Where To Practice Bushcraft? 8 Best Places To Do Bushcraft In The USA, UK, And Canada

Last Updated on 23/05/2023


In this guide on where to practice bushcraft, we share some general rules and advice on where you can and can’t practice bushcraft in the USA, UK, and around the world. You will learn how to find somewhere to practice bushcraft skills near you and the different options you have when finding a bushcraft location.

What Does Practicing Bushcraft Mean? Practicing bushcraft can mean many different things, but mainly, it involves building shelters, camping, having a campfire, harvesting wood, hunting, foraging food, making things using natural materials, and generally living off the land using outdoor skills, tools, and knowledge.

Where Can I Practice Bushcraft?

The best places to practice bushcraft are large wooded areas with some access to water and permission to light fires, hunt, fish, and harvest wood. Your options are pretty limited to your backyard, public land, private land, and state and national parks. You can also find a survival and bushcraft school near you that have experts on hand to teach you something new.

Backyards are a good place to practice your bushcraft skills so that you will know what you are doing when you are out in the wilderness. If you don’t have access to a backyard, then get on Google Maps and find somewhere close by that is away from civilization and go there,

Most public land and parks are against people camping and having campfires outside of designated campsites, so I would even try to seek permission if it isn’t clear what the rules are. Private land can be tricky, but if you can engage with the landowner and clarify that you will always respect the land and maybe even offer some trail maintenance service as a thank you for allowing you to practice bushcraft there.

outdoors man in a canvas tent with bushcraft pots on fire

How to Find a Place to Practice Bushcraft

The best way to find a place near you to practice bushcraft is to use Google Earth or Maps to explore large areas of woodland or mountainous area. What you are looking for are no houses or farms and no obvious signs of agriculture. National forests and hiking trails are the obvious places to start but the less touristy, the better.

Once you have found a few locations within driving distance, you need to go out and do a recce to see how suitable they are in real life. Take a few off-trail routes into the wilderness, and when you find the right location, you will know it. It will feel remote and peaceful and have all the resources you need to practice bushcraft.

Now you have a location or two in mind, you can see if you can find out who the landowner is and if they would permit you to practice bushcraft on their land. If you can’t do this, then you need to be fully aware of the laws in the particular state you are in and the risks involved with practicing bushcraft without permission.

Do I Need Permission to Practice Bushcraft?

How do I get permission? What if they say no? Where can I practice bushcraft without permission? These are all questions you might have if you aren’t fortunate enough to own any land yet.

Technically, you need permission to practice bushcraft from the landowner, wherever you are in the world, especially if hunting, fishing, or burning a campfire. Rules about practicing bushcraft on public lands are different state by state but it is generally tolerated if you leave no trace.

If you absolutely can’t get permission from anyone to practice bushcraft, you can follow a few universal rules and usually go undetected in remote wilderness locations. I am not advising you to do this, but if you do, just be sure to: leave no trace, set up camp late, pack it away early, only have a campfire if necessary, and avoid lighting one during daylight hours.

Alternatively, you can choose to go to a bushcraft school where all bushcraft activities are permitted and taught. Another option would be to look on Air BnB for campsites/land you can rent out that allow campfires and harvesting from the land. Let’s jump into the places you can practice bushcraft near you.

bushcraft shelter made from tree branches

4 Rules for Practicing Bushcraft Undetected

The main issue land owners would have with you practicing bushcraft on their land without permission would be trespassing, leaving a fire pit on the ground, harvesting materials, and damaging property. If you follow these four simple rules for practicing bushcraft, you will be able to fly under the radar and show the utmost respect to the land you are camping on.

1. Set Up Late

Once you find your bushcraft location, hold off setting up your shelter until just before it gets dark unless you are sure no one is going to come walking by with their dog. Setting up late means you don’t have to fully commit to a bushcraft site until it is time to bed down. And it means that if the landowner or forest ranger happens to be making a pass by, you can say you are just passing through.

2. Leave Early

The same as setting up late, leaving early minimizes the risk of getting caught by an angry farmer or forest ranger when practicing bushcraft. You don’t have to stop practicing bushcraft; you just need to pack away your camping gear and remove any trace that you slept there so that you can move on in an instant if needed.

