Spending time in the outdoors is sometimes seen as a very male activity. It’s all about getting sweaty, campfires, and contemplating your feelings in a masculine way. But there are no rules that say women can’t enjoy camping or be extremely good at it. If you want to explore the outdoors, you don’t have to limit yourself to “glamping” in yurts and cabins. If you love being outside, you can learn a huge number of valuable skills. And doing so doesn’t make you “one of the guys” – it just makes you an awesome woman who does what she wants. Anyone thinking about spending more time outdoors should consider how these great skills will benefit them.
If there’s one thing that camping and being outdoors can teach you, it’s how to be resourceful. You’re usually limited on how much stuff you can take with you. And you’re bound to encounter a problem you need to solve. Sure, some people just load up their car or truck with as much stuff as they can. They could probably create a second home in and around their tent. But if you’re more of a minimalist outdoor person, you have to learn to use what you have to do everything you need to do. You might find yourself cobbling together a tool from some duct tape, a stick and a spoon.
Epic Packing Skills
If you do try to limit your outdoor gear, you need to learn how to pack. Fingers are often pointed at women for packing too much when they go away. Sure, we might sometimes take an extra suitcase. But it doesn’t mean we don’t know when to pull things back. If you’re hiking with a backpack or maybe cycling with pannier bags, you don’t want too much stuff. Learning how to pack lightly is an essential skill and one that anyone can learn. It’s worth considering a few factors that could weigh you down or make your stuff lighter. You can look at lightweight gear that will also pack up small. You should also consider things you can use for more than one purpose.
First Aid Skills
When you’re out in the middle of nowhere, you won’t be able to get to a hospital or doctor if something happens. You should know just how you’re going to get emergency medical attention. Apart from that, some first aid will always come in handy. It’s not just useful for the big things, but the small issues like bug bites and sunburn too. A well-stocked but compact first aid kit is an essential item to take with you. You should have the essential things like bandages and antibacterial wipes. You might also consider having some home remedies too. Some of them can have a great variety of uses. For example, Epsom salts can treat insect bites, and you can also use them to make a hand wash. You can find plenty of other uses for Epsom salts from The Alternative Daily here and other websites. If you felt particularly enthusiastic, you could even take a first aid course. You’ll learn essential skills, from tying a sling to giving CPR.
Navigation and Orienteering
Think you don’t have a great sense of direction? Getting outdoors and exploring which quickly help you develop better navigational skills. A lot of us rely on GPS systems most of the time when we’re driving, or even walking. You can take a GPS unit with you when you spend time outdoors, but it’s also essential to be able to read and follow a map. However, don’t just strike out on your own with a map and hope for the best. You need to learn these skills, so either go with someone who knows what they’re doing or take a course. You can learn how to navigate on land and water, and even find and purify water while in the wilderness.
Creative Cooking Skills
When you cook at home, you probably usually have a fully-equipped kitchen. Cooking outdoors can be a whole different beast altogether. Some people decide to go ultra simple when they’re camping. They take cans of things they can just heat up over a fire or camping stove. But just because you’re camping, it doesn’t mean you can’t cook a proper meal. You can still make something nutritious and delicious – and not from a can. However, you’ll have fewer resources to work with, so you have to be creative. You can learn how to cook over an open fire or to use just the single gas ring on a camping stove.
You never know if something might happen when you’re spending time in the great outdoors. If all goes to plan, you’ll get home safe and well. But there can be a chance that you get lost, or someone gets hurt, and you’re suddenly stuck. If you need to make camp until someone finds you, you’re going to need some survival skills. They can range from starting a fire to foraging for food. If you’re a fan of survival shows, you might already have picked up on some tips and tricks you can use. It’s likely that you would never have to use any of them, but you can never be too prepared.
Some of the skills you learn outdoors can be unexpectedly useful back in civilization. One of them is tying knots, a skill you will often use outdoors and find yourself using at home too. Different knots have various purposes. You can use them for tasks from securing something to quick-release knots for safety. Outside, you could use them for camping, climbing and canoeing. At home, you could easily find yourself using them in your everyday life. Maybe you’ll be tying up some furniture for moving. Or you could be putting up a washing line and one of the knots you know will come in handy.
Using Knives and Other Tools
Using various camping tools is another thing that can come in handy back home. You’ll need to be able to use a blade for cooking as well as other skills, such as whittling sticks. You can find yourself having to cut a piece of rope, dig a hole, or chop firewood. You can master using blades, shovels and an ax in the great outdoors. Then you’ll be able to apply your skills in other situations too. You never know when you might need them when you’re gardening or doing some DIY.
Flora and Fauna Knowledge
When you’re in the outdoors, you need to be aware of your surroundings. One of the essential parts of this is being familiar with local plants and animals. This is an ongoing skill because you’ll find different wildlife in different locations. In one place, you might have to watch out for bears. Somewhere else, your biggest problem might be wasps or poison ivy. Knowing what’s out there should help you to stay safe. It could be by avoiding attention from predators or identifying things you can eat.
Hunting and Fishing Skills
We might be long past being hunter-gatherers. But that doesn’t mean that hunting and gathering are no longer enjoyable pastimes. Of course, they’re also excellent ways of getting food when you’re out in the wilderness. Hunting and fishing are great hobbies if you love the outdoors. Not only can you learn to catch your own dinner, but you can learn how to prepare the meat or fish too. These skills, like gutting a fish or skinning a rabbit, can be useful at home too. It doesn’t matter if you’ve caught it yourself or bought it. If you enjoy the peaceful side of being outside, fishing and sometimes hunting could be right for you.
Spending time outdoors on your own can be a relaxing thing to do. However, it’s often better with friends or family. You don’t have to do everything by yourself, and many things are more enjoyable with company. If your team skills need some work, being in the great outdoors with other people will help you improve them. You need to work together to put up tents, cook and help each other out when you’re hiking or doing other activities. You have to live in close quarters, so you don’t have much choice but to get along.
Being in the outdoors can be a huge challenge. Some people find it easier than others, but everyone can find themselves having a tough moment. You can come up against things that frighten you or make you nervous. One of the most important skills you can learn from exploring the outdoors is to overcome your fears. Your fears won’t necessarily go away, but you can learn to push past them to do what you need to do. It might be crossing moving water or braving steep climbs. Whatever you have to do, you’ll be proud of yourself for facing your fears.
Camping and spending time in the outdoors don’t just give you useful skills for the wilderness. You’ll also be taking some skills home with you that you’ll find will come in handy.