What does subsistence living mean to you?

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That does it.

I'm going to find some suitable rock and give this flintknapping a go! I guess, the way I look at things is even if there isn't a lot of flint around. Learning how to do it would give me the knowledge of what shortcuts could be taken and what rocks would/could be suitable for a "it'll do for now" kind of flint. I've seen people make a suitable axe head just to get us through a weekend out of a simple river stone. it wasn't easy to use but we didn't want to split firewood with our fingernails...

Check out www.simplicitycollective.com

Samuel Alexander is an interesting read.
I am just starting to get interested in survival skills and happened upon this webpage. I was wondering instead of flint could you use mussels?
Hi Kumara welcome to the site. I don't think mussel shells would have the same effect. From what I understand, the thin glassy sharp edge of the flint actually shaves a tiny sliver off the high carbon steel which due to its composition heats up with the friction/distortion and flies off into your tinder. 2 other discussions from this forum that might interest you: Flint Sources and Flint and Steel.

Gandhi walked out his front door with just a strip of cloth and an empty bowl seeking a simpler life. Noble on the face of it, but not so much when you think he was in fact dependent on hand outs from others. Also India is generally warmer than NZ, as my Dad says, 'if you have to be poor, do it some place warm'.

Flint knapping is dead interesting but sort of moot here since we don't have flint worth the mention, tho even smashing up a river boulder will produce some sharp-ish bits that are better then nothing.

We tend to forget that early bushmen/pioneers, even back to cavemen who were damn good at what they did tended to die young with only a few teeth left from any number of fairly simple ailments or just plain worn out. The idea of living simply is a fine one, but so is penicillin and dentistry. Right now we worry about fuel prices and credit card repayments, trading that for worrying about firewood, too much or little rain, haven't killed an animal lately and the ache in your side you hope like hell isn't the start of appendicitis doesn't strike me as much of a deal. Please don't misunderstand me, I love getting out and about, sleeping in shelters/tents etc and generally making your day according to your immediate wants and needs, but a hot shower, cold beer and a feed when I come home is pretty good too.

I think you may find that the so called ailments that may have affected ancient man have been greatly over exaggerated. If you have ever read books such as "The Sugar Blues' you soon find out that modern foods are responsible for so many of these supposed ailments. We are feed information from Scientists that are back door funded by the big corporations to only find the information they want you to know. These scientists are not necessarily at fault of this as they have to work under very strict guidelines and non-disclosure contracts. Ancient man may not have lived as long but they were fitter, faster, stronger, and healthier than any modern man. They also would have packed in enough life experience to have had 2 or 3 life times, in comparison to us.

Years ago I bought a lifestyle program called "The Spartan health regime" and ate the foods and supplements recommended in it, this is a back to basics type of program. You eat basically only organic fruit, vege and animal products. This transformed my health and fitness, and I was never fitter, had never recoverd from exercise as fast or as well, and my energy levels were crazy high. This is as close to a hunter/gatherer lifestyle as modern life lets us get to.

But now I have got older and have gone back to my bad habits, was a very difficult lifestyle to maintain as you seemed to miss out in all the supposed finer things in life. And as you have said a hot shower, cold beer and a good feed, is a great thing.

I have always wondered, is the only reason we live longer due to the amount of preservatives in our food. I was talking once to an old guy and I commented about how many preservatives were in what he was about to eat and he said " I am 73 years old lad, I need all the preservatives I can get".

 

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