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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Vision Quest - February 5th 2015, 05:55 AM

So I've decided I want to go on a vision quest. I have nothing going on in my life, and I've always wanted to live a (albeit quasi) Native American lifestyle, even if its only for a couple days. I've always admired them, and even though I'm white as hell, I've always wanted to do something like this, so I'm planning it a few weeks from now. So I have a few questions: would it kill the point to bring a friend along, because we won't have the same vision? How much food should I bring? Would it speed up the process if I brought weed? What do I do for protection while I sleep? What kind of weapons should I bring? (no guns)
A vision quest, as I know it, is me going out into the woods for a couple days on my own to build up self-discipline and, if possible, have a vision that gives me direction. And yeah, I'm aware I might just hallucinate.


Wish I lived in Canada. UPDATE, NOV. 9th, 2016: This statement has become even more appropriate.
I vow that I will attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Jim Harbaugh

"Being an adult sucks. The only positives are weed, sex, and cars, and I have none of those right now." -Me

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred; only love can do that." -Martin Luther King Jr.
   
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Re: Vision Quest - February 7th 2015, 06:32 AM

Ok, I know this idea is kind of outlandish at best, but I'm going out into the freezing Michigan wilderness for a couple days with only a tiny amount of food and meager survival skills. Anything is helpful, even a, "Jesus Rob, your a dumbass."
But seriously, its been up for 2 days in a popular forum. Does anyone know how to survive in the wild? Maybe thats a better question.


Wish I lived in Canada. UPDATE, NOV. 9th, 2016: This statement has become even more appropriate.
I vow that I will attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Jim Harbaugh

"Being an adult sucks. The only positives are weed, sex, and cars, and I have none of those right now." -Me

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred; only love can do that." -Martin Luther King Jr.
   
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Re: Vision Quest - February 7th 2015, 01:42 PM

Jesus Rob, you're a dumbass.

But joking aside, while this is outside my field of expertise by some considerable margin I would say it's probably not something to be undertaken lightly. Especially this time of year, when Michigan is hardly going to be the most hospitable place outdoors at night. As such, if you're going to do something like this then you need to make sure you're equipped properly - and, more to the point, timing it properly. Perhaps waiting until you're into a warmer time of year and less likely to succumb to hypothermia would be a good starting point. But if you're absolutely determined to do it now, make sure you have proper thermal clothing, somewhere to shelter and enough supplies in case the weather goes properly south. Also make sure someone knows where the hell you are and have an emergency cell phone in case it goes south. Those are all basic survival tips for any outdoors activities, and I doubt it would affect the authenticity of any experience you have to use them. Native Americans may have had a seemingly more basic way of life, but they still took precautions when going on vision quests so you should do likewise (especially as it's the first time you've done one).

As an aside, I would look up whether there are any Native American groups in your area who still undertake vision quests etc and seek out their advice on the best way of doing so. They would be best equipped to advise in terms of timing, location and what supplies to take, and someone may even be willing to accompany you to make sure you're prepared properly. After that, you could probably undertake similar ones on your own based on their guidance. A bit of time spent preparing is no bad thing, and above all be careful what you put yourself through at this time of year.

And seriously, weed...no. Just no. Vision quests and being stoned are not quite the same...


"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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If you're referring to dr2005's response, it's not complex, however, he has a way with words .
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Re: Vision Quest - February 7th 2015, 05:49 PM

Sweet, there we go, I can work with that.
But yeah, I would say that if anyone is equipped for the cold, its me. I've lived here all my life, and more often than not, I sleep in the cold (controlled cold, no extra elements, but still cold). Another concern I have is, what do I do with the car? Like I dont want it getting towed because it is abandoned. And is it illegal to build a small fire in the middle of the woods? because I know how to do that.


Wish I lived in Canada. UPDATE, NOV. 9th, 2016: This statement has become even more appropriate.
I vow that I will attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Jim Harbaugh

"Being an adult sucks. The only positives are weed, sex, and cars, and I have none of those right now." -Me

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred; only love can do that." -Martin Luther King Jr.
   
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Re: Vision Quest - February 7th 2015, 10:00 PM

I don't think it defies the point by bringing a friend along. It is in fact a smarter thing to do because having a second person is almost always helpful. (you know what they say about two heads- they are better than one) If you don't want to bring anyone along, you may want to give someone the details of your plans just in case. (but don't tell your parents because they'll try to talk you out of it ) Obviously the spiritual stuff you're trying to do will be done alone. But because you're not from a Native American tribe, you will still need someone who can mimic the support that people who do this get from their tribal community.
Though I'm figuring that you will not bring any means of communication with you.
Anyhow..will you be going to live among the Native Americans? Or do you plan to do something similar that the person in the film Into The Wild had done but for you it will last just two days. Is this another name for backpacking/camping?
   
