Outdoorsman, Pedro Hernandez, takes to the mountains, forest, and bush outside of Mexico City to experience the earth’s most unique technological advancements, all through the art of bushcraft.
Pedro Hernandez is dedicated to outdoors, wilderness, and educating the world on the intricacy of survival techniques. Bushcraft is his medium, and he sets out to create survival situations using minimal and well crafted gear. Pedro is addicted to the outdoors, and despite residing in the complex urban environment of Mexico City, he finds himself traveling hours to get lost in the mountains and forests of the State of Mexico.
Pedro not only documents his experiences to educate us on bushcraft techniques and nature, but he field tests products of bushcraft-centric brands who advance the art of survival.
As part of the MuskOx Herd, we wanted to hear directly from Pedro about his journey through bushcraft, he calls Bushcraftology.
What brought you to living the bushcraft life?
My wife and I have always been in contact with nature by our travels and in the last few years we have been all about the outdoors lifestyle. It was in 2019 during a trip to Scandinavia and Iceland when i discovered the word bushcraft and the friluftsliv concept (the nordic concept of getting outdoors). I decided to embark on this journey and start acquiring knowledge on different basic skills for self reliance and to make our outdoors experiences more comfortable.
Explain your typical get-away. Where are you, what are you doing, what do you pack?
Unfortunately in Mexico things are a bit insecure and it's difficult to just roam free, so if we have time to plan we go out for a few days camping in places we already know they are safe or that we have researched before. When there is little time to plan we go for a hike spending all day out, making coffee, preparing something to eat, make a craft or two and enjoy the solitude of nature. We live in Mexico City so we always have to drive an average of 2 hours to get to nearby forests or mountains.
Before I take off, I always pack my Five C's for survival items (cutting tools, cordage, container, cover and combustion) both for a hike or a big camping trip. So then depending on the trip location and duration a choose my kits…. I always have with me a knife, fire kit, medical pouch, tarp, cooking kit, wood stove, kuksa, possibles pouch, tinder pouch, saw, sometimes my axe, spice kit (super important haha), lantern, flashlight, camera and a jacket or heavy flannel.
Tell us about a cooking experience while in the woods. I’m sure you’ve had to get pretty creative.
Cooking is one of my favorite activities to do while in the outdoors. From starting a fire which I think is the favorite activity among bushcrafters to enjoying a whisky sip on my kuksa after a good meal. With today's gear you pretty much can cook anything you want outdoors so we like to keep it changing constantly, I make all types of eggs, bacon, oatmeal, quesadillas, hamburgers, steaks, grilled veggies, fish, sausages, grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, ramen, stews….
Bushcraft seems like a pretty raw & creative experience. What don’t we know about the craft?
In my opinion bushcraft has kind of two sides, the primitive one which consists on much more raw techniques like, stone knapping, trapping, hunting, foraging, navigation tracking etc and the more “modern one” which consists on putting together your kits, using more gear than having to use what nature offers, it's still raw in some ways but when you're on a learning journey like myself i think it's the best way to start and as time passes and your experience grows you can start by using less gear and start crafting what you can as you go.
To stay comfortable in the wild clothing and good gear make the difference, add to this a few bushcraft skills and you're good to go. Knowing to light up a fire when everything is soaking wet is definitely game changer for example. Or knowing how to properly use a knife or axe can save your life, and these tools have been around for ages and we will still have them in the future.
What are some of nature’s more unique technological advancements?
I believe nature itself is the most advanced thing on our planet, everything about it has a purpose and a roll that is key. Of all the animals and living things we might be the smartest but at the same time the weakest of all, just by looking at the amazing things animals and plants can do and how they thrive despite our selfish and wrong way of living is beyond words. If an apocalypse would happen nature would thrive and we would become extinct.
Get out there, get in touch with nature and the wilderness, learn from it, respect it, for me it is the best sanctuary there is and I believe it's one of the main keys for happiness and each day that passes humans seem to be more distant with nature instead of working together, we as humans need to be in touch with nature in order to be more humble and conscious about the way we live nowadays.