Bushcraft and survival activities from Bedfordshires Canoe Trail

Canoe Trail offers a range of bushcraft activities in our woodland and at other sites. We believe that there is great blend of skills ranging from adventurous training and activities, through to old traditional skills plasticized by our forefathers through to specific watersports skills. Many of our bushcraft activities are focused on teaching adventure skills that are interesting and important to know as opposed to a much broader range of skills and techniques.

We offer a broad range of bushcraft activities in house and adventurous activities and draw upon Richard’s experience as a professional adventurer doing human powered adventures around the world. We also work closely with Woodland Ways, the UK’s leading bushcraft company for more advanced techniques and specific sessions.

Canoe Trail provide the following bushcraft activities

Campfire Cooking

We like nothing better than demonstrating and sharing our culinary delights with campfire cooking. We love the fact that you can create almost any meals and dishes from the comfort of our woodland or on adventures. Some of the simplest treats taste best over the campfire and these are usually a part of our schools and corporate activities including:

  • Flavoured bread sticks
  • Campfire popcorn
  • Smoors and marshmallows on the fire
  • Muffins in orange
  • Chocolate bananas

We also cook more complex foods and meals in the woodland including:

  • Woodland stews with free range chicken, vegetables
  • Pasta meatballs and woodland vegetables
  • Vegetable curry
  • Stuffed chicken and baked sweet potatoes
  • Baked fish and vegetable rice
  • Free range BBQ options

We use campfire grills, traditional cooking methods and dutch ovens to cook and prepare our woodland foods.

Shelter Building

Richard learnt shelter building whilst in Scouts under the tutelage of Scout Leader Tira Dawson. He can share a wide range of different designs for shelter building. On his own adventures he also uses tarps, bivvi bags and tents to complete longer journeys by bike, kayak and canoe.

Richard has lots of experience of wild camping, constructing shelters whilst canoe camping and snow holing in winter conditions.

Groups can learn simple skills and techniques from Canoe Trail team. Typically we set shelter building competitions with groups such as stag parties, corporate events and school parties.

Fire Lighting

Groups also seem to enjoy the magic of lighting fires in a woodland setting. Canoe Trail have a wide range of stoves, cooking equipment and Kelly kettles that are the basis of any good camping experience alongside of course lighting the campfire for warmth and communion. We teach a variety of practical and everyday skills for fire lighting including hints and tips, tinder, flint and steel and grading the wood. Groups are shown basis skills before being set a fire lighting challenge.

Bushcraft Art

Bushcraft art is a firm favourite with schools, youth groups and corporates alike. Participants get to make bowls, spoons and also making art using hot embers and sharp tools including knives and saws.

We have seem some incredible creative skills from individuals and groups depicting scenes, tribal artwork and key slogans they wish to share. We have used drills and saws to enhance these and the occasional bit of paracord

Ropework and Adventure Skills

Ropework and team challenges around adventurous challenges is a proven winner with most groups. It gives the learning meaning and purpose so when teams are learning knots they have a chance to apply the skills. We use ropework, low ropes and problem solving team challenges to provide a competitive environment. Examples of ropework and team challenges

  • Low ropes
  • River crossings
  • Tallest tower
  • Building frames and structures
  • Burn the string
  • 5 knot challenge
  • Raft Building

Useful knots we teach include:

  • Clove hitches
  • Figure of 8’s
  • Bowlines
  • Round Turn and 2 half hitches
  • Square lashings
  • Sheet bends and double Sheet bends
  • Reef knots
  • Highwayman hitches