In the middle of a forest in northern Germany, a woman stretches a tarp between two trees, places another tarp (also called elephant skin), a folding mat and a pelt underneath as ground insulation and sits down on the pelt with a little sigh. With one hand on her fully packed backpack, she looks into the distance, taking in the forest and its natural sounds.

The smile on her face speaks volumes and her black Labrador Ben is always at her side. Idyll and harmony…..

“This is exactly what we bushcrafters love, having time and enjoying the peace and quiet in nature, drifting around and working with wood,” says Alli, who regularly sets up her bushcraft camp in the woods and among others builds tripods out of branches for hanging a kettle, creates reflecting wooden ramparts or carves wooden spoons out of birch wood.

Bushcraft is living in the forest with natural or brought along means, but not in a survival mode, although here Alli also uses modern tactical equipment and prefers operaing a combination of traditional and modern bushcraft. “I pay special attention to being able to rely on the clothing and gear I take into the woods. Quality is very important to me there!”

Alli’s real name is actually Andrea and she lives with her family in Hamburg, Germany. Even as a child, she spent hours in nature building dams and caves, roaming the woods and making her own bows and arrows. When visiting her aunt’s farm, Alli was more likely to be found with the animals in the pasture or playing in the hay than at the coffee table. Nature has always been a part of her life… but due to her studies, job and family other priorities came first for a long time.


In 2017, she rediscovered nature in a phase of life in which she wanted to find balance and peace through long hikes. This was also the starting point for the bushcrafting and outdoor life, which she has been successfully sharing with her followers for years on her Instagram and Facebook account @bushcraft_alli and which has brought her enormous popularity. She also shares her time in the woods on YouTube on her channel Bushcraft Alli. “There are not so many women who show this hobby publicly, but the numbers are increasing steadily!” she is happy to tell, as her posts are meant to motivate people to venture outside.

“The joyful anticipation of the stay in the forest starts with the packing of the backpack.” says Alli, who also likes to cook in the forest and thus takes cooking utensils, food ingredients and camping stove with her into nature in the backpack. Ben, her black Labrador, also doesn’t leave her side for a moment once she gets her things together, because he enjoys being in the forest at least as much as she does. “He’s been coming to the forest with me since he was a puppy, and can totally relax there,” Alli explains.

“The right clothing is also important to me on my outdoor adventures and I swear by merino wool like the one from Woolpower! It is a great climate regulator in both cold and heat and even if you sweat during physical exertion, you don’t get cold afterwards! Great!”

After arriving in the forest, the first thing is a hike. Alli already takes in the mood of the forest here, observes exactly which animals are nearby or what traces they have left behind.

“Aren’t you afraid to be alone in the forest as a woman?” she is often asked, which makes her grin mischievously. No, she’s not afraid… why should she be? As a bushcrafter and hunter, she knows how to behave correctly depending on the conditions in the forest, and she knows how to read tracks left by animals or people.

“I obtained my hunting license because I wanted to know more about the connections between nature and animals, as well as forestry and agriculture. Highly interesting topics and the craft of hunting has many points of contact with bushcraft, especially the love and respect for nature and its creatures – hunting in accordance with hunting principles is very important to me,” explains Alli.


Alli and Ben roam through the forest, today a new site to camp is visited. Here the conditions have to be re-evaluated, tree spacing, ground, safety. “I like to explore new places and find the optimal spot. Of course, some points play a role, especially the safety, that is, could old rotten branches fall down, could trees topple or could a small stream become a raging torrent in a heavy rainfall? “

“I like to set up temporary camps and leave the place where I set up camp as if I wasn’t even there…I’m just a visitor here…,” she says.

The first thing she does is to make herself a coffee to get in the mood and adjust to the forest after the hustle and bustle of the big city. The wooden birch cup, also called a kuksa, is always with her. “In nature, the clocks move at a different pace and this serenity and composure is what we bushcrafters are looking for!”

Then it’s time to prepare for cooking, which will be the main focus of today’s camp. Alli sets up her Trangia cooking set and lights the spirit stove. Here, too, Alli puts safety and conscientiousness in handling the cooking utensils and the stove first. Today Indian chicken with rice and vegetables are on the menu. The ingredients are laid out and in no time the vegetables are freshly sliced, the rice is ready and the chicken is fried. There is a delicious smell of spices and the food looks really tasty. A cozy spot is also quickly found and Alli enjoys her meal in peace and, of course, hasn’t forgotten Ben, who is gleefully nibbling on a bone. “Moments like this are pure quality of life for me!” says Alli and the satisfaction and joy are totally plain to see.


“So many people whom I tell about my activities in the forest are thrilled about them. They often reminisce about their childhood, the lightheartedness and the little exciting adventures outdoors. And many rediscover that very same longing and are glad about the impetus and motivation to get out into nature!”

Having a good time with just a few things and letting yourself drift, having time for yourself and becoming one with the forest… nature accepts people as they are and lets them find themselves. When Alli and Ben leave their camp, there is no sign that they have lived here for a whole day. Conscientiously all traces of the stay have been removed and the two make their way back satisfied. A lovely day comes to an end!