Eco-Challenge No. 2: Day 2


If you’ve been following along this week, you should have a list of things that you feel would be absolutely necessary if displaced.  Today, we’re going to examine your selection in a slightly different way.

One principle in the design of a permaculture system is to ensure that everything in the system is multi-functional.  Let’s postulate for example, something is added to the system because it keeps you warm in winter.  (Do you have anything to keep you warm in your pack?)  But what if that one thing that serves that one function breaks down?  Wouldn’t it be better to have several things that serve that same function?

It’s one of the problems of mono-crop agriculture.  Remember the Irish potato famine?  Multiple crops will ensure there is some food available when one of the others fail.  And something will.

A fire is an example of something that has multiple functions.  It’ll keep you warm, you can cook with it, you can use the ashes (if wood) to help with soil building, it keeps insects at bay, it’s a focal point for social interaction, such as singing and storytelling and more..  In your pack though, you might want to include more than one item for creating your fire.  What if your matches get wet, the lighter runs out of gas?

What if….?

We met experienced motorcycle travellers and as I’m putting together my displacement list, I saw it as a good opportunity to ask questions about essential equipment, dealing with bureaucracy etc.  One tip we gained was to make sure that everything we bring has at least three functions.   It made me laugh as it reminded me to think in terms of permaculture design for all aspects of my life.   If you haven’t put a knife in your pack – you’re going to need to!

So today, review the list of items in your displacement pack.  How functional are they?  How many functions do they serve?  Did you omit something that is essential to include?  How would you pack differently in light of applying the multi-function principle of permaculture design?  What does your list look like now compared to yesterday?




8 thoughts on “Eco-Challenge No. 2: Day 2

  1. Where are you planning on going – you haven’t said. Were it Timbuktu, the list would be different to that needed in County Cork. A spell in the Girl Guides would have stood you in good stead here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A plan would help indeed – think Badfish wrote a comment recently about not planning his journeys and research not being the same as planning – that’s sort of where we’re at. Lots of research, but no solid plan. But we will go to the mainland first and bunk in northern Spain for a bit to develop something resembling a plan. Did a spell in the GG, but for some reason it taught me how to sing in the Albert Hall rather than survival skills.


      1. Spain, righty. A corkscrew is a must have. Cash Euros, as lots of off the beaten track places which you can get to on your bike don’t have card payment systems. At least you’ve got a few campfire songs to hand – halfway there already!

        Liked by 1 person

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