As youngsters, we’ve all had that sickening feeling that we just didn’t belong. Maybe your friends went to a party you weren’t invited to. Maybe the “cool kids” wouldn’t let you sit at their lunch table. Or maybe it was out in nature, when you realized that you didn’t know anything about the plants and animals surrounding you – and this ignorance made the forest feel scary and strange.
But then you went out there with someone who knew their way around in the outdoors. Invariably, this generous tutor showed you that there’s only one fast and easy way to gain Native knowledge – the same way our ancestor’s kids learned it. When you study with someone who wants to share this wisdom with you, you’re well on your way to feeling like a Native too.
Sure, books can teach you a certain amount – but a book can’t stop you from reaching into poison ivy because you thought it was wild blackberry. Yet a sharp-eyed mentor can point out the good things (and the bad things), so that you can start spotting them for yourself.
So now that you’re older and you know your way around the outdoors, isn’t it time you started sharing what you have learned with the next generation? And who knows, you might just learn something new yourself.
And if that’s not enough, you can:
Follow Tim on Twitter @timmacwelch
Take one of his survival classes at www.advancedsurvivaltraining.com and check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles at Outdoor Life Magazine’s survival site, The Survivalist.