Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

Frugal Tent Living


Jordan's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

08-11-04, 01:53 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Jordan
Frugal Tent Living

I got a close friend that is tired of paying a lot off $$$$ for a crappy apartment and wants to live inside a tent year round.

Yesterday he purchased a four season expedition tent called The North Face and a mummy sleeping bag that is good for -50 degree weather. He is thinking about going to MacDonald's Point Provincial Park near Owen Sound, Ontario which is open year round. Some of the parks in the area have seasonal camping site passes for $1500.00 per year but I don't know if you can live there year round with a pass.

What advice would you give someone who wants to live inside a tent?

 
Sponsored Links
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 9,524
CANADA

08-11-04, 06:06 PM   #2 (permalink)  
My first advice would be don't.

Jordan,

I would say that as a summer/fall exersize your friend will learn alot.
Explorers and nomadic tribes have been using tents as accomodation for many years but your friend will soon come to realize the hardships that will come with doing this.
You get a lot of rain and snow where you are and I would be curious as to how this will be dealt with.
You cannot use a heater in a tent due to frost forming on the walls and there will be no effective way of drying things out.

The only way this might work is if he does not have a job in which case he then would be able to devote his time solely to survival.

Mind you I doubt very much that the Parks Branch will even allow it. I'm sure there are rules about lenght of stay.

Does he have a vehicle, a job, a detailed plan?


GregH.........HVAC/R Tech

 
mattison's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,549
OH

08-12-04, 04:32 AM   #3 (permalink)  
Tell him to buy a few acres of land and go for it. If he's never camped for extended times before you will get a good deal on the land. I don't see any park letting someone live there full time.

 
mattison's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,549
OH

08-19-04, 07:38 AM   #4 (permalink)  
So Jordan. Is your friend going to live in a tent or what? I sometimes picture myself as Grizzly Adams and wonder what it would really be like.

 
PeppermintPatty's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-01-04, 08:16 AM   #5 (permalink)  
PeppermintPatty
I predict that this style of living will not last too long. There is a reason that mankind decided to stop sleeping outdoors... and this guy is going to find out why. Going from the creature comforts of indoor living to exclusive outdoor living will be very tough to take, and within a few weeks, this guy will be back from where he came.

 
chaoslord's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

10-25-04, 05:19 PM   #6 (permalink)  
chaoslord
You are using the wrong model, here. Long term tent dwellers use tipis or big clunky canvas tents of the military surplus persuasion, or available from outfitters catalogs. tipis support a campfire, canvas wall tents are available with stove jacks-a fire resistant panel to contain a metal chimney, and they offer these incredibly cool folding sheepherders stoves with ovens and water heater tanks, and all manner of cool stuff. Designed for horse-packing into remote areas to shoot elk, or something. The ultra-light backpacking tents are too small, too fragile and too poorly designed for a long term gig. tipis are available on the internet. Yurts, too, but that's a little bigger project. Or a cardboard bucky fuller dome. on the other hand, you will still be living in a manner that every culture has dumped as soon as they figured out how to farm, raise domestic animals, and brew beer. Then came cities, organized politics, world wars and nuclear weapons...none of which would have been an issue if we had stayed in the damned tents .

 
Pilot Dane's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 15,633
NC

10-26-04, 03:42 AM   #7 (permalink)  
chaoslord is thinking many of the same things as myself. I'd go for a canvas cabin style tent. I'm sure after a month or two in the tent your freind will really miss standing up to get dressed.

Have your friend get a cheap tarp to cover their expensive nylon tent. Nylon breaks down with exposure to UV (not thay you get much sun up there). Let the cheap tarp block the UV and protect your expensive tent.

Also, they make sleeping bag liners. Get one. It's like a sheet for your sleeping bag. You want that to get dirty instead of your bag since the liner can be easily washed.

Up there in the great white north have your friend prepare to wake up to everything frozen. Water, food, boots... Cooking in a tent is one thing. It's a real pain in the a$$ to thaw out your water just so you can put it in a pot to make coffee. For shorter trips I'd sleep with my water bottles and freezable food inside my sleeping bag. For longer term I suppose you could put your food & water in a very good cooler to help keep it warm. It will eventually freeze though unless you regularly add heat like a bottle or two of hot water.

