Frequently Asked Questions
This is a good place to start if you have questions about our courses.
Other important sources of information are the individual Course Pages, and the Booking menu
Where are the courses held?
We run courses in the Highlands of Scotland as well as in Sussex in the South of England.
What times do courses start and finish?
Most day courses start at 09.00 and finish at 17.00, during the shorter winter days we often finish closer to 16.00. Multi-day courses usually start at 19.00 on the first day and finish at 16.00 on the last day. Please also be aware that some courses have different start and finish times so you should check the course description and/or supplementary information in emails from us. Also be aware that some flexibility on timing is necessary when working in an outdoor environment.
Can the bushcraft site be reached by public transport?
Not directly - please see details of the nearest railway stations below. If you need a lift, please get in touch, we may be able to arrange car sharing with other participants coming from your direction or passing a station.
How far is the site from the car park area?
This depends on the site, but usually cars are parked about a 20 minute walk away from the bushcraft camp - we encourage people to take their kit with them rather than returning to the car.
What kit should I bring?
Please see the course description for a link to the relevant kit list.
What food do you suggest I bring and how can I prepare it?
On most day courses, sandwiches are the most practical. For overnight courses we recommend simple ingredients that you can prepare on the fire (or alternatively a camping stove) - for example, dried foods like porridge oats, lentils, rice, flour, salt, dried fruits, and a few fresh items like vegetables, free range eggs and fish/meat. We can show you some simple recipes and how to cook them on the fire - the ideal pot would be a billy can with a hanging handle but we can manage a simple mess tin, or indeed without one! When you prepare food in this way you will certainly learn more and enjoy the experience more than with boil-in-the-bag type foods, though some people find ready foods more convenient.
Is food provided on courses?
Many of our courses are self-catering, but check on the course description.
Can I bring alcohol?
No - this is strictly forbidden on the grounds of Health and Safety, and Insurance - please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.
Do you cater for vegetarians or people with special diets?
As mentioned above, most courses are self-catering - for those courses providing food we will try to cater for special diets if we are told in advance, alternatively you may bring suitable ingredients. For the Survival Weekend, meat, fish and its preparation and cooking are a key part of the weekend - we can provide food for vegetarians/vegans but they need to be aware of the nature of the course. All meat and animal products provided on Wildwood Bushcraft courses are from local, free range and/or organic sources wherever possible.
What are the toilet facilities like?
On most courses we have a pit latrine set up a short walk away from the main camp. This is basically a hole in the ground (sometimes even with a wooden seat!) and a screen for privacy. There is washing water and soap at the camp. Toilet paper (provided) and sanitary waste must be disposed within a bin bag and burnt after the course. Don't be put off - most people like the latrine set up and find it is not smelly! On some courses in remote area and canoe expeditions we ask clients to dig their own latrine hole. with guidance on how to do this with minimal impact.
What is the difference between a "Bushcraft Weekend" and a "Survival Weekend"?
The Bushcraft Weekend (BW) is a gentler introduction to learning bushcraft techniques while enjoying the relative comfort of a tent/hammock and your own food. You are, however, free to stay in leaf shelters if you wish. The Survival Weekend (SW) is a more challenging experience suited to an adventurous beginner or intermediate bushcrafter. It is a relatively realistic survival experience with a safety net of teaching and support. No tents or tarps are allowed - you will live in leaf shelters for the whole weekend, collect and prepare much of your water, and live off basic rations, prepare game (provided) and forage for edible plants. The SW is about actually learning and applying the techniques to sustain yourself at the same time. Because of this it makes for a full day often from 8 AM to 8 PM on the Saturday. The BW, however, is run on more of a 9 to 5 basis. The BW does not include any game preparation, information on trapping, or foraging, though edible plants will be identified. The BW includes knots used for tarps whereas the SW does not. For a list of differences in content have a look at the table below:
Do I need to bring a tent on overnight courses?
On most overnight courses tents or tarps are allowed, but not on a Survival courses. Even on other courses tents or tarps are not essential, as you can stay in a leaf shelter - several such shelters are in place. If sleeping in a leaf shelter, a gortex bivvy bag (see next question) or army poncho is recommended in case of leaks.
What is a "bivvy bag" and do I need to bring one?
A bivvy bag is a large gortex bag that usually goes over your sleeping bag - it is water-proof and breathable. It is an optional part of the kit list - you don't need it if you are staying in a tent but may do if in a tarp or leaf shelter - in theory if you build your shelter well you should not need it, but in practice it can be handy in providing extra warmth and water-proofing. A bivvy bag can usually be hired from us for £10 or bought for around £30-40 (available from Army surplus stores and on the web). Alternatively a nylon army poncho can act as a water-proof cover or shelter and costs about £20 - it can also be used as a poncho! Plastic survival bags are really just that - they are not ideal to sleep in as they do not breathe and so your bag will get wet from the inside!
How do I order a gift voucher?
You can order a voucher for any of our courses via the website from the course page you are interested in. You can choose to receive the voucher by email or we'll put a printed gift-pack in the post for an extra £5. Gift vouchers are redeemable for their equivalent value towards any course, and are valid for 18 months from the date of issue.
What happens if a course gets cancelled or if I cancel the date I have booked?
Please see the Terms and Conditions under Cancellation.
Is it necessary to have any bushcraft experience?
Most of our courses are suitable for beginners, but also for people with some bushcraft experience. Only some advanced courses such as the Four Seasons courses require you to have some bushcraft experience, as we do not go over basic skills on these courses, we build on them. If experience is required for a particular course it will be mentioned in the course description.
What are the age limits for courses?
On a family course, the lower age limit is usually 8 years (though if you have a younger child who you don't want to leave out contact us to discuss).
Will the course be cancelled in bad weather?
It is unlikely that we would cancel a course due to bad weather, as adapting to conditions is an integral part of bushcraft survival. However, we would cancel if, in our judgement, weather conditions seriously threatened safety. Such conditions might include heavy snow affecting travel, or very high winds. In such circumstances we would endeavour to contact participants by phone on the day or beforehand.
Can we go off site or leave the course then return?
Unless people have agreed with us that they are staying in alternative accommodation off site, we prefer that participants do not leave the group during a course (especially on survival courses). Sometimes this may be necessary, but it is essential that you let the instructor know before you go anywhere out of range of the group (i.e. out of sight and earshot). This is for obvious safety and group management reasons.