When I was a kid playing in the woods, all you needed was a pocket knife and a bit of string. Which allowed me to whittle pieces of wood, slice apples found on our travels and the string meant we could make a bow to play Robin Hood or build a simple shelter (Or den as we called them). And if you were lucky enough to find a match (yes, just one) we had fire too !
Nowadays, with the invention of the trendy word "Bushcraft", it has opened a whole new stream of must have kit, required when venturing any further than the end of your driveway.
Pocket knife, bushcraft knife, spoon carving knife, saw, folding saw, wire saw, hatchet, axe, tarp, poncho, bivi-bag, meths stove, gas stove, solid fuel stove, survival kit, firesteel, gas firelighter, rucksack, backpack, gps,torch, head torch, hammock...
You get the idea...
Getting out into the outdoors, whether it be to observe the wildlife, learn about fungi or foraging, is a great activity to get involved with. And having the appropriate kit to enhance your experience (i.e...Making sure you are comfortable whilst outdoors) is always a sensible aspect to consider.
But purchasing all this kit, can be expensive if you are buying it all brand new. So what I did was to watch several videos on Youtube related to bushcraft, to learn what kit I thought I might require.
Online Auction Site Bargains
And once I had a short list of things to look for, I then went onto the well known auction site and started searching for the kit. But don't just buy the first thing you see. Do your research and watch how much the items are selling for. Before long you will start to get an idea for what certain things are selling for and what you are comfortable paying for.
If you are clever and see when items are finishing on the auction sites, you may be able to snap up some bargains. Some people who list their items for selling are inexperienced and have their items finishing in the middle of the night. These are the items to keep your eye on, as there will be far few people bidding at this time.
Car Boot And Jumble Sales (Yard Sales)
Another place to search for kit is car boot sales and jumble sales. These are a fantastic place to build up your kit, as you have the benefit of being able to physically pick up the item and have a good look at it, before grabbing yourself a bargain... One mans trash is another mans treasure !
Army Surplus Stores
An alternative source of kit, although not quite as cheap, but still good value are Army Surplus Stores. Here you are more often than not guaranteed to be obtaining quality kit, that you know is going to be up to the job and not fall to bits after your first outing. The prices are not as flexible as you are not actually bartering for items. They are simply sold at affordable prices compared to brand new from the traditional high street shops.
However, Are Exceptions...
This doesn't mean to say totally discount the high street stores, as there can be bargains to be had. Just keep your eye out...
Once you have built up some budget bushcraft kit, there is nothing to stop you replacing it with newer kit further down the line (Should you need to of course). Some people just like having the newest kit on the market and that's fine, its your money at the end of the day. But everyone's budgets are different.
I am a great believer in getting good kit for bargain prices and the majority of my kit has been bought from online auction sites. On occasions I have splashed out (No more than £25.00 though... !) and bought a piece of kit I know is of good quality and perfect for what I need. (Again, doing my research first on Youtube)
I will leave you with this short video, which demonstrates what kit you can build up on a tight budget...