Author Topic: Bushcraft Challenges  (Read 7339 times)

Offline michaelnz

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Bushcraft Challenges
« on: September 02, 2016, 12:58:30 AM »
I am organizing a family boys weekend in New Zealand in January. Will be nice weather as Southern Hemisphere summer.

Age range 10 - 70

I am looking for a range of challenges for us to complete as a team.

1. Locate a buried cache of food using map and compass.
2. Build fire
3. Pitch tent
4. Axe throwing (maybe)
5. Make dinner

Any other thoughts?

Offline Cedar

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Re: Bushcraft Challenges
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2016, 06:29:08 AM »
Is it Kiwiland or Australia (or both) which pretty much wants to eat or kill you in the bush at times? The spider the size of a house which will stalk you for days etc?

What about learning dangerous plants, bugs, spiders, etc?
What about edible/useful plants? And bring in 3-5 for the whole group to study?

Challenge for teams of two or more -- find firewood, build a fire (providing it is not fire season), boil water, make tea, and make some bannock fried in a pan over the pan (have the right amount mixed up in baggies/just add water) for team building/challenge/race?

Fried Bannock
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups water

Measure flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir to mix. Pour melted butter and water over flour mixture. Stir with fork to make a ball. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times. Pat into a flat circle 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
Cook in a greased frying pan over medium heat, allowing about 15 minutes for each side. Use two lifters for easy turning.

Give points for who gets a fire going first, who brings the water to boil first and judge the best bannock. There likely will be good bannock and really not so good bannock..


« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 10:29:19 AM by Roknrandy »

Offline Carl

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Re: Bushcraft Challenges
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2016, 06:58:13 AM »
Improvised water filtration or how to dig a simple well or even just how to sterilize water in sunlight,
Glass or plastic (clear) does an acceptable job in the sun.

And I agree with CEDAR , fire is easy ,food preparation takes some skill.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Bushcraft Challenges
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2016, 10:20:14 AM »
Tool sharpening
Scavenging the area for useful materials and utiizing them

Offline squidd

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Re: Bushcraft Challenges
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2016, 03:08:56 PM »
Fire building using different methods/materials
Knot tying/ lashing
Hang a tarp in various configurations (A-frame, Lean-to, Plow Point)
Plant Identification
Demonstrate different methods for purifying water (filter, boil, steripen, drops, tablets, bleach)
Demonstrate international distress signals

Offline michaelnz

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Re: Bushcraft Challenges
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2016, 03:58:32 AM »
Thanks for the great replies.

This will be in New Zealand so not many predators at all.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Bushcraft Challenges
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2016, 11:01:58 AM »
Are there indigenous peoples with unique skill sets to learn from? Kids in the states love learning skills based on Native American life. My whole generation made dreamcatchers and learned native hunting and cooking skills.

From what I've seen of New Zealand you've got some wonderful geography (jealous flat-lander here). A basic orienteering course requiring teams to photograph marked areas on a map would be fun.

Snare building. It sounds silly but if you teach a basic trap and then have teams compete to make their own some get really into it.

Injury drills. Have teams compete to carry a "wounded" teammate.

Offline michaelnz

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Re: Bushcraft Challenges
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2016, 08:06:21 PM »
Great ideas.

Thinking  of assigning to each his person.

I feel having an 11 year old navigate by map and compass could help create a bit more adventure.

Definitely lucky to live in New Zealand. Often take the environment for granted. I drive past Lord of the Rings filming sites everyday and get annoyed by the traffic.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Bushcraft Challenges
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2016, 09:15:19 PM »
Without re-hashing what's already been suggested (at least, not too much), here's what comes to mind:

- A simulated medical emergency:  Improvising a splint for a "broken" leg, or even Ace bandaging a simulated sprain.  Bandaging.  How to use a tourniquet, and when not to.

- A communications exercise with the NZ equivalent of FRS radios.  Dirt cheap, 1/2 Watt, UHF, 1/4-mile range, license-free, it's all line-of-sight propagation.  Looks like NZ has something similar: wikipedia link.  Maybe setting up a relay man to provide comms over a ridge between two valleys, something like that.  That would involve teamwork, at least.

- Canoeing can be a pretty fun team activity.  A lot depends on the local waters, how the teams are arranged, etc.

- Geocaching (with GPS, rather than map & compass as you initially wrote) is always a crowd-pleaser.

I dunno after that.  After watching LOTR too damn many times, it's hard for me to get images of Middle Earth out of my mind when I think of rural NZ.  Maybe a Ringwraith SERE scenario would be taking things too far.

Offline michaelnz

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Re: Bushcraft Challenges
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2016, 12:59:41 AM »
Thanks. We are starting our hike at Rivendell.

Offline outoforder2day

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Re: Bushcraft Challenges
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2016, 10:01:22 AM »
Bushclass USA from the Bushcraft USA forum. Great challenges and ideas for an event like this.

Example taken from that forum:
1.   Feather Sticks and Shavings
2.   5 Man-made Tinders
3.   The Twig Fire
4.   Four Basic Bushcraft Knots
5.   Improvise a Cooking Implement from Metal
6.   Knife Sharpening
7.   2 Strand Twist with Man-Made Materials
8.   Braiding Man-Made Materials
9.   Set a Tarp Shelter
10. Make a Simple Snare
11. Tree Id and Uses
12. Cook Bannock with Fire
13. Make a Pot Hook
14. 5 Outings

Offline DheereCrossing

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Re: Bushcraft Challenges
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2016, 01:10:25 PM »
I was just reading a book (fiction) where the characters got together for a night of fun.  The organizer kept it a secret but it turned out to be a photo challenge scavenger hunt.  That seemed like a bunch of fun.  I don't know what natural items are available in the NZ landscape, but something like, photo of Fred on hollow tree' or, 'Jill with animal bones', or, photo of team with large firewood pile - and put a time restriction on it, say by midnight.  The loosing team has to cook breakfast or something.

Everyone has cell phone cameras, and they don't need to have a signal for it to work.  That would help the younger generation use a familiar technology bridge to get in to the outdoor spirit thing.

Offline Darkwinter

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Re: Bushcraft Challenges
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2018, 07:54:55 PM »
Ever heard of a monkey bridge?

Tons of fun to build as a group, and tons of fun to cross for all ages!  Teaches team building, lashings, and hatchet work.