim was to have an atmosphere that was based on a group of friends, including Emma and Paul, spending time together and having fun whilst learning new skills and strengthening relationships. This was certainly achieved and I hope that both Paul and Emma felt part of our team.

    In my experience this is some of the best quality time I spend with my son, James, and it means a huge amount to me that FB have made that possible this year. We will be back !

    For anybody considering doing something similar, whilst I do not want to sound like I’m on commission, this is worth every penny. The time spent with friends and children is really very special and the laughter and knowledge lasts a lifetime. My advice, stop thinking about it and just book it! I’m sure you will be amazed how many of your mates are still kids at heart and would love to join you in the woods !

    Oh, and if possible do try and take a chef !

    We will be back in 2012 and I’m already getting comments from other people who want to be on the next trip.

    Thanks again FB.


  3. john powell
    | Reply

    our group has used a parachute now for about four years at a permanent camp , and we found the longer you leave it up the more waterproof it gets !! hope its been some help to you !! regards john

    • Duncan Stillwell
      | Reply

      Thanks for the input John, and sorry to persist in my question, but is the apex vent at the top of the chute still open or has the hole been sealed closed (possibly using the pilot chute)?


      • Paul Kirtley
        | Reply

        Hi Duncan

        To answer your question, leave the parachute as it comes, with the apex open.

        Best regards


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