We often skip around YouTube looking for something interesting to see or hear. Scrolling up and down with the mouse along the screen we come across the image of a little boy in the forest and click on it. (forgive the “kid” but for Erika Corvo who now has a forty year old son, they are all kids).
There are only sounds, not even a single word. This little boy is wearing a T-shirt, a pair of work trousers with side pockets, he is barefoot and casually handles a spatula machete. We are curious and we go on looking, and the more we look, the more intrigues us: what he manages to combine only that machete and the material that he naturally finds in the jungle is absolutely incredible.
He does everything with bamboo. Traps, pots, containers for water, weaving baskets and making traps to go fishing, sandals, a crazy structure for showering with running water. Of course also a shelter for the night in which to light the fire, cook, sleep … There are no tricks, every single step is filmed minute by minute, and his dexterity is absolutely out of the ordinary.
He has a whole series of videos ranging from quarter to half an hour entitled “Survival Challenge Alone in the Rainforest” or “Survival Challenge Alone in the Rainforest”
Slowly, video after video, we understand something more: the boy is in the rainforest of North Vietnam. His name is Nolan. He has some friends who like him try their luck by living in the semi-wild state in the forest. Each of them has its own Youtube channel and a few hundred videos. Each has its own peculiar characteristics, such as the type of machete, having shoes or not, someone uses a metal pot. Nolan is the most consistent: no modern pots, no shoes, no objects that are not found in nature.
His friend Sumatra has shoes and a pot, and has so much inventiveness and imagination that he looks like the mad scientist in the movies. In this video report of the first year in the forest https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7PepgCpUXs we see him building a crossbow, and then also a bamboo gun. Yes that’s right, a gun made with bamboo, ugly we’re still laughing now, but, by God, it really shoots! He has a bamboo raincoat worthy of a fashion show. You can see it at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6sl2_SZuCs In one of his videos it took us half an hour to figure out what the hell he was doing (never a word, at most subtitles, sometimes in very macaronic English) and we were left in plaster when it finally turned out that some pieces of bark he had obtained a football-sized mass of resinous glue, with which to set sticky traps for the birds. He thinks so on an industrial level that his settlement is the envy of the “Little House on the Prairie”: an elevated house with an outdoor kitchen on the lower floor, woodshed, underground warehouse, pigsty, aviary and vegetable garden. Tables, chairs, umbrellas have been built for having tea outdoors and even a sort of Neapolitan coffee maker has been built. Always in bamboo.
The third has a mythical nom de guerre: King Kong Amazon and a baby face that you could think of everything except that he is capable of surviving alone in the middle of the forest. Yet he does it very well. He has a metal pot, a “traditional” kitchen knife type but two palms long and a dog named Tony that he has to take care of, since there aren’t any supermarkets that sell Chappy there. And you realize the effort that you have to make every mouth to feed more. He is very good at setting traps: he prepares a dozen of them (always with bamboo, of course), places them, and the next day he finds in them a lot of rats as big as rabbits. He too has a couple of houses, a woodshed, a pigsty with some wild boars caught in traps, a chicken coop with a few hen inside and a small vegetable garden.
What do these guys eat already? Everything they find, but absolutely everything!
Food that comes from the river or from small streams of water: snails, molluscs, crabs (and how big!) Fish and minnows, turtles.
Food that comes from the earth: mice and rats are always on the menu, but there is not much to turn up your nose since there are no sewers, waste, landfills and pollution: a rat from those places is worth as much as a rabbit or a hare of our parts: always rodents, they are! There the crabs also live on the ground, since every time it rains everything turns into a swamp. If you move stones and branches close to the roots of the trees, you will find blue, yellow, red ones… so beautiful and big that it seems a shame to cook them. Insects, squirrels, porcupines, bats, two-meter lizards, three-foot snakes, skunks, hen, and various feathers that we cannot identify.
