Self-Sufficiency Series

Friday, February 1, 2013

Forty years in the wilderness

No, I'm not talking about the exodus from Egypt. I'm talking about an extraordinary story I picked up from SurvivalBlog a couple days ago about a Russian family that fled into the remote taiga wilderness in 1938 and stayed undiscovered for forty years. Read the entire article here.


Their story is at once horrifying, fascinating, and inspiring.


I also find it extraordinary that the youngest child -- now in her 70s -- is still there.

15 comments:

  1. It's a testament to faith and conviction that they survived. I wonder when Quedula will show up to make some snide remark.

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  2. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)February 1, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Amazing, just an amazing story that they had the skills to survive all those many years. Thanks for posting a most remarkable story. I wonder if anyone from our era could do the same.

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  3. I read that! I thought it was VERY interesting! Could you imagine someone doing that now? Although I have to say, someone could easily do this in the Appalachian Mts.

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  4. Their personal survival is inspiring, but that they have no descendents is very sad to me.

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  5. This is the ultimate answer to your post Wed. Low tech solutions to high tech problems. I thought of it when I read the article.
    I had never heard of the Old Believers. There is a link in the article and lots more if you do a search. I was suprised there are so many in this country, mostly in Oregon but also Alaska. Interesting history.
    Terry
    Fla.

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  6. Their deaths are not in vain. They do have relatives in the old villages where they used to live, so the line isn't completely destroyed.

    I will remember Dmitry's last words, "A man lives for howsoever God grants." I seriously needed that after finding out that the job that I had been waiting for a callback on was given to someone else. It would have been enough to make me completely independent financially.

    We take so many things for granted (My family has been supporting me financially since I no longer have a job), we whine when we can't get what we want and say its all unfair, yet we look at this family and say their life is sad. Who said it was? I'll tell you, the people who never walked a step in their shoes. Reading this article made me not only glad for the plenty in my life but also made me admire the resilience of faith in God and the human spirit. I really have nothing to complain about.

    If this family can live a fulfilling life in the wilderness relying on God's grace, then I could surely do it in my current comfort.

    ~Lily~

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  7. Spellbinding. I truly am amazed, fascinated, enthralled, horrified and inspired all at the same time by this story. Thank you for sharing Patrice!

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  8. yes! i read this on survival blog as well..i found it to be fascinating. i would like to think that i could do this but i think the isolation from people would probably get to me after a few years of silence from outside world. although, my great uncle harry kilborn was a hermit and lived alone on grape island massachusetts for more than sixty years-he usually only made one or two trips (20mi by ocean) to the mainland a year to sell his onions and purchase supplies. i have a cousin who used to check on him occasionally when uncle harry got into his 70's and 80's. i like to think that whatever dna he had got passed down to other generations.

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    1. Your great uncle's name was Lewis Kilborn, not Harry. I know this as I am his other great-grand nephew.

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    2. Wow. What are the odds of both of Lewis Kilborn's great-grand-nephews reading this blog? Way cool.

      - Patrice

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  9. One thing that stood out to me in relation to current day prepping is the importance of being connected to a like minded community. No doubt their decision to bug out was pretty spontaneous. How much better it would have been if it was planned and prepared for. But it was inspiring to see how long they endured with so little. And to know that we have the opportunity to be better prepared.

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  10. I, too, read the story with great interest. It was sad to realize that their demise was from illnesses obtained from contact with "outsiders".

    At least the remaining sister was left in peace on her mountain to live her remaining days as she choose. (Instead of some Russian beauracrat deciding she needed state help in an assisted living home or something.

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  11. Patrice, I've re-read this twice already. I remember reading a book by Louis LaMour some years ago - "Last of the Breed", which details an American pilot shot down over Russia, and his survival - the very place where these people lived. Awesome book.

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  12. One thing I don't get about these people.... when their 4 children were old enough to marry, why on earth didn't they try to make some sort of reconnection with other people? It seems insane to me, that they didn't do anything about this.

    Granted, they feared murder at the hands of the government, but, this would be the ONE issue that would be worth the risk. Extinct by persecution versus extinct by failure to reproduce -- what's the difference?

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    1. Probably rather their kids live free, though single than run the chance of being enslaved.

      I don't know that I'd make the same decision, but I won't judge folks in extreme circumstances on issues where there's not a definite right vs wrong involved.

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