Video: Matt Hunter Rides Across Haida Gwaii on a Foodless Odyssey

Jun 6, 2018 at 11:47
by Anthill Films  


When Matt Hunter set out with Charlie McLellan, Anthill director Darcy Wittenburg and photographer Nicolas Teichrob to bikepack around the remote island of Haida Gwaii, they did so with... no food. They would forage, fish, and hunt every calorie they consumed for seven days and 207 km, living off the land much like the local Haida have done for centuries.

Anthill Films shot, edited, and produced Foodless Odyssey, an eleven-minute documentary following the journey and the survival tactics employed by these four mountain bikers. After airing on Season 8 of OutsideTV's Dispatches, the full video is now online for all to see.




bigquotesWhen you're really hungry and you don't know where your next meal is coming from, you feel desperate. I've never felt like that in my lifeMatt Hunter

Photo Nicolas Teichrob

Photo Nicolas Teichrob

Photo Nicolas Teichrob

bigquotesHumanity has fallen away from that connection with food. This was the ultimate... Going out and being fully connected in that you had to collect the food in order to eat.Charlie McLellan

Photo Nicolas Teichrob
Photo Nicolas Teichrob

Photo Nicolas Teichrob
Photo Nicolas Teichrob

After travelling along both coasts and across this rain forest island with nothing but their bikes, camping gear and tools for hunting and fishing, this hungry group of travelers developed an unprecedented appreciation for where their meals come from.

Would you ever attempt a Foodless Odyssey of your own?

The Foodless Odyssey was undertaken by experienced outdoorsmen with knowledge of hunting, fishing and edible plant species. Local First Nations were consulted regarding all food-gathering activity by the team.

Photos by Nicolas Teichrob


119 Comments

  • + 126
 For me there is no disclaimer required. You lads have nothing to explain or apologize for. For a small period of time, the food you ate was the right stuff. It's civilization that needs a disclaimer and an excuse to explain how we all eat all the time.
  • + 19
 Was anyone asking for one? I'm only asking because I was waiting for some idiot to get upset they ate meat on this trip. Great content all around!
  • + 13
 @manhattanprjkt83: Idiots with always find something to be upset about.
  • + 4
 @SacAssassin: Here here
  • - 39
flag nick1957 (Jun 7, 2018 at 0:54) (Below Threshold)
 No animals were hurt or injured in this piece .for your entertainment .Not all of us are blood lusting hunting types ,.humanity have moved on
  • + 3
 From what I see, everything in North America requires a disclaimer - sadly anything can be hurting feelings of idiots between 20 and 35. Honestly, teenagers seem smarter to me. Although there is a bunch of older folks here who virtue signal and get offended too. It's so hard not to enjoy upsetting people.
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: Careful! The beverage you are about to enjoy is extremely hot!
  • - 3
 @jaame: I'd love to start a Youtube channel "Pigs eat Pets" because animals are so adorable and incapable of cruelty. Throw cats, rabbits and dogs to them. Munch!
  • + 5
 To really understand the struggle these guys went thru you need to eat a fat juicy 12oz cheeseburger while watching.
  • - 5
flag pancakeflatted (Jun 7, 2018 at 10:54) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: : I guess it's fun to hurt others when you see them as objects to be used for your pleasure?
  • - 10
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 7, 2018 at 11:04) (Below Threshold)
 @pancakeflatted: no, that's not enough. At some point you will feel like a queer. In order to do this and look at yourself in the mirror after you have murdered animals or people, you need poetry, some higher value, meaning, purpose. Like making your country great, protecting minorities or saving environment.
  • - 11
flag pancakeflatted (Jun 7, 2018 at 11:06) (Below Threshold)
 @manhattanprjkt83: It's still an unnecessary use of animals for pleasure, enjoyment or PR, no matter what your so-called brand or personality might be. Ultimately this was just another "cool" thing to do...and an unnecessary and vain act at that. It's not as though this is how they live their daily lives.
  • - 3
 @WAKIdesigns: What exactly are you trying to say here?
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 7, 2018 at 11:08) (Below Threshold)
 @pancakeflatted: people like you are an unnecessary cruelty. You are a perfect material for a torturer, just a matter of right circumstances and you will bloom. You just can't get down from your high horse with zero understanding of human nature and psychology. It's hard not to remember you from previous interactions.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: The REALLY funny part--you just described yourself.
  • + 7
 @pancakeflatted: I believe what the gentleman is trying to say is that no matter how enlightened you are and how positive an influence you wish to have on our planet, this will inevitably be washed away by the brutal tidal wave of human nature that will ultimately undo us all. Furthermore, talking in a hopeful and positive manner about a better future where we can coexist peacefully with our fellow humans and all other life forms is a mere flight of fancy that wastes both time and oxgyen that would be put to better use arguing that certain gear ratios are unnecessary. I do not endorse or challenge this message but am merely conveying what I have learned as a wakiologist.
  • + 4
 @BenPea: wromg I meant that he considers himself as other, better, while we all share same biology. He thinks he’s above it, but he is nothing else but a spoiled boy of overprotective parents who lacks purpose in his life, hasn’t achieved much, hasn’t managed to free himself of existential angst, he is... lost. He doesn’t know who he wants to be, he just knows who he doesn’t want to be. He feels important because he believes he “fights”for the rights of the underprivileged, while he does nothing else but virtue signal. Poor little fk

