325 – Alone in the Wilderness, the Story of Dick Proeneke

Published 8 years ago in Permaculture , Podcasts - 0 Comments

Paul sits down with Evan, the first Ant in Ant Village. Paul asks Evan some introductory questions about how things have been going on his plot.

They start to go over the film, “Alone in the Wilderness, the story of Dick Proeneke. Paul sets out to try and figure out just how long it took Dick to build his cabin.

Paul compares what people are trying to do at ant village, as similar to the motivation Dick had which was to test himself, know if he can really survive a winter and live in the wilderness independently. Paul asks Evan his thoughts on whether that is something which inspired him to start out as an ant, and Evan agrees that ant village is his attempt at living alone in the wilderness. Paul and Evan discuss the changes at Wheaton Labs, and how the gappers have been so far with the new system. They go over the upcoming Super Weeks and free PDC.

Paul and Evan turn the conversation back to the film, trying to understand the order of operations Dick went through in setting up his homestead. Paul goes through the dates in the movie, going over some of the tools and wood Dick used. Paul gives a few highlights of Dick’s methods and continues piecing together how long it’s taking him to build his cabin.

Paul notices how at one point the film talks about Dick harvesting 48 poles and processing them by noon, which he considered a high achievement. After 24 days, the roof is starting to take shape on his cabin. Paul brings up one of the most remembered parts of the film, the impressive wooden hinges.

They go over some of the details with the roof, explaining how Dick used around 2 acres worth of moss to use as a roof cover. Paul describes the construction of Dick’s outhouse, and Dick’s uncanny ability to reuse unwanted materials.

Paul describes Dick’s antics with a bear, and speculates on the logic behind the sizing of the cabin door. They discuss Dick’s wood pile, his methods for cutting firewood. They mention a few more interesting aspects of Dick’s homestead life, like the heat sources
of his cabin, hunting and fishing, and the problems Dick has with bugs. Paul asks Evan how the
bug situation is at the lab, and Evan reports so far so good.

Toward the end of the podcast they reach the winter months of the film, and they give a few examples of what Dick does in the winter and spring. Evan brings up that in the movie it’s pointed out that Dick Proeneke spent 35 years in the wilderness. Paul highly recommends the film, saying it is one of his top five. They leave the podcast to go over some of Evan’s designs for his plot.

Relavent Threads:

Survival Tips
Hand Carving Spoons
Evan’s Ant Village Log

Credit:Vida Norris

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