I'm not sure how cold it gets during the winter but propane and butane stoves and lights don't work well when it gets very cold. A gasoline or coleman fuel stove will work in any temperature.

 
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 9,524
CANADA

10-26-04, 05:23 AM   #8 (permalink)  
Just wondering,

Did your friend give up the comfort of his not so nice apartment or did he have a chance to really think out this adventure?


GregH.........HVAC/R Tech

 
rogerb's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

02-14-05, 01:08 PM   #9 (permalink)  
rogerb
During the 60's my elder brother lived in a tent for three months in the Canadian north each winter as part of International Nickel's program to map the north for minerals. He speaks nostalgicly of having to warm up the fuel oil in the tent stove so that it would flow enough so the stove would work. When you are young, single, and being paid lots of cash to live in tents in the wintertime it would be fun for a while but long term it would really suck. No place to take a bath, and after a little time you would smell so bad no one would want be around you so goodby to your job. Living in a tent full time and having a life don't seem to mix!

 
jnshawnh's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

03-29-05, 03:43 PM   #10 (permalink)  
jnshawnh
Posted By: Pilot Dane I'm not sure how cold it gets during the winter but propane and butane stoves and lights don't work well when it gets very cold. A gasoline or coleman fuel stove will work in any temperature.
Those propane and butane stoves can be almost worthless when it gets down around freezing. You can actually wrap your hands around the canister and watch the flame leap up.
Supposedly the propane/butane mix fuels work better in cold weather.
But you cant beat a MSR whisperlite or similar stove that burns white gas.
Burns like a blow torch in any tempature but forget simmering anything. They usually burn at two temps; off or blow-torch...

 
sporty982000's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 154

10-01-05, 10:14 PM   #11 (permalink)  
old post i see, maybe jordan fill us in on what ever happened to his friend.

sporty

 
mep9668291b's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 8

12-22-05, 03:42 PM   #12 (permalink)  
Tent Camping

The mogolians have been doing it for 3,ooo years.They live in felt covered ridgid frame tents called yurts,or ghers as they prever them be called.they throw on xtra layers of felt in the winter and heat with woodstove which they also use for cooking.They also have a lockable door.One of my favorite past time is building yurts.i have built two so far one for myself and family to stay in on our mountain property in West Virginia,while we were building our cabin.And the second i built for my inlaws to be used as a green house which worked out very well,and the only change we made was to cover it with a green house clear plastic.They are really kinda cool.when you want to move ya just uncover it roll it up throw in the back of your truck or on a horse or camel like the mongolians and move on........xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

Moderator note:
Promoting one's own website is not permitted.


Last edited by GregH; 12-22-05 at 04:16 PM. Reason: Advertising
 
Polydorus's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 170

12-24-05, 07:58 AM   #13 (permalink)  
Posted By: chaoslord Long term tent dwellers use tipis or big clunky canvas tents of the military surplus persuasion
The wall tents I seen like this also had a wood floor platform for winter. It provided a bit of insulation from the frozen ground.

 
busnutz's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1

11-12-06, 08:58 AM   #14 (permalink)  
For any of you Grizzly Adams want-a-bes I can tell you.
You can live quite comfortably in a small tent all year round . My wife; daughter & I did that for many years way back in the mountains of Oregon.
I hunted, trapped and often fished every day for food and when we needed other supplies and ammo I would hike down the mountain, hitch hike into town and buy stuff.
We got the money to do this by making Arts & Crafts stuff in the tent.
The reason we lived this way is I’ve mostly always been a Nomad . Traveled and hitch hiked just about everywhere. And because of that I’ve always believed we were much better people when we all lived in Tents & caves. So after living in the outdoors for most of my life it wasn’t a big deal to take it to the next level.

It’s not hard to live this way …you just have to have the will to stick with it and get comfortable with not having a conventional roof over your head.
A few things you need to get comfortable with are being wet a lot and mostly dirty all the time.
Hollywood loves to portray Native Americans & Mountainmen in spotless clothes and furs , but the reality of this sort of lifestyle is your days are fully taken up with ‘survival’ stuff. You just don’t have the time to spare to wash up like you would in a more ‘normal’ lifestyle . You have to get comfortable with that otherwise you’re going to quit.

