Ben McNutt believes that we should all return to our human roots every once in a while, to remain grounded in ourselves, to master first principles, to move naturally, to think critically and to live in nature. As a wilderness skills instructor and expedition leader, he is recognised as one of the UK’s leading bushcraft and survival experts. He trained as one of Ray Mears’ original apprentices, receiving one of the first antler-handled instructor’s blades in 2000, and has been instructing professionally ever since. Ben is an inspiring teacher and is able to draw on a massive knowledge base. He is always furthering his own skills due to love of books, a thirst for knowledge and a practical and creative mind.
Ben holds a BA(Hons) in Fine Art, his eye for detail is evident in the quality of his crafts and he has employed his artistic talents to illustrate Ray Mears’ internationally bestselling books ‘Bushcraft’ and ‘Essential Bushcraft’. Over 400 illustrations depict the many techniques that are explained within the books – described by the publishers as a “richly illustrated compendium of practical skills and wisdom, containing step by step guides to all aspects of survival techniques”.
Ben has spoken at international seminars, addressing both academic and popular audiences, written for leading magazines, been featured in the national newspapers, guest presented on a number of TV shows, holds a CyberTracker level 3 ‘Tracker’ certificates, is a qualified Mountain leader, and is a member of the Wilderness Emergency Medical Services Institute teaching faculty. Ben has helped create cutting edge leadership development training programs and exclusive wilderness retreats, for individual CEO’s and small group top-tier management, in Asia, Africa and Europe. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
He continues to be a leader in the field of wilderness bushcraft both in the UK and internationally, pioneering new skills sets, crafting concept courses and creating unique remote wilderness expeditions. Ben has designed a number of authentic international trips, each rich in traditional skills; studying the legendary tracking skills of the San bushmen in the Kalahari desert, learning the vanishing heritage of the Penan’s jungle-lore in heart of Borneo and mastering the art of classic winter camping and snowshoeing in the Sub-Arctic and boreal forests of the far North. By returning for many years Ben has built up an impressive skill base in these environments and has gained the respect of his friends who live there.
When he’s not teaching and inspiring others about wilderness living, you can find him in the mountains and woods swimming, running and hiking. Ben is a Vivobarefoot ambassador and is currently working closely with the design team at Vivo to help create a new range of barefoot boots that can handle the rigours of the desert, the jungle, temperate woodlands and sub-zero snow conditions. As a proud dad he enjoys nothing more than spending time with his little boy exploring the wild places of the Lake District.