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Mike Oehler

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Mike Oehler
David Michael Oehler

(1938-01-02)January 2, 1938
DiedFebruary 2, 2016(2016-02-02) (aged 78)
Other namesMountain Mike
Occupation(s)Environmentalist, author, designer

David Michael Oehler (AY-lur; January 2, 1938 – February 2, 2016) was an American environmentalist and author. He was a proponent and designer of affordable and sustainable alternative forms of housing. He became well known for his appearances in episodes of Louis Theroux's BBC documentary series Weird Weekends (1998).

Early life[edit]

David Michael Oehler was born in Chicago on January 2, 1938, the son of Polly and Chet Oehler.[1] He grew up in nearby Wilmette and had three sisters named Patricia, Gretchen, and Sioux.[1] He graduated from New Trier High School but dropped out of college to pursue his writing career, then served in the U.S. Army before working on fishing boats.[1] He then worked in gold mines in Alaska, joined the U.S. Forest Service, cruised around Mexico, and finally ended up in San Francisco, where he embraced the hippy movement and lifestyle.[1]


Oehler partook in the 1960s back-to-the-land movement. He lived on a 40-acre homestead in the Idaho mountains. He wrote numerous books and appeared as a university lecturer, as well as a TV and radio guest, on topics related to self-sufficiency and housing.[2][3]

In 1998, Oehler appeared in an episode of Louis Theroux's BBC documentary series Weird Weekends, in which Theroux visited Oehler's underground home in the mountains.[4] Later that year, he appeared in the follow-up special episode "Weird Christmas", in which he and three others who had appeared in their own episodes (a Christian fundamentalist, a porn star, and a ufologist) met up with Theroux in New York and engaged in various activities. The episode saw Oehler being taken by Theroux to a recording studio, where he recorded a song under the stage name of Mountain Mike.[5]


On February 2, 2016, at the age of 78, Oehler died of natural causes at his home near Bonners Ferry in Boundary County, Idaho.[1]


  • 1981: One Mexican Sunday (ISBN 978-0960446414)
  • 1982: The $50 Dollars and Up Underground House Book (ISBN 978-0442273118)
  • 1999: The Hippy Survival Guide to Y2K (ISBN 978-1879628175)
  • 2007: The Earth-sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book: How to Build an Energy Free Year-round Greenhouse (ISBN 978-0960446407)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Boundary County, Idaho, News". www.newsbf.com. Archived from the original on 2016-02-24. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  2. ^ Oehler, Mike (1999). The Hippy Survival Guide To Y2K. Idaho: Keokee co.Publishing, Inc. p. 280. ISBN 1879628171.
  3. ^ Bonners Ferry News. "Mike Oehler - The Coming Storm". Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  4. ^ IMDB. "Louis Theroux: Weird Weekends". IMDb. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  5. ^ Theroux, Louis. "Weird Weekends: Weird Christmas". Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.

External links[edit]