Friday, October 4, 2013

Living Off the Land

Woodtrekker has a lengthy, but important article on how much food you would have to hunt/gather to actually live off the land. To sum up, living off the land is not realistic. There is a reason that you should store food and rely on agriculture.

He assumes that an active person would need 3,300 calaries per day (note: you can almost halve this if you are sedentary). Because few plants can provide enough calaries without making a person sick, most of these calaries would have to come from meat. He also produced a neat table to summarize how many animals you would have to kill and eat to meet your requirements:

Type of Animaloz of Meat/Animalcal/oz of MeatTotal cal/AnimalAnimals/Day
Squirrel2.84713225 (16)
Rabbit16.8477904 (3)
Deer1,1205359,3600.056 (0.05)
Black Bear1,6004368,8000.047

And for plants:

Type of Plantcal/oz of Plant MaterialPounds Per Day Needed
Cattail Root (Rhizome)826.5
Acorns (processed)1102
Burdock Root2010*

He goes on to discuss other considerations, including the "opportunity cost" of hunting/gathering, legal considerations, etc. Read the whole thing.

(H/t The Woodpile Report).

1 comment:

  1. The opportunity cost of food... Years ago, after graduating from college and starting my first full-time job, I was sitting at a moderately priced restaurant eating dinner. It dawned on me that it was taking me longer to eat the meal than it took me to earn the money to pay for the meal. In contrast, while still in college, it would have taken two or three hours work to earn the money to pay for that meal. I can't even begin to estimate how much work would be involved in growing the food myself to make that same meal.

    In our current economy, food is insanely cheap in terms of the amount of labor involved to earn the money to buy it.


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