Bushcraft emphasizes self-sufficiency through knowledge and improvisation as opposed to reliance on advanced gear and technology. Attending school required him to walk 7 miles each day on a rugged forest road. This independent lifestyle helped him develop a deep appreciation for nature, and eventually led him to a career as an outdoor instructor at the University of Alberta. In , Kochanski published his first and most famous book, Northern Bushcraft. Its title was later shortened to Bushcraft.
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Bushcraft emphasizes self-sufficiency through knowledge and improvisation as opposed to reliance on advanced gear and technology. Attending school required him to walk 7 miles each day on a rugged forest road. This independent lifestyle helped him develop a deep appreciation for nature, and eventually led him to a career as an outdoor instructor at the University of Alberta.
In , Kochanski published his first and most famous book, Northern Bushcraft. Its title was later shortened to Bushcraft. Subscribe Today and Save! Get the Mag The first six chapters of Bushcraft focus on core skills. Firecraft explains the essential nature of a fire in the wilderness. It goes into detail on ignition sources, tinder materials, fuel requirements, and the benefits of various layouts, pot suspension systems, and cooking techniques.
Axecraft, Knifecraft, and Sawcraft — prioritized in this order — emphasize the value of these cutting tools for all other bushcraft skills. Cutting techniques are shown for everything from felling trees to delicate carving and shaving. Bindcraft is a shorter chapter on how to improvise cordage from more than a dozen natural materials.
Kochanski provides guidance on shelters ranging from simple open-fronted windbreaks to permanent, fully enclosed dwellings for the entire family. The following six chapters change focus from skills to specific natural resources: Birches, Conifers, Willows, Shrubs, Moose, and Hare. Nearly every page of Bushcraft features highly detailed illustrations.
The New Edition also features 14 pages of color photos in a supplement at the end of the book. The multitude of diagrams are hugely helpful as well. Even common tools like a lighter are never mentioned. On one hand, this means the skills within are timeless and reliable; on the other hand, they sometimes feel needlessly antiquated. A larger and more prominent issue throughout the book is its regional focus. Kochanski wrote it based on his experience in Canada, and its original title was a better reflection of this theme.
Most of the content is relevant to any locale, but some — especially the final six chapters — will be less useful outside of the Great White North. Also, all units are metric, so Americans should keep a converter handy.
Even if you have access to modern gear, proficiency in traditional bushcraft skills will build your creativity and help you learn to stay alive with nothing more than your wits and a sharp blade.
Book Review: “Bushcraft” by Mors Kochanski
Early life[ edit ] The Kochanski family immigrated to Canada from Poland in Mors, the fifth of six children, was born in His mother named him "Morris" but, because of a misunderstanding due to her Polish accent, the midwife wrote "Mors" on the birth certificate. Kochanski was brought up on a farm in Saskatchewan , where he worked and assisted his father, who had been a windmill carpenter in Poland and who fought for the Polish military during World War I. In his early school years, he travelled seven miles to and from school on a bush road.
Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival
Mors Kochanski Mors Kochanski Mors Kochanski is known throughout North America and the world for his extensive work in outdoor education, survival and wilderness living. His enthusiasm for wilderness recreation, his extensive knowledge of the field, and his desire to learn everything there is to know about the wilderness has made him one of the foremost authorities on wilderness skills. Mors Kochanski has been an outdoor educator and survival instructor for over 40 years, twenty three of which as a sessional professor for the University of Alberta; a few months of which were at the Canadian Department of National Defense Survival School at Jarvis Lake, Alberta. Today, if a course or instructor has any solid foundation in modern survival skills or Bushcraft, the odds are that they are likely based on a teaching, a skill or idea that Mors had some input in developing — whether they know it or not. Bushcraft, published in , is a foremost text on that subject with the skills you really need to know, including Firecraft, Axe Use, The Bush Knife, Cordage, Shelter Concepts, Trees and Animals is evident that Mors is teaching from experience and knowledge.
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