The Wild Route: Leaving Work and Home for a Forest Life | NBC Left Field

The Wild Route: Leaving Work and Home for a Forest Life | NBC Left Field


I would find myself sitting at my desk, wishing the day was over so I could home. And then I would wish that it was Friday so I could have the weekend off, and I wished my next vacation was coming up, and I realized that I was very literally wishing away my life. Does life ever feel so crazy, so nuts, that you just want to drop your phone into a toilet and retreat to the woods? Confession: I have, and yet I’m still here. But how off the grid can you really go these days? Well, I went to the woods in North Carolina and spent time with some people who’ve left, and are trying to figure it out. As modern people, we’ve evolved to this extent where we’re not capable of feeding ourselves, clothing ourselves, providing our own water, or even getting rid of our own **** and piss. This place is called Wild Roots. I didn’t name it. We don’t have policies, and we don’t have rules. And this is Todd, a former engineer, who’s been living in this community the longest. Even after eleven years, I get a big thrill every time I go to the stream and just take a drink. It just feels good to me. Harvest season is over. There’s hunters that give us meat. We can it. We did a couple hundred quart jars of meat this year. Erica’s my girlfriend, and her eight-year-old daughter, May… What’re you doing? They spend a lot of time here. Smelling it? Then there’s a guy who goes by the name of Whip. Whipporwill! Say what? Awesome. Makes it magical. He’s kind of another refugee from technology like myself. He was working in cybersecurity. There are other things that come with the bear, like, the claws, or special bones that you can use for different kinds of crafts. That’s a bear skull, covered in a huge amount of maggots. Yeah, I can barely even shake them off. Whoa! My God. I can’t keep quiet for that. I miss some aspects of that kind of logical problem-solving, but I feel fully engaged with the problems I deal with here. Then there’s a young woman named Sparrow. Some people come here, say, “Well, if **** hits the fan, we can survive.” I think that’s pretty cool. I’ve also here because I love how it is here. I think it’s really beautiful, this lifestyle. Now, this lifestyle, of living off the grid, as we often call it, might seem like it’s a relatively new phenomenon, especially as we get more technologically involved. After all, just last year, the average American spent eleven hours, basically half a day, in front of a screen. But in fact, humans have been downshifting, or voluntarily living simply, throughout history to refute the norm. Thoreau went to Walden Pond from moral exploration and a rejection of the Industrial Age. Gandhi took his path as a sociopolitical act. And, you’ve got the Epicureans, the Puritans, the Quakers, the hippies… But, what unites all of these people across time is the viewpoint that mainstream culture distracts from what’s most important. Part of my transition is to be embracing an alternative that I feel deeply joyful about. Wednesday, cloudy. A chance of showers in the morning. I really do feel a deep gratitude for for life, you know? For all the trees around and the birds singing… And that the crops grow — I mean the food — it just grows! Money doesn’t grow on trees, but I don’t need it if the chestnuts grow on trees. And what happens when we shift our priorities? Well, two academics found that people who live in a way that prioritizes intrinsic values, like community, relationships, personal growth — are happier than those who focus on extrinsic ones, like money and status and image. Case in point: Todd. It seemed like the more money I’ve had in my life, the less freedom I’ve had. My level of freedom is higher, and I have a lot of joy. Hope for the mass of humanity? I gave that up a long time ago. And I feel like giving up hope is a lot like taking a great big good dump: you just kind of feel clean and done afterwards. Yep. It’s been raining all morning and now the sun’s coming out. There’s a lot of joy in that. You know, it doesn’t matter what Trump’s doing. He can’t take that away from me. We’re not in this bubble, pretending that society doesn’t exist. We’re like hyper-aware that society exists, and we reap the bounty that we can from the scrap yards, the junkyards, from dumpsters. It looks just like Luna. Pretty similar. She’s from a different region, though. I went to town two days ago. It was my first town trip in like a month and a half or something. This is a sheep head. And I see just one person after another person like this: Like I feel like people are becoming robots, you know? I go to town once every week or so. I get online and just sort of check out the ***ed-up state of the world. Then I get myself a latte because I love my lattes. Soy. My mother and father are still alive. And I don’t want to lose contact with these people, so in order to truly escape, I’d have to give up a lot of things that I like. It’s also the fact that as modern people, we have destroyed the ecosystems to an extent that even if we did know how to live off them, there’s just not much left. We can get into this sort of turning the concepts in on themselves, because we’re still completely dependent on, you know, normal industrial society. But I really miss the people. I had good friends. I’m miss, you know, like knowing what my paycheck was gonna be. It was kinda nice knowing I was gonna have a good chunk of change in the next two weeks. And of course, you know, we’re basically wealthy white people living in an area that hasn’t been utterly demolished. You know, being on the fringes, you get away with a lot more than if my skin was darker than it is, or if I wasn’t as well-educated, or if I didn’t have all my teeth, I know that I would be looked at very differently by the police. And I’m gonna try not to use it to anybody else’s disadvantage, except the police. A graduate degree in engineering seems like a speck of **** compared to time to just—instead of sitting in an office, breathing recycled air, and, you know, going clickety clickety click on a computer — being down there, drinking that water and just being free … To me, that feels like a huge accomplishment.

