How to improve your outdoor skills one step at a time.
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have it all together, especially when they’re out there in the wild? They climb mountains so fast, never get tired, sing all night, dance all night, run fastest, stand tall, look pretty in their outdoor gear…the list is endless. But why can’t people like you push a sit up to save their necks even once? Well, if you’re still wondering, you’re in for a rude shock because some of the finest outdoor people were not born like that.
Overtime, these people have gained their outdoors skills, fitness level and survival skills that enable them have the most adventure out there. And rather than lift your arms in resignation, you too can get it. Here is the roadmap that will help you improve your outdoor skills and confidence. Following these tips and tricks will help you prepare confidently for your next international expedition, wild camp, local bush crafting session, kayak adventure, etc.
This is a broad article looking at the various pieces that make up good “Outdoor skills”, these can then be transferred to all your outdoor activities, be it outdoor swimming, SUping, camping, bushcafting etc.
How To Get Better Outdoor Skills
Have an open mind
A lot of learning happens when people are open to new ideas and perspectives. In the outdoor adventure environment in particular, an open mind helps a lot. First of all, when you are out in the wild, say with a group, chance are you’ll be under someone who knows more than you. If you’re just beginning, then it’s in order for you to open yourself up to new knowledge, courtesy of these people. Simply put, sit back, watch and learn for new knowledge to unfold.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the outdoors.
Asking questions and being asked questions is the perfect way to learn. In an outdoor environment, other adventurers will know a thing or two you don’t know. It could be a new way to light a fire, save water, boil water, make fire, pitch a tarp, fight fatigue, dry wood, anything. For you to improve from their outdoors adventure skills, all you have to do is ask them how they do it. You will be amazed at how many people will share information with you. Take advantage of it and learn.
Read, read and keep reading about the outdoor skills your learning.
If you want to hide something from the mass majority of people, simply put it in a book. Research has shown that many lack general skills for lack of interest in reading. If you want to become good at an outdoor adventure activity or routine, all you have to do is read. A lot of people share their stories of the outdoors and how they survive in books. However, note that this doesn’t mean just reading any book. A good outdoors camping book from a guru would be a good idea. A few Discovery Channel survivor books could also be in order in helping you learn the skills needed to survive out there to experience the adventures in the outdoors. YouTube is another great place to earn skills and find great information.
Try new things
Reading all the books in the wild, or hanging out with the outdoor crazies will not make you a better or skilled outdoor adventure person. The real skills only come when you’re out there in the wild, doing the things that should be done first hand. This means that the dormant learning was your forte, and then you have to change this as soon as possible. Start being daring and proactive about the outdoors. Do more than you think and your skills will surely improve. But be safe and sensible, we are just saying; you need hands on to learn the outdoor way.
The dos and don’ts in outdoor adventures in foreign lands.
You have in mind a fantastic plan for the best outdoor adventure experience of your lifetime. But the mere excitement makes you forget to plan on how to carry yourself during this experience. Outdoor adventures always involve others (even if it is just buying petrol or items from a local store). But if it is a lifelong trip to climb mount Everest then you will travel from the UK to Nepal and interacting with a new and very different culture. Treat them well, that is everyone you encounter. Here are tips on dos and don’ts for a perfect outdoor adventure.
Nature provides the best outdoor activities for all of mankind; it is our responsibility to maintain this. Your outdoor adventure should have in place measures to conserve it, which also translates to dos and don’ts like;
- Putting out all the fires lit during your outdoor expeditions in order to prevent forest fires, which can be devastating to the environment.
- Proper disposal of all litter contributes to a clean environment, ready for the next adventurer to experience.
- Avoid unnecessary noises during outdoor events for a peaceful outdoor experience.
- Avoid unnecessary felling of trees, hunting and fishing, leave it as you found it.
Your outdoor activity may be taking place in a country where the inhabitants have a different way of life compared to you and you may offend them in what you may see as normal to you. Therefore, for peaceful co-existence, the following are required of you;
- Do background research on the culture of people living in the place you per take your outdoor activity
- Don’t wear revealing clothing as it may offend others
- Don’t speak ill of your host’s culture
- Avoid collecting of artifacts unless granted permission by your host
Outdoor activities are more involving and you will meet many religious beliefs out and about in the wild. Religion being a delicate issue, your approach towards this subject should be calculated lest you offend others. You may not believe in their religion and beg to differ, but this should not be the reason to argue as it may offend them. To keep safe, you need to keep this into consideration;
- Don’t enter your host’s place of worship without their permission.
