You may be tall dark and chiseled, intelligent and suave, but what good are those traits if you can’t handle an outdoor adventure. We’re sure you know how to build a campfire, pitch a tent and dock a boat. If not, go learn them all right now. In honor of man month, we have selected a few rustic requirements to be a real burley outdoors-like man. We’re not here to teach you how to do them – some of this stuff is hard! But, you should probably do some research, watch a few Bear Grylls episodes and practice with some dudes before you break out these skills in front of an audience.
1. Know how to survive a bear encounter.
The first thing to understand is the odds of being killed by a bear are slim. For every person killed by a bear, 120 are killed by bees and 60,000 by humans. That’s a 1 to 60,000 chance that your wife will kill you before the bear – and she very well might if you can’t handle it. Above all, remember to bring an extra pair of underwear… you know why. Learn more about how to handle each kind of bear here.
2. Know how to prevent a wildfire.
Smokey the bear always taught you never to smokey the cigar and toss it in the bushes and you should listen to him because, how many bears do you know that can talk!? Wildfires are a serious issue, and you will look like a total jerk if you accidently start one just because you’re careless, or or too cool to listen to a talking bear. It’s cool you know how to build a campfire; you should know how to put it out too. Visit Smokey online to learn some fire safety tips, you can even see a counter updating in real time the number of acres in the U.S. burned this year… it’s pretty sad.
3. Know how to fix a flat bicycle tire.
Let’s say you’re on a romantic bike ride to the middle of nowhere and for some reason find it necessary to shortcut through a patch of thorns that resembles Lion King’s Elephant Graveyard… we know you watch it with your kids. No, you can’t just stick your gum on a tire to get out of this sticky situation (pun intended). Knowing how to fix the puncture is a basic man skill you should definitely acquire. Here are ten simple steps to mending the tire, and getting on your way.
4. Know boating/water safety.
When you were fifteen, you learned how to save a dummy from the 2-foot pool at your local rec. center. We definitely wouldn’t consider this a sufficient amount of “water safety” training to hit the outdoors as a real man. And no, the hours you spent on the couch in college watching “Shark Week” doesn’t count either. In reality, hundreds of people die every year in preventable boating accidents, find some safety tips.
5. Know where you are, and where you’re going.
We all know the first rule of manhood is that a real man does NOT stop and ask for directions. However, getting lost in the woods is nothing like getting lost in the mall at home. Which is why every man should be sufficiently prepared to navigate a successful hike on his own. Be sure you are always prepared for the worst, bring the appropriate materials in case you get stuck or have to stay overnight somewhere. Learn some more about Backcountry Navigation.