Woodlore — School of Wilderness Bushcraft  


Winter Bushcraft in the Northern Forest with Ray Mears

Arctic Skills in Finland

Join Ray Mears and Woodlore on a magical journey into the very heart of the Finnish winter. Based within the Arctic Circle, the home of Sami culture, this winter wonderland provides us with every opportunity to learn the essential skills needed for travel in the northern forest. From the warmth and succour of our comfortable accommodation we will travel out into the frozen landscape to spend nights under the dark, star filled skies, drinking in the silence and, with luck, sleeping beneath the profoundly beautiful glow of the Northern lights; an experience that will stay in your heart for a lifetime.

Further Information

Around the northern hemisphere is a vast forest – the Taiga. An almost continual belt from North America to Eurasia, this vast forest is the single largest community of trees and associated animals – or 'biome' - on the planet. Comprising a mix of pine, spruce and birch and populated by lynx, wolf, bear, wolverine and reindeer, it is an awe inspiring wilderness and a truly magical place to learn the art of Arctic Bushcraft.

During your stay, you will have the opportunity to learn the fundamental skills of winter travel from Ray, allowing you to experience this environment in the deepest way. Erecting and sleeping in a variety of shelters designed to be used in a range of situations, from emergencies to expeditions, you will learn to live in a place that initially seems foreboding. Temperatures can drop as low as -40°C and sometimes lower, yet for those who hold the skills and knowledge, this is an environment to embrace. Learning these skills from one of the true masters of the north and with good food, great company and the comfort of knowing that there is safety and hospitality at the heart of the camp, you can push your boundaries and experience this magical environment in all its awe inspiring beauty.

We will travel through forest and over plane, crossing rivers and lakes on snow shoes and snow mobiles, learning how to move through deep snow and what to do when we encounter difficulties. We will fish through the ice, make bread on our stoves and in turn learn to call this vast forest 'home'; just as its native inhabitants have done for generations.

Of course, as in true Woodlore style there will be surprises, ensuring that you leave this wonderland with memories to treasure forever, and with the confidence to return to this beautiful environment in your own time.

All meals will be provided on this trip along with specialist equipment such as snow shoes, skis and snow mobiles. An extensive kit list and full joining instruction paperwork will be sent to you in time for you to make your travel arrangements and preparations for the trip.

Dates, Costs and Bookings

Please select a course date Please ensure that you read our Terms & Conditions prior to booking your place.

  2025 Dates - Winter Bushcraft in the Northern Forest with Ray Mears

- (15 places) • £4995.00

Course Videos

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Course Reviews

Winter Bushcraft in the Northern Forest with Ray Mears is rated 5/5 based on 3 customer reviews.

All of our reviews are from people who have attended our courses.

Overall Rating:


  1 of 3

  A simply wonderful experience which I am still basking in the afterglow of over a month after having returned home. Thank you team Woodlore for the amazing time I had and the knowledge I took away. I saved up for a few years before deciding to commit myself to attending this course and I am pleased to say it was worth every single penny. I was somewhat concerned in the run up to the start of the course about my lack of bush crafting prowess and winter skills but this proved unfounded as I never felt in over my head. I learnt a hell of a lot in the 10 days and feel I will be able to use this as a strong starting point to develop more for the future and get out and explore more in a safe and efficient manner. I realised quickly that you really don’t want to be making avoidable mistakes when it is very cold as things could spiral out of hand quickly, but the course started with how to spot signs of frostbite and other potential cold hazards so luckily no mishaps! The course structure and the whole team of instructors were able to impart such a wealth of knowledge in an easily digestible fashion with an excellent pedagogical approach. Engaging and captivating each and every one. I enjoyed watching demonstrations of techniques used and tips and tricks to allow one to safely navigate and thrive in a northern environment as well as being able to ask questions and request clarification. It was a great learning environment and one I benefited from immensely. The fun really began when we participants were let off the leash to put into practice what we had been taught. Demonstrate, do, reflect would be how I would describe it. It is all well and good to read about how one should do something but to have it demonstrated and then actually do it yourself allows for that knowledge to sink in that much more permanently. The things I enjoyed doing the most were learning to travel on cross country / back country skis and constructing snow shelters / quinzees. I enjoyed the team work and effort involved and feel extremely grateful to have been surrounded by a really fantastic bunch of individuals. I am so very grateful that I bought the recommended Nokian Naali winter wellies because they allowed a very good fit to the Finnish military ski bindings as well as keeping my feet toasty when the mercury dropped. This really allowed me to embrace the joy of travelling on skis even if I did end up on my derriere more times than I can count. The base for the course was delightful and the food provided exactly what I needed so that I never felt hungry nor depleted. Breakfasts were something which I looked forward to most. In hindsight I wish I had read Ray Mears and Lars Fält‘s book Out on the land BEFORE arriving in Finland because there were many many things which I could have practiced in the comfort of my house (knots!) rather than trying to learn first time and tie with gloves on at minus 20 degrees centigrade.  


Rated: 5/5

  2 of 3

  What you will learn will inspire your future and enable you to overcome any challenge. If you haven't already booked you have no idea what you're missing. The days are full of practical arctic living lessons, Finnish skiing, shelter building, fishing, snowmobile techniques, finishing with living in hot tents . Evenings develop the practical skills with theory lessons on a range of topics inc equipment and how to operate in Arctic conditions. The course is based from a basic but comfortable lodge with excellent food providing over the six thousand calories per day that you will need to meet the course demands. We spent a number of nights sleeping out in various configurations and temperatures as low as -37 c. We saw the Northern Lights most nights and the scenery is stunning. One of the benefits of this course is that you learn to understand the mental attitude, approach and how you can be comfortable in what can be a harsh environment. One lesson is that you come to understand the significance of the phrase 'the colder it gets the fewer mistakes you can make'. You end this course with the theory practical skills, confidence and understanding to tackle any challenge you might face in any environment or walk of life. It's a real team effort from all the Woodlore team that make it such a success. They make it run so smoothly and pack so much in. What you don't see is the effort and long nights they spend planning, preparing and adapting to changes. Last time I was in the Arctic with Ray was 2005 in Sweden and wouldn't hesitate to go back again.  


Rated: 5/5

  3 of 3

  Having just returned from the Winter Bushcraft course in Northern Finland, I have to say what a wonderful experience I found it to be. Ray and his team have a wealth of knowledge and experience in this environment and the course provides a unique opportunity to tap into that well of information, all you need to do is listen and apply yourself. The course can be physically demanding at times, especially if you’re not very fit like me, but ultimately it is a rewarding experience that stretches beyond the immediate purpose of providing a baseline of skills for living and working in the Boreal forest in winter. Highly recommended and thank you Ray, Ruth, David and Steve.  


Rated: 5/5

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