Meet the Forest Dweller




Nikki van Schyndel is not your typical stereotypical “end-of-the-world” survivalist.  She is a contemporary, eclectic young woman who threw off modern comforts to spend nineteen months in a remote rainforest with her feral cat and a virtual stranger.  She began her journey as a privileged, fashionable “city dweller” and now finds herself a confident, awakened “forest dweller,” balancing both worlds.  The charming aspect of her story is that she brings her femininity with her into the wild and into her story.  She may love smearing camoflauge on her face, but can’t live without painting her toes.


“Nikki van Schyndel is the real thing.  Everything she says in Becoming Wild, down to the finest details of food, tools, and emotions, she has done with her own hands and heart.  I have known her for nearly twenty years, and she is all that you might imagine.  Focused, self-reliant, competent – a doer –  and inspiringly alive.   Nikki doesn’t look like a wilderness survivor, but she is.  She very definitely is.  She is also a beautiful woman, and one of the charming aspects of her story is that she brings her femininity with her to the wild and into her story.  Nikki’s rite of passage reminds all of us of our own possibilities.”

– Wes Gietz is co-author of Peak States of Consciousness, Vol. 2 and Founder of Windwalker; a nature-based school dedicated to spiritual awakening.

Nikki studied and taught for six years under some of North America’s leading survivalists, trackers, and primitive artisans in Washington State and New York.  She graduated from the Dominion Herbal College in British Columbia.  Bold and original, Nikki shares her love of storytelling and secrets of the natural world with guests of Echo Bay Eco Ventures, her unique, custom-tailored tour operation.  She has been an earth skills educator for 15 years for various private organizations, summer camps, and school programs in North America. Her programs are the cutting edge of environmental education.  Not wanting to leave the wilderness and following another dream, she hand-built a log cabin from a how-to book and a few YouTube videos.  She finds herself in a place she never imagined; living in a remote community called Echo Bay.  Pop.9


Nikki has been praised by media, host venues, and audiences alike as an “amazing storyteller,” “an inspiration,” and “the most genuine person I have ever met.” An experienced and engaging speaker, she offers a unique perspective and incredible insight into our place – and future place – in this world.


She tells not only the unimaginable intimate encounters with the very wildlife that captures our hearts and feeds our fears, but the triumphs, sufferings, failures and hilarious predicaments of a modern girl gone wild woman.  She shares her passion, energy and humor in a highly interactive presentation, complimenting her talk with a short video and examples of the primitive tools and crafts she lived with, from cedar bark baskets to bone-barbed fish hooks.

Events have been really well attended and the publisher has even received a number of emails and phone calls from people wanting to reserve seating or calling afterward asking if there is anything they can do to help spread the word.


Check out Nikki’s latest Interview in Hawaii at:


To book Nikki for public or private speaking events, book readings, trips or custom workshops please contact:

Nikki van Schyndel at –

Thank you to my family, friends, teachers, students, and everyone who has contributed to my book and photos for my website, including Billy Proctor, Salmon Coast Field Station, Yvonne Maximchuk at sea rose studios , Pierre’s at Echo Bay Marina, Jeremy Scarrow Photography and Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort.