journal / The Edit

Enriching Outdoor Experiences, Natural Navigation, Wilderness Knowledge

Our regular mail-out of inspiration.

I am obsessed with books. As a graphic designer by trade, I appreciate them not just for their content but also as beautiful objects in and of themselves. The books I have chosen to include in The Edit aim to help people feel comfortable in the woods and give them insight into bushcraft. These are my favourite few, and they have armed me with a lot of knowledge over the years.

I hope this list helps anybody wanting to find their way in the outdoors. Trying to figure it out, or knowing even where to start, can be a daunting process indeed. But with the right attitude, knowledge and experience, anybody can get out there and start fully immersing themselves in nature's playground. Happy camping folks! And remember… you can pack as much gear as you like but knowledge weighs nothing.

What I'm Reading


Food For Free

by Richard Mabey

I recommend getting the large, hardback version of this book rather than the pocket guide. The book is rich with beautiful photography and recipes, and it is the bible for anybody wanting to learn how to forage for wild foods. I go back to this book again and again for cooking advice and for identification purposes. Understanding fungi, plants and other flora in your environment will enrich your experience outdoors tenfold, I guarantee it.

The Walkers Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs

by Tristan Gooley

This book is fantastic for anybody who wants to understand the language of nature and how to use it to determine their direction. It addresses questions such as "why do things grow the way they do?", "where are plants and wildlife found?", and "how can forests, the wind and the stars help guide us through the landscape?", making for a fascinating guide for any outdoorsperson. Like with Food for Free, the knowledge gleaned from this book and the way it can shape the way you see the world around you can make outdoor experiences all the more enjoyable!

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Image by Jody Daunton for Finding Home Outdoors feature in The Belonging Volume.

The 10 Bushcraft Books

by Richard Graves

Originally ten separate field manuals, this collection has since been compiled into one useful manual. An Irish-born Australian novelist, Graves spent his formative years fighting in both World Wars before opening a bushcraft school in Australia, which he ran for 20 years. I would consider this book to be essential reading, providing practically any piece of knowledge one might need outdoors. Everything from crafting camp tools, to learning knots and lashings, fishing and trapping techniques and cooking – if you need to know it, you will find it in here.

Walden

by Henry David Thoreau

This modern classic follows the pursuits of Thoreau in the mid-1800s. His rejection of modern society in exchange for a simple life of self-sufficiency and isolation is a fascinating read. It made me question my values in life and what I consider to be important or worthwhile efforts. A must-read for any outdoorsperson in search of a more simple way of living.

Online Learning

MCQ Bushcraft

I discovered MCQ at the very beginning of my bushcraft journey, and I owe a huge amount to this Youtube channel in sparking my interest in bushcraft. Mike, a British outdoorsman, delivers his videos with excellent and knowledgeable clarity while keeping everything relaxed and chilled. His Bushcraft Basics video collection is absolutely essential watching for anyone wondering where to begin with bushcraft.

Check it out now

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Image by Jody Daunton for Finding Home Outdoors feature in The Belonging Volume.

What I'm Using

Morakniv Spoon Carving knife

One of the first things people ask when they decide to get into bushcraft is “what gear do I need?” It can be very easy to get sucked into the trap of purchasing loads of expensive tools and equipment. However, the more experienced you become in the outdoors, the less kit you need. I have spent years refining my kit, and for sure, there are some essentials, such as your belt knife and a decent sleeping bag. But my spoon carving knife is one of the items that brings me the most joy outdoors, despite not being “essential”.

Spoon carving is a discipline I got into a couple of years ago, and now I carve a spoon every month or two. It’s a fantastic pastime, not just around a campfire but at home too. As well as the meditative qualities of the art, it also teaches you axe and knife techniques, tree identification skills and a deeper understanding of how wood behaves. Morakniv make seriously high-quality tools with a small price tag. The hours I have passed with one of these little tools makes it priceless to me.

Guest edited by Padraig Croke
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