Best place to live in the woods long-term? (1 Viewer)

mkirby

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I'm starting to get sick of being the city and I think I'm almost ready to spend some time surviving the natural way. Let's say me and a couple of friends wanted to go kick it in the forest for a couple of months...what's the best place in North America to go do that? I want to find a spot where I can build a permanent structure to live in and have a fire, etc. without getting fucked with by cops or park rangers. I also want it to be a place with a decent abundance of wild edible/medicinal plants, fresh water, and game to hunt, that kind of thing. Where should I go?
 
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Kalalau

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Kalalau... it's everything you want except for the north america part.... one thing I know is that most people can't hack the woods by themselves... they need community... unless you're mostly antisocial... I'm sure there's other places... but I'm not sure where they are....
 

finn

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No matter where you are, a fire is not something you can hide so easily, unless you're really careful about the smoke. I've heard of small caves which were made inside of crevices, designed to hide the smoke and light of the fire, so that food could be cooked, but it's not exactly an easy task. With summer ending and winter coming, I'd advise you work on your skills before you head out into the woods. The warm months should be when you're building up your larder... Either way, you also have to worry about ATVers as well as everyone else if you want to be hidden. I remember a news story about a father and daughter pair who lived in the woods in the pacific northwest for a while before some endurance runners stumbled upon their camp- maybe around there?
 

uncivilize

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The father/daughter were living in Forest Park in Portland. There's a fictional account based on their story called My Abandonment, pretty good read, a little annoying because it's written from the perspective (and style) of a 12 year old girl. They were still fulfilling many of their needs from the city.

Like finn said, winter is not the best time for you to do this unless you really know what you're doing. You want to be LIVING in the woods, not surviving. Fall is the time to put up alot of food you'll be needing when the cold comes, collect firewood, build a good shelter, get your clothing, blankets together, etc.

The best place to go? Depends on your knowledge/experience, and the resources available, just find what you need. There are vast open areas all over North America. To truly "live off the land" hunter/gatherer style, you'll have to have a group of experienced people, and for it to be sustainable, you'll need more acreage than you'd think. Might be a good idea to do it near where road kill would be a resource. Shit I started rambling, there's so much that can be said about this. Are you really ready yet?
 
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mkirby

mkirby

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I wasn't talking about doing this tomorrow, I would wait until next spring and I would definitely bring some people with me who have more wilderness experience than me, and improve my survival skills in the meantime.

Would smoke really matter if you were miles into the woods? you'd think small amounts of it would be disregarded because there are so many natural fires that occur....what if you only cooked at night?
 

Diagaro

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not even bothering to read entire thread before posting reply but whatever.
I say the cascades or the olympics in washington state.
you can get soooo deep in that you will never see hide nore hair of hikers, hunters or baged officials and you can still be close enough to civilization incase you bit off more than you can chew and break your leg or start the long death of starvation.
when i was 12 years old i took the ferry across from my home town of lynnwood to kingston and walked up the highway till i saw no more mailboxes. i lived back there the better part of my 12 year on this planet. there was times of starvation and severe weather and i had to teach my self to hunt and forage but it was hell - the best hell i ever experienced ever
my advice is to make a net out of reeds dont bother with a fishingpole its just more shit to get snagged on foliage and its clumsy in the wild
everything you may ever need can be made from what surounds you you just have to be cleveri trapped a full doe with no young (thankfully) my first month there skin, gut and cook all meat ASAP eat what you can and donot eat anything else after 24 hours unless you have snow to keep it on ice witheven then there is bacteria in the snow wich will give you disyntary and shit if you ingest it so a second cooking is necessary.
bring lots of dehydrated foods otherwise
 

LeeevinKansas

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Like uncivilize said, you need alot of acreage to truly live off the land.

in my own experiences, which are not so much living as surviving, find a woody area in the countryside, in a rural area if possible. It might be a good idea to have a gas station somewhere close by, close as in like 5-10 miles, so if you end up sucking at living in the forest, you have something to fall back on. This kinda lifestyle is common knowledge for the most part.

Find a river to live by, that has fish in it, at the very least crawdads or crabs, something you can eat. If possible find an area with lots of Birch trees, as the bark can be used for a plethora of things, from bedding to building shelter. Also Honeylocust trees are another option to look for. Their innner wood is extremely durable, and in ancient time was used to make bows, but they also are good for making pikes for hunting food.

