Living of the land permanently

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Living of the land permanently

Postby eth93 » Mon 12 Jun, 2017 12:51 pm

Is this still possible in todays world?

Ever since I was a kid I have been fascinated with the idea of leaving this modern world behind and disappearing into the bush forever. For a very long time I was never going to a fireman or police man, I was going to live in the bush.

Fast forward 15 years or so and I now work a 9-5, eat crappy microwave meals, and spend more time sitting behind a computer then is probably good for you.

But!

It got me thinking. Would living of the land even be possible in todays world? Australia is a vast country. But to line everything up, shelter, reliable source of drinking water, and offcourse a source of food. Surely that would be a little tricky?

What do you think?
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby matagi » Mon 12 Jun, 2017 3:17 pm

I reckon you could do it Tasmania but you would need to be able to identify the edible plants, assuming you're not going to do any cultivation.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby ribuck » Mon 12 Jun, 2017 5:44 pm

eth93 wrote:But to line everything up, shelter, reliable source of drinking water, and offcourse a source of food. Surely that would be a little tricky?

Shelter is easy. You build a shelter, or use a cave (rock overhang). Reliable water is easy: you just need to choose a place with reliable water, and there are lots of those.

But food? Modern food production is so efficient that it's easy to forget just how difficult food self-sufficiency is. I think the most practical way would be to set up near a river that has reliable fishing. Eat fish for most of your calories, and forage to get the rest of your vitamins and minerals.

Of course the biggest problem will be other people. No matter how remote you are, there will always be people who think you don't belong there and should be evicted.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby Gadgetgeek » Mon 12 Jun, 2017 7:23 pm

Living off the land permanently is easy. Getting permanent to be a time frame longer than 30 days, that takes some doing. The reality is that while you can do it, that is all you will do, so is it worth it, when working a reasonable job lets you have things like friends, travel, and easy access to that big concern... food.

You are not alone in those thoughts, there is a lot of people who feel that Walden sort of life would be easier, less stressful, but the reality is that not even he lived it. There was a warm bed and a meal whenever roughing it got too hard. I've felt that call too, but in the end, as much as an apartment, car payment and 9-5 are not what I want, They are much more what I need, and at the end of the day, that suits me pretty well. Also living the hunter-gatherer-farmer life is damn hard, and I'm way too lazy for that noise!
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby Swifty » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 12:20 am

I used to think about this too, but I realised every human on Earth lives off the land.
Like I used to want to own a piece of meteorite so I could have a rock from space, then I realised I'm living on one.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby LandSailor » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 4:59 am

Checkout the series "Life Below Zero" on Netflix.
It's a reality show about people in Alaska living the subsistence lifestyle. There's about 8 series of which Netflix has the first 4.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby Xplora » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 6:54 am

Of course it is possible but you have to lower your expectations and be prepared to spend nearly all your waking hours looking to your own survival. Gathering food, water, fixing shelter. Indigenous people moved around because they had to find food or avoid bad seasonal weather. If you rely on seasonal food then nutrition will be poor at times. Perhaps another series to watch is the Doomsday prepars. I think they all have been judged as dead in a short time. It is a bit of a dream but you can start by planting spuds.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 10:35 am

Good points on the need to seek, cultivate or hunt for food and taking up an enormous amount of time. The other is, one can lower one's life expectation by a good 30 years or more if one is absolutely strict about it and seek zero outside help. A common infection or appendicitis could be the kiss of death.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby Gadgetgeek » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 6:06 pm

heck, all alone, a cracked tooth could be as good a bullet for finishing your journey in this life. Longer, and more painful, but just as final.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby north-north-west » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 7:06 pm

Xplora wrote: Indigenous people moved around because they had to find food or avoid bad seasonal weather.

It's more complex than that.
Australian aboriginals moved around to limit the stress on various food supplies and to vary their diet as much as anything else. And those who have an in depth knowledge of their practices estimate they spent an average of around 5 hours per day collecting food. The rest was available for whatever else needed doing.

