Living the Alternative: How to be a forest child

Guest Author

If you grew up in the woods like me, you will understand the alternative lifestyle of being a forest child.

Running through the woods barefoot, using dirt as camouflage, riding dirt bikes to get from one friends house to the other and ending the night around a fireplace that you and your friends dug up earlier in the day down by the river.


A forest child; yes that is a thing.

The forests of Washington. (Photo by Natalie Hendricks)

Being someone who came from a small valley town in Washington State, it was like living in a whole different world. Everyone knew who each other was and you could roam free as a child without any worries in the world.

The local grocer knew my whole family and all of our secrets. I walked to school at 6 a.m. with my friends wandering through the forests and underpasses. Traveling to the next town over where our school is, located in the town we called “Truck Town,” our parents had no worries about our safety. They knew we would be fine regardless, because when were we not in the woods?

As a forest child, you are familiar with the woods rather than the city. The forest is a place of serenity and safety. You feel more comfortable playing with snakes, exploring abandoned bunkers and camping across the street from your house to pretend you were actually lost in the woods.

Personally, growing up as a forest child has given me a different perspective to the world, thankfully I was one of the lucky ones to get away and explore different lifestyles. But, I would not have traded the way I grew up with any other way because it has shaped me as a person.

The whole community is one big family and the woods will always my safe place when returning home. If ever wanting to get away from this chaotic lifestyle of college, I suggest adventuring through the woods in the mountains.

Do it. Trust me. Go out and embrace the inner forest child inside yourself and explore the forest.