Another important thing to take into account is the even the highest quality backpackers tents and equipment are not made for year round living in harsh environments. Out of preference we choose a Eureka Timberline tent to live in , but after one year up in the mountains we had to throw a tarp over it to keep the water out.
Then there’s always the situation that if you’re living a true outdoors lifestyle you’re going to be carrying much more stuff than some average backpacker does.
You’ve got your gun, traps ,fishing gear , clothing , tent , food, etc. etc etc. to haul around …trying to do that with just a backpack gets old very fast.
Since living this way anywhere in the mountains of the U.S. is completely illegal you can’t realistically get a Horse to carry your stuff. Horses are big , leave easily followed tracks for rangers & game wardens to follow …so your only realistic option for carrying your stuff is getting a Big Frame pack. Internal Frame packs are great for normal traveling and backpacking , but are useless for year-round outdoor living.
We used big camouflage frame packs put out by Cabelas and to make life easier on us I added small cart wheels to the packs.
Another reason Frame packs are excellent is you can take the packbag off the frame and used the frame to carry all sorts of things.
We also carried 50 feet of climbing rope ,biners and pulleys to not just haul our packs up cliffs and overhangs but also for hauling Deer and such up into trees for gutting/skinning.

This is a huge subject and I don’t have the time to detail everything ….but even so I can tell you this is quite a nice lifestyle for those with the stuff to live that way.

 
lavender glass's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1

04-25-07, 02:48 AM   #15 (permalink)  
lavender glass

i had a very successful two years living in a tent when I was in my early 30s.

it wasn't as hard-core of a situation as what the guy starting this thread is proposing.

at the same time, i know for a fact that living in a tent can be a great experience.

a lot of whether living in a tent will work out depeds on one's personality. I have always liked living alone, and I have never felt the acute anxiety and embarrassment many feel from being unorthodox. So, living alone in a remotely-located tent worked very well for me.

i was a student working three jobs. I was never able to get back to my rented room for more than a few hours at a time. the rent was a big drain on my very tight budget. I couldn't see how to get out of paying rent, but I sure wanted to.

i ran into a co-worker who let me in on a secret, which was that, for years, he had been living rent-free and unhassled in the mountains behind a university in our town.

he showed me the ropes entirely. my friend (whom i called the "tent mentor") told me everything to buy to outfit my situation. he had me buy a 5 person eureka dome tent. he had me put a thick plastic sheet underneath the tent, and over it. he had me cover the tent with camoflage burlap. he set me up with a white gas stove for heat, and cooking (i seldom cooked). he showed my how to reinofrce the tent with supplemental roping. he showed me how to reinforce the seams of my tent.

i bougth a membership at the unversity's fieldhouse. I bought an "associate alumni" membership (or some such) for about $50 a year. this gave me rights to use their showers, pool and gymnasium, and the library and computers and other amenities. one didn't have to be an alumni to get this membership. all you had to do was pay money to the alumni association. i wasn't going to the university; i was attending a local community college.

the city bus line would take me way to the rear of the campus, even at the wee hours of the morning. once i got off the bus, i was within walking distance to my campsite.

the biggest exposure i had to getting caught camping was going from the bus into the woods. once i was into the woods, i was home free. It helped that I was always carrying books and backpack, which made me look like a student. Also, I wasn't so advanced in age that I would stand out. Once i was into the woods, it was a seven minute walk to my campsite, but it might as well have been 7 miles, because after that 7 minute walk, i was so far off the beaten path that being discovered was not a serious risk.

my tent arrangement was dry as a bone even durig torrential downpours. when it was hot out, my tent was cool inside. when it was cold out, my tnet was warmer than the outdoors. by turning on the white gas stove for severla minutes, i would have heat for quite some time.

when i first ran the white gas stove, i stayed up for 5 hours reading a book, in order to make very sure that the stove didn't make me somehow pass out. i didn't pass out.

i rented a storage room for storage of all my bulky stuff. I has a bare bones colection of things up at the tent site.

there were some adventures, for sure. one time my flashlight crapped out as i was working my way down the mountian to go to work. I mean, it was PITCH BLACK. I was as sightless as Stevie Wonder. It took me hours, but I finally managed to grope my way to a fire trail. Once I found the fire trail, I was able to find my way out.

