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What is the Most Important Backcountry Skill?

waterproof match burning

Q: What is the most important backcountry skill all Scouts should know?
— Jake, San Antonio, Texas

A: The short answer? They’re all important! You never know which skill might come in handy. But if I had to pick a single skill all adventurers should know, it’s the one that’s been around the longest: fire.

The ability to create heat, cook food and melt snow for drinking water routinely saves lives. A standard lighter almost never fails — so bring two of them. Windproof and weatherproof match kits like the UCO Tritan Stormproof ($10) or the Zippo Typhoon ($12.95) are smart backups.

You may also want to learn how to start a campfire without a matches or lighter or check out our four tips for starting a campfire.


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