The Long Stroll – Part 4
“While some people may see a jobless, barefoot hobo in a flax coat, I see a chance for survivalist craziness.”
The idea of walking 3000 km’s is something most of us would never contemplate, let alone do. Yet this is exactly what Jory is going to do, and Flint is going along for the ride (or walk) as Jory makes his way down the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand.
Te Araroa spans the length of New Zealand, from Cape Regina (the northern tip of NZ) to Bluff (one of the most southern points of NZ) passing volcanoes, mountain ranges, beaches and cities and all sorts of other wild shit.
Barefoot and armed with only the most basic supplies and mostly self made equipment, Jory will survive by hunting his own food and in general will be looking like a hobo after the first five minutes.
Before the journey even begins, Jory has been preparing himself for whats ahead. Completely changing his lifestyle. Welcome to the world of Jory.
Weapon of Choice
I intend to hunt and gather along the way using the bow hunters website as a guide (they recommend being able to hit a dinner plate size target from 25 metres) and I now have a goal before heading off. I’ll also limit the size of my catch to small game as breaking down and preserving large game will take more time and energy. So nothing bigger than a goat.
This doesn’t mean I won’t take food with me! I am no extreme survivalist.
The question is how much can I rely on my environment to give me much needed calories? And what will be the best self made weapon to do the task?
Here are the advantages and disadvantages for each of the old school hunting tools I am training with for the journey.
I’m amazed I never played with these as a kid! It’s just a bit of rope and a rock. Even if I don’t choose it as my weapon of choice, it makes a great belt!
Its size and ammunition (egg shaped river stones) are its strongest qualities.
Blunt force projectiles are good at crippling but not really great at killing ( I would like to consider myself ethical when killing for food ). So will be restricted to birds and rabbits.
These are ancient spear throwers apparently used to take down mammoths!
Will be safe from mammoths and can double as a walking stick.
Accuracy is dependent on spear build quality. The spear itself will be made up of three parts with the tip being interchangeable so I don’t break them when practising. It is a complicated build but no where near as bad as a…
To be able to gain epic bow skills would be a personal dream.
I have someone to guide me through the bow building process. There are permits (unlike the other two weapons) to allow hunting on DOC (Government) land and a whole community of people who hunt with bows that I can gain much needed tips from. Anything that breaks I can buy from local hunting shops.
It is the worst to carry out of the three. For once it would be nice to have the self made thing be smaller than the modern stuff.
I admit that I am more of a fisherman than a hunter. So waterways will be where my self made tools will really shine. I have been making fish hooks, weaving nets and eel traps for a some time now.
My gatherer skills are average at best but hopefully I’l find other gatherer peeps on the way who can give me much needed local knowledge (When gaining knowledge about gathering, always go local).
What I have found in my pursuit for food is that there is a lot more out there than I first thought. It just happens to look a lot like weeds and pests (see puha and insects). As long as i’m not fussy I’ll be able to collect a heap of edible stuff – I won’t truly know how much I can rely on my environment till I am in it.
Jory Akuhata is hunting, gathering, and making his way across New Zealand.