Bushcraft Skill Assessment In The Real World

Half an inch of rain is falling around here today.  Everything is already damp from all the snow that has melted over the past several days, and now with this soaking rain the resulting conditions are some of the most difficult for fire-lighting.  You need dry wood to light a fire.  The problem is finding it in conditions like this.  At best it is challenging.  The trick is in knowing where to look.  With a bit of luck, a lot of skill and a good axe, it might take all day to get a fire going today.  Without the luck, it might not happen.  Skill and experience can take you very far, but sometime it can’t overcome bad conditions.  In Caribou Hunter, Mathieu Mestokosho talked about how sometimes people went hungry.  Not because they lacked hunting skills, but because that’s the reality of life.

Our media-saturated culture is TBH (Trained By Hollywood), where the hero always wins and things always turn out in the end.  In the real world things don’t work like that.  Experience teaches us humility, and that no matter how good you are, sometimes things won’t turn out how you want.  The thing to take away from this is to have a healthy dose of reality in your assessment of your skill level, and to realize that sometimes, no matter how good you are, skill is not enough.

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