Did you use to dream of drinking a poison that could turn you into an animal? Or maybe you still wish you could become a lion, a sharp-toothed wolf or a kingly hawk? Well, the bad news is that there is no magical formula that can turn humans into animals, but do you even have to? Follow Frontier's guidelines and learn the skills necessary to survive in the wilderness - who wants to be civilised, right? Transform yourself over the course of just 4 weeks!
Week one: Let your mind wander
So, you have finally made the choice to go all animalistic and get rid of the comforts of modern life? Good for you, but how are you going to achieve your goal? Like many other things in life the change itself is a spiritual journey that needs to start from within, a new kind of mind set is need. Firstly, you need to strip off modern habits and move away from your comfortable city-living. Secondly, you need to figure out just how wild you are willing to get. Are you aiming for life in a wooden hut deep in the forest, a tent in the jungle, or just a rural farm house in the Cotswolds with the occasional walks to the local country pub? Well, this is what week one is all about: Decisions! During the beginning of your transformation you should start making arrangements and plan where to live after having said goodbye to your modern life and embraced nature as a new born wildling.
Week two: Do the necessary research
Assuming that you are ready to pursue a real jungle-like life style, the hard part begins in week two. Research is fun for some and a necessary evil for others - but no matter how you feel about it the learning process is inevitable for aspiring wilderness survivors. Humans have spent decades inventing technology and modern solutions to make life easier for themselves and as a result most people are no longer able to remember the most basic skills needed in the wild. How will you get fresh water? How do you start a fire if you don't have a lighter? What plants are poisonous and which can be eaten? Are there any animals you need to be extra aware of and what is their behaviour like? Who knows, you might discover that a pack is needed in order to survive!
English wolf expert Shaun Ellis did just that. He is perhaps most known for having lived amongst a wild wolf pack for several months in Idaho, United States -and that certainly proofs that humans and other animals are able to live side by side as fellow beings. Anyway, living with wolves in the wild is probably not everyone's cup of tea, so let's leave that for now and proceed to week three.
Week three: Practice your survival skills in the real world
At this stage reading is no longer enough. You need to get out in the forest and practice your new found skills, either by camping by yourself, trekking through tricky landscapes or practising how to navigate around massive green landscapes without google maps to help you. Spending time with animals can also be a good ideal as they know better than anyone else how to use their instincts in the right way - but don't be too daring. It's important to know your own limitations in the wild as some skills takes years to build up while others might come to you naturally. Week three is all about finding your limits.
Week four: Stop using modern commodities
After spending hours in the wild like another tribal leader you are now aware of your own weakness as well as your strength. Maybe you have already painted yourself with mud and made your own arrow which you hold proudly up in the sky for the whole village to see - crying is also an option. Aspiring wildlings might find that their numbers have halved in week four as some people have run away from the forest, scared to death by ants, spiders and other habitants in nature, so suddenly only a few candidates are left to deal with the hard part - the sacrifices. Week four is all given up your modern equipment! It's time to let go of everything you know from your day-to-day life such as laptops, washing machines, phones and other electronic devices. In other words: back to the Stone Age. It's time to grow your own vegetables and fruits again, so you don't have to rely on the outside world, time to sit around fiery flames and take in the surroundings and the smell of pure greenery.
Your final day as a human:
The last week! Don't worry if you find yourself howling like a wolf, smelling the bark from trees or closing your eyes just to listen to the sound of the birds: it's normal for a wildling and you are one of us now. This final week is known as the transformation, the defining moments of your life, so time to say goodbye to your old life and create something new and exciting. For some people it might mean moving away from civilisation but for others it's simply a transformation taking place in their minds. Learn to love the simpler things in life and come to terms with the fact that the day of ready-made meals, iPhone and TV-shows are over - instead you will become a star in your own show, a series much more interesting than anything you will ever witness on telly. It's called nature and it's real.
So now that you are a full-blooded wildling it's time to make yourself useful and help the animal kingdom back to its glory. Human beings' quest for power, money and technological achievement has played its part in nature's current suffering: wildlife is disappearing and their habitats are shrinking. Volunteer on one of Frontier's wildlife conservation projects and use your unique wilderness skills in jungles around the world or help injured animals in sanctuaries in the Amazon! Don't worry if you haven't yet come around to practice your survival skills in the wild, you can participate in Frontier's Wilderness Survival Course in Botswana.
Check out Frontier's blog 'Into the Wild' where you can read more articles like this!
By Caroline Edwards