Acquire These Amazing Skills and Have Fun at the Same Time

The thought of going to the woods for rest and relaxation is a foreign concept to most moderns. Others see it as an oasis. The later enjoy the simplicity of woods life for many reasons. Through experience, they’ve learned to be healthy, comfortable, and relaxed in the woods.

27 Basecamp Projects Guaranteed to Elevate Skills and Fun in the Woods –

Learning the art of “smoothin’ it” in the woods, as Nessmuk called it, is well within reach for even my novice middle school students. If you really want to learn how to camp in comfort, check out The Revival of Classic Camping.

If your camp is an oasis in the woods, you’re more likely to find the unplugged benefits of nature. Not only that, but you’ll gain valuable self-reliance skills in the process.

Below you’ll find 27 projects and skills developed while turning my basecamp into a comfortable personal space in the woods.


We’ve discussed the importance of emergency shelter here, here, and here. However, a basecamp shelter should be semi-permanent and built for comfort.
My shelter design takes advantage of the properties of radiant heat from a fire one step away from the opening. The heat enters under the two foot lip overhang and circulates through the entire structure. This action makes the shelter more efficient than a simple lean-to.

Skills Learned
Ax-Manship ~> The ax is the oldest and most under-appreciated, yet invaluable tool which serves, not only as a wilderness lifeline, but, as a simple machine that connects your hands to a forgotten craft.
Campsite Selection ~> Consider the 4 W’s. You need wood… lots of wood… for shelter construction and fire. Standing dead red cedar and a few other saplings were used for my shelter.
Knots/Lashing ~> Square, tripod, and diagonal lashing hold my shelter together. Timber hitch, clove hitch, trucker’s hitch, and other useful knots were also used.
Simple Machines ~> Here are my top 3 simple machines for shelter construction: Wedges (cutting tools), lever, and pulley.
Camp Tools
In this category, you’ll find ideas to make camp life enjoyable.

Saw Buck ~> This tool may be the most used of all the stuff at my camp. The obvious use is for bucking firewood.
How to Build a Sturdy Sawbuck with Logs and Rope

Camp Maul ~> You’ll use ax and knife skills to craft this woodsman hammer. Watch our video here.
Shaving Ladder ~> My newest addition to basecamp. Wish I had discovered this long ago!
Takedown Buck Saw ~> A good bucksaw makes life easier when processing wood on my saw buck.
Cooking Tripod ~> A sturdy tripod is a multifunctional piece for every camp.
Stump Vise ~> A round section of wood used to hold stuff while working with both hands.
Camp Skills
Sleep ~> The #1 hallmark of a good woodsman.
Fire ~> My favorite skill to practice. You’ll find many articles on fire craft on this page.
Cooking ~> Nothing beats the smell and taste of a pan of dry cured bacon sizzling over an open fire. Basecamp cooking affords you the luxury of not eating from freeze-dried bag food. Check out my buddy’s YouTube channel, Feral Woodcraft, for more camp cooking tips. Bring your appetite!
6 Life and Survival Lessons Learned from Backpacking –
Dry cured bacon and dehydrated eggs… not your typical trail breakfast
Food and Medicinals~> Bacon: Make your own non-refrigerated bacon here; Wild Edibles: Trout Lilly, Katniss; Mountain Man MRE’s; Check out other common feral foods and medicinal on our Foraging page.
Camp Crafts
Now that you’ve got tools made and a belly full of camp cooking, it’s time to make some fun stuff! (continue reading)

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