Tag Archives: tent

Emergency Tent Living, Part 4 of 4

(Survival Manual/ 4. Shelter Issues/ Emergency Tent Living, Part 4 of 4)
How to live in a tent
tent interiors1

A.  How to Live in a Tent
Part One: It’s Not the Same as Camping
8 Mar 2013, Yahoo! Voices, by Tina Gallagher,  Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-live-tent-12031705.html?cat=7

Why and Where
There are many reasons that a person will decide to live in a tent. In many parts of the world today, people do just that. Some examples include:

  • People in Mongolia and in many parts of the world live in yurts, which is a circular type of tent with a solid front door.
  • Military troops on deployment to different areas will live in tents.
  • Refugees fleeing economic, political, natural disasters or other circumstances live in tents.
  • Those attending week-long outdoor festivals such as “Burning Man,” will live in tents.
  • People on retreats and sabbaticals will live in tents.
  • Those building houses in wilderness areas may live in tents during the construction process.
  • Homeless people may live in a tent if they are available.

I have lived successfully for weeks in a 7-by-7 foot, four-foot tall tent. I had permission to live on the land where I pitched it. Always make sure the landowner is okay with you being there. Trespassing is against the law; you could go to jail.

My choice of tent was basically made by my finances. You can choose the tent you need.
You will be surprised, as I was to find out how much “stuff” you really do not need.

To begin my sabbatical, I obtained permission to camp on a stretch of land. I will not give the exact location. I do not have the landowner’s permission to do so.

I chose the date that I would begin and took everything I owned to the place. It was nearby several businesses; the employees could not see my camp. I was not far from a public library. This would become very important during the sabbatical. Approximately a quarter mile from the library was a grocery store. I could buy what I needed.

The beginning of my sabbatical was in January 2013. Choosing the middle of the winter wasn’t all that dumb. The weather here can vary from mild to harsh. I was prepared for almost everything.

I pitched my tent and clipped my cat’s leash to one of the tent poles. She could run around in her harness in a 10-foot diameter. She loved it.

Since space was limited inside the tent, I had to choose what to put in it carefully. Here is a list of the various items:

  • A single-wide air mattress. I blew this up with my mouth. No, it wasn’t easy, but it can be done with patience.
  • A sleeping bag, blankets, comforter and pillow.
  • My cat’s carrier, water and food dishes along with a small broom and dustpan and her litter scooper.
  • My backpack which was filled with different things.
  • A bag containing toiletries and necessities.
  • My clock

A second tent was given to me, but I decided it was too tall (six-feet). I also discovered the door’s zipper was broken. I pitched it, staked down the corners and placed the rest of my belongings inside. I weighed down the rain cover with rocks. It worked fine.

Now I was set to begin my sabbatical. I learned several things about myself and the world around me.

The second article will discuss water, cooking, shopping and living without refrigeration.

Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse subjects and skills such as DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.

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B.  How to Maintain a Campground
4 Apr 2013, Yahoo! Voices, by Tina Gallagher, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-maintain-campground-12048160.html?cat=7

When I decided to live in a tent, I also decided to share what I knew and what I learned along the way. Those who live in a tent should always obtain permission from the landowner before attempting it. If you own the land, you can camp on it if your local ordinance or state law permits it.

This is the third article in the series, “Living In A Tent.” This article will discuss:

  • Maintaining the camp
  • Personal hygiene
  • Pet hygiene
  • Wild Animals

Maintaining The Camp
There are a number of ways to maintain your camp. The best is to follow eco-friendly practices. The following tips will help your camp stay pristine so that you do not cause any damage to your surrounding environment.

  • Remove all of your trash daily and place it in a proper receptacle.
  • Never leave a fire to burn itself out. This ludicrous practice has been responsible for numerous campfires over the years. If a fire starts, your tent and belongings will go with it.
  • Choose a place to dump out wash water; always use bio-degradable soap for baths, hair-washing