Author: Chris King
"Could I stay alive in the woods?"
The question haunted me.
Would I really know what to do if we could no longer get food from the grocery store?
I would sit in my kitchen and stare at the neatly packaged piece of meat in front of me, all perfectly cut and wrapped in plastic.
Could this really be a part of an animal that was at one time alive, breathing and moving about the earth?
How did it make the transformation into something I’m about to take into my body for nourishment and life?
And most importantly - could I actually take part in the process and facilitate that transformation myself?
The questions burned in me day and night until I simply could not continue this life of disconnection.
I could not go on with the haunting reality that if the time came and society crumbled - I would not know how to survive.
Several years later I was completing the 9th mile of the Kalalau Trail on Kauai. I had hiked this trail many times before but this time was different. I had a bow and arrow strapped to my pack and blood on my hands.
I’ll never forget the look on the German tourists face when I told him I had a whole wild goat, carefully quartered, wrapped in game bags and stuffed into the bottom of my backpack.
“Really??? You have a goat in there?”
He was utterly shocked. His face full of bewilderment as he looked at my pack.
To me though a different feeling was kindled in my heart…
I could now answer that question: “Could you stay alive in the woods?” With a resounding “YES”.
I had learned to hunt the hard way and put my skills to the test on this trip.
I spilled blood on my cell phone as I tried to process rabbits while following Youtube videos.
I fired what must have been 5,000 arrows at my little backyard archery target.
I read countless articles and took notes on how to process and preserve meat in the field.
I tossed and turned at night wondering if I would have what it takes to skillfully and humanely take a life.
It all came together when I told that young fellow on the trail what I had done. What to him seemed shocking was now a way of life for me, filled with the meaningful recognition that I had arrived in a new land.
I had joined a small sect of modern day humans who have chosen to go back in time to the place of our ancestors. We go into nature and participate in the cycle of life through their eyes. We are not just observers but full participants, wrestling daily with the struggle that some must die so that we may live.
I had become a hunter.
Deep inside I felt the confidence and assurance that I could stay out in that jungle as long as I wanted to. No longer would my survival be dictated by plastic packages and the dwindling supplies I could bring with me.
While others had to turn and run home when their cliff bars ran out, I could remain content by the fire and delight in the mouth watering scent of roasting goat meat.
That’s what I want for you.
When you’re asked the question:
“Could you stay alive in the woods?”
I want you to answer “YES”.
I want you to feel that same confidence I felt that day in the steamy jungles of Kauai as I crested the last peak with a pack full of protein harvested with my own hands.
Your journey begins now.
Whoever you are, wherever you are: you can start the process. Even if it’s as simple as asking yourself that powerful question and seeing what feelings arise in you.
If you’re ready to dive in head first - come to the next Wild Meat Retreat and join us for the adventure of a lifetime. We aim to pack about 5 years of hard won knowledge into 3 days of immersion and learning.
You can do this and we’re here to support you! Apply Now