Getting out into the forest. The hectic pace of our everyday life takes its toll. That is why many people have the need to find peace and relaxation in nature.
Some people say goodbye to civilization and move to the forest.
But how can a life in the middle of the forest be realized??
What should you pay attention to?
Is it even allowed to live in the forest in Germany and is it allowed to build a hut just like that??
Which countries allow you to live in the forest?
I researched this exciting topic and found many surprising answers. Promised.
I also lead a life as a part-time dropout and self-supporter! My little forest can be seen in the background.
Getting out into the forest – Is it that easy??
Yes, it can be done, but it is not quite that simple. First you should inform yourself about local laws and regulations and then plan your project exactly.
In many cases, living in the forest means total self-sufficiency. That means you have no electricity and no running water available. There is no telephone reception.
You often live in very simple and pristine conditions. In an emergency, it can be very difficult to get medical help.
Hard physical work hauling water or making firewood becomes an integral part of your everyday life.
In return you will be rewarded with lots of fresh air, peace and restful sleep. It would be worth a try, wouldn’t it?
In which country can you legally live in the forest?
It is not so easy to find a country where you can legally live in the forest.
Many people have the idea that you can simply build a cabin in the forest and then have peace from civilization.
This possibility is only available in very few areas of the world.
In many "civilized" countries, laws are enforced by special police and law enforcement units, even in areas where law enforcement officers are not expected (z.B. Rangers in Canada control remote areas by plane or helicopter).
Therefore, you should not be distracted by the vastness and the apparent loneliness.
Every piece of land, no matter where in the world, belongs to someone. As long as you have not bought this property, you are a guest and you have to adapt to the local rules and conditions.
Is it legal to live in the forest in Canada?
Yes, in Canada you are allowed to live in the forest, even if only in simple small dwellings. In Canada there is a law that allows to stake a gold claim. This must be registered with the responsible municipality.
On this claim you have the right to small hut to build. Voilà you already have your own legal wooden hut.
One should inform oneself of course about current law changes! This is the official version.
Go to the north of Canada (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut)
If you go far north, far from main roads, reserves and national parks, you will surely still find a quiet place in Canada. A map can be found here.
Behave quietly (no hunting, no big fires, luxuriant buildings etc.).) it is possible to live there even without a staked claim.
But you should be aware that mosquito plagues and only a few summer months could spoil the pleasure ..
Many German dropouts live in the Canadian wilderness
There are enough examples of people who have realized their dream in the Canadian wilderness. Many Germans have also left and live there in harmony with nature, but probably under very harsh conditions.
I myself was 6 months in British Columbia and the Yukon on the road. In almost every pub you can hear stories of dropouts who live only a few kilometers away in the "bush" under the simplest conditions. Often tolerated by the local police authority.
Conclusion: In Canada you can find places to live in the forest. Whether legal or illegal everyone must decide for themselves.
You should avoid reserves and national parks. Even tourist hotspots like lakes should be avoided in order to have peace and quiet from "civilization.
Is it legal to live in the forest in Europe??
Europe is a very densely populated continent, with only a few areas left that are sparsely populated.
The Scandinavian countries with their huge forest areas are an exception to this rule. Here you can still find peace and solitude.
Many dropouts have fulfilled their dream of living in the forest, in the vastness of Sweden.
Thanks to Everyman’s Right, you can camp anywhere in the forest legally for one night and even make a small fire.
Therefore, the views of the Swedes on the subject of living in the forest are quite liberal. There are good chances that one night will become many more nights.
You should be careful not to disturb anyone and stay away from private property. Then one can hope with high probability for leniency and understanding.
Conclusion: The vastness of Sweden can be considered for a life in the forest. Spend your next vacation in Sweden and talk to the "Locals". With them you can find the best information everywhere in the world.
The border mountains between France and Spain is the new Eldorado for European dropouts. The Pyrenees at Wikipedia.
After many small villages had to struggle with strong migration in the past and threatened to die out, "new inhabitants" came looking for a quiet and simple life.
Simple houses and huts can be bought for spot prices (compared to European cities). However, the conditions are rough and tough.
Those who go to the Pyrenees have chosen to live self-sufficiently and simply.
Conclusion: If you are looking for peace and simplicity and do not want to live in the forest, you should take a trip to the Pyrenees on your next vacation.
Knowledge of the local language is a great advantage (Spanish, French, Catalan)
If you like it rustic and remote, you should take a closer look at the forest areas around the Carpathians.
Here are remote regions, which are sparsely populated and offer plenty of space for simple dwellings. The Carpathians at Wikipedia.
