Survival, Self Sufficiency and Sustainable Living

Survival, Self Sufficiency and Sustainable Living

This site is for people who would like to learn about the self sufficiency, sustainable living, wilderness survival skills and other ways of living that people knew in ancient times before we became dependent on modern fossil-fuel-based technology. That includes myself, i.e. I am learning this as I go, and writing it up on the site as I get around to it.

The What's New? page shows more details of updates to

HOT:Survival, Self Sufficiency and Sustainable LivingThis Permaculture survival video by Geoff Lawton is one of the best, most hopeful, and most inspiring things I've seen on the internet. I'm not the only one who thinks this either, e.g. from the YouTube comments, "This is probably the most moving and astounding video I have ever seen. Love it." Just watch it!

If you'd like to see more from Geoff Lawton, you can sign up here for free at Geoff's website to watch more videos (and other material) explaining these concepts in much further detail.

Warning - Bush Tucker Plant Foods NEW: Also there's an Online Permaculture Design Course available, which will teach you how to do the kinds of things in the video above, with recorded video lectures by Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton. Click here to read more.

Popular pages on

Bush Tucker Plant Foods Section

This section of the website shows some bush tucker plant foods that can be found in the Sydney and Blue Mountains and other regions of Australia.Never eat any part of any wild growing plant unless you are absolutely certain you can identify it.

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Bush Tucker Plant Food - Edible Weeds

This section shows some edible weeds. Most of these "weeds" are introduced species, rather than natives of Australia. They grow in and around developed areas, rather than on undisturbed bushland like the traditional “bush tucker” foods.

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Australian Birds - Sydney and Blue Mountains Bird Species

This page shows some birds from Sydney and the Blue Mountains and other regions of Australia. The birds are listed in order of size, from smallest to largest. This ordering is more useful for identification than the order they are usually found.

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Survival Radio and Long-Distance Communication

This page describes some of the types of radio that can be used for survival purposes. Radio would allow long-distance communication following a disaster, war, economic collapse, and/or if lost in a remote area.

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Australian Field Guides and Nature Books

In many bookshops you are presented with hundreds of books and not much idea which one(s) to get. So here I have described the books that I've used to learn from myself, and that are the most popular and the most recommended.

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The Bush Tucker Survival Guide

This pageshows some Australian bush tucker survival foods that are found in the Mitchell Park (Cattai) region of sydney. This regoin is typical of much of the Sydney region and much of Southeast Australia.

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Australian Bush Food Plant Quiz

Test out your skill at identifying Australian wild-growing plant foods. There are both native "bush tucker" and introduced "edible weed" plants in the quiz currently. In a later version you'll be able to choose to do either of those, or both.

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The Bush Tucker Diet - A Nutritional Analysis

The Australian Continent provides plentiful animal and plant foods.The traditional bush tucker diet provided all the energy and nutrients needed for excellent physical development, superb strength and stamina and overall good health.

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Australian Bird Quiz

Test out your skill at identifying Australian birds. The questions are generated randomly from website data. This is the second of many quiz pages on This one has a lot more images than the spider quiz...

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How to Find Water (Finding Water in the Wilderness)

Just as there is the problem of finding food in the bush, so too is there the problem of finding water, and many explorers and backwoodsmen died because they did not know how or where to look for water in apparently dry and arid regions.

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Tracking Animals — How To Read Animal Tracks

Learning to track is not only a useful wilderness living skill, and a way to learn a lot more about nature and the wilderness — but it is also a great way to slow down, and adopt more of a "wildernes mind".

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The Hand Drill Fire Kit

The easiest way to make fire by friction (that is, by "rubbing two sticks together"), if you don't have any cordage, is the bow drill fire. The easiest way to get started is to buy a pre-made kit, which is what I did.

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Permaculture, Self Sufficiency And Sustainable Living Books

This page will contain mostly Australian books, and some international books. The Australian books are mostly still relevant in other countries though. Permaculture was invented in Australia so many of the classic (and best) permaculture books are Australian.

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How to Survive a Nuclear War

This page describes some of the things you can do to survive a nuclear war, or other attack by nuclear weapons. "A Family Emergency Action Plan will do more to save lives than almost any activity carried out by the government."

