Mick Dodge, who has earned various nicknames like “Walking Mountain,” “Barefoot Nomad” and “Barefoot Sensei,” is a mountain man who lives in the mountains of Olympic Peninsula in Western Washington. The forest wanderer, who left his modern life to live free in nature became a TV personality when National Geographic documented his life in the reality show, The Legend of Mick Dodge. Mick has been living in the wild since 1991 and has developed all the necessary tactics required for survival. 

In this era of technology, this man developed a peculiar interest of staying away from the materialistic world and survive in the wild. So, today, we have chosen to present some amazing facts about him. 

Shoeless since 1991

Can you try walking barefoot for a day or at least imagine that? Admit it, most of us can’t! While we are being greatly influenced by the hi-tech world, we can’t go back to the primitive life that our ancestors lived. That instinct is what Mick Dodge developed distinctive from others and has earned pseudonyms like Barefoot Nomad and Barefoot Sensei, doing it for nearly three decades now. He says, walking in the forest barefoot is the very first thing to do if you want to connect with nature and the forest. 

Mick Dodge running in the forest. Mick Dodge has been walking barefoot since 1991.

Well, walking barefoot has lots of health benefits as the particles on the earth’s surface can act as antioxidants to our body and also can help regulate our autonomic nervous system and body temperature as well. You might have noticed the tattoos of roots on his feet, which marks his path in the forest. He said in one of the episodes of The Legend of Mick Dodge that walking barefoot helped him cure his Plantar Fasciitis, back pain as well as hammer toes.

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Influenced by Japanese culture 

Born in the early 50s, in Olympic Peninsula, Washington, he grew up experiencing two worlds, Hoh rainforest with his logger grandfather and the U.S. Marine base in Japan with his father, Ronald L. Dodge, who was a Marine.

Mick Dodge holding a herb in his hand

He later went on serving five years as a Marine himself, but didn’t stop experiencing nature. While living in Japan, he learned quite a lot of things, which we can see in the show and was greatly influenced by the concept of “Yamabushi,” which means “to become one with the forest.” The Yamabushi is one of the myths from Japan, where hermits live in the forest to acquire supernatural powers. He discussed the topic several times in the show as well. 

Survival Knowledge 

Mick Dodge peeking with the trees stump and bushes on his head. He is widely known as The Barefoot Sensei.

Apart from following different Japanese myths and legends, Mick knows quite a lot of ancient techniques helpful for surviving in the wild. From modern methods used in the military to the necessary survival skills used by warriors in the past, Mick has a lot of survival knowledge. He doesn’t hesitate in sharing the knowledge to anyone who is interested in learning and believes that passing knowledge through books and words help in passing techniques as well. Well, not just his desire to stay connected with nature, but also his survival knowledge has helped him in his journey.

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Bakes his own bread 

Mick Dodge playing Zimbabwean Traditional Drums,  while one  friend is holding a guitar and other is holding another music instrument. They all are sitting around the fire on the  wood log.

As a wanderer, Mick often travels through the forest, and always prepares before he goes on his new journey. Preparing for a journey literary means collecting foods and supplies, and the same thing applies to Mick. He collects insect larvae and crickets as a protein source and he even bakes his own bread, following the baking techniques used by soldiers during the American civil-war era. He puts flour and other supplies in a bowl and covers it with ashes and coals of a burning fire and gets the meal ready within an hour.

The Earth Gym   

Mick Dodge lifting a stone with his hands standing in the bank of river

Even though he is surviving on his own in the wild; far away from the human settlement, he is still connected with the outer world. In fact, he is involved in community programs, passing knowledge about the benefits of connecting with nature. In the year 1994, Mick alongside his friend Jacquie Chandler, created a fitness program called Earth Gym. In this gym, all the equipment necessary for working out is made from natural products. Earth Gym practice manifests the philosophy that “we train with the Earth until we become as the Earth.” The principles and practices he has developed and shared with the world in the form of Earth Gym make sense to all kinds of people, from runners and hikers to committed yogis and animal lovers

What do you have to say about Mick Dodge’s choice to stay away from the modern world? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.


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