National Geographic Society

  • Connect:

Meet Mick Dodge

Learn About The Pacific Northwest's Barefoot Survivalist

Mick Dodge demonstrates natural camouflage deep within the Hoh Rainforest.

Mick Dodge demonstrates natural camouflage deep within the Hoh Rainforest. (View larger version)

Photograph by Screaming Flea Productions

Published
Part warrior, part philosopher and part survivalist, Mick Dodge is not an easy man to define. One thing is indisputable: he lives his life on his own terms. 

Twenty-five years ago, Mick decided the modern world wasn't for him. After a childhood spent roaming the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, he decided to return to the Olympic Peninsula, walking away from civilization to live among the trees of the Hoh Rainforest. 

For the past several decades, Mick has wandered the coast of the Pacific as a barefoot nomad, following the tradition of the four generations of Dodge men who have called the Olympic Peninsula their home. Trained by his grandfather from a young age to listen to his primal instincts, Mick lives a barefoot life, thriving in his makeshift shelters in caves and trees.

 A former Marine and trained fighter in multiple martial arts, Mick considers himself a philosopher and pacifist, a former hunter who now chooses to run alongside his animal companions in the forest, leaving them at peace.

68 comments
G Bouras
G Bouras

Where does he live in the winter?  I wish they would do a show with him living in the forest in the dead of winter.  How does he keep from freezing?

Laura Banner
Laura Banner

This show is a fake. Mick got syrup out of a maple tree last night on the show. This was the first time I watched it. Come on! Seriously?! Sap comes out of a maple tree and needs to be boiled down to become syrup. He would have needed to boil about 3 gallons of sap to make as much syrup as he obtained from the tree. Not Mick though, he found a new maple species which can be tapped and out comes prepared syrup!. SO LAME

Jo-Ann Bertrand
Jo-Ann Bertrand

Hi Mick, My son would like know if you ever retrieved honey from a beehive.

Shawn Knight
Shawn Knight

Inspirational is a small word for what this old man is.

John Shields
John Shields

Thanks to Mick and the message of the show. Great stuff! We need a good mix of how we live, and how we can bring, respect, and love nature for for what it is. Many people don't experience the uncomfortable reality of the outdoors and have the time to appreciate the harshness, and the really appreciate the comforts we are afforded. A great lesson in minimalism. You always appreciate the wild stuff more when you live it! Go on Mick! ....and don't let anyone give you grief for wearing shoes...we all do, but how many have not? Walk a mile...right!? Hope you get the message. Thanks for your work you moss covered mushroom eater! ..with utmost respect) 

Frank James
Frank James

While I like to watch the show and love the outdoors I think im one of the few on here who doesn't want to join Mick for a week or two. Doesn't look like any fun to me.

Emily Merino
Emily Merino

Hello!


My name is Emily and I have a sister who is nearing 40 and experiencing a mid-life crisis.  She's had a world of dysfunction throughout her years and is at the point of a mental break down or worse.  She is the mother of four amazing kids.  We've talked countless hours around the same things and have yet to arrive at a solution.  I don't know what else to do at this point.  I've watched the show and am in awe of the life led by Mick Dodge.  I feel my sister needs to reconnect with her inner self, who she was before all the trauma started.  I'm begging for someone to please read this and take action.  I'm worried about her and her future or lack of if she continues on like this.  Please help!  I really think she would benefit by breaking free from everything that is her "life" right now and reconnecting with the "essence of life."  Again, please respond!! I don't know how else to reach out.  


Thank you!


Emily

Morrigan Odin
Morrigan Odin

I would just love to get out there for a couple of weeks with Mick! I live in the Appalachian Mountains, very secluded, on my own 20 acres! But I'd love to go out to the Pacific West for a vacation!

Justin Long
Justin Long

I love the show and his whole hearted Character SemperFi Brother

Stephen Teuton
Stephen Teuton

hello my name is stephen teuton and if anyone working for Mick Dodge can ask him if he would be willing to train me, it would make my life long dream come true. Im 20 years old and ever since i was a little kid I've always wanted to live in the wild.  I can make it to Washington whenever im contacted. 

linda mccullough
linda mccullough

love the show just wish I was a bit younger I would try living like this myself. just wonder what his age is ?