I sure learned the lesson of having a backup flashlight!

interestigly, here i am again, twenty years later, about to embark on similar arrangement once again. unlike my stealth camping on the grounds of a university, this arrangement is above board. I have a friend who has 60 acres. He said I could pitch a tent on his property for $300 a month, and I can use his facilities (shower, etc.).

this arrangement is more high-tech. I am setting up a "repeater" which increases the distance of his DSL signal, so I can have a computer in my tent.

this time, I have a generator. I will use that to top off a marine battery. I probalby will get a solar panel to trickle charge the battery, also.

I also am going to build a big deck and put a 20x10 foot car enclosure for storage, which will suplement my 180 sq ft tent.

once this all gets off the ground (it is under construction), I will save $500/month in rent, minus the cost of running the generator. I can't believe I am, in effect, getting PAID $500 for in a beautiful Northern California forset.

from my previous experience living in a tent, I know that there will be periods when I have a day off, and I am up in my tent, and life will be very good. no one to bug me, books to read, and a sleeping bag for naps. A major contemplation-enhancing environment.

 
Pilot Dane's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 15,633
NC

04-25-07, 06:06 PM   #16 (permalink)  
$300 to "allow" you to pitch your tent. In my little town in NC $300 a month will get you into a mobile home or small house.

I've got to give you credit for taking a nontraditional approach to life. It's not my way, and it's not mainstream US lifestyle, but it sounds like you've got a plan that will work.

My tiny bit of advice: I would not get a cheap generator if you can afford it. I've had very good luck with the Honda EU series generators. They are very quiet and fuel efficient and they have built in battery chargers. The EU1000 or EU2000 can be had for $600-$900 (I said they were not cheap), but they last forever and for a generator they will not destroy the peace of the forest. Yamaha also has a similar series of generators but I've never tried them.

 
Serafim's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1

07-21-07, 08:50 PM   #17 (permalink)  
Yurts?

Yurts sounds interesting. How did you build it and do you have some link or pics?
thanks

 
glen m's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1
AL

07-09-08, 08:31 PM   #18 (permalink)  
I love living in the bush
I am going to school now and have a set up similar to lavender glass.
I have been living in the tent for 2 months have 3 weeks left and not looking forward to going home. I went home for a weekend and felt very awkward after a few hours living in doors.

my next semester it will be about -40 centigrade so I am building an insulated camper roughly the size of a tent that I can put on the roof of my old beater of a car.
I like that yurt idea but the areas I can find to camp are too far out of town and I wouldn't have time to bike it and have enough time for school work.

 
silentwavez's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1

07-30-08, 05:37 AM   #19 (permalink)  
Great discussion

Im living in a tent for the past two months.. One is 3 bedroom canvas tent covered bottom and top with heavy duty canvas. Other is a 3 bedroom throw away tent, mailnly for storage. Then we have 2 small garden sheds, one connected to power.. I am studying in the bush externally connected to the web via a wireless broadband connection, the university is 5000kms away..

Making a 5acre organic vegi garden and forest restoration permaculture style project.

Yea living in a tent in the year 2008 can be quite easily done. Technology for the camping outdoor enthusiast is very comfortable and useful nowdays...

Can you not post pics here?

I also camp out on deserted tropical islands in the Solomon Islands surfing, using the small backpack kind of tent and its fine...
Glen :mask:


Last edited by Shadeladie; 07-30-08 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Soliciting not allowed on forum.
 
alaskantentlady's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1

08-29-08, 08:03 PM   #20 (permalink)  
I'm a writer who needed a cheap way to live that allows me to research full time. I began living in tents in 2002. Today my daughter and I live in a homemade ger in interior Alaska year-round. We build them with 1/2 inch walls slats tied together with zip ties. We use radiant insulation, vapor barriers, wool inside fabrics and waterproof exterior materials.

We cook and heat with a woodstove.

Shelter, heat and water are 3 primal needs. Once you decide what kind of tent suits you best, besides the absolute neccessity of a viable source for getting wood and water, it requires a way to cut and haul it back. Tent living and dry cabins both mean hand carrying inside everything you need, and carrying it out after it becomes waste.

