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The Bushcrafter's Kit List
'The more you know, the less you carry' - As you can see im still learning!

This is my personal kit list for when I have a trip out for a few days. Most of the time I will not carry all the items listed below, but what I take is dependant on the trip & enviroment I'll be staying in. If its just a day out I might just carry my day-sack which consists of two PLCE (Personal Load Carrying Equipment) Pockets on a yoke system, which provides 20L of space. In a lightweight day-trip scenario I would say important items to me are; water, knife & firesteel. I might not plan to even use them, but I'll often take them. If you're planning to use edged tools on your outing, take a first aid kit.

green army bergenAshley's Kit List

Pictorial Guide of My Bushcraft Kit

Click on a item of kit in the list on the left, It will take you to a description and a pictorial guide of the kit item that I have provided for you.


Click here for a look at my friend Scott's kit list


Pictorial Guide of My Bushcraft Kit List




    A Reliable Knife

Ashleys Bushcraft Knife - Finland Blade Puukko
This is my main Bushcraft knife. With the right knowledge a powerful tool that can bring you fire, food, shelter and a pleathora of other things; only limited by your own imagination, skill or knowledge.

Below are some other knives that I use, I don't carry all of these all of these at the same time, I may choose to carry a different blade with me based on where and what im planning on doing.

frost mora

A good knife is a must when living in the wilderness for a day or more. A 'good' knife doesn't have to be an expensive knife either! Pictured left is a Frosts Mora, they offer a superb high-carbon steel knife that will hold a fine shaving edge. Obviously the uses to a knife are endless, but when its comes to the usefulness of a blade, if you want it to be versatile and handle many jobs I would recommend going for a fixed-blade knife, that means no fold-away or flick knives etc. A fixed blade has more strength and can take more punishment and use.



opinel folding knife french made reliable knives


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Photo from

Arguably the most important tool when out in the wilderness. Some say a cutting tool out in the wilderness is essential and thats means for jobs big and small, where simply a knife might not be up to the task of big jobs an axe can help. With skill an axe can be used for jobs large and small thats why some believe its the most useful tool. From chopping down trees, shaving bark and preparing cordage again its uses can be endless.

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  • Folding Saw

A folding saw is a superb tool! Taking up very little space and weight its defiantly worth packing. When clearing up wood... in some situations its defiantly faster to saw instead of chop! And that's where the folding saw comes in. I personally love the BAHCO Laplander folding saw, admittedly the only brand of folding saw I've owned, but its never let me down! I have had many people laugh at me when I've come to help them by clearing a fallen tree or chop a tree-limb and they laugh when you fold out what they consider to be a pocket-saw but then they're job-smacked when they see how fast it can finish the job. Brilliant tool, very useful in the wilderness.

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  • First Aid Kit

Another essential. For obvious reasons when out on a trip you should cary a first aid kit, you might be dealing with cutting tools or just get caught by some rusty barbed-wire. Luckily so far most of my first aid kit has been put to use on friends not myself!.. but always worth carrying ;)

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  • Water Bottle

I recently bought myself the water-bottle pictured above (NATO 58 Patern 0.95L Water Bottle) on eBay for around £5. I have previously use a Platypus 1L bottle for many years, I've still got it but its started tainting the taste of the water now, soon I'll be cleaning it with Baking Soda & Lemon Juice.

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  • Firesteel

Firesteel is a fire-lighting tool that wont let you down by getting wet or damaged. Modern Firesteel's are metal rods of varying size composed of ferrocerium, an alloy of iron and mischmetal. Mischmetal is an alloy primarily of cerium that will generate sparks when struck. Iron is added to improve the strength of the rods. Small shavings are torn off the rod with either a supplied metal scraper, a piece of hacksaw blade, or, commonly, the back of a knife ground at a suitable angle. These shavings then ignite at high temperatures, and they are much more effective than their historical equivalent.

When using a Firesteel make sure you prepare and use your tinder correctly, there are many different appropriate tinders and different techniques to using the firesteel, here's one technique to get you started:

Cotton wool-buds are good to practice on, when your tinder is very fibre'ous & fluffed up it is more likely to catch so as you can imagine a cotton-wool bud goes well. Also if your thinking about packing a couple in your pack to take with you, try rubbing them gently in Vaseline and then put them in a food bag. The Vaseline is a petrolium jelly and when the bud catches light it will make it burn stronger and for longer than the bud will have normally.

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  • Tinderbox

In my pack I have a small thin metal tub (not the one pictured above) which contains some good dry tinder that I can usually catch with just a spark. Obviously items change depending on what I come across but things you might find in my tinderbox are papery birch bark, maya-shaving (that I've done myself, not rubbish maya-dust!), Charcloth, half a cramp ball etc.

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  • Lighter

The above lighter (Genuine Blue Flame Pocket Torch) is superb, the flame is very hot (can reach 1,800c) and a stable-flame in comparison to other lighters. It features a lock-on, so you dont have to have your finger on the button near flame or catching tinder etc. Knock-off's can be had for just a few quid, they are cheap and nasty and more often than not fail quickly (I've had a couple not even work from start!) The Genuine thing is more expensive but a lot higher quality and will take much punishment for years. For the real thing you're looking at around £28 I believe. They have been avaliable from for a long while now.

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  • Bivvy Bag

A protective layer and in a way a emergency or light-weight shelter. The bivvy-bag is designed to protect you and your sleeping bag from damp and dirt. Simply put your roll-mat, sleeping bag & a make-shift pillow inside the bivvy bag and you will hopefully stay clean and dry, Ideally use another form of shelter above you. The one I purchased looks just like the one above and it is a Gortex material so its waterproof from damp on the outside, but breathable letting moisture from your body out. The Bivvy bag is an important item that shouldn't be under-estimated, its versatile and lightweight from a summer's night shelter to a device that could let you carry or haul materials and equipment. The bivvy-bag could be used as an emergency shelter to protect you from the elements if you didn't have much else.

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  • Sleeping Bag

A good sleeping bag will hopefully keep you warm and comfortable, but remember its not just your sleeping-bag that defines if you'll have a nice warm night!... Most heat loss can be through the ground so remember a decent roll-mat to insulate you and other things like a bivvy-bag to further insulate you and keep your sleeping bag clean. Versatile and can be squished down in compression sacks. Make sure you choose the right type of sleeping bag for your environment.

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  • Hammock

DD Hammocks are great, cheap and does the job! They're comfy as hell and allow you to pull over a layer cacooning yourself into the hammock. Something to note: regards the webbing (rope) that comes with the hammock, in my version (2006/2007) the webbing can absorb heavy rain-fall easily and it will sap the rain down to your hammock, even if your under a nice big tarp the rain can seap down your webbing and get you and your bedding! I speak from experience; the first trip I got to use my hammock properly was in the summer of 2007 in South-Wales, it was a week during the heavy down-fall's and floods in the UK. Some might recommend setting up drip-lines dangling from your webbing to divert rainfall, but I can tell you in torrential rain this doesn't work one bit! The key is to use a metal karabiner (or two) in between the webbing and your hammock. Now this configuration should defiantly divert the rainfall from your webbing. Dont let that put you off, they're a great comfy piece of kit for being out in the wild! You can take your roll-mat, bivvy-bag & sleeping bag into the hammock with you if you wish. I started off with the 'DD Camping Hammock' which is doing great, but if a couple of weeks im expecting a new '2008 Travel' version with netting etc.



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Ear Plugs

Whether its two little foam ones or just some tissue I usually make some ear plugs for when I sleep at night. Im a very light sleeper and wake very easily, so I often like to block out the owls after a while.









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  • Tarp

I use a Tatonka Polycotton Tarp, it's light, durable and packs away very easily in its generously sized stuff-sack. A Tarp is so versatile, great for many different environments and weather, they are a joy to use allowing you to feel closer to nature. A good knowledge of a few basic knots and configurations will be essential for Tarp use. It doesn't take much to learn with the right help or info. I manage to get by perfectly fine using three knots (that you can find on this website) the evenk knot, adjustable hitch-knot (there's different forms, basically something that will hold but is adjustable) and then the prusik knot for tensioning your Tarp along your ridge-line.

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  • Roll Mat

Good insulation from the ground is key when camping out. Lots of body-heat can be lost as it is conducted away from your body into the ground, a roll-mat stops this from happening, insulating you from the ground you will retain your warmth and have a more comfortable nights rest.

