Hi, we're Malcolm Handoll and Rachel DuBois.
Our goal is to help you learn skills to rewild yourself, to be who you want to be...for yourself, your family and the planet.
Rewilding yourself is a lot like rewilding land -- you need to remove the harmful stuff, allow nature to heal (and heal you), and then help nature to flourish. One of the most effective ways to rewild yourself is to connect to nature, so we teach outdoor skills that help you do that in a fun, effective way.
Saving the planet starts with yourself
You can't help the planet if you're struggling with depression, illness, PTSD and chronic stress.
Rewilding yourself needs to be fun
Stress is a killer and enjoyment the antidote. Do what feels relaxing and fun.
No quick fixes
There are a lot of people promising easy solutions -- rewilding isn't one of them (alas). It takes time and gentle persistence.
A bit about us
- Malcolm left a job under the European Space Agency to run hostels in Snowdonia so he could spend as much time as possible outdoors
- Walking in the mountains healed his PTSD from a tragic accident at 16, leading him to become a trained Mountain Leader
- Rachel used rewilding to heal her Chronic Fatigue and fibromyalgia which had left her bedbound and the NHS said was incurable
Our courses aren't about showing how macho you are, or playing around with fire or tools. Our goal is to help you become the person you were always meant to be before life got in the way, before you were shut down by a society that values money above all else.
We've been featured on the BBC Adventure Show, The Herald, The Scotsman, BBC Radio, and The Courier amongst others.
Some of our favourite articles
Our Story: Malcolm
I've always felt connected to nature, probably because my mum sent me outdoors from the time I was a baby. I spent hours and hours in our garden and walking the countryside in Wales.
When I was 16, a devastating road accident killed a good friend and seriously injured me. I didn't realise it at the time, but I had undiagnosed PTSD which meant my efforts to get my university and masters degrees and have a 'normal' life were pretty much doomed to failure.
Eventually, I left my job under the European Space Agency and went to work for hostels because that let me spend hours walking the mountains of Snowdonia. During that time, nature began to heal me. I moved to Scotland and trained as a Mountain Leader at Glenmore Lodge.
I created Five Senses because I wanted to help other people experience the joy and calm that the outdoors always brings me, but also because it's time for us to start giving back to nature, to save ourselves by saving the planet.
Our Story: Rachel
Unlike Malcolm, I never really connected that much to nature as a kid. I grew up focusing on getting good grades, so my life had little time for the outdoors. I got into the best university I could, then went on to a corporate web design job in Washington, DC. I hated it, but I needed pay the bills.
Then I came on holiday to Scotland and met Malcolm. We got engaged after two weeks, much to our families' surprise! I left America and the corporate life behind to settle in rural Scotland.
A few years later, what I had dismissed as allergies or work stress turned into a debilitating chronic illness which left me bedbound and in constant pain.
We were told my illness was incurable and to get to used to it. I missed years of my son's growing up because I was so ill, so I refused to accept that I would be stuck in bed for the rest of my life. Malcolm and I went on a quest that has resulted in what we share here.
Rewilding myself has meant several years of big changes and daily effort. I really, really wanted a quick fix but never found one. Instead, I've had to radically change my diet to a version of the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet (mostly organic meat and vegetables -- goodbye sugar, grains, alcohol), learn how to deal with stress by connecting to nature, meditating, energy medicine, functional medicine, hypnosis and more. It's a lot. I always say if I wrote a self-help book, no one would read it because we're all looking for the one thing we need to do, not the 20!
But living on a rewilding estate like Bamff has meant that I'm surrounded by nature, and I rely on the trees and plants around me daily to continue the process of healing my illness.
Like Malcolm, I've experienced the astonishing power of nature to heal. But unless you have the skills, or have the extraordinary luck to grow up in nature like Malcolm did, it's hard to access that healing power.
That's why together, our focus is on helping people connect to nature. Whether you're suffering from chronic illness like I was, or PTSD like Malcolm, or feel that there is more to life than what you've been experiencing -- that's there's more to YOU -- then I hope we can help.
We all have a role to play in making the world a better place. We look forward to getting to know you as you live yours.
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