10 Forgotten Skills Every Man Should Still Know
The modern gentleman continues to be at a crossroads. We live in a world where we’re supposed to expertly navigate the many different aspects of modern life, very few of which involve physical skills. But we’re also expected to fulfill our manly duties and confidently step up when our services are required.
So, have a look at our quick checklist of the essential skills a modern man’s man should master:
- Tie a sturdy knot
Other than tying your shoes, there aren’t many occasions that require tying a reliable knot. But when we need to do so, we tend to make a jumbled, improvised mess out of it. The bowline knot is a safe bet for most impromptu knot-tying needs, whether it’s mooring a boat while island hopping or making sure your kid’s outdoor birthday party decoration doesn’t get blown away.
- Split firewood
There aren’t many things more satisfying and manliness-affirming than being able to properly handle an axe and split wood. Perhaps you won’t find too many opportunities to do so locally, but if you ever find yourself staying in a cabin in the woods, it’s good to be ready. In the meantime, you can practice your form in the gym as the lumberjack workout is an actual thing.
- Make a tourniquet
Definitely a skill you’ll never want to have to apply, knowing how to make and use a tourniquet can be extremely helpful if you’re in the great outdoors and someone in your group has suffered a broken arm or leg which warrants immediate attention. Also very helpful: not fainting at the sight of gushing blood.
- Build a campfire
Telling horror stories, playing bad acoustic guitar, and making s’mores are all essential campfire activities, and without them, what’s the point of camping. Of course, you’ll need to think about safety and which materials to use to build your campfire, since you want to ensure that your lady and you have it cozy.
- Use a compass
While learning how to navigate by looking at the stars might be too ambitious, using a compass is an attainable skill which could come in handy on your next hike. But if you think simply looking at your compass is all it takes to find the right direction, you’re mistaken. Surprisingly, there’s an actual technique you need to know to make sure you’re getting the correct reading.
- Change a flat tire
There’s nothing worse than being stuck on the side of a road when you need to get somewhere, and having to figure out how to change a flat on the fly can be stressful–to you and your fellow passengers. Being able to replace a flat with a spare tire therefore is perhaps the most undisputed skill in this list of absolutely essential skills.
- Jumpstart a car
Perhaps you left your car’s headlights on by accident or you see a damsel in distress in need of a gentleman with jumper cables at the ready. Either way, armed with the knowledge of jumpstarting a car, you don’t need to guess or google which cable goes where before you pop open the hood.
- Climb a rope
If your last rope-climbing experience was in high school, let’s face it, you’re probably carrying extra weight around with you these days. Therefore, proper technique is even more important. Why you should bother mastering this skill? How about good old-fashioned pride in possessing the functional strength to lift your own body weight, or the ability to use rope to get yourself out of a tricky situation (like having to escape a bully.)
- Break down a door
Mostly seen in movies featuring out-of-shape cops trying to bust into drug dens, it’s also a skill which could come in handy if you or your loved ones are trapped in a burning building. Do follow the proper technique or your knee will get busted instead of your knee. And don’t forget to get a warrant, rookie!
We saved this one for last, partly because we didn’t want you to just chuckle and then bounce. While not on the same manliness level as wrestling with a bear, the ability to salsa dance is probably just as hard (if not much, much harder), and more likely to please your lady. Therefore, we think a well-rounded man should know how to dance.