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  • Billy-Cans / Cooking Pots

I have heard that Zebra Billy Can are considered to be high quality ones (I cant personally comment because I haven't used them myself). But I did opt for a much cheaper set, I believe I paid around £12 for a set of three different size billy cans that all fitted nicely within each other, just as shown above. They are great, no problems yet, they're balanced fine and work great. On a tight-budget for cooking equipment? No problem.. see this useful article 'Cooking in a Can'.

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  • Rucksack / Bag

rucksack or camping bags

A good rucksack is what you need to carry your kit. Of course the size of your bag will depend on how much kit you want to carry. Think about it first green army bergenPLCE Yoke Systembefore you going buying a bag. You may wish to buy two bags.. a smaller one as a day-sack and larger one for all your kit. I carry a Green Army Bergen that's shown on the left. My bag has a 100 litre capacity in the central compartment and then it has two optional/detachable side pockets which each have a 10L capacity, so that's 120 Litres capacity in all. That can be considered large and like I said the amount of kit you might want to carry may be less than my needs, after all... "The more you know the less you carry"... as you can see im stilling learning!

Side-pockets are handy for quick easy access to items of kit that are used regularly like a drinks-bottle, map or GPS etc. Also with my bag the pockets are detachable and I have a PLCE (Personal Load Carrying Equipment) Yoke system that allows me to clip on the two side pockets and they then become a light day sack, offering you a generous 20L capacity, I believe I once fitted a 2L coke bottle in one of the pockets with ease.

I obtained my Green Army Bergen bag very cheaply from a friendly member at the BushcraftUK Community, a lovely place to be.

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  • Paracord / Cordage


Cordage is so useful, whether your making a good shelter a raft or a blanket cordage can be a great help. Decent paracord (parachute cord) will have multiple strands inside, of which you can strip down to use as emergency fishing line or to sew with etc.

I have used paracord to put up Tarps, make shelters, create seats or start fires (bow-drill) and also hang things around the house! The uses are endless and cordage can be a very useful tool so as you can imagine it is worthwhile even learning how to make your own cordage from the natural resources when your out in the wilderness.

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  • Headtorch - Petzl Tikka XP

The best torch I have ever owned. This simple yet amazing torch is so useful allowing you to see, navigate or work in the wilderness. A headtorch is generally better than your normal hand-held torch.. why?.. because it free's your hands up! Where ever you look the area is automatically lit. I purchased this particular model of headtorch after seeing a superb product review in the BushcraftUK Magazine. It showed very useful features that it had like a sliding-filter that you can switch over the torch which would disperce the light over a wider area making it more evenly lit, or when you slid the filter back it would be a more focused beam, capable of lighting further. It also has a function to produce a maximum-brightness beam, pressing a button on the top of the torch will increase the brightness of the beam to very high just for the duration that you hold the button down. Its great for when you need that extra brightness. The torch also has multiple features where you can select different levels of brightness, or even turn the torch into flashing mode etc. The torch has a small coloured LED indicator on the side which tells you the status of the batteries. The torch will occasionally flash the beam to warn you if the batteries are getting low, it gives you plenty of time as well. I have found that the batteries last for ages in it also.

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  • Candle Lattern - BushLite

This lantern is light and small, it folds down inside itself and packs away nicely, no mess. This candle lantern is a nice addition to camp, when the evening draws in it provides a nice warm glow to your home in the wilderness. Its relatively wind proof and will burn for about 5 hours using half a standard household candle.

You can buy the lantern on its own or in a kit, I got the kit shown to the right, which consists of a carrying case, a hard-case designed to carry additional candles, a reflector insert to direct the light more and Mozipads which clip ontop of the lantern, heat up and repel mozi's.

I purchased this item from






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  • Fishing Line & Hook

Always handy for a bit of fishing to gather food when your out. Or if you find yourself in a survival situation you can use it to setup fixed lines to leave overnight to get a catch etc. (Note this kind of activity is illegal unless you have a very strong justifiable reason for doing so, like a true survival-situation).

