This teenager is proving age doesn’t matter when it comes to thriving in the wilderness.
A lot of people have fantasies about leaving the modern world behind for a life of solitude in the wilderness. For most it is just that, a fantasy, but for a select few like this extremely rare 16-year-old it is their reality.
Zeki Basan was raised by his mother in the wilds of the Cairngorms mountain range of Scotland. The thing that makes this 16-year-old unique isn’t that he lives in such a remote location, but that he is thriving in it on his own at such a young age.
His whole life he traveled abroad to various places with his mother as she studied different cultures and their cuisines for various cookbooks she writes. Most of the places they stayed with local tribes where he began to learn to live off the land the way that they have.
All that learning has put him on a very unique path. At this moment he is living in a tipi as he undergoes studies at the West Highland College in their School of Adventures program, preparing himself to begin teaching others what he has learned.
Every morning he rises early from his grandfather’s old canvas bed before throwing off the animal skins he tanned himself for warmth. He stokes his fire and cooks his breakfast of bannock bread. His morning is then spent collecting firewood before grabbing his books from an old metal trunk of his mother’s. He then hikes the 30 minutes to the school’s campus for his lessons.
While Zeki could just stay at the school with his fellow classmates, he chooses this life to continue pushing himself and practicing what he will preach. He has no internet and only limited access to a mobile phone every few weeks.
Although he spends a lot of time alone, he enjoys his own company and the comfort of the wilderness.
In his spare time he works with bushcraft expert, Willow Lohr, helping her teach survival skills, or visiting with local bushmen trading skills off among them.
This life is not without some danger though. Zeki had to rely on his training once already to get back to his tipi after becoming disoriented in a bad storm. Thanks to his mother’s wisdom reminding him to remain calm he made it back safely.
This young man is proving that we are all capable of great things if we really want them. It doesn’t matter your age, background, or anything else, you just need the will to do it.
I wish Zeki all the best of luck in his studies and dreams of starting his own bushcrafting school. At the current track he is on and the skills he has already acquired through life alone, I have no doubts he will make that happen.