While living in the wilderness of Patagonia, Argentia I learned a great deal about long term wilderness living and how a body reacts to living that way.
During my 51 days in Patagonia I learned a few things about myself, survival, long term living and most importantly what its like to be in a state of caloric deficiency. I, like almost everyone, I spoke with before my journey focused tremendously on skill sets related to survival and bushcraft. What was I going to make, how was I going to live, what was I going to do to occupy my time, and of course how was I going to obtain food? Well the last question, how was I going to obtain food, was a question I asked myself a lot but didn’t carry near as much weight as it should have. Lets face it, making a primitive trap, tanning a hide, carving a spoon, or making a bark basket are cool and fun projects but in a survival scenario they are the last thing on your mind. Calories from food intake rule the roost when I think about survival now. Although it seems common sense that calories are energy, its an overlooked concept time and time again. Being in a caloric deficit makes a person tired, run down, unmotivated, the list goes on and on. Yet, we as survivalists still need to trudge forward, completing tasks of finishing shelters, gathering firewood, making fire, sleeping, boiling water, and most of all trying to obtain our next meal. The next meal becomes your life, its not an obsessive type of thought, its just the thing everything else revolves around. Wake up and know you have to check your traps and fishing lines, boil water and you know you need to get bait for your hooks, work on your shelter and stop because its time to recheck your fishing lines. Its there and never goes away, that underlying thought of your next meal. As survivalist or bushcrafters we should be aware of this and embrace the fact that this WILL happen. The more you prepare yourself the less of a learning curve you're going to have to undergo. Of course, I don’t believe you can truly prepare yourself for what you are actually going to feel like both physically and mentally but we can be prepared that its going to be real and true in our situation. I can say from my perspective a few things. First, your workload is going to be a small percentage of what you normally can accomplish. Embrace this because its a way to occupy your time. Second, you will be dizzy, when you stand up quick the world gets a bit dark and fuzzy. Third, the hunger pains we experience when we didn’t eat for 6 hours at home don’t get worse they go away. There are no hunger pains there are mental pains of where is my next meal coming from. Lastly, you are not going to think as clear as when you are home and well fed. Things that are simple now are going to take a bit more concentration and perseverance. Just some food for thought (pun intended)….Hope you enjoyed!