Bushcrafting in the summer or the winter. What are the differences?

Bushcrafting in the summer or the winter. what are the differences?

You can enjoy bushcrafting all year round, but the summer and winter seasons do have some specific characteristics. You will have guessed that they are to do with the temperature, which deserves close attention.

It is worth remembering that, although often enjoyed by enthusiasts, bushcrafting is open to anyone who wants to venture forth into the forest. If you are not already a bushcraft enthusiast, beware, because you will soon become one!
Putting into practice or developing knowledge and skills to live pleasantly in the wild, being resourceful and enjoying meeting new people, that's what bushcrafting is all about.
You can enjoy bushcrafting all year round, but the summer and winter seasons do have some specific characteristics. You will have guessed that they are to do with the temperature, which deserves close attention. 

Bushcrafting in the summer or winter. What are the differences?

Summer & bushcrafting

In summer, bushcrafting is probably more accessible for a simple reason: clothing is less restrictive and equipment less heavy and fewer in number. On the surface, it also seems easier and more pleasant to bushcraft when the weather is nice, which can indeed be the case.

Nevertheless, with the pleasant weather and the heat, you will not be the only one out there. There are also plenty of mosquitoes and ticks around, and you have to pay attention to them.
Remember to always carry an insect repellent in your bag. If you are looking for an alternative to the products you can find in the shops, opt for natural bug repellents. Aromatic plants are well known for their strong odour that works as a mosquito repellent. Basil and lemon geranium, for example, are particularly effective mosquito repellents. Lavender is just as effective at repelling mosquitoes as it is at relieving bug bites. Frankly, a small pouch of lavender in your bushcraft bag provides a bit of freshness, which is appreciable!

Your clothing can also help to keep insects at bay. Despite the heat and the impulse to take off some of your clothes, I advise you to wear a light, long-sleeved top and to prefer trousers to shorts. Full-length clothes will form a barrier against mosquitoes and ticks. The idea, as you can imagine, is to cover as much of your body as possible. Do not hesitate to tuck your top into your trousers and even your trousers into your socks. Let's face it, we're talking about efficiency here, not style! These tips also protect you from nettles and brambles, which is important.
Choose light colours, so you can spot ticks more easily. For uncovered parts of the body, use the mosquito repellents we have already mentioned.
Finally, depending on your location, and if authorised by the local authorities, making a fire, while following all safety rules of course, is an effective means of keeping mosquitoes away.

With all these tips, you will sleep as well in the woods as at home! 

Bushcrafting in the summer or winter. What are the differences?

Bushcrafting in the winter

Winter is far more demanding. One could say harsher, and sometimes even more perilous. To begin with, it should be mentioned that you should bushcraft with a partner to avoid ending up in problematic situations.
Unlike in the summer, you will need specific technical equipment that can be expensive. But without this equipment, bushcrafting during the winter would be impossible.
When we mention specific equipment, we are referring to:
Sleeping bags,
warm clothes:  jackets; trousers; gloves; hats; shoes.
A larger rucksack, because winter equipment takes up more room
A mattress with an R value between R4 and R8
A camp fire kit to stay warm

If you cannot afford to buy all this equipment at once, then you should buy it one piece at a time. Borrowing or renting is also a good way to discover winter bushcrafting, before buying your own complete outfit. 

Apart from the equipment, bushcrafting in the winter offers many advantages.
What could be nicer than warming up by the fire when the temperature approaches zero or is even negative!
It is often said that each situation has its advantages and disadvantages, and vice versa! This is especially the case concerning mosquitoes and ticks, which do not care for the cold!
The landscapes are beautiful. Whether it is the frost that freezes nature, or the snow covering the entire forest with its magic white powder, you'll be amazed every time you venture out.

However, it is not always so simple. Without painting a gloomy picture, it is important to keep in mind the precautions to be taken to ensure that the experience remains pleasant.
As we mentioned earlier, along with the right equipment, proper organisation is essential for winter outings.
The rain and the cold can limit our movements and even alter our clarity of mind. Proper preparation of your equipment, and especially the "right" equipment, can make the trip safer and avoid problems such as hypothermia or frostbite. Also, organise the course of your day and the activities you need to do to better manage your efforts.
If you are in a snow-bound area, you must anticipate the thaw, especially when choosing your site, in order to avoid the risks and inconveniences caused by large quantities of water.

I would like to share some advice for your winter nights, which has served me well many times. Once settled in your sleeping bag, slide your clothes down to the very bottom. Doing so offers several advantages: you fill up the spaces and, therefore, limit heat loss. Your clothes will be nice and dry the next morning, and also, you will be able to get dressed without having to get out of your sleeping bag.

Bushcrafting in the summer or winter. What are the differences?

What the two seasons have in common

Now that you are familiar with the main advantages and disadvantages of the two seasons, there are some tips that apply to both. Here's what you need to know before heading out into the forest.

Before setting off.

The first thing to check is the weather forecast. Be it for one day or several days, including the nights, it is essential to know what to expect. Strong winds causing branches or trees to fall, thunderstorms, lightning strikes, snowstorms where you may lose your perception, are all to be avoided in order to stay safe.

As you can imagine, your preparation for a pleasant outing also depends on your equipment.
In addition to your sleeping bag, you should always have the following essentials in your backpack:
a map of the area and a compass to find your way
a first aid kit
a spare battery
a knife.

It is essential to have a basic knowledge of the techniques and the terrain you want to discover, in order to enjoy a unique moment and keep some wonderful memories.

Bushcrafting in the summer or winter? What are the differences?

Once you are on site.

Check out your surroundings. When choosing a spot to camp for the night, be careful not to pitch your tent at the bottom of a slope where rock fall or snow melt can occur. Make sure you check the trees and their branches around you to ensure they won't come falling down.
Think about it, because you are the guest here in the forest! Keep your eyes open for signs of animals, especially wild boar. Always carry out a reconnaissance by walking around the chosen site to check who usually inhabits the site. If you come face to face with a wild boar, you should make the most of the moment. It is a privilege to be able to observe animals in their natural state. These animals are wild. They generally fear humans. I advise you not to challenge them! If you do need to run, I advise you to zigzag or even to climb up high.

After a few explanations about the specifics of bushcrafting during the summer and winter seasons, feel free to browse through our tips on how to become a bushcrafter. 

To conclude, never overestimate yourself and never underestimate nature. Make the most of the opportunity to become a temporary part of this primitive environment and to admire its beauty. It is also this humble attitude towards nature that defines bushcrafting. 

Bushcrafting in the summer or winter. What are the differences?


Decathlon technician and bushcrafter

A lover of sport and nature. I have been a bushcrafter since my earliest childhood.
My passion? To share my passion with you!