Try and pick up some books on edible plants, edible fungi, and medicinal herbs, cuz that knowledge can save your ass sometimes.
 

Cade

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I think it truly can depend on what enviroment you were brought up in because that way you will know even more about the area like its terrian, weather, food, water etc. For me, I would feel most comfortable living long term in the high desert. Only because I have spent many summers and winters in these places. This is not to say that you can't learn the area of course.

Some places that you might find interesting are the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. The entire place is a National Forest that does not allow any type of motorized vehicle enter, because there are no roads in the place. Canada is also very similiar in the fact that there are many place uncivilized and uncontrolled.

Read some books about the native plant life, animals and weather. Stock up on all of your supplies. Learn from others. And don't die out there!
 

distro

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spent 3 weeks in steamboat springs colorado camping up in the mountains there. saw some moose and buck. heard shot guns so i guess theres game. it gets lonely there. almost boring. never saw any park rangers or mountain rangers. even chased deer with a spear i made from pine. made some shelter outta fallen trees. i dunno. it was an alright time. learned alot of things bout myself.
 

vandalette

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spent 3 weeks in steamboat springs colorado camping up in the mountains there. saw some moose and buck. heard shot guns so i guess theres game. it gets lonely there. almost boring. never saw any park rangers or mountain rangers. even chased deer with a spear i made from pine. made some shelter outta fallen trees. i dunno. it was an alright time. learned alot of things bout myself.
And did some stick and poke tattoos and don't forget squirrel hunting.
 

adanisback

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Best place to live in the woods is probably out west (California) just because the weather is pretty nice all year around and would make for some comfortable living...that or Montana(weather can suck but its so fucking beautiful there)
 

Beegod Santana

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The pacific nw or nor-cal would be my main choices just because of the abundance of wildlife and the relative mildness of the weather. As far as fires go, I've had long term camps right next to towns that never got noticed, I doubt you'd have much trouble getting away with one out in the woods. People make living out in the woods sound like rocket science, but really a lot of stupid ass rednecks are doing it every day. If you really plan on going off the grid for an extended period of time though, I highly suggest you bring a rifle. I know its not the most natural thing in the world, but it could very well save your ass in the tough times.
 
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As far as fires go, I've had long term camps right next to towns that never got noticed, I doubt you'd have much trouble getting away with one out in the woods.
It's probably actually easier in some ways to hide a fire near civilization where smoke blends in better. I know that here in WA the DNR contracts with private pilots to fly fire patrol over some pretty remote areas during the summers. Smoke lying in a valley in the morning will guarantee a visit because it might be a smoldering forest fire in the making. After the fall rains start, anything goes.

If you really plan on going off the grid for an extended period of time though, I highly suggest you bring a rifle. I know its not the most natural thing in the world, but it could very well save your ass in the tough times.
Yup, a .22 equals food, safety, and an emergency signal. But it can also give you away and get you a court date rather than a warning. There's always trade offs.
 

LeeevinKansas

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just avoid people. look i know everyone tells you to head to the PNW forests and stuff, but thats considered pro-wilderness survivor. u needa start out something much more basic. i recommend the midwest. especially KS, OK, NE, MO, etc. we have lots of forest areas that arent as majestic as those in the west, but theyre still wild enough to train you.

1. Flint Hills - KS

Flint Hills - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

GO to the flint hills as your number one option. Its a large area encompassing much of eastern kansas, and it consists of many rolling hills dotted in woodland forests and many a river and stream. Its a perfect area to learn to live in the forest. The majority of the land is not owned. Alot of it is, but alot more isnt. As far as people goes, theres a very small chance of you having to worry about anyone spotting your camp, or spotting your presence. Theres various small towns that dot the landscape, but still spread out enough to make the area in betweens pretty damn rural.

2. The Ozarks - MO

The Ozarks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ive been here alot of times, most of the time to actually camp, but ive also shown up a few times to just live in the woods. Most of the area from what ive seen that is around lakes and some of the rivers, have been turned into wilderness resorts, camping resorts etc. But alot of the rest of th eland is just government owned im assuming. The weather is a bit cooler than the flint hills though, and the forests seem to be a bit thicker.

Theres more too, Ks is literally riddled with them, but the flint hills is the most popular. The same goes for MO. OK, and NE, have various forest/wooded areas too, but ive never spent much time in them.

