Most of us at some point in time, fantasize about wandering off in the woods and living of the land for an extended period of time. As unrealistic as this is, we do still find time to explore the outdoors. Adventuring outdoors can be challenging, but it is extremely gratifying. There is nothing like being in the woods without a person around for miles and just observing nature. Before setting off on a great outdoor adventure though, there are some outdoor skills you should take the time to learn first. We have collected some fantastic resources to help you learn the skills you need to thrive in the outdoors. This post contains affiliate links.
You don’t just take off into the woods and automatically know how to do all of the things you need to do to make it. These skills take a lot of practice to master. The great thing is they are actually pretty fun to practice in controlled situations.
First, I am going to talk about everyone’s favorite outdoor activity, building a fire. There is nothing like sitting around a campfire sharing stories with good friends, or the security that a fire can give you when you are in the woods alone. There are so many methods and gadgets out there for fire building, and every one has a favorite. Truth is, there are 3 basic elements to make a fire, and everything else is just personal preference. You need Fuel (wood), Air, and Heat (Spark / Flame).
Firewood is essential to building a fire and to be successful you need a few different sizes. Tinder, Kindling, and Fuel sized pieces of wood (or other material that will burn) will get your fire going and keep it going.
Tinder is usually small and easy to get started, but burns long and hot enough to light your kindling. I like material like jute twine, inner bark from dead cedar, wood shavings, and dry grasses. Kindling is just a little bigger and serves to get the fire big and hot enough to start burning the fuel. Dead branches and twigs are great for this if they are dry. Sometimes if they are too big, you will have to split them down. When splitting kindling, I try to make a few different sizes from pencil thin up.
The fuel logs are even bigger than the kindling. I prefer around wrist width to start with, and if the pieces are bigger I will split them down into a more manageable size. Once the fire is going bigger logs will burn longer, so it is nice to have some on hand.