How To Master A Bushcraft Skill - The Key To Truly Understanding A Skill
A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article here on the Woodsong Blog titled TOP 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WILDERNESS SKILLS
The article quickly turned into one of the most viewed posts I've ever put out. I think this is awesome, because it means people care. They're sick of watching "unboxing" videos on youtube and crumby reality TV. They're ready to get their hands dirty and start learning!
Although it got a lot of positive feedback, the article also provoked some great comments of"if I could add one thing..." The most common reply was that we needed to learn by teaching. I completely agree! However, I go about describing it in a different way. I know that I stole this learning strategy from someone else (who probably also got it from someone else, who probably got it from another person, etc), but it's simple, effective, and helpful.
Learn The Skill, but...
Learn the skill, but learn it properly. The great thing about the internet is that anyone can post anything they want about anything. The bad thing about the internet is also that anyone can post anything they want about anything.
Probably the best way to learn is to attend a qualified school. If that isn't possible, learn by reading books (that are written by qualified instructors), and consuming online content (again, only from qualified instructors).
Another important thing to consider is the urge to learn. If you aren't hungry for knowledge, you'll probably fail
Practice The Skill
Once you grasp what it takes to accomplish the skill, practice it over and over. You've made 2 fires with a bowdrill? Awesome. Do 50 more. It's fun.
Keep practicing until it becomes a natural part of how you live while you're in the woods. Believe it or not, your ancestors were this good at fire starting. We've only gotten flabby recently. You and I will probably never be as incredible as this guy, but practice makes better.
Teach The Skill
Teaching is the last step of truly learning a skill. Once you have a solid grasp of the skill, start teaching it. You don't have to work for a school to teach. Teach your little brother, teach your baby sister, teach your grandma, teach your dog, teach, teach, teach.
It's crazy how your understanding of a skill can expand once you teach it. You'll also benefit from the questions posed by your "students." One of the reasons I love teaching kids is because they're not afraid to ask silly questions or think outside the box.
So teach. You won't regret it. And who knows; maybe after years of teaching a skill... you'll master it!
That's it guys!
Learn - Do - Teach
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About The Author
Sam is a writer, adventurer, and founder of Woodsong. In 2011 his practical experiences over many nights in remote wilderness areas inspired him to start this blog! Sam’s adventures have lead him throughout North America where he has had the opportunity to learn from world-class outdoorsmen, and perhaps the greatest teacher of all, the natural world.