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The Most Essential Survival Gear/Equipment

I've tried to select the most important items to have on hand in a variety of scenarios. The page is new and there are only 45 products currently. I'll be adding more over the next few weeks.

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Survival Essentials: How To Survive In The Wilderness

This page is about how to survive in the wilderness for a short period of time — such as might happen if you got lost on a bushwalking or camping trip. It also covers the most basic and important skills to learn for anyone just getting started.

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Instant Bookshelf to Survive The Apocalypse

This page shows a collection books to survive a collapse of modern society. Of course there are a lot more books you could get. I've selected the best ones I've found so far in a few essential categories that would fit on a single shelf.

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The Bow Drill Fire Kit

The easiest way to make fire by friction (that is, by "rubbing two sticks together") is the bow drill fire. For beginners, I'd recommend starting here. The easiest way to get started is to buy a pre-made kit, which is what I did.

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Starting a Vegetable Garden

The aim of this page is to show that it can be extremely easy to start a vegetable garden. The important thing is to get started growing stuff, without worrying too much about getting it exactly right. You will learn a lot from just getting in and doing it.

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Bow Drill Fire Making Videos

15-part YouTube Video series on showing how to make a bow drill fire. Shows two different setups, one made from locally found native Australian materials. If you are new to bow drill firemaking, watch the last two videos on the page first.

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Make an Instant Tracking Box to Learn Animal Tracking

This page shows how to set up a very quick, cheap, and easy tracking box, which you can use to learn a huge amount about animal tracking. See the tracks left by animals you may not even know visit your backyard regularly at night...

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Animal Tracking Quiz

Test out your skill at identifying animal tracks. There are both Australian and international animals in the quiz currently. I'll add more animals over the next few weeks...

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Using a Trail Camera for Trapping Practice

Since most of Australia's mammals are nocturnal, we rarely see them. A trail camera is the ideal way to learn about them. It's also a fully legal and humane way to practice trapping.

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Australian Spider Quiz

Test out your skill at identifying Australian spiders. The questions are generated randomly from website data. This is the first of many quiz pages on Some will be a lot easier than others...

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Newest Pages on

Nuclear War Survival - Part 2 - How To Survive a Nuclear War

Since the original Nuclear War Survival page was already plenty long enough, I've added some new information on this second nuclear war survival page. This page describes some of the things you can do to survive a nuclear war.

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Survival (and Other) Books About the COVID-19 Coronavirus

This page shows a collection of books about the COVID-19 coronavirus. Most of them are quite new (since the pandemic is itself new) and have been published in the last few months, or more recently than that even.

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Australian Frogs Page

New Australian frogs page with five frogs so far. Also 4 new reptiles. I'll add more frogs soon, and add to and improve the data as I learn more about the frogs (and the other animals I'm learning about and putting up on the website).

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Mammal and Reptile Species Pages

So far there are 4 new Australian mammals and 10 new Australian reptiles. Plus extra photos for some of the others, and some range maps. There will be many more different animal species added over the next few weeks.

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Other Recent Pages on

Australian Spiders and Their Faces

You don't often see spiders faces, which adds to our fear of them. This is a new section still partly under construction. There are 25 spiders so far, and more on the way, with information still being added.

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Long-Distance Running Training Calculator

Long distance running is perhaps the original and the most natural human sport. This page calculates a table of gradually increasing training distances. It loads with a schedule for the next City to Surf.

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Five New Australian Mammals With Photos

Five new mammals found in Australia (though two are introduced). The koala, the common wombat, the southern hairy-nosed wombat, the red fox, and the black rat. Soon I'll be adding more mammals, and more details e.g. their tracks.

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New Fishes of Australia Section With Photos

This page shows some fish that can be found in Australia and in coastal waters around Australia. This section of the site is quite new and I will add more animals as I get around to it, and more information about the fish that are there already.

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Finding a Secret Spot

Your secret spot is somewhere you can sit alone in nature and just be. It's a proven way to awaken your connection to nature. It's much more useful than it seems like it would be at first. Try it here...

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Learning the Phases of the Moon

Ancient people were very familiar with the moon, knowing its phases and where it would be in the sky at different times. You can learn the phases of the moon too, by looking at the moon every night (or nearly every night) for a month.

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Preparing for an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse)

An EMP is much more likely than you probably realise. James Woolsey, who served as CIA director under President Clinton, agrees that an EMP attack is “the most significant threat” to the U.S. and its allies in the world...