It does require a very high level of knowledge of food and water sources, shelter options and the like.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 7:23 pm

Yes, and further helped by having a family and clan to work with. So best to find at least a fertile partner who has the same objective... Maybe 2 or 3 as the mortality rate of creating the next generation is high. ;)
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby puredingo » Tue 13 Jun, 2017 9:40 pm

People always seem doom and gloom about this idea but it's not impossible. It's been done before, many early settlers, escaped convicts, explores ect survived. Some with the help of the blacks and some without. If you believed the stories there's a few out there in the remote Blueys doing it right now?

I reckon I'd go alright if I had to, there's plenty of feral animals out there that are easy picking if you know where to look and some of the more slower moving natives can be caught also. If you learned the art of curing meat and fish via salting or smoking...well, you could win MKR!
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby GPSGuided » Wed 14 Jun, 2017 10:08 pm

Ok Puredingo, let me source the funding and we'll film a reality series of your survival. :)


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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby puredingo » Thu 15 Jun, 2017 6:52 am

That would actually be my dream!!!
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby outjb » Sat 17 Jun, 2017 8:36 am

you might find this person's experience interesting....did it for 6 years in NZ:

http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/co ... od/8406948
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby Sammy38 » Sat 17 Jun, 2017 1:41 pm

It has been done before in Australia, Read Max Jones's Excellent book "A Man Called Possum" it would be a hard life but very enjoyable. There are books for sale on Fleabay. I have several of them including copies signed by the author. Its a great book for kids.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby GPSGuided » Sat 17 Jun, 2017 4:26 pm

6 years or getting back to civilisation to publish a book is not called 'permanently'.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby taswegian » Sat 17 Jun, 2017 6:10 pm

My thoughts are there'd be very few who could actually survive.

Truth about reality TV shows is they're not reality.
Reality is those poor people living in Allepo, or caught up inside that horrendous apartment block fire in London.
Probably insulting to fake a reality and call it such as at any time there's an opportunity to withdraw, be rescued etc. Sure it may be tough endurance but it's still contrived.

Whenever there's a massive earthquake in remote mountainous villages I ponder on how, we highly civilised westerners would survive trying to eke an existence, even make rudimentary shelter from rubble.

With all due respects, but modern bushwalking is heavily tinged with every modern contrivance to make life more comfortable and to be more like 'home'.

There's some highly impressive achievements here from a few intrepid walkers who I take my hat off to

However to pursue such 'hardship' and denial of benefits of modern living is a task that to me sounds fascinating but not sure how long it would last.
The first nagging toothache would surely test ones resolve.

These are my thoughts. Happy to be contradicted.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby Mark F » Sat 17 Jun, 2017 7:11 pm

A lovely idea but a tough existence, very Rousseau-ian but any problems/accidents may well = death - often slow and agonising.

I notice "Possum" seems to be wearing factory manufactured clothes.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby Sammy38 » Sun 18 Jun, 2017 7:28 pm

Let me Elaborate on the Possum story for the naysayers.
In 1929 a man By the name of Jim Jones immigrated from New Zealand to make some money shearing around the Riverina district.
When he came to one of the sheds they sent him packing as his Union ticket had expired. He was so upset by this he walked off into the bush alone and remained there until his death from old age in 1982.
For the whole time he shunned human contact and rarely spoke to anyone. He often would climb trees to keep out of sight when people approached. This is where the nick name "possum" came from. His clothes were scavenged from dumps and his food came from the river or bush gardens he planted on the islands in the Murray river. He slept on the ground in rough bush camps and hollow trees and moved around often so as not to be found. He had caches of tools and fishing gear hidden so he could go back to favoured locations. He was kind to animals and there were many cases where his veterinary skills had been discovered.
He was tracked down by Detective Max Jones by using Aboriginal tracking techniques taught to him by trackers he had worked with. Max took some years to get close enough to him to have a conversation and find out the full story as possum was adept at disappearing as soon as people approached. Possum spent 40 years alone in the Australian bush in all kinds of weather with no assistance from anyone else relying on what he could scavenge. He was an honest man so while he may have borrowed some things (Rabbit traps) he never stole anything. The farmers would not see him but they would see signs that he was on their properties and would leave him alone. He would often fix fences and do other work for the farmers as a sort of payment for camping out on their land. This man would make Bear Grylls look like a boy scout. Most people I know wouldn't last overnight in the bush let alone 40 years on their own. Borrow a copy of the book and read it! you will be glad you did.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 19 Jun, 2017 10:55 am

Sammy38 wrote:This man would make Bear Grylls look like a boy scout.


