Bushcraft & Sea Kayaking

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Bushcraft and sea kayaking; how do these two skills fit? Imagine you're paddling with a small group of friends along a coastline. Conditions begin to worsen (as they often do) and one of your group capsizes. No problem, you pop him/her back into their boat and crack on. The swell increased and the wind continues to build and the same paddler capsizes a second time. Now they are in first stage hypothermia, scared and unable to perform an assisted recovery - so what do you do now?

Well, you may end up recovering the casualty to the nearest safe landing having called in a mayday and awaiting the MCA or RNLI to do a casualty evacuation. Your group are on an exposed beach in strong wind and it's getting dark; they're cold and getting nervous and they need shelter, warmth and some comfort. With some basic bushcraft skills, you'll be able to erect a robust shelter, make and build a good fire and prepare some hot food/drink all whilst stabilising your casualty and waiting for help to arrive.

Getting out of the wind and the warmth and comfort that an open fire provides will make all of the difference as well as prevent your casualty from becoming a victim. This is not the technical bushcraft of Ray Mears nor the Gung Ho hairy-chested bushcraft of Bear Grylls. These are pragmatic survival skills for sea kayakers based on real-life scenarios from across the globe. You won't be biting the heads off live fish but you will be ensuring you and your group are safe, warm and reasonably comfortable and any casualties are properly cared for. Beginning next week, we will be writing short articles on various bushcraft skills relevant to sea kayakers and focused on the skills needed for the Sea Survival course offered by NOMAD Sea Kayaking.

Published On: 14th November 2015