The Romanian territory hosts a large part of the Carpathian Mountains. Here you can still find real wilderness including wolves, bears and lynxes. One should be clear about it.
Conclusion: The more inconspicuous and secluded you live, the better. Knowledge of the regional language is also an advantage. One should be able to adapt to the simplest conditions and help oneself.
Living secluded in Germany – Is that still possible??
What means secluded?
This question cannot be answered clearly. How do you define secluded?
The first time I was in Canada and we drove 45 minutes to the farm, we were met by 4 cars!
The next big city Prince George was 200 km away. Sometimes we drove there to buy something "fast".
The nearest restaurant was 40 km away. Every day we went there for coffee.
I quickly realized that the words distance and remoteness were different here and not comparable to the conditions in Germany.
The states with the lowest population density
To find remote areas in Germany, I looked for states with the lowest population density.
In Germany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg has the lowest population density. In the search for "seclusion", you should concentrate on areas in these federal states.
Who would like to have a more exact overview of the population density, can look here with Statista.
Life in the forest – what does everyday life look like?
Everyday life in the forest is characterized by silence and hard work. Boredom does not come up. The following tasks are part of your everyday life from now on:
1.) Chopping wood for the stove to warm up the hut.
2.) Carrying water for (drinking) water supply and personal hygiene.
3.) Care Existing Beet to be able to eat something – it’s a lot to do, every day, in all weathers!
4.) Canning and preserving for the winter.
5.) Repairs to the house.
6.) Cleaning the house.
7.) Care for domestic and farm animals
Always unlock YouTube
Dangers in the forest
Wild animals will be part of your everyday life in some areas. While doing this you have to be prepared for wild boars, wolves and in some areas visiting bears as well.
Therefore one should take measures for self-protection. A bear repellent spray* belongs to the basic equipment. This can also be used against wolves.
I myself suddenly came face to face with a black bear on a remote farm in British Columbia.
Fortunately I had the two herding dogs of the farm with me, which drove the bear away with furious barking.
This was a very educational experience for me, which showed me that I had arrived in the Canadian bush and that the "safe" German forest was far away.
Illness and accidents
One of the main problems for dropouts far from civilization is the threat of illness and accidents. Often hospitals or doctors are many hours away by car.
No cellular network in most areas, so it can be very difficult to call for medical help by helicopter or plane.
If you live in very remote areas, a satellite phone is mandatory. This one should have also with the daily work at the man.
Why? What happens if you break your foot in the wilderness?
You accidentally saw yourself in the leg with the chain saw?
You slip with the axe and smash your shinbone?
You think this is scare tactics?
In Canada, old lumberjacks could be recognized by the fact that they were missing fingers or one of their arms.
Many also limped that were consequences of accidents during the daily dangerous work in the forest. The wilderness is no fun!
Diseases can also become dangerous. If bronchitis suddenly turns into pneumonia and you’re in bed with fever cramps, antibiotics should be in the medicine cabinet.
This first aid kit for the wilderness* is worth a look and can save your life in case of emergency.
Likewise, poisoning from plants and fungi can be a danger that should not be underestimated.
Even an ulcerated tooth can very quickly become a "fat" problem.
A well-stocked first-aid kit and basic medical knowledge are a must far from civilization.
Physical hygiene in the forest
A hot bath or shower is also a luxury not common when living in the forest. If you are lucky enough to have a stream or a lake nearby, you can consider yourself lucky.
Locations for the forest hut should always be chosen in close proximity to bodies of water.
On most days you will heat water on the stove and wash with a washcloth. In summer a solar shower can be used. What a luxury.
Laundry is done by hand and washboard, just like in the old days. Ivy leaves or chestnuts can serve as a detergent.
Self-sufficiency in the forest
Food supplies should always be plentiful in the house. Especially in hard winters it can happen that you are cut off from the outside world.
For emergencies, you should always have emergency food (z.B. Emergency rations NRG-5*) should be in the house.
What if suddenly the food supplies have been plundered by mice or other creatures and the nearest supermarket is out of reach ..
Now you should also have enough candles, matches/lighters in the forest hut.
A large supply of dry firewood is, of course, a given.
This is the only way to prepare the provisions preserved during the summer months on the stove.
One would not like to freeze at -20 degrees outside temperatures finally also. What could be better than a warming fire in the stove?.
Creating a forest garden
During the summer months, a forest garden is planted near the house. This should be located in a clearing so that the vegetables have enough sunlight available to them.
The forest garden must to be protected against wild animals (protective fences, ultrasonic emitters with solar*, deterrents).
Otherwise it can happen very easily that one morning the carrots and the lettuce are gone and all the work was for nothing.
