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.

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

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

Please select a course date from the list shown below to see costs, locations and course sizes. Please ensure that you read our Terms & Conditions prior to booking your place.

  2021 Dates - Fundamental Bushcraft

- (Fully Booked) • £650.00

- (Fully Booked) • £650.00

Course Reviews

Fundamental Bushcraft is rated 5/5 based on 68 customer reviews.

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

Overall Rating:


  1 of 68

  We've just got back from the fundamental bushcraft course and apart from the fact that it had to end :-( the course was absolutely fantastic. All too often instructors are underskilled and/or jaded but Dave, Nick and Wayne were just amazing. We both really appreciated their approach to teaching which was really thoughtful, well structured, enthusiastic and non-patronising. We were very impressed by the pace and progression that was built into the course which allowed a lot of content to be covered with just enough time to practice whilst never feeling rushed. We've done a fair bit of 'outdoor stuff' over the years including cycling to China from the UK, climbing, hiking, sailing etc and we came on this course because we have become increasingly obsessed with just how utterly disabled/disconnected from reality 'modern life' has made most of us. I've come away from the course with a feeling that I've got even more to learn than when I started...which is inspiring. It was also just fantastic (if rather nerve wracking) to have a camp inspection by Ray!  


Rated: 5/5

  2 of 68

  Many thanks to the Woodlore Team for the Fundamental Bushcraft course my son Pierre attended last week. Pierre was delighted by the course. He said that the instructors not only obviously love what they do, but also obviously love teaching their skills ... and I agree, having attended courses in the past years! Thanks again  


Rated: 5/5

  3 of 68

  Dear Woodlore Team, what a fantastic week I've had on the course. I feel like I've learned so much in a week of graft and good humour. Dave, Wayne and Nick were total professionals throughout and created a real atmosphere for learning. They clearly knew their stuff and were approachable and patient with everyone. Rays visits and wisdom were the cherry on the cake. I would definitely recommend Woodlore to anyone interested in learning these skills. Thanks again  


Rated: 5/5

  4 of 68

  I attended a Fundamental Bushcraft Course last week and just wanted to say a huge thank you to all the team for their guidance, support and enthusiasm. A real credit to Woodlore and themselves!! Can you please pass on mine and my brother's thanks especially to Nick, who I know helped Matt out a great deal when he was having a bit of a difficult time. Unfortunately we didn't get the chance to say thank you & goodbye to him in person on Saturday. It's a bit weird being back at work in the real world today, but we've got some great new skills and memories to take forward with us. Thanks again  


Rated: 5/5

  5 of 68

  Held in a beautiful private estate with a well run main camp, the course was well set up to engender the feel of an expedition. All the activities were achievable with the requisite determination and help of the teaching staff who were always friendly and approachable. The food was excellent and varied and the course is a definite step up from trying to glean info from books, my only regret is not taking more notes and photos!  


Rated: 5/5

  6 of 68

  I attended the June 2017 Fundamental Bushcraft Course. I had intended to do this review after the course, when all was fresh in my mind, but just got too busy. I am now preparing to attend another course with Ray Mears Bushcraft, so I feel I should offer some insight to folks possibly considering attending a Woodlore Course. Since I am a military service member, I will do this in a simple AAR (after action review) Sustain and Improve format. 5W’s (Who, What, Where, When, Why): Who - Myself What - Attend Ray Mears Fundamental Bushcraft Course Where - SE England, near Tunbridge Wells, UK When - June, 2017 Why - To improve my outdoor skills and learn from professionals in the Bushcraft field SUSTAIN: 1. Quality of instruction- I cannot tell you how pleased I was with the instructors. Humble, knowledgeable and extremely patient. They were parents, guides, teachers, nurses, saviors and Chefs all in one. Tom, Sarah and Wayne are all supremely qualified in their own ways, but all with the working knowledge as Fundamental Bushcraft instructors (which I now know to be a difficult and time intensive process with R.M.). I have met many instructors in my military career and even rated many of those, but I would put them in the top 10% of all I have dealt with. As an instructor myself, I spent some time with each of them in the evening discussing the art of instruction, and due to a couple of issues with students, how to deal with these issues. Professionals to the core, to me they are the best part of a Woodlore Course. They rotate instruction of various classes, but are all there to assist the students once you move into the hands on phase of each class. 2. Location - The location is amazing. You would never know you are in busy SE England. Only the occasional sound of a car or plane (a wonderful flyover of a Spitfire!) was even heard during the week, and mostly when we were on the periphery of the property. You will experience so many micro climates (that may not be the right term) you will not believe possible in just a few hundred acres. The terrain is diverse, hilly, and challenging. You will be amazed. You will see lots of wildlife and probably have them visit you in the night (had a Badger wonder up to me to say hello).  


