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Advice needed please- long-term survival diet

Discussion in 'Bushcraft and survival skills' started by Wild wandering woodsman, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. Wild wandering woodsman

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    Hi all, by autumn I will be starting a long term camp. Duration- indefinite! I have decided to give up modern life altogether, and live alongside nature for the rest of my days. Now I wondered what would be the best thing diet wise. I will forage hunt and fish as much as I can, but I also need a back up plan for periods of time where wild foods may not be available. I will have approx £80 a month to spend on supplies. So What would you recommend for long term survival diet. Needs to be long lasting, provide all nutritional needs, and be as light as possible
    cheers
    Jon
     
  2. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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    Man of Tanith and Nomad64 like this.
  3. Alan De Enfield

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    Do you have place to build a camp, or will you be on the move every day or two ?
     
  4. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    It is nice to have a goal, but do not feel like you betrayed yourself if you only last to the first heavy autumn rain, or the first night approaching zero C.

    First, get two books, one that tells you which plants and funghi are poisonous, and one that tells you which you can eat.
    Crosscheck.

    Do you have much experience in living in nature?

    In the thread Crosslandkelly provided, the original poster seems not to have made it past a couple of weeks. Very few posts, then silence..............
     
    #4 Janne, Jul 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  5. C_Claycomb

    Mod

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    Um, not wishing to be indelicate, but how long do you anticipated "to the end of my days" lasting?

    Is this plan in the UK? Are you thinking you will live rough, or do you have somewhere you can set up a permanent shelter that you will be able to heat? There is a heck of a difference between someone choosing to set up in a little croft or bothy somewhere with no running water or electricity, but with a roof, walls and fire place, and someone aiming to go nomad tramp and camp under a basha every night..

    If you are essentially homeless, do you know if you can get medical care in the area you plan to live? I know that the lack of an address can cause problems for people registering for services.

    Will that £80 also have to cover replacement of clothing and kit as it wears out?

    Are you after advice of a meal by meal diet made up of different foods (all of which are light and long lasting) that in combination will give you all the nutrition you need, or are you asking about individual foods that might be considered as light, long lasting and nutritious (but might not be a full diet)? Suggesting a full diet is a big ask, and if you need to ask, just three months from your start date...It comes to mind that if you need to ask you perhaps shouldn't be doing it so soon.

    Starting such an adventure at the end of the year is going to be much higher risk than starting in the spring. Do you have any choice in the matter? If you are in a tight spot people are more likely to offer advice and be helpful than if you are just impatient to make a life style change.

    Hunting, just do it while you are going about other things. It has a very poor return if you go out specifically with that pursuit in mind. Fishing requires a license for fresh water and limits you to the least effective methods. Please don't talk to us about poaching. Hunting or trapping needs land owner's permission. Please don't talk to us about poaching on land either. We will assume you know the law and intend to stay within it, if that is not the case, keep it to yourself, thanks.

    Suggesting foods that could be considered as part of a diet, well, rice, polenta (corn meal) and cous cous (wheat) are good for carbs in that they are dry, last well when kept that way, dense and do not require much cooking time, which will save fuel. You will probably struggle to find wild food with fat, so that is something you will need to buy. Veg or olive oil will probably do fine, but some animal fat in dry sausage would be good too.
     
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  6. Wild wandering woodsman

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    I have a place to build camp, but will travel some as well, using hammock. Was thinking hunker down over autumn and winter, and travel around over spring summer
     
  7. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    It's a rotten time of year to start such an endeavour. The days are shortening and by winter you're lucky if you have eight hours of decent daylight. That's sixteen hours dark.....you can't sleep sixteen hours, and working in the cold, wet (this is the UK) dark is pretty miserable.

    So, on that note, what kind of experience do you have of winter camping ? or late autumn and early spring come to that. What background do you have that is relevant ?

    It's all very well to say people did it in the past, and they did, but they didn't do it alone, iimmc.

