Calvert Trust Exmoor at Home: Bushcraft Activities
Calvert Trust Exmoor at Home: Bushcraft Activities
Outdoor activities are globally recognised for their ability to help us build on our social skills and strengthen our capacity to solve day-to-day problems.
Adventure enriches people’s lives and releases endorphins, no matter their ability. However, that’s not to say you need to do extreme adventure sports to reap the rewards of these endorphins. Local activities, even ones enjoyed at home, can be just as rewarding and beneficial as those deep in the wilderness.
What is Bushcraft?
Bushcraft includes an assortment of survival skills. When practised and learnt, bushcraft enables you to survive in the wild and make the most of your surroundings. If this interests you or you know someone who would benefit from taking a hands-on approach to the great outdoors, take a look at our activity holidays for disabled people, which are catered to both children and adults.
As part of the Calvert Experience, we provide a great range of outdoor activities. Among these inclusive activities, we offer bushcraft sessions; bushcraft activities can enrich your outdoor experiences, broaden your horizons and, ultimately, are a lot of fun! Once learnt, you can hone your newly acquired knowledge to embrace new challenges on your next adventures.
Bushcraft is not only useful when trying to navigate tricky situations, but it also helps you to develop your interpersonal skills, form connections and make new friends. So, while learning valuable skills and getting a better understanding of nature, you can also enjoy a sense of community through shared experiences together.
Bushcraft at Calvert Trust Exmoor
At Calvert Trust Exmoor, we recognise the difficulty that some people with disabilities may encounter when accessing the countryside and spaces in the natural world. To ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, we have developed an accessible woodland area that allows everyone to get involved.
Our range of activities covers a broad spectrum of needs and learning practices that include cognitive skill development and sensory experiences, meaning everyone gains something from our outdoor sessions.
Calvert Trust Exmoor Bushcrafts Include:
- Fire lighting
- Woodland craft
- Cooking over an open fire
- Shelter building
For more information on the importance of bushcraft, take a look at our article on the benefits of introducing bushcraft activities to disabled children.
Bushcraft Ideas and Activities to Try at Home
There’s a great range of bushcraft activities you can enjoy at home, whether you want to experience them with the family or a group of friends.
It should be noted that there are some activities we highly recommend having an experienced instructor around for. That being said, here are some of our favourite bushcraft activities that you could safely do at home!
Foraging is a great way to get out and about with friends and family. It can also be a wheelchair accessible activity.
Essentially, foraging is the act of exploring woodlands, hedgerows and any other natural areas to seek wild foods. Before venturing out, make sure you have access to an array of reliable resources when identifying plants so that you and your group can practice foraging safely.
Foraging allows you to enjoy the great outdoors while still staying local to your home – you’d be surprised by what you can find right on your doorstep!
Even if you don’t come across any edible plants, there is a lot to learn about what kinds of things grow around you and what’s available in each season. With this activity, there are so many opportunities to build stronger connections to the natural world.
There are also plenty of ways to cater this activity to particular locations and those taking part. You could plan a leisurely meander along some country roads and pick blackberries in early autumn, or adventure through some woodland in the spring and harvest wild garlic from a sea of green!
If you live in a city, there’s no need to feel like you’re missing out! There are still plenty of plants to enjoy; even in more urban areas, you can often find Rowen or Hawthorn trees from which you can collect berries to create some delicious homemade jam!
If eating edible plants doesn’t interest you, then that’s fine too! You can always turn a foraging adventure into a game of bingo and identify local flora without picking or touching any plants.
Building shelters is a great group activity that can create relationships and establish a sense of teamwork.
As a team, you can work together to make the most creative den you can, complete with all your essential needs, whether that’s a toilet, lounge or gaming room! There is no need to limit the imagination when it comes to creating a shelter; you can be as serious or silly as you like!
But make sure to keep an eye out for anyone carrying anything too big. It’s always best to ensure that the weight is shared among others and everyone’s aware of their surroundings when walking around with long sticks. It’s also worth noting that it’s not always safe to enter the den, so always try to check its sturdiness before anyone makes themselves at home.
Once you’ve created your wilderness retreat, feel free to sit back and enjoy a picnic or share stories of adventure and survival!
If you can’t get to a woodland area to build your shelter, why not set up camp in your garden? Just use whatever materials you have and get creative!
Tracking is a wonderful way to gain an understanding of the animals that live among us, hidden in the surrounding landscape. Grow your knowledge with your friends and family as you learn all about your neighbours!
Make sure to use all your senses as you listen out for calls and other noises that echo through the air!
You can follow footprints, tufts of fur and feathers, and many other clues that they may have left behind!
A lot of us rely on apps such as Google Maps to get us from one place to another, but when you don’t have any signal, it can be quite stressful working out which way you need to go. Returning to the basics is a great way to activate your mind and create a sense of independence.
There are a range of activities you can use to help you and your group navigate from one area to another. Try starting from using a compass and getting a grasp of the basics so you can progress through to the more challenging methods. You can even add in a few games to mix things up and have fun with the activity.
Navigation is a great tool that can be used throughout every season, with lots of scope to create themed trails such as an easter egg hunt.
To make sure the activity is accessible to everyone, plan out a route that offers a terrain friendly to wheelchair users and considers the group’s abilities.
Story Telling Over a Campfire
Campfires can make for the perfect evening, especially when in good company! Sit under the stars and toast some marshmallows as you share stories and enjoy some delicious hot chocolate.
Campfires can be incredibly educational, as they provide a comforting and exciting environment that allows for a natural learning environment. The science and method behind creating a campfire is not only fun but is also incredibly informative!
If you start to get a bit peckish, break out your favourite campfire recipes and create some delicious concoctions over the fire to share a family-style meal together!
It’s worth noting that there are some hazards involved with campfires, so it’s important to highlight these and make sure everyone understands the importance of keeping a safe distance while still enjoying the activity.
Why are Outdoor Skills Important?
There’s no denying that outdoor skills are important; they will provide you with the essential information you need to know when enjoying the wild, and they are guaranteed to leave you with a strong sense of empowerment and independence.
Outdoor activities, such as bushcraft, allow you to tackle the world in a way that is unavailable in our urban environments. When embarking on this journey, you will be met with new challenges that require creative problem solving, determination and humility.
These environments place you on the journey of self-development, where you will learn the importance of:
- Understanding your role as an environmental citizen
- A positive and realistic attitude.
What are the Benefits of Learning Bushcraft?
Bushcraft increases your awareness of the natural world and your connection to it. It allows participants to establish their respect and understanding of the outdoors while also inviting them to experience a wholesome activity and natural environment.
Bushcraft has been proven to increase personal and social skills while also strengthening existing relationships; other benefits include:
- Character building
- Outdoor appreciation
We hope this article has inspired your inner adventurer! For more information about our bushcraft sessions or any of our other accessible activities, contact a member of our team.