3. Leave No Trace

The most important rule about practicing bushcraft is never to leave a trace. That means no fire-scorched marks on the ground, no half-burnt logs, absolutely no litter, and no damage to the local fauna. The only acceptable trace to leave is flattened grass and footprints. It might seem pedantic to people who don’t practice bushcraft, but leaving no trace is crucial to the tradition and sometimes involves getting your hands dirty to cover your tracks.

4. Avoid Campfires

As much as we all love a good campfire on an evening to cook on, boil water, temper wood, stay warm, and to stare into with a hypnotic gaze, they aren’t always a good idea if you don’t have permission to practice bushcraft. Not only do they draw attention by smell and sight from great distances, but they also lead anyone who cares directly to you.

If you do need to have a campfire, then keep it small, use a rock circle for safety, and use a portable firepit where possible to lift the embers off the ground and avoid scorching it. Campfires are one thing you always need permission for, so make one at your risk.

Where To Practice Bushcraft National Forests

Where To Practice Bushcraft National Forests Map

The US National Forests provide vast, unspoiled areas for practicing bushcraft. Here are some notable places to consider:

  1. Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, Georgia
  2. Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
  3. Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests, Vermont
  4. Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia
  5. White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Where To Practice Bushcraft Texas

Big Bend National Park Texas

Texas’ vast open spaces and varied landscapes make it an ideal location for bushcraft. Here are some prime locations:

  1. Davy Crockett National Forest
  2. Big Thicket National Preserve
  3. Sam Houston National Forest
  4. Texas Survival School, Allen

Where To Practice Bushcraft California

Yosemite National Park California

California’s diverse ecosystems, from coastal areas to mountain forests, are perfect for bushcraft. Check out these notable locations:

  1. Yosemite National Park
  2. Sequoia National Forest
  3. Los Padres National Forest
  4. Adventure Out Bushcraft School, Santa Cruz

Where To Practice Bushcraft Washington State

Hurricane Ridge Olympic National Park Washington State

Washington State’s rich wilderness, with lush forests and diverse fauna, offers excellent opportunities for bushcraft. Here are some ideal spots:

  1. Olympic National Forest
  2. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
  3. Colville National Forest
  4. The Survival University, Olympia

Where To Practice Bushcraft Colorado

Where To Practice Bushcraft Colorado

Colorado’s rugged terrain and dense forests provide a challenging yet rewarding environment for bushcraft. Wondering where to practice bushcraft in Colorado? Consider these locations:

  1. San Juan National Forest
  2. Roosevelt National Forest
  3. Pike National Forest
  4. Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides

Where To Practice Bushcraft Ontario

Where To Practice Bushcraft Ontario

Ontario’s extensive wildlands are perfect for practicing bushcraft skills. Here are some of the best locations to consider:

  1. Algonquin Provincial Park
  2. Superior National Forest
  3. Wabakimi Provincial Park
  4. Wilderness Rescue Solutions, Ontario

Where To Practice Bushcraft Quebec

Wapizagonke Lake Mauricie Quebec Bushcraft Canada

Quebec’s vast wilderness, with its rich biodiversity, offers an immersive environment for bushcraft. Here are a few prime locations to explore:

  1. La Mauricie National Park
  2. Mont-Tremblant National Park
  3. Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Lac Monroe
  4. School of The Forest, Quebec

Where To Practice Bushcraft UK

Where To Practice Bushcraft UK

The UK offers diverse landscapes, from woodlands to moorlands, perfect for bushcraft enthusiasts. Here are some of the best spots:

  1. The Lake District, Cumbria
  2. The Scottish Highlands
  3. The New Forest, Hampshire
  4. Dartmoor, Devon
  5. Snowdonia National Park, Wales
  6. Wild Bushcraft Company, North Wales
  7. Frontier Bushcraft, UK


We hope this guide on where to practice bushcraft has helped solve your problem. If you were looking for something more specific, just let us know in the comments.

Gear Assistant
Gear Assistant

This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

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