You should not have any special fondness for a particular weapon, or anything else, for that matter. Too much is the same as not enough. Without imitating anyone else, you should have as much weaponry as suits you.
― Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
Gear is great. I love gear. I love looking at gear, checking out the latest new stuff that companies are coming out with and getting a shiny new knife in the mail waiting for me to get my hands on. That is partially the reason why I decided to start this website and writing gear reviews. But, beware the obsession with gear.
People will waste time and money, myself included, pouring over the interwebs looking at new gear to spend their hard earned money on. Only for it to sit in their gear closet. Important as gear is to bushcraft and participating in outdoor sports, it isn’t everything. Far more important than the brand new knife that you dropped $300 on, from the custom knife manufacturer whose product page you have been drooling over for months, are the skills that you learn and practice to put that knife to use.
Skill is the unified force of experience, intellect and passion in their operation.
— John Ruskin
Skills and techniques are literally everything in the outdoors. Want to go big wall climbing on the hallowed granite of Yosemite? That expensive climbing harness and top notch climbing shoes you just bought aren’t going to get you back home in one piece. The skills and techniques you acquire and hone in the climbing gym will.
The most valuable thing that I have spent time and money on in pursuit of outdoor sports is the cultivation of skill sets necessary to them. The best example of this is when I attended Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School’s Humble Thunder survival course. The skills and mindset I learned attending this course are far more valuable to me than any other purchase I have made thus far. Also, you don’t always have to spend money on acquiring these skill sets. Go to your local library and look up one of the many books on Bushcraft techniques that are available or, get online and look up YouTube videos or blog articles that explain the skills and techniques required.
More important than acquiring the knowledge, is the practicing of the skills learned in order to be proficient at them. Knowing what to do isn’t enough. You must be able to execute those skills correctly in order to complete the task at hand. The best example of this is starting a fire from scratch without the aid of matches, Gasoline, blowtorch, Pyromancer or any other man-made implement you normally use to start your backyard bonfire. If you find yourself in a situation where a fire means the difference between your getting out of that situation in one piece you better be damn sure that you know how to start a fire without fail, every time, all of the time. The only way that you can assure yourself of this is by practicing that skill. So do some reading, watch a video or take a class to learn whatever skills you need and then practice them.