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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I would add, working on your own car. Especially something easy as doing an oil change. My wife always tells me "I love it that I married a man that can fix my car". A manly man doesn't need another man to do a job, right?

I cant think of anything that can make a man feel more manly than starting a fire with nothing more than a couple of sticks. "hand spindle friction fire method"...anything else is just cheating.  I'ts the most rewarding, the most impressive man skill /survival technique I've accomplished and continue to perfect thus far. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70I9FbvwQdQ

A recent newspaper item brought this one to mind:

"Don't reach where you can't see."

California is having one of the periodic population explosions of rattlesnakes.  We get a couple of mild winters, particularly if one winter is wetter than usual, and and we get all sorts of little rodents reproducing like mad.  The well-fed snakes that result from the extra food have lots of little snakes.

It might sound dorky, but Boyscouts.  If you were never a scout, volunteer to be a leader you can still learn.

I learned to make safe fire pits, hide food from bears, build snow glasses, back-pack, start health routines, even fix basic electronics and operate live radios.


So if you have a Kiddo, enroll him and yourself in the scouts.

Eric,

I like your suggestions. I agree with #1 and #2, but I would also add shooting a rifle to #3, as becoming a proficient rifle shooter is far more complex than firing a shotgun. The rest I agree with. One small point on the #10- a man must be able to make the hike and bring everything along as well.

Map and compass, not GPS, and in today's world, try doing anything.. especially in the great outdoors- without a friggin' cell phone.

In response to the original post, I would alter some slightly:

3. Fire a firearm. This could/should almost be expanded to Own a firearm. Not necessarily a CCW or anything in particular, however the ability to safely own, maintain and operate a firearm lends well to many, many situations.

5. Build a campfire without a lighter or lighter fluid (and for the really manly, without matches).

If we want to expand this, to "Outdoor Skills" that every man should know, and translate fairly well to nearly all walks of life, I would add:

Know with some certainty and skill, how to tie 20 different knots

Spend a weekend in the outdoors, beyond cell phone range.

Know, or experience the hunting/skinning/prepping an animal (descaling a fish for eating, etc.) for consumption.

"Beyond Cell range" is rather difficult these days --- maybe just leave the phone off.

And while I do agree being able to do #5 is manly, the whoosh of a full can of lighter fluid is also decidedly manly.

Plan and perform a roadtrip using just a mapbook.
Rappelling (and all necessary rope setup) would be another.
Spelunking without a map (after several visits, perhaps). Really builds landmark recognition.

I would add to this spending at least one night out camping sans tent. There is something extremey manly about sleeping literally under the stars. Use a ground cloth (tarp) and even a self-inflating air mattress or sleeping pad if you  like, but do it. Lay there and look up at the stars as you drift off to sleep. If you do it far enough away from city lights, there's a good chance of seeing a shooting star.

 

Bonus points if you ride your horse out somewhere to do this and use your saddle as a kind of pillow for the night.

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