YOu dont wanna head all the ways out the west to get stuck up in some crazy extreme ecological system if u dnt know next to nothing about wilderness survival. Alot of it is common sense, but that being said you have to adjust you common sense to the different situations youll come across in different foresty areas, and trust me, its smarter to start with the basic.
 

adanisback

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just avoid people. look i know everyone tells you to head to the PNW forests and stuff, but thats considered pro-wilderness survivor. u needa start out something much more basic. i recommend the midwest. especially KS, OK, NE, MO, etc. we have lots of forest areas that arent as majestic as those in the west, but theyre still wild enough to train you.

1. Flint Hills - KS

Flint Hills - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

GO to the flint hills as your number one option. Its a large area encompassing much of eastern kansas, and it consists of many rolling hills dotted in woodland forests and many a river and stream. Its a perfect area to learn to live in the forest. The majority of the land is not owned. Alot of it is, but alot more isnt. As far as people goes, theres a very small chance of you having to worry about anyone spotting your camp, or spotting your presence. Theres various small towns that dot the landscape, but still spread out enough to make the area in betweens pretty damn rural.
honestly LeeevinKansas you just solved my destination problem lol thanks man! That place looks so god damn beautiful. Thanks again hahaha
 

warphead

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How hard is it to stay on BLM land indefinitely? I know you have to move from campsite to campsite; but what about off the beaten trails on BLM property? Any advise?
 
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Once you learn how to live in the wild, head to some real forest. Its not easy, and its going to be rough, and you dont need a gun which is illegal. I spent over 2 months with a freind alone in the wild, and it was amazing, breathtaking, and i wouldnt have changed anything in the world for it. All you have to do is research, and be safe. I teach survial in the woods, so please, do not read into the wild, and run out to the woods. This is NOT safe. Ive been at 10,000 feet in august, on a 2 foot rock wall, and had a huge snow storm and 25 degree weather and 50 mph winds come ripping down the valley in the tetons, you need to be able to make shelter fast, and keep warm, also bears. The area im talking about is the national forests around yellowstone, other then alsaka, it is the most remote area in the lower 48. I spent 2 months in the wind river range, the bridger teton national forest, the shoshone national forest, and the caribou targhee national forest, all on wiki, and all over a million acres, we literally hitchhiked 20 miles, and walked in, you need to be safe! ask me questions if you want to know more what you need to have

Warm clothing.
Carbs, rice, potatoes.
Fly flishing gear and know how to do this, the streams are loaded with huge fish, we eat fish ever night, it was amazing
No a little rock climbing, because your gonna wanna climb a mountain
Bear spray, i have had to bear spray 2 bears, i always carry a .45 caliber ruger, but the bear spray i use first, and it has worked twice without having to put rounds into the bear. you would be fine with a 15 dollar bottle on any animals.

You will be amazed with the beauty of this place. The hidden valleys.

The two of us found 1750 dollars in gold flakes panning for gold when we were bored out there in the streams way up in the mountains in the wind river range.

ENJOY. BE SAFE.

Also, have a map of the area and a compass, its impossible to get lost with a little detail and knowing how to use it, very simple, you can hike in off trail

2 months. thousands of bears, fish, moose, wolves, eagles, snakes, not one human. i cant wait for this summer.

Wind River Range - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shoshone National Forest - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Starnightwolf

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Best place i know of is BC canada. Good source of plants and food and easy to get away with being there. Only problem to me there is the bears.
I plan to go there and live off the land in a few years.
 

nadaynadie

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trapped a full doe with no young (thankfully) my first month there skin, gut and cook all meat ASAP eat what you can and donot eat anything else after 24 hours unless you have snow to keep it on ice witheven then there is bacteria in the snow wich will give you disyntary and shit if you ingest it so a second cooking is necessary.
Another thing you can do is learn to dry meat so you don't have to throw it out. It's pretty easy to do and a great skill to have. Once it's dried, the meat will last a long time.

I want to find a spot where I can build a permanent structure to live in and have a fire, etc. without getting fucked with by cops or park rangers. I also want it to be a place with a decent abundance of wild edible/medicinal plants, fresh water, and game to hunt, that kind of thing. Where should I go?
The best attitude for this kind of experience (in my opinion) is to embrace the wilderness and do as little as possible to disrupt it. Some people head to the wilderness, cut down the plants randomly, scare the wildlife, and try to recreate all the comforts of the city. I don't get the point of that. Plus, it's nice if you don't leave a mess for the next person who heads out. I've been to many places that would be beautiful if they weren't drowning in litter.
 

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