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  • Walking Boots

Good walking boots are of course important. You need to be comfortable and safe when out walking especially if your going to be carrying a load on your back too! Something strong, supporting and durable will be good. Modern day boots often use Gortex to be waterproof from the outside elements yet breathable for your feet so they don't get too damp. A good pair of boots when looked after could last you many years. Your feet and boots are well worth looking after!

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  • Eating Equipment / Cutlery

We might be out in the bush but we're not carnivore's eating with our hands you know! Ok some of us Bushcrafters are I carry a Titanium cutlery set, very similar to the picture above. I thought getting a titanium set would be superb as my mind works when I hear 'Titanium' ("mmm lighter yet stronger than steel.") but I find that the prongs on my fork seem to bend somewhat easier than a normal fork. Me just being to observant I suppose, it hasn't bothered me in their functionality, they've been just fine. A strong, light cutlery set is great to have.

Today you can find lightweight yet durable eating bowls & plates etc. Light and functional what more could you ask for? .... ok maybe self-cleaning too

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  • Sun-Hat (RealTree Camo)

My personal hat, which I have been known to wear out in the wilderness come rain or shine. No great reason why I choose this hat in particular, I just saw it at a reasonable price at the Royal Cornwall Show one year and I liked the RealTree camo design and thought it'd be great for keeping the sun out of my eyes and the rain from irritating my face and that it does.

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  • GPS - Global Positioning System (Garmin Etrex)

Garmin Etrex Global Positioning System (GPS) I bought many years ago for about £100. I believe they've stayed around that price mark for a long time. This particular model does not feature fancy colour screens or topological maps, its a positioning system for hikers, campers or anyone who's out for a trip. You can save waypoints (ie. your camp) and then you can deviate and wonder off from your camp wherever you want without the worry of getting lost or not finding your camp, the GPS will keep a log and visually draw you a line of your journey, you can also ask it to navigate you back to a waypoint, so it could literally point you all the way back to camp telling you the exact direction, distance and elevation etc. The Garmin Etrex is also Waterproof so can take a acidental splash or dunk in water.

Reason I no longer carry this item:
These days I dont do a great deal of hiking or navigating in new terrian so I rarely even need a map let alone a GPS. A GPS is very handy when exploring new areas though, even the functionality to waypoint certain places (like base-camp) & then navigate back to them is very useful.

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  • Whistle

To be heard for long distances in emergencies.

Reason I no longer carry this item: Never really had an emergency when I've needed it and I can whistle plenty loud enough with my fnigers!

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This is my friend's kit list


Frosts Mora Knife

• Golok

• Lighter

• DD Camping Hammock


• Tatonka 3x3 Tarp Pollycotton


• Vango Sleeping Bag

• Slim Airic

• Vango Sherpa 65

• Gelert Water Bottle

• Gelert Mini Folding Shovel

• Petlz Headlamp

• Coleman Duel Fuel Lamp


• Coleman Outlander Stove

• Coleman Walking Boots

• Cutlery and plate

• DMM - Needle Sports Prowire Krab

As Well as the above items above here are the other items I take with me:
• Pans
• Cup
• First aid kit
• Small Fishing Rod and tackle
• Flint and Steel
• Small Survival Tin with everything I need if it all goes wrong

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Thank you to for allowing use of their photos on this page.

Article Created : 11/11/2007
Last Updated :


