5 Responses

  1. Lee Nellis says:

    Thanks, enjoyed reading this.

  2. An Adirondack Resident says:

    400 years ago in the New World (except possibly in a few of the major populated settlements) there certainly was freedom from artificial limits (i.e. laws and regulations). The only way to experience that freedom was to make the choice to take on the responsibility for yourself and accept the consequences of your choices. The consequences could be quite severe if you were not prepared to be self-sufficient in the wilderness. 200 years ago outside of cities and towns we still had that freedom. It’s pretty much gone now. We are now so regulated and virtually everyone is dependent on goods and services provided by others and so used to the comfort and convenience of modern technology that we don’t really know what true freedom is.

  3. Lee Nellis says:

    So, is freedom the nearly constant state of vigilance and, let’s be honest, stress that is required to live successfully in a real wildernss? or is it the ability to sit on a shady park bench in a place where one can just be without thinking about, say, grizzly bears? Or are they both “freedom,” just of a different quality? Whenever I think I would like to be back out there on my own (I once spent 45 days living 27 miles from the nearest road), I am reminded of what Louis L’Amour – an unlikely source until you really think about it – said about the freedom that the law and mutual aid offers in his great novel Bendigo Shafter.

  4. An Adirondack Resident says:

    The law and mutual aid is great and does enhance freedom in many respects. However at some point regulations can become excessive and reliance on “mutual aid” can become restrictive in its own way. Being able to do/make/fix things yourself does certainly convey a lot of freedom.
    I do agree that it is much easier to live/spend time in the “wilderness” when you have modern high tech clothing and other equipment (essentially provided by “mutual aid”).
    On the other hand, if you can’t tell direction when the sun is out without using a GPSr or compass, you are overly dependent on technology.

    • Lee Nellis says:

      . I agree that practicing some form/s of self-reliance is important, whether it be gardening or navigating the wild by dead reckoning. The problem comes when a wise self-reliance morphs into the callow (and self deceptive) individualism that is prevalent these days.

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