Austin Pierdolla
Austin Pierdolla

I would like to meet Mr. Dodge and his friends,  Also I would like to spend a month with him an friends to learn their way of life build me a house and live their with them.  I live on a farm but its still too close to people,  I am a very hardworking woman love animals and nature and think I can handle it. 

kenneth ostrowski
kenneth ostrowski

i love the show watched it lastnight i need to know from mick has he ever crossed paths with a bigfoot thats a hot spot for bigfoot sightings.............. ken

Michaerl Nitsch
Michaerl Nitsch

he has to sleep far enough off the ground so the bears cannot reach him. what a life.

and take dumps with the whole world watching.

Thomas Mech
Thomas Mech

If mick live,s of of nature what is he doing with the money the show give,s him he has money from proetys he owned. does he donate it to a charity or bank it himself we would like know

Shelly meredith
Shelly meredith

Can you give us an update on how Mick faired over this last winter? Are you going to follow him again? We enjoyed him and his sense of humor, as well as incredible knowledge of the forest and what it takes to live there with no modern amenities. Please bring Mick back.

Anthony Wescoe
Anthony Wescoe

Where can I send Mick money to help on his journey? Candles, gun powder, matches, and oh chocolate chip cookies.

Fred Lobe
Fred Lobe

I love the show Legend of Mick Dodge! I can relate to why this man loves the wilderness. I love and live for the times I go out in Gods country. If I didn't have a family I would go live in the wilderness.

I just hope they keep this show going. 

Gaven b.
Gaven b.

This man is truly inspiring in many ways. I feel a connection to the woods when I am in them but he has taken it to the next level. I feel like he is living proof that we can survive without technology. I personally think that is the lifestyle I want to live. I have admired him since I saw his show. I want to walk in his foot steps one day and I hope others join in the fight for survival.  

Gaven b.
Gaven b.

I love this show very inspiring it makes me want to go live with him I think that would be a much more beautiful life to live off of nature and let mother nature be your new home. I feel a deep connection to the forests around me I love every min. of it I can see why mick chose to live that life style. :)

Pedro Esteban
Pedro Esteban

The End from Metal Gear hahhaha! Is The real one!

Alli Scripture
Alli Scripture

Watching people like Mick really make me want to live the same lifestyle, but that thought process soon ends me up at the conclusion that me, like most others, simply cant do it. We are all in love with technology and as much as one loves nature, It takes a man like Mick to take it that final step further into living there. As a person who lives in Washington state, Ive seen the beautiful forests we have here, and I feel a kindred connection to Mick when he speaks about how beautiful those trees can truly be. I also sympathize with him when I see the loggers on his show. There once was a beautiful stretch of forest not even a block from my home, probably a good 20 square miles, not huge, but big enough for me. I had so many adventures there, I knew the paths well, I knew what animals lived there, I had hide-a-ways and little camps everywhere. Yet the loggers came, and cut out a huge stretch of the forest, most of which was what was close to my home. Its like watching Ferngully, which I suggest to anyone who loves nature. That soul crushing realization when you come across a destroyed logged forest, its like a little part of you just dies inside. I hope he allows the cameras there for many more years, Id love to see more of this. Oh, and curious fact, I'm related to Sun Ray Kelley! He's my Grandmother's Sister's son. ^_^ It was a pleasant surprise to see him in this show.

Autonomous Person
Autonomous Person

Mick has the courage to exercise his birthrights.  He abandoned slavery on the global plantation and discovered what it is like to be a free human being.  We have been brainwashed into trading our lives for pieces of paper.  Most people remain slaves their entire lives and have never experienced true happiness.

r. fernandez
r. fernandez

I love this man I think he is a

very brave man and a AWESOME man!!!!!!!!!

Georgel George
Georgel George

Did you notice that the Mike Dodge smile looks just like the big foot in the movie Harry and the Hendersons?

