Sunday, November 29, 2015

Bushcraft USA: Bushclass Intermediate Reflection

Earlier this year I completed the Bushcraft USA Bushclass Intermediate course and I'm finally getting around to doing this writeup showing what the class consists of and reviewing the class as a whole (Just in time to finish with their Advanced class).  The three classes offered by Bushcraft USA are 100% free to members and are able to be completed at your own pace over a 10 year period if you so desire. The course basically requires that you own a knife, saw blade, wool blanket, tarp and cordage, Altoids tin and a fire kit to complete the basic and intermediate classes which is a far cry from the equipment list of most survival courses out there..... granted you are doing these skills in you own back yard and you can practice consistently until you get the skill right for pictures and videos. Stress of a survival situation or making a deliverable in a given time period is not something that you will experience in this class, which is one reason I highly recommend that after you do a correspondence course that you go visit a survival school for in-person training. I will say you can't beat free and for being free there was a ton of effort put into this class by IA Woodsman (YouTube Handle) and you will come out of the Bush classes with so much more knowledge than you came into the class with. If you push yourself to do a few of these skills on each overnight trip you can easily knock these classes out within a year and be well on your way to self reliance. So with out further delay, lets take a look at what the mandatory lessons were for this course along with the electives I chose to complete!

Here Is A Good Starter Supply Kit For Class If You Need One!

Required Lessons For Bushclass Intermediate Certification:
1) Make A Hand Sewn Ditty Bag: See Article Here (LINK)
2) Light 5 Natural Tinder Materials With A Ferro Rod: 
A) Multiple natural materials used for charred material fire starting (Click image to start video)

B) Fatwood.... here is one instance, but every single knife review you will see fatwood catch on fire!      (Click image to start video)
C) Here are a few more- Jute Twine and green wood shavings (Click image to start video)
D) Dead Standing Grass Tinder Bundle (Click image to start video)
E) Jute Twine Tinder Bundle (Click image to start video)
F) Cattail Fluff Tinder Bundle (Click image to start video)

3) 5 Splitwood Fires/Fire Lays: I combined these two categories as they go hand-in-hand. The requirement was to do at least 5 splitwood fire and demonstrate at least three different fire lays

A) Star Fire Lay: See my full article about the benefits of this fire lay in my article-  (Click the image below to to start video)
B) Tepee Fire Lay: See my full article about the benefits of this fire lay in my article- (Click image to start video)
C) Log Cabin Fire Lay: See my full article about the benefits of this fire lay in my article- (Click image to start video)

4) Char Natural Material For Use In Fire Starting: See my full article on this skill here- Or Click the image below to start video

5) Improvise A Bow Saw: Be sure to check out the build instructions in my article and then see how well it performed by clicking on the picture below to start the video!

6) Improvise A Buck Saw: Be Sure to Check out the build instruction in my article and then check out how it performed in the video below by simply clicking on the picture.

7) Make An Insulation Bed And Sleep In It: Here are a few that I submitted!
A) Insulation bed with a wool blanket- an early spring trip where all material gathered from a power line right-of-way. Be sure to click the picture below to start the video.
B) Debris Hut-one of my most comfortable and warmest shelters. I don't make all natural shelters that often but when I do this is the ticket! Be sure to click the picture below to start the video.
C) Part Hunting Blind, Part Padded Seat, Part Lean-to, Part bed- This shelter took about 5 minutes to make and was 100% rounded up within 50'. I got out to where I was going to be hunting for three day at about 3 AM and threw up a mini wind break and hunting blind before catching a few winks before daylight. Whenever you are dressed for the weather its hard to beat the shelter a pine tree provides! This was part of multi-day test of a survival bracelet which you can find the article series link here Be sure to click the picture below to start the video.

8) Tie Intermediate Knot List: The knots required for this lesson consist of the following: Clove Hitch, Simple Figure 8, Figure 8 On A Bite, Bowline, One handed Bowline For Self Rescue, Slip Knot, Canadian Jam Knot. Be sure to check out the article below to view all of the instructional videos for these knots!
9) Make and Sleep In An Improvised Shelter: I usually utilize the diamond tarp setup for rapid improvised shelters, you can see how I setup this shelter in about a minute by following this link- If you have any interest in what I carry in my 10 C's Haversack during hunting season be sure to check out this link for more information
10) Cook A Meal Over A Fire: Everyone knows I like to cook over a fire, so much so I did a series on outdoor cooking. To meet the requirements of the class you had to have vegetables, starch and meat done at the same time..... well that can mean only one thing it's time to make Mountain Man Stew! Find out how to make this perfect camp fire dish!  If you want to try something a little more difficult try making this spring wild edible stew with fish over a fire, just click on the image below to start the video to see what was for lunch!

11) Lash A Camp And Make A Camp Chair: This was a fun section of the class to complete as I love making camp a little more comfortable through a variety projects. Here is a camp hammock chair that I love to make and is the most comfortable seat you will ever find in the wilderness:  Another camp chair option is a basic bushcraft chair made of all logs  Another options I have made are the rotating adjustable pot hanger- click the first picture below to play the video.
Also check out the DIY tripod below that as my preferred water filtration method in the woods, just click on the picture below to start the video!

