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Bushcraft Quotes

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A Collection of Bushcraft Quotes

  • "Bushcraft is what you carry in your mind and your muscles." - Ray Mears


  • flowerMy father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing." - Aldous Huxley


  • "A white man makes a large fire and sits far away, an Indian makes a small fire and sits close."


  • "Being lost is a state of mind, not a state of place."


  • "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. " - E. B. White


  • "The more you know the less you carry" - Mors Kochanski


  • "I once asked my grandfather if he'd ever been lost in the woods. He gave me a perplexed look and said, The woods are my home. How can I be lost when Im at home?"


  • "Here is nothing (A Brazilian on seeing the Amazon forest for the first time). Here is everything (An indian who lives there)."


  • "There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing"


  • "To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything else in the world." - Charles Dudley Warner


  • "Rabbits are there to feed everything else, and they know it" - Ben McNutt of Woodsmoke.


  • “Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” - John Ruskin


  • "The best knife is the one you have with you when you need it."
  • "I learned how much of what we think to be necessary is superfluous; I learned how few things are essential, and how essential those things really are" - Bernard Ferguson, Chindits, Burma 1943.


  • "Everything is edible, even the things that are not... Those kill you... Learn the difference..."


  • "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, to discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and to be able to give a true account of it" - Henry David Thoreau - (1817 – 1862) - Walden or Life in the Woods


  • "Take only memories, leave only footprints." - Ray Mears



  • "A blunt blade is more dangerous than a sharp one" - Ray Mears


  • "Do not mess with the forces of Nature , for thou art small and biodegradable!"


  • "If you leave the Christian Bible outside, eventually the wind and the rain will destroy it. My bible IS the wind and the rain." - attributed to an unnamed Native American woman.


nature quote

  • To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
    To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
    Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
    And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
    To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
    With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
    Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
    This is not solitude, 'tis but to hold
    Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores untold.


  • Advice on knife use; "The pink things are fingers"


  • "Always hike in bear country with someone you can out run"


  • "Wolves did it!" (a good excuse for when you've burned another persons carefully carved pot hanger on the fire by mistake.)


  • "Keeping you safe in the wilderness………and keeping the wilderness safe from you!" - Green-Craft


  • "Fire-wood makes you warm three times; first collecting it, secondly shifting it and third when you burn it." - Ray Mears


  • "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference" - Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken


  • "When the first Europeans landed in the Americas, they described it as one vast untouched wilderness. This was about the highest compliment they could pay to the Native people who had lived there for thousands of years." - Bill Mason - at the start of Waterwalker


  • "Only after the last tree has been cut down,
    Only after the last river has been poisoned,
    Only after the last fish has been caught,
    Only then will you realise that you cannot
    - Cree Indian prophesy


  • "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; We borrow it from our children"


  • "We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home, in towns and cities." –NESSMUK (G.W. Sears), Woodcraft, 1963



  • "Never pick blackberries along the path that are below waist height."


  • "The best knife you've got is the one in your pocket cos ya always got it"


  • "The bigger your rucksack the more ya kitchen sink it" (stuff ya don't need)


  • "The real measure of wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money." -unknown


  • "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a life time. Teach a man TO LEARN to fish and you empower him for a life time." - lao tzu


  • "Light a man a fire and he's warm for the night. Light a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life."


  • "Take only memories, leave only footprints" - Ray Mears


  • "In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous." - Aristotle

  • "Nature does nothing uselessly." - Aristotle


  • "You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters." - Catholic Saint (Bernard?)


  • "Knowledge is the key to survival, the real beauty of that is that it doesn't weigh anything." - Ray Mears



  • "Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does Nature, because in her inventions, nothing is lacking and nothing is superfluous." - Leonardo da Vinci.


  • "No ones last words have been 'I wish I'd spent more time in the office"


  • "A sharp knife in the hands of a wise man is less dangerous than a blunt knife in the hands of a fool." - Montivagus


  • "You will last 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food." - Unknown (quoted by many, perhaps Lofty Wiseman?)



  • There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
    There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
    There is society, where none intrudes,
    By the deep sea, and music in its roar;
    I love not man the less, but Nature more. Lord Byron


  • "There can be no peace in the world if we make no peace with the earth." - Satish Kumar (BBC's Earth Pilgrim : A year on Dartmoor)


  • Sometimes we have to get lost in order to find ourselves. - Unknown.

“I may say that this is the greatest factor—the way in which the expedition is equipped—the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.” -Roald Amundsen


This collection of Bushcraft quotes was gathered as a result of a thread posted on the original thread can be found here. I dedicate this page to . Regards some of the Ray Mears Quotes on this page, I understand he might not always be the origin of the saying, but often if it weren't for him I wouldn't have heard the saying at all, a apologise if it isn't always the original author of the saying but I can only list those who I have heard say it.

Comments (12)
12 Tuesday, 22 September 2015 15:54
The first time I heard the ''there is no such thing as bad weather only the wrong clothes'' quote was from Billy Connelly, not a bush crafter but a great lover of nature none the less.
11 Friday, 06 June 2014 05:14
crocodile dundee 3
it takes very little for mother nature to dislike you so don't make her mad
10 Friday, 28 June 2013 11:24
“I may say that this is the greatest factor—the way in which the expedition is equipped—the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.” -Roald Amundsen
9 Tuesday, 28 February 2012 00:12
'Light a man a fire and he'll be warm for a night. Light a man ON fire and he will be screaming and writhing around in pain for the rest of his 10 minutes, give or take.'

Oh! It's a metaphor!
8 Saturday, 06 August 2011 22:25
"Fire-wood makes you warm three times; first collecting it, secondly shifting it and third when you burn it." - Ray Mears

actually though ray mears may have said this i first read this in stig of the dumb over 30 years ago
just saying
7 Sunday, 31 July 2011 18:47
I used to work at Cotswold Outdoor and our manager used to say "Take only pictures, leave only footprints and kill only time." Very wise. Bush Buddhism.
6 Saturday, 05 February 2011 00:41
Derek Shortall
How do you make a fire with two sticks?
Make sure one's a matchstick!
5 Saturday, 18 December 2010 10:43
Love these quotes... Great stuff!
4 Wednesday, 15 December 2010 20:22
An addition to the lofty wiseman quote goes like this. "You will last three minutes without air,three days without water, three weeks without food. And three months on your own before you go mad."
3 Wednesday, 16 December 2009 20:11
George Dunn
QUESTION: When is the best time to plant a tree?
ANSWER: Any month with the letter "R" in it!

This is a quote from my father who was an estate worker for the Duke of Hamilton (James Dunn)
I miss his wisdom.
George Dunn aka Acoustic
2 Monday, 19 October 2009 22:46
You only need knowledge to survive equipment just make it easier. Markos G Broughton
1 Monday, 25 May 2009 17:23
here is a funny quote: if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day ,but if you teach a man to fish he will sit in the boat and drink beer all day.

hope you like this joke

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