Published on Mar 4, 2012
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This was about a 2 hour hike through the woods and swamps of southern Michigan. I wanted to show what a typical day out for me consisted of and hopefully bring you all into the world of the modern day hunter gatherer.
To be a successful hunter it is important to understand how big game moves through an area, it doesn't take a great deal of skill to wrap your head around the basics of deer movement and get into their heads enough to successfully hunt them up. But, simply finding tracks or deer sign is not enough, it's important to know when they are moving through an area and why.
Trees offer many uses other than food and medicine. Eastern red cedar, or Juniperus virginiana, provides tinder for making fire, rot-resistant wood for friction fire, carving and construction, plus it's a potential food seasoning and medicine.
The aspens provide potential food and medicine, the white film on the bark can be used as a sunscreen to prevent sunburn, and in some situations it can be used in land navigation without a compass.
There are fresh green vegetables to eat, even in late winter. You just need to know where to look for them. Garlic mustard is a bitter green that is used medicinally to treat upset stomach, the entire plant is edible from root to seed, it is available year round, and, it is a very abundant and widespread plant that is easily identified by even the novice forager.
Efficient use of time, resources and energy to focus on multiple use widespread and abundant trees, shrubs, fungi and plants is beneficial to the experienced forager. Year round availability of natural resources is an added bonus.
Animals in the forests and fields do a lot of the work for us and we can learn by watching them. Although, it is wise to be careful and understand that some animals spread disease among man and should be avoided. Bats and rodents are notorious spreaders of infectious disease.
It's important to remember that just because an animal can do something, it doesn't mean humans can. Animals have internal systems that are much different than ours. They are designed to live through and eat things that we cannot.
Squirrels eat acorns fresh from the tree and the tannic acid doesn't bother them. Tannin will cause serious harm to the organs of humans, cows, and even horses. Bears go into hibernation and can go for months without eating or drinking.
Attempting to live in the wilderness or consume natural medicines and foods without experience and understanding will eventually lead down a path that cannot be returned from, death and disease.
Steel wool, sandpaper, knife and ax sharpeners can be found in the wild as well. It just takes a basic understanding of botany, mycology and plant and fungi composition to put them to use.
Having a good basic understanding of nature as a whole will provide you with the knowledge required to succesfully put natural resources to use in a multitude of ways. This video simply touches the tip of the iceberg.
Our ancestors lived successfully for thousands of years and, for the most part, were not specialists in any one area, they were "jacks of all trades" so to speak and had a good basic understanding of nature, the resources it provides, and how to apply them in real world situations. Having this basic outdoor knowledge allowed them to not only survive, but live, prosper and multiply.
The modern hunter gatherer has a multitude of books, online references, historical records and people at his or her disposal who are well versed on the subject. Using both human and natural resources wisely will allow us to continue to live and prosper. Our ancestors had to learn through trial and error, it's not so for us.
It is said that history repeats itself, and that is true only because we fail to learn from our mistakes. By studying history we are given the opportunity to avoid those mistakes by learning from the mistakes of others. By combining both the modern with the old we may have a chance at avoiding the repetition of history.
Tags: "modern day hunter gatherer hike ramble" deer rub hunting tracking fishing gathering foraging forager harvest hiking camping backpacking "gear review" "field test" prepper self reliance "primitive technology" bushcraft survival skills "bug out" "how to make" How-to "outdoor sports" permaculture wildcrafting abo paleo ax knife "alcohol stove" "billy can" miwilderness michigan wilderness naturalist "herbal remedies" "medicinal trees" "eastern woodlands" "hobo stove"
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