TL;DR: Bush-crafting - on topic? - tag?

This question goes hand in hand with the one I just asked about the on-topicness of filtering and carbon usage. I thought of this question while finishing up that one, and I think this might be a good discussion to have first, or at least in unison.

I just looked for and did not see a bush-crafting tag. I thought that might help with some of the issues I mentioned in my other meta question. Is there a related tag?

In my (very opinionated) mind, what some people call "bush-crafting" is one of the most TGO-ish activities there is, leaving behind what everyone else considers normal and becoming one with the outdoors rather than merely bringing the comforts of home to trek through it.

I have noticed a lot of survival questions which I think would be useful even in non-survival situations. In fact, the "air filter mask" question that prompted the above-linked meta question has no survival tag, and I almost suggested adding it until I thought "Nah, it's not survival-only." But it would fit this proposed topic well.

Making charcoal is one thing I thought would go well there, as most people don't bother making it (as far as I know) unless they are in a bush-crafting mindset.

The possibility of making reasonably good activated charcoal would fit it even better, though I'm still researching that one myself to see how feasible that is in the wild.

A lot of other questions we already have would go well in a bush-crafting tag. However, many of those questions are already labeled as survival. And bush-crafting encroaches a lot on survival, and where one ends and the other begins is a matter of opinion, so I'm not married to this idea.

As an alternative, can we be lax on the interpretation of survival and shove anything into it that is tangential to survival or which involves bush-crafting (within reason)?

Maybe there is no real distinction though. One person's tent camping is another person's survival, and one person's cabin-renting is another person's camping. It's all in the eye of the beholder. Still, I think that bush-crafting is something that too many people on TGO shy from and discount (my evidence is all of the "but that would violate leave no trace!" comments on posts which said nothing about leave no trace), but which many people are very interested in (as evidenced by the questions, and by pop culture [ie: all the TV shows and YouTube videos about it]).

Am I making something out of nothing? If not, what do you think about the on-topic-ness, and even the possibility of a tag for, bush-crafting type skills?

If you are for it, then suggesting an alternate term should also be part of the discussion. Different people use different terms for this topic, and I'm not sure if the average Joe would think to look it up under that name.

  • Can you at least attempt a crude definition of "bush-crafting"? And how it relates to camping and survival. I have no idea, so after reading your long question all i can say is, no because it has no meaning.
    – Martin F
    Sep 6, 2018 at 16:37
  • @MartinF In response to ab2's answer, I put up a self-answered Q last night titled "What is bushcrafting?" here: outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/20403/what-is-bushcrafting
    – Loduwijk
    Sep 6, 2018 at 17:32
  • @MartinF Crude definition: crafting stuff from "the bush", where "the bush" is used to mean "from the wild". It overlaps with what some non-bushcrafters think of as "extreme camping" or "wilderness survival." "primitive skills" is also commonly used. A decent bushcrafter can go out into the wilderness with less, stay longer, and might come out with more tools than they went in with. Common items left behind because they can reasonably be crafted/gathered in the wild: knife, paracord, stakes, food, water, fire-starters.
    – Loduwijk
    Sep 6, 2018 at 17:39
  • Also, I don't care if some other term is used for a potential tag. Anything which relates to "going out into nature and living as one with it and by it". primitive skills is one term commonly used by the hardcore ones who have YouTube videos of themselves going out with no tools and building up to the point they have a fully functioning home stocked with tools in the middle of the wilderness. Some such YouTube channels: "Primitive Technology" (the most famous and probably the best), "Survival Skills Primitive", and other names with "Primitive" in them.
    – Loduwijk
    Sep 6, 2018 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


This question seems to have fallen through a crack.

My reaction to this sort of question (Is X on-topic?)is "Why not? Throw out a question and see what happens." That is, unless the topic is patently off-topic, such as outdoor tennis.

A trial question has to be carefully thought out and the asker has to have patience and a thick skin. You experimented with boating, and had problems.

My suggestion for introductory bushcraft questions are to ask how bushcraft and survivalist techniques differ and how bushcraft and minimalist equipment differ. That would establish a base-line. I looked at a few bushcraft articles, and the pictures of equipment laid out on the ground sure doesn't look minimalist. Also, might ask how bushcraft jibes with Leave No Trace. That large axe in the pictures raises that point.

  • Thanks for the input. I'm not going to bother touching the boating thing here anymore (the Qs or the meta discussion) - I was annoyed by how it went, though on further reflection I decided that SE isn't a good medium for certain questions (but the problem is that the asker can't always know ahead of time; so it could seem like a perfect question and it doesn't work because it requires discussion the asker didn't know was necessary). Back on topic to this bush-craft thing though... bush-crafting can be minimalist (some go into the forest with literally nothing but their clothes), but many ...
    – Loduwijk
    Sep 5, 2018 at 14:59
  • I had left a bunch of comments before, but I deleted most as I just posted a self-answered "What is bushcrafting?" question since it seemed the most appropriate next step here. outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/20403/what-is-bushcrafting
    – Loduwijk
    Sep 5, 2018 at 18:20
  • This now begs the question of what that question should have been tagged. I did foraging since that was the only related thing I found after a couple minutes, but I'm not sure that is appropriate.
    – Loduwijk
    Sep 5, 2018 at 18:21
  • I have now done a Q&A for the specific question you posited: outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/20405/…
    – Loduwijk
    Sep 5, 2018 at 19:31
  • Aaron and ab2, I really like the way you guys worked together on this project! Polite and helpful give and take turned into some well-written posts, especially the long self-answering, and LNT was a good idea because it's something we value on the site. I admit I haven't read the bushcrafting definition, and am not sure whether or not it should have a separate tag, so I can't help with that part. I do love tags, though, but I'll leave that to the experts! Sep 6, 2018 at 5:44

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