Taking the Plunge
Hey All Looking at doing a stint in the bush, being self sufficient....etc...etc... Where is the best place to have a base in the wairarapa/wellington region to set up a base and live off the land, maybe 2 years or more? Looking at building a mini hutt as a kit-set and dragging in and installing in the bush, with a potbelly for cooking and heating. Somewhere that has wild boar and deer. Easy to hide but easy access if you know it...... Any information/ideas or advise greatly accepted. Thanks in advance
If you have to ask, you're not ready, its going to be a lot lot harder than you think it is. It would take a lot of experience to start with and you're still going to struggle to live off the NZ bush. the mainstay of food in the bush is going to be meat , if you can get it regularly I don't think its legal to erect a building if you're on conservation land at least.
Yes if you want to do it legally you probably need to look for private land (with permission). Have you asked in the fish-n-hunt forums?
Agree with Wayno on this one. The romance of the idea is rosier than the reality. You certainly shouldn't do this on conservation land as it's highly illegal. In addition, waste management is of great concern and the environmental impact of a human being living permanently in the bush is massive. I have a mate who studied up on NZ edible plants and thought he could give it a go. Completely unprepared. Took him tramping in the Tararuas and, as expected, found bugger all to eat in the bush. Don't mean to judge your intention, experience, or ability, but this sounds absolutely horrible for yourself, the land, the water, and any other poor schlub who unexpectedly comes upon a disheveled, putrid, filthy, wild bush man who resembles Charlie Manson. Only option is to explore private land with their permission, but I strongly encourage you to not follow through with this ill-considered idea.
To be honest mate if you don't know where the pigs and deer are your not ready. The Aorangi forest is the best place. But you'd be wanting to live off eels and possums. They are easier to get and have much more fat. Plus you wouldn't be able to consume a whole pig or deer on your own without wasting a shit load of tucker. Best bet sit on the couch with a bag of chips and beer and watch the discovery channel. But seriously if this is a life that appeals to you, move rural. Get a job as day labour on farms that back on to the ruahine or tararua then you get as close to it without killing yourself and the conservation estate.
Tramped down and up the Whakatane in Te Urewera a couple of years ago during winter and encountered a father/daughter team ensconced in a hut, possuming for the season. Dad was making possum stew and daughter offered us a steaming bowl. We passed.
@gregor hilarious.. someone told me they were in a hut in the tararuas with one of the deer cullers, he had deer meat. cooked himself up some shop bought hamburger patties for dinner and fed the venison to his dog...
I've no idea where would be a good place, but just go do it! The best way to get experience is to go in, try your best, fail, and then use that knowledge to do it better next time.
Try a weekend first in a tent in winter with a backup plan. If that works do the same for a week still in winter Remember if you touch the fuel or food you took with you you failed. Doing this sort of thing does sound romantically adventurous but the reality is somewhat different. Think Pirates and you think Of The Caribbean but the reality is scurvy salt beef salt water and better sword fighters than you at every encounter and if you survive the rope is very real and cant be cut by a thrown sword as you drop.
NZ forests are among the worst in the world for the amount of edible plants in them... Bear Grylls made it look easy because his shows were over the course of a few days where starvation isnt a problem event if you dont find any food, and it's claimed he would get a helicopter to take him out for a feed sometimes or the crew would have extra food.... not to mention he was in parts of the world where you often could find more edible food and he would cover a lot of ground that you wouldnt be able to keep doing indefinitely, that would increase the odds of finding food.
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