Several weeks ago I was talking to my daughter who lives in North Carolina, we were catching up on a few things, one of which was my move out of our small city to a farming area. We got talking and I said you know a lot of people would not want to live here. There are horses all over, a lot of cows, and many would not appreciate the aroma. There are fields on two sides of us and some would not like the dust or perhaps the organic nature of those smells. We talked back and forth for a bit more and it occurred to me, we live in a “plastic” world. There is a big business in selling appropriate scents, we have eliminated all the natural smells and our noses are bored with the nothingness that’s left, so we create our own.

What is a plastic world? As Jen and talked I could see it, everything sold is tested to appeal to masses of people and to offend none, there is no willingness to risk that. Things are sterile, clean, ultra-pure, most scents are mild and unobtrusive. The other day I saw in a car next to me, filled with guys from an office probably on the way to lunch, we were side by side for miles. I never saw them talk to each other, everyone’s head was down, they were texting, they were socializing on their phones. People go home to their houses with pure water that is further purified with special systems. The air is specially conditioned with micron and electrostatic filters, and is conditioned to the proper humidity level. Doors, windows and walls are sealed. People go crazy for buying all “organic” groceries, then say to me, you’re not really gonna put that pile of manure on your garden are you? The are probably organisms in that stuff.” My reply, “I’m counting on that.”

The masses watch other people experience the harshness of the natural world on TV. A society that is highly educated and little experienced in the rigors of the earth. People become skilled at navigating virtual worlds, building virtual cities, fighting virtual crime, virtual wars, and running virtual farms.

Now before anyone gets too upset, I’m not so much crashing on all this modern society stuff, most of us live there to a great extent. What I’m saying is too many, spend too little time, experiencing the real organic genuine earth we live on. It is a shock to the system to be uncomfortable.

Shauna and I headed out on Saturday to go for an exploratory hike. When we left home the wind was gusting, it was raining lightly, the skies had darkened. Shauna asked me, all the while knowing my answer, “do you still want to go?” I answered in my predictable way, “of course, it will be great to be out in this.” So we went, we hiked in the rain, through the grey chalky mud, slipping and sliding, and then into the jagged rock ridges, the rain was now snow, big flakes of spring snow, absolutely beautiful. We had a wonderful time, the wilderness was all our own, the roads had been full of people rushing to get home, away from the very weather we enjoyed.

Don’t dream of being out there, do it, be there. I am constantly urging people to go out and to learn to be in the outdoors no matter the weather. Become part of the real world. It’s part of our ability to survive, and there is no way to do it virtually, you simply have to be there.


  • I decided to get chickens again like I used to have some years ago, so when I mentioned that to the Wilderness team, Beau had a friend who had built a coop and run for free, we decided to do the same, so we are just finishing up a large coop with run that was essentially free. We’ve been filming it all so others can get some ideas, it should be out in  a few weeks.
  • The Spring Rendezvous is also coming, it will be a blast. It is the first weekend in May and will be held on the West Desert. We will train in the Juniper forest, taking advantage of the elements there. More details coming next week.
  • Don’t miss our Gardening Blog Series that is being hosted by our friends over at Survival Cache.

Until next time, this is Perry Peacock, Simplifying Survival at Wilderness Innovation

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One Response to Survival in a Plastic World

  1. I agree we have become so insulated in our sterile world that mother nature seems dirty and smelly. Well then the world is as it should be it is dirty and smelly and a wonderful place to be. I say we all go out and play in the dirt as often as possible and smell all those wonderful smells and try and remember this is where we come from.

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