Odyssey is a 6-day trip to craggy West Wales, for a group of 10 young men who desire to shake off civilisation, and live like hunter gatherers for a while.
We will roam the woods, hills and coastlines as we please, according to our heart’s desires and stomach’s needs. As part of this, we will spend a 60-hour period living entirely on the land, using our foraging, firemaking, water purification and wild cooking skills as best we can.
You will be accompanied by Chris Packe and Fergus Drennan. They bring a heap of skills that you can also gain, in a situation where you can (and need to) use them for real. Things like bushcraft / survival, foraging, expedition skills, and a keen awareness of what is happening in the environment that you are suddenly dependent on for warmth, food, drink and entertainment. We will share with you as much as your curiosity and appetite desires.
Anyone up for that? Yes please.
You don’t need prior experience or to pretend to be a survival ninja. You mainly just need to be a human being (all the necessary abilities come as part of this package). Other requisites are a keen sense of adventure, and also a sense of humour, given that in the wild, things hardly ever go to plan.
This trip will be challenging by its very nature, so participants must build this into their expectations. However, none of us are looking to prove anything, or be something we are not. Turning up and diving in wholeheartedly is all we need to do; the rest will take care of itself.
For those who prefer videos to words, here is a lighthearted sketch about Odyssey that we made:
WHAT THE TRIP IS REALLY ABOUT
How we walk through the woods and hills is how we walk through life; let’s aim to walk well.
The mark of a man is whether he is truly taking responsibility for himself and for others. To live life fully is to accept a whole heap of trouble and joy, and to walk with it, with courage. We need the influence of hearty struggle, plucky companions and worthy opponents in order to grow: it is in this way that we find meaning, and a large measure of respect. In order to develop as men, we need to step into the arena, and not just spectate. The warrior spirit needs a place where it can emerge, preferably somewhere uncivilised.
Self-reliance, self-reflection, resilience and a growing sense of competence are qualities that shall be called on, and sharpened through their use.
It certainly worked for Odysseus.
– £625 per participant
– Included: all unforaged meals, group equipment (including for cooking and sleeping)
– Not included: Personal kit and travel costs. West Wales is a long way; an efficient option is for us to hire a minibus and drive the whole group, leaving early on day 1 and returning late on day 6. We would expect this to cost c.£40 per person
– Plenty of detail will be provided well in advance of the trip, and any questions answered at any time
1. Get in touch with Chris Packe (use the purple ‘Contact Mentor’ button)
2. Conversation between parent / guardian and Chris
3. Chris meets / Skypes / speaks with the young man in question (so that he can find out what it’s about and so that I can find out whether it’s really his idea and decision to come along – a critical factor!)
4. Make the booking
OUTLINE OF TRIP
1. Several weeks in advance, a group Zoom call in order to:
– see each others’ faces ahead of the trip, break the ice
– ask / answer any questions about the trip
– discuss some of the rules we want to set ourselves (e.g. around what kit we will / won’t allow ourselves, which affects the ‘difficulty rating’ of the trip)
2. Fri 30th July: Drive to West Wales c. 9a.m. to arrive c. 4p.m. First night out
3. Sat 31st: skills day at the coast and on the hill: foraging, firecraft, campcraft, navigation
4. Sun – Tues 1-3 Aug: Hunter Gatherer challenge
5. Tues night: locate food cache and Big Feast
6. Weds 4th: Return to vehicle, drive back, home late
OTHER IMPORTANT INFO
– A degree of physical fitness is required, and a mindset to embrace the various challenges. We will be carrying our equipment over consecutive days, often over rough terrain. We will encounter – by design – hunger, thirst, weariness, solitude and whatever the elements put our way (as well as all the treasure that can only be found on the other side of these discomforts!)
– Similarly, this trip requires a degree of social / emotional skill, and an agreed willingness to engage in such challenges, as they come hand in hand with the physical endeavour
– Bookings on this trip are subject to Chris Packe’s Terms and Conditions. To review these, please copy this link and paste into your web browser: