Learning wilderness survival skills

The art of bushcraft, or wilderness survival skills, has become popular in the UK in recent years thanks to the efforts of individuals, like Ray Mears and Bear Grylls.

Bushcraft is about making use of the natural environment for survival, whether it be using wood from trees to make a shelter, or creating a water filter from natural items found in the wilderness. A bushcraft course in the Lake District will teach you the basics you need to survive in remote areas.

What Bushcraft Involves

Bushcraft courses in the Lake District range from half day sessions to overnight expeditions. Typically, course participants would learn how to light a campfire, how to build a simple shelter, and how to identify common plants that are safe to eat. Some courses may cover how to catch and prepare a rabbit or fish for eating, whilst others may prepare you for life in more extreme conditions, such as a wintry mountain range or a jungle.

Courses range from half a day taster sessions to week long courses and expeditions. Most have a minimum age requirement and are generally not suitable for very young children.

What to Wear and Bring

You will need comfortable clothing suitable for the weather, including a sturdy pair of shoes. Waterproofs are a must, as is sun cream during warmer weather. If you are doing an overnight expedition you may need to bring a sleeping bag and a change of clothes. Your activity company should provide you with a full list.

It’s very likely that you may be foraging for your food, but you should probably take additional refreshments.

Where to Find a Bushcraft Course in the Lake District

There are various companies offering bushcraft tuition in the Lake District. In addition, Brockhole, the Lake District's Visitor Centre, has occasional taster sessions available.

Green Man Survival

Green Man Survival, set up by Michelle & James, specialises in real world, reality based survival training. Courses are held at a private woodland site near Newby Bridge and are suitable for everyone - from young families to more skilled adventure seekers. Experiences also include outdoor walks and family friendly activities, which are all offered on a private booking basis. You can also check them out on Instagram, @greenmansurvival, and Facebook.


Keswick Canoe and Bushcraft

Keswick Canoe and Bushcraft provides highly qualified professionals to lead you on your adventure. They offer a range of courses, from three-hour long shelter building sessions in Whinlatter Forest, to expeditions further afield.


Adventure North West

Bushcraft sessions with Adventure North West take place in Coniston and involve learning how to make a shelter and set up a campsite, as well as how to start a fire and even cook on it. As a fun bonus, you'll even get to toast marshmallows, make popcorn and enjoy a hot beverage.


Joint Adventures

Based near Coniston, Joint Adventures have a number of Bushcraft courses available, starting with three-hour taster sessions, up to a two day two night course.