Legendary wildman Mick Dodge lives life by his own unique philosophy in the wilderness of Washington state. Want to live like Mick? Follow his 30-day challenge to get in tune with the nature around you. Or as Mick explains, “You have 30 days to follow your feet, so your ancient body wisdom can teach. Yoish!”
So kick off those shoes and see if you can keep up! (Missed week 1? Catch up now!)
Week Two: Remember – Part 2
Objective: Open your senses and let your feet guide you. Shift your attention off yourself and onto the living world.
Find a 20-minute walk you can do from your house. Each day, focus on a different sense while you are walking. Notice what you didn’t notice before. Our culture has trained us to rely on cars. So even as a pedestrian, we tend to follow the paved road. This challenge: Get off the road and walk the earth! Walk on earth as much as possible. Notice how the terrain feels different.
Day One (Sound)
- On your walk, pay attention to the different sounds you hear. What do you hear? How many different sounds can you identify?
Day Two (Sight)
- On your walk, look at things differently. Pay attention to the different colors and textures of the nature around you. What do you notice that you didn’t see before? Pick one color and notice that color throughout your day.
Day Three (Smell & Taste)
- On your walk, breathe using your nose to take in the different smells around you. Scent can be a powerful memory trigger, so use this sense to remind yourself of your connection with the world around you.
- Also, pay close attention to the different tastes you experience today. With each bite, notice the different flavors and textures and think of where the food came from in the earth.
Day Four (Touch)
- Pay close attention to the different textures that you come across today (through both your feet and your hands). On your walk, feel the different surfaces that your foot comes in contact with. Notice how the grass feels, how the dirt moves under your foot, and how the concrete forces you to walk differently.
Day Five (Water)
- Primitive man had “water sense.” Modern man goes to the tap (or bottle). Challenge yourself to find a source of clean drinking water – take your “water sense” on a walk! Do you even know where your water comes from? If not, find it! Take a picture of what you found and remember to tag it #MickDodge.
Day Six (Food)
- When you’re hungry, your first thought is to grab some food from the refrigerator. But what if you didn’t have one? Where would food be in your habitat? What is edible outside of your house? Do you know which flowers and foliage you could eat outside in the wild? Take your “food sense” on a walk. Discover, explore.
Day Seven (Grounding)
- Take everything that you learned this week and find a space in nature where you can freely walk with open senses. Take in the sights, sounds, smells and touch, and look for things you may have not noticed before. Maybe you’re more aware of the feeling of the ground that you are walking on, or you notice different types of local wildlife that you didn’t realize shared an ecosystem with you. Vary the speed of your movements — whether your main speed is running, strolling, etc.
Doing the 30-Day Mick Dodge challenge? Let us know! Share your experience in the comments and be sure to come back next Tuesday for Week 3’s challenge! And don’t forget to follow the adventures of Mick and his forest-dwelling friends in new episodes of The Legend of Mick Dodge, Tuesdays at 9 & 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic Channel.