    I'm almost tempted to suggest that you use the time beforehand to get in touch with the folks who live in eco type communes. At least there you can exchange labour for a place to sleep and a seat at the common table. It'd give you an address, and you would be expected to chip in with expenses, but the folks who live on those sites are usually an amazing mix of skills and knowledge.
    Not quite totally remote from all modern life but certainly seperate from most of the intrusions.

    There is another suggestion, that again would give you both accomodation and a huge learning potential. Look at wwoofing...where you work on organic smallholdings and farms for a short time, and then maybe move along elsewhere.
    https://wwoofinternational.org

    Food wise, easy kept, easily cooked high carb and protein stuffs. Grains, nuts and legumes if cross mixed will easily give complete proteins (old fashioned vegetarian here).
    Oats, dried pea flours (look at the Indian stuff, really cheap for good food) roasted....both can be easily cooked just with hot water. Cheap high carb oily stuff isn't awfully tasty, but more expensive peanut butter, keeps fairly well, as does lard......and it's a lot cheaper than butter if your budget is really tight. Dried fruits, like raisins, are both sweet and tasty and good for your gut, iimmc ? If you're on good foraging land there's always something green to find to do you good. Five packs of noodles for a pound....lot of food I suppose, but packing it and storing it dry is a pain, much like pasta. Buy root veggies and clamp them. Use as necessary and plant some out for later in hope. Sack of spuds is around eight pounds here.....that's a lot of food, washed carrots don't keep well, but turnips do, and again both are high carb and nutritious.

    Hunting, trapping, fishing, roadkill buffets, are all possible, in the right situation and permissions, but not as easy as it might seem. Unless you really know your patch and it's seasons, they're not reliable. Seashore where there are shellfish in abundance makes things a little easier, but tides, storms, short days, blooming cold and wet....not that much easier.

    I think you really need to think about your situation before Autumn.
    Best of luck with it.

    M
     
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  8. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    I carried out a fairly detailed study on this a few years ago and concluded that in the UK one person on their own could not survive legally i.e. without stealing crops, killing farm stock or poaching. The calorific intake requirements for someone on the move (and that includes on the move to hunt) and at the same time carry out all the jobs to keep camp are too great for survival on their own; that's why man is a communal beast - we share the workload depending on one's skills.

    If you want to try this, and it is a worthwhile exercise in my opinion as long as you have an exit plan, spend the next few months studying a) human food history and requirements, b) hunting, fishing, and foraging, c) the laws of the land, and d) first aid. Then plan, plan, plan - we do not have the benefit of the teachings and guidance of our iron age forefathers so you need to learn and plan for yourself; you can't catch up on generations of learning in a few weeks! Then, next year, spend weekends and the odd week trying out your plan - no cheating - how many fish did you catch today? how many rabbit did you successfully trap? I know lifelong experienced fishermen who have gone whole periods without a decent catch and experienced hunters come back with no kills. If you can make it work then take a sabbatical from the rat race and give it a go but do not burn your bridges; have an exit plan.

    Good luck.
     
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  9. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Ecology text books can tell you what is needed as nutrient and energy for a human to thrive.
    Ecology textbooks can tell you what the carrying capacity is, the productivity, of any biogeoclimatic zone.
    Simple division to learn that a foraging human needs 15 km^2 to survive.
    Clearly, gardening is more productive.

    I don't believe that you can find any land base in the UK where you can take whatever you will be needing.

    The Canadian province of British Columbia is about 3X the size of the UK. You have 65M people, BC has 4.5M people.
    There's boundless open crown land here. You can disappear, never to be found again. That is what happens.
    Even to be young and fit again, I would not dream of attempting to go paleo.

    A few people live poor lives off the grid as they can afford to buy the basics (lard, flour, salt, sugar).
     
