What skills do you think every man should be required to have?

1.  Build a proper Fire

2.  At least basic carpentry

3.  Basic home wiring

4.  Chainsaw use and sharpening

5.  Basic plumbing

6.  knot tying

7.  hunting skills

8.  fishing skills

9.  Basic mechanics

10.  How to tie a windsor

11.  How to ride a horse

12.  Basic ettiquette

13.  How to protect ones self and family

14.  Firearm skill and safety

15.  Have a gentlemanly debate

16.  Speak to both men and women comfortably

17.  Tell an entertaining joke or story

18.  BAsic bartending skills

19.  Unstick a vehicle from mud (no tow truck)

20.  Ask a woman on a date

21.  Drive a stick shift

22.  basic gardening and animal husbandry (if you think this is something dirty it aint!  LOL)

23.  Lead a prayer or public address

24.  carve a turkey

25.  Basic knowledge of at least three sports


Thats my top 25 but definitely not an exhaustive list.  Whats yours?


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Fantastic list.  Off the top of my head, I can only think to add:


some basic self defense (hand to hand)

blade sharpening

beautiful list.  You've got just about everything i could think of.  I've got some work to do ;)

i would say knowledge of bicycle mechanics, but its kind of a given on your list.  I remember when i was a little boy having my dad fix whatever seemingly extremely complex problems on my bike i was having was such a feat.

Another thing to add:  base of knowledge of muscular/skeletal anatomy; bodily problems and solutions.

IMHO a man develops a skill set matched to his environment, reasonable risks and hazards he might come across, and his goals.

Putting up an list and saying all men should do what's on it does not make sense to me; like riding a horse. Think of all the urban/suburban-dwelling men of which that has no relevancy to, which comprise the bulk of the population.

Boating?  I have seen few self possessed CEO types more humbled than when they are fumbling with a canoe, kayak, skiff, or fishing boat. 

Fly an aircraft.

Tow a trailer. 

Trapping whether it is a mouse or bear.  I would be a LOT more likely to feed my family running a trap line than hunting. 

Write a letter. 

Cook at least well enough to feed yourself.

Teach something

Good list. 

Overall not a bad list. I would re-vamp about 1/3 of it, but it certainly covers basics.

How to manage their schedule


Basic Etiquette

How to speak well

How to lead a group

How to follow a leader in a group

How to honestly see and accept (especially if it does not match their own) other peoples point of view.

How to have a debate of issues and topics, without harming relationships.

How to write a  Paper, a message, and an Email well.

How to date well.


How to they learn best.

How to research and learn a topic

Understand the scientific method

Understand the basic statistics

How to use excel


How to handle money

How to calculate interest, payment schedules, principle and etc.


Basic First Aid

How to groom and dress well

How to tie a tie.


How to Cook

How to Clean

Basic maintenance - home, car, shoe, etc

How to drive a manual transmission


How to swim long distance above and below the water.

Building a proper Fire

Basic Carpentry

Basic home wiring.

Basic Plumbing

Hunting and Fishing

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

I've done, not just know how to do, all but two on that list.  What's next?


All but two on Heinlein's list.  I've done everything on everyone elses list.

Not a big fan of this quote.

Should is a preachy "you do that even if you don't want to" word. My mom uses it a lot, and it took me years to finally tell her to shove it.

Heinlein's quote is fine for pioneering in it's "jack of all trades master of none" spirit, and for adding balance to your life, but that's it.

It denies the value of honing a skill, becoming a master at the one thing you've been put here to do. Did the cathedrals, the art that fills our museums, the probes we've put into space, or the work in our libraries come from people doing that on the side?

In my profession I see man after man proudly show us the DIY work they did, and it's always weak and mediocre.

His quote can make us well-rounded men, but specialization is what makes civilization.

This is a fantastic list, basically spot on. I might add using a map/compass also and some cooking skills. Writing a personal letter is always a good skill to have as well.But I love this list man!


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