The Ultimate Story Of Off Grid Living


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Categories: Life Stories

The low door creaked, and the figure of a very old man emerged into the light of day, straight out of a fairy tale. Barefoot. Wearing a patched and repatched shirt made of sacking. He wore trousers of the same material, also in patches, and had an uncombed beard. His hair was disheveled. He looked frightened and was very attentive…. We had to say something, so I began: ‘Greetings, grandfather! We’ve come to visit!’

The old man did not reply immediately…. Finally, we heard a soft, uncertain voice: ‘Well, since you have traveled this far, you might as well come in.’

Over time the scientists got to know and care for the family that had fled society to live in the wilderness.

Their stories of near starvation, survival, and preservation of their faith are quite enthralling.

For instance in 1961 there was a late snow and they lost their entire crop. That year the mother died of starvation so her children could live. The rest of the family was possibly only saved by a single grain of rye that sprouted and that the family guarded night and day. This solitary grain yielded 18 more grains and eventually they were able to rebuild their rye crop.

What happened to them?

Shortly after regaining contact with mankind the family went into decline and 3 of the 4 children died within a few days of each other in 1981. According to the scientists the deaths weren’t likely from what would be expected – exposure to disease. Two had kidney failure and the other died of pneumonia, which possibly could have been caused by contact.

The father and last remaining daughter, Agafia chose to stay in their wilderness home. The father passed in his sleep in 1988 and the remaining daughter chose to continue living the only life she’d ever known. She did visit civilization a handful of times after their discovery become a national story. The Russian government even sent her on a month long trip across Russia.

Wikipedia states that she returned to her home in the Taiga and remains there and now has a neighbor who moved out there according to Vice journalists to help Lykova. It appears she is still living in the Siberian wilderness to this day. (There is no listed date of death on her Wikipedia page.)

What can we learn from their story of survival?

Bugging out to the remote wilderness could be a viable option for survival. However I’d consider this to be a temporary solution because surviving in those conditions is very difficult.

I also believe this type of isolationist survival is best for extreme circumstances. Since the Lykovs were facing potential genocide then I think they made the right call. However, I believe they might have been better off returning to civilization at the end of WWII (a war they were unaware of even occurring!)››


I know if I need to bug out in that extreme of a manner I’d like to be well prepared. However I also believe that there is strength in numbers. There is a reason that ancient man first banded together in small tribes.

What do you think about their amazing story of bugging out and disappearing from any contact with mankind for 40 years? Would you bug out to the remote wilderness like they did?

by Nick Gillilck / via SurvivalLife

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