Meet Mick Dodge, the man who lives in a tree stump out in the middle of the forest.
Mick once lived in the same hustle-bustle, high stress world you and I reside in, but he has since given all that up. The forest started to call his name after foot complications and modern day stress piled up on him.
One day, Mick said goodbye to his family and all of his worldly possessions, heading off into the forest where he planned to make a new home.
Mick has earned the nickname “The Barefoot Sensei” because he doesn’t wear any shoes walking around the dense forest floor. He ditched his shoes back in 1991 and credits this decision to healing his plantar fasciitis, back pain and hammer toes. He is a big proponent of going barefoot, Mick believes it heightens your senses and strengthens your bond with nature.
Mick loves living away from modern society, and he says he will never go back to his old lifestyle. He still enjoys some modern conveniences though, like his clothes. Mick relies on plastic garments to remain dry while living in a wet climate. He said, “The art of living out here is the art of staying dry.”
Mick recently started a business called EarthGym, in honor of his passion for physical fitness. He trains people out in the forest doing exercises with equipment provided solely by nature.
National Geographic has been filming Mick’s everyday life for a show called The Legend Of Mick Dodge, which is currently in its second season.
Mother Nature Network recently interviewed Mick, asking him about his food sources, namely during the winter. Mick said, “It is not difficult at all. It is an adventure and I have never had to deal with diminished food sources. I just follow my feet.”
“There is not much that I do not eat. I am an omnivore, able to eat a wide variety of food, which also means that I learned how to become a scavenger and allowed the hunger in my belly to guide me into discovering all kinds of food. For example, I would come upon an elk killed by a cougar. When a cougar kills an elk, the entire forest moves in to eat. So I do the same.”
“I often come upon road kill. Many people are scared of such food and yet they eat jerky … and jerky is nothing more than sun-dried meat. So what I eat during a normal week changes depending upon which one of the three terrains that I am footing my way through. But there is one highly spiritual food that I try to maintain in my stashes and storage places and that is chocolate-chip cookies. My grandmothers got me hooked on them.”
Photo Credit: National Geographic