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Primitive HG living for the first year

 
pioneer
Posts: 93
Location: Monticello Florida
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Not sure which forum to put this in, so staff, feel free to move it. I'm considering the idea of buying a piece of property and then living on it primitive hunter gatherer style for a year to observe the land before starting my farm. Hunting for food, foraging, trapping, walking the landscape and camping all over the place to get really in depth knowledge of the landscape. Plus, living outside 90%of the time, I would learn to predict weather, gain knowledge of natural ecosystems, and really get in tune to what's going on there. I've not yet flown the nest yet 1 1/4ish years to go.
Does this idea sound crazy? Neat? Terrible? Awesome??? What are your thoughts?
 
gardener
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Hi Huxley;  
At my age (60) it sounds horrible...at 25 I would have been all for it!
My first question, is just how large a piece of land were you thinking of?  
Were you hoping to adjoin national forest?
Lets say you buy a 40 acre piece. It is only 1320' on each side. Or a 1/4 mile square
It won't take too long to check it all out.
Now, if you buy a section of land (640) acre's, you got something to work with.

Buying whatever size piece you can afford and then spending the next year exploring / camping and deciding where to build. Sounds like a great idea. The primative native style... well it isn't for me.

I would do it in a much more casual way... with a few creature comforts and such.

Enjoy your search and keep us posted!
 
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Wow! Sounds neat actually! I would like that, and I'm 68.
 
pollinator
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Location: La Mesa, Cundinamarca, Colombia
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I wouldn't worry about size... We have 10 hectares, which is what, 25 acres? Most of it is on steep slopes, so we marked it nature reserve. We now use about 1 hectare to grow stuff. A nice garden doesn't have to be too big either. And the main thing is that we never got bored observing what happens here. Size is a distraction. Don't we say in permaculture that the smaller the size the higher we can get the productivity?
 
Rene Nijstad
pollinator
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Thinking a bit more about your opening post. It's quite a daring plan to go somewhere to just see what will happen. Great adventure too, but daring. I would want a backup, even as simple as sympathetic parents, brother, friends, anything,where you can go when you feel you've lost it. Just to recharge and try again. If you have that, go for it! I'm serious, what I see in the patterns of the world right now is that in some decades, or maybe sooner, we will need people who have figured these things out. If you could be one of them, then please do it!
 
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The HG concept sounds like it could be quite interesting, but I happen to not think you need a year of observation before making modifications to land.  Rather, modifications should be moderate, so you can correct as needed.  Those with more experience may be able to make bigger modifications faster.  That said, as someone else mentioned, taking that time to explore nearby public land could reap dividends.

If I were you, I'd consider building a van/RV setup that would allow you to explore an area, understand the climate/culture/people/lore, check out property, and then (relatively comfortably) live somewhere while you are working on more permanent shelter.
 
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Huxley Harter wrote:I'm considering the idea of buying a piece of property and then living on it primitive hunter gatherer style for a year to observe the land before starting my farm. Hunting for food, foraging, trapping, walking the landscape and camping all over the place to get really in depth knowledge of the landscape. Plus, living outside 90%of the time, I would learn to predict weather, gain knowledge of natural ecosystems, and really get in tune to what's going on there. I've not yet flown the nest yet 1 1/4ish years to go.
Does this idea sound crazy? Neat? Terrible? Awesome??? What are your thoughts?



Having done this for much shorter periods of time, here's what I've learned;
-you'll need  shelter, fire, water, food...in that order;
-your shelter should never be more than 50' from your water source;
-don't use fire wood surrounding your shelter, save it for emergencies....same goes for edible plants and game...this way your cupboard is stocked;
-get four loops of foraging 5 to 10 miles long and rotate between them every 35-40days;
-dont try this on land that has range cattle, they destroy your edible plants and thereby reduce the amount of game...you will starve;
-start your adenture just after the last freeze and always wake up with this thought: winter is coming;
-because winter is coming your shelter is paramount, you will need to dry and store food (buried cache in clay pots),
-have a plan B so you can emerge from the wild smoothly, have income and a place to live.

