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Best Bushcraft books

best bushcraft books for camping book by bear grylls book by ray mears books on bush craft wild camping sites guides to survival

What you learn from these books might not be profound enough to save your life, but they sure are a lot of fun, and when it comes to bushcraft, for most of us, that’s what it’s all about.

Knowing what’s safe to eat and what’s not, how to build an effective shelter and how to stay to warm when you’re out in the wild, we’ve picked a few of our favourite best bushcraft books, to help you make the most of the world around you.

Never did practice as a scout? Learn how to live off the land, and turn what looks like nothing, into something practical, and often fun. As always at Camping Things, we’re about combining great quality and value, and we only choose books we love. Great for yourself, and perfect as gifts.

Essential Bushcraft by Ray Mears

‘Practical bushcraft tips, condensed.’

Woodland tracker of 2010 gunman Raoul Moat, and arch nemesis of fellow TV wildman Bear Grylls, Ray Mears is known as on the UK’s most outspoken bushcraft fanatics. Essential Bushcraft is a condensed edition of Bushcraft, in which Mears presents survival tips and tricks for some of the most tricky environments, as well as practical hints for how to live off the land, when your beef jerky runs out and your tent blows away.

One of the best bushcraft books we’ve read.

This pocket-sized guide will teach you how to start a fire responsibly, how to cook in the wild, and which wild-foraged foods are safe to eat. Designed to be packed away in your rucksack, or tucked into your pocket, Essential Bushcraft is less detailed than its parent edition, but filled with just as much practical and fun stuff. Great for campers, hikers and families.

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Advanced Bushcraft: An Expert Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury

‘Beyond bushcraft, learn how to thrive in the wild.’

New York Times bestseller Dave Canterbury is back with Advanced Bushcraft, the follow-up to the wildly success Bushcraft 101. In this edition, Canterbury talks about how to navigate without the use of a map or compass, as well as how to start a fire with minimal resources, and which foods are safe to eat (as well as where to find them.)

Definitely on of our favourite bushcraft books

Learn how to track and hunt wildlife, getting closer than ever before, with Advanced Bushcraft, you’ll be able to go further and deeper into the the wilderness than you’d ever imagined. Even if you don’t end up stranded in the middle of the jungle, it’s still pretty cool to be able to impress your friends and family with all that you’ve learned. Build a fire, build a shelter, forage for food and cook it, all without spending a single penny.

Highly recommended for experienced outdoors-lovers and casual campers. This beautiful book makes a great coffee table conversation piece, too. Agreat contender in our list of best bushcraft books.

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Out On The Land by Ray Mears

‘Surviving and thriving in the frozen north.’

Ray Mears is at it again, this time using the great northern Boreal forest as his setting. Out On The Land is an entertaining and informative journey into the great outdoors of the arctic circle, where temperatures can make even the most basic tasks next to impossible. Mears walks us through his experiences and joys of spending time in the Boreal forest, covering essentials including food, clothing, injury prevention and treatment, and navigation.

This is one of Mears’s most enjoyable books, a clear labour of love, packed with personal observations and practical tips for staying warm, dry, safe and fed. Check out the section on wild cooking for a fascinating insight into what really is possible, even in the most challenging environments.

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Living Wild: The Ultimate Guide to Scouting and Fieldcraft by Bear Grylls

‘Life lessons from the UK’s toughest boy scout.’

Is it possible that Grylls calls it fieldcraft because Mears calls it bushcraft? Possibly, but we’re not here to weigh in on that battle. Living Wild is a treasure chest of hardcore survival skills, compiled and tested by Bear Grylls himself — and as the UK’s chief scout master, who are we to question? These tips and tricks are, if at times a little extreme, useful in a more general sense.

Perhaps better suited as an entertainment piece than a practical guide to staying alive on the Norfolk Broads, Living Wild is still a great book for both seasoned adventurers and casual campers.

Former army man Grylls has climbed Everest, and passed the rigorous 21 SAS testing criteria, so while you may find yourself scoffing at a few of his suggestions, he is a legitimate hardman, so this book comes highly recommended.

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The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering and Cooking in the Wild by Dave Canterbury

‘Cook up a storm, in a storm.’

Ever been so hungry you’d eat your boots? Well, hunger no longer, because New York Times bestseller and bushcraft expert Dave Canterbury is back, with the ultimate guide to wild trapping, gathering and cooking.

In this hefty volume, Canterbury covers options for carnivores and vegetarians alike, explaining in entertaining detail, how to build and set up traps, and which plants, fruits and mushrooms are safe to eat. He also details how to prepare them, so that you not only stay safe and illness-free, but so that you can actually enjoy the food you’ve foraged.

One of the most challenging things when it comes to wild cooking is trapping and preparing food. It’s not something we ever have to do, and Canterbury explains in easy-to-understand language, exactly what’s involved. One of our favourite books in this collection, Canterbury’s guide makes for great reading, whether you’re experienced or not. Buy this one for yourself, or for someone you love; it’s a great read.

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Best Bushcraft Books

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Our Choice - Living Wild
  • Readability
  • Practical Tips
  • Weight
  • Value


Living Wild is a treasure chest of hardcore survival skills, compiled and tested by Bear Grylls himself. (Check out the latest price and stock levels here)

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