The vast majority of people who come across our blog will never attend our immersion programs. Regardless, we still want to help them achieve their goals. So here’s some curriculum from our programs that you can use at home. We have seven elements to our programs, one of which is the Self element. It isn’t about getting in touch with your inner caveman. It is about learning your specific parameters in a world of generalizations. For more on the seven elements, check out our Educational Philosophy page and episode 12 of our podcast.
Tracking And Logging Food, Water, Sleep And Attitude.
During the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester we have students track and log their food intake, water intake, sleep amount and attitude in order to know themselves on a deeper level and to plan for life on an expedition. The point of the exercises is to eliminate generalizations from the equation and dial in on the specifics. Books paint with broad brush strokes, but there is immense value to know your own specific parameters. Here are the specifics:
Water Tracking And Logging. Keep a notebook and pen handy and write down exactly how much water you drink each day. Also note how you feel as a result. If you complete this over a two-week period you should have a pretty good idea how much water you need to be performing optimally. It also lets you know how much water bottle capacity you need on an expedition (enough for a full day) and how much you need to sanitize per day. We’re all a little different and the generalizations, while somewhat useful, also are somewhat worthless.
Food Tracking And Logging. As with the water, track all the food that goes into your body over two weeks. This includes type and amount. In planning a menu for an expedition, this information will let you know how much food you need and what types of food you like. Again, staggeringly useful when planning a menu for yourself.
Sleep Tracking And Logging. This is useful when people start to build and sleep in different shelters. Start by developing a baseline of your sleep schedule in your normal environment, whether it be a tent, cot, or whatever. Track and log how much you sleep (time-wise) and give the sleep a numerical quality rank of 1-5, with 5 being the best based on how rested you feel in the morning. Once you have a week of this baseline, track and log your sleeps when you transition into different shelters. The goal is to get them at parity with your baseline. You accomplish this by building better beds and shelters, and by becoming used to sleeping in the forest.
Attitude Tracking And Logging. Nothing has as much of an impact on your experience as the attitude you bring to that experience (for more on this, check out this post). As with the other exercises, twice per day write down your attitude and positivity on a scale from 1-5. Then reflect on this and see what could improve it. The goal here is to work through having external events impact your positive attitude, and to have it become a simple choice you make. Or at least to have you be aware of a bad attitude and begin to learn the triggers that put you into one.
These exercises only provide value if you do them consistently for several weeks. If you can’t commit to that, don’t bother. If you follow through with them, they will provide insight into what makes you tick; your specific parameters in a world full of generalizations.