ften get asked, especially by younger clients, what kit you would need, if you were just starting to practise your bushcraft skills. There are a few basic pieces of equipment that will mean that you can continue to improve your skills and begin to learn new ones.
The first thing you might consider getting is a firesteel, or ferro rod as they are sometimes termed. These commonly come in a smaller ‘Scout’ and a larger ‘Army’ size, although some other versions do exist. Army firesteels are more expensive (often around £10), last longer and are sometimes easier to use. The strikers that come with the steel can make a big difference; it may be that you need to replace it with a piece of hacksaw blade or a piece of sharp flint. The string that attaches the striker to the steel is also often too short – don’t be afraid of cutting and replacing it!
The next thing you might want to consider is a knife – choosing a knife is a subject debated endlessly on the internet, often by ‘blade bores’ with little or no experience of actually using them for a sustained period of time! My personal choices to start with, would be a Mora knife ( I begun using a Mora Clipper, and it still gets taken out on some of my adventures, ten years later), or a Hultafors ‘Craftsman’. Both are available for about £10 or less. They can be sharpened well, and can take a lot of abuse from inexperienced users.
A folding saw is also a very useful purchase. These are used to easily trim poles to convenient lengths for projects, or to cut firewood. They can range in price from just under £10 to over £30.
Finally, a very useful (but frequently overlooked) addition is some decent work gloves. These are important for using saws safely, handling thorny brush or bracken and for managing a fire or cooking pot. Make sure they fit, and try to get ones with a leather palm, and some sort of knuckle protection – thin cotton gloves with a rubber palm just won’t do! Children’s gardening gloves start at about £4, with leather gloves available from about £10. Perfectly good adult gloves start at about £2 and can go up to £80 or more!
I hope this has been useful, especially if are wondering about birthday presents for younger people who are budding bushcraft enthusiasts.