Georgel George
Georgel George

Did you notice that the Mike Dodge smile looks just like the big foot in the movie Harry and the Hendersons?

Michael Brown
Michael Brown

Hey I totally 1000% respect this man. He's more man then any of us men and women could imagine or ever be. If we had no electricity and gasoline what would it be then. Human live a fantasy of pure B.S. We pretend we own the land that we purchase on this planet. Well let me tell you, when this planet start to flex it's residential muscle we all will get a reality check on who land it really is. We live on this planet that is currently in a calm in nonvolatile state. But the way we human are polluting this beautiful Earth the natural harmony and balance has begun to be distorted and out of balance. Hence is turning this planet into a volatile state. We sit in front of our TV screen, computer screens and think we are in control what? This planet controls itself we are guest on this planet, and as guess look how we treat this planet. It's like we have another planet on some mystery super hard drive and can download it when we F_ _ K this planet up. Humans are animal like all animals on this earth. How can you police the whale, or a sea lion, or even a crab, or a rat.

 

crystal haskins
crystal haskins

I love, love, love this show so much. Mick Dodge is a awesome person and one day i would love to meet him! He is very smart and i understand why he is doing what he does, it is his life and who cares what other people think. You go Mick Dodge!! ;)

Matt Rustin
Matt Rustin

I'm sorry, but I don't find this show interesting at all! I like the outdoors also, Hunt, Fish, pay taxes.... I think there are laws about squatting on public lands.

William Sumner
William Sumner

I think Mick is a poacher. dungenness crab are a protected species. You must have a fishing license and a device to make sure the crab are of legal size and taken in a legal manner. I bet those crab were caught at the fish market.

nathan friedkin
nathan friedkin

I would very much like to be this mans apprentice. How would I go about finding him?

teresa hunt
teresa hunt

everything he says about being barefoot in the woods is true. i thought i was the only one. right on! 

teresa hunt
teresa hunt

everything he says about being bare foot in the woods is true.  

Diane Solem
Diane Solem

I like the show every much. A great way to live, learn ,teach the real way to live.   Diane

Tanya Doyle
Tanya Doyle

@Laura Banner  some maple trees species have thicker sap, it is Sugar Maple that has liquid sap. The show is not fake and neither is Mick, obviously you have no connection or appreciation to nature, so you don't know what is in the forests.

WinterStar ManyRoots
WinterStar ManyRoots

@Emily Merino Sounds like your sister needs help, that cannot be gotten by leaving her life behind, at this time.  It sounds like she is in pieces, a shattering of Spirit?    IF one fails to do what's needed to heal themselves, where they are, they will only take their broken bits wherever they go, and create the same problems.

One of the best things she has, is that you are supportive of her, just helping with morale support!    It's not safe for someone who is fragile like that, to be out in the wilds, though, it's seriously good to dabble their toes in some earthing, like going barefoot outdoors--even a little, as a start.

It might be a good vacation, to be out camping, if someone goes with her as a support person--for a weekend, or a week, to see how things go; spending time in nature is very good--but not necessary to run away to a rainforest!     Please help her find proper counseling, maybe some EFT  or Cognitive Behavioral Counseling.    When someone is terribly depressed/stressed, they need help from someone who is qualified to guide and support. 

They might get some help from certain supplements, like P5P, for instance, which might help decrease mood swings.   There are self-help books all over the place--libraries often have some.    There are support groups in cities.   There are national suicide prevention hotline phone numbers.

She needs to find herself--her authentic self; and find supportive people who are positive influences in her life, as is, where is...before she can make a conscious choice to go walk-about in the wilds, with nothing but the clothes on her back.    Also, it's helpful to focus on what one is grateful for--1st find gratitude, then comes Joy from the heart, then comes Love--learning to love oneself, in order to love others. 

I dearly hope you find what's needed!  

WinterStar ManyRoots
WinterStar ManyRoots

@Emily Merino Sounds like your sister needs serious help, that cannot be gotten by leaving her life behind, at this time.  It sounds like she is in pieces, a shattering got Spirit? 

