American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Inner Wild Man

You've got one, I've got one, everybody's got one. Sometimes he's buried deep inside but he's there.

My inner wild man is sitting right under the surface and he's itching to get out. He's the guy who wants to run into the woods, get dirty, make a shelter and a fire, and get to living using what he knows about his environment, weather, and nature to survive.

The wild man needs few things. Give him a fire and he can make a home. Give him a knife and he can make what he needs. Give him both and get out of his way.

The wild man is primal. He doesn't heed rules and social conventions. He does what he wants when he wants and how he wants. If it doesn't improve his current situation then he neither wants nor needs it.

I sometimes wonder if my fascination with bushcraft and all other aspects of what we call outdoorsmanship isn't my scratching at the surface to let the wild man out.

I like to hunt and fish. It fills my belly.

I like to know the trees and plants around me. It keeps me from eating something that could kill me and gives me an advantage when selecting natural materials to use for a project or simply to eat.

I like fire. It warms me, gives me light, keeps away the things that go bump in the night, and provides me with endless hours of entertainment (so long as I continue to feed it.) It makes my water safe to drink and my food safe to eat.

I like animal tracking. The forest tells a story with every fallen leaf, every animal footprint, and every trickling stream.

I like having a knife on my person at all times. If I didn't have one, I could make one. The knife is one of the most important tools man has invented as it allows me to make other important tools and even shelter.

My wild man dreams. He has different dreams than the rest of society (I think.) He dreams of the solitude that comes from true wilderness. He imagines a life in a simpler time. He dreams of his tools and imagines what he can make next to make his life a bit easier. He dreams of food, fire, and shelter. He dreams of the first hunt, the next hunt, and the last hunt. He dreams of sleeping under the stars.

My wild man likes it where life can be a bit tougher. The cold, heat, humidity, rain, bugs, mud, and more drive him to be stronger and tougher than the rest. He's wild after all...

Real life pushes the wild man deeper and deeper until some folks can't hear their inner wild man at all any more. Mine has lost some of the volume in his voice but I still hear him. He's in there and he wants to come out and play.

I think it's about time to unleash the wild man.

Thanks for reading,



At 9:56 AM, Blogger J. J. Magnum said...

I'll bet your "inner-wildman" isn't too crazy about the weather at the moment. I know mine is extremely happy about the fact that he has stayed in society for the time being and has a warm abode from which to contemplate "wild" stuff when the weather moderates...

Just sayin'...

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Phyllis Thornburg said...

As you age, the wild man (or woman) gets pushed further back in your being. You would rather stay in a motel than in a tent. You like the warmth of a fire in the house rather than one out in the forest. Survival is still important but you prefer eating food from the grocery to finding it in the wild.

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

there are more of us out here that think like you than you could ever imagine,brother ive told you before and i will again write a book i will buy it ,you have a God given talent that is rich,thanks chris from alabama


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