Okay, the deer had a tasty meal …
Stock up on food
During the summer months you will be busy from morning till night to stock up your food for the winter.
If there is a lake or river nearby, you can fish to expand your menu. The fish is then smoked and preserved for the winter months.
You should refrain from hunting without the appropriate permit/license. Poaching is punished very hard all over the world, often even with imprisonment.
No media and society in the forest
Doing without digital media and modern means of communication are also part of living in the forest.
A satellite phone is highly recommended for emergencies.
In the meantime, first-class devices can be purchased for less than 1000 euros, such as the Imarsat IsatPhone 2* .
A small battery-operated radio can sweeten many a long evening with music.
Living in the forest means spending a lot of time alone. This is not for everyone! Couples should also be able to put up with each other 24 hours a day, otherwise the idyll can very quickly turn into a nightmare.
The little free time you have is spent reading books.
For this you should have a well-stocked library during the summer. The nearest bookstore is often hours away.
Conclusion on everyday life in the forest
The daily hard work has a calming effect and brings contemplation. Piece by piece, peace of mind returns to you.
A process of reflection takes place. These internal processes often take many months and are often associated with doubts and fears.
Finally one learns again piece by piece to appreciate the "small" simple things of the life.
A singing bird, a delicious meal from your own garden or a sunset are suddenly things that gladden your heart and give you strength for the next day.
One or the other will try to fathom the origins of their self through meditation or daily prayer.
On the other hand, there are many dropouts who throw in the towel after a short time and have to admit to themselves that they had a too romanticized idea of life in the forest.
Most of the time this idea does not match the hardships of everyday life in the forest.
Good to the one who has not sold his belongings hastily and has kept open the possibility of returning to civilization.
Which group do you belong to? Try it out ..
Always unblock YouTube
Is it legal to live as a hermit in the forest in Germany??
Officially one is not legally allowed to live as a hermit in the forest in Germany. The only possibility is to find a private forest owner who allows the construction of a hut in his forest.
To avoid trouble, you should clarify in advance exactly which activities/things are allowed and which are prohibited.
Is it allowed to build a hut in the forest in Germany?
No, it is not allowed to build a hut in a German forest.
At least not without official permission. To get this will be very difficult or is almost impossible.
If you want to build a cabin in the forest, you should first submit a building application to the relevant state building authority. If this is approved, nothing stands in the way of a construction project. However, the chances of getting a permit are quite slim.
Setting up a hut in the forest without permission carries severe penalties. With the dense population of Germany, it can be assumed that the illegal construction project will be discovered after a short time.
My latest article:
& Can you get out in Germany? This is how you proceed ..
Camping in the forest – is it allowed?
If you want to test whether a life in the forest fits your convictions, you can try out the hermit life in the form of wild camping.
Basically, however, it is forbidden to camp in the forest in Germany. One must be aware of this. Camping is not equal to camping and only on for it advertised campsites approved.
If you want to go the legal way, you have to get an official permit for wild camping.
If you are a thrill seeker, you can pitch your tent at nightfall and leave at dawn. This is of course forbidden.
Live in the forest to save rent. Is there the?
There are cases where people have moved into the forest because of lack of money. A well-known case from Berlin shows that due to housing shortages and rising rents, people are forced to find alternative places to live.
So a now 41-year-old Berlin street artist moved into a self-made hut in the Planterwald, also in protest to draw attention to these abuses.
Another well-known case revolves around a man from Cologne who, out of love for his dog, dug a hole in the forest for months, which he currently inhabits. He was not allowed to take his pet with him to his new apartment.
Since the man had very little money and other accommodation with dog was hopeless, he chose the spartan life in the hole in the ground.
Recommended products for life in the forest
Gas stove RS-3500C gas grill
No matter whether for the life in the forest or with a disaster with the gas stove RS-3500C gas grill* they are always on the safe side. The gas stove comes with a practical carrying case + 4 spare cartridges.
GIARIDE 18V 80W foldable solar charger
The GIARIDE 18V 80W solar charger is a foldable and portable solar charging system that can charge cell phones, laptops and even car batteries.
The GIARIDE solar charger* has an efficiency of 22% – 25%. No matter if you are camping, in the forest or on a hike. You will never run out of "juice" again.
Gerber outdoor knife
The Gerber outdoor knife is a practical belt knife for various outdoor activities. Whether hiking, camping, or at home.
With this knife you are prepared for all eventualities. The Gerber Outdoor Knife* comes with a holster.
Recommended articles for you
Why become a hermit? Read now
7 reasons to live without electricity now! – Do you know them? Read now
7 reasons to live without water supply – Do you know them?? Read now