Eugénie Baccot

Documentary Photographer

Let's Get Lost in the Woods

Gaël, Philippe and Éric gave themselves a challenge: to survive several days in a hostile environment using only a knife. The group volunteered to be “dropped” into a survival situation while attending a survival course in the forest. From 16 to 76 years the eldest, these survivalists of the XXI century are more and more frequent, each seeking to live out their very own Into the Wild. The scenario is the following: a group leaves on a hike and... gets lost. With neither blankets, nor lighters, nor provisions, the band must find a way to manage on their own. Wild men playing Tarzan and shipwrecks are a rarity today, everything in this experience reflects back on each's own status as modern man, living lives saturated with technologies and comforts, where the human knows not, in the end, how to do much for himself anymore. Once astray, make a fire, find a water source, construct a habitat to stay warm: these are the priorities. The men whom I followed chose to confront nature, hunger and the cold. While two adventurers excelled in the art of getting out of hardship, the others contemplated self-sufficiency and of alternative modes of living. For Denis, the coach of the expedition, it all comes down to how we transmit and reflect upon the world which is around us. The latter is based on knowledge and ancient know-how. For we may not only survive but thrive in the forest, the resources and reserves are abundant, including nourishment a plenty, if simply unknown to most.