Paul Kirtley is a professional bushcraft instructor in the UK. He’s a good friend who I’ve canoe tripped with in the past. He’s a skilled paddler, experienced wilderness guide, ethical outdoorsman and he’s the only person I know who could pull off writing a fully detailed 200-page hardcover book full of 650 step-by-step colour photographs about axes, knifes and campcraft.

Wilderness Axe Skills and Campcraft is Paul’s first book, and I hope it’s not his last. It’s an incredible resource for any camper, canoe tripper or bush crafter.


The book walks the reader through selecting the correct tools (axes, knifes and saw blades) for the job, caring and maintenance of your tools, axe techniques like splitting wood and felling, limbing, and sectioning trees); and how to do it all without injuring yourself.

The bonus section on campcraft is exceptional. It not only shows you how to carve a perfect wooden spoon—a must for any camper—but also how to make things like pot hangers, camp stools, tripods for the campfire. It even has a chapter on essential knots features a detailed look at more than a dozen types of wood and their properties for the best choices in all bushcraft needs.


Wilderness Axe Skills and Campcraft is destined to be a classic and will be on the best-sellers list very soon. It’s written in a clear, concise and detailed manner and should be required reading for all outdoorsy types.

Check out the interview I did with Paul Kirtley about his book on my KCHappy Camper YouTube channel: