The following items are the REQUIRED Items to be used for the completion of the BSA 3 Day Basic Bushcraft Survival Course. Ideally, each student should have their own equipment to complete the required deliverable tasks as well as for future use, however we recognise that some of the items might be difficult to obtain, so taking this into account we will have some of the harder to obtain items available for you to borrow and return at the end of the course. Items in GREEN we will supply if you don’t have them. All other items you will need to obtain yourself.
Optional items are optional, you do not have to purchase them.
The below items can be purchased at discounted rates from Survival Supplies Australia and Gear Supply. Please see bottom of page for more details.
You need to be able to fit and carry the below items in or on your main pack. What you bring you have to carry so pack light!
Please separate the following 12 essential items into an easily manageable “small” daypack or haversack (shoulder bag) as these are the primary items you will need for the course. This smaller daypack should be able to fit inside your main pack.
1) Cutting Tools
- Knife: You will be issued with your own Morakniv of Sweden, carbon steel heavy duty “Companion” Knife which will be yours to keep (basic courses only). However, if you would like to bring your own knife, we suggest you bring a plain (without serrations) full tang 5” (11cm) carbon steel blade with a 90 degree edge on the spine. Mora of Sweden (Morakniv) make a range of affordable good quality bushcraft knives.
- Folding Saw: Bacho Laplander or Silky Pocket Boy are very good
- Multitool: Leatherman and Gerber are good reliable brands. Try to choose one with a saw, a good locking blade and an awl with an eye in it such as the Leatherman “Supertool”
2) Combustion devices
- Ferrocerium rod: “Light my fire” or “Morakniv” brands both make decent reliable models. There are many other brands out there that make sparking tools in various sizes. Get yourself the larger army model.
- Fresnel type small magnifying lens or equivalent
3) Covering/emergency shelter
- Re-useable space blanket: “Grabba Outdoors” and the Pathfinder School both make good models but they can be difficult to find in Australia. A good variety of equivalents are made by SOL and Aussie Disposals. Get yourself the thicker more durable ones.
- 2 x 250 litre (55 gallon) heavy duty garbage bags/wheely bin liners: Get the strongest and thickest ones you can find, preferably un-pleated.
- Stainless Steel 1 litre Water Bottle with nesting cup: “Kleen Kanteen” make good stainless steel 40oz water bottles (make sure you get the single walled type). An MSR SS Glacier Mug fits nicely onto the bottom of a water bottle (if you can find one).A good affordable alternative is an army cups canteen combination (plastic water bottle and metal cup). Failing that you can make yourself a metal cooking container out of an empty fruit/peaches tin; remove one end and attach a piece of wire as a handle. Your plastic water bottle should fit snugly inside it.
- 20ft of 550 parracord or Roll of #36 bankline (3 ply): Make sure you get the genuine parracord with 5-7 inner strands. “Rothco” makes good parracord. If it doesn’t have five to seven inner strands inside the outer sheath then it is not parracord!
6) Cloth & Repair
- 2 X 3ft 100% cotton bandanas or Shemaghs: One olive green or brown and one blaze orange. Alternatively you can purchase a 1m square piece of 100% cotton from a material or haberdashery shop (Spotlight) and cut it to size. (wash it first to loosen the fibres). BSA also has a newly designed 100% cotton bandana with specific usage illustrations on it. These can be purchased on the course for $20. Please let us know if you need one.
7) Cargo/Cloth tape
- Gorilla tape/cloth tape: The smaller rolls are ideal or you can transfer tape from a larger roll to a smaller spindle to save space.
8) Candling device/lighting
- Head Torch: There are many brands on the market, get yourself one with a strobe function (red light optional). LEDLENSER and Petzl make some very good head torches.
9) Small First Aid Kit
- Personal medications, bandaids, iodine/ bedadine, headache tablets, swaps, dressings, antiseptic ointment, small vial of Potassium Permangenate etc.
- Optional items to add: #14 sail needle purchased from marine stores, small vial of Potassium permanganate, tampon, small card of water purification tablets
10) Dry bag
- 5-10 Litre Dry bag: “Overboard”, “Sea to Summit” and “Baja” make an assortment of good dry bags. The ticker kind are more durable.
11) Small day pack
- Small day pack/bag/haversack to carry the above items in
Please see the following “12 Essential Items” link for more detail on the above items.
You need to be able to carry this in or on your pack.
- Tarp, Hammock or lightweight tent: You will be issued with an Australian Army hootchie to use for the course if you don’t have your own tarp.
- Insulated sleeping mat: blow up/self inflating sleeping mat or foam closed cell mat. ¾ size is all you need. We have a limited supply of closed cell foam mats to lend if you don’t have one. Snugpak make some good self inflating 3/4 Midi mats
- Sleeping bag appropriate for the season. Snugpak, Mont and Recon are all good brands.
- Bivvi Bag (waterproof and breathable sleeping bag cover) Optional: “Snugpak” Special Forces Bivvi’s are small and compact.
- Mosquito net (optional): bell or box style. A necessity for Darwin courses.
- Ground sheet: lightweight tarp/plastic to use as a moisture barrier underneath you (natural colours if possible)
Note: Swags are a vehicle camping sleeping system, not a lightweight hiking system. If you can’t carry it..don’t bring it!
Choose clothing appropriate to the season and environment (select natural earth colours where possible). All students at the minimum should have a long sleeve shirt, long suitable trousers (not jeans), belt, hat and a sturdy pair of bush/hiking boots (not trainers). Fjallraven, Icebreaker and 511, make some excellent quality outdoor clothing suitable for bushcraft however it is a little pricy.
Under layer/base layer
During the summer months, a t-shirt maybe all that is needed, however during the cooler months a woollen thermal layer (top and bottoms) maybe required. Eg. “Icebreaker” base layers and “Fjallraven” Keb wool t- shirt are quality base layers.
This could be a long sleeve shirt eg. 511 tactical shirt, Fjallraven “Singi” Trekking shirt, or King Gee work shirt. A warmer intermediate layer such as a fleece pullover, woollen army jumper, “Swandri” woollen bush shirt or Fjallraven Grannit Wool shirt for cooler weather.
Outer layer/ wet weather gear
Ideally, this should be waterproof, windproof and breathable. “Goretex” and lightweight rain jackets (top and bottoms) are good options.
Long, quick drying, lightweight yet tough polyester/cotton or rip stop nylon trousers such as military issue combat pants are ideal for the bush. “Fjallraven” Vidda Pro trousers are excellent for bushcraft.
Sturdy robust outdoor footwear with ankle support such as trail boots or army type boots are good options. 2-3 pairs of decent woollen socks are also a good idea. In hot dry weather, a lightweight pair of desert boots maybe all that is required. Waterproof socks such as “SealSkinz” are a good addition in wet weather. A pair of thongs or runners for the camp shower is also a good idea.
Protection from the hot Australian sun is paramount so a decent hat such as an “Akubra” or army style bush hat is essential. In cold weather, a woollen beanie is important to keep you from loosing radiated heat from your head.
Not only to hold your pants up but to attach your knife and other tools to. A leather belt will also allow you to “strop” your knife after sharpening it.
Additionally you will need:
- Camping plate, bowl, knife, spoon and fork (or a spork). Wildo make a good set.
- Notebook pens and pencils (“All Weather” notepad if you can find one)
- Toiletries: Small wash kit including; toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, small towel etc
- Bring any and all medications for personal use including mozzie spray, sunscreen as well as first aid items that are appropriate for the outdoor environment. See #9
- Outdoor work gloves (leather or pigskin)
- Optional extra 1-2 Litre water bottle/bladder (essential in hot weather or Darwin): MSR Dromedary bags come in various sizes or a 2 litre army water bottle/bladder
The above equipment can be purchased individually or as part of various sized kit packages at discounted rates from either Survival Supplies Australia or Gear Supply. Please click on the following links to view these items.
Survival Supplies Australia