In this study, a novel distance sensing method is presented by using a semiconductor laser (SL) with optical feedback (OF) and operating the SL at a switching status happened between two nonlinear dynamic states (stable state and period-one state). In this case, without the need for any electronic or optical modulation devices, the laser intensity can be modulated in a square wave form due to the switching via utilizing the inherent SL dynamics. The periodicity in the switching enables us to develop a new approach for long-distance sensing compared to other SL with OF-based distance measurement systems and lift the relevant restrictions that existed in the systems. Moreover, the impact of system controllable parameters on the duty cycle of the square wave signals generated was investigated on how to maintain the proposed system robustly operating at the switching status. Both simulation and experiment verified the proposed sensing approach.