Becoming Wild

Becoming Wild

Living the Primitive Life on A West Coast Island

Book - 2014
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Nikki van Schyndel is not your typical grizzled survivalist. She is a contemporary, urban young woman who threw off modern comforts to spend nineteen months in a remote rainforest with her housecat and a virtual stranger. Set in the Broughton Archipelago, a maze of isolated islands near northern Vancouver Island, BECOMING WILD is a story of survival in the pristine wilderness of BC. Sometimes predator and sometimes prey, twenty-nine-year-old Nikki and her companion Micah fend off theharshweather, hungry wildlife, threat of starvation and the endless perils of this rugged Raincoast. To survive, Nikki must rely on her knowledge of BC's coastal flora and fauna, and the ancient techniques of hunting and gathering. In this remote world she learns to skin bears, make clothes from cedar bark and take great joy in gobbling a fish tail whole. Told in a voice that is both familiar and vulnerable, BECOMING WILD explores our innate longings to connect with nature and revert to a pure, Eden-like state.
Publisher: Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia :, Caitlin Press,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781927575390
Branch Call Number: 796.5092 VAN
Characteristics: 237 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm


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May 01, 2015

I enjoyed this book. It is hard not to be somewhat survivalist concerning food security for the future. The book is honest, funny and remarkable in that she “just did it”. She had well-honed survival skills such as fire starting and basket making but they were a little short on basic boating, fishing and camping knowledge. The book includes a full list of what they took to Village Island including a dozen reference books. Her library suggests a rather romantic viewpoint of survival with books on animal tracking, trapping and flint knapping.
Who would take down and cotton sleeping bags for emergency use on the WET COAST in winter? Many, many people I know have quit camping because of sleeping on the ground and/or in wet sleeping bags. I tell you, a Therm-a-rest sleeping pad and a synthetic hollow fill fibre bag would top my list of survival gear. If one can’t sleep comfortably it is hard to keep on keeping on.
Trying to making and using bows and arrows to kill a bear shows a serious lack of appreciation of the true sophistication and skills involved with these weapons. A few chapter titles: Starving on Clams, Trapping Bruin, and “Hi, Mom, I’m Alive give a flavour of the book. I have always wanted to make fire with a bow drill and roasted roadkill venison in on the menu. Now I just have to do it! tfc

LaughingOne Sep 12, 2014

Parts of this book were fascinating to me, like the plant studies Nikki did before undertaking this journey, and the willingness to study the world around her to figure out how to use what was there and for what purpose. Given that she and Micah chose to live on an isolated island off the west coast of British Columbia, I found it hard to believe that neither of them knew anything about boating or fishing. Seems like they could have taken some lessons about those life-saving techniques to be better prepared. Parts of this book just went on and on (for me) with more detail than I needed or cared to have. Likely I'm not enough of a survivalist myself to want all that detail. But, overall, this was an interesting tale.

May 16, 2014

An amazing read; the author's passion and excitement for primitive living comes through clearly. Nikki's adventures are super interesting to read about, and she does a great job of making the reader reflect on the beauty of the natural world. Her spiritual connection to the ancestor's of the islands, as well as to Mother Earth is wonderful to read about. Highly recommended.

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