Every outdoor activity has a rating scale of some sort, whether it be rock climbing, mountaineering, or skiing. That being said, it’s only fitting that Outdoorsmen should have a rating scale all their own. Find out where you rank and how you can up your outdoor game.
This is your Andy from Mayberry type. You own and regularly use a fishing pole, you can make a fire if need be, and you’re generally comfortable camping (though backcountry is a whole other ballgame and you want GPS navigation equipment if that shit’s goin’ down).
How to up your game: Take a basic survival course and try some solo backcountry camping.
You camp once or twice a year, have a ski/snowboarding pass, can make a fire with fervor, and have tried out some technical rock climbing. You can drive a four-wheeler, have white water rafted a handful of times, and you’ve cleaned a fish or two in your day.
How to up your game: Start lead climbing sport routes, organize a backpacking trip with friends, and attempt some back country skiing.
You camp regularly during the spring, summer, and fall. You own a knife and know how to use it well. You know how to shoot a gun, hunt game, and only do so when the situation calls for it or the game is in season. You’re proficient at most outdoor sports and are confident that you could rock most survival situations without having to amputate any limbs.
How to up your game: Get more technical-If you’re a climber or mountaineer, try trad or ice climbing. Summit something big and cool like Longs Peak of Colorado or Mt. Hood of Oregon.
Think Chris Sharma, Reggie and Zach Crist, or Most of the People Who Live in Colorado. You participate in at least 4-5 outdoor sports, you own a 3 season tent, you’re proficient in basic wilderness survival, and you’re Man…therefore…You Make Fire!!!…using only natural materials. You’ve summitted or climbed something impressive, like The Diamond, El Cap, The Grand Teton, or Mt. Rainier.
How to up your game: Try organizing an outdoor adventure that involves technical climbing and mountaineering. Take some winter survival courses and practice what you learn. You’re already Class 4 and have nothing to prove but challenging yourself is probably a must for someone like you.
Class 5 (Plus):
We’re talking Jon Krakauer, John Meir, Grizzly Adams, Erica Weinmayer (we mention him because he climbed Everest…blind…yeah, that’s what’s up), Jeremiah Johnson, Eustace Conway shit here. You solo backcountry camp, start fires with all natural materials, have summitted something epic like Everest, Annapurna, or K2. However, you can still be a Class 5 Outdoorsman if you’ve put together some sort of amazing adventure. Perhaps you’ve kayaked the Congo, or hiked the Big Trails of North America (The Colorado, Pacific, and Appalachian). Note: A Class 5 Outdoorsman should also be proficient at foraging or hunting for food, finding water, and basic wilderness first-aid.
How to up your game: You probably don’t need any tips from us and are off upping your game right now on some super sweet outdoor adventure. Hats off!
By Hope Gately