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Re: Vision Quest - February 7th 2015, 11:12 PM

Hell, I wish I could be a Native American. Don't really know why I should wish to be a different race, especially one that got screwed over for centuries, but maybe its like the same as gender confusion. But no, I can't join a tribe or anything, I looked it up. Theoretically I could become an honorary member through marriage. Not likely.
I guess it could be thought of as backpacking. But is there a way I could just leave my car somewhere for a couple days?


Wish I lived in Canada. UPDATE, NOV. 9th, 2016: This statement has become even more appropriate.
I vow that I will attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Jim Harbaugh

"Being an adult sucks. The only positives are weed, sex, and cars, and I have none of those right now." -Me

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred; only love can do that." -Martin Luther King Jr.
   
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Re: Vision Quest - February 8th 2015, 01:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichWolverineFreak View Post
Hell, I wish I could be a Native American. Don't really know why I should wish to be a different race, especially one that got screwed over for centuries, but maybe its like the same as gender confusion.
I totally get what you mean here :P I wish I could be a nomad. Specifically from the Bedouin people who are actually from my cultural heritage back back back but I never actually met any of them nor can I speak the language that well.

But back to the point of your thread. I don't know about parking your car or things of that nature because I don't live in your state. I would suggest you look up that information on the government website for parks and recreations if that's where you're heading to (or the corresponding website to whichever site you're going to)
For survival skills you would want to bring some kind of kit with you. A first aid kit. The thing about survival skills is that it develops through experience. I'm not sure if you plan to do this immediately but I would suggest a few practice trips before you go there full time. I don't know how familiar you are with the wilderness. But review what you already know and then if you have any particular questions beyond that, look them up beforehand.
Important skills would be to knowing how to start a fire with little tools. For example knowing how to do it with a single match. Also remember to build your tent and start the fire BEFORE it gets dark.
Pack light. Have a plan of what you'll be doing for water and food. As well as a first aid kit. Some bug repellent of your choice (spray, cream, natural remedies etc)
Wear light socks and bring them up over your pants to avoid tics.
Bring a flashlight with you...lol. Maybe a compass?
edit: you'll only be going there for 2 days? Or anytime longer than that?
   
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Re: Vision Quest - February 8th 2015, 06:55 AM

I'm deliberately going in the cold to avoid the bugs. The cold I can handle; the bugs I cannot. But the way I see it, there are 2 legitimate threats in the Michigan wilderness, bears and wolves. I expect a bear to be hibernating, and I expect a wolf to be doing wolf things with his wolf friends. That sounds stupid, but I'll make sure theres a climbable tree nearby.
Thats all good advice though, thanks. And its more like 2.5 days, I can't just disappear during school.


Wish I lived in Canada. UPDATE, NOV. 9th, 2016: This statement has become even more appropriate.
I vow that I will attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Jim Harbaugh

"Being an adult sucks. The only positives are weed, sex, and cars, and I have none of those right now." -Me

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred; only love can do that." -Martin Luther King Jr.
   
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Re: Vision Quest - February 8th 2015, 02:31 PM

Don't know about bears but my dad encountered a wolf and these are the things I got from him saying that story many times.
1)keep a distance
2) don't run away-chances are the wolf will chase you
3)assert confidence and keep eye contact for as long as the wolf does. My dad says they can sense if you're scared and will attack you if you are.

The wayit happened with my dad is that he had a gun with him but didn't shoot. I think he decided that if the wolf came any closer to him that he would do it to protect himself. They pretty much stared at each other for some time and then the wolf turned around and left.

ahh good luck. Lions and tigers and bears oh my!
   
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Re: Vision Quest - February 9th 2015, 01:22 PM

Hey,

I’ve always been interested in Native American Indian culture, but I can’t specifically help with a vision quest seeing as I actually don’t know much about it (I’ve probably only seen the stereotyped attitude towards it), so I don’t know whether bringing a friend is killing the point. Though it would be good for safety. And I wouldn’t do weed either.

I’m not even from the USA but I know that some parts of Michigan have had quite a bit of snowfall. I would not really recommend going out into the wilderness during such cold weather. However, if you are going to be trekking, I imagine you are going to need good quality, high in calories type of food, preferably something that can be cooked or heated up to keep you warm. Best to plan your meals beforehand so you don’t get caught short on food. Also, have you thought about what to drink? It’s best not to get water from a natural source unless you have water purification tablets with you as well.

As for protection and weapons, it’s best to check out the laws in your area and where you will be travelling to. I highly recommend looking into military/survival kits as they often contain useful pieces of equipment and come in small cases. May be a good idea to talk to others who have done a similar quest or at least travelled in the wilds. A first aid kit, some ID, and a cell phone is a good idea too. Definitely tell someone where you are going and how long you will be.

Whether building a fire, camping, or hiking on land is illegal depends on who owns the land. If it’s private property, it would be best to contact the land owner first. I’m not sure about state owned land- it’s best to look that up.

I think you should definitely do more research on shelter, food, clothing and other things to take.

Best of luck!


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Last edited by Celyn; February 9th 2015 at 08:41 PM.
   
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