12) Five Overnight Outings: Well this one was the easiest lesson to complete as I stay out at least a minimum of one night a week. Documentation was mostly pictures for this one but i did a few multi-day trips testing my micro 10 c's kit, survival bracelets and a week to test out my Hennessy Hammock. Here is a recent video from a hammock camping trip where I was testing out the Jacks-R-Better under quilt.

1) Twig Bundle Fire:  This was my favorite fire based elective as it was something I had not done before and is an extremely effective way of having an instant sustainable fire when you arrive at a camp! If you haven't tried this type of fire check out my tutorial and see how well it work within the article:

2) Make A Pocket Survival Kit: So if you follow this blog at all you know I like micro/Pocket Survival Kits (PSK)/Mini Kits and my Micro 10 C's has been a staple of this blog for a few years now with countless testing trips and changes under its belt. Be sure to check out my newest version of the Micro 10 C's kit here and while you're there check out my testing of each item in the kit and how the kit has evolved over time. 

3) Whipping And Braiding Rope And Making A Functional Ridge Line:This Activity was something I have done many times over the years but had not done within the last five or so years until this class, so it was a very good refresher of those rope skills. While I will stick to old staples for my ridge line and other kit items instead of using the items I made, this base knowledge is extremely important to own if you want to make any type of natural cordage in the future! Be sure to check out my article here to learn these essential skills!
4) Put Together A First Aid Kit: Being an EMT/Firefighter and wilderness EMT I have had this area squared away for well over a decade. Duct tape, a cotton bandanna, super glue and pine resin will cure what ails you most of the time :). But I do have several FA kits I like to carry and he is an overview of my preferred IFAK: Most notably this kit doesnt show the super glue, pine resin or cotton bandanna.... but they are spread out in other portions of my kit.... I think it may be time for a series on wilderness First Aid! 

\5) Make A Flint & Steel Fire With Char Cloth And Improvise A Metal Device To Strike: Flint/steel and magnification are the two more primitive types of fire ignition that I love to practice.... If you have made a bow drill fire or 100 you will know its not much fun but the others are just fun to me! Here is an article on traditional flint/steel fire making In the video I shoe how to utilize the spine of your knife and the Trayer Fire tool to make a flint/steel fire.

6) Make A Lanyard For Your Knife/Fire Steel: I prefer the old staples of duct tape, shock cord, paracord and bank line. In the video below you can see a few of the retention systems I utilize on my gear!

7) Make And Use A Fishing Kit: Fishing is basically a way of life here in West "By God" Virginia and I have grown up on and around back woods streams fishing for native trout and farm ponds or lakes fishing for bass or catfish. From that experience I put together this backpacking fishing kit when I'm going to be spending a good bit of time fishing but only taking a very small kit: While I can catch fish with paracord inner strands a thorn and a worm it sure make life easier to atleast have a hook, line and sinker! Check out the video below of me using just those three things from the Wazoo Survival Bracelet to catch a few fish!  Just click the image to get the video started.

8) Night Out With A Wool Blanket: This was a daily kinda thing during hunting season last year so it was not much of a problem to get this elective out of the way with the mere snap of the camera.... remember the key to wool blanket camping is that you need to be dressed for the weather!Once again a shot of muzzle loader season opening day using an chamber adapter to make a single shot 12 ga into a muzzle loader.

9) Haft An Axe: While you're able to buy the new handle for your axe this is still a fun activity to build your self reliance skill set for when a tool break. If you want to one up this challenge make your own handle from the land scape. I personally have not done this yet (I have for a tomahawk but not an axe) but it is on my list of things to do when I have free time in 2016. Check out step-by-step directions for restoring and  hafting an axe here: 

10) Fire With Magnification: I always have the 4x Fresnel magnifier from Survival Resources in my Micro 10 C's kit so this skill gets practiced a good bit (click on the image below to see a quick magnification video). You can also check out my article forstep-by-step instructions with a larger lens 
Free is pretty hard to beat and that is exactly with Bushcraft USA charges for its Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Bushclass Certifications. Granted you will not be getting a certificate or anything to that effect but you will be able to practice your skills on your own time and moving forward in your certification at your pace. Weather it take you a year or 5 to complete their three class there is no time like the present to get your self headed down the path of self reliance and survivability in the wilderness and these classes are a great place to start that journey, particularly if you want to gauge your interest before buying a ton of kit items. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I hope to have the Advanced class review up in the very near future! For clarification sake I have no affiliation with Bushcraft USA other than I'm a member of their forum and have completed their Bushclass offerings, there is no fee to take the course you simple must go to and sign up as a forum member, search for Bushclass USA and then start working on your basic certification course!
Visit Me On Social Media:
Consulting Company Website:

Have something outdoor/bushcraft/trapping/preparedness/hiking/camping/fishing/hunting related you want me to make a post about? Leave me a comment and I will see what I can do! As always feel free to leave your questions and comment below! Also if you enjoy the blog please vote for us on the following websites to help us reach a wider audience:
You are only able to vote once DAILY using this site! Currently we are just outside the top 20 on this site.  
You are able to vote DAILY on this site! We are currently ranked # 2 on this

No comments:

Post a Comment