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Thread: Foundational skills to improve your oither bushcraft skills

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    Lightbulb Foundational skills to improve your other bushcraft skills

    So over on the thread What is the most important bushcraft skill. I posted up

    Quote Originally Posted by ineffableone View Post
    Certainly some skills take much longer, or even instruction and education, and are thus in the long run more valued. While sure fire making is a critical skill, with minimal knowledge and tools most anyone can produce a passable fire. They might not however be able to build a fire using friction techniques, these take practice. Just reading about them or seeing it done on TV or videos will not give you the ability to do it. It takes a lot of practice to get it right. Even then, conditions may still be against you and cause failure. Another example is a bow and arrow. Pretty much anyone can make something others would recognize as a bow and arrow. But to make a bow and arrow that is capable of taking game, is something that takes knowledge and skill. It takes practice and time to develop and it takes other skills to do it proper.

    So thinking about fire, shelter building and other stuff, the OPs suggestion of knife control does seem pretty reasonable as a high priority skill for bushcrafters to learn and get good at. Good knife skills can effect your fire building, it can effect your shelter building, it can effect your ability to process game, and so on. While you could get by with mediocre or average knife skills for all these, good knife control improves them dramatically.

    Now I would never say limit one's self to only getting good at one skill for bushcraft or even saying this or that is "the most important" skill to learn, but I do see knife skills will help improve many other skills and could be considered a foundational skill. One that leads to many others and should be considered a valued skill to start out building early in bushcrafting.

    Another foundational skill I would consider quite important is knots. Learning knots and how different knots excel or fail in different applications is a great skill to learn early on, as it can help build other skills later if you have a good foundation in knots. Shelter building vastly changes more knot skills you have. Trapping improves more knots you know.

    Plant ID is another foundational skill. Knowing plants and their purpose can be very helpful and again can build other skills later. Knowing a fungus that is good tender for fire craft, or a plant stalk that makes good cordage can help build shelters, and on it goes.

    There are many other foundational skills we could likely come up with, and it might be worth a new thread about that. I think it is worth thinking about how learning certain skills might create a foundation for other skills to build upon, and even what a good order of learning different skills might be.

    I think the concept of Foundational Skills is an important one. And something many can benefit in thinking about. Learning some basics is fine and can get you by in a lot of things, but really going deep and practicing certain things can have far reaching effects through many other skills due to how many things over lap.

    The knife control and skills is the easiest example, and I don't think I need to go into why learning to control and use your knife exceptionally well can effect your other skills in the positive. In the other thread I mentioned how having skills with knots can improve your other skills. Knots is not something that grabs everyone as important, or they might just learn a few useful knots and call it good. But more knots you know more the task your using knots for improve. And same with many other skills.

    My example of a bow and arrow, as mentioned with minimal skills one could make a bow and arrow looking thing but it would have little real function, but to make a functional bow and arrow takes a combo of many different skills. You need plant ID to pick the right materials, knife control to carve and tiller the bow, knots likely come in for the string as well as possibly plant id again if your making the string from natural cordage, if your making your own arrow heads your likely going to knap them which is a fairly involved skill, you will have to straighten your arrow shafts which takes a careful controlled fire, fletching and the arrow head need some sort of glue as well as a binding. It is amazing all the different skills that go into making this basic tool.

    So how about we brainstorm some foundational skills. Lets define that as skills that improve upon more than two other skills. They may be simple skills or complex ones.

    So the main ones already mentioned.

    Knife control
    Plant ID
    Knots

    I could easily rattle off a bunch more, but will leave them for others to fill in as it is more fun to do together as a group.
    Last edited by ineffableone; 05-30-2014 at 12:49 PM. Reason: fix typoo int title

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    Fire making, shelter building, bush furniture, lashings, Axe safety and proper use, efficient use of a saw, improvising tools and gear.

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    If you want real foundational skills, go primitive. They are the original bushcraft, the original survival skills. Everything else has been added on top of them.

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    bushclass

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_H View Post
    If you want real foundational skills, go primitive. They are the original bushcraft, the original survival skills. Everything else has been added on top of them.
    As in stone knapping, making cordage, friction fire, etc?

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    I would broaden that plant ID. Understanding of material behavior is one super important skill to have. It separates the average knife (ie. wood) user from good. It separates the decent bow maker from the wizard. It separates the average axe joe from the logger. It separates most of us bushcrafters from the people lived in the past. Just to name a few.

    You mentioned it in your post, but I got urge to underline it more.
    Last edited by L.V; 05-30-2014 at 02:15 PM.

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    The funnest skills are those that involve burning stuff. Strangely enough wild edibles are also entertaining.
    Bushclass USA Intermediate:

    "Do not mess with the forces of Nature, for thou art small and biodegradable!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woods Walker View Post
    ...
    Strangely enough wild edibles are also entertaining.
    Especially if you get it wrong.
    "Now Im gonna to turn into a coyote and eat the Nabors cat." - M/BK

    TP #TU SEFN /MACHETE MAFIA/BS #76

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    What are you trying to accomplish. Are you lost and need to stay alive, or are you out camping.
    ?

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    One thing I definitely am looking to improve on is physical fitness.

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