Black Matter Lives
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Mmm... What's black matter?
  • - 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Your acumen is amazing. Truly impressive. It's like...you're inside my brain. smh.
  • - 2
 @BenPea : Careful...he'll claim to be an astronomer. Or maybe an astrologer?
  • + 3
 @pancakeflatted: Hey, everyone's an astronomer nowadays.
  • + 4
 @pancakeflatted: Are you opposed to eating meat or just in this particular situation?
  • + 1
 @loganflores: He is opposed to the idea of people having their own freedom to decide how to live their life, that's why he feels entitled to tell people how to live their life based on his arbitrary world views. A false sense of self importance is truly a force that has produced as much misery as ignorance, if not more. Individual freedoms and rights are the first victims of any ideology.
  • + 0
 @StiT25: and he thinks animals are vegans living together as if it was Winnie the pooh. He can’t get that ideas of kindness and cruelty is a social human constructs, and animals have no fkng interest in them. If you go to the woods and kill an animal you are giving it possibly best death it can get, because otherwise it will die a long excruciating death from disease or will be eaten alive. If he was got by a black bear or a pack of wolves he’d be eaten alive from his arse and legs. They may even leave him alive after they took a few bites and come the day after to finish the job.
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: bruh, those are just the animals that haven't had the privilege of education and don't know about safe spaces
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns and @StiT25 -- I'm so happy you two found each other! It's adorable.

Since you've figured my so-called philosophy out for me, I can rest comfortably in my parents' basement and ease my way into retirement. ttfn!
  • + 2
 @leverfingers I didn't read that as a disclaimer as much as an important point of contextualisation for those who might be tempted to do something similar. It's important to understand the histories and interactions that sit behind something like this, and ensure that people watching understand that you can't just get off your couch and do something similar without knowledge and respect for the environment, and human cultures that overlay it.
  • + 3
 @danprisk: with all due respect, let natural selection take care of couch experts who’d try that without a slightest clue what they are getting into.
  • + 87
 There’s a Wendy’s about 3kms from my house, one time I set a goal to ride there and only order from the value meal. I made it to the Wendy’s and got a baconator, It was a good effort.
  • + 29
 the struggle is real
  • + 45
 Matt hunter is the Bear Grylls of mountain bike. This guy is such an inspiration.
  • + 55
 Except Matt Hunter is actually rad...
  • + 26
 how about “he’s the Les Stroud of mountain bike?” Les is Canadian and 100% real. Not scripted, no follow cam team. He is Survivorman!
  • + 16
 Matt Hunter is a hybrid of Chuck Norris,Macgyver and Sam Hill.
  • + 11
 @sledMXer: nailed it. Les Stroud is a beauty.
  • + 1
 @VwHarman: Where is Haida Gwaii?
  • + 3
 @jaame: may or may not have heard of it as the queen Charlotte islands as well. Series of incredible islands off the north west coast of bc. Incredible history and heritage of First Nations people in the area, and an area that has happily achieved a fairly strong resurgence of traditional cultures. Pretty neat history in the area, worth a bit of googling.
  • + 1
 @VwHarman: Yes thanks. I took a look just after I typed that. Very interesting. The name makes it sound a bit Polynesian to me.
  • + 1
 He breaks the mold! I want him as my spirit guide. Matt reminds me of how I fantasized about being in nature when I was a kid. Thanks man, this was epic and profound.
  • + 43
 This could make an amazing series for Pinkbike. More of this content please! Thanks!
  • + 32
 This is wicked! Knowing local edibles and knowing your own way through the woods is an essential skill as far as I'm concerned, no matter whether you're on an epic bike adventure or driving snowy roads in winter with the possibility of being stranded. More of this, please.
  • + 0
 Right on man. In my home area where I’m from, Yah given a rifle (or trap), fishing line, hook, a way to dig and a way to make fire and I’d survive quiet a while. It’s water that’ll kill you.
  • + 4
 Preach on!
  • + 34
 This was waaay too short, you need to make a movie out of it! Was amazing
  • + 4
 This ^^^^
  • + 14
 it bothers me that they censored out the killing and butchering of the deer. Death is a part of life, and in this context its not gratuitous violence, its how food is prepared.