IF one fails to do what's needed to heal themselves, where they are, they will only take their broken bits wherever they go, and create the same problems. 

One of the best things she has, is that you are supportive of her, just helping with morale support! 

It's not safe for someone who is fragile like that, to be out in the wilds, though, it's seriously good to dabble their toes in some earthing, like going barefoot outdoors--even a little, as a start.

And it might be a good vacation, if someone goes with her as a support person--for a weekend, or a week, to see how things go. 

Please help her find proper counseling, maybe some EFT  or Cognitive Behavioral Counseling.  

When someone is dangerously depressed/stressed, they need help from someone who is qualified to guide and support. 

They might get some help from certain supplements, like P5P, for instance, which can help stop mood swings.   

There are self-help books all over the place--libraries often have some.  

She needs to find herself--her authentic self; and find supportive people who are positive influences in her life, as is, where is...before she can make a conscious choice to go walk-about in the wilds, with nothing but the clothes on her back. 

Also, it's helpful to focus on what one is grateful for--1st we must find gratitude, then comes Joy from the heart, then comes Love--learning to love oneself, in order to love others. 

I dearly hope you find what's needed!  

Todd Johnston
Todd Johnston

@Autonomous Person well we trade our lives for heat, refrigeration, electricity, and large selections of prepared food (butchered), and clothing. You can also barter and buy things second or third hand to save paper (money). Not everybody is equipped to run barefoot through rugged terrain. Thats why we evolved our society. You are still free to organize your life so you are healthy and fit. Also, we've implemented a thing called law.


Something i think about is how long ago, just as Mick has to travel pretty far to visit friends, many people would injure themselves while traveling. Something as small as your foot sliding on a rock and breaking your ankle can make you dinner for something, or you could bleed to death, or die of starvation because nobody knows you're out there.


I think if you really lived like Mick, you would look at what we have now as Utopia. Of course since we are still animals, we manage to screw that up too. Hence the desire to allude evil by creating our own private Idaho. Give me Walmart, Comcast, and a 2" steak, and i'll sit in your business for 8 hours, go home, crank on the air, fire up the grill, and tap a keg of guinness. You're all invited : )

Shayne Strobeen
Shayne Strobeen

@Michael Brown During an interview with the Huff Post Mick said that he believes that even the technology and pollution are natural in a way. The planet goes through cycles and in the end it always endures.

Todd Johnston
Todd Johnston

@Michael Brown well michael, don't worry about the planet. The only reason we complain about plastic bottles and oil spills is because it messes up our view. when the planet makes a move, it will shake us off like a bad case of fleas. Save the planet? naw. We better think about saving ourselves. The planet will be fine. We just won't be here.

Autonomous Person
Autonomous Person

@Matt Rustin You were brainwashed from youth to pay homage to those who impose their will by force.  Payment of taxes to those forces does not somehow bestow a privilege for your existence.  Mick is exercising his birthrights as we all should.

Autonomous Person
Autonomous Person

@William Sumner You were brainwashed from youth to pay homage to those who impose their will by force.  Taxes, licensing and fees imposed by those forces does not somehow bestow a privilege for your existence.  Mick is exercising his birthrights as we all should.

Todd Johnston
Todd Johnston

@nathan friedkin try living outside for a week. walk to work barefoot, and only eat what you find along the way. then repost.

Alli Scripture
Alli Scripture

@nathan friedkin Well you know where he is, in the Hoh rainforest. If you actually want to be his apprentice, I would go out there, take off your shoes, and find him.

Georgel George
Georgel George

@Carl Robertson  If you think your photo resembles Mike Dodge ,just take a look at the movie Harry and The Hendersons and catch the smile  of the big foot and compere it to Mikes.

Eric sparks
Eric sparks

@Autonomous Person @Matt Rustin


I tried to live like this one time for three months.  Everytime I got my home right the parks departments would come along and throw away all my stuff.


It doesn't pay to come home to all your stuff being thrown in the garage really hurts.