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The VICE Guide to Right Now Podcast

What It's Like to Grow Up off the Grid

Meet Maddie Roarke, a 17-year-old who spent her childhood living in the wilderness.

by Sophie Kazis
Apr 3 2019, 6:24pm

Photo by Daniel Brothers

Growing Up Off The Grid is a short film that follows Maddie Roarke, a 17-year-old who grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. In some ways, Maddie is just like other teens her age. She loves the Lord of the Rings, painting, and mountain biking with her friends. But Maddie has skills that many of her teenage counterparts don't. She was raised off the grid, spending her childhood hiking in the woods around her house, hunting deer, and learning survival skills. In our documentary Growing Up off the Grid, sponsored by Amazon Prime's new series Hanna, VICE meets Maddie and her father Nathan to learn what off-grid living looks like, see how it's shaped Maddie as she enters adulthood, and find out how it helped prepare her to solo hike the Appalachian trail this year. On this episode of The VICE Guide To Right Now Podcast, we go behind-the-scenes with the producer of the documentary, Lydia Randall.

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