First step in rewilding


Right now my struggle is with awareness. I often get lost in my own head while just walking along, and I have to fight to look out, listen, feel, what surrounds me.

Opening myself up to others in honest ways is also something else I’ve been working on. Telling my truth to people that I normally wouldn’t have told it to before. That is also a struggle, but I enjoy it.

The next “skill” I want to work on is bike maintance and repair. I’ve only ever casually ridden my bike, but now that I live in a big city I want to use it for most of my transportation. And, if the shit comes down, it will be good for escape. Can anyone recommend a good all round book on bikes?

Lastly, I’m learning to really say what I know. Really know what I think I know. Practicing that is important to me, because, like I mentioned in that other thread, I really want to feel like I know (mind, body, and soul) the theory behind all this.

Edit: I’m also spending more time conditioning my body; improving strength, flexibilty, and balance (I lag in endurance, which I should work on more). Willem’s posts on body skills have given me a lot of food for thought.


I’m confused about some of the responses I’m seeing here. (I’m confused about a lot of things on this blog, but this was the most recent one since I registered.) I mean, how can one rewild without spending time in the wilderness? How can truly re-indigify with out unplugging–at least for a while–from computer/tv screens, books, recorded music, etc.? Aren’t these the devices of civilization? (Another thing I’m confused about is the definition of civilization here, but that, perhaps, is another thread.) In fact, cancer and many other diseases like it are considered “civilized diseases” because they often come from electro-magnetic radiation and modern toxins. Who knows, maybe it’s the bombardment of electro-magnetic radiation that’s our biggest stumbling stone in rewilding. I know that I feel very different when I’m not around it.

So why would one think a person intends to be insulting by advising unpluggling for a month or a season? (And I disagree that the only folks who do/did this were outcasts, aboriginal or not. Many medicine folks have spent time in solitude in the wilderness. And in my personal experience, time in the wilderness–with and without others–has brought me much MUCH closer to the Earth, surviving on the Earth, and in affinitty with others doing the same.)

And why don’t more folks on this blog advocate more time away from “civilization”? More time away from cities and computers and non-indigenous civilization? (BTW, as most of you know, most <all?> indigenous cultures had oral traditions, not written.) What harm in spending some time away from the written word–not because the written word is bad, but in order to understand what the experience without it would be like? Why not try a month together in the wilderness, living without books and computers?

And please don’t misunderstand me–I’m not asking these questions to be contentious. I’m truly wondering.


After reading one of the other threads, I had the desire to clarify:

I’m not responding to whether folks “walk the walk,” but rather registering my surprise that folks would react against someone advising folks to unplug for a while as a first step towards rewilding.


Hey Eriol, welcome to the site. Please introduce yourself in the introductions forum before posting.

I'm confused about a lot of things on this blog

To clarify, this site is not a blog, it is a forum. A blog is an individual or group web-log. This site is a web-forum; a place where people chat and discuss topics.

how can one rewild without spending time in the wilderness?

The confusion here may lie in your definition of wilderness.

How can truly re-indigify with out unplugging--at least for a while--from computer/tv screens, books, recorded music, etc.?

Can you specifically quote anyone on this site who suggested not unplugging for a little while?

Another thing I'm confused about is the definition of civilization here, but that, perhaps, is another thread.

I suggest you continue reading the site before posting on about that. Many threads here discuss that, but in general, I will send you to two links for that:

A Short History of Western Civilization
The Nature of Cities

I know that *I* feel very different when I'm not around it.

I feel better in some ways when I don’t use these tools, but I also feel worse in other areas.

Time alone in quiet natural areas definately deepens my feelings towards the earth. But that time does not alone create a culture. I take what I learn from those times and build something from those experiences. This site is about those experiences, but also the building that they inspire.

And why don't more folks on this blog advocate more time away from "civilization"?

I don’t see civilization as location. I see it not a physical space, but a social space. It lives in the physical world and takes up physical space, and is marked by its physicality, but “wildlife” continues to ignore and adapt to cities. Rewilding is about spending time away from civilization as a social & mental space, more so than reclaiming the physical spaces we call cities. Most people go try and live in the wilderness, but they fail because they take civilization with them. It is more mental than physical. Sites like this exist to explore the mental aspects since they seem to be more pertenant. I can teach anyone how to make a bow-drill fire in 30 minutes; I can’t deprogram their civilized minds in the same amount of time, because changing our perception is a different beast than learning hand-crafts and plant id.

And please don't misunderstand me--I'm not asking these questions to be contentious.

I have to say, when someone jumps on a thread without first introducing themselves and does not first engage in light conversation here, and is worried people may find their first post contentious, it either means they need to read more or this site is not the place for them. Please read more through the threads before posting again, and perhaps you’ll find this is not the site for you.


