Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need specialist clothing and equipment for my course?
For the vast majority of our courses, no you won't need any specialist clothing or equipment. In fact if you take a look at our suggested kit list you will see that you just need standard camping equipment (shelter, sleeping bag, roll mat) and appropriate clothing. Where specialist equipment is required, we will normally provide it or state clearly in the course description that you need additional equipment.
Q: Can I bring my own additional equipment, even if I am not required to?
Yes of course, you more than welcome to do this (see below for exception that applies to axes). Some exceptions to this though are if we view the equipment as potentially unsafe or unfit for the task at hand. The final decision about whether you can use your own equipment will be at the sole discretion of the instructors on the course. If you have a particular item or related question in mind, please email us.
Q: Can I bring my axe?
Whilst a good axe is an useful tool it also has the potential to be very dangerous if used incorrectly. Mistakes with axes are normally much more costly than with smaller cutting tools and for this reason we have strict policies around the use of axes. Other than on our Natures Craftsman course, where we teach the use of an axe, axes must not be used at any time on our courses by students, unless the individual student has permission from the instructor leading the course. Also on most of our courses we feel that the need for an axe is overkill for the tasks you will need to complete.
Q: What level of outdoor/camping experience do I need to come on a Natures Craft course?
With the exception of our 1 day workshops all of our courses require you to camp overnight, therefore some previous camping experience will be beneficial. More importantly though is an enjoyment of being outdoors in the elements, Most of our courses require no experience of bushcraft knowledge though and our courses are all designed to introduce you to the skills and knowledge we teach in a structured approach, building your skills as you go. Some of our courses however build up from the fundamental skills and where it is expected that you already posses certain skills and experience it is always clearly marked in the course description.
Q: Where are your courses held?
We run our courses from woodland locations in Wiltshire and Hampshire in the UK. The location the course is held is indicated within the individual course description. Once you have booked and fully paid for a course we will send out full joining instructions and directions to the course rendezvous point.
Q: Are there any age limits?
We advise in all of our course descriptions the minimum age for our courses, on the whole this is 14 (if you are under the age of 18 then you will need to be accompanied for the full course duration by a paying parent or guardian) however please see individual course descriptions for age limits on specific courses. We have no upper age limit and have taught students in their sixties and seventies. Provided you are in good health, there is no reason why you should not feel you could attend one of our courses. If you are in any doubt, please consult your GP before booking.
Q: Are Natures Craft staff first-aiders?
Yes, all of our staff are first-aid trained.
Q: Are you insured for accidents?
Yes, Natures Craft has comprehensive liability insurance. Please refer to our terms and conditions of booking in the booking pack.
Q: What food is provided on Natures Craft courses?
Most of our courses are partially catered where we will provide a cooked lunch and dinner, but you need to provide your own breakfasts. The exceptions to this are explained in the individual course descriptions. Even where food is provided, you will often be asked to help with the preparation and cooking of meals and cleaning up of the pans etc afterwards. There will nearly always be a kettle on the go over our fire in the main camp and a selection of tea, coffee, infusions and squashes available (along with some biscuits) so that students are free to make drinks at any time. The food provided will be more than adequate for most appetites, but you are welcome to bring extra snacks if you wish.
Q: Will I have to live from the land?
Only on our more advanced bushcraft courses will you be required to hunt, gather and cook wild foods for yourself. Please see individual course descriptions for further information.
Q: Do I need to bring my own water?
No, we provide several large jerry cans of fresh water that can be refilled from nearby standpipes if needed. It is advisable to bring an empty flask/bottle though so you can carry water when we leave the base camp.
Q: Can you cater for my specific dietary preferences/needs?
On the whole yes - just let us know at the time of booking in the space provided on the booking form. If you forget, or should your needs change post booking, then just drop us an email and let us know. Just be mindful please that we may need you to bring/help us arrange some of your own food depending on the circumstances.
If you have any allergies, food intolerances or other medical dietary requirements, please make sure you include this information when you book on the medical form.
Please note whilst we are absolutely more than happy to cater for vegetarians, vegans, food allergies, serious food intolerances (such as Celiac disease) and religious restrictions we are not going to change our menu for minor dislikes or "fussy eaters". If you have strong dietary preferences please contact us to discuss your options.
Q: Are Natures Craft staff trained in food hygiene?
Yes, our staff all hold level 2 food hygiene for catering certificates.
Q: Can I bring alcohol?
We consider Alcohol as being inappropriate for bushcraft courses and therefore is not allowed. There are some obvious safety issues with people being under the influence while outdoors, especially in an unfamiliar environment or in the dark, not to mention while using cutting tools. There is however a pub just down the road from our course locations where we often go for an after course drink.
Q: What accommodation is provided?
Our courses are run entirely outdoors, and you will be camping for the duration of the course – either using your own camping equipment or in natural shelters that you build, please see individual course descriptions for further information.
Q: What shelter is provided?
Our courses are run from an expedition-style camp setup so we don't have any buildings. Shelter is provided by means of a parachute over the main camp fire (this gives enough space for about 15 people to site comfortably), there is a also a large tarpaulin above our main work area so we can continue to work even in heavy rain.
Q: What toilet and washing facilities do you have?
Our courses are run from an expedition-style camp setup so we don't have any running water or drainage; therefore our toilet facilities are basic and are simply composting latrines that are screened/roofed with tarpaulins.
Hot water from the kettle can be provided for washing facilities and we have a number of 'washing up' bowls. There is also a gravity-fed solar shower that we can put up if you want a shower.
Q: What cooking facilities do you have
We do all our cooking over the campfire, we feel this gives you the best learning experience rather than bring gas cookers. We have a large tripod for suspending pots over the flames, and we also have a large grill to put food or frying pans on. For cooking breakfasts (if so desired) can either be done on our large grill, or you can bring a gas stove of your own if you rather.
Q: How do I book and pay?
The fastest way for you to secure a booking on one of our courses is to follow the ‘book now’ link from the course description you wish to attend.
Q: Can we book a private course?
Of course. Please contact us with your requirements and one of our instructors will personally deal with your enquiry as soon as they are available.
Q: Can I receive one-to-one tuition?
Our instructors enjoy working with individuals to develop personal skills. Please contact us to discuss your requirements and one of our instructors will personally deal with your enquiry as soon as they are available.
Q: Is there somewhere safe to park my car?
Our courses are conducted within private land with limited access to the general public. There are parking facilities provided within the estate, and whilst we cannot guarantee the safety of your vehicle we feel the risk of any problem is exceptionally low. The usual common-sense applies in terms of not leaving valuables and other easily removed items in your car.
Q: What should I do with my personal belongings? Will they be safe?
We recommend that you keep any valuable personal belongings in your day sack.
Q: Can I use a mobile phone on my course?
If you wish to, you can of course use your phone or other mobile device to stay in touch with family, friends. colleagues, etc., but please use these devices quietly and discreetly. Many course participants attend, at least in part, to get away from phones, email and other technological demands on their attention. They wish to experience the great outdoors without these distractions. Also remember when camped close to others that a tent is not sound-proof!
You will not be permitted to use your phone or other mobile device during talks, lectures and demonstrations. It is not only distracting for other course participants but you could also miss important safety information.
Finally please be aware that mobile reception is not particularly strong in our course locations.
Q: Can I bring my pet?
Sorry but pets are not permitted on any of our courses so please make other arrangements for any pets.