At the beginning of this year I set a goal for myself: 1 step per week. By the end of the year, 52 additions to the list, just about doubling it in size (at least in terms of those I’ve expanded on). For those of you following closely, I’m nearly ten weeks behind. That being said, I have a few ideas that I never really thought needed too much detail, and I’ve compiled enough to give you what I feel is a pretty enjoyable and (relatively) related group of steps. Here we go:
#4,000- Know How To Build a Fire
If you’ve ever watched an episode or Man vs Wild or the much more instructive and for my money enjoyable Survivorman (or any of the plethora of related shows) almost every episode contains a montage of the struggle to make fire with a bow drill or some other ancient technique that is almost as painful to watch as it is, I’m sure, to actually try. Fortunately, we have matches and lighters in this amazing modern world, which, despite such technological advances as Tamagotchis and flat screen TVs, still finds fire a necessary tool for survival. You should have built a fire by this point in your life, tinder and kindling and a stack half again as tall as you are to last the night. You should probably have found how amazingly a fire can lift your spirit on a dreary camping trip after an arduous hike. You should have been kept warm like your ancestors, roasted meat over the open flames, heated a cabin in winter, witnessed the awesome destructive power of the flames and realized, like the earliest humans, the potential in harnessing fire for the good of man. Practice now so you can make one in the old fire place when the power goes out or when you need a night away from all the white noise being constantly plugged in throws your way, so you can show your kid, so he can show his, so that as we continue to evolve as a species, as the culture of humanity, we don’t lose what set us apart from the other living beings in the first place. Know how to make a fire so that you know how to put one out.
#4,001- Sharpen a Knife
Another item with a million good YouTube videos to provide you with actual technique, this is in here for a simple reason- the age-old adage that holds true- a sharp knife is safer than a dull one. Here’s the thing with that- dull or sharp, a knife will still cut. But a sharp one will usually cut what you want it to (with a little practice), while a dull one will cut whatever it slips into. Like you.
#4,002- Cook Your Steaks Medium Rare.
You can always cook something a bit more but once you Well Done the hell out of it there’s no going back. Here’s my man Gordon Ramsay with how I wish all my steaks were cooked:
#4,003- Eat Your Steaks Medium Rare.
I’m not asking you to rip raw flesh off of the bone, I’m asking you to eat a steak the way it’s meant to be eaten, hot but still tender, with the flavor still locked inside. Work your way down from well over time, you don’t have to do it right away. But it’s definitely time to grow up on that front if you still think the red is icky.
There is a thing called endurance hunting. Not as fast as our prey over short distances, early man would hound their prey over long distances and days until sheer exhaustion led them to their kill. Some say I’m like this with the ladies even today. I read about a guy that ran a kid out of a canyon after a head injury to a waiting medivac (but couldn’t find the news story in my 5 minute search). Now in that situation, I’m sure everyone would like to do that for the kid, but could you? Could you run for forty five minutes, let alone carrying a child? If it takes you effort to get up the stairs you might think about getting out there and doing a lap of the block every once in awhile. They say a man ran 21 miles before the Battle of Marathon to let his forces know the Persians were coming. Could we count on you in that situation? It’s all well and good to want to help but if you can’t physically do it your just as helpless as all the rest. Your cardiovascular functions should always be relatively strong.
#9,530- Run the United States in a pinch.
But seriously it might be good to have some sort of knowledge of how the system of government under which you live functions. And when you find yourself in a position of power, president or intramural field hockey captain, it’s good to surround yourself with smart people who you know will give you an honest answer whether you agree or not. People who might have a difference of opinion but can contribute constructively to your view so that you can make the best decision possible (especially if it effects other people).