It's amazing to see how much waste a person actually produces. Over the years we've become big fans of durable,easy to clean water containers and I've learned to use a small (woman sized) chainsaw. When it gets down to 40 below my daughter and I sleep in shifts to keep a fire going all night.

A honey bucket is a time proven option to going to the outhouse in the middle of the night, antique stores carry the prettiest bowls designed specifically for this purpose.

We live in an RV campground with electric hookups and showers in the summertime. In the winter we heat sponge bath water every morning and take "real" showers at the local laundrymat about once a week. Sometimes we take home baths while standing in a large Tahitian salad bowl. We keep 2 large water pots on the stove at all times and place fresh water jugs with spigots over a drain pan which collects water for daily dishes. We have about 5, 5 to7 gal jugs and also have a 50 gallon water storage tank. We haul water from the community well for $50 a year.

My advice to someone wanting to live in a tent is "Go for it!" After living in a wall tent one winter, I am absolutely sold on yurts! My latest 20 footer cost less than 1100. to build, and the wooden 20x24 deck was 600. of that. Once you're actually doing it you start learning how to make it easier. It's a fantastic journey into a place your brain has access to.

 
jimsambean's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1

10-29-08, 07:10 PM   #21 (permalink)  
creeping cold months

I just spent most of my summer/ warm fall months living in a tent around the east cost and I’m thinking I might try and stay out for a few of the coming cold months. I first began living in a tent when I started building a sailing canoe on some property a friend of mine had upstate NY. Don’t know how long I can stay here though . . .

Checkout what I’ve been up to ‡ Beer 4U2

********


Last edited by GregH; 10-29-08 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Links to personal websites not allowed
 
nomadtent's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1

10-20-09, 06:31 AM   #22 (permalink)  
An American Nomadic lifestyle?

Is it possible since so many of our freedoms have been and are being taken away? It is actually against the law to be homeless, yet our government elected officials continue to take pay offs, betray America and cater to the highest bidder to insure their future and sacrifice yours. As the political and economic world continues to change the American landscape many may find themselves living in tents. I believe this because it is already happening. As a person who has been kind of a loner, over they years I have developed very simple methodologies for near rent free living. To live among people though you do really need a source of income, a job is necessary to acquire goods. I have lived in a van and this is actually superior than a tent but I am not opposed to living in tents, in fact this would be my next move. Vans can be made to look non-descript, can be insulated, vented and with either a white gas stove or propane set up, you can effectively keep warm and clean by sponge bath. Constantly moving and parking in multiple places at night for bedtime keeps the stealth factor in place unless you have a safe rented location or have permission. Laundromats, public restrooms, libraries and other necessary services in town are usually easily accessible. Tent living is good if you have a place to camp but this isn't always the case if you live in or around a city. You may be able to talk someone into letting you camp in their backyard but then the neighbors might complain to the city, it kind of depends on the people around you. Choosing a rural area is by far the best choice as their would be more privacy in a less congested area. Regional differences will have their own set of tactical problems. Like someone said earlier, you can get away with more when you appear to be a young person. If your older you will be viewed as a homeless bum or a vagrant. People these days because of the soaring crime rate are really paranoid and although you are probably one of the best people in the world because of societal fears you will be judged harshly. There are five major concerns in regards to tent living. 1) SECURITY Are you in a safe environment? If you are not you are in danger of being attacked or worse. You will not sleep well and if you aren't rested you will be miserable. 2) SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS You need to get a really good folding cot with mattress, an inflatable bed works but always leaks air and gets holes easily. Camping pads aren't good enough for the long term camper, you must acquire a good mattress, 8" soft foam rubber would do, even just at ground level. I used 6" firm foam rubber and slept on it directly on the ground for a couple of years. Stiffer foam makes your hip ache and you toss and turn a lot to get comfortable but I suffered it out becasue it was expensive to buy. 3) HEAT You really need to make sure you can keep relatively warm. If you use a white gas stove make sure you have a window or opening cracked between you and the stove because if you don't you will die of carbon monoxide poisoning. Wood stove is very good heat but a lot of work to maintain, acquire wood, makes an ongoing mess and you smell like wood smoke all the time and doesn't make for ease of evacuation when you have to leave in a hurry. Also keep your tent covered with a couple of layers of tarps for added insulation and water proofness. 4) FOOD & WATER Make sure these things are accessible. If you don't have a job make sure you take advantage of the local mission for the homeless and other agencies that help the hurting in which they go by many names. You will be able to find these places in your city by doing a little asking around. 5) KEEP POSITIVE! It is not a good thing to hang around the down trodden for any length of time as there sad situation can bring you down. Make sure you have a good plan, a job to go to and try to surround yourselves with good friends. Going to a Christian Church is a good idea, you will find friendship, food, a helping hand and a relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Praying to Jesus that you recognize and are sorry for being a sinner and asking for the FREE gift of salvation which He gives freely to those who ask Him, praying for your needs and protection will open a whole new door to looking at life through spiritual eyes. This is a very important part of life. God bless you.

