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Thread: Gaining Region-Specific Knowledge

  1. #1

    Default Gaining Region-Specific Knowledge

    Hello,

    I have read many threads on this site about young people with no wilderness experience wanting to escape society and live in the woods, but please hear me out.

    I am 22 and was a backpacking guide in California until just recently. The longest I've ever spent alone in the woods was 8 days off-trail in Sequoia National Forest, but I brought food. Because of my job and interest, I know a good about California's flora and fauna, but my knowledge is limited to Desert and Mediterranean climates.

    I want to live with nature for an extended period of time. I'd be hunting/gathering food (I'm alright with a recurve. I'll practice more if my location requires it.) I realize that nowhere in the US can a person build shelter and hunt freely, so I am researching more about other countries. I did a 3-day solo trip in Japan, but it's too cold for me to live there for longer (I'm not good with the cold at all) so I'm starting to look into rainforest regions. I have two problems:

    1) A lot of rainforests are in areas with drug labs and poachers who have no moral qualms killing people or holding them ransom, so I would need to be far away from any human contact to feel secure.
    2) The rainforest is very different from the climates I'm used to! How do I go about learning the region-specific information I will need?

    Do any of you have experience in a trip of this sort? Did you find a reliable guide to teach you the local way before heading off on your own? If you did, how did you find them? Also, if anyone has recommendations of places for me to research, I'd be very grateful.

    Crabapple Plum, I read that your daughter stayed outdoors in Central America for awhile. How did she gain the region-specific knowledge she needed?

    Thank you for your help. I realize you get a lot of people like me looking for advice, but this trip really means a lot to me, and I want to get all the input I can to make it as safe and life-affirming as possible. Hopefully others can also use the information on this thread to expand their adventures into climates that are new for them as well!

    Best,
    Ryo


  2. #2
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I truly wish you luck in your adventure. If it were me seeking what you have shared, I would research as best I could and pick a location. Some of your concerns are very valid. Having traveled a little, when you leave the United States (or whatever country you live in for others reading this) you quickly realize that you are no longer in the United States. Many of the things we take for granted are not available, including many cultural factors.

    So - that sort of research should be doable. Then, I would travel to that part of the world. Get to know the locals. Get a job - maybe in a small village - in order to learn about the area, customs of the region, concerns about the region. The job may not be what we think of as typical - maybe something that would put a roof over my head. Once I determined that this was the region I wanted to head off into, and after learning the things (through experience) that I needed - I'd be off on my adventure.
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    Senior Member Winnie's Avatar
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    What about Australia or one of the South Sea Islands? The weather is pretty much as you want. And as Crash has stated, you could spend time in a settlement before going 'bush'. Just my 2p's worth.
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    Ed edr730's Avatar
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    You could consider teaching english in a rural area in Guatemala or other Central American country. Lots of Mayan indians in Guatemala. You would be with them if you were rural. If your spanish was good you could be paid pretty good considering the area. If your spanish is not very good, you still may find a job that you could squeek by with while you are protected and you learn the language and the dangers. I doubt you would need to worry about degrees. I've met some people your age who were doing it. As Crash said, you will quickly see that it isn't the U.S.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Depending on your religious affiliation you might be able to find a mission station that needs assistance in an area you desire.

    You would be associated with Americans while meeting locals and learning the area a bit at a time. Time off could be spent in the bush.

    I have trained several missionaries who were headed for this type work. Two in Africa, one in Balize and one in Hondurus. You can attain general information but local information is best gained on the spot from the people that live there.
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    Senior Member Stiffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winnie View Post
    What about Australia or one of the South Sea Islands? The weather is pretty much as you want. And as Crash has stated, you could spend time in a settlement before going 'bush'. Just my 2p's worth.
    I'm tagging on to this because I think it's an interesting option. Papua New Guinea might be good, mainly because it's so big. One problem would be the expense of getting there. And I don't have a clue how they regulate hunting, fishing, or the construction of primitive survival structures deep in the interior. Also not sure if they're set up to rescue emaciated survivalists who don't show up for their quarterly mail pickup.

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    Ed edr730's Avatar
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    Where ever you go, you will end up needing a resident visa to stay for more than about 3 months. Or, you might need to leave the country every three months in order to legally stay longer. You need to fill out means of support papers and a ton of other papers as well. Australia would probably be the easiest with some kind of work visa. You may have to prove that you have a skill or trade. They do have a ton of rabbits and rabbit hunting with ferrets is legal. They have lots of snakes too. Go the immigration site for the country of your choice, calculate the cost of ALL the papers and medical exams (if that's possible) and check out their immigration laws and procedures.

  9. #9

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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I've been thinking about Papua New Guinea for awhile, so I'm glad to hear others might recommend it. Also Guatemala is an alright option if I can get rural enough to feel safe (my friend who grew up there said his father had him carry a gun for protection from the age of 6... crazy) but I'll look more into it for sure.

    Where ever you go, you will end up needing a resident visa to stay for more than about 3 months
    edr730, I don't want to sound like a bad kid, but if I'm 100% self-sufficient and living in the woods, I feel like I'll probably be off the radar enough to slip by.

    Depending on your religious affiliation you might be able to find a mission station
    kyratshooter, I like the idea. I'm not religious but there are of course non-religious mission trips helping to teach english/build for those in need all over the world. That may be a better idea than just showing up and looking for a job out of nowhere.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Keep in mind - while you might call it "off the radar" the country you chose may call it an offense worthy of jail. This is why in my first response to you I said "you quickly realize that you are no longer in the United States". Having an automatic weapon pointed at you in the international airport while you fumble for your passport was not pleasant. Having the local police (military) tell you that unless you pay the "fee" you will be going to jail. Mind you - I still don't know what I did wrong 35 years ago. You really do want to do things legally to avoid as much headache and heartache as possible.
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    Junior Member dutch hermit's Avatar
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    Some time ago I was in the same situation as you are now.. where to go..

    "this or that country looks nice but what does their local law say?" and I found out that finding a country where one could just roam free is pretty hard. The rainforest sounds nice but it's not my cup of tea and I eventualy decided that Russia would be my best bet.

    I do not know alot about the local laws in Russia.. Am I aloud to live off the land, may I hunt/trap or fish over there without a license.
    Legal or not, nobody over there would care because with 22% of the world's forest cover nobody would even find me
    Just like you I do not care much for the cold but the southern parts are pretty warm all year around.

    Good luch on your journey

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    Ed edr730's Avatar
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    I doubt that the authorities would ever know you were there in Papua New Guinea. The tribes on whose lands you are camping would be checking you out probably sooner than later. The land of canabalism where you have to build smokey fires in a wet rain forest and you can see them for twenty miles in the mountains would not be my first choice. I wouldn't be a bit afraid for you to do it though.... But seriously, you would be better off seeking a needed job in some way, in a different country, where people can care for and nurture you for a while before you lite out.

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    Senior Member Winter's Avatar
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    You would have to visit any place you would think of doing this adventure.

    If I was doing it, it would be the south Pacific for me.
    I had a compass, but without a map, it's just a cool toy to show you where oceans and ice are.

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