Rated: 4/5

  7 of 68

  Steve, Dave and Tom delivered such a massive amount of information in a brilliantly delivered fashion, easy to understand, challenging, but rewarding as well. To come and do this course was one of the best decisions I've made in years, it gives you a better perspective of the world around you, and how much there still is to learn along the bushcraft path. Doing this has given me drive to want to learn more, and develop the skills I was taught so well on the course. Everything provided in terms of equipment was in perfect condition, the camp was well managed, the food available was great, (I felt better for it at the end of the week!) and the rest of the crowd on the course where good fun to share the experience with, all from different walks of life, with a genuine desire to be a part of what we were all experiencing. The estate is beautiful, with the wildlife that can be seen, and such a diverse range of trees and plants for us to learn about. All of the sites we bivvied at were great, and I had some of the most peaceful nights' sleep in a long time out in those woods. Thank you to Steve, Dave, Tom, the rest of the Woodlore team, and Ray for making such a great experience available to all, and inspiring me to begin my journey along the bushcraft path.  


Rated: 5/5

  8 of 68

  I attended the Bushcraft course last week and just wanted to thank you all for one of the most fantastic weeks that I have spent with other people. I have blisters on my 'knife hand', a swollen knee, smoky clothes and a song in my heart! Almost every moment of the week was full of information and opportunities to practically learn sustainable skills. The instructors were not only knowledgeable and passionate about their subject, but also skilled in group dynamics and guided us to form a supportive team that allowed us to learn and have a great deal of fun. Their style promoted hard work but was tinged with good humour and they were always prepared to explain again and again and to help whenever it was needed. My D of E colleagues have teased me for years about having Ray Mears as a hero and yet being the only one among us who has not had the opportunity to meet him. They decided that the epitaph on my gravestone would be 'the only person not to have met Ray Mears'! I was so chuffed to put that right on an incredibly wet and windy dark end to day one of our 'expedition'. It was pure magic and I won't forget that evening! It was amazing that Mr Mears would put himself out to visit us in such wet conditions and I would like to thank him very much. If it is possible, please thank Keith, Dave and Nick for their generosity in sharing their philosophy and love for the environment through which we journeyed together. I hoped so much to be able to light a fire with a bow drill, having tried for years from reading books, and I really appreciated their delight in my success. Please tell Keith that my spoon is now complete and that I love it! Thank you again for all your help to enable this to happen.  


Rated: 5/5

  9 of 68

  Just a short note to thank all of your team for an excellent Fundamental Bushcraft Course which was run from the 30th July until the 5th August. My son, Matthew, and I attended the above course and it proved to be all that was promised in the literature and much, much more. The leaders of the course Keith, Dave and Nick were excellent in presenting material and encouraging everyone to get involved in an experiential way — they showed us what to do and how to do and then let us ‘do it for ourselves’. The way the course was run, the content of the course and the friendliness of your staff made this an experience we will not forget and I’m sure we will be ‘out in the woods’ again in the near future. I know I speak for Matthew and myself in saying that the ‘test’ of knowledge gained during the course on the Saturday morning was an excellent way to reinforce what we had learned. All in all it was a great experience which Keith, Dave and Nick led in an excellent manner — can you please pass on our thanks to them. We will be back for more Woodlore in the near future.  


Rated: 5/5

  10 of 68

  A life changing experience for me. I learned so much, not only from the friendly expert instructors, but also from the other course participants. I felt supported and encouraged even though I struggled and was often one of the slowest to complete tasks. I loved every minute of it, and I took away so much more besides the obvious practical skills learned. Highly recommended for anyone with even the slightest curiosity about bushcraft!  


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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