By My Hands

Basic Outdoor Skills

Self reliance is one trait of an independent person, who can assess a situation and resolve the problem relying on skills developed over time. This is not to imply that you will not / do not accept and work with others to achieve a solution, but if necessary, can rely upon yourself completely.

When you live in a post-industrial electronic cyber age and routinely employ technology daily, you depend on the products of others to work, play and live.

Self reliance in a basic sense depends only on your brain and hands to solve a problem when technology is not available.

This is what this page is about. Since this website emphasizes hiking and outdoor activities, the following, incomplete, list suggests some useful skills to learn. Many are from the “Stuck in the Woods” course.

  • Maintaining your health
  • Keeping warm/cool
  • Constructing a shelter.
  • Making fire (flint and steel, etc.)
  • Finding your way (navigation, compass)
  • Attracting attention (signals)
  • Finding food/water
  • Using simple tools (knife, axe, saw)
  • Making useful stuff (cordage, utensils, furniture, traps, etc.)
  • Learning useful knots
  • Being prepared

Self reliance inspires self confidence. Not the ego-boosting, bragging, “better than thou” type, but the quiet assurance that whatever life hands you, you can handle it in your own way.