13 Skills

Today’s post won’t be entirely about motorcycles. But it links well with yesterday’s post.

There is a website called 13skills.com that is putting on a challenge to learn 13 new skills in 2013. But they are including skills you already have, but want to improve.

Here is a quote from their about page…

13Skills.com is the Home of the 13 in 13 Challenge Sponsored and Created by The Survival Podcast. Join us as we help to restore a can do spirit to our modern world by committing to learning 13 new life skills in 2013.

The 13 in 13 Challenge is a call to develop or drastically improve your personal skills in the coming year. These skills can be any hands on practical skill from ancient skills like flint napping to traditional skills like trapping and hunting or even technical skills like graphic arts or computer programming.

Our modern society has become a world of specialists who can do one thing very well but can no longer accomplish simple tasks like growing a garden, changing a tire or fixing a hole in wall. In the words of Robert A. Heinlein…

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

In that spirit please join with us in making 2013 a year of personal growth and improvement. Just click here to set up your profile and get started.

That says it about as well as I can sum it up. I created my profile there a couple days ago. I only have 7 skills picked so far, but as time passes I’ll get up to 13! There are many skills on there that I already have, but the idea is to push yourself and learn something new. It’s pointless if you pick the easy stuff!

A few of mine relate to motorcycles. The first being to take all the MSF courses, but I talked about that yesterday.

Another one is photography. I will be getting a GoPro camera soon, and I also want to pick up a good still camera. The idea is that I would like to start doing a motovlog along with this site. I think adding video to some of my articles/posts will help. I did a post awhile ago about doing an oil change on my DR 650, but I think it would have been better as a video. And having a GoPro on my helmet during my weekend ride that I talked about on Monday would have been hilarious! (for you anyway, I was still struggling)

On the still camera…I have been using either my daughter’s coolpix, my wife’s old pentax, or my iPhone to take pictures. They are all decent cameras, but there are way better options for not much money. Also, getting my brother on here to make a recommendation might help some of you to choose a camera if you are in the market.

I have electrical listed as another of the skills I’m looking to improve. I have wired up a lot of stuff on my jeeps. I know how to do it, but I don’t know how to do it correctly. I’ve never started a fire, but something tells me that folding a wire over a switched fuse in the fuse box isn’t the right way to do things. So I’m looking to add a power cord for my GPS to the DR and swap out to LED’s.

Assuming a couple things fall into place I’ll be getting a Ural in the spring. I just happen to have a huge inverter that used to be in one of my jeeps (this was wired correctly with a huge relay and right to the battery). It would be an awesome project to add 120v power to a Ural! I’m not sure how often I would use it, but the inverter is just sitting in my garage collecting dust so why not use it?


What’s the point you ask? Well, it helps with accountability if you sign up there. Just an easy way to track it. But mostly because I think as a people we have lost many of the skills that make us self sufficient. Not that there is anything wrong with taking my bike to a dealer and having someone else put on some farkles, but what happens when I’m in the middle of nowhere and the bike quits working? It could be something as simple as a loose battery cable and without the proper skills I would be stuck.

There are some pretty good wilderness skills on there too. Unless your idea of an adventure is taking your 1200 GSA to Starbucks then you will probably be in some pretty remote areas. Might be a good plan to have the skills to keep your ass alive if things go south! And watching Bear Grylls doesn’t count!

I’ll be posting up here as I complete my goals. I’ll also be using Facebook and Twitter to keep myself accountable. Share 13 skills with your friends too, everyone could stand to be a little more self sufficient!