I was thinking of a 10 skills every man should have sorta post, then realized that lots of people aren't exposed to certain things.   So I want to start a string of things that every man should at least experience.  I wanted to say that everyman should own, or be competent, but I reckon a 17 foot canoe is not something you keep in a NY city apartment.  So on the lines of 10 things every man should experience.....

1.  Paddling a canoe, or rowing a boat.  

2.  Fishing

3.  Firing a 12 gauge shotgun

4.  Splitting a piece of wood in one swing

5.  Building a campfire

6.  Cooking a meal over open flame

7.  Hunting (even if just with a camera if your opposed)

8.  Finishing an adventure (white water camping trip, hiking highest peak in your state etc....)

9.  Hitting a target with a bow and arrow.

10.  Spending the night in a tent, at least a days hike from your car.

I understand certain things don't appeal to everyone, but part of being a man is being well rounded.   Not to mention even if you hate em all, you get 10 new stories.

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Not sure if this is what you mean- but in today's world,  I would like to add the ability to experience the 'quiet' of the outdoors....


No cell phones/computers/cars/radios- add any modern industrialized hindrence

Can you imagine the pure fear of being detached from society like that?????  Perhaps that is setting the bar a tad to high for most modern men.  :-)

Well baby steps then???

GPS enabled canoes?

Laying on top of your bed in the Marriot?


Only joking-  nice thread though Eric-


Can I also add-  being able to navigate yourself out of a forrest/moutainrange etc using a map and compass-  not GPS

Eric, Great idea!

I have a couple of other potential items for the list:

Navigating by map and compass (No GPS)

Lighting a fire without matches

Finding north using a wristwatch

Plugging a USB socket in right way up first time


Not sure if that last one is really relevant but I've never been able to do it!

Man Tom thats a good one, and hell I have a mac my USB sockets run vertical, I can't even find "up"!!!  I like the navigating one, compass and reading a topo map are soon to be lost skills.  I have to tell you my fire lighting skill suck.  I can go through a book of matches in a dry fall with piles of kindling.  Thank god my wife is good at it :-)

Maybe we should add some simpler things as well.  Like how to look through and focus binoculars.  I try to think of all the little things that are basic knowledge to me, and something I don't even consider "teaching" when I show them to my 10 year old. After the lunch I had today I would also like to add chewing with your mouth closed.

Have to say I owe every single one of those experiences to Scouts, either as a beaver, cub, scout, or venture. I definitely agree that they're great skills to at least experience once, even if you don't become a master in them.

I'd settle for the "one match fire" My dad insisted on when I was a kid. He'd give you one match to light it. If it didn't work you had to clear the pit and start over.

  • Swim - Not doggie paddle, not remember that you could swim when you're a kid, but swim, swim with and against currents, dead-man float, etc. 
  • Safely use a chainsaw - felling trees, bucking branches, avoiding and getting out of pinches.
  • Ride a horse - Not down a park trail on a rented horse, but control the animal - make it do what you want, and handle it when it's spooked
  • Basic orienteering.
  • Plant and harvest from a garden - There is no such thing as someone who hasn't the room or time for a garden. A tomato plant in a container, even.
  • How to use a rope to rappel and belay (nothing crazy, just down an incline too steep for climbing -  tie knots and lash things down - I HATE seeing a trailer load of stuff that looks like a kid with some string secured it. 
  • How to butcher an animal. Not the fine cuts, etc, but how to slaughter, drain the blood, gut, and skin.
  • How to administer serious first aid 
  • How to fire and maintain firearms.
  • How to sharpen a knife - really. Why carry a knife if you can't keep it sharp?

done, done, done, not yet, done, not yet, not yet, done and got certified (certification ran out though), yes on the first no on the second, and unfortunately not. For some reason it never ends up sharp when I try to sharpen stuff.

Where is the like button ???

Simply awesome and relevant manly skills listed above.. 

Thanks John 

I think, what it boils down to, a man should be able to handle himself without the benefit of modern technology.  If you curl up into a fetal position and start repeating "mommy" at the thought of getting lost in a park, well............


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