A recent feature in Field & Stream Magazine covered 42 essential skills that are valuable to someone aiming to be “The Total Outdoorsman”. I figure these are some pretty important tips for most of us, I mean come on, who doesn’t want to be “The Total Outdoorsman”? Who wouldn’t like to be the quintessential Grizzly Adams/Bear Grylls/Fred Bear combo type of guy? Haha. Yes, admit it, we all would like to be the guy that can make a fire with nothing but a can of Kodiak, some old pocket lint and a pair of tweezers, who also so happens to come back to camp with a stringer full of a trout and a deer slung over his shoulder.
So, while this very well may be pure fantasy for most of us, there is still plenty of reality in the fact that we all can become better all around outdoorsmen and this process will without a doubt make us more confident and capable people in the wild. So with that in mind, I thought I might share a few of my favorite pointers from the Field & Stream feature and then add a few of my own!
– “When looking for animals in heavy cover, look for horizontal lines. Just about everything else grows straight up and down” – FS
– If you’re getting ready to pack up and head home from the woods, force yourself to stay out an extra 15 minutes more. Stress, frustration and exhaustion accumulate over weeks, days and hours. But the ultimate success can miraculously occur in a matter of seconds. – MK
– “If you watch someone who really knows how to use binoculars, you’ll notice that he glasses very small chunks of real estate very hard for very long periods of time. That’s why he sees things others miss.” – F&S
– Fishing on a windy day? Use lures that run close to the surface. The wind breaks up the image of your lure and it gives it a fleeting and realistic look to a wary bass, walleye or pike lurking below. – MK
– “Fish the wrong fly in the right places, sooner or later it becomes the right fly. Fish the right fly in the wrong places, you change your opinion about the fly” – F&S
– When choosing a color of artificial lure, look underwater for your inspiration! Take a look at the vegetation and ground composition of the lake/stream/pond and match your lure to the color of the surroundings. Fishing in a weedy, lilly pad choked farm pond? Toss a green watermelon colored worm. -MK
– “The Iron Law For Packing for a Trip: It will be too hot. It will be too cold. It will rain” – F&S
– Always tell someone where you are going. Whether it’s a week long hike in the mountains, an early morning in a treestand, or a day on the lake fishing. Make sure someone knows where you are heading and when you plan to be back. You can bet Aaron Ralston of the film/book 127 Hours wishes he had. – MK
– “Never carry fewer than 3 means of starting a fire” – F&S (My personal recommendations…Swedish FireSteel, waterproof matches and a good butane lighter/torch)
We’d love to get your input as well, so share your essential “Total Outdoorsman” tips or skills in the comments!