Beryl Novak gave us some insight into the advantages and drawbacks of living off the grid. The dangers can be rather severe: bear encounters, wolf competition, eating potentially lethal wild edibles, and so forth. But the advantages seem to make such a life worthwhile.
The most alluring aspect of Beryl’s quiet life is perhaps her freedom. He still has to abide by the law and the seasons, but he has complete freedom. Beryl stated in In Forum that “those out there attempting to make more money are chasing their tails.”
Novak is an intriguing person with an intriguing life. This is Beryl Novak’s narrative.
Beryl Novak went into his Forest Shack in 1977
Since moving into his cabin in the woods in 1977, Beryl has resided there.
Early in life, Beryl developed his sense of independence. When Novak was five years old, his father passed away, and a no-nonsense mentor took over his grouse hunting instruction. Beryl showed he was a pro by successfully taking down his first grouse with just one brief shot.
But he had to learn how to hunt deer on his own. He took his first buck at age ten and has since taken more. Later, Novak enlisted in the Air Force, which exposed him to the atrocities of the Vietnam War. Novak scheduled his vacation days to coincide with the local hunting season.
In 1966, he paid $700 for the 40-acre woodland that surrounded his house. Since settling on the 40-acre parcel in 1977, Novak has never left.
Beryl Novak relies on Home-Grown food and Hunting for Sustenance
Everything Beryl needs for survival is in his one-room abode: gas for cooking, firewood for fuel, and a wood heater for heat. Water is available from a hand pump outside, and there is a sauna shed where you may unwind.
Because “everything on TV is all so very sad,” Novak has a TV but rarely uses it. In 1995, Beryl quit her job and started living alone. Living up here doesn’t cost much, he continued. “I make do fairly easily.”
He never really feels lonely since Beryl claims that people are hard to please:
“You can’t please everyone. I so decided to move on, and now here I am. I still have visitors, but not as many as I once did. Everyone is disappearing.
Beryl will remain in his home for days on end if he has no compelling cause to do so. He doesn’t intend to cut his hair or beard, which are both close to two decades old. I don’t have to live my life to please other people, he remarked.
For nutrition, Novak relies on food cultivated at home and hunting.
All of Novak’s food is obtained from the natural world. He has planted carrots, apples, onions, melons, and sweet corn. He typically harvests enough to support himself, though the harvests can fluctuate depending on the weather.
Beryl supplements his vegetarian diet with meat, primarily grouse. He’s had a hunting license since 1960 and is an expert deer hunter. Beryl reportedly shot 75 deer in his woodlands, according to Forum reports. By dropping down deer that have been unlawfully harvested, conservation officials increase his food supply.
Earlier, Novak had a dog to accompany him on his hunts and provide companionship. He has no plans to get a new dog because the previous one passed away about ten years ago. He gave the following justification to InForum:
“I didn’t think it was proper to own a dog and be unable to transport him to the veterinarian. It’s bad enough that people have to take me to the doctor, but asking someone else to take my dog to the veterinarian is too much.
Beryl uses an old phone for Emergencies for Transportation
Beryl cut off his landline because he was sick of receiving telemarketers’ calls all the time. Additionally, it broke his relationship with his loved ones, not that he gave a damn.
Nobody who I wanted to talk to was still phoning me, Novak said. People would complain that they couldn’t reach you, and I would respond,
“That’s the point.”
He received a cheap phone from a neighbor in 2015 to use in case of an emergency. Beryl doesn’t mind that it doesn’t have an internet or social media connection. Beryl is content as long as he is healthy enough to hunt and work the land.
Beryl’s annual checkup resulted in a clean bill of health for him. He doesn’t interact with many people, therefore he passes years without getting a cold or the flu. The coronavirus was naturally protected by Beryl’s existence.
I’ve been keeping my distance from people out here for 20 years, he claimed. His close friends and neighbors are more than happy to take him to the hospital when he needs to. He offers food from his garden or a hunt as payment for the favor.
Since his automobile broke down in 2005, Beryl hasn’t driven one. The mile-long distance between each of his plots of land is traversed by an ATV.
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