My Three Favorite Bushcraft Items

100_1019Anyone who has been following Stick’s Blog knows that he recently was tagged by Brian’s Backpacking Blog to talk about his three favorite bushcraft items.  In the maddeningly fun game of tag that is being played among us bloggers, I got “tagged it”  by Stick to talk about my three favorite bushcraft Items.  Well that was a month ago and I just now have gotten to writing this post!  Why so long, you ask?  Because you take an outdoor loving ultralight backpacker like me and tell them to talk about bushcraft and it takes a while before I stop getting distracted by the cool skills that you can learn and actually write a post.  If there is one thing I love more than gear, it’s the skills that make it so I don’t have to take more gear.  So I’ve finally stopped watching videos on how to make my own char cloth, traps, and shelters long enough to write this post!  So without further ado, my three favorite bushcraft items.


1. Flint and Steel – I love flint and steel.  It always works even if it gets wet and the only time it fails is if I don’t use it correctly.  This particular one pictured is a humongous rod of Magnesium with a wooden handle and a ferro rod flint on one side.  Attached with a piece of orange paracord is, of all things, a piece of hacksaw blade.  The tooth side helps scrape off the magnesium and the smooth side is good for striking the flint.  I have a smaller version that is in my ditty bag for backpacking as a foolproof fire starter.  One of the more frustrating things about flint and steel is there is a talent to it.  You have to practice to be proficient at it so one of the things I do is any time I get the chance, I practice in all different types of weather and with several types of kindling and methods.  One day it may be raining and I’m using dryer lint and bark, another might be hot and I’m using char cloth and dried grasses.  For those of you who don’t know, magnesium is a highly flammable substance.  It is flammable when it’s in fragments but stable when in a solid form, like this rod.  This makes starting a fire in all conditions much easier which is why this is one of my favorite bushcraft items ever!


2. Hatchet – The hatchet I’m using right now is an old Companion Hatchet from the 60’s-70’s era.  I did a little research and they are made by Sears.  This particular one is my Step Father’s and he’s been the sole owner and it’s the one I have used my whole life.  I’m hoping to get one of my own soon but I’ll be sad to give up using this one.  A hatchet is one of the most useful items in the woods when you’re trying to straight up survive in the woods.  They are small and handy enough to carry long distances but still usable for many tasks like trap making, wood gathering, even some shelter tasks. It can also be very helpful in turning larger logs into small kindling especially in wet weather when the inside of a log may be dry even when nothing else around you isn’t.  I’ve heard a lot of guys say they would take a full sized ax over a hatchet and if I were full on homesteading I’d agree, but when you are carrying everything with you, a hatchet is the way to go.


3. Kupilka Cup – And then of course there is the Kupilka cup.  A list of my favorite bushcraft items just could not be complete without this amazing little cup.  This was actually a prize I won a few years back from Brian’s Backpacking Blog along with the rest of the Kupilka set.  All of the pieces are in my camping box but this little guy comes with me everywhere!  It is exactly the right size to measure out a cup of water, have some hot chocolate, or scoop up some water out of a creek.  It has the ability to warm my hands without burning my lips when filled with hot liquid which is probably my favorite thing since my hands get and stay cold in wet weather.  If you don’t have the skills to make a cup like this, then nothing beats the Kupilka 21 cup!

Now that I’ve told you about my 3 favorite items, it’s time to tag someone else in our fun little game.  I think I will give a shout out to two other backpacker ladies, a good friend, JERMM’s Outside Blog, and a new read I’m loving, Rambling Hemlock.

About Joslyn

My name is Joslyn and I primarily hike with my husband Richard. We live in Northern Arizona with our dog, Jäger and love camping and hiking. We are continuing our adventure in backpacking inn this our second year and as always, striving towards going Ultra Light.

Posted on 25/08/2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Great post Joslyn! Good one with the fire steel… I used to used mine all the time with my alcohol stoves, but since going to Esbit I just stick with a lighter… it’s easier… 🙂

    Anyway, great job. I enjoyed reading about it. And cool tags too! I am looking forward to reading JJ’s for sure! I will have to check out the other blog you linked to…


    • Thanks! I love mine and right now I’m strongly considering making a wood stove my go to stove so it just makes sense. I love the smell of wood burning and it really adds to my personal enjoyment and relaxation of being in camp. Not to mention it really helps keep the bugs away to have wood smoke in my hiking clothes! 🙂

  2. This tagging process is great as without it I’d not have read this. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for reading! I think it’s genius myself. It gives exposure to some great blogs while also giving us bloggers the challenge of posting about something we might not have discussed otherwise.

  3. Hey thanks for tagging me! This is going to be fun to write about. And I’ve already enjoyed looking at some of the other interesting posts on bushcrafting. What a beautiful little cup- it looks like it has a good shape.

    • Your welcome! I think in a lot of ways UL backpackers are closer to bushcraft than traditional backpacking. The base philosophy is the same for both, knowledge instead of gear. There is a very different approach to that philosophy but it’s been a lot of fun delving into their side of things a bit and I feel I’ve gained some great experience and I am better at skills that will help me enjoy backpacking safer and lighter than before.

      I love reading your blog and can’t wait to see what you write about!

  4. I recently did a boundary waters trip where the people I was with brought along a hatchet and full axe. It rained a lot and it helped to be able to split the wood and expose the dry stuff. Haven’t purchased one, but have considered it after that.

    For lightweight days or longer hikes, do you usually leave the ax at home?

    • Being at my heart a ul backpacker, if I’m out and about I’m using a hatchet/knife combo without a hatchet. At home though, we’ve always got an ax around. Mostly because we are closer to a homestead than a normal suburban home.

  5. seems like a cool blog!

  1. Pingback: Tagged: My 3 Favorite Bushcraft Items | Stick's Blog

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