  10. Quixoticgeek

    Quixoticgeek Full Member

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    A group of us in Kent did an experiment a couple of years ago (read about it here: https://bushcraftuk.com/community/index.php?threads/wye-not-forage-for-dinner.143232/), where we tried to do a hike, while carrying our bivvi kit, and forage for dinner along the way. We rapidly came to the conclusion, you can move, or you can forage, you can't do both, Not if you want to actually make headway.

    Good luck with your adventure. Let us know how you get on.

    J
     
  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    In my old unit, we had to do the movement/ foraging several times through the years. About a week each time.
    Walking we did approx 20km ’as the crow flies’ each day
    Skiing about the double.

    Despites us being able to hunt, we all lost weight, despite us not having much body fat to start with.
    Most in early summer, least in fall ( animals more fatty, berries to pick).

    Result- more tired each day, mood went down.

    We shot reindeer mainly. The odd ptarmigan, capercailie.
    Pure vegan foraging - impossible to survive.
     
  12. Billy-o

    Billy-o Native

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    Always wondered how bears do it. They are quite big and are mainly veggies ... if you count salmon as vegetables.
     
  13. snappingturtle

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    I did this for a fair few years when growing up, its tough, very tough at times, food wise you will just grab what you can, as nature or your own cunning offers, that kind of mean's hunt, forage, steal and scavenge for it, and if you can take over a solid building of some form, survival and comfort get much improved so do it! you will find mainly you prep a lot for autumn and winter, you also will find your limits and know what kind of a man you truly are, dig deep you will be surprised at what your capable of, as for food brown rice is not a bad place to start.....
     
  14. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    And they sleep for months on end.....

    Bears eat huge amounts while they can. Huge poop too.
     
  15. snappingturtle

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    Don't they weed wad there butt before hibernation? just thing on that, you have been asleep for months you wake up and really want to go, but your balloon knot has been out of use for an age then the first thing you got to pass out is something like a hessian matt! no wonder they can be aggressive:biggrin: anyhow......
     
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  16. Samon

    Samon Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Pemmican, rice and additional cans of beans in water.

    Once you've eaten all that, go home and rejoin normality as Britain is about as wild as a golf course and as 'natural' as one too.

    The idea that our island can provide enough wild food for the average person is laughable. You're better being a gypo, they get away with all sorts the rest of us do not and they live kind of like a wandering tribe.. just with more chained up dogs and pre teens on quad bikes lol.
     
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  17. SoldierPalmer

    SoldierPalmer Full Member

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    I used to manage a wetland reserve around 4sq miles. Ok it doesn't sound a lot but on foot it was quite large along with a small spruce plantation added in along with birch oak ash woodland. It was fairly diverse with 3 lakes and 2 moderate streams. Species such as water fowl (grey lags and Canadians mainly) a lot of Roe the lakes stuffed with trout with runs of sea trout and salmon too. I think I would of eaten my way through it within 4 months. Out side of this area it was a agricultural desert of sheep fields. Of course you could always survive off the sheep but that is illegal.

    Legally i think it will be a struggle in the UK unless you start a small holding.
     
  18. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Would be a struggle with a smallholding too...

    It is millenia ago people in Europe could be 100% self sufficient from what they grew and foraged.

    And in those distant days they died in the 30’s, completely worn out.
     
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  19. Samon

    Samon Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Yep..

    Their teeth were ground down to nubbs too due to the hard foods and copious amounts of grit in their wheat from their primitive mills.
     
  20. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    One of the most common causes of death was dental infections.
    Rich people could afford lots of honey = decay = pulpal necrosis = dental abscess = septicemia.
    The rest of the people = grit in food = worn teeth and pulp exposure = pulpal necrosis etc.

    Even if you live in an area rich in fruit and veg plus easily captured animals, you need to collect immense amounts and preserve.

    Preserving food is complex and time consuming.

    To start the experiment in the autumn is waaaaaay to late. Many vegetabilia have the highest nutrient content in the spring.

    Plus the most importsnt question that I have been reluctant to ask until now:

    What do you plan to use instead of loo paper?
    Moss and leaves are a pain to use. Leaves debris behind that scratches!
     

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