Also, how were they allowed to harvest a deer? Does Canada have similar hunting regulations as the USA?
  • + 10
 The frame of text at the very end explains that the deer are an introduced species that have become overpopulated and are therefore a threat to the native environment of Haida Gwaii. Thus- an extended hunting season, for which they had permits. Of course- you could say the same about humans!
  • + 4
 I grew up on Haida Gwaii, and it's a very unique place! The deer there are very small and a real issue, so the tag limits are very high compared to most of Canada and for most other species
  • + 9
 Was thinking the same thing. It's the circle of life and I think that exact scene would have helped many to understand what the nicely packed steak in costco looks like in reality.
  • + 6
 @sprecks57: This time it's personal. I've heard many tines from veggies that a lot of people would give up meat if they had to kill and butcher animals themselves.
  • + 8
 @jaame: Until you're hungry. Then you'll eat what you can catch/gather/kill.
  • + 8
 @wheelie7: I agree. Everyone may not like killing animals, but you do what you have to do to survive. The great thing about human society is, we don't all have to butcher our own animals. We also don't have to design and build our own houses, or make our own clothes, but we sure as hell could if we had to.
  • + 11
 My wife, who's vegetarian, calls it the "life trade". She's ok with hunting if hunting is the primary means for survival. She's ok with others eating meat (in moderation) if they don't hunt. She, and I, don't care for overzealous trophy hunting or wasting of commercially produced meat. I think Matt and his friends commitment to survive or starve makes the act of killing an animal all the more worthwhile.
  • + 6
 I'm with @PHeller. I'm vegetarian, but that's my choice.. My wife and kids aren't and I'd not dream of telling them to change. Nor have I any wish or right to tell anyone else what to do...

Hunting to eat is more than acceptable, and probably better for the world than all the processed food going around. I'd rather people hunt than just blindly go to a supermarket in a way.

People can eat whatever they like.
  • + 16
 This is so bad ass. Great work fellas.
  • + 7
 So good. Best mtb vid in a while. Props to those guys for embarking on such a killer adventure. Great to see that there are still parts of the world where you can drink the water straight from the stream.
  • + 4
 It's ironic that we harvest grass that we don't eat. Package it in plastic bags and throw it away. Those pesky weeds and minute flowers invading your perfect green lawn. Those are , well used to be food and medicine. Plenty of plants are edible. Rain forest are full of trees and plants. Modern man is relatively clueless about food from the wild. Or your front lawn.
  • + 7
 I'll have you know that I had stuffed wild garden gnome for dinner, a bit crunchy on the outside but very high in essential minerals and lead based pigments!
  • + 3
 @justincs: gnomes are best slow cooked over an open fire.
  • + 1
 Everything comes full circle. You can buy a new type of engineered grass, Buffalo Grass, that is very drought tolerant and doesn't need near the water that Kentucky Bluegrass needs, and you don't have to mow it! It grows to be about 6 inches long and stays that way, and actually looks pretty nice. You can also mow it if you want a more traditional look.

