Friday, December 12, 2014

Some common questions

I'd like to answer some of what I think are the most popular and common questions I've been asked.................

What was the most memorable thing about being out there? the people

What do I wish I could forget? Getting up in the night, sometimes multiple times to poop

What did I learn? I guess this could be a simple answer but it's not. It is never ending. I learned about myself, things came to light there that I was never aware of. On the teaching drum website there is a list of things trainees learned under Guardian Chronicles. There are many hard skills like tarp building, fire making, primitive cooking, bathing, taking care of wounds, and one of my favorites, butchering.

Would I do it again? Yes. The school continuously has programs available, however, I am not planning on taking another one anytime soon.

What's it been like being back? Life has sped up since I've been back. All of a sudden things like deadlines have become a reality. Although we did have some deadlines/ultimatums in the woods. My days are no longer consumed by fire making, eating, and other basic needs. In this way it was simple for me to decide what to do next. Now that I'm home, I have more options and getting basic needs met is easy! Hey, instead of having to dig a hole in the bog to store the deer and fat there's a fridge!?
One thing I've discovered since I've been back is how much I enjoy nut cracking. Seem strange? Actually, it's quite therapeutic. :)

What did we eat? cabbage, avacodo, nuts (black walnut, hazelnut, almond, all with the shell), fat from either bear, racoon, bison, beaver, and occasionally deer, fish, eggs, broccoli, kale, leeks, kohlrabi, carrot, red beet, bell pepper, squash, occasionally bananas and apples, whole deer. Everything came raw. We could choose to cook it by the fire of course. We collected fuzzy leaf, raspberry leaf, and basswood leaves to eat. One time we got a snake and squirrel. Many of the vegetables I didn't recognize and therefore didn't know what they were. Naming things in general just wasn't so important out there. Oh and once we got a watermelon!!

How many of us were there? 5

If anyone has more questions you can post them here. It is nice for everyone to see. There is also a lot of information about the Guardian Intensive program I did on


  1. Thanks for sharing your post and our chat on the phone! I can't tell you how many times, I would say to Ed, "I wonder how Tess is doing," while you were on your woodsy venture. I forgot to ask you about the cold you experienced. It's one thing to tolerate rain. How did you tolerate the snow and the temps. in the single digits?? Did you have fire within your shelter? Did you use hot rocks under pine boughs to sleep on?

  2. The biggest thing advocated was prevention. Don't get cold in the first place. I really discovered different levels of being cold. Sometimes it was just my feet were chilly or both hands and feet were cold or the whole body. But there were different degrees.

    When you start getting cold, it is time to figure out where the heat is escaping and put more layers on or do what is needed.

    I started sleeping with someone else when I started having trouble staying warm in the nights. It started getting to me when all day and through out the night I was having cold feet. Having another's body heat close however was not a guarantee I would be warm and for two nights, I still had cold feet. That's when I took hot rocks with me to bed. The funny thing is then the weather changed, and it got warmer, so the hot rocks probably weren't needed after all.

    We did sleep on boughs. For shelter, we each had a tarp and that is where we slept.