Editor’s note: Today’s guest author reminds us that living in a big city and having constant stress can take a toll on our spirit so we must make an effort to experience the natural world.
Written by: Guest author
Modern society offers more comfort than living in the wild, but at a cost to true freedom and our connection with nature. Living in an urban setting – as well as by the rules that come with it – essentially fragments our ability for absolute sustainability.
I do not mean this in any sort of derogatory way. To live this way is a choice that we almost have to make, and there are many facets of human society that are worthy of praise. Yet modern life tends to erode our kinship with nature.
The Veil Of Society
Civilization, at least as we know it and as recorded, is around 6,000 years old. Before that, humans existed in this form for around 200,000 years, and before that we could consider our evolution for another 6 million or so years. Let’s say that for most of our DNA’s journey, we have not lived in the way that we live today.
Without going too far into biology and genetics, topics that I do not know enough about, allow me to roll with the idea that perhaps there are aspects of life back then that we miss, in a really deep way. If we once gathered our own food, lived among many other fellow humans in a tribe, and spent time under the stars and moon, then would it not make sense that a part of us will always yearn for this?
Here is my proposal for how apartment preppers and city dwellers can get back to the primal life, if only for a short while to satisfy the soul or, if you prefer, the genetic code embedded in every cell in your body.
Turn Off The Tech
Technology has always been a huge part of society and it nearly always brings value. However, it also brings a lot of problems that, after a while, are hard to remember are even there. Insidious is the word. Smartphones and social media are supposed to keep us all “connected”, yet research is now confirming that it can cause lots of issues to do with social isolation and loneliness.
Turning off the tech, if only for a short time, is almost a pre-requisite to the rest of these tips. It brings you back to your own mind and your own senses.
More time in nature can never be a bad thing. Sometimes I think about the parts of the day that I miss by being indoors – experiences that would be part of my everyday life if I was living wild. Sunrise, weather fronts, predatory insects, the movement of stars, phases of the moon.
Living an urban lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to be cut off from all of this, it just means you have to make more effort. Camping out at the weekends, hiking, boating, fishing. Whatever you like to do that brings you back home to the great outdoors.
Movement and Exercise
Many people living modern lives have very sedentary lifestyles. Office workers may spend 8 hours a day glued to their screens and freelancers can often be at home for most of the time. For people who spend a lot of time online such as gamers and pro poker players, time staring at screens can be even more intense, with long periods of action and only very short breaks between games. To counter this, it’s essential to live a healthy and active life outside of work.
Most of our ancestors were nomads. It’s thought that our species lived as nomads for around 99% of human history, with settlement only occurring 10,000 years or so ago. To me, this points to the fact that we should be moving. Our bodies are supposed to be in motion. Hiking and sprinting, lifting and shifting.
Gather Wild Food
Grocery delivery is very convenient, and the perfect way to shop for groceries in a 9 – 5 society. Yet it doesn’t quite satisfy our inner desire to feel like we can sustain our own, well, lives. That’s why growing food, even on a small scale in your apartment, is such a rewarding experience.
Learning about and gathering wild foods is also an interesting way to overcome and embrace this desire. It’s good prep and survival practice too. You can use what you find to make food and herbal teas.
Get With Your Tribe
For the most part, nomads didn’t trek around on their own. Settlers didn’t build one house and then stop. People have always been social creatures. In the past, perhaps this was more to do with survival and procreation, but the inner desire for company is still very real, even if the immediate threat of being eaten by a Sabre-Toothed Tiger isn’t. Find your tribe. Speak to your neighbors and build a community.
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