Re-wilding: Homesteading Bloggers Weigh In

Americans today constantly have their eyes locked on screens — their phones, tablets and televisions. Workweeks are getting longer and the retirement age is getting older. There’s an obsession with money and material goods. But a handful of people are rejecting these ways of life. They’re moving away from cities, living off the land and surviving with only the bare necessities. This growing lifestyle trend is explored in Live Free or Die, a new series that follows five individuals living in the country’s backwoods and swamps with few of the trappings of modern society.

To better understand what it takes to become more self-sufficient, we’ve been talking to experienced homesteaders and survivalists over the past few days. Here are the tips, insights and advice they had on the un-domestication of humans, aka reverting back to our wild roots.

Trayer Wildness

What does it take to actually live “off the grid?” With a 13-year-old son in tow, Tammy and her husband moved to Idaho where they lived in an 8′ x 14′ canvas-wall tent for eight and a half months before building a 100 percent solar off-grid homestead – with a foot of snow on the ground! Now they forage for berries, harvest a garden, hunt for meat and cook on an open fire. “Our lifestyle to most would be too much work, but to us the work is rewarding and a dream come true. We live very frugally by choice and make most of what we need,” says Tammy. “We are embracing our dreams!” Read more about the Trayer family’s experience at Trayer Wildness.

Homestead Mania

Jennifer at Homestead Mania describes re-wilding as the “sweet spot where humans and nature connect.” In her latest blog post, she explains that re-wilding is accessible to everyone. “It’s not just something for extremists who want to eat raccoon and live in a mud hut. It can be incorporated into ordinary, mundane everyday actions, thoughts and emotions. It takes planning and practice and integrity. The steps must be consistent and continue over time.” She even gives us 10 tips for re-wilding our own lives!

Attainable Sustainable

Hawaii-based blogger Attainable Sustainable admits she’s got it easier than others when it comes to foraging for food in the wild. “But no matter where you live, if you get out into the wilds you might be surprised at the foraged foods you can add to your dinner table,” she tells us. To prove her point, she asked bloggers in Montana, Missouri, Kentucky, Colorado and Pennsylvania to share their harvesting stories.  Click over to learn more.

Little Mountain Haven

What would happen if a current-world problem became so severe that food wasn’t available at the grocery store, running water wasn’t pumped directly into our homes or gasoline wasn’t available to fuel our cars? Little Mountain Haven sheds light on what she calls “homestead life insurance,” stating in her blog: “It’s important for me to learn basic survival as backup, learn how to live with the land, grow and preserve our own food and most of all teach it to our children. For what are future generations of humans going to do when their iPad stops working?”

Our One-Acre Farm

Janet at Our One Acre Farm shares her thoughts on self-reliance, technology and sustainability at the global population level and the individual level. “Widespread conversion to a hunter-gatherer existence would probably cause ecological collapse. But I think there is something to be gained from the survivalist trend, beyond the personal rewards to the rugged individual.” She also offers practical survival skills for the average person. Gardening, preserving, fishing and even keeping small livestock are just a few things an urban or suburban dweller could do to become more self-sufficient.

Read more on re-wilding, homesteading and self-sufficiency at each of the blogs above – and don’t forget to tune in to the premiere of Live Free or Die tonight at 10 PM on the National Geographic Channel.

Comments

  1. […] See this post linked up with other great bloggers in ‘Re-wilding homesteading bloggers weigh-in’ on the National Geographic TV blogs site!&#…* […]

  2. richard
    virginia
    September 30, 2014, 9:54 pm

    I would like to know how they obtained the land that they are residing on??i am looking for a peice of land so that i can do the same thing,,30 years of working btween 70-100 hours per wk. and now they took my ability from me ,have a ridiculus mortgage and want to live a very simple lifestyle in the woods can do it just want to do it legally.simply.the way we were supposed to be on this planet, all the trappings of modern life is not really good for you!! so how did they aquire the land???

  3. Rewilding: Taking It Slow Brings Rewards
    October 2, 2014, 12:41 pm

    […] Geographic Channel asked me and a handful of other homesteading bloggers to weigh in on the topic of […]

  4. Janet Pesaturo
    Massachusetts
    October 2, 2014, 1:30 pm

    You don’t necessarily need much land to grow a lot of your own food. On our One Acre Farm, we produce most of our own vegetables and eggs for spring, summer, and fall, and we don’t even come close to using the entire acre. If we wanted to, we could fit small livestock for meat, a green house, and a root cellar, and produce most of our own food for the year. And foraging, hunting, and fishing can be done off your own property. I’d love to be One Hundred Acre Farm, but it’s never going to happen, so we make the most of what we have.

  5. […] And I have plenty of friends who enjoy survivalist activities, but don’t strive for self-sufficiency, nor focus on disaster planning. So the survivalist trend attracts different types of people and for different reasons. What’s the appeal? What does it mean on an individual level, and on a population level? Is it good or bad for the environment? Is it at odds with modern technology? I was inspired to try to answer these questions in anticipation of National Geographic’s upcoming series, Live Free or Die. This post was featured by National Geographic on Re-wilding: Homestead Bloggers Weigh In. […]

  6. Maddy V
    Montana
    November 23, 2014, 12:49 pm

    I am not a regular viewer of the show. That said, a week or so ago I happened to have the Nat Geo channel on while sewing, so was not really watching it. I was completely taken aback by something I believe I heard said by a man who was hunting. Apparently he shot some sort of bird. The bird didn’t die immediately. The “hunter” (I don’t recall his name) said there were two options: 1) to find the bird and finish it off, or 2) let it “bleed out” and then recover it.

    If I heard this correctly, I am shocked not to have seen any complaints about the possibility of such inhumane treatment of a wounded animal. I come from a long line of responsible hunters. NEVER would they wound an animal and not immediately make every attempt to find it and end its misery. In the first place, they would NEVER take a shot when they weren’t certain it would kill the animal swiftly. Letting a wounded animal “bleed out” is the epitomy of intentional cruelty.

    Did I miss something or hear it wrong? It has bothered me ever since. If I heard it correctly, how is this condoned and what is Nat Geo teaching their viewers about proper hunting skills and humane treatment of animals?

  7. Maddy V
    Montana
    November 23, 2014, 12:52 pm

    Re: my comment above

    I am talking about the show, “Live Free Or Die.”

  8. […] And I have plenty of friends who enjoy survivalist activities, but don’t strive for self-sufficiency, nor focus on disaster planning. So the survivalist trend attracts different types of people and for different reasons. What’s the appeal? What does it mean on an individual level, and on a population level? Is it good or bad for the environment? Is it at odds with modern technology? I was inspired to try to answer these questions in anticipation of National Geographic’s upcoming series, Live Free or Die. This post was featured by National Geographic in Re-wilding: Homestead Bloggers Weigh In. […]