A man has emerged out of the woods to show people what living outdoors is like.
In a report from BBC, Ken Smith, who is also known as The Hermit of Treig by some people, has spent almost 40 years dwelling in a hand-made log cabin in the Scottish Highlands without proper running water or electricity. He is also a two-hour walk away from the nearest road.
Smith, who is now 74 years old, departed a traditional life when he was 26 years old after being assaulted on a night out and sustaining a traumatic brain injury that put him in a coma for 23 days.
“They said I would never recover. They said I would never speak again. They said I would never walk again but I did. That’s when I decided I would never live on anyone’s terms but my own,” he told the outlet.
Following his recovery, Smith traveled to a remote part of Canada that borders Alaska called Yukon, where he spent months walking through the wilderness for around 22,000 miles before heading home.
Unfortunately, upon his return, Smith discovered that both of his parents had passed away.
“It took a long while to hit me. I felt nothing,” he said.
Smith then began trekking the length of Britain to cope with his sadness, eventually arriving in the Scottish Highlands, where he had his revelation.
“I cried all the way while walking. I thought, where is the most isolated place in Britain?... Hundreds and hundreds of miles of nothingness. I looked across the loch and saw this woodland.”
Smith chose to build his own log house in the remote location of Loch Treig in the mid-1980s, where he’s been living ever since. He utilised firewood for heat and the loch for food and water.
He has had little interaction with the outside world during that time, but the BBC recently visited him for a documentary about his life.
Not too long after the film personnel left, Smith had a stroke in the snow in February 2019 and had to be airlifted to Fort William hospital after reaching out for help with a GPS tracker he’d been given just days before by the crew. He spent seven weeks recovering.
His physicians tried to persuade him to relocate closer to civilisation, but he decided to stay in the woods, with park rangers stopping by sometimes to see how he was doing and provide him with food.
A year after Smith’s first rescue, he had to be airlifted again after a log pile collapsed on him.
Despite this, Smith is optimistic about his future.
“We weren’t put on earth forever. I’ll stop here until my final days come, definitely.”