6 Easy Basic Steps To Live In The Woods

Every city resident must have, at some point in time in their lives, dreamt of living in the woods.

It is common for people nowadays to prefer living in the woods since sometimes you just want a change in environment and get away from everything for a while.

It can be so stressful living the normal way, especially if it is in the city. It’s hard to think of a peaceful existence when you’re stuck in the rat race day after day, dealing with pollution, traffic, crime, and many more problems.

So, you may be considering living in the woods, and you have no clue how to go about it.

After reading this article, you will know the basic steps to live in the woods, how to plan before relocating to the woods, and much more. So, keep reading to find out all that you have been wondering about.

Is It Legal To Live In The Woods?

Is It Legal To Live In The Woods?

Yes, you can live in the woods, but only if you legally own that land. It is against the law to build a home in the woods in any publicly and privately owned place.

Also, local governments may have marked some places as restricted areas. So, it is highly important to know the laws before you choose the location for living.

With millions of acres of land which humans have never used, you may find people camping, building temporary cottages, or even living for a long time.

For example, people living in western states like Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, or places like Alaska are generally ignored by local authorities.

But technically, such squatting or trespassing is not legally permitted, and you may get into deep trouble.

There are only three scenarios when you can legally live in the forest. They are

  • You need to obtain permission from the local authorities for camping in a place. Governments mostly give provisions for such seasonal camping passes.
  • Staking a mining claim is another legal option to live in the woods. After fulfilling all legal formalities and paying adequate fees, you may obtain such permission for identified places from the government.
  • Last but not least is to buy the land which gives you legal rights to live in that place.

3 Important Questions Before Starting To Live In The Woods

There are obvious benefits to escaping to the woods: you might be able to get a property with a spectacular view, if you prefer outdoor sports, a more rural neighborhood may provide better access to hiking trails and forest preserves.

You may get more exercise and have a more relaxed lifestyle.

However, as enticing as all of this sounds, it’s crucial to be aware that there are several things that you should be aware of before starting to live in the woods. Here are 3 important things to think about before relocating to the woods, i.e.,

  • Purpose
  • Time  
  • Understanding How to Live

Purpose: Why Do You Want To Live In The Woods?

What motivates you to live in the woods? Do you want to learn new skills? Or have experience with living in the woods? Or do you just want to get away from a stressful environment? 

Whatever your reasons are, consider whether living in the woods is indeed the best option. Also, think about if you love being out in nature.

Some people enjoy the romantic aspects of nature, such as stunning landscapes, adorable small log houses, and clean water from a nearby stream. 

But nature will not offer you the same experience every time and at every place. It may at times be damp, freezing, or scorching hot. So, choosing the correct place is vital.

Time: How Long Do You Intend To Stay In The Woods?

It is essential to decide how long you’ll stay. Some people only stay in the woods for a short period before returning.

That is more like taking a break from everyday life. Others, on the other hand, would rather stay permanently. 

Decide how long you’ll be there in each case. Your planning and preparations on staying in the woods depending on how long one intends to hang around.

How To Survive In The Woods

Living and surviving in the woods may not be as simple as it may look. There are many concerns that must be addressed like safety, daily necessities, medical emergencies, etc.

The woods can be a dangerous and tough place to stay since you are bound to encounter a lot of risky situations.

The most common one is wild animals. Did you know that 80% of the world’s known terrestrial plants and animals live in the forests? 

You will most likely run into such troubles in the woods; hence, it is essential to know how to defend yourself.

So, before going to the woods, you should be well equipped and know the basic survival tips you require just in case you encounter difficulty. 

6 Basic Steps To Live In The Woods

6 Basic Steps To Live In The Woods

You can’t foretell what will happen in the woods, however, you can just prepare for anything. Answering the above-mentioned three basic questions does the same for you.

It helps you know what to concentrate on in such situations, what to have with you at all times, and what to do, which can save your life. For living in the woods without anxiety, you need to follow six basic steps:

  • Decide Where and How You Want To Live
  • Knowledge Of Local Laws
  • Plan Out Your Utilities
  • Bring The Right Equipment
  • Move Into The Woods
  • Set Up Tents, Cabins (Start Life)

Now let’s dive deep and understand each of these six basic steps in detail.

Decide Where And How You Want To Live

The first step for starting your journey in the woods starts with deciding the place you want to live. This is the most vital decision and is entirely dependent on your objectives.

How far would you like to venture into the woods? You can live in the woods while still having access to some of the modern facilities by choosing a place at a short distance just outside of the city. 

Or were you thinking of going for something a little more exciting? For example, you may want to live in the woods, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. But for choosing this lifestyle, you also need to be fully prepared.

Knowledge Of Local Laws

Earlier in the article, we have already discussed the legal aspects of living in the woods. So, to ensure a safe and trouble-free living, you need to know local laws and keep this knowledge updated.

Plan Out Your Utilities

Nowadays, we have become so accustomed to modern conveniences that we are not at all prepared for any sort of emergencies. Things may become difficult when you don’t have access to such luxuries.

So, when you decide to live in the woods, you need to plan out your utilities. From day-to-day necessities like food and water to medicines, everything needs to be planned and prepared well.

You cannot take anything for granted as you may have no help available.

Bring The Right Equipment

To survive in the woods, getting the right equipment is equally important. You’ll need things like a hatchet, saw tarp, clothes, a lighter, and a few survival books, among other things.

Also, ensure that you have enough supply of necessary stuff to last until you can stock them the next time. 

In addition, all of your equipment should be of excellent quality, but this does not need purchasing the most expensive items.

Simply ensure that your equipment is created by quality-conscious producers and has been thoroughly tested.

Move Into The Woods

Move Into The Woods

The decision to move into the woods is not a joke. So, it is best if you try living in the woods temporarily so that you are 100% sure you want to switch to this lifestyle.

Now all you have to do now is transport your belongings into the woods where you’ve chosen to live.

Also, I suggest moving in the spring or early summer since you’ll have more time to adjust to living in the woods before it gets too cold and unpleasant. 

Set Up Tents/Cabins To Start A Life

In most survival situations, your first objective is to find a safe place to stay. If you don’t have some form of shelter to protect yourself from the elements, severe weather can kill you in a matter of hours. 

Fortunately, several strategies and materials are available for escaping these events, such as setting up a tent or building a cabin.

The more you plan your living, the more comfortable it will be, and the chances of becoming successful with this lifestyle also increase.

16 Must-Have Things To Live In The Woods

When you have finally decided to live in the woods, you must know that there are some must-have things for this lifestyle.

These items either shelter you from the cold, protect you from wild animals, provide light in the dark, or are just important things you’ll use for day-to-day life.

You can summarize these items under 16 essentials. They are

  1. Heavy Layers, Boots, Long Underwear, Gloves, Hats, Scarves, and Blankets
  2. Matches, a Fire Steel
  3. Flashlight, Lantern, Extra Batteries, Radio, and Whistle
  4. First-Aid Kit, Medicines, Antiseptic, Water-Purifying Tablets
  5. Tools, Rope, Knives, Cord, Waterproof Canisters
  6. Dry goods, Canned or Otherwise (Carbs are a Great Idea)
  7. Cups, Silverware, Plates, Pots, and Pans
  8. Cooking Pot
  9. A Saw
  10. Well-Insulated Sleeping Bag
  11. Tarp/Tent
  12. Water Bottle
  13. Box of Fishing Hooks
  14. Solid Backpack
  15. Knife or Gun (Protection)
  16. Books/Entertainment Stuff

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6 Expert Tips For Living In The Woods

Living in the woods is not as easy as it may seem.

You may think it’s all fun and game but wait until you are starving and have no idea where or how to get food, or you are attacked by a wild animal and don’t know how to deal with it.

Below are 6 expert tips for facilitating a smooth life in the woods.

Master The Survival Techniques

You’re not just going camping for a week and spending most of your time floating down a river. Because this is your life every day, you’ll need to learn some basic survival techniques such as

  • Setting Up a Fire
  • Storing/Purifying Water
  • Using Rope/Wire/Knives
  • Finding Food (Hunting/Fishing)
  • First Aid Basics

Above all, you must eat, remain warm, and be hygienic.

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Read Survival Books

Never undervalue the importance of knowledge. Before traveling into the woods, read a couple of survival books. Take plenty of notes and soak up as much information as you can. 

Remember to put what you’ve learned into practice. It’s worthless to read if you’re not going to do something with what you’ve read.

Taking Classes Will Help

Learning about nature and other outdoor activities is very crucial before planning to live in the woods.

You will be educated on what to do, what to expect, and how to deal with different issues in the woods. Therefore, you won’t have to go there blindly.

Consider Being In Some Community

Living in a community and building social bonding is another very important aspect of living in the woods. One of the most practical reasons for being a part of a community is the support you get from others.

If you try to build everything from scratch, it may look unfeasible as land, building materials, solar panels, or even drilling a well is an extremely costly affair.

So, building a small community is a more practical approach while living in the woods.

Furthermore, communities are considered a survival mechanism. It helps you fight loneliness and gives you a sense of belonging in an entirely new and different world.

Some communities are known as Three Rivers Recreation Area near Bend, Oregon; Breitenbush near Salem; Dancing Rabbit in Missouri; Twin Oaks in Virginia; Earthhaven in North Carolina; Greater World Community near Taos, and Arcosanti Ecovillage in Arizona.

Don’t Disconnect All From The World

To stay alive, we require human interaction. Isolation is the harshest penalty, reserved for the most dangerous of our inmates, and it nearly always leads to insanity. 

Inform your friends and family that you’ll be moving to the woods to live. You will always require them at some of the other points in life. So, always stay connected.

Make your plan known to everyone who matters to you. The majority of them will most likely be skeptics, and that’s okay. They don’t have to agree with you. However, they are entitled to know about your plans to relocate.

Always Have A Comfortable Shelter

Always Have A Comfortable Shelter

It’s critical to have a shelter if you want to survive in the woods. Not only will this shelter serve as your home in the woods, but it will also shield you from the elements such as wind, rain, snow, and even the sun.

It can also keep you warm if you build it properly and contain your fire within it. 


Can You Live In National Forests?

It is unlawful to live in a national forest. The Forest Service has restrictions forbidding people from living there. It is, however, allowed to travel to another region or a different forest entirely just for camping.

Is It Legal To Live In The Forest?

Living in the forest is lawful as long as you follow the rules. You run the danger of being caught and forced off if you only wish to settle on federal grounds. The best option is to camp and move around.

What Do I Need To Live In The Woods?

Most significantly, you’ll need water, shelter from the weather, and a way to get food, which should include a way to start a fire. You’ll also need some other items like a first aid kit, flashlight, blankets, etc. 

Can I Live In The Forest For Free?

Yes. National Forests offer free accommodation practically every day of the year in the United States, so you can live in the forest for free but only for a couple of days.

Final Thoughts

Planning is the most essential thing to do before going to live in the woods. You should ensure you have everything you’ll require for the period you’re going to spend in the woods.

With everything in check, you are assured of having a good time while in the woods. 

As always, thank you for making us part of your life and for reading this article. I hope you have found the information useful. Feel free to share your thoughts with us about this content in this article.