View Full Version : What's on your "Skills to Master" list?

10-21-2010, 12:49 PM
We should all be working on some kind of skill. I get kind of bored with the things to buy threads. I think the best part of bushcraft is that it is inexpensive and the skills can be largely self taught so acquiring them is only an investment of time.

I always keep a lookout for people who have mastered the skills I want to learn. This place is a goldmine of information. What are the skills you are currnetly working on, or what's next on deck?

For me it is ...

Thigh rolling cordage
Net Making with a net needle
"Floating Hands" Technique for the hand drill

YouTube - Bushcraft Floating Hand Drill (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns8UMJ5WM3g)

Too cool IMO


10-21-2010, 12:55 PM
Bowdrill, bowdrill and bowdrill :)

10-21-2010, 01:01 PM
Jedi Mind Trick then casting lighting from my fingers :9:

10-21-2010, 01:01 PM
Fires in wet weather,
Making a pump drill for boring holes,
Making a bushy lathe like Kep did:D
Continuing to improve my leatherworking,
Continuing to improve my rifle shooting,
Continuing to improve my pistol shooting, (shotgun I've got down),

and last but certainly not least, getting into better shape:o

I'm doing fairly well on that last jot, as I have been steadily losing weight since I came home from college. All of that greasy college food wasn't good for me I guess:o
I'm down to 192!:D

Now I need to start putting on muscle.

10-21-2010, 01:03 PM
Funny you bring this up Pict, over on Blade Forums Bushbum has started a "owning the skill" thread has one for october on figure 4 traps and next months is using natuarl tenders. I have been practicing my figure 4s every day and I have to say it really helps being able to post and have others that are working on the samething at the same time.

But the skills on my list to work on are: hand drill, wild plant Id, and more types of traps(your bird trap is on that list!)

10-21-2010, 01:07 PM
I'd say hand drill, which I still struggle with (Strange, considering how easy I find bow drill!) and identifying plants. I'd like to be able to practise making natural shelters, but there is nowhere near me that I can find suitable to practice.

10-21-2010, 01:09 PM
Hey Pict,I need to also work on hand drill and bow drill. I've yet to get an ember.Thanks for the vid.


10-21-2010, 01:17 PM
For me, making cordage and plant / tree i.d.

10-21-2010, 01:18 PM
Edible plant ID
Bowdrill-I've never had success with this method
making cordage from plants
sinew from animals
smoking/drying meat and fish.

Getting in shape. I need to loose a couple (score) pounds, and get more strength and stamina.

Sgt. Mac
10-21-2010, 01:24 PM
Handrill, and learnin more about plants and stuff

10-21-2010, 01:30 PM
Hand drill
knife smithing
leather tanning and working
bow and arrow making (primitive)
flint knapping

10-21-2010, 01:35 PM
Never tried the hand drill before so let's just put that on the top of the list.

I also want to focus quite a bit of energy on plant/tree/mushroom ID.

While I'm a good shot with the rifle, I have no handgun or shotgun experience, so that's another area to focus on.

So much work, so little time!

10-21-2010, 01:42 PM
I see from the comments that the hand drill method is pretty attractive.


10-21-2010, 02:50 PM
My good friend just scored a forge and anvil. So I'm getting ready to bang steel:4:. Looking towards knives and hawks. Also working with natural chert around here in central FL for knapping and fire starting. In general, I want to develop better skills to make my whole kit with natural materials.

10-21-2010, 03:26 PM
Oh, yeah.
Can't forget to mention the smithing.
Gots to learn that too.

Hmm...my uncle has an anvil on his back porch. Need to get at it!:D

10-21-2010, 05:12 PM
Hand drill fire!

10-21-2010, 06:27 PM
I recently got an itch to have another knife, and since I've got a lot more time than money right now, I decided to make one.

I had a rod holder like this


Not sure if it's exactly the same one, on mine the spike was 1/8 by 1 inch flat bar.

I've been working it by hand, I cut a rough shape with a hacksaw, and the rest has been with a file.

I'm almost ready to put it on the stones and wrap the handle. Don't know if I'll ever add a handle proper.

So far,


10-21-2010, 06:52 PM
Mastering wild edibles in the Mojave.

10-21-2010, 07:18 PM
Tree ID, Bow making, more knowledge on edibles and medicinal plants, pottery

10-21-2010, 07:47 PM
Id like to know more about edible plants in my AO. Id also like to know more about what game species like to eat when the obvious is not around such as berries and mast crop. There have been times Ive found an abundance of deer or turkey or squirrel and looked all over wondering "why here, nothing to eat."
My woods skills can always get better, its a journey right? Not a destination.
What I really would like to improve at are my "town skills" or "people skills" :)LOL

10-21-2010, 07:53 PM
Fire by friction: bow drill
edible plants

10-21-2010, 08:15 PM
Gaining a good knowledge base in plant & tree identification is something I really want to have. I read alot but field time with someone more experienced than myself seems like the way to go. Also I would like to be more comfortable with administering first aid.

10-21-2010, 08:50 PM
Carving canoe paddles, making mixed wood mora knives and sheaths, and making my first self-bow (ash)... too many projects, not enough time!

10-21-2010, 08:52 PM
Wild edibles
Fire by hand drill.

10-21-2010, 09:11 PM
Packing my ruck for longer, deeper stays in the woods. And learning more secrets of the hardwood environment.

10-21-2010, 09:42 PM
When I hear or see someone do or say something blatantly dumb, I'd like to be able to keep my mouth shut......:20:

10-21-2010, 10:20 PM
Friction fire and I would really like to learn to make a self bow.

10-21-2010, 10:28 PM
Number 1 on my list is mastering cordage.
I can produce short links with no problems, but I'm still having trouble making longer lengths of cordage. I understand the technique, but just cannot master it.

I'd also love to master the fine art of tolerating mosquitoes...

10-21-2010, 10:35 PM
Making and using a bow drill & hand drill.
Making and using a long bow and arrows.
More work on debri huts and natural shelters.
Identifying and processing wild medicinal and edible plants.
Making clothes from hides.
Knapping flint and working bone.
I am sure there are a few others...but most importantly...


10-21-2010, 10:36 PM
I'd say that I have to work on everything. Even though I feel pretty darn comfortable with quite a few skills, I want all of outdoor skills to become second nature. That's a long way off.

10-22-2010, 02:05 AM
I think a whole lot of people here have said fire by friction and I am in the same boat. I have been in the woods my whole life and that is one skill I have only once tried, and gave it a half assed shot at that.
I really should make it happen. It must be simply magical to see fire come from nothing but elbow grease like that.