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100 Replies to “The Wild Route: Leaving Work and Home for a Forest Life | NBC Left Field”

  1. Love those hints of Sparrow’s music… sounds from the fringe; would love to hear more. It beckons to a part of me also yearning to be ‘freer,’ if not totally free in that way.

  2. So I tried to find out how to email
    or write to these guys , but I'm missing
    something here , it says contact us in
    the spring . Well , , I'd love to talk to someone
    there …

  3. Be careful with soy if your a man- it has estrogen in it- turn men I to sissys- I use junk to build my cob house- you should boil yr waster lol- there still can be giardia in fresh streams if there are dead animals etc- it's an extra precaution- I had an artesian spring where I used to live- no problem with possible contamination –

  4. Don’t drink out of the stream. Full of animal piss and shit not to mention dead carcasses up stream. At least filter it moron!

  5. This guys going against the government. We need to start somewhere guys! he’s took the first step to making THE WORLD great again.

  6. This is such a bulls..t. These people pollution forest like it is an toilet. Just look at that junk and they are using animals for fur, this guy should be in jail..

  7. So are they Communists or Nazis? EDIT: Oh I see they're some kind of Communist-Anarchist hippie wannabes that think they're whiiite (whatever the fuck that means this month), they hate themselves, they think that there are racists hiding behind every building, they hate Donald Trump (why?), they think that the planet's been destroyed and they're having some kind of an awakening. These types always seem to be having some kind of an awakening don't they? Let me guess next they name their next kids Moonbeam and Starshine, get even more dumb tattoos, then they draw up a plan about how they're going to firebomb some kind of a government facility but they never get around to doing it because they first decide to live alongside some bears and then they get eaten up like that one guy, right? Or they just get shot while throwing Molotov cocktails at said facility. Come on, that's totally what's going to happen. PS: And the dog's named Communism, huh? Right… Good job CBS, as usual. PS2: Somebody tell them that the planet has 8 billion people on it and climbing. Also if they're so wealthy and such big hippies why don't they just donate their money to somebody else? And what does any of this have to do with Gandhi? Fucking retards. PS3: I love how now they basically agree with the Nazis. Adolf would be proud. You just can't make this shit up…..

  8. There is NOTHING natural about modern day society. We are suppressing our natural instincts on a daily basis and wondering why the fuck we're so depressed. We have
    Immersed ourselves in pollution and greed and instant gratification. Actually the seven deadly sins. How disgusting have we become. The sooner we go back off grid and become self sufficient again and start living FREE the better, because that's our real purpose.

  9. Yet all those millions of poor farmers in rural China chose to move to the cities and work in factories. . To give their kids better education so they don't have to work the land. . can't be all that good.

  10. As a 21 year old, graduated college and did everything right. I’m sick of the modern world. I just want to be happy and live my life, not living my whole life in a capitalist job that takes the life out of me.

  11. soyboy…everything was fairly good and inspiring up until he mentioned politics smh… Love the concept tho

  12. cant you guys make soap from indigenous plants, there's enough water to be more cleaner and be well organized.

  13. Just wandering who owns the land that yall are living.on…because I could do this ….but its a land thing…you go deep enough where no one can find you…it gets into a saftey thing….or did yall find a loop hole in the gov land to set up shop….just wandering…I like it….because some of us is made for this…and the rat racers can have it.. you know ….i think Alaska has put an end to homesteading…and thats the last place that I knew where you could do something.like this….this is like worth alot…as far as being free…from literal hell

  14. who owns the land? Are they illegally squatting on public or private land? While I agree with the lifestyle, freeloading is unacceptable.

  15. They have three pickup trucks, and they are hunting bears, and others animals, seems like they are doing more harm than good to the nature around them.

  16. 😒Exactly, yes it's very easy to act like and live like you're homeless when you're already a millionaire….come on now

  17. I'd love to live more of a "city life" in a better society. Because in a better society, living a "city life" wouldn't mean being a slave to the unhealthy system. But that's the society we live in now. And we have to get rid of it because society will always exist. Get rid of the current one and create a better one, where the leading people focuses on the health of the nation and its people. That's called nationalism, and is the complete opposite of our current society (depending on where you live now, I guess).

  18. That is not a forest life.
    A forest life is silent in it's existence.
    No banging on metals. No technology's beyound nature.

    You folks a just pure YouTube hippies.

  19. Like how open fire food&cups of tea taste that early morning due those sleepless stary nights makeing all the noise you like.thanks

  20. this is a load of rubbish
    complaining abut people looking at there phones when you went to town
    and all you want is people to watch you with your tits out
    this is bull shit

  21. Why do they insist on living in rickety shacks and wear filthy clothes? Looks more like mentally dysfunctional bums than people that just want to live off grid.

  22. Yehhh, I stoppd abt half-way thru ths to read the comments. I'm (purty-much) a loner for tha same reasons these commune-types are. I, stopd watching programmed t.v. CRAP 30+ yrz bak (& SOLD my t.v.'s) whn I realized how insidious & deplorable it was. I, used to be in tha I.T.-field, but now, I jus take care of MY stuf (& family — occasionally). I, bathe less thn tha avrg 'civilized 'person UNLESS I, hav sum kind of social-event to attend; thn, I bathe THOROUGHLY so tht I'm clean & well-groomed, amongst others, so as — not to 'offend'. Point is: 'IF'…, I, was living 'out there' (sum-wher…) I'd still be cleaner thn all these peeps. Therz MUCH to be said about personal-hygiene; Good-HEALTH being tha primary-concern.

  23. I think this is.proof that our phones are already AI devices my entire family and power company drained my bank account my family told me they would pay me it all back even bought my parents a classic car last month I asked just for five dollars to buy my son's meds my entire family ran us out of town pennyless my son asked what are we going to do I told him be positive look around God made us rich their is food all around I told him how my grandparents thought me all the edible plants and how to read animals tracks we are going off the grid. We would love to visiting this place on our way up North

  24. Fuck this guy and his Liberal shit! My God, I came here to get away from Politics and I gotta hear about Trump and the implication of cops being racist! WTF man can't get away from Politics even if we go all the way out in the woods! We still find these ignorant bafoons! I'm a dislike on this shit show!

  25. They only pretend to be happy… There is something sacred about mother nature but she has no forgiveness. The fact that the guy is still a liberal ideologue who loves his lattes just goes to show how engrained he has become in social indoctrination. His mind is still held captive, he just let go of his mobility and money. The natives were more integrated, had tradition and values that maintained survivability and belonging and they knew how to bathe. These poor souls are trying to adapt to a way of living with the upbringing, skill sets, and ideologies of a society without aim or purpose.

  26. Ramshackles for a man with a graduate engineering degree, and I don't intend to be negative, but to inspire optimism that he can build better living conditions. I'm proficient in basic carpentry.

  27. I pretty sure that there's actually studies that show that the world we live into where we get up go to school/work, come home and cook something we bought from a store, doesn't keep us busy enough and that leads to anxiety and depression. Unlike living of the land and having to fight for survival which and prevent or help reduce anxiety and depression

  28. I'd like to kill the word Reality or make it like cursing bc there isn't such a thing it's a mere concept a Preference perhaps even
    Bc these people and the others that choose this way of life are seeing that reality is based on perspective ie The Elite Hierarchy of this world don't see the life of the 40hr/week they don't worry about bills yada yada their reality is entire Freedom while the 40hr/week man feels free but is only a paid slave ushering the elitists freedom Slavery Never Ended It Evolved I wish y'all reading this the best this insight to life is a blessing

  29. I’m a little surprised how poorly they have decided to live off the grid. You can have properly constructed shelter, organized and clean areas. Also, drinking straight from a stream is dangerous, there can be dangerous bacteria from animal feces. All of this can be done much better then what they are showing. This seems pretty haphazard. They feel more homeless then living off the grid. With that aside I completely agree with their philosophy.