 
Claw Hammer's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 105

10-28-09, 02:40 PM   #23 (permalink)  
I was reading this post and I even ate dinner before I was able to compose myself enough to come on here and speak to all of you.

People who are homeless are homeless for one reason and one reason only. Nobody cares about you!

There is not a person in the world that wouldn't want to have a nice house and a nice car and a nice job and a nice woman or man to keep them warm at night. Health insurance, life insurance, food on the table and electricity, running hot water, heat and all the stuff that comes with having a place to live.

Several times while I was growing up, my dad threw me out of the house. He told me to leave and not to come back. My father was very abusive and there was times where I had to wear my gym clothes to school - because he beat me so many times that my back would be covered with belt marks and this day in age - he would have been arrested and put in jail and not allowed near any children, but back in the 70's - nobody cared and nobody did anything about it. Nobody wanted to get involved - not even his own family.

So at one point, I took care of my grandparents on my moms side of the family, that was until they died. My grandma died in 1984 and my grandfather died in 1987. I thank god for every day of my life that he gave to me and the time that I got to spend with my grandparents.

When my grandfather died, I was working in a greenhouse and making minimum wage. I had one weeks paid vacation coming and OVR offered me money to go to college and make something out of myself. Only problem was, I had to go to a hospital for two weeks to be evaluated and tested to see if I would be capable of going to college and I had to come up with my own money to live on because my SAT's were not high enough to get on the main campus the first two years.

My grandfather died and left the house to my mom, but my aunts decided that they wanted part of the estate - even though they all had good husbands who had good jobs and money. They were just greedy.

The house was a duplex and my one aunt and uncle lived on the other side. My uncle tormented my grandparents and actually tried to cheat them out of the house and tried to cut off the utilities - to get them to leave. It was my grandparents house - the uncle was just someone who got my aunt pregnant and then left her with the kids. so my grandfather did what he had to do to take care of them.

When my one cousin died, the father came home and decided to take over the house.

So the uncle wanted the house and the aunts forced my mom to sell the house and throw me out. I think they got $7500 out of the sale of the house. 4 sisters = about $1800 each.

If my mom would not have signed the papers, I would not have ended up a homeless person. Going to college and living in a automobile - is not something that you can hide.

I actually found a abandoned house with a alcoholic person living in it. My mom came down and helped clean the house and I had a bed and a dresser. I worked all night in a grocery store and I went to school all day. There was no running water in the house, no electricity, no heat. Just 4 uninsulated walls.

My grandmother on my dads side of the family lived 3 houses away - yet never raised a hand to help me. She was worth about a half a million dollars when she died 2 years ago.

So I heated my room with a Coleman lantern. A Coleman lantern puts out lot's of heat and lasts as much as 8 hours per a tank of fuel. The problem was - they did not make one that worked on pump gasoline and I couldn't always afford Coleman fuel.

The generator would clog up and I would be without heat until I could afford to buy another generator.

The alcoholic kid that lived with no heat, gave me a old gas stove. It was sold in Western Auto and used Coleman fuel.

I tried to use gasoline in it once and it overheated and melted the generator and lost pressure and ran rich and filled the whole house with smoke and soot.

So then my room was filled with black soot and everything was dirty.

The person that owned the house owed a lot of people money and she sold the house. I had to get out.

The people who bought my other grandparents house - had a slide in camper in the backyard that he used to go to Alaska one year on the Alcan highway.

The camper was falling apart, but it had a sink and a furnace and a place to sleep. It was actually better then the house.

My grades suffered from all the hours at work and lack of sleep and lack of a good place to live and I fell out of college.