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NEWER PAGES: Australian Bush Food Plant Quiz, Essential Survival Gear/Equipment, Using a Trail Camera for Trapping Practice, Australian Bird Quiz, Australian Spider Quiz, Australian Spiders and their Faces, Learning the Phases of the Moon, Red Fox, Specials - Discounts - Items on Sale, 3 New Mammals, Finding a Secret Spot, Fish of Australia, Black Rat, Instant Bookshelf to Survive The Apocalypse, Indicators of Overuse of the World's Natural Resources,

NEWER BUT LESS NEW PAGES: Preparing for an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse), Survival Radio and Long-Distance Communication, David Holmgren — Upcoming Events, Witchetty Grubs, How to Drain Your Hot Water Heater For Survival Water, How to Read the Sky at Night: Practical Astronomy for Date, Time and Direction Finding, How to Survive a Nuclear War, Dystopian Fiction / Novels, Strategies for a Changing Economy: Survive and Thrive - National speaking tour with Nicole Foss and David Holmgren How to Make Your Own Meat Stock and Bone Broth, Countdown Timer for the December 2013 Solstice. New pages: Ghost Gum Farm PDC (FNQ), Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course Directory

SOMEWHAT RECENT: Surviving the Economic Crash — Web Links, Survival Courses Near Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Bush Tucker Plant Foods - All natives on one page.

NOT THAT NEW ANYMORE: Waterproof Bible, Free Video Bible Course, Books About Near-Death Experiences, 7 New Survival Books, Even More Edible Weeds, New Edible Weeds, Make a Simple Wire Snare Loop, Books by Tom Brown, Jr., Survival DVDs, 14 New Survival Books, 13 New Birds, Growing Fruit Trees (19 pages), 7 New Bush Tucker Plants, The Bush Tucker Diet — A Nutritional Analysis, Bush Tucker Survival Guide, Gould's Birds of Australia, New Australian Birds, Surviving Christmas, Tracking, Survival Essentials: How To Survive In The Wilderness.

Welcome to

One thing I have always loved is to spend time outdoors, in unspoiled, natural settings. This came quite naturally to me as a child. My childhood home backed onto bushland and a large amount of my time was spent exploring this green world. Almost every rock and every tree had a name or some kind of significance.

Wilderness Survival, Self Sufficiency and Sustainable Living

Even when removed from fast paced environments, very few of us are able to slow down enough to appreciate the full splendour of nature.... Yet that connection can be reestablished—in large part simply by awakening and nourishing our innate awareness. With a few simple skills and some dedicated practice, any person can open his or her senses to the full richness of nature, regardless of what he or she seeks there.
Tom Brown Jr, Tom Brown's Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking.

Why would I want to learn self sufficiency and wilderness survival skills?

The idea I have adopted for myself, as a path to learning self sufficiency, sustainable living, and wilderness survival skills, is to isolate a small enough number of core topics that I can feel somewhat proficient in them, after having practiced them myself. The skills I have chosen are in four categories: Plant food, animal food, fire, and cordage. I have left out water, since in the area where I live it's easy to find water. I have left out shelter, since I think it would be possible to make some kind of shelter without a lot of knowledge. I think I could figure out the essentials of shelter if I really needed to, and more than that can be learned later.

The site will start off very small, and simple, and I will add content to it as I go. Photographs of how to perform the techniques will be included as I get around to it.

Why This Site?

There is a wide variety of (mostly non-Australian) sustainable living, self-sufficiency, and wilderness survival material existing on the web already. I am not intending to reproduce what is already available, but rather to provide a record of my own development that could be used as an introduction to the techniques.

I feel that much of what is already available is written for people who are already experienced in wilderness survival, tracking, nature observation, awareness, and/or self-sufficiency. Or, is written for beginners, but does not include enough details for a person with little or no experience to be able to follow easily. Or, it is written by North Americans and featuring North American plants and animals, which are mostly fairly different from what we have here in Australia.

How to Get Started

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Content is copyright © 2005-2024 All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use. Definitely read the disclaimer before trying anything from this website, especially including the practices and skills. This website uses affiliate links – this doesn't cost you any more, but I get a commission on purchases made through the website. As an Amazon Associate I earn similarly from qualifying purchases.

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