  30. was gibt Armut entwicklung politik!
    was von gründ einkommenen haben die Armut leute, die rentner, die haushalter, die Arbeitsucher, die Arbeiter finden sie unterschiede reichtum und Armut, wer entwickelt am meisten wieder reichtum, wer schuldet und schuld aufbaut wieder reichtumer, alles was neue gräte, machinen company besetzen, besetzen banken, militäre, Öl, gas, petroschimie, waffen, kredite und macht weiter, was von gründeinkommenen diereichen haben vergleichen sie welche zeite gewinnen wieder welche seiten verliren! genau die gewine zeit die reichtum mehr als 7% gestigen!* Armut bezeichnet der mengel an von der Exestenzministerium unverzeichnetbaren gütern, an damit vervundenen freiheiten und auch Gesellschaftlichen teilhaber, * Armut verständnissen lasen sich danach unterscheiden,ob sie (a) mehr demosionale und (b)absolut oder relativ sind, wären (a) ein demosionale verständnissen überwiegend Einkommenen armut zurückgereifen,* betonen mehr demosionalen verständnisse die irreduzible vielschichtigkeitda pänomens Armut, die Arbeiter versuchen mehrere zeit Arbeiten weil nicht genüg verdint, weil ihrem familie nicht verantwortet kann, weill die materelle alle neuigkeiten kostet zu viel alles tüer geworden ihrem innhabe leistungen steige nicht! * die Armut und Entwicklungen politik Ausgearbeitet, ansatz viele felre und wechselbare politik von media am meisten auch zeitungen reagiren wollen nicht weiter Armut sich entwickeln kann! * die freiheiten als Armut kann auch weiter felenden verfügen über jeder bildung, ümschulung,weiterbildung, Ausbildung umschulung,, fortbildung, bafög und zu weiter, der möglichkeiten der individuation oder soziale inklution als Armutspenomene fassen, denoch sind am weitesten verbreitet die vonWeltbank festgelegten Einkommenen grenzen für Exterme und Absolute Armut 1,52 dollar oder 2 dollar kaufkraftprarität pro kopf und tag, suchen sie diese welt wie viele Armut leben, suchen sie diese welt wieviel menschen Amtag Armut hüngerig ohne medezine und soziale sicherungen sterben! die unterhalbderer gegenwärtig welt weit 1,37, bzw, 2,56 milliarden mehr menschen ihrem leben fristen mussen! lesen sie Word bank an, von zehn jahre hier bis heutige zeit! * wählend absolute Armutverständnisse meist auf universale mindesbedürfnisse an narrung, schutz von witerrung und gesundheitsversorgung, zurückgereifen, heben aber relative verständnissen hier vor, das Armut immer noch gesellschaftlich abhängig ist, breit damals Adam smith betonte, das in der England seine zeit ohne scham in der offentlichkeit nur erscheinen konnte, wer über eine leihnen hemd und lederschuhe verfügte relative verständnisse von deperiviation knüpfen aus paragematischen gründen hüfig an das durchschnitseinkommen eine Gesellschaft an! unsre leben gehört uns nicht, unsre kraft, erfahrungen alles im Arbeitstellen bringen Armut verlire und reichtum gewinne, wenn nicht Armut sich als politik entwikeln kann weiter reichtumer sich kandidiet!Ahmad Hesam

  31. You say from the "Left" can be from the "right " . Try not to prejudge Left and Right , Black and White , Rich and poor . We can all have these values without the opposition.

  32. I’d want to give them all baths, brush their teeth,wash their hair n clean their clothes ……. but hey they r happy so …..

  33. I was watching this from my clickety click screen, breathing recycled air. I'm typing this using my typity type keyboard. I'm not white, educated or wealthy.

  34. leave the suffering of the shitstem..the confusion of society to go live on the land…what if hundreds of thousands of folks started throwing away their dumbphones and their computers and tv and all the shit they don't need? it would impact those companies making that rubbish to trap your mind in and make $$$ from u…if millions did this it could crash the whole shitstem and become the new way of life on the planet…a quiet revolution…perhaps what jim morrison referred to as the soft parade…an exodus of people out of cities and towns and into forests and bushlands

  35. Awesome, learn to hunt, dive, and fish, and how to grow vegetables. If you know how to do these things, food becomes free. As you said, you don't need money. The sea or river becomes your seafood store, and the bush becomes your butcher. Living this kind of life is very positive, like prejudice, laziness, the desire for things, will eventually become non existence. Because your life will be base on need, not want. Your life becomes stress free, because there is nothing to worry about, like paying Bill's, or running out of money, worrying about your kids, because they would be with you everyday, best education for you kids is knowing how to live of the land, which beats urban life anyday. Lots more positives, but get the basic skills down, and man you are on your way to a great life. From New Zealand good luck, you made a great choice.

  36. Can't they visit a dollar store and buy soap? Or learn how to make soap ? The only clean humans are the dogs, the rest look worse than homeless.

  37. What is absent from minds it seems is the intrinsic value exists as the extrinsic way both together. Try to separate it and you get the ignorance of those trying to point out the flaws of those with their faces stuck in a screen. Those separate are viewed as nutcases without their faces stuck in a screen. I usually say to take a bird,cut it in half,throw it on the ground and see if any of the two halves will get up and fly away. Really I see the only way anything will come full circle is for the whole lot to die. Or perhaps, because too many are unwilling for that the whole lot will fight to survive. This has usually been the way of it. It may be different as some say it's not like it used to be. I however would say it's not a fight to save the eco system or renew it but the struggle of the ego system and where it fits in if at all. If one gives or even if they both align,it seems still that there must be a complete dying of all there is. Even for it all to live…

  38. Im about to go on one of my last away work trips then im buying o small leace of land off grid dome home solar and being an infj personality its to hard bring me around all the hate and menral comotion. Im so much at peace alone in the wild so my soul is begging me to do this and its something i can do cant wait maby ill start a chanel about my jurney think this will be a good idea let me know

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