My mission with all my work is to help people reconnect with our natural and cultural heritage through the practice of wilderness living skills, in order to better understand the human-animal and our place on this planet.
Despite all the comfort and convenience the modern world has brought us, I believe we are very out of balance with nature and the way we have evolved to be. I worry that without a regular connection to the wild, we humans risk getting completely lost in this evermore confusing world of “civilized” society and end up destroying the very planet that sustains us.
Spending quality time in nature and practicing the survival skills of our ancestors can help strip away the layers of useless material baggage and distractions of the modern world and condense down what we actually need to the raw basics. Experiencing living very close to nature like this can connect us to what I believe is the primal human reality. We start to realise how interconnected we are with the natural world, we learn to live with less and develop gratitude for all the comforts we have in our everyday life.
I believe everyone can benefit from spending time in the wild as a way to reset our mind and body, benefiting our mental and physical health.
ABOUT HIGHLANDER SURVIVAL
In 2018, I started a series on my Youtube channel called “17th Century Highlander Survival” with the aim of rediscovering the skills, equipment, knowledge, stories and the relationship between land and nature that people had in the Highlands of Scotland, 300-400 years ago.
I have spent a large part of my life exploring the wild landscapes of the Highlands and I have always been intrigued by the stories of warriors and the myths connected to the mountains, lochs and glens.
However, it was only when I learned about the multiple ways in which the Great Kilt (known as the plaid or Feileadh Mòr) was used in surviving the harsh Scottish environment did I develop the idea of exploring this part of my heritage in terms of “wilderness survival skills”. The more I researched the more fascinated I became and I realised this was a valuable route to explore not only past survival skills, but also culture, history, language, folklore, martial arts and mythology.
I chose the time period around the 17th/18th Century for a few reasons. It is a well known period of Scottish history around the world for its famous stories of Jacobites and Rob Roy. It was also a very influential time for the culture and politics of Scotland today. Furthermore, despite being relatively recent in history, there were aspects of Highland culture that remained relatively unchanged for thousands of years compared to the rest of the UK and Europe. Therefore, there are threads of knowledge going way back to the Celts and beyond. Exploring the Gaelic language is also a big part of the series as it is gives insight on how our ancestors saw their reality.
I now teach and share what I have discovered from this research, in an effort to rekindle this knowledge and keep it alive for future generations.