I had managed to survive ’67 Days’ in the Australian Outback living solely off the land…
What was the aim of your mission?
I had set the timeline of 100 days to survive in the Australian Bushland living solely off what I could find in the landscape. Taking only just the necessities including; a billy can, knife, lighter, tent and emergency beacon I set off for a remote location in the North Western part of NSW along the Murray Darling river system. My intent was to spread a message of conservation to the Australian public about feral animals and their devastating effect upon native wildlife and the environment.
What were your objectives?
My main objective was to hunt specific feral animals and in doing so develop a documentary which showcased how someone with very limited resources could survive of an array of feral animal species including; foxes, rabbits, goats, pigs and carp. My filming documented my unique hunting approach and how an understanding of animal behavior and ecology could assist with my solo survival in the harshest of terrains.
How did you prepare for your endeavor?
Before attempting to survive in any location you must identify the species of animals and there population densities within the area “almost like a menu”. By developing a list of potential species you can develop a number of techniques and or strategies to capture these animals. The techniques/ strategies you develop must not require more energy expenditure then what you will gain from the animal/s that you consume “basic survival law”. Developing a list of potential edible plants is also key with an understanding of what preparations methods are involved and what nutritional requirements can be gained from there consumption. Being able to identify a staple food source is a necessity when other foods are scarce or too hard to capture. Picking the correct season and understanding animal movements and plant growth within each season is also highly important, I personally recommend spring.
What charity did you support?
I had nominated the Australian Wildlife Conservancy a charitable organization which is helping to promote, educate and protect Australia’s unique biodiversity. I believe that my choice in this organization was based on the nature of their goal and mine, it is not governments which will help protect Australia’s fragile wildlife it is individual people and their actions which will help provide a safety net for environmental sustainability and the recovery of threatened species of wildlife.
What was the turning point for you?
I had managed to survive 67 days in the Australian Bushland living solely off the land.
Over the course of this duration I had slightly lost weight during the early onset of winter as my physical condition began to deteriorate as a direct result of seasonal changes influencing the activity of wildlife within the area. During my last 7 days I had struggled to capture an efficient number of rabbits and carp to supplement my weight loss, I had also began consuming plant material which was satisfying but not nutritionally or energy fulfilling. I managed to walk 70 km through the night in a bid to make a safe return to civilization. I spent a couple of days in Mildura hospital recovering from malnutrition, but made a speedy recovery over the course of several days, I was mentally fatigued and exhausted during my return to Wollongong but was welcomed with friends and family who supported my endeavor and mission to campaign for Australia’s wildlife.