Well, sorry for stepping on any toes–I’ve never posted to one of these things before and have ready many of the posts at differrent times. If I could figure out how to quote one of the posts before me I would have included them in the post (don’t worry, I’ll eventually figure it out). It was in response to a couple of the replies previously in this thread where folks seemed to come down hard on the person suggesting not reading for a while as a first step to rewilding. (I haven’t figured out how to continue writing my post AND look at the previous ones a ways back–sorry. And I’m on too slow a connection to want to do the multi-window thing.) I read the etiquette stuff a long time ago (so didn’t remember that one had to introduce oneself before posting–sorry) and was about to do an intro when i got caught by that thread. Again, sorry. (I certainly don’t remember ever knowing about having to light talk before something deep…my ignorance again.)

Re: my confusion concerning the definition of civilization: I’m not particularly new to the concept of rewilding or de-civving. I’ve just found myself confused in this forum. But more of that when I can think it through AND quote previous posts and obviously, after I’ve done an intro, if I’m still welcome to.


No worries. We are working on a “Read and sign this first” thread for new people.


eriol, i generally agree with your comments.

step 1 - spending time in the wilderness…


I particularly like the part where he said not to say fuck for a month. As if that’s necessary for anything and doing that to avoid violence is just more delusional crap. FUCK FUCK FUCK :slight_smile:


I guess I have put off this response long enough.
My earlier post was in response to someone asking for suggestions for first steps. I gave a few. I admit I had a bit of an agenda with that list but I also think that each one of the things I suggested have some value.

People seem to think that I am offended by “fuck” and swearing.
I say “fuck” every day and swear a lot. When I swear it’s usually an expression of anger and frustration. Anger and frustration are motivators. They are not a place to dwell. It’s a good thing to feel anger and frustration at injustice and oppression, or at the destructive path of mainstream society. However that is not a step towards anything. That is a rejection of the mainstream. It is a step into a void. So I don’t think of it as a first step toward rewilding. It’s just something that might motivate a person to take the first step.

I’ve known many people in my life who felt that anger and frustration, stepped into that void, but never found a way to anything else. They continue to dwell in that void. So twenty years later you can hear them ranting on and on about how they’ve been victimized and all the others who are to blame for everything that’s fucked up in the world.

So a person might feel that and be motivated to step into the void. When the anger has served it’s purpose it may be time to find a new way to channel that. If a person decides to refrain from expressions of those destructive emotions for a month, it may allow for something new to come.

My suggestion as a first step, try not saying fuck for a month.
It may encourage you to find other ways to channel what has brought you here in a way that is a step toward something.


Am I an asshole to point out:

When the anger has served it's purpose it may be time to find a new way to channel that. If a person decides to refrain from expressions of those destructive emotions for a month, it may allow for something new to come.

This sounds contradictory?

I see an opportunity to discuss redirection is not ''not" expressing these emotions.

I lost five hours of work on a book, and then I went out and had the time of my life, and determined, made a fire by friction with nothing but me and my environment.

This was my story, and how I redirected my anger towards myself.

I literally(semi-literally) took the fire out of my belly.

Am I resonating?


I’m not saying never express those emotions. I’m saying that after a while expressing them may not have gotten a person anywhere. I think that those expressions can outlive their usefulness. I’m suggesting an exercise to promote movement, not a lifestyle.

You may be an asshole but not for that post. ;D


Oh I see it seems like you are addressing chronically angry people, where it’s gone on to depression and beyond. I think there are things where I have been so angry, that I’m not even angry anymore. Like a slow burn. As opposed to those flares in temper.

I think the less I drink and smoke, the more “in touch” I’m with my feelings. Scary stuff. I’m just glad I’m committed to being as healthy towards myself as possible. I couldn’t imagine if my failure to save a document would make me hate myself. It just make me resolve to be more careful, after, of course, I go and redirect my tantrum to a 20mph bike ride.


eriol, welcome to the forums.

my problem with heyvictor’s offering about books was not that he suggested to put them aside for a while, but that he said not to read any more books. period.

as he just expressed, his post came from a point of agenda. i think he was reacting against a lot of the attitudes he sees here and wanted to push folks in the direction he favors. i replied in regards to the direction that i favor as a way of pushing back against his pushing.

we all have different ideas about how reach the concept of freedom from civilization. some folks will value certain things that other folks don’t really care about and vice versa. i like the fact that we have different ideas and perspectives and can even cope with the fact that we might get a little pushy sometimes when present our ideas because it means that we’re getting more ideas into the mix.

in the end, only you can decide on your path. it’s kind of like when i asked my doctor about the best exercise routine, and he said “the best one is whatever one you will actually do.” find among our words and arguments whatever resonates with you. embrace whatever ideas will lead you to more ideas, whatever actions will lead you to more actions.

and by the way, i thought scout came down a little hard on you for not posting an introduction first. if we already had a “before you post” thread going, the situation would look different, but as it stands, he held you up to a standard you couldn’t have known about yet.


i think the following experiences have really drawn me into “rewilding”:
-sitting on the porch around a fire with a good friend for hours of silence
-skinny dipping with friends in the ocean under the milky way in her full glory. there was some kind of algae (?) that sparkled green in the water and made us all beautiful, green-sparkling naked bodies.
-sleeping with a friend outside in the open, without tent, and waking to a thunderstorm rolling in
-getting involved in a physical relationship after bottling up my sexuality because of religious teaching
-becoming a vegetarian. not necessarily because of the “not-eating-meat” thing, but because it forced me into trying new vegetables and fruits and really tasting the food!