Vegetables: tender tubers and sprouts, mushrooms, various vegetables, from palmito to corn and other leaves that we have no idea of the variety they belong to, fruit unknown to us Europeans, and bananas that (as in reality it should be, they are ours that are unnatural) have a pulp full of big black seeds.
We spend whole evenings to see what these guys are up to, and you certainly can’t get bored! Our Erika Corvo is lost in Nolan’s admiration. He is the wildest, the most spartan and the purest. He has no villas and outbuildings, even though he once built a swimming pool. Erika, we know what she is like, she has to go to the bottom, she scans the web and in the end Nolan’s email comes out. She writes to him, and incredibly, the next day the boy replies!
THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW IS OUR!
His name is Nolan Ross, and he is the son of a French and a Vietnamese. He is twenty-eight and when he was a little boy he spent a lot of time with his father in the Australian bush, where they lived. Once he grew up he decided to return to North Vietnam, his motherland, and challenge his friends to survive in the rainforest. Well, we would say the challenge is quite interesting!
Would you like to take a look at their videos too? Did I make you curious? Then I’ll give you the links!
Other than Bear Grylls! Nolan is really ALONE in the rainforest. There is no crew to follow him, if he were to get hurt or if he had an accident, there would be no one to help him promptly. The caterpillars and strange beasts but he really eats them because there is nothing else. He doesn’t come home in the evening or on weekends. He is really there, for months. A great guy! We love him!
E: Hi, Nolan! I am truly honored to finally get to know you! Believe me, I have great admiration for you. In this period I could see many videos of you and your friends, but among them, my favorite is you because you are the most “pure” and the most consistent with the wild life.
N: Thanks for everything, Erika. Ask me anything!
E: What part of the jungle are you in, exactly?
N: The forest in which I participate in the challenge is located two hundred kilometers northwest of the capital, Hanoi.
E: Who manages the camera? Is there someone else there with you or do you do it all by yourself?
N: I take care of everything. My devices run on solar energy. It happens that it rains for several days in a row, and in that case I need the help of someone to come and replace the camera battery
E: What does snake meat taste like?
N: It has a slightly fishy aftertaste, is quite tough and really not very tasty. Moreover, the bones are very hard. (I noticed that they also eat small preys bones. NDR)
E: What is the most disgusting thing you have eaten?
N: Well, probably a grilled centipede. But I was really hungry, so I tried. Once roasted, the meat smelled good but the taste was very bitter!
E: Are there any large predators or poisonous snakes in your area of action?
N: Let me not answer this question, please.
E: Have you ever been really scared sometimes?
N: Living in the wilderness, no one can afford the luxury of not being afraid, because there are so many blood-sucking insects, poisonous snakes or flash floods …
E: When you decide to go back to “normal” life, do you live in a big city or in a small village?
N: When I am too tired for this life and I decide to drop everything, I will go back to a small village located right on the edge of the forest, and I will rest.
E: Thank you very much for your availability, Nolan! I still wish you many adventures and a long and happy life.
N: Hi, Erika! Thanks again to you for this interview.
No, but really, do you think that this adorable little guy, at risk of running out of battery, while roasting porcupines and crabs, found time to answer our questions? We still can’t understand that we were lucky enough to be able to contact him and have a few minutes of his attention! We will continue to follow his videos and we will not miss a single one, with the secret dream of one day taking a plane and spending a day in the forest eating fried mouse with Nolan and telling you what it tastes like!
If you too would like to follow his incredible adventures, you can find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Nolan.Sumatra or on Youtube in his channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1rL83kf1ICDj7eBpGi6m5Q Survival Instinct.
Don’t miss him, because Nolan isn’t in Hollywood and neither an actor, but he’s a real person in an even truer forest.
In today’s video, Nolan took four chubby mice and roasted them with a little side leaves. He will go to sleep with a full stomach, and we are happy for him.
And stay around that Erika always has something interesting for you!