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Comments (11)
11 Thursday, 08 December 2016 22:29
Dave Whittaker
regarding your gps, I have the same model and it goes everywhere with me. I do a great deal of solo fell walking, each trip absorbing new terrain and overnight wild camping, usually on summits or close to them. I love the garmin for the simplicity of reading the grid reference points, that's all I need to show me on the map, in any weather, exactly where I am, vital for my outings, would be lost (excuse the pun), without it
10 Thursday, 21 March 2013 19:37
you never now, you should always cary a steak pasty with you, not a silly old whistle.
9 Tuesday, 05 February 2013 14:34
Although new to bushcraft I have done a fair bit of hill walking and light backpacking etc. I think the article was great and really well presented. I can (I think) pack all I need in a Low Alpine 45 litre pack. The thought of filling a 100 litre pack would fill me with dread. Its nice to be able to combine the buchcraft with a good walk and carrying a lot of weight really detracts form the pleassure of the outing and puts extra physical and metnal pressure on due to the heavy load carried.
thoughts please.
again really enjoyed the feature mate.
8 Sunday, 11 March 2012 23:11
Brian McGlinchey
I think you should still carry a whistle. You may get indixxx injuxxx ingurxxx HURT!.
where you will not be able to use your fingers.
7 Thursday, 26 January 2012 14:14
Hi Ashley. If you click on the item links at the top of the page, it takes you to, I believe, the home page. It seems you may need to re-assign your links within the site. All the best. Love your ethos and attitude to bushcraft, it should be free for all, after all, it's passing on the the knowledge of gaia/mother earth hand to hand.
6 Wednesday, 03 August 2011 16:26
Mark Uffindell
Great article. Good information, well presented, good illustrations. Thanks Ashley.
5 Monday, 06 September 2010 15:48
Ashley Cawley
@Jerome - I got this knife at the BushcraftUK Bushmoot a few years ago, from their small shop-stand. When I saw it I thought it looked beautiful, simple and very functional for what I wanted. I wasn't interested in what make or model it was at the time; I knew it felt right in my hand and it had a good strong design with scandi grind.

It is hand-etched near the spine with words barely visible now due to patina, but I've cleaned them up so I can tell you them!.. It says "Tregor" which is on the sheath also. I think it might be "Tregor PTX" and on the other side "Woodsknife Finland". I remember it was surprisingly cheap and the reason from the stand was that they had a batch from a knife-maker in Finland who was closing his shop and getting rid of stock. I remember once visiting a Tregor website which had a load of beautiful knives; I've just been googling after it, I found old references to the Tregor site on BCUK but it appears the links & website are dead.. reinforcing the idea that the knife-maker is no longer producing. You might be able to find one second hand? All the best & thanks for visiting.
4 Monday, 06 September 2010 14:29
@ Ashley. I'm curious where you got your main knife. I saw you using it in a couple of videos like Tapping bitch trees and it looks comfortable. Could you tell me the brand/model or is it a custom knife and where did you get it?
3 Friday, 18 June 2010 11:59
For such a small object to carry it would be crazy just to skip carrying on because you can use your fingers!!
2 Friday, 08 January 2010 21:50
Ashley Cawley
It seems that the 6 whistles is a UK Standard and typically 3 is used elsewhere, anyhow I know what you mean and hence why I no longer carry a whistle, I can whistle with my fingers and I know how to make a whistle out of trash or from nature, so hopefully I would think I could whistle in a variety of situations.

Having said that, not everyone can rely on their fingers!.. I know Justin has yet to learn ;D
1 Friday, 08 January 2010 20:31
A whistle may seem pointless if you can use your fingers but i always like to ask myself ''what if''. What if i slipped and fell an accidently broke my fingers or sprained my wrists. (Remember the international distress call, 6 long blasts follwed by a reply of 3 long blasts)

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Natural Bushcraft is a personal project aiming to provide a free bushcraft resource available to everyone.

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Best wishes
Ashley Cawley.

UK Wild Food - Jan

Listed here are Wild Foods that should be available in parts of the UK in January.

Daisy leaf

Gorse flower
Greater Plantain
Ribwort Plantain
Buck's Horn Plantain (coastal)
Scurvy Grass
Sea beet
Sea Radish
Pennywort (particularly good at the moment)
Alexanders (very good at the moment)
Chirvil (be very careful , as Hemlock Water-Dropwort is starting to sprout now and looks very similar, but is deadly poisonous!)
Sea Purslane
Rock Samphire (still usable, but a bit over now, coastal)
Rose Hips
Common Sorrel
Ivy-Leaved Toadflax
Wood sorrel
Three-cornered leek

*These are just some of the wild edibles you will find in the UK this month.

The Hedge Combers


A beautiful blog by my friend Janie sharing tips on self-sufficiency, homemade recipes, growing fruit, veg & rearing animals for meat & eggs.

Woodland Valley

Woodland Valley an Organic Farm in the centre of Cornwall.
A Bushcraft Friendly Campsite with Ancient Woodland and Group Accommodation  available.

Another Bushcraft & Wilderness Skills website that I love, by a friend & superb Photographer Gary Waidson.

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