Bear Grylls IS a scout. He's actually the Chief Scout.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby slparker » Mon 19 Jun, 2017 1:24 pm

Sammy38 wrote: For the whole time he shunned human contact and rarely spoke to anyone. He often would climb trees to keep out of sight when people approached.


i don't know if this is to be admired.

Most of the stories of those who manage to survive in the wilderness for extended periods strike me as either misfits or suffering a mental illness. None, so far as I am aware, are completely self sustaining, which is logical as the only way our hunter-gatherer societies survived in the environment was by close co-operation with others in a well organised society.

'No man is an is an island' etc etc.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby puredingo » Mon 19 Jun, 2017 3:27 pm

Anyone know of the "hairy man" who been seen roaming the wilds of the Southern Blue mountains/Kananga regions?
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby GPSGuided » Mon 19 Jun, 2017 5:31 pm

slparker wrote:i don't know if this is to be admired.

Most of the stories of those who manage to survive in the wilderness for extended periods strike me as either misfits or suffering a mentally illness. None, so far as I am aware, are completely self sustaining, which is logical as the only way our hunter-gatherer societies survived in the environment was by close co-operation with others in a well organised society.

Similar. Personality and other mental disorders certainly come to mind.

The other 'success' story is with those left behind Japanese soldiers in the S/E Asian jungles. A few of them survived for some decades without outside assistance. I think the last one was found in the Philippines/Indonesian jungles. But those may have stole along the way.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby ribuck » Mon 19 Jun, 2017 8:57 pm

GPSGuided wrote:... other mental disorders certainly come to mind ...

I don't see it that way. As far as I'm concerned, if someone prefers to live as a hermit and shun human contact they are not disordered, just differently ordered.

In the same way I am differently-ordered because I prefer to climb a mountain at the weekend than to spectate at a sports event.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby GPSGuided » Mon 19 Jun, 2017 10:50 pm

ribuck wrote:I don't see it that way. As far as I'm concerned, if someone prefers to live as a hermit and shun human contact they are not disordered, just differently ordered.

Quite different as us human is a social animal. Being a loner is out on the tail of normal distribution. In practice, anti-social behaviour is often related to personality and other mental states. Your example of a solo walks here and there or short term camping is quite different to staying out solo permanently.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby neilmny » Tue 20 Jun, 2017 7:34 am

ribuck wrote:
GPSGuided wrote:... other mental disorders certainly come to mind ...

I don't see it that way. As far as I'm concerned, if someone prefers to live as a hermit and shun human contact they are not disordered, just differently ordered.

In the same way I am differently-ordered because I prefer to climb a mountain at the weekend than to spectate at a sports event.


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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby puredingo » Tue 20 Jun, 2017 9:39 am

Like! yes, but who here can say they have lived anything like a real solitary existence?
As GPS says not including a one or two week solo mission in the bush where there is the prospect of eventually returning to friends, family or just general society? But to drop off the radar without any social interaction either accidental, expected or wanted? that is a mind-set out of the ordinary.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby ribuck » Tue 20 Jun, 2017 5:25 pm

I reckon the first three months would be the hardest. If you can manage for three months, I reckon there's a good chance you could manage permanently.
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Re: Living of the land permanently

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 20 Jun, 2017 5:35 pm

ribuck wrote:I reckon the first three months would be the hardest. If you can manage for three months, I reckon there's a good chance you could manage permanently.

If it was just manage, then the body would have been run down and weakened. Physical deterioration and illnesses would make the whole ordeal that much harder... so much at the mercy of nature and the availability of food. I think of those pilgrims in Nth America and their survival.
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