Bushcraft is a long-term extension of survival skills. A popular term for wilderness skills in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the term was popularised in the southern hemisphere by Les Hiddins (The Bush Tucker Man) in Australia as well as in the northern hemisphere by Mors Kochanski and recently gained considerable currency in the United Kingdom due to the popularity of Ray Mears and his bushcraft and survival television programmes. Bushcraft is about surviving and thriving in the natural environment, and the acquisition of ancient skills and knowledge to do so. Bushcraft skills include; firecraft, tracking, hunting, shelter building, the use of tools such as knives and axes, foraging, hand-carving wood, container construction from natural materials, rope and twine-making, and many others. These are the kinds of skills well known to our ancient predecessors, many of which are still practiced today as an everyday skill amongst aboriginal and native peoples around the world.
Before the recent popularity of Ray Mears and his programmes, the term was also used by the Irish-born Australian writer Richard Graves and Canadian bushcraft teacher Mors Kochanski. The word has been used in its current sense in Australia at least as far back as the 1800s. The accompanying term Bushman (in the sense of someone adept in bushcraft) has been used in South Africa and Australia since a similar time. It is more common to hear the term bushcrafter to describe someone interested in bushcraft.
The term was used in the following books (amongst others):