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What constitutes a Ranger? Is it the cloak and bow? Surviving in the outdoors? Adaptation? The urge to do ALL the things?

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It's all that and a lot more. Rangers come in so many versions that a concrete definition is practically impossible. Which is fine, because that's just how we like it! This thread is not about defining so much as describing and celebrating the concept of being a Ranger. This is a place to:

  • Share your opinions and experience on what it means to be a Ranger
  • Tell us about your Ranger heroes and archetypes
  • Discuss Ranger skills and how they can be applied by a modern-day human
  • Share tales, photos or videos of your Rangerly adventures

But wait! There's more! We are men and women of action, not words. Let's have some fun in the spirit of friendly competition as we engage in rangering. Every week, one rangerly activity will be picked from the following list for people to try out. Remember, this is not a mini challenge, PvP or any other form of contest.

 

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Week 3 is in the bag and we're navigating through week 4.  Everyone is crushing their challenges and having a blast, maybe having tried and found a new activity this go around.  Now that we're past the threshold into October, it's probably autumn no matter where you live - and if there's one thing anyone knows about me, it's how much I love autumn.  But, as Eddard Stark is known to say, "Winter is coming."  So let's get outside and enjoy the lovely weather while we still can.  This week's theme is simply the Autumn Outdoors.  That means I want to see some pretty foliage, some fall colors if possible, and hear about some Rangers running, hiking, or Parkouring some trails maybe, or taking the family (or pets!) for a drive. 

 

Bonus points if your outdoors excursion includes a hot beverage!  Not to discriminate against our warm weather friends, the same can be said for cold beverages in hot climates!

 

  • The Autumn Outdoors: "Winter is Coming," but we aren't quite ready for that just yet.  Let's get outside and enjoy the weather while we still can!  Share your autumn tales of campfires, warm beverages, and any photos of the lovely fall colors.  Even a visit to the local corn maze, pumpkin patch, or farmer's market!  Take the dog or little'uns for a walk.  Share some scenery from your neck of the woods.  Go for a chilly evening walk with a warm beverage (if that applies).

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List of Ranger skills and activities (will be edited regularly to include new things mentioned)

 

  • Archery
  • Slingshot use
  • Hunting
  • Combat training and martial arts
  • Throwing knives, axes, darts and other bladed objects
  • Stealth
  • Climbing
  • Rapelling
  • Knot tying
  • Swimming
  • Freediving or Scuba Diving
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Surfing
  • Paddleboarding
  • Skydiving
  • Parapente
  • Use of small water craft (canoe, kayak, raft)
  • Taming, calming or charming animals
  • Horseback riding
  • Fishing
  • Tracking
  • Geocaching
  • Knowledge of herbs and plants for medical, culinary and other uses
  • Wildfire Cooking
  • Food processing and preservation
  • Geology
  • Healing and first aid
  • Trail running
  • Trail parkour
  • Obstacle course racing
  • Knowledge of foreign languages
  • Snowshoeing
  • Hiking and Mountaineering
  • Camping
  • Rucking
  • Emergency shelter setup
  • Craft and use of basic or improvised tools
  • Weaving, knotting and sewing
  • Repairing
  • Leatherworking
  • Woodcrafting
  • Whittling
  • Map making and map reading skills
  • Estimating time without the use of clocks
  • Weather prediction
  • Astronomy, identification of stars and constellations
  • Stellar and celestial navigation
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I love this because I feel that I'm not the typical archetype one would think of when they hear the word "ranger".  I hate running (although I'll submit to doing it terribly sometimes), I'm not into races or OCR's, I've never camped a day in my life (although I would like to!!), I'm not a Bear Grylls survivalist type of person....

 

But one of my favorite mottos is - ADAPT.  

 

Adaptability is one of my best and strongest features.  Obstacle in your way?  Adapt to work around it.  Hurt yourself lifting heavy? (Eheheh.)  Adapt and find something else to do while you heal up.  Not having as much fun in your workouts as you used to?  Adapt and try something new.

 

Being a Ranger to me is two things - 1. Learning to adapt to your environment and obstacles, and 2. Having a desire to TRY ALL OF THE THINGS.  I currently weightlift and do yoga but I would ALSO like to do kickboxing, rock climbing, hiking, kung fu, kayaking, and fencing.  (If only I had the time, money, and extreme bodily energy to do THEM ALL.)

 

This is my favorite Ranger:

 

3416257_f520.jpg

 

Bold, determined, big skillset, always adapting.  (Even with snakes.)

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<gets so excited she falls off her chair> Apologies. This is going to come out disjointed. My brain is excite. 

 

That Ranger skills list is *literally* filled 90% with things I want to know how to do. Add in working with flint to make tools, hell - making tools in any form (flint, metal, baskets, pottery - I want to learn it all) and prepping hides (aka old school skills) and my list may be complete. For now. Ooh! Atlatl! That too! 

 

To me, being a Ranger means that you are (or at least strive to be) a jack (or jill) of all trades. Someone who is interested in doing things practically (aka the hard way), and learning the skills (body skills or mind skills) to accomplish those goals. 

 

Indy is most definitely a Ranger hero - Shaarway also mentioned Bear Grylls, who would fit the bill (though I'm more of a Les Stroud fan myself). For me personally, one of the first Ranger type heroes I remember really digging (aside from Indy <3 ), was Ayla from the Clan Of The Cave Bear series by Jean M. Auel. This is a homo sapiens sapiens being raised by a family of Neanderthals, who has to learn skills to survive - these books detailed how she would collect and use medicinal and culinary herbs, hunt, prepare her own weapons, tan hides, and generally live in a harsh environment. I read them young, and they captured my fancy. I've always meant to take the time to learn more practical skills like the book's heroine, but have never really had a space in which to learn (a space not filled with askance looks), the cash to take one of those week long intensive skills courses, or have really taken the time to do so in any sort of concentrated fashion.

 

Modern examples of Rangers would be people who have "manly" skills - i.e. can change the tire of their car, change oil, basic motor repair (ala Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance), or fix things around the house. These are skills that aren't always passed down (especially not to girls); skills you have to search out to learn. I would add on a more homefront level, archaic cooking preparations like charcuterie. Things you can eat if the shit hits the fan/food you can cure and/or cook over fire. 

 

Aside from apocalyptic scenarios, Ranger skills can be very useful in certain situations (like camping). Ranger type body skills (functional fitness) are useful any and everywhere. More "modern" Ranger type skills like changing the tire of your car or changing your own oil are also helpful for pretty much anyone who drives.

 

I don't really have any tales, aside from those shared on my threads; photos will almost certainly come; and it looks like we're on a video train, so I'll give that communication method a thought. 

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This thread makes me so happy. I did a lot of guild jumping before finding my home with the Rangers, partly because my interests were so diverse that no one guild seemed to cover it all. I want to be proficient at all the skills/ways of moving that are central to being human. As so many others have quoted recently, "Specialization is for insects".

My favorite real-life Ranger is Erwan LeCorre, founder of MovNat.

erwanrockclimbingwaterfallthailand.jpg

His philosophy of movement being part of our heritage really resonates with me. Free the zoo humans!

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Both are already on the list, darkfoxx

  • Craft and use of basic or improvised tools
  • [...]
  • Leatherworking

 

"Charcuterie" (had to google the term) is part of what I meant under "Food processing and preservation". I've been on a long quest to eliminate as many processed products as possible and eat natural stuff. After a while, even batch cooking and freezing those made them feel processed, but unless you're willing to shop for groceries all the time, some go bad before they can be consumed. Which sparked my quest to learn about all those methods of food preservation. Lots of traditional methods to check out, fridges were introduced sometime in the 60s around here and it took a while for their use to spread.

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See? told you I'd be disjointed. I was so excited my brain skipped over both :)

 

I actually know of a good Charcuterie book. Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing is a great resource to teach the novice food preservationist some basic skills. I partook in a long form blog project a few years back, where a bunch of us made 1 thing a month from this book and compared notes. I made various types of sausages, duck prosciutto, terrines, confits, mousselines, and bacon. Out of those skills, I still try and keep the prosciutto on hand and could always use an excuse to delve back into the others. 

 

I also want to learn more about canning. I make a mean grownup ketchup and family members seem to like my jams - but I want to do more. 

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That's a great link! More stuff for the cooking goal of the next challenge. And challenge it shall be, with all the unusual, anachronistic limitations involved.

 

Also, mentioning ketchup and jams in the same sentence means I should bring this to your attention:

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Tomatoes. Made into a syrupy dessert that can be stored forever in a jar.

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See? told you I'd be disjointed. I was so excited my brain skipped over both :)

 

I actually know of a good Charcuterie book. Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing is a great resource to teach the novice food preservationist some basic skills. I partook in a long form blog project a few years back, where a bunch of us made 1 thing a month from this book and compared notes. I made various types of sausages, duck prosciutto, terrines, confits, mousselines, and bacon. Out of those skills, I still try and keep the prosciutto on hand and could always use an excuse to delve back into the others. 

 

I also want to learn more about canning. I make a mean grownup ketchup and family members seem to like my jams - but I want to do more. 

Where I come from is considered "the middle of nowhere" so that kind of thing is kind of a big deal. My grandmother does jelly, applesauce, and apple butter, and she also cans green beans. My mom canned pickles last year and we're still eating them(though it could be because my dad is the only one who eats them regularly). I also live fairly close to a place that is SUPER famous for meats. They've got a ham that was preserved in 1902 in a museum near there. If it wasn't the oldest ham of it's kind and is considered a novelty, you could probably still eat it.

 

All that to say, its super interesting how location affects the skills you learn. I've got several Ranger skills myself that I either have been taught since childhood or that I've witnessed personally, that simply comes from growing up in a primarily rural community.

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What is that tomato devilry? 

 

Sounds like a perfect compliment to my other favorite thing to do with too many tomatoes: Slow Dance, With Tomatoes

 

@Jedi: That is interesting. I grew up in Suburbia, and learned plenty of archaic skills (at least for the time) - like needlepoint and other crafty stuff and was at least exposed to canning the very limited amount of vegetables that my stepmother eats, but had no idea other Ranger skills were actually things that people did outside of the Boy Scouts. 

 

Something I've recently come to find as amusing (mostly because I just learned these facts): my great grandfather was a blacksmith and a truck farmer; my father, who lived with his grandparents as a small child, had to learn his home and vehicle repair skills from the Time Life book series published in the 80s. Did people just not think anyone would ever need or want to learn things again? Were they all banking on hover cars?

 

Preserved ham from 1902 sounds like a challenge to me! A challenge that I'd totally travel to see. I would absolutely attempt to eat it if given half a chance. 

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All that to say, its super interesting how location affects the skills you learn. I've got several Ranger skills myself that I either have been taught since childhood or that I've witnessed personally, that simply comes from growing up in a primarily rural community.

 

This is a really great thought!  I grew up in the woods/mountains so things like climbing trees, hiking, and mountain climbing were just natural to me.  My dad taught me how to track animals in the woods.  Stuff like that!

 

Now I live at the beach and most of that stuff isn't really do-able here, but it's interesting to think that if I grew up HERE, how different my skillset would be... swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, scuba diving...

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What is that tomato devilry? 

 

Sounds like a perfect compliment to my other favorite thing to do with too many tomatoes: Slow Dance, With Tomatoes

 

@Jedi: That is interesting. I grew up in Suburbia, and learned plenty of archaic skills (at least for the time) - like needlepoint and other crafty stuff and was at least exposed to canning the very limited amount of vegetables that my stepmother eats, but had no idea other Ranger skills were actually things that people did outside of the Boy Scouts. 

 

Something I've recently come to find as amusing (mostly because I just learned these facts): my great grandfather was a blacksmith and a truck farmer; my father, who lived with his grandparents as a small child, had to learn his home and vehicle repair skills from the Time Life book series published in the 80s. Did people just not think anyone would ever need or want to learn things again? Were they all banking on hover cars?

 

Preserved ham from 1902 sounds like a challenge to me! A challenge that I'd totally travel to see. I would absolutely attempt to eat it if given half a chance. 

Yeah, I can fish and do woodworking as well as technically being able to can things. My great grandfather built furniture, and my grandfather both builds and restores it. He taught me a lot about all of that and he's the one who taught me how to fish. Between the skills he taught me and a bit of talent for improv, I can do basic home repairs by myself as well. My boyfriend can hunt, and is going to teach me to shoot(small gun for now, once I've got enough arm strength to handle a hunting rifle I might try hunting).

 

And the ham lives in Smithfield, VA, USA. Here is the museum website and here is the "ham cam."

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It was a big deal in Raleigh, at least - Smithfield was the "good" grocery store brand - and is still one of the only reliable sources for country ham I know of. Granted, I haven't bought country ham since I left the South, but still. I'm not buying it unless I know it's going to be good. 

 

Gwaltny *shudder* their weirdo red processed meat is simultaneously horrifying and a comforting reminder of my childhood. 

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When I Ranger, it's because I have new-found confidence in my strength and determination.

 

I've started ditching the cart at the feed store.  We have stupid traffic patterns at our TSC because it's located in the only strip mall in town.  It's a pain to cross traffic to push a cart full of chicken food out to my car, and then cross traffic two more times to return the cart and get back to my car.  Instead I deepen my inner voice and declare to myself "I AM A RANGER."  Then I swing the fifty pound bag of feed on my shoulder and swagger out to my car in one trip.  Oh, yeah.  Rangered that pesky task.

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Dislikes brand of ham because it's too mainstream even though its locally made, that's meta-hipster right there.

.....

 

I'm actually one of those weirdos who doesn't care for ham ._. 

 

I always ate a little bit during thanksgiving because it was traditional

 

But I don't care for the taste of ham 

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Just got around to reading this. AWESOME. 

 

To me a Ranger can not only do those things- but can do them being resourceful and most of all, with great flexibility. Having the ability to transition from one mode to another flawlessly while pushing yourself to the limit. 

 

Another real world example (and my absolute favorite) Ranger type is Amelia Boone. 

 

An excerpt from this article that just...floors me (formatting is a little funky, sorry): 

 

At the Death Race, held in early March in Pittsfield, Vt., Boone did 3,000 burpees or squat thrusts â€” yes, 3,000 â€” ran more than 25 miles up and down a snow-covered mountain, chopped and stacked wood, did a couple full submersions in a frozen pond, carried snow and completed two Bikram yoga classes. On the third climb up the mountain, in the dark, she thought she saw a witch and screamed.

Since there was no finish line, she didn't know when she'd be done. The Death Race is supposed to last 24 hours, but, again, there are no rules. When Boone came off the third mountain loop, fully expecting to submerse herself into the lake again, De Sena said, "Congrats, you're finished," and gave her a plastic skull to commemorate her achievement. She'd been at it for more than 32 hours.

The article for those interested in reading all about this amazing human being: 

http://www.sbnation.com/longform/2014/5/20/5220672/amelia-boone-spartan-world-champion-profile-obstacle-racing

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Just got around to reading this. AWESOME.

To me a Ranger can not only do those things- but can do them being resourceful and most of all, with great flexibility. Having the ability to transition from one mode to another flawlessly while pushing yourself to the limit.

Another real world example (and my absolute favorite) Ranger type is Amelia Boone.

An excerpt from this article that just...floors me (formatting is a little funky, sorry):

At the Death Race, held in early March in Pittsfield, Vt., Boone did 3,000 burpees or squat thrusts — yes, 3,000 — ran more than 25 miles up and down a snow-covered mountain, chopped and stacked wood, did a couple full submersions in a frozen pond, carried snow and completed two Bikram yoga classes. On the third climb up the mountain, in the dark, she thought she saw a witch and screamed.

Since there was no finish line, she didn't know when she'd be done. The Death Race is supposed to last 24 hours, but, again, there are no rules. When Boone came off the third mountain loop, fully expecting to submerse herself into the lake again, De Sena said, "Congrats, you're finished," and gave her a plastic skull to commemorate her achievement. She'd been at it for more than 32 hours.

The article for those interested in reading all about this amazing human being:

http://www.sbnation.com/longform/2014/5/20/5220672/amelia-boone-spartan-world-champion-profile-obstacle-racing

Wow. My husband and I looked it up and watched a video on the race. He summed up our reaction perfectly, "Eff that. But you know secretly you want to."
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I'm so glad this up. We have a truly awesome Guild Leader in Raider.

Being a Ranger to me is just a mindset like I've said before. It's about wanting to be diverse. Being great at all things but master at none doesn't seem like a bad gig to me. And like Shaarawy said, being adaptable. Life isn't some assembly line that gets turned over the same speed the same way day in and day out- it's ever changing and being adaptable only makes you more of an asset. I am the husband to the most amazing woman I've ever met. I'm also a father of 3 healthy, growing boys whom I cherish more than life itself. Being a Ranger allows me to teach these traits to them and help them become more "ranger".

My wife and I talk about moving out to the county all the time. She has friends that live on 40 acres and they've already said we could build our house out there. We want to get back to where we are growing our own food and be as close to self-sustaining as possible. It's a dream that will one day come true! And being a Ranger is just the beginning for me preparing my family for this lifestyle and mindset.

I think being able to move and work in fluidity is an important ranger skill- so being able to traverse your environment is important. And being able to traverse it with loaded weight is just as if not more important. In my case I would probably be rucking with a kid on my back or carrying some heavy load so training that way is something I value. Hunting and tracking are skills WAY up on my list these days. By Christmas I'll have a bow of some sorts and I plan to practice my archery skills. I also want to take classes on tracking animal prints and learning how to properly "stalk" my prey. Knowledge of plant-life and what is edible/dangerous/or has healing properties is absolutely at the top as well. You never know how long you'll be out in nature...

Learning to properly "bug out" is something too. Actually, just basic survival skills like that is something I want to learn and will learn.

My 1st recognition of a Ranger would probably have to be Ashley "Ash" Williams from the Evil Dead Trilogy. Not only is Army of Darkness my all-time favorite movie but Ash is just a terrific character. He exemplifies great qualities of a ranger; he's adaptable, a good combatant, smart, crafty and gets the job done by waving around his Boomstick.

Bruce-Campbell-in-Army-of-Darkness-2.0.j

So much awesome here. Looking forward to rangering.

Wolf

"Let the Boomstick do the talking."

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When I Ranger, it's because I have new-found confidence in my strength and determination.

 

I've started ditching the cart at the feed store.  We have stupid traffic patterns at our TSC because it's located in the only strip mall in town.  It's a pain to cross traffic to push a cart full of chicken food out to my car, and then cross traffic two more times to return the cart and get back to my car.  Instead I deepen my inner voice and declare to myself "I AM A RANGER."  Then I swing the fifty pound bag of feed on my shoulder and swagger out to my car in one trip.  Oh, yeah.  Rangered that pesky task.

That was impressive. Functional, practical application of skills in everyday life.

 

Another real world example (and my absolute favorite) Ranger type is Amelia Boone. 

*googles*

 

Amelia Boone is an American obstacle racer. She also works for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as a corporate restructuring attorney.

 

Jane_plot_thickens.gif

 

 

 

On a more serious tone, here's a random image contribution to this thread

IMG_0275.jpg

View from the ancient oracle site of Delphi, Spring of 2013

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List of Ranger skills and activities (will be edited regularly to include new things mentioned)

  • Archery
  • Slingshot use
  • Hunting
  • Combat training and martial arts
  • Throwing knives, axes, darts and other bladed objects
  • Stealth
  • Climbing
  • Rapelling
  • Knot tying
  • Swimming
  • Use of small water craft (canoe, kayak, raft)
  • Taming, calming or charming animals
  • Horseback riding
  • Fishing
  • Tracking
  • Geocaching
  • Knowledge of herbs and plants for medical, curlinary and other uses
  • Wildfire Cooking
  • Food processing and preservation
  • Geology
  • Healing and first aid
  • Trail running
  • Trail parkour
  • Obstacle course racing
  • Knowledge of foreign languages
  • Snowshoeing
  • Hiking and Mountaineering
  • Camping
  • Rucking
  • Emergency shelter setup
  • Craft and use of basic or improvised tools
  • Weaving, knotting and sewing
  • Repairing
  • Leatherworking
  • Woodcrafting
  • Whittling
  • Map making and map reading skills
  • Estimating time without the use of clocks
  • Weather prediction
  • Astronomy, identification of stars and constellations
  • Stellar and celestial navigation

 

Now I have so many things to add to my next Challenge... as if I didn't have enough on my plate already!

 

Aragorn-Fan-Art-aragorn-34041569-500-208

 

Looks like Rurik has a lot of work to do...

 

This is a place to:

  • Share your opinions and experience on what it means to be a Ranger
  • Tell us about your Ranger heroes and archetypes

 

527_bear-grylls.jpg

 

Bear Grylls was the first person to inspire me into going on outdoors adventures and learning survivalist techniques.  He might be a bit controversial but he's brought surviving to the forefront of entertainment and made the most outlandish of adventuring into an approachable subject for the average Joe and Jill.

 

3702789-aragorn.gif

 

Aragorn was my introduction to Rangerhood and will always hold a special place in my nerdy heart as the archetype I was always aspire to.  His strength of character, adaptability, tenaciousness, and broad array of skills are ultimately the source of what I consider the wide spectrum of Rangery.

 

tomb_raider_2013___wallpaper_bow_and_fir

 

And Lara Croft is my current Ranger-Hero.  She's my main inspiration at the moment, and I've come to rely on her as a source of motivation when I have to dig deep and Ranger on through something I don't want to do or find myself struggling through.  It was also the newest Tomb Raider game that got me back into enjoying video games again, and more importantly, got me back into focusing on my survival skills and branching out into Parkour.

 

Now I've made it my Life Mission to Do All the Things and become as Bad-Ranger-Ass as possible!

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