A serious question. I’m trying to somehow put together my HG life plan. And I wouldn’t be asking this question if not for one thing: legality, or lack of thereof to some extent. This is why I posted this in Circle, so that we can have a more private and concrete discussion on the topic.
For those who don’t know, my idea is to design and build an airplane that would fly for $5/2persons/flight hour@120km/h and use it as a means of transport and a shelter (think van dwelling). I’d fly, for instance, to Canada where I could potentially live by hunting-gathering deep in the wild (think 100+km) for long periods of time (6-24 months) while still maintaining a connection to civilization for, let’s say, defense purposes (having means to cheat on the law to some degree without consequences, think entering Alaska without a visa).
As abstract as it sounds, today I passed my pilot license exam. The course set me back over $6k, so probably already a good chunk of wild land. My structural analysis skills are too, almost good enough for designing. I’m writing this to emphasize that I am VERY commited to the challenge and this whole thing is no joke.
So, let’s assume a very realistic scenario:
it is May of 2019 and I decide I am ready for my first HG life attempt. I take a friend with me and we fly all the way from Poland to Canada (60 hours). We intend to stay there for half a year and return home for Christmas. The fuel for round trip + 50 additional hours on-site costs us, worst-case, around $500 per person. So, we pass the Greenland/Canada border, fly around for a while, as this is our first visit, we do some sightseeing in national parks, etc, we visit a friend or two, Feralculture Node One , buy our bowhunting/trapping/fishing licenses and finally head into the wilderness. Like, real wilderness: 100km from the nearest road.
Now, apart from the plane, civilization is pretty much gone. We still have some food with us, but we need to start hunting and gathering soon as it is running out quickly. Our weapons/tools are:
Fishing net, rods + equipment
whatever we can come up with: antlatl, primitive traps (lots of those) etc
We build ourselves a nice warm shelter, hopefully, out of natural materials and start living a paleo/primal human life. We hunt and gather, use skins and fur for clothing, collect firewood, etc. We have a good and/or bad time, generally an adventure. Some of the stuff we preserve (like fish and meat) and take back with us to Europe.
At this point, maybe not on the first trip, I want to turn it from an excursion/vacation type of thing into more of a sustainable tramp life kind of thing. I have no intention of buying land in the first years as I still have a lot to see in the world before I decide to settle down. I need to earn enough money from what I’m doing to keep the plane flying + other misc expenses (like sat internet). For that I can fly with people, who would pay me for it and/or sell some of the stuff I make/hunt/gather (or get a job if absolutely necessary). I also, optionally, run a blog and a YT channel for fun and additional income. I HG 100% of my food. I fly from place to place depending on the season, ie I go here to collect this as it ripens, then go there to hunt that, etc. I meet various people, make friends, and each year go back home for Christmas (and airplane maintenance). Seems like a lot of fun, BUT…
The Rubber Hits the Road
Well, here the problems start: To build a plane and get a flight permit is difficult in Europe, then I need that permit to work in Canada and/or Alaska as well. Add to this insurance, medical, license validity, etc. I also need a special license for night operation and water landing (both of which I will surely do). To carry people for money is illegal with a Private Pilot License and a self-built plane. I also need a permit (or at least a flight plan) to fly into Canada and I get recorded by the immigration office, which limits my legal stay to half a year at a time, not to mention US visas.
More problems: for bowhunting, I need an IBEP course, for which I probably need a compound bow (which again, with all the equipment is expensive). Then my hunting license imposes heavy restrictions on my subsistence activities. The season is 3-4 months. I need to eat all year round. Same goes for fishing and, especially, trapping. Trapping with primitive traps is illegal and these are the ones I wanna use. Of course, I also need to build a shelter for short term living and storage, which is again illegal. I need to cut down trees, make fires, etc. And, guess what, there are also aviation/hunting interaction laws which forbid me from hunting up to 48h after landing or so etc. Also, I can’t really legally sell the goods from hunting-gathering like meat, and furs.
The list goes on and on, no point in diving into more details.
Conclusion and Questions…
So, now the most important part: my question to you: Is this kind of thing even doable? Physically, I see no problems, but legally, it’s like the Great Wall of China. I have no doubts that it cannot be done without ever breaking the law. The trick is to do this legally ENOUGH (for instance, everyone earns on their PPL licenses, it’d be easy to stay in some countries illegaly, noone can really check if you’re flying legally at all if they’re not from FAA). So, for instance I payed for my PPL to stay generally legal, but I don’t intend to pay for night or water operation permits. Same thing when it comes to hunting. A big key point here is that I want to choose VERY remote locations for my stays. Places, where law is simply not enforcable as of 2017. Another important point is that it should be sustainable, ie. not forever powered by my dad’s money.
Any thoughts? Someone experienced in this kind of thing? What would you recommend? Is this even a valid concept of a plan? How legal should I stay? How legal do you stay?
Photo: Me flying over the Carpathians