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Surviving

with LarryB

Many years ago as a very young boy, I would tour around all by my lonesome, all through the old and well worn, black and rounded, rocky hills of the Nickel District area of Northern Ontario. I spent most of my free time in those early days, searching out the few and far between little pockets of mildly wooded areas, hidden in kind of secret little valleys, surrounding the City of Sudbury, where I spent the first sixteen years of my life. I was only 7 or 8 (I know that sounds hard to believe) when I started doing all this wilderness adventuring stuff and very seldom had anyone with me. None of the kids on my block liked bush stuff very much or they weren't allowed to go on such long field trips for fear that they would become lost or hurt. Most of the time it was just me and my dog. I'd pack some gear the night before and be gone about the time my parents got up on Saturday morning. They wouldn't see me until around supper time when I would show up a little grubby,sniffing around the stove and wanting to contribute some of the plants that I had picked during the day. My mother, unfortunately wasn't as hep about wild edibles as she could have been and didn't trust the judgment of such a young boy. She was always afraid that I would poison myself some day and she didn't want her and my dad croaking because of some bush kids ideas. She seemingly wasn't very aware of just how into plant identification I was. Even though I told her and my dad plenty of times how I had been studying all this neat stuff at the library and in my well worn copies of Outdoor Life and Sports Afield. I remember my dad laughing at the prospect of us all eatin' Dandelions and Milkweed pods and a bunch of weeds for OUR supper. Never even crossed his mind that I could have been on the right track. Too much of a generation gap there, I guess. In his day kids were "to be seen and NOT heard", so therefore they didn't deserve or get ANY respect from their elders. If you spoke up to plead your case, it was considered getting lippy and quite punishable if kept up. No adults I knew of except my adopted aunt could accept all the woods and indians and survival etc. talk coming from just a kid. But you see, I knew from long talks with my aunt, mingled with my library study and my practical experience, that our forefathers had indeed lived partially off the land and lived well in a lot of cases. I knew back then that I wanted to become an expert at doing just that when I grew up. Living partially off of all that God has given to each and every one of us. Our own little Edens to care for and make ready for the new century. That is why I've spent a good portion of the rest of my life seeking more knowledge and being more involved with all the neat stuff I LOVE and now finally, being able to share some of that with others here on the World Wide Web!

When I got a little older (13 and 14) I would often take off for the whole week-end. I'd walk miles and miles up and over hills and then down the other side only to wander through the winding center of rich, red-ish colored, dry and ancient stream beds. There in that dry and old ground I was touring through, I noticed no other footprints had been there before me. Ever. Well, not for a VERY LONG time anyway. :-) Seeing no other footprints in places where I went, made me kind of feel like the first man or first native dude may have felt.

Getting lost was never a problem in my mind. I was quite versed in traveling with the sun or moon as my guides to where I was going or where I was coming from. I did bring a cheap dime-store compass with me a few times just to be sure, but it's not quite the same as say walking through dense northern forested ares. You can see for a long distance in the volcanic foothills of that area where I lived and learned and practiced so very long ago. Although I brought the compass for insurance purposes, if I wanted to know badly enough, which way to go, I just climbed to the top of the nearest knoll and scanned the horizon for the smoke flume off in the distance. You could see the smoke for a great distance on a clear day. No, getting lost was never a big thing so that left more time to explore and delve and examine and enjoy all that was offered in those little homes away from home where I spent a large part of my youth. In fact what others might call getting lost in the outback would be more like getting found for this wandering kid of the 50's timezone. To be there on my own will was SUPER COOL and my only real reason that I could come up with back then, for even being alive on this earth. It is what life was all about for me. The freedom of all that natural stuff around me, just waiting to be enjoyed, was the main deal for me even back then. The attraction has stayed with me and helped power me all these following years. When I left my little hidden spots, I always left nothing except my own footprints for the next adventurer to find and ponder over. Hey, being the second guy through ain't so bad though! You know you are the second link to confirm the existence of an ancient trail followed only by those with much vision. The proof of a real path to right and good and peace and harmony with nature and man. I truly enjoyed seeking and finding areas with potential for keeping me alive due to what was growing there and what kind of shelter could be made with what was at hand. I wouldn't even slow down if I didn't see a fair amount of rabbit sign to confirm my main meat and protein supply. Trapping game was a necessary thing in order to eat, a forgone conclusion, like in basic fishing, where something has to die to support the natural chain. Food is supplied by using many old methods and my pack was always jammed with most of the basic survival gear like, fish hooks, some sinkers and split shot, a spool of monofilament line, a 10 foot square hunk of building plastic, a few small finishing nails (my dad was a Carpenter) a number of wooden matches in a match-safe and some preserved in melted wax and even a few loose books or paper matches, stashed in various pockets on my person. Eventually over time a magnifying glass, snare wire, a pocketknife and a real workhorse of a sheath knife joined my gear list. In the food department I would usually have
a can of sardines, a pack of Kraft dinner, a cup of rice, a package or two of pre-sweetened powdered drink. A can of pea soup was pretty standard too and the empty can became my cooking pot for the rest of the trip. Along with a little pepper and a bit of salt and a few restaurant paks of sugar, once in a long while, I'd get to stash a few pieces of good ol' tube steak in there when my mom wasn't looking, so I'd have a treat for supper the first night. Rarely but well appreciated when it did happen, there would be a can of bully beef for when the moon was blue and or if my super cool aunt had stashed the "great bush feast" into my pack somehow magically before I left for a three or four day trip.

