Survival is a way of experiencing life - interview with Kajetan Wilczyński "Adventurer"
You land in the middle of the wilderness. Around the emptiness. Only the noise of trees and the sounds of birds marking their presence. You don't know how far away you are from civilization. What now? Exactly. Another guest of our series of interviews is a man-adventure. He called his YouTube channel Adventurer. Survival, as he says, is not a lifestyle, it is a way of experiencing life. Every week Kajetan Wilczyński introduces us to the secrets of the art of survival on his channel. We asked him about inspirations, beginnings and funny situations. Welcome!
Let me greet you with your famous saying. By tank!
It is said that survival tests not so much physical skills and solidity of a man, but rather mental attitude and the will to survive. Will you agree with this statement?
Not exactly. One of the trips to remote areas of Norway made it clear to me that endurance and physical condition are just as important as a strong psyche. You may have an unusually strong will to survive, but it won't help when your legs refuse to obey.
Many people first encountered survival on the occasion of a television program hosted by Bear Grylls. Tell me, how did it look like in your case? When did you start to treat seriously the art of survival?
This is a difficult question because I have not noticed such a moment in my life. In my childhood I wandered a lot with my father off the mountain trails. It was my father who instilled in me a passion for adventure in the wild, taught camping, map reading, gold panning in mountain streams, distinguishing between plants and mushrooms. He was and is my only teacher. And Bear Grylls? It was thanks to him that I learned that what I do all my life has its name.
You made yourself known to a larger audience through your YouTube channel - Adventurer. Its name clearly indicates that you put adventure first. What made you share your passion?
The goal was simple. Show young people that adventure in the wild is not just a quest in the role-playing game that they can experience it in the real world. Now on YouTube there are plenty of bushcraft and survival channels, then you could count them on one hand.
In most of your films you explore the forest areas alone. Does this mean that you feel best in your own company?
In no case. Although I have an introverted nature, I love traveling with friends (this is what my previous YouTube channel was based on). However, I treat field trips primarily as a survival training, and one of its most important aspects is learning how to cope alone in every situation. Hence the lack of company in most episodes.
You have vast knowledge in the field of survival art. In addition to movies, do you share it with others? I mean, do you run any trainings where others, on their own skin, can experience what you experience in the movies?
Les Stroud, Dave Canterbury and my father have a lot of knowledge, but unfortunately they didn't decide on their own YouTube channel. I only try to present in films what he taught me. I also organize individual training in the art of survival in the wild. Their course is modeled on the manner of narration that my viewers got used to and is supported by experience acquired in Norway and in the Slovenian Alps and the Czech Republic.
Videos about the excavation of the Vistula Spit are enjoying great popularity on your channel. What was your motivation to raise this topic?
Amber. I have always been fascinated by the treasures of the earth. In the mountains I rinsed gold and looked for precious stones. Since I lived with my fiancée and son at the seaside, my local treasure has taken over my attention. This coincided with information blown by the media that the amber located in the excavation was to cover the investment cost. These reports ignited the imagination. I am not particularly interested in excavation as such.
Adventures in the context of survival you have experienced a lot. Tell the one that you have the greatest fondness for. You can easily share some backstage, funny situation :)
Once I slept in a dumpster :D
Norway. After three days spent away from civilization, I returned to the nearest town by bicycle. I was exhausted and needed sleep. Night, wetland, a lonely farm and a building closed for four drains. The only piece of dry ground turned out to be a wooden shed for containers. In the morning I was woken by the exquisite smell of what Scandinavians apparently love the most - rotten fish. In the first rays of the sun I saw my place in all its glory. The containers had traces of bear claws ...
Tell me honestly, because I dare to doubt: D Are there situations without a solution for you?
Yes. A shack for containers, me inside, and a bear comes in for breakfast.
Question from another barrel. The coronavirus swirls hit us all. Have your self-control and the skills allowed you to better survive the period of social quarantine?
My activities were limited to making food supplies once every two weeks and leaving home only when absolutely necessary. I considered the episode on coronavirus survival, but I came to the conclusion that there is nothing to talk about. Just common sense and patient waiting for a tested vaccine. At the current stage of the pandemic, no typical survival skills are required.
If I may ask, and of course, if you can reveal. What are your immediate and further plans for YouTube activities?
Closer plans are episodes in the style of the "In the Wild with Bear Grylls" series. I would like to invite other YouTubers for expeditions and interview them during field trips.
Further plan is a separate channel on which I would show family-trained survival. I count on Kamila and Grzes' help :)
The last question - is survival a lifestyle?
Lifestyle - no. Experiences - yes. Of course :)
The interview was conducted by: Jakub Dobrzyński