This is the age of technology, where 90 percent of American adults own a cell phone and 44 percent sleep with their phone next to their bed to avoid missing any updates during the night. Most people are perpetually on the grid – connected to WiFi, posting carefully curated food photos on Instagram, and sharing their up-to-date location. Smartphones often encourage turning on location services; Search engines often know where users are and show results based on that information. Very few people are going off the grid these days because doing so involves a conscious effort.
But apocalyptic television shows, books, and movies are growing more popular all the time – think alternate worlds like those of Hunger Games, Divergent, and “The Walking Dead.” As climate change becomes a greater concern each day for environmentalists and politicians alike, NASA says an increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases will probably increase temperatures on most land surfaces and that this could cause a higher risk of drought and higher-intensity storms; sounds like the start of the End of Days to us.
While the apocalypse could be a while off, The Walking Dead taught us that zombies are not to mess with. We talked with Cody Lundin, founder, director, and lead instructor of the Aboriginal Living Skills School in Arizona, who turned his personal interest in doing more with less into a school that’s taught survival skills for 25 years. In the event that the undead – or any other unforeseen apocalyptic nightmares – become a reality, you’ll need to know about these 10 things about eating off the grid.
Lundin stresses that advice for foraging depends on what bio-region you’re in. “In Montana in January, you’re probably going to end up being foraged upon and cannibalized by someone who eats you,” he jokes. Coastal areas are best for foraging, as high concentrations of native people used to rely on coastlines for fish, mussels, clams, abalone, and other sustenance. Try your best to get to the ocean for prime foraging.
Lundin says eating rodents and small animals has often kept people alive during trying times. When disaster strikes, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the woods or in an urban environment. Either way, the easiest catches for inexperienced hunters are mice, rats, pigeons, squirrels, and insects. “That’s what a lot of urban areas have all over the U.S., and those of course would all be on the menu,” Lundin says. Many indigenous people would go after rodents and small animals until they perfected hunting deer. He advises to always have rat and mouse traps around, whether for hunting purposes or for keeping them away from your personal food storage, like bags of flour or rice.