There were dozens and dozens of neat wild plants which grew in my area that were not only edible but very nutritious as well. When these wild plants and tubers were added to the bit of meat or whatever I had brought along, I sometimes figured I was eating better in the bush than I was at home. I even kind of imagined myself feeling like I was getting stronger for it. Like I could feel all those natural minerals and vitamins working on my body and fortifying it with raw natural power, even as I ate.

I sort of felt like I was a teen aged Indian (Native Person) using what was at hand to sustain my life. It felt great tying myself into history like that and trying to live as thousands of others had lived long before me. Making due and then doing well at getting along in life, that's the ticket.

I was never bored or scared out there even though I would get lonely the odd time, especially if the weather got cruddy. There was always so much to see and do out there in the middle of all that nature. Birds to watch ,insects to catch, rabbits to hunt and fish to be hooked when things went well. Catching fish on such basic gear was always a challenge but the fish seemed to taste even better because of it. Sleeping under a dead-fall, all wrapped up in moss,leaves,grasses and evergreen boughs was a most wonderful way to get a real nights sleep. I experimented with many different hoochys and lean-to's over the years and they all,every one of them, enabled me to get a sound sleep, even if it rained during the night. If you spend time making them right in the first place they do a good job of protecting you from the elements. Living in the outback for a while is so down to earth that most individuals who even try a little of it will feel more mellow about more stuff that would usually bother them. Well, those are my own personal findings anyway. Have fun here folks. We made it through the big date turnover scary thingy and now we can all get back to our concern for survival and harmony in our everyday lives, not just because of some computer scare...... As a matter of fact I happen to know of at least one other dude that was right there on the computer when the clocks changed to the proper settings. Not even a burp from our systems. Not even a whimper....Let's get back at it folks!

The way I see it, we are on a basic, Survival mission, everyday. I can only live from day to day if I wish to maintain any kind of basic controls over my life. Yesterday is gone. History. Finished. Over. Tomorrow is yet to come. I can't make it come any faster or slower for that matter. To-day, right now, is about the only time I can actually do something to affect and or effect my world, and yours too as a matter of fact. Do things...TO-DAY!! is the motto here folks. Do stuff you love. Be with who you love. Broaden your horizons. Love LIFE in all it's many forms and styles. And last but not least for now, Enjoy your own life to-day, more than ever before and be thankful for what you have!

My best tip of all to ensure your happy survival is:
Enjoy Life Large!!

Here are some hyper-links to some of my other little low-key, web pages. Enjoy!

Bush Stuff
Fishing
Bush Guy
Latestest Window Spot...
OutdoorsUnlimited

More Hyper-Links

Tom Brown Jr.
HollowTop
Great Survival stuff
Excellent!
> Basics
OutDoor Life
SportsAfield
My new blog
Solar Cookers
WebWeaving
Harmony through AIKIDO
Primitive

Thank you for dropping by. Hope you have a SUPER day!!
L.B.

This little Canadian Survival site built and maintained for your enjoyment by LarryBourgeois Canadian

Entire Contents are Copyright 1999-2012 By Larry Bourgeois,the Canadian Webmaster/Blogger