Woodlore — School of Wilderness Bushcraft  


Fundamental Bushcraft

The Initiation

An inspirational journey through the fundamental skills of bushcraft, this course provides a broad and solid foundation of practical skill and knowledge upon which you can build and develop. It is an ideal place to begin your journey with Woodlore and is a challenging and immensely rewarding week regardless of previous experience.

Each skill has been hand picked and included in our syllabus based on its value and practicality for wilderness travel. instructors will expertly explain, demonstrate and guide you through a week of intense learning designed to prepare, challenge and inspire in equal measure.

Further Information

Open your eyes and step into the incredible possibilities of the natural world through the art of Bushcraft: your key to experiencing your time in the outdoors in a more fulfilling and practical way. The Fundamental Bushcraft course will change the way that you look at the world forever and equip you with a firm foundation of practical skills to use in the farthest corners of the world or on your own front doorstep.

Our syllabus has been honed over many years to introduce the widest range of skills and your days will be filled with hard work, discovery and the satisfaction of achievement and learning. Each skill is carefully explained and expertly demonstrated before you practice the technique for yourself. As new skills are acquired, you will be encouraged to apply them as we build upon what you have learned, increasing both the pace and level of challenge. The end result is self- reliance, closeness to nature and improved self-confidence in the outdoors. If you are interested in attending a shorter 2-day course please take a look at the Introduction to Bushcraft courses.

By the end of the week, a tight knit group will have been formed and lasting friendships forged by the warmth of the campfire. The final day provides a buzz of excitement as you are all given the opportunity to demonstrate your new skills and understanding in a test that is the gateway to the Journeyman course.

Challenging, thrilling and satisfying in equal measure, the Woodlore Fundamental Bushcraft course is conducted entirely outdoors in a friendly campfire atmosphere and will go ahead in all weather. No previous experience is necessary, but a reasonable level of fitness is required. You will be required to bring a tent with you to sleep in and will also have the opportunity to sleep under a loaned tarp and in a natural shelter.

The skills that will be taught during this course include:

  • Firelighting, including by friction
  • Shelter Construction
  • Water Collection & Purification
  • Plants for food & medicine
  • Natural Cordage
  • Hunting & Trapping
  • Wilderness Fishing Techniques
  • Safe use of Cutting Tools
  • Looking after the land and leaving no trace
  • Backcountry Hygiene
  • Outdoor Safety
  • Natural Navigation

Please note this course is also being run in Perthshire, Scotland.

This course starts at 17:30 on Sunday and will finish at 16:00 on Saturday.


All meals for this course will be provided. You will not live from the land during this course although one meal will be of wild food. For the rest of the time normal meals will be provided, allowing each student the opportunity to do some backcountry cooking, therefore if you have special dietary requirements please let us know on your consent form or contact the office.

Course Site

The Fundamental Bushcraft course will take place at an expedition style camp in East Sussex, close to Tunbridge Wells. The camp is situated in beautiful private woodland with no public access with lots of wildlife including deer, owls, badgers, fox and butterflies. We do not have shower/toilet blocks at our sites, therefore all aspects of the course will have a fantastic wilderness feel, using a screened camp shower and a screened latrine in the woods.

We have a car park at the course site where you your car will be kept during the course (if you bring one).

Other Details

Joining instructions will be sent to participants of the course 9 weeks before it is due to start, giving details of where to meet, at what time, and what to bring with you.

Once you have passed the Fundamental Bushcraft course you are able to attend the Journeyman course.

Dates, Costs and Bookings

  This particular course has already taken place and there are no other dates currently available. Please sign up to our mailing list for future course updates.

Course Reviews

Fundamental Bushcraft is rated 5/5 based on 80 customer reviews.

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

Overall Rating:


  1 of 80

  Fantastic course with great leadership. Although the course is tough and very fast paced, we learnt so many new skills to practice and use in the future. Amazing seeing clear water in our Gypsy well. Lots of practice now for the Journeyman. Many thanks to the whole Woodlore team  


Rated: 5/5

  2 of 80

  I've just completed my Fundamental Bushcraft course with Woodlore. It was a very well structured, planned, and carried out training. Wayne, Dee and James were excellent instructors. They were always patient, clear, enthusiastic and encouraging. The whole week was very practical and intense. Everyday I had many opportunities to learn and apply new skills. Ray Mears visited us twice and shared his knowledge and experience which made the course even better : ) I now have much more confidence in doing multi-day expeditions in nature. I recommend it to all nature lovers who are ready to leave their comfort zones, and explore their potential. One of the best courses I have ever attended (and I have attended many!) Thank you dear Wayne, James, Dee and Ray.  


Rated: 5/5

  3 of 80

  I have just returned from the August Fundamental Bushcraft training 2023 and I feel like a changed person for the better. It's like the course has imbedded a stronger sense of self-worth and confidence. I'd like to thank the wonderful team of Instructors, Wayne, Dee and James. Their enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge of Bushcraft was and is inspiring me to learn more after the course, helping me to practice my new skills and build on them, making them a part of my life and way of thinking. I am also looking into further courses for next year. Thank you to all three of you.  


Rated: 5/5

  4 of 80

  An amazing, intense, course that I can’t recommend enough. Learning new skills outside while getting to know some lovely people over a campfire is a week fantastically spent. I learnt so much about bushcraft that I see forests totally differently now and am excited—and confident in myself—to go on some solo camping trips. I would like maybe some more foraging on the course, but it would be hard to make the time with all the other things we learn. The Woodlore team are wonderful and help you to push yourself in a very patient and kind way, as well as being passionate and knowledgeable in the subject. I can’t wait to do the journeyman course next year. Thanks a lot Brian, Callum, and Dee, who all made my week. And thanks to Ray for teaching us to cook salmon over a fire and letting me play with his dog.  


Rated: 5/5

  5 of 80

  Knowledgeable instructors, nice location, full on schedule, a good course for a complete beginner. However, I felt the attitude from the instructors was “it's Ray’s way or no way”. Generally I have found Woodlore and its staff to be pretentious.  


Rated: 3/5

Woodlore's Reply - 14th July, 2022
Dear S, Thank you for your feedback and kind words about the Fundamental Bushcraft course. We are very sorry to hear that you felt that our instructors were exclusively using Ray’s methods during the week. As you have mentioned, the schedule is full on, and the team work very hard to ensure that all the topics are covered. Sadly there is minimal time to discuss the many ways of carrying out each task and we have to ensure that our clients have enough time to learn and practise these essential skills as many wish to progress to the next level of the Journeyman course. For their own safety on this advanced course, it is paramount that the Fundamental Bushcraft course syllabus is covered in full. We do appreciate that your aim was not to participate in the final test day to progress with further courses, but for many this was the case. It is very disappointing to hear Woodlore and its staff described as pretentious. We pride ourselves in being inclusive for everyone and having a down to earth and approachable team teaching our courses. We are very sorry that you felt that way and appreciate hearing your point of view. With best wishes

  6 of 80

  Very enjoyable and well planned course. Steve, Brian and James passed on some valuable skills to spend multiple days out in the woods in comfort. The attention to detail is everything and without the guidance of an experienced eye correcting as you learn you may not even notice your errors. Highly recommend whether you spend lots of time outdoors or not.  


Rated: 5/5

  7 of 80

  A great week. Demanding and with very little free time but jam packed full of instruction. The three instructors were clearly incredibly experienced and able to demonstrate skills we were trying to learn in sufficient detail and with a level of humour or pace that maintained our attention. I was impressed too with the level of organisation between the instructors. Perhaps a little more time to practice some of the skills would be the only slight criticism but this would have to be at the sacrifice of another activity. Overall an intense and very rewarding week which I’d certainly recommend.  


Rated: 5/5

  8 of 80

  This was a great experience. I learned a lot: we covered a lot. However this did mean that it was a bit intense for me. We normally started at 8:30 and didn’t finish until 7pm or even later (after which you often need to cook, wash etc). If you are really into this kind of thing (surviving in the wild, bushcraft, expeditions) and want to learn as much as possible then I think you might really appreciate it though. The location was beautiful, the staff were generally good and some were great, and they really want you to learn what they’re teaching you. A great experience, and some day the things I learnt might come in handy, or even save my life. I certainly feel more confident about going into the wild now. Thanks everyone.  


Rated: 4/5

  9 of 80

  Fantastic experience well worth it. Granted it was a bit harder than I expected and a bit more demanding but awesome. The team was smashing and very helpful and I learned a lot of things. Now every time I walk through the woods/forest I look and see things differently. I loved it that much I've booked up the Journeyman course so if you are into this sort of thing give it a go. You can't go wrong.  


Rated: 5/5

  10 of 80

  A really good course covering a wide variety of topics in depth, on our course we did everything from carving our own spoon to making a snare. Thanks to our instructors Steve, Callum, and James who proved endlessly knowledgeable.  


Rated: 5/5

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about this course can be found here. If you have a question about this course, please contact us.

Will food be provided on the Fundamental Bushcraft course?
Can I bring my dog with me?
Will there be showers and toilets available?
The weather forecast isn’t looking good for the week ahead, will the course still take place?

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