Folks have had a lot to say on this topic, but I keep coming back to those first couple of things –

Take it barefoot. Yeah. My bare feet on the earth, in the water, pine needles, moss, rocks, sand, even cool hot smooth rough insides of buildings, whatever, really rocks my world. The more ways I try it the more I love it. A really weird little story from years ago popped into my head today. My college town had a completely crazy, drug-soaked, super creative wild interesting Halloween celebration, people came from neighboring states just to see the crazy shit going on. A giant, costumed human mass hallucination gathered in the pedestrian-only zone downtown and slowly swayed and gawked and freaked into a crescendo throughout the night. One year, in the midst of all that loud, raucous craziness, I don’t even remember what kind of costume I had put together, but somehow I ended up barefoot in some squishy mud under one of those city street trees with a neat square of bare dirt around it. In my altered state, no one could tear me away. All I wanted to do was dance and squish in that mud for hours. I felt so deeply amazed and happy. I laugh as I type this.

The other thing–unfrenzy. To me, that represents the undoing of the things civilization has done to me in one word. Thanks for the suggestion Neighbor Scout–let me know if you get to your story of how to do it! :-*


My first few steps I have taken to rewild lately are as follows:

-sleeping with my window open (although I have a screen to keep pesky mosquitoes at bay). It’s nice to feel the cold night air and stare at the silver moon.

-going barefoot everywhere except in stores and when driving. Can you build up a sort of pseudo-immunity to the pain or discomfort from stepping on small, hard objects like rocks or sticks?

-drinking loads more water than I used to and laying off most if not all soft drinks. I felt like looking at some ingredients on drinks in the gas station today: Dasani water puts sodium in their water! Thats where the soapy taste probably comes from! And Minute Maid Lemonade says on the front: ‘made with real lemons’ but the ingredients say, "less than 0.05% real lemon’ or something of the like. That’s practically false advertising and I’m ashamed that companies like this would exploit people’s desire to have seemingly healthy drinks but they load it full of sugar (just about the same amount found in coke.)

-getting rid of meaningless hobbies. For instance, I sold every single one of my Vgames as well as systems; deleted all my online games I play, and I’m getting rid of magazines because none of that stuff seems to appeal to me anymore. Why do people play ‘realistic’ videogames when they can experience all of that in real life?

-telling most of my friends my plans to relocate to the wild in the near future. I haven’t told my family and don’t know if I will, and if I do, I have no clue how because I know they’d sent the gov’t and police after me to ‘rescue’ me, haha, from the evil wilderness -_-;

-losing my desire for money. This probably is one of the best and most joyful breakthroughs I’ve experienced in my 19 years of living so far!! This society teaches us that ‘money makes the world go round’ and that ‘money buys happiness’ and that you should depend on money (and technology, science, religion, ect) for your needs and wants. It feels so refreshing, rewilders, to look into my wallet and see 2 or 3 dollars sleepin in there, and not even care if it were hundreds instead of ones. I have 99% eradicated all desire for currency (the 1% being on buying gas and books). Once you are in this kind of mindframe, you’ll start to see how much greed and corruption everyday people in your life have hiding under their skin in regards to money. It’s sickening sometimes…

Well I apologize if this post was too long, although I don’t remember coming across any rules for posting length ???
Anyway, those are the first few steps I’ve went through lately for rewilding.

Why do people play 'realistic' videogames when they can experience all of that in real life?
Because I'm not allowed to shoot people IRL :P

First step in rewilding: Go somewhere wild and listen…

I just love that feeling that the sound of leaves rustling a stream trickling and all the crickets and birds in the distance makes.


[quote author=anti_ link=topic=326.msg12388#msg12388 date=1221810228]

First step in rewilding: Go somewhere wild and listen...

I just love that feeling that the sound of leaves rustling a stream trickling and all the crickets and birds in the distance makes.



Actually an addition I would like to add is:

Walk bare feet.

I went for a walk around the whole city yesterday with my girlfriend (want to buy rewild way of putting that), we were gone for almost half of the day and our feet didn’t get sore as with shoes !

(trying to write in a more colorful descriptive fashion there :P)


Naa, post as long as you want! :wink: