Becoming Wild: Living the Primitive Life on a West Coast Island
Nikki van Schyndel is not your typical grizzled survivalist. She is a contemporary, urban young woman who threw off modern comforts to spend nineteen months in a remote rainforest with her housecat and a virtual stranger.
Set in the Broughton Archipelago—a maze of isolated islands near northern Vancouver Island—Becoming Wild is a story of survival in the pristine wilderness of BC. Sometimes predator and sometimes prey, twenty-nine-year-old Nikki and her companion Micah fend off the harsh weather, hungry wildlife, threat of starvation and the endless perils of this rugged Raincoast. To survive, Nikki must rely on her knowledge of BC’s coastal flora and fauna, and the ancient techniques of hunting and gathering. In this remote world she learns to skin bears, make clothes from cedar bark and take great joy in gobbling a fish tail whole.
Told in a voice that is both familiar and vulnerable, Becoming Wild explores our innate longings to connect with nature and revert to a pure, Eden-like state.
Why We Chose It
Set in the same remote coastal region as Nimmo Bay Resort, this memoir challenges us to consider what we, as humans are capable of, and what we deeply desire.
About Nikki van Schyndel
Nikki van Schyndel studied and taught for six years under some of North America’s leading survivalists, trackers, and primitive artisans in Washington State and New York. She graduated from the Dominion Herbal College in British Columbia. She has been an earth skills educator for 19 years and now lives in the remote community of Echo Bay where she runs a wilderness tour operation called Echo Bay Eco Ventures, and offers her Becoming Wild Apprenticeship Program.
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