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Grokfeast in Kentucky
Posted By Mark Sisson On October 7, 2010 @ 1:00 pm In Health,Reader-Created Content | 21 Comments
On September 8th I asked my readers to host picnics and to send me the results. The following is one of 27 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow , courtesy of US Wellness . Vote for your favorite on October 8.
The idea for our Grokfeast came from brainstorming what a true primal feast would look like. The logical answer, we would catch it ourselves! From here, the idea developed to create the ultimate scavenger hunt, hopefully including catching our own dinner! I developed a list for the “hunt” that included catching, gathering and hunting various animals. I also put a lot of emphasis on including primal movements like carrying heavy things, climbing, moving slowly, hanging, etc. This all-day adventure would hopefully provide our dinner, but I had a brisket from our local grass-fed beef guy just in case.
We held our Grokfeast to celebrate the coming of age (age 4 that is!) of one of the younger members of our tribe. The group decided that the hunt would be more fun if we did guys vs. girls and we could only use knives or tools we made ourselves. We had to carry any necessary tools in our backpacks and each group had a child with them (ages 2 and 4). (Primal movement #1: carrying child long distances while hiking!) Almost the whole group wore five-fingers and the kids ended up barefoot after losing their shoes playing in the spring.
The setting for our hunt could not have been more perfect. We hiked into the woods and found a cave, several blue holes and a natural spring all on about 100 acres of woods. “The Great Hunt and Gather” was an all day event that included primal movement and realistic primal activities. During our several-hour “hunt” we swung on vines, climbed trees, made rafts, and grok-grawled through the caves. Each team had to acquire a heavy rock as the first item on the list and carry it for the duration of the hunt (Primal movement #2: lift heavy things!).
We gathered edible plants, berries, nuts and roots as well as some more wiggly sources of nutrition. The real test of primal guts was eating our catches after! The walnuts, acorns and crab apples were not too bad, the ants, crickets, worms other insects were a little more interesting! We played in a natural spring, explored the inside of a cave, and climbed trees like we were kids again. On the course of our “hunt” I realized that the primal lifestyle comes rather naturally to children. They play hard, run hard and rest when they are tired. Climbing trees is not a workout but an adventure to them, and we realized we could learn a lot from the example of our kids!
The ultimate challenge part of the hunt was to actually catch an animal and bring it back. We realized that back in the day of Grok, the men would have done the hunting and the women done the gathering, and this played out in our “hunt” as well. The guys naturally focused on trying to catch animals and the girls focused on the foraging and gathering of plants. Unfortunately, we saw very few wild animals and our hunting attempts proved futile. (In our defense, on past camping trips the guys have caught and eaten turtles, snakes, rabbits and other small animals.)
We logged several hours of hiking and climbing and were building slingshots and spears when we realized our time was almost up… unplanned primal movement #3 -sprinting! We did a full out sprint, carrying children, rocks and spears to make it by our time limit. Not quite the same as being chased by a wild animal but the adrenaline was definitely there! Tired from the hiking, lifting, climbing and running, and with our daily quota of vitamin D, we headed back to camp. The day was a blast and was more “play” than anything.
Our day in the wild gave us all a little more respect for our primal ancestors! At the end of our hunt, we realized that if we were left to hunt for ourselves, we would not fare so well as Grok, but had a great time on our primal day. Through we couldn’t actually catch our own food, we came back to a feast foraged at our local grassfed-organic meat farm.
After our primal feast, we all relaxed by the bonfire the guys had built. It was a perfect night of 50 degree weather and the fire was wonderful. We had four generations of family there, and some good friends, and we realized it had been way too long since we had all just taken time to relax and enjoy nature. We told stories, looked at the stars, and played capture the flag in the dark.
We slept under the stars and between the exercise, great food and fresh air, got some of the best sleep we have ever gotten! We all felt great the next day and it was easy to see why Grok was healthier than we are today. Not everyone in the group was 100% primal before our Grokfest, but after all the fun, food and great sleep, everyone was a lot more open to the idea!
Spears family and friends
Needed items to bring:
Might be nice to have:
Catch, hunt, trap, or otherwise procure a small (or large) animal. No firearms can be used. All weapons must be knives you already have on you or weapons you make during the hunt. Must be willing to eat it. Must be procured legally. Cannot be someone’s pet. Must be mammal, amphibian, reptile or fowl (no rodents!). Must be alive or killed humanely. 75 points (+50 if you get it with your homemade slingshot or spear + 10 more if you do it wearing your costume)
See more pics relating to this Grokfeast at Wellness Mama .
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