I am not completely ready, but it is time to start walking

The plan

To spend as little money as possible, live in a tent, buy calorie-dense, inexpensive foods, and learn how to hunt and fish. My tourist visa for Mexico expires on 21 February 2015, so I must leave Mexico by then. I will hike and hitchhike to travel.


I do not know much about camping, hiking, hunting, or fishing, but I have researched all of the topics. I am confident that I will make mistakes, and I have especially looked for advice about being prepared for problems. I have many of the things I need to be successful:

  1. Tent
  2. Tarp
  3. Rope
  4. Axe, fishing knife, multitool, knife sharpener
  5. Make-shift mattress pad, make-shift pillow, sleeping bad liner, and a small airline-blanket
  6. First aid kit
  7. Sewing supplies
  8. Some medicine and toiletries
  9. Two liter cooking pot (but not a camping pot)

I have had some trouble getting a few items:

  1. Canteen (I bought one, but a part is missing, so it is useless)
  2. Water treatment filter or UV lamp
  3. Clothing that is appropriate for hiking and camping–I do not know what to buy, and the recommended items were too expensive for my budget
  4. Bow and arrow–most bows are for sport, so they are powerful and expensive. Since I am not trying to hunt a water buffalo, my research suggests that the best bow for me is an American flatbow. It does not have pulleys or fancy equipment that require extra maintaince, but it does have enough power to shoot a fish or hunt medium-sized game. Nevertheless, I have not found a bow I can afford and that is not a toy.
  5. Modafinil

If I were more fluent in Spanish, things would be easier; if I knew more about Mexican culture, then buying things would take less time; and if I knew Mexican geography as well as I knew United States Geography, then making plans would be much easier.

Unintended positive side effects

While I have not started sleeping in the tent yet, the last two weeks have given me an idea what to expect. I have spent many hours walking around shopping for items and I carried my pack from Mexico City to Veracruz. My physical health is already improving: I have less stomach aches and my body is getting stronger. I have spent much less time on the internet, and that means I have spent much less time thinking and writing about the events that led to my current situation. That has been good for my mental health. Since I have spent more time talking with people about camping and hiking, I have spent less time talking about the past. Whenever I have talked about the past or tried to explain why I do not “just get a job,” it worsens my mood and sometimes causes me to shutdown for a few hours. On this trip, I plan to leave those things behind: I will deal with them later.

If I can survive the physical challenges, including having enough food, then I am confident that this trip will be good for my mental health. Like a person with a broken leg needs crutches while healing, I still need some medicine while I am healing, but I am confident that if I have my “crutches” then this process will help me to heal some.

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