We’re pleased to share this Outdoor Revival Interview with the very impressive Nikki van Schyndel, aka Daisy Crocket, the survivalist, environmentalist and lover of all things outdoors.
Nikki spends much of her time in Echo Bay, B.C. which is between Northern Vancouver Island and the mainland of Western Canada, an absolutely amazing place.
Nikki’s a published author, with her book based on her experiences and knowledge gained from 18 months immersed in primitive living in the wilds of western Canada, She continues to live the wild life as much as she can and it’s great to talk to her and learn more about her and her life.
Here’s a new Video she’s produced about herself or you can watch it below after reading the interview.
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us Nikki.
Please tell us a little about yourself and how you would describe who you are.
I’m a city girl who sold her possessions to become a naturalist, tracker and hunter/gatherer. I moved to the wilderness and lived a primitive lifestyle, surviving and eventually thriving off the land and sea for a year and a half. I eventually built a log cabin, following a how-to book and watching a few youtube videos.
I finally found my balance and now live off-the-grid on an island in the Great Bear Rainforest. I have large gardens, still forage and fish for my food, cook on a woodstove and have solar panels to run my computer. I’m a fearless adventurer and seeker who is always following my biggest dreams.
You’re known as Daisy Crocket, when did you take on that name?
Years ago, when I decided to stop my primitive living trek. A friend nicknamed me that because of the way I lived, had speared a bear like Davy Crocket and because of my coon skin cap I mad and wore.
You live in an amazing part of the world, have you lived anywhere else?
I’ve travelled quite a bit, but the longests I’ve lived anywhere else than the Pacific Northwest has been 5 months in New Zealand and 4 months in Hawaii.
What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned from your time in the wilderness?
To live my life trusting my intuition. That my thoughts are real and that I can manifest anything I need….(wait that’s 3 lessons!)
What’s your favourite time of year and why?
September. Tourists have left in their boats, the wilderness is quiet again, like you have it all to yourself, it’s warm and usually sunny and the whales, grizzly bears and all the other wildlife are still around.
What advice would you give someone that want’s to live a wilderness based life?
Rent a cabin off the grid or volunteer to help out for awhile and see if it truly is the lifestyle you want. It’s not all fairy-tale bliss like we’ve come to associate it with.
Do you ever think about running courses for people that want to experience what you live?
Yes, I am in the planning stages for 2017.
You’ve written a book (I know because I’ve bought it!) what led you to writing it and have you thought about writing another one?
I wrote it for my Mom. She’s always supported me in all my unorthodox decisions and life paths and I wanted to honor her for that. I didn’t want friends reading my diaries either and yes, I think about writing another book a lot.
If you could spend a day with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
Jesus, Babaji, Merlyn or any other Master. To expand my knowing of who I truly am, the power within us all and to open my heart even wider to the joy, love and light of this world and beyond my imagination. ( ohh, I forgot to mention Geronimo or other Apache Scouts, so guess I’m envisioning a gathering of minds and hearts)
What’s your favorite wild food and why?
What’s your favourite non wild food and why?
Almond butter, easy…it can be eaten on everything! Oh wait…coconut bliss ice cream!
What’s the hardest thing you’ve needed to do?
Let go, forgive and heal the wounds of my past, my hidden emotions and sabotaging patterns I’ve created to keep me bound in a false sense of safety and familiarity, to step away from expected societal norms.
How much time do you spend in the wilderness vs civilization?
8 months wild for sure around 4 months total city
If this isn’t too personal (ignore if you wish), how do you pay your bills? There’s lots of people that would like to earn a living from being in the wilderness but I imagine that it’s very hard to do so.
It’s very difficult where I am to find work and work I feel good about doing, you basically have to get creative. I’m a wilderness guide. I run custom “tours” from where I live a few months of the year, I work on commercial fishing boats when I need money, I sell produce and basically do whatever I can to “pay bills” I’m fortunate I enjoy living very simply in the wilderness and have property I don’t have to pay for.
What’s your favorite way of relaxing?
Just sitting in the forest somewhere or jumping in my speedboat to find some island to explore.
Going through your book it’s evident that you were constantly learning and experiencing new things, I’d imagine that this was also a very trying time, how did you cope with the inevitable emotional ups and downs of a wilderness life?
Whenever I wanted to quit, wondering why I chose that lifestyle, when i was frustrated, hurt, beat down…I took a breath and wandered to my secret spot. Just sitting somewhere in sacred silence, opening all my senses as wide as I could, just listening and then something always would remind me of how much I loved the wilderness and why. How free I felt, to know true happiness, to have nothing and everything all at the same time. I also learned to laugh at everything, including myself.