- Don’t photograph your host’s place of worship.
- Touch nothing perceived to be of religious value by your host unless permitted.
- Do not speak in a manner to suggest you are criticizing their religion.
When taking part in group outdoor events, lifestyle choices often arise. Unless it is properly addressed, it can become a sore point in the group. Although it is important to respect the life style of everybody, a mutual arrangement can be made to help in getting the balance need. Here are tips to guide you achieve this;
- Do not use recreational substances like cigarettes everywhere and only use them in places set up for them.
- Do not share your recreational substances like cigarettes and alcohol with your hosts as this can be impolite.
- Cover yourself fully when before your hosts.
- Be aware of the noise you make.
Basic Outdoor Skills for every adventure.
These are considered the basic skills everyone should have when venturing outdoors.
* How to start a fire
* How to build a shelter
* How to find and purify water
* How to navigate using a map and compass
Building a Fire
Building a fire is an important skill to have in the wilderness. Not only can it help you ward off predators, but it can also be a great way to practice and patience. When building a fire, it’s important to choose the right tinder and flint. The tinder should be dry and easy to ignite, while the flint should be hard and sharp. With a little practice, you’ll be able to build a fire that will keep you warm and safe in the wilderness. The fire triangle comprises fuel(wood), heat (flint, fire steel, match, friction), and oxygen. Every fire needs these three elements.
Building a Shelter
When you are in the wilderness, one of the most important things you can do is build a shelter. A shelter will protect you from the elements and help you stay warm. There are many types of shelters, but one of the most basic is a lean-to. To build a lean-to, find two trees that are close together. Then, tie some rope or string between the two trees. Next, lean some sticks or branches against the rope to create a wall. Finally, cover the lean-to with leaves or other materials to keep the rain out. Instead of a rope, you can also use a tree, then build on to it.
Finding & Purifying Water
If you’re in a survival situation, finding and purifying water might be your only option. You can live weeks without food, but only days without water. So if you don’t have access to safe drinking water, you need to purify it. There are several ways to purify water, but boiling is the most common and effective method. To do this, you’ll need to build a fire. Once the water is boiling, let it cool before drinking. Boiling the water will kill any harmful bacteria and parasites that might be in the water.
Navigating & Reading A Compass
A compass is a useful tool that can help you find your way when you are lost. It can also come in handy for survival in the wilderness. If you have a compass, be sure to know how to use it before you need it.
Hunting & Foraging For Food
Hunting and foraging for food are two important survival skills. If you are in a situation where you need to find food, you will need to know how to identify edible plants and how to catch small game. Foraging for food can be done by looking for fruits, vegetables, and nuts that are growing in the wild. You can also look for edible mushrooms and other fungi. If you are near a body of water, you can try fishing with a line and hook.
To catch small game, you will need to sharpen your knife and build a trap. Once the animal is caught, you will need to clean and cook it before eating. If you are in a survival situation, it is important to know how to hunt and forage for food. These skills will help you find the sustenance you need to stay alive.
Tying knots is an essential bushcraft skill. It is used to build a shelter, make a snare, and many other things. There are many types of knots, and each has its own purpose. Learning how to tie knots is a valuable skill that can be used in many situations.
Basic First Aid
First aid is the initial help given to a person who has been injured or is in a sudden medical emergency. Basic first aid can save your life in many different survival situations. It is important to know how to perform basic first aid techniques so that you can help yourself or others in an emergency.
Conclusion How to improve your outdoor skills
This article was general and referring to both local and international adventures, it looked at the mindset of an outdoors person. A good basic Survival Skills 101 article (coming soon) will cover topics such as choosing the best shelter, building a fire, finding food and water, and using basic survival gear. It will also include instructions on how to tie knots, use a compass, and build a shelter.
If you are new to outdoor survival, it is always a good idea to start with a basic Survival Skills 101 article. This will give you a good foundation of knowledge to work from. Once you have mastered the basics, you can move on to more advanced topics such as building a fire without matches, using arrowheads to make traps, and finding edible plants in the wild.
Enjoy your adventures.
Team Best Outdoors.