www.sunset.com/garden/garden-basics/plant-no-mow-lawn
  • + 3
 @hamncheez: Monsanto wants to have a word with you.
In a dark alley.
  • + 7
 The coho snapping Matt's line - you could feel the adrenaline and agony of defeat!
  • - 1
 Sad part is it was self-inflicted, you can see the knot snapped at the barrel swivel! Good looking silver too.
  • + 7
 That was beautiful, gentlemen. Well done.
  • + 7
 This is the best piece of mtb content I've seen in a while.
  • + 6
 content like this is just yet another reason why Matt Hunter is my favorite rider of all time!
  • + 7
 Feeding off each other
  • + 3
 I see what you did there with your Seasons reference.
  • + 5
 So good. Keep it coming guys!
  • + 3
 Man I always look forward to the next Matt Hunter video edit, but man this one exceeded my expectations!!! Living the dream Matty you "Legend"!!!
  • + 5
 Full name: Matt Fisher Hunter.
  • + 1
 I always enjoy Matt’s videos and vibes, but I’m a little disapointed by this “Disneylike” one.
IMHO it should have depicted some blood either hunting or slaughtering. Otherwise citybred idiots like me will think this is an easy challenge and try it on their own with awful consequences. Just sayin’
  • + 5
 awesome! i love that the first meal back was beers and doritos
  • + 5
 Matt Hunter is a cool dude. Awesome video!
  • + 1
 This will get me down voted, but this vid was a little too soft. It also had that “surfer movie” type feel to it with far to much emphasis on their feelings........but this is just me.
  • + 4
 All kinds of awesome, congrats on your adventure!
  • + 4
 Awesome.
  • + 3
 Is vagina considered meat?
  • + 5
 Which animal?
  • + 2
 Dang... Venison, Coho, Mussels, Chanterelles, Huckleberries - those look like some nice meals!
  • + 3
 Did anyone else find it ironic that Matt was wearing a Cliff Bar hat?
  • + 1
 What I want to know is who brought the net? It's a beauty but that's no Kamloops rainbow you've got there.

Well done guys. That was a really great video.
  • + 1
 Dont have time to watch this at the moment. I'll be back tonight after work!!!
  • + 1
 'I wish I had more hands. I'd give this film 4 thumbs up!' Thanks guys for filming/posting/sharing.
  • + 1
 The agony when he loses the fish. Really great video. Could have been longer for sure.
  • + 1
 So awesome.. Matt is part animal after all, He has the stomach of a dog.. its just the other guys lucky to be aliveSmile
  • + 1
 Maybe one day my dreams becomes a reality and I will ride/go to trip with Matt like this Big Grin
  • + 1
 next step is some cooking tips with food collected . it is not foodless is it food more with what you fond or hunt . miamy
  • + 2
 Anyone know what type of wood stove they were packing around with them?
  • + 0
 The tipi and stove looks like a Kifaru set-up to me.

kifaru.net
  • + 3
 It's a super sweet collapsible titanium stove. "Seekoutside
  • + 3
 Vegan outrage in 3..2..1
  • + 9
 Far from it, I would suggest this is just the kind of thing most people should experience once in a while. They were clearly hungry. Locating, collecting, cooking, eating, storing and carrying food became their daily routine, nothing else. They had the tools, skills and knowledge, but still struggled. Essentially something as simple as eating enough takes alot of time and energy.

For most of us(likely to be reading this) food is very easy to come by. This sort of experience can perhaps start someone questioning where the food they eat is coming from, how has it been produced, what resources were used, at what cost and so on. The answers to these questions will be personal and vary all over the world. But it is the answers to these questions that are steering more and more people to choose vegan.

I'm vegan obviously but I would quite happily eat the way they did in the same circumstances. I'm pretty certain they've never eaten food quite so tasty and satisfying, meat included. I've my own small experience of the buzz of wild berries and the unrivaled pick me up they bring and chewing down fish bones because I craved every last bit of flesh of the tiny fish it took two hours to catch. I gained an appreciation of where my food came from. Being vegan is far more than saving the cute little animals, I only wish more vegans would see that!
  • + 0
 I think that when Matt returns to Patagonia I will invite him to fish and ride trails in bikepacking format
  • + 2
 Awesome trip
  • + 2
 Gave me chills-- amazing
  • + 2
 best movie on pinkbike
  • + 2
 Incredible.
  • + 2
 Epic!
  • + 1
 Is that a full suspension bike with panniers?
  • + 1
 can we get a whole series on this please
  • + 1
 That was amazing!! Pinkbike more of this please!
  • + 1
 This could have been a hour long or more.
  • + 1
 Nick needs a sock sponsor.
  • + 1
 So many people seriously take that "foodles" adventure.. ))
  • + 1
 So inspiring, make me want to plan my own trip!
  • + 1
 how did they take a stove on their bikes?
  • + 2
 It's a super sweet collapsible titanium stove. "Seekoutside"
  • + 1
 Great video as usual. ????
  • + 1
 The post-trip bag of Doritos made me chuckle.
  • + 1
 So good. Really enjoyed that video. Very inspiring.
  • + 1
 Great content! Loved it, thanks boys
  • + 0
 that rack of ribs looks like it came from sika black tail deer yummy
  • + 1
 Simply put: awesome.
  • + 0
 Two thumbs up. Meat for the win!
  • + 1
 Procore
  • + 0
 Awesome movie !
  • - 3
 fricken awesome!!! love it! eat meat! live off the land and hurt all the snowflakes!
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