Survive This: Critter Craze

This week on Live Free or Die,our favorite primitives are focusing on the real backbone of wild survival—their animals. Whether it’s for food, fur, or even friendship, living off-the-grid means relying on livestock and letting nothing go to waste.

Check out some highlights from this week in the wild. How do you think you’d deal with a day in the life?

Can you survive this?

It’s father-daughter time in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Woodsman Thorn is showing young Briar the basic ins and outs of wild living. Together, they build bamboo traps and place them in a nearby river in hopes of catching crawdads overnight.

The key to Thorn’s survival is passing on knowledge.


The trap is a success and Thorn is able to show his daughter how to provide for herself. While Thorn has mastered the art of rewilding, he knows it’s important to pass on critical survival skills and teach his daughter to appreciate all living creatures and their purpose.

What about this?

For homesteaders Tony and Amelia, up-keeping and expanding their livestock and crops take years to prepare. While the benefits are not always instant, it’s always worth the wait.

The key to Tony and Amelia’s survival is patience. 

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Patience is the game, as the couple is starting to see great results. With two new incoming litters of rabbits on the way, they need to make room in their hutches. With an overabundance of livestock, Tony and Amelia can use some of the rabbits ready to eat, for food and for fur to barter.

and this?

It’s finally time for blacksmith Derik to bring his remaining two mules home. However, after the struggles and dangers he faced before, he’s unwilling to attempt the journey for a second time.

The key to Derik’s survival is his trade.

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Derik’s furry friends are crucial to his operations and with no way of making the long trip by foot, he uses his blacksmithing skills for bartering power. Derik is able to trade some of his metal works in exchange for a trailer ride, driving his mules back home safe and sound.

…or this?

Desert nomad Tobias struggles with maintaining a steady food source. His traps aren’t providing enough meat to live on so he must find a better method to catch his meals without exerting too much energy.

The key to Tobias’ survival is creation.

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Tobias uses some natural resources to construct a bow and arrow, which will allow him to hunt without burning up too many calories. He lands a rabbit just in time for some much-needed protein, proving his newest creation can deliver success he can sustain.

Do you think you have what it takes to live free? How would you survive in the wild? What is your key to life? Comment below! We’d love to hear from you!

Be sure to catch the next episode of Live Free or Die: The Tipping Point , Tuesday 9/8c on National Geographic Channel.