It’s not very often that I get to meet someone as passionate about the outdoors as Nicander. A man specializing in Bushcraft who is oozing with the dream to learn and explore as much as he possibly can from nature itself.
On his journey, he has shared his learning’s and passion. You can see them in the numerous video’s he has on his Youtube channels and pictures he shares on Instagram.
He is very generous with his information and even in this interview, you can tell he wasn’t really holding back. So without further a due let’s jump right into the questions.
Tell us a little about yourself:
Hi, I’m Nicander, on social media Bushcraft Nic. I love to be outdoors and live as primitive as I can. I love to explore nature and see, feel and taste all it has to offer. Loving every season, especially autumn and winter. I love to challenge myself to practice bushcraft techniques in the hardest conditions. It feeds my creativity and boosts my energy. I learn the most when I challenge myself!
What’s your age:
Where were you born?
I was born in the Netherlands
What Outdoor Activity do you do?
I love several outdoor activities. These are most of all Bushcraft (kind of survival), cycling to far places, snowboarding and searching for food in the wild.
Who is your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is Ray Mears.
His series might be slow to some people but I can’t imagine another show which has taught me so many skills as he did! And I admire his way of coöperating with nature instead of fighting against it!
What inspired you to take up?
When a colleague asked me to come along with a mid-winter-bivouac, I went along. It was a quite impulsive action to join him in a bivouac with outdoor temperatures of -5,8F°/ -21C° but it turned out to be the best decision ever!
As soon as we arrived in the snowy and cold forest we had to work to keep ourselves warm. I quickly learned some basic bushcraft and survival skills like ‘leave no trace’, the easiest knots to tie and to untie (very important), how to make a fire with a firesteel and stuff like camp-hygiene and camp-order.
I loved to experience the forest in this way, I suddenly saw opportunities for usage of simple materials in everything around me. Besides that, experiencing the fresh air, the temperature, sounds, and smells. This got even better because we did not sleep in a tent but under a tarp in the open air.
Unfortunately, all this stood out to the quality of my gear. My sleeping bag was made for 32-50°F/ 0-10°C, in extreme cases it could be used till 14°F/ -10°C.
Additionally, my mat was not prepared for these temperatures so sleeping was not the case. It was a night of shivering, twisting and turning till I was sick of it at 5 AM and decided there should be a fire started real soon!
I took a firesteel and collected some bark to spark on. With the skills, I learned the night before I started to flint while the others were still sleeping.
“YES!!!” Success at the 3rd strike! The bark started to burn and small wood could be added to the fire.
The warmth of the fire slowly started to win over from the cold frozen air and my cold body started to revive. It felt so intense to be able to create warmth with such a small amount of effort and natural resources which are provided everywhere in nature.
This moment changed my life! I wanted to do this as much as possible. My passion for bushcraft had begun.
Next spring I’ve bought some gear (which is sold everywhere in all price ranges) and started enjoying nature from this new point of perspective.
Since then I’m hooked!
When did you take up?
About 8 years ago
How often do you participate in the activity?
Every month several days
What’s your favorite trick?
I love to make fire from a spark. Even better when it is fully raining! It is so beautiful to focus on the just started flame and to nourish it till it is strong and warming you up.
What’s your favorite gear?
I have a lot of favorite gear.
From the section ‘DIY’ it will be my self-made bucksaw.
From the section ‘bought material,’ it will be my Fjällräven Kajka backpack which is really bad-ass good with all its functionalities and I do also love my Gransforsk small forest axe. It has a perfect weight and size to fit in the backpack, still a good size to cut trees and it remains sharp forever before it has to be sharpened again.
What are you striving towards in the future?
I would love to join the upcoming Fjällräven Polar expedition (where I still need votes for). And in the future, I would love to do courses for people to connect with nature. Hopefully creating awareness of the beauty but also vulnerability.
Make sure to support him by voting for him here http://polar.fjallraven.com/contestant/?id=59&backpage=1&order=popular
It will only take a minute but will mean so much to him.
If someone would be interested in doing bushcraft, what would you recommend they do?
Start a fire with a fire steel on birchbark.
This young man is 100% in line with what Men Do Outdoors is out to promote. The incredible playground we have at our doorstep. Nature, and that is why he was selected as Mendooutdoors Featured Profile. Make sure to follow him on his journey and vote for him so that he can continue his journey on the upcoming Fjällräven Polar expedition.
Have you got any questions for Nicander, make sure to post them in the comments below. If you have someone you could recommend to be featured as an exceptional man doing exceptional things outdoors click here
Finally make sure to share this post with others who inspire to be in the outdoors.