I was watching an episode of Dual Survival and Cody made a good point. He talked about how he may have all the skills on how to make a fire, but just because he has those skills, he shouldn’t rest on his laurels. Sometimes, even when he does everything right to make a fire, it just doesn’t work and that’s how it goes. You keep trying to figure out how to make that fire work.
All too often I hear people say, “Yeah I know how to make a fire.” Great! How often do you practice that skill? Just like with anything else in life, you must continually practice any particular skill if it’s going to remain relevant in your arsenal.
Just because I used to ride horses when I was 11, doesn’t mean I remember anything about horseback riding to this day because I haven’t kept that knowledge alive.
Sure, it would be “just like riding a bike” and it would come back to me fairly quickly. But in a survival situation, you don’t want it to ‘come back fairly quickly’, you need to know how to get a fire going as quickly as possible with a variety of techniques so that if one way fails, you quickly know how to adapt and solve the problem because you’ve made so many fires that it’s like second nature to you.
I’m guilty of it. I am guilty of saying, “yeah I know how to do that” and then never do that skill again. I have been too confident in my ability to do something and then I go do that skill and suddenly I don’t feel confident at all because I simply haven’t practiced enough.
Sure, I know how to shoot a bow. But I tell ya, every single time I pick up my bow, I learn something new. Archery is one of a few skills that I consistently do and every single time I pick up my bow, I’m learning something new about myself, my tools, my shot placement, etc. It’s never ending. And that’s a good thing!
I’m making a better commitment to myself to better hone my skills and practice them as often as I can.
This is why I wouldn’t consider anyone an expert in survival (I actually don’t consider anyone an expert at anything because things are constantly changing and there’s always new ways to do things and you’re always learning). Because even though you have the knowledge, even though you may teach your knowledge and even though you may live an off-grid life; you are still constantly learning every single time you train those skills. Even if you’re subconsciously learning, you’re learning every single time you decide to use that skill.
Even Cody Lundin embraced every chance he got to learn from his survival buddies on Dual Survival. Sure, there were some things that he was adamant about or certain things he simply wouldn’t do (like he wouldn’t drink his own urine, and I’m with him on that!), but he also opened his mind and accepted the fact that other people have different skills and mindsets to offer.
My whole point is, don’t get too comfortable with your skills, knowledge or abilities. There’s always room for improvement through consistent practice.