Good luck!
 
gardener
Posts: 1205
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Sounds like quite an adventure. People lived like that for thousands of years & some still do. The idea has a lot going for it. It appeals to me but I think many would say it's bat poop crazy. Won't be easy. It could be an amazing learning experience of your property & yourself. Or it could be completely miserable. I advise an honest assessment of your skills & needs before setting out into the great unknown. For instance, I'd suggest start learning weather & natural systems & get in tune first. Progress up to it gradually before day 1 of the real adventure arrives. Take a friend if possible. At least take some extra food & give yourself an out in case things get really rough. Nature can be harsh. She is not to be underestimated without consequence.

I'm all for big excitement & adrenaline & letting one's inner Sasquatch out as often as possible. I totally get grabbing the bull by the horns. Just please understand it's a FREEKING BULL. Safety & good decision making are crucial ingredients to long term successful adventuring. Safe doesn't mean without risk, it just means exercising due caution every time.

Am curious what is the longest you have ever gone without electricity?

https://permies.com/t/76242/sad-Wilderness-survival-fasting
 
master pollinator
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I love the idea.  Just don't go too old school.  Be sure to maintain communication with the outside world, in case you get injured or ill.  Also, depending on where you purchase your land, you may have a tough time remaining fed the entire year.  Most HGs were seasonally nomadic over quite large territories, to take advantage of seasonal foraging and allow foraged areas to recover.  Only this way were they able to live in the same area for thousands of years.  Even one person will eat up the local food supply remarkably quickly.  That's why permaculture is so important - it creates an environment far richer in human food than most natural environments.

Also, be aware that wild food is often kind of yucky.  Edible does not necessarily mean tasty, or even palatable.  I would hate to try to survive on wild food in my locale.  Blech!
 
pollinator
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My husband and I lived in a tent for 6+ months while we built our house. It's really easy to underestimate the amount of food you need to be eating. If you're working outside all the time and sleeping in the cold you need to eat a lot to stay warm and still have energy. We did this in a very cold, wet summer. We went to bed cold, bundled up in layers, and shivered to sleep in cold, damp bedding.  We woke up warm, but then we had to take off our warm layers and put on our cold, damp work clothes. We were often cold for the rest of the day. Once we started pounding down more carbs it got better, (not the weather; that still sucked) but eating became a chore that needed to be done.

I'm glad we did it, but it was hard - and we bought our food!

Going without electricity is easy peasy.
 
gardener
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I totally understand your deam, but, as a mother, in reality I would pick your way through all the above suggestions and then talk it over with your family and try a middle road. No point of putting yourself in unnecessary danger. It does sound awesome though - I wouldn't have the courage. I did the tent thing and having a face off with a wild boar really isn't what one needs.....
 
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Do you already have an in depth knowledge of how to hunt, forage and trap?  I would definitely say you need to learn these skills and become at least somewhat proficient in them if you want do this in a practical way. Also if your land is not that big it would be difficult to do this primitively. I would suggest using some modern tools such as modern weapons/ traps to acquire game (following local regulations of course) unless you are already an expert in primitive methods. It could definitely be done and you could feed yourself off a large property but you would have to have the necessary skills and knowledge which take years to develop. Also if you will be taking large game you will need a way to preserve it. Ideally you would have a freezer or a friend with one that would let you use theirs. Otherwise any large game animal you kill will need to be cut into strips and dried in the sun or over a smoky fire and so you would mostly be eating jerky. I would strongly recommend a freezer over this or at least have one available in case you need it.

I personally would like to completely live off wild and feral foods someday at least for a year to see if I could do it. There is a Youtuber called One Wildcrafter who is doing just this and he goes pretty in depth on how he does it. You might want to check him out.

Anyways good luck. It sounds like a very interesting goal and you will learn a ton along the way even if it doesn't work out.
 
Huxley Harter
pioneer
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Thanks for the great wisdom y'all. After some researching it seems that it would make a lot more sense to make the highly productive landscape first and then enjoy a lifestyle at whatever level of technology is most enjoyable. Thanks again for the ideas, Huxley
 
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