I've just finished reading a book called "Our Year In The Wilderness" by Michael & Susan Cusack. I brought it from a second hand bookshop in the summer, and although it looked dated (from the 80's) I thought it looked up my street and for £1 it was worth a shot.
The book was brilliant, it's about a couple being sponsored by Australian Geographic to spend a year in the wilderness in the Australian outback, in the North west of the Kimberley. They were chosen out of 500 other couples, but they kept a secret from National Geographic - they'd been separated for the last 4 years out of their 14 year marriage and saw the experience as a chance to reconcile their marriage!
The area they stayed is well known for for being an inhospitable and difficult to live place, with long dry spells and temperatures reaching up to 45 degrees C and high humidity.
I was captivated by this book and found their constant struggle for water and relief from the flies and mosquitoes really interesting. It's written by both of them and luckily they both write really well and their are hundreds of beautiful pictures with captions so you really get a feel for what's going on. On Google maps I think their location and it was roughly here, you can see it's pretty remote! But although they know it was hard to survive where they did for a year, they had the up most respect for aborigines who had lived here for centuries before the settlers relocated them and took them from their own land, supposedly for their own good!
Below is a few pages I've pulled from the appendix of the book detailing what food supplies they took with them for their year in the wild. They supplemented their food with some meat they shot (although not much) and fish they caught, plus they grew some vegetables, although they understandably struggled growing them with the lack of water and the high heat!
These pictures should enlarge if you click on them.
There's a few things in the list I was shocked at. One was the amount of sugar they took with them, just one 1kg bag of sugar. Although they had honey and drink powder that wouldn't be enough sugar to keep me going for a month let alone a year! Also you'd think they'd be better off taking grain and a small mill rather than all the flour which could (and did) go bad in the heat. I also understand the need to keep the weight down but dried food without much water can be difficult, I do like all the herbs and spices they took with them though, a great way to change boring meals.
What do you think to their years worth of food for living in a hot and inhospitable place?
What major changes would you make to the list?