First step in rewilding


I can’t really remember what my first steps into rewilding were. It’s been my life for as long as I can remember. Just the other day I was thinking that when I cut school as a little kid, what I would do was go down to the river and play. I’d build forts, put rocks in the water to try and make a bridge, make stick ‘knives’ and so on. When I was a teenager, I would often ditch school to go to the forest and hike around, find berries, identify trees, etc. But I didn’t really look at it as ‘rewilding’. It was just a hobby. Something to do to counter the brainwashing that school tried to instil in me.

But after my re-education from college I got more into it and put a name on it. Some of the first things I started doing:

-Taking my bike places, walking, walking barefoot around.

-horticulture in my backyard, making compost, organic gardening, growing herbs, finding wild herbs, identifying wild foods/mushrooms/medicines.

-sitting on a cliff overlooking the ocean and feeling the wind through my hair (my personal favourite).

-getting AWAY from civilisation where I can’t hear the cars on the highway, the planes coming in the airport, the people yelling at each other and getting lost in the sounds of the wild and remembering I’m a wild person.

-Reading and re-education in the stuff I wanted to know, but no one ever taught me in school. Like, why did I have to go to school? Why do I have to work a job I hate for 45 years? (This is a big one and that continues daily)

-learning about cob, strawbale, yurts, tipis, etc in the effort to house myself and avoid a mortgage.

-cooking more at home and from local foods.

-getting away from the cash economy. Learning to dumpster dive, steal and shoplift.

But I really think the most important “first step” one could take is to realise that’s it’s necessary and to look at where your skill set lies. I wouldn’t make a very good hunter, so I’m not out hunting or even trying. It also depends on your landbase too and what part of civilisation you live in. (Small town, large metropolis, etc) How are you going to dismantle?


I guess you could say my first step was talking and interacting with animals when I was younger. Before High School I was doing things like swimming with seals and talking with dolphins and such, I also listened to nature a lot more. I was very in touch with things then. However, as I grew older and entered society more, went to a competitive college prep high school, began suffering from severe anxiety and depression, became stressed about things like “success” and my future…I forgot my connection.

It wasn’t until I met Fenris that I woke up again and got back in touch with nature and my true essence. What really struck me when I met him was that he is the complete embodiment of a childhood imaginary friend of sorts, or a character that I would use in my stories. He was the wolf spirit that I always thought about when I was playing alone in the woods. Finding him was the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and now I’m proud to say I’ve rediscovered the person I was before I got drowned by society, and I am the person I will always be.

For me the first step since my re-awakening with Fen was going out to Rooster Rock with him and Janna (yarrow-dreamer). It was a special place for me since it was where I had my first seal encounter, and also the first time Fen and I were out in nature together. That was the day our relationship began. Meeting him was a very life changing experience and together we are making our dreams become reality and striving towards a lifestyle that makes our hearts, minds and bodies happy.

So in short, my first step was finding my mate. Without him, I wouldn’t even know what Rewilding is.


One of my big steps in rewilding occurred a year or so ago when I really thought about what people ate (it started off by thinking, if people had to eat only one plant or animal to survive, what ones would let us live the healthiest…)
from this I consequently found the Paleo diet/low carb/protein fat diets, which actually helped me a lot with my chronic always feeling hungry and needing to constantly snack (also to keep a feeling of low blood sugar away, ironically from eating too much carbs/sugar - who woulda thought?). This then lead to the whole, well if people before agriculture were a lot more healthy then… wtf??

So hence, looking for healthy and enjoyable ways to live in all aspects has taken a huge step in rewilding for me.


Realize you like the wild better than the city, and recognize all that “go get a nice job and be happy” crap for the crap that it is, and that it may get you riches but it won’t get you (the) Wild.


We don’t need anything to read about rewilding. It’s quite likely human activity influenced the prairies farther back than 1000 years. The prairies seem to have developed in concert with the activities of humans and bison. Some people might consider the activity of bison to be “natural” and the activity of humans to be “unnatural” but it’s probably more helpful, in my opinion, to see if specific human activity is beneficial or harmful to overall life. The actions of the prairie humans working with bison seemed to have created one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet, which european humans subsequently diminished. Certainly in my region, which used to be prairie, the activity of european humans has diminished the productivity enormously though the land is now densely forested with oak and juniper. I don’t know how we could bring back the bison, but it might be possible to use cattle to emulate bison behavior, though this would require more cooperation between large numbers of landowners than seems likely in this age of selfish behavior.


That’s a good point. The hardest part of rewilding is getting cooperation from one’s neighbors. It feels so frustrating to me. Living a cooperative instead of individualistic lifestyle is a sign of poverty and people want to keep up appearances for as long as possible.

Also, don’t they have bison ranches in the prairie? I’m not sure what the cost difference is between a herd of cattle and a herd of bison…


People may become more cooperative once they start to feel the squeeze from Peak Oil.


Maybe, but I am not sure about trusting someone who cooperates only out of necessity. You hear stories about families in the 1930s. They were poor, but happy. They didn’t have much, but they had each other. Then the prosperity of the 1950s came and they gave it all up to live the dream of a nuclear, male breadwinner/female homemaker family.


As someone who has followed, on and off, the Rewilding community and the forum, despite my intention to withdraw at times due to my personal struggles, I have concluded that one important thing necessary is building a community. Not an online community, but an in-person community. Like what Rewild Portland and Rewild Pittsburgh are doing. I do not live in those areas, and have never attended any of their events, but I admire what they are doing. They are building an in-person community where people, face to face, are living their dream of rewilding and getting what they need. Many people have concluded that human beings evolved as social beings, and we need in-person communities.

There’s a beautiful scene in a TV show named “Arthur” for kids, where the kids visit an Amish community, and one of the kids, Buster, wants to try to live like an Amish person. He fails to do so, however, because he is not part of an Amish community.

Good luck with all of your efforts to rewild, and thank you for allowing me to periodically post on this forum and learn from everyone!


I stopped washing my hair and it doesn’t really get greasy. I let my hair grow too ofcourse :stuck_out_tongue: I only wear two levi’s pants and I don’t wash my clothes very often (I don’t know if that’s unhealthy, I’ve read somewhere that if you don’t change your pyjamas every week or so that’s bad for your skin, how true is that?) I also started walking everyday, learned drumming and take a cold shower everyday instead of a hot one. You spend less time in the shower that way, use less water and elektricity and it makes you feel good. When I take a hot shower now I feel kind of dead and it’s a good preperation for bathing in the wild I guess


To me the first step is to simply get outside, the next being finding some sort of community of rewilding or folks who at least practice earth-based skills or permaculture, etc. While I feel like I have spent too much time reading books about different aspects of rewilding or nature connection, I think I have gained a lot of good knowledge about the less-physical side of rewilding, such as how to build real community or tend the land rather than primitive skills. In terms of connecting to the land I have tried to simply get outside, even when it is raining and cold and I don’t feel like it. And I’m always glad I did once I get out there and see giant trees or a waterfall or a bird of prey or whatever. It helps attune the senses to more subtle details and clears the mind.


relaxing … I notice so many people mediating & taking anti - something or others just to get through situations they hated that they could change (like a stressful job) but as easy as that sounds; I think this is why alot people go physically somewhere like camping or back packing. Theres no expectation to wear or wash or eat anything you dont feel like, you can be quiet or loud, sleep in or out of whatever you want. Just go outside