In Adventure | By Jill Brown | April 30, 2024

All About Bushcraft

When you consider the topography of Fogo Island, rocky barrens and untouched bogs likely come to mind. But heading out on a bushcraft excursion with our Outdoor Adventure Team will introduce you to the diverse ecosystem of our small island.

Since its introduction last year, our bushcraft excursion has become a popular activity with our guests and a favourite experience of our guides to lead. Travis House, a member of our Outdoor Adventure Team, shared what you can expect on the half-day adventure.


An Inland Experience

Travis uses “bushcraft” as a catch-all term for this experience. Before heading into Fogo Island’s wilderness, you are provided with a packed lunched and proper hiking gear (some areas may have boggy conditions, but we have enough rubber boots to go around!).

You are led inland to where Travis has set up a survival shelter in an old growth forest with towering balsam and black and white spruce trees, and the occasional birch and tamarack tree. Along the forest floor, ferns and wildflowers flourish alongside mosses, lichens, and decaying logs. Once you’ve reached camp, you are shown how to create a fire, carve spoons, make mallets, and brew foraged tea.


What will you see while hiking?

Before descending on the forested area, the hike begins along the barrens and hills found between the communities of Joe Batt’s Arm and Tilting. Along the way, Travis highlights the plants and berries that can be foraged for wild tea, such as blueberries, Labrador Tea, and spruce tips.

Surrounded by dense foliage and the tranquility of soft wind through branches and chirping birds, the opportunity often arises to spot traveling caribou (who migrate to the island’s interior during the warmer months) and other wildlife, like foxes.

The path also takes you passed cabins owned by community members, usually prompting conversation about the importance of cabin culture to Fogo Islanders.


Around the Fire

Upon arrival at the camp, Travis teaches the art of fire-making with only natural materials – no lighters allowed!

Those who are interested can then spend time learning how to carve a wooden spoon. Spoon carving can be meditative and provide some relief from the uniformity of everyday life. By using simple tools, your hands and mind can focus on something tactile and real.

In fact, one of Travis’ fondest memories from a bushcraft experience is having a guest carve their own spoon and use it during supper that night. “There was nothing offered on the menu that night that would require a spoon, so the kitchen team made him something special so he could try his new spoon out.”


Sipping Wild Tea

With the plants and berries foraged on the trek in, Travis will also share his tips on brewing wild tea. The known medicinal properties of some of these plants are proof that “nature knows best.”

Spruce tip tea can boost your immune system: spruce tips are extremely high in vitamin C and are natural expectorants, used for coughs, colds, and to soothe a sore throat. Blueberries (and its leaves) are known to strengthen heart health, lower the risk of diabetes, and improve cognitive function, along with many other benefits.


Being in nature offers an opportunity for connection with those who embark on the experience with you. In reflecting on the benefits of bushcraft, Travis says, “There’s an authenticity and simplicity to this experience: to spin a yarn around the fire, drinking tea, and chatting about everything under the whispers of the trees in the wind. Our guests are immersed in the natural world and can relax around an unpretentious, old-fashioned campfire.”

In these moments of quiet and meditation, the forest hums with life – each creature playing its part in the island’s intricate and abundant ecosystem.



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