I lost my job in the grocery store for riding a pallet jack - while not on the job - like a scooter. They wanted rid of me and that was as good of a excuse as they needed to fire me.

I found employment picking Princess Pine, it is a small plant that grows on the forest floor that looks like a little pine tree.

They paid 17 cents a pound and I had to walk about a mile one way to get to a place where it grew. Down one hill and up the next. If you picked all day, you could pick 100 lbs.

You had to buy rubber bands to hold them in bunches and the people weighed them when you brought them in, and by that time - they lost 10 lbs because they dried out.

I carried water from a spring - 1/2 a mile away, down one hill and up on the way back. Usually I could carry about 8 gallons a day. So that is what I lived on.

I had a Coleman cooler and bought ice to keep my food in - in the summertime. The first month I paid $40 rent, the second I paid $80 and the third month the guy told me to get out - even after I gave him $100.

The guy was a alcoholic and did dope and had a heart condition and didnt sleep, so he drank all day and all night.

I believe that he lived 3 years from the time he moved in until he died.

SO I had a old 1967 Chevrolet sedan delivery truck and a friend of mine who helped me out along the way got a 4 wheel drive vehicle and moved it down into the woods for me.

There was a seep - water coming out of the ground, and I dug a hole and made a spring house out of rocks. I had a crude place to keep my milk and my food cold and didn't need ice. I had running water - 60 feet from the vehicle.

I used another hole in a different direction as my toilet.

Taking a bath was pretty hard. There isn't much room in a truck in a place where you have to sleep to wash, so sponge baths is about as good as it gets.

I could hunt for food, and didn't have to worry about my alcoholic roommate stealing my stuff while I was not around.

I paid out most of the money I made, just getting a ride to where they bought the princess pine and going to the grocery store to get food, so there was not a lot of extra's.

My mom did my laundry for me and hid it in the cellar and I came up at night and got my clothes and they were clean.

Christmas meal one year was a can of Campbells Chicken and Dumplings soup. I know because it cost $1 and I heated it over the Coleman lantern. It was the best meal I ever ate.

Around about New Years, one day when it was about 0 outside, my mom came down and told me that dad said I could move back home until spring.

That summer my dad threw me out - after I was in a auto accident with one of my brothers and I never looked back.

I could build a small house for about $8000 - which in the long run is about what I paid for my grandmothers house when she died. You could live without utilities as long as you had insulation and owned the property that you lived on.

But you still have to have money coming in to pay for everything and you have to have clothes and food and heat and all that good stuff.

Even roughing it - you have to have shotgun and rifle shells, a fishing pole and hooks and bait. You have to have Coleman fuel and money to buy spare generators. You have to have soap and water and a clean pair of clothes. That all costs money.

With the job situation and a couple of dollars in the bank from the auto accident, I can still get along, but no one in 50 miles is going to hire me with a back injury and I cant do laborer work anymore.

When you have money in the bank, you can't get public assistance. So people ho are on assistance eats better then I do.

All I can say is that if I still had a daughter, I would not want her living in a tent and I would not raise her in a tent. Even if I had to sell all my guns and all my tools and all my possessions - I wouldn't let her live like that.

It's just not fair for a kid to grow up like that.

So please don't make this all sound so romantic.

Living in the woods with no one to care about you and being ashamed of where you live and how you live is no way to live.

It sucks!

Get a job and get a place to live and conform to society.

Sooner or later, the generator will clog on your stove and you will be without heat and will freeze to death and that will be the end of your story.

 
Claw Hammer's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 105

10-28-09, 03:29 PM   #24 (permalink)  
When I was a homeless person, living in what the kids called the Panel Hotel. It was a joke - because there was a hotel in town called the Pantall Hotel.

I had two books that I saved from when I was in college.

One was a King James version of the bible and the other was a dictionary - a very large one for college.

I read both books from cover to cover. I can recite verses from the bible and can remember most of the stories in the bible.

I went to church every week - a local catholic church in a town of 100 people. Everybody knew where I lived, yet no one - except a man that owned a window manufacturing shop lifted a finger to help me.

I ended up making enough money to get my own place and then the company downsized, so I lost my job and was no better off then when I was a homeless person.

 
Search this Thread