There are a variety of living conditions around the world that range from luxurious amenities to modest abodes that don’t include anything more than necessary. In most cases, people tend to choose modern housing along with the convenience of speedy transportation and electronics that make life flow a bit faster. However, some others forgo all the extra accessories that come with living in the 21st century in order to take a more natural approach to living.

In an article from Outside, Kathrine Roland had the chance to experience life from a wildly different perspective with someone who lives outside the norm. Lynx Vilden has been living off the grid for quite a while and has been teaching others how to do so as well.

Lynx, is originally from London she has been living almost entirely off the land for two decades. Over that time she has developed a strong understanding of the natural world and is able to spot resources where others wouldn’t look twice.

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“The prospect of Stone Age self-reliance and a well-stocked sanctuary in the woods seems especially appealing as the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the vulnerability of our hyperconnected and deeply inequitable world. For much of the 20th century, though, the accomplishments of our nomadic forebears were viewed with dim regard.

Homo sapiens—that is, anatomically modern humans—have been around for 200,000 years. But it wasn’t until the advent of farming during the Neolithic revolution about 12,000 years ago that history became interesting and human lives became more prosperous and safe. Or at least that was the widely accepted narrative before scholars began.”

“It’s hard to be a hunter-gatherer these days. Never mind the struggle to meet Maslow’s tenets of survival: being wild verges on illegal. There are limits to how long you can spend on public land. Fires are frequently prohibited, and hunting is closely circumscribed. Lynx came up against the law in 2008, when a government officer attended one of her classes undercover. She was unaware of his identity until two years later, when she was charged for running a course on public land without a permit and for cutting down a freestanding dead tree. She was barred from the national forests of eastern Washington for a year. “Sometimes the laws of man and the laws of nature differ,” she says. “I choose the laws of nature.” [Outside]

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Lynx prefers the wildlife over a more domesticated route for several reasons, but she also noted that some aspects of modern society seem to feel more like a trap than a convenience. Rather than relying on some new gadgets to make life easier, she enjoys the freedom to use the materials and resources around her. Lynx believes that this type of natural codependency can reawaken what actually makes us human.

As far as I can tell, Lynx’s lifestyle goes a bit further than an outward bound trip. Those who choose to learn with her will gain experiences revolving around hunting and gathering, which would be essential skills in the event of an apocalyptic event. I do enjoy the wide variety of gadgets and tools that the modern world present, but at the same time, I believe breaks from tech are necessary. Perhaps individuals like Lynx can show society how to keep a healthy balance of nature in our lives.

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