Born to Run: Seed of the Rewilding Movement

Colin EvansView post →

In 2009 the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall hit shelves and a phenomenon was created seemingly overnight. For many, the book was a revelation whose inspiration caused a cascade of insights that led down a path of freedom and self discovery and ignited the minimalist footwear/barefoot running revolution. Born to Run spent 178 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and Matthew McConaughey has reportedly signed on to star in the movie adaptation. Paralleling the barefoot running revolution is a smaller, ever growing movement known as ReWilding. Arguably, the success of ReWilding can be attributed to Born to Run as well.

Rewilders believe that with the advent of agriculture humans have become domesticated and in the process have lost our birthright of robust health, happiness and freedom. ReWilding is the process of undoing the human domestication framework and returning to our ancient pre agricultural lifeways while taking such wisdom and lessons as have been gleaned from civilization along the way. The two are combined to create stronger, healthier, more resilient individuals and communities which are profoundly connected to each other, their environment and the planet.

While the disparate elements that would eventually evolve into the ReWilding movement were germinating at the time, it was the fervor created by the book that set the conditions for the movement's success. At the center of the Born to Run story are the Tarahumara natives who dwell in the Copper Canyon in Northern Mexico. While not completely Hunter gatherers (relying a great deal on Corn) they nonetheless retain a tradition of wild living that has remained relatively unchanged despite western encroachment for hundreds of years. Most of the Raramuri (Running People) as they call themselves, exemplify many admirable traits that come from a healthy lifestyle in harmony with nature and their distance from the modern Western world. Being incredibly fit as well as having very low incidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity, their elderly live to be quite old, regularly performing feats of endurance far outstripping what even many accomplished younger athletes in the “first world” achieve. Not to mention the legendary seemingly superhuman speed, agility and joyful endurance displayed by their elites while crushing the competition in Ultra Marathon races across the U.S.. Domestic violence, theft, and drug abuse are also nearly unheard of within their communities, although this becomes less so the closer a settlement is to a well traveled road or modern community.

For many, the idea that there were people living today that exemplified such an admirable way of life was exciting and inspiring. It was clear that the vitality, happiness, and robust health these “primitive” peoples displayed was somehow the result of their older, simpler, self sufficient, minimalist way of being. Their traditions, diet and attitudes were closely examined and many copied. Minimalist running shoes, especially the style of sandals the Tarahumara used called huaraches appeared everywhere. Not only were companies making minimal footwear, but individuals were experimenting creating their own. Chia seeds, a staple in the Copper Canyon became the latest “Super Food” craze to hit health food stores.

The idea that it is the birthright of all humans to perform incredible feats of endurance and athleticism without injury, while wearing a smile, began to permeate our collective consciousness. The conditions were set so that when pioneers in the ReWilding movement such as Erwan LeCorre and Daniel Vitalis began teaching and sharing their knowledge, a wide audience of receptive and eager minds were there to soak up the new information and the modern ReWilding movement was born. 

Minimalist Camping in Sandals

Michael DallyView post →

minimalist camping in sandals

I and another Earth Runner recently went on a multi day packing trip into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. We wore a new Alpha prototype we are testing, and things could not have gone any smoother for our feet! This continues to be the universal favorite model for it’s all purpose application and superior moldability.

Being the first backpacking trip in sandals for us both, we marveled at the complete freedom from foot issues usually associated with such a trip in boots.


Whole foods

There is something profoundly invigorating about minimalist travel into the back country. Existing for a time in a way that connects us to our deep ancestry is incredibly fulfilling on many levels. The satisfying simplicity of this humbling experience quickly reminds us of our true needs and provides great perspective on what is really important in life.


My passion for real food is magnified while immersed in nature. Flavors become incredibly pronounced and my gratitude for nourishment never so strong. I have been consuming a whole foods centered diet for many years but this was my first camping trip with Bulletproof–butter infused–coffee! A revitalizing way to start the day which fueled our adventures with lots of well needed energy! Long days on the move, burning lots of calories, I felt I earned my food more than in my "civil" life back in town. Packing in all the ingredients for the adventure, aside from water, made for much simpler meals that easily digested. Back home, this trip has encouraged me to "earn" my food through more regular daily movement and to keep my menu simple.

Earthrunner1987When the sun goes down–and fires are out of the question, there is not much to do other than admire the stars and drift off to sleep. Once liberated from the societal comfort of sleeping indoors I uncovered an innate magnetism to sleeping out in the wild. As my teacher always said in my Psychology of Sleep class, “Remarkable dreams happen in remarkable places.” It was amazing to camp in pristine nature at eight thousand feet and experience how it affected my dreams.


Experiencing this be free lifestyle is something I wish everybody would do more. Upon returning to society my circadian rhythm is re-calibrated and I feel revitalized. I don’t believe there is any better conditioning on Earth than to truly experience it’s wildness.

 minimalist backpacking sandals