National Geographic Channel delves into a growing subculture who’ve adopted “re-wilding” on the upcoming new series, “Live Free or Die.”
The show, which follows five members of the “re-wilding” culture, premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. ET. In December, the series will be available in 171 countries and 45 languages.
The cast members have left the comforts of modern society behind in an effort to use just their skills and intuition to survive. The series’ cameras follow its subjects into the wilderness and swamps where they’ve built simple homes without running water or electricity. At times, they suffer from weather extremes and scarcity of food. But, “re-wilders” find the prize is in having the endurance to survive such challenges.
“There’s a cost sometimes to living this way,” says Thorn, a cast member who lives in a self-made hut in the forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains, said in a statement.
He continued, “But at least I have a lot of time. When I lived in the city, I was a schoolteacher. It was wonderful, but being on someone else’s terms was really difficult and I just wanted to drop out of it. This forest just gave me this unique opportunity to get away from that and actually live free.”
Produced by National Geographic Studios, Tim Pastore, Brian Lovett and Jarrett Lambo serve as executive producers with co-executive producer Charles Marquardt.
Watch the show’s first trailer above.
Read Nat Geo’s bios for the cast members’ below:
Colbert, Georgia swamps
Colbert is a former financial advisor who, after raising two daughters, quit his job and abandoned his mainstream existence, moving to the swamps of Georgia to live a simpler life. An expert woodworker, Colbert built his own home from wood found in the swamp. He hunts, traps and forages for food, herbs and medicinal plants, using only what the swamp provides for his survival.
Gabriel, California coast and mountains
Gabriel lives a nomadic lifestyle between the mountains and the sea of California. At age 10, Gabriel met a man who inspired him to deepen his relationship with nature, which led him to this lifestyle as an adult. For the majority of the year, he lives a simple life with his wife, Luna, in a cabin with no running water by the coast. But for a few months every year, he leaves for the mountains to live off the land.
Thorn, Blue Ridge Mountains
Thorn lives on 120 acres in a remote corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, relying on the forest for his daily survival. Even his hut was built entirely from materials found in the woods. Two years ago, Thorn quit his job as a schoolteacher to move into the forest. He has a 5-year-old daughter who spends part of her time living with her father in the woods.
Tony and Amelia, Blue Ridge Mountains
Seven years ago, Tony bought a seemingly barely habitable plot of land on a Blue Ridge mountainside and built a home on it with his own two hands. He now lives there with his wife, Amelia, who couldn’t resist him after seeing his house. Raised by unconventional parents, she moved to the mountains 10 years ago. Tony and Amelia are turning their hillside into a garden that meets most of their needs.