The Wild Will Project

by Ezra Buckley on August 8, 2017

Linkhttps://www.wildwill.net

The Wild Will Project is an attempt to figure out what rewilders can do about our common desire to live outside the bounds of civilization. All possibilities are open for consideration. Perhaps there are too few people willing to commit to true rewilding to result in anything more than a network of band societies and conservation efforts. Perhaps in some parts of the world very little at all can be done until the technical infrastructure there deteriorates. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps — we can theorize, but we won’t know until we do.

The first step of the project I call uncivilization. I am a 21-year-old who was raised in small towns and cities my entire life. Although I have learned a lot about conservation practice through independent reading, and I have some wilderness skills, my knowledge is quite limited, not at all good enough to survive independently of civilization for any lengthy amount of time. In other words, my starting point is one of the worst a rewilder can have. The only notable advantages I have are the urban foraging skills I learned while I was homeless. My uncivilization is an attempt to change that as quickly as possible.

In March 2017 I dropped out of university and kept only the possessions I could fit into a backpack. I started hitchhiking around, and I am now spending my days learning how to identify plants, how to build tools, how to navigate difficult terrains… It is a self-imposed, indefinite, intensive course in primitive skills. Also, in the meantime, I will be helping with any land conservation projects that I can. My tentative long-term goal is to be able to live well in some wilderness areas for the spring and summer seasons, then an entire year. I have ideas, but am not entirely sure, what I will do next. All I know is that whatever I choose to do, these are the first steps, as they are for most people today.

The project involves one other person. A European friend of mine has moved to the forests of the Philippines to test them out. He survives on, among other things, trapped rats and snakes; he builds his own shelters; etc. In the process, he will send updates on his uncivilization, which friends of the project will post on our blog.

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