A Fitness For Survival

ReWild Yourself — Dispatch 7

Seventh Dispatch: Winter Solstice - A FITNESS FOR SURVIVAL
December 21 - 2014

It is Winter Solstice, and with it, we turn our focus towards the care and maintenance of human life. Each Dispatch of ReWild Yourself! looks at a different aspect of a feral lifestyle and mindset, and fearlessly examines just how damaging and taboo-ridden the domesticated life-way can be. Make no mistake however, a life in nature is no utopia, rather it presents its own set of challenges and perilous dangers. Despite the fact that today, moderns work far more hours per week and enjoy much less leisure time than ancestral hunter gatherers, survival can never be far from the wild mind. We come from a world where life must be guarded and protected, where there are countless things which can quickly take it away — from accidents and injuries to infection and predation. In nature, life feeds on life, and when an organism weakens, is injured, or is under duress, it quickly attracts the attention of many hungry creatures, from microbiota to apex predators. Let us not forget that there are animals in our natural habitat that would swiftly carry us away in the night. 

Here in Artifact Land, we have grown soft from sedentary living. Everything seems to be padded and fenced, sterile and well lit. Rather than training people to be more survivable, we instead try to remove from their world every imaginable source of danger, from eliminating the natural predator species from their landscape to putting drowning warnings on 5 gallon buckets. Life has little edge for most moderns, and so we have been lulled into a kind of over-confident slumber. We have handed off the responsibility of protection from threats to people with whom we rarely interact and could hardly relate to. They deal with all the nastiness of the world, allowing us to daydream that this place has no threats, that is always safe. We then — being disengaged from the responsibility of personal protection and the sustainment of our well-being — have freed up the mental energy to pursue our areas of specialization. 

Life, however — even domesticated life — isn’t as “safe” as most of us have come to believe. So it is with Dispatch 7 — A Fitness For Survival — that we turn our attention to this very topic. We will explore the blueprint of human violence with Rory Miller and learn from Tony Blauer about the primal self-defense software that came standard with our bodies. We will learn how we can avoid getting lost using natural navigation with Tristan Gooley, and Arthur Haines will take us on a tour through the ancestral living skills necessary for Homo sapiens to thrive on their landscapes.  We will also discuss the survival skill set of the feral modern, covering the most crucial skills necessary for surviving in the three worlds that we all inhabit, the Natural, the Urban, and the Virtual. 

Human survival though is about so much more than having sufficient food, adequate shelter, or a reliable way to make a fire. We are sentient, empathetic, social apes, who mourn our losses deeply. Ali Schueler explores what it means to survive an untimely death, as she shares the story of losing her younger brother in a tragic accident. And because humans are not only apex predators, but predators who will prey upon one another as well, our Winter Solstice guest contributor Gabrielle Brick tells a story which is usually too taboo to tell, of surviving being raped by two men at gunpoint.

There are real dangers in our world, and it takes maturity to be willing to examine them in detail. It is far easier to deny that such things exist and easier still to convince ourselves that giving any attention to potential threats will somehow provoke them to happen to us. So, I invite you to read this Dispatch with a very open mind, with maturity, and to be honest with your own assessments of yourself, asking — and answering — the really difficult question:

How survivable am I?

survival |sərˈvīvəl| 


the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.

(You'll need your password to view the above link. Need a password? Sign up below!)


Sneak Peek:

Articles and video by Daniel Vitalis


Fit For What?

Elementary School

Something Has Gone To Sleep In Us

I Will Play With Fire

Heal Yourself with Heat Using an Infrared Sauna


ReWilding vs ReEnacting

Be Like Ötzi

Wiki Links Trail

Dispatch 7 Reflections

20 ReWild Yourself Tips

Your Neo-Aboriginal Challenge



ReWild Yourself! Podcast interviews


Natural Navigation

with Tristan Gooley — natural navigator and author of award-winning Natural Navigation.



Primal self defense

with Tony Blauer — one of the only Combatives experts who has successfully affected training across all the combat related communities: self-defense, combat sports and the military & law enforcement sector.



Doomsday Prepping vs Nature Literacy

with Michael Douglas — primitive skills expert and founder of Maine Primitive Skills School.



Silver for Financial Survival

with David Morgan — widely recognized analyst in the precious metals industry and consults for hedge funds, high net worth investors, mining companies, depositories and bullion dealers.


The Blueprint of Human Violence

with Rory Miller — served for seventeen years in corrections as an officer and sergeant working maximum security, booking and mental health; leading a tactical team; and teaching subjects ranging from Defensive Tactics and Use of Force to First Aid and Crisis Communications with the Mentally Ill.


Turning Tragedy into Gold 

with Evan Strong — 2014 Paralympic Gold Medalist Sochi. Russia, In Para Snowboard Cross, 2012 World Champion, 2011 Winter X-Games Gold medalist, 11 Time World Cup Gold Medalist Para Snowboard Cross.

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 11.10.42 AM.png

(You'll need your password to view the above link. Need a password? Sign up below!)


Regular ReWild Yourself! Contributors

Waves of Grief: Surviving the Loss of My Brother 

with Alexandra Schueler of Wild Woman Speaks



Essential Skills for Northeastern Wild Living

with Arthur Haines of the Delta Institute of Natural History

Arthur and I continue our podcast series, this time discussing Ancestral Survival Skills.




Survival With a Well Stocked Pantry

with Frank Giglio of Three Lily Farm


Voice of the Tribe: ReWild Yourself! Guest Column

Rape: A Sacred Act of Evolution

with Gabrielle Brick


(You'll need your password to view the above link. Need a password? Sign up below!)