The following equipment and clothing list are suggestions only. If you have suitable or equivalent items already bring these along, you don’t have to spend a fortune and purchase a whole new kit. Most of the equipment below can be purchased from hardware stores, army disposal stores and good camping stores. Some of the equipment from this list can also be purchased at a discounted price through the Gear Supply website, using the promo code BUSHCRAFT20 to receive 15-20% off.
Items marked in red are essential.
You will be issued with your own Mora 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.
Ferrocerium Rod/Sparking tool
“Light my fire” or “Bushtracks” brands both make decent models. There are many other brands out there that make sparking tools in various sizes. Get yourself the large army model.
All Weather re-useable space blanket or equivalent
Made by “Grabba Outdoors” and difficult to find in Australia. A good variety of equivalents are made by SOL. 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.
Stainless Steel 1 litre Water Bottle with nesting cup
“KleanKanteen” make good stainless steel 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 Paracord or Roll of #36 bankline (3 ply)
Make sure you get the genuine paracord with 7 inner strands. “Rothco” makes good paracord. If it doesn’t have seven inner strands inside the outer sheath then it is not paracord!
2 X 3ft 100% cotton bandannas
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 and cut it to size.
Roll of duct tape or Gorilla tape
The smaller rolls are ideal or you can transfer tape from a larger roll to a smaller spindle to save space.
There are many brands on the market, get yourself one with a strobe function (red light optional). LEDLENSER make some very good head torches.
Cloth/Canvas sail needle
These can be purchased from boating or marine stores.
A tent, army hoochie, hammock & tarp or swag are all fine so bring whatever you have and prefer, however we encourage you to try sleeping under a hoochie or tarp if you have never done so.
Insulating Sleeping Mat
This can be a closed cell foam mattress or a blow up “Themarest” type mattress. A three quarter sized mat is all you need.
A suitable sleeping bag appropriate for the climate and region. Don’t bring one that is over rated for the season as it will take up a lot of extra room.“Snugpak”, “Mont” and “Recon” are all good quality brands.
Bell or Box style. A tight weave will also keep out sand flies.
Toiletries & towel
Small wash kit including; toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, small towel etc
Notepad, pencil and pens
“Rite in the Rain” note pads are a good choice.
Insect Repellent / Sunscreen
Essential for Darwin courses
Small Personal First Aid kit
A large first aid will also be supplied at the main camp.
Outdoor work gloves such as leather or heavy cotton.
A waterproof, breathable shell to keep your sleeping bag dry
5 – 20 Litre Dry Bag
” Overboard”, “Sea to Summit” and “Baja” make good dry bags.
“Leatherman” and “Gerber” are good reliable brands. Try to choose one with a saw that cuts, a good locking blade and an awl with an eye in it such as the Leatherman “Supertool”.
“Bacho Laplander” make a terrific folding saw.
Additional 1-2 Litre water bladder (essential in hot weather)
Various types are available. 2 litre army bladders are great.
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 make some excellent quality outdoor clothing suitable for bushcraft.
Under layer/base layer
During the summer months, a t-shirt maybe all that is needed, however during the cooler months a woolen thermal layer (top and bottoms) maybe required.
This could be a long sleeve shirt eg. 511 tactical brand, bush or army shirt or something a little thicker such as a fleece pullover, woolen army jumper, “Swandri” bush shirt or Fjallraven Grannit Wool shirt for cooler weather.
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 woolen 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 woolen 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 to “strop” your knife after sharpening it.