I have a friend who pitched a tent in some deep woods for months when they were homeless. They just walked to town for groceries. It's workable, but turns out there are mountain lions so you don't want to go far from your tent. You also need to really know what you're doing to camp in the wild.
Building a house in the wild is technically possible but it could be discovered eventually. If you're in the US though and want to camp in the woods, look to the Bureau of Land Management's website for a map of areas falling under their jurisdiction. These areas, as I understand, are legal for anyone to camp in at any time as long as they don't build structures.
Really though do your research and do it well before going out deep. You should also do some test runs in less deep areas first to iron out any issues with your plans.
Also since OP has friends they should definitely try staying with friends before staying in the woods.