Living in the woods

Many people I talked to said I was completely crazy, some thought my idea was a little wishful, others were completely supportive, a small minority were a bit jealous, and others I didn’t dare mention it to. The idea was to move out of the room I was renting and move into a tent in the woods, and after a bit of work and a little bit of easing myself into the logistics of being without-house, that’s just what I ended up doing. For nine consecutive months in 2013 I lived in the woods in a tent. I found a five acre plot of undeveloped land in the suburbs of Orlando Florida that didn’t have an obvious owner, chopped down some brush, set up a canopy, built an off-grid shower, and pitched a tent. I got rid of all of my unnecessary things and just kept a few pairs of clothes, a water jug, a small cooler, my laptop computer, and my beloved surfboard then stored them all neatly in the trunk of my car, except for my surfboard of course. That had to go to my parents’ house. When it was convenient, I took showers at the UCF gym, otherwise I used my makeshift shower in the woods. I studied at coffee shops, the library, and friends’ houses. Honestly, life didn’t change much outside of the obvious changes in my daily routine.

I have tons I could say about the whole thing, but I would honestly rather answer questions that you have in the comments section, so please, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. Here is a walk-through of my place and some more explanation. Enjoy, and I hope this can encourage you to live a little more out of your comfort zone πŸ™‚


8 thoughts on “Living in the woods”

  1. Come to Harrisburg, PA! When you bike ride. You’vegotta see Ricketts Glenn… They have twenty waterfallsand there are plenty of places on the mountains to camp. My friends do it all the time…. I have to. I miss,you like crazy Matty! And I’ve stopped drinking booze which I’m sure you’re proud of. I’m so happy for you and love you. Miss your face. Come see me if you can please. It’s beautiful. We can hike together. Lol spring is beautiful here. Something to think about.

  2. Nice! Inspiring! The fruit you ate was Cerassee, makes a great tea as well (the leaves) common to drink this tea in Jamaica.

  3. Enjoyed seeing your page about you living in the woods for 9 months.
    Keep your head up and enjoy every min. of your wanderingupward,. Life is Full of Great Things and People… So keep learning as you go. Thank You for taking US with You!
    May God Bless You … Every Day !!!
    Your Friends,
    Larry & Sherry

  4. Hi Matt,

    I’m actually in the process of doing the same thing. I’ve already set up my tent about three days ago and it seems very doable. I’ve joined Planet Fitness, I go to school at Valencia, and I work at Chili’s (the biggest one in Orlando on the most touristy road), and I’m about to rent a storage unit so I wont have to lose all of my important personal belongings; all of these places are in walking distance from my tent in the forest so I have tons of resources to use.

    Excited as ever, I am so ready to live this new and free life. By the way, I’m in the woods in MetroWest (next to my school) so my home in the woods is in a central location.

    Where are you now? Are you still living the life of a free-ranger?

    1. Herley, this is SO cool. You are the first person I’ve talked to who is actually doing this. I am staying in my parents’ home in St. Cloud, just south of Orlando, farming their land. Stay in touch on here if you don’t mind. I would like to hear about what you are doing and how everything is going.

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