Sunday, August 2, 2015

Living off the land

I don't know my brother well, but I respect and love him. 

The last time we met, we were stranded on a dark road in the middle of the night, in the swamp.  I knew he was a survivalist, and very happy about it. 

He checked for snakes before I peed in the bushes.  He had weapons at hand, should they be required.  When someone showed up to give us a jump, he was able to do the "mechanicing" himself.  The guy who saved us didn't even know the location of his own battery! 

"Sometimes" he told me "I like to just walk into the woods for a couple months."  He's got the skillset to do that - a skillset I admire and respect. 

10-20 years ago he was a freak.  These days, he could probably charge $100 an hour for classes, if he could abide the yuppies.  He couldn't.  He's a very plainspoken man and I love him. 

Contrast: We have many homeless in Houston who squat on vacant lots.  They defecate, litter, and degrade the property.  They, however, see it as "living off the land". 

One gal told me that in an awed voice: "He lives off the land".  I looked at her hero, begging on the median, sporting a typical alcoholic flush. 

Riiiight. 

I'd say 95% of "living off the land" is skillset.  You have the skills, knowledge, and fitness to make it happen.  You make safe choices and respect the land. 

My brother has all of that. 

The other 5% goes to tools.  You do need the right tools, especially if you are a soft city person, like me.  If I wanted to live off the land I would need a water treatment method, foraging skills, hunting & fishing skills, etc. 

At present I don't, but it's a good goal. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love both forraging and the soft life! If someone is letting apples rot? I will politly ask then can them all up. But i want a goid bus line and choices for shopping. I have a bee hive and chickens in a big city. My" cake and eat it too, i like you try very hard to use my manias for good productive things, i need the energgy for. Then if i crash i have " money in the bank" in things done " ahead". especially food. If i do not cook healthy crap ahead and i crash, we eat expensive junk and a lot of take out. But cook ahead or buy healthy snacks for lows. You teah folks a lot .heather, and validate those of us in common with you.

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