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As interest in survival skills surge, the wilderness is getting pretty crowded

Some are motivated by fear that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Some just want to know themselves away from the safety net of technology and household comfort. Whatever the reason, a growing number of Australians are asking themselves: Are you ready for anything? Coco Veldkamp reports.

Gordon Dedman knows how to hold a crowd captive. With a splay of knives laid out in front of him he first carves a mallet, then a tent peg, and then a spearhead, each fashioned with quick, strong strikes of his blade against the wood.

Each movement is etched with the muscle memory of his years in the military and extensive bushcraft training.

Australians are hungry for survival know-how and bushcraft skills, Dedman says. Since he founded his outdoor bushcraft survival skills school in 2017, he has witnessed a surge of enthusiasts clamouring to join the expanding waitlist for his courses.

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