We’ve all got a wild side. Have you ever noticed how, a few hours into a hike your senses start to sharpen and show you details you’d missed before? How, when a black cockatoo unexpectedly swoops in from the treetops — just for a moment — the mental chatter stops and you’re slapped straight in the kidneys with a sense of deep peace? The rewilding movement aims to consciously create genuine connection with nature and help us realise we’re part of it all.
Remembering Your Wild Self
Remember when you were a kid imagining you were a famous explorer? You crept through the bush ‘hunting’ animals and tracking ants with magnifying glasses. You pretended to be the last person in the world, surviving in a stick fort. Or maybe, you were a famous biologist, exploring and discovering new plants and animal species.
Whatever your childhood daydreams, chances are, you felt an innate sense of comfort and connection to being outside in nature. Slowly though, society came and stamped on that and shoved you into a job and study and ‘real life’.
Luckily, our inner need to be outside never really goes away and there are people who can help you reconnect. They can help you rewild.
Rewilding for people comes out of the conservation movement of the same name. Originally for animals, its aims were to reintroduce apex predators back into human modified landscapes to restore the ecological balance. We’ve all seen the gorgeous “How Wolves Change Rivers”. Rewilding for humans is slightly different. Rewild.com puts it eloquently.
‘Rewilding means restoring ancestral ways of living that create greater health and well-being for humans and the ecosystems that we belong to. Many things lead people to rewilding — concern over ecological collapse or economic uncertainty, health problems, a nagging sense of something missing in life, or a desire to “save the world” — but from those starting points we come together in a desire to rewild our homes, our communities, and ourselves. Rewilding learns from the examples of indigenous people past and present provided by anthropology, archaeology, and ethnobiology. It means returning to our senses, returning to ourselves, and coming home to the world we never stopped belonging to.”
Recently, via We Are Explorers, I spent the weekend with Rewild You to learn ancestral skills — and I soaked up their teachings like a dehydrated sea sponge.
ReWild You is an amazing family company helping us domesticated hominids return to our wilder (happier) selves. Run by Scott and Sally on their 40 acres — 3 Wishes Farm — in glorious Kunghur, NSW, the courses cover the whole spectrum of skills needed to thrive in the bush.
Scott and Sally’s knowledge has been built up through years of practical, hands on experience. Scott spent many years as a team leader for Outward Bound, taking young people into the wilderness and helping them reconnect with nature and through those experiences, was inspired to offer his teachings to the wider community. Together, they have transformed an old farmhouse and dilapidated squat into a vibrant, inclusive space where people from all walks of life come together to learn, share stories and reconnect.
Learn To Survive — And Thrive
Their courses run the full gamut of survival and ancestral skills and are usually offered over a weekend. There are courses for foraging wild foods, hunting and tracking skills, survival and shelter, cordage, weaving, medicinal bush foods and even edible weed identification. Harvest and produce your own resins, learn all the ways to make fire, identify toxic plants and make and use natural fibres and dyes.
Rewilding The Young ‘Uns
For those of you with young ones, ReWild You also offer a comprehensive range of school holiday kids and teens courses and family days. Scott has 16 years of outdoor education experience and has worked with school groups. Kids learn about nature play, trapping and tracking skills, shelters and fire making, weaving and ropes, navigation bushcraft and camouflage. There is even an overnight teen camp guaranteed to get the kids off their phones.
Ready To Rewild?
The greatest gift we can give and receive is knowledge. After spending the weekend with Scott and Sally, my confidence in myself to explore and adventure off track has increased tenfold. I’m more aware of the abundance and diversity of plant and animal life, I’m incorporating amazing and nutritious wild foods and weeds into my diet and feeling healthier and even more inspired to adventure more. I’m not scared of getting lost anymore and I feel more connected and part of the natural world.
In essence, I have a renewed sense of emotional and physical wellbeing. I still work my 9 to grind job, I still pay my bills and shop at IGA but underneath that lifestyle is a better, more connected understanding which makes the domesticated life bearable.
I’m still a baby in terms of understanding and applying nature based ancestral skills. I’m still right at the beginning of this journey, but the fire has been lit and passed to me and now I pass it to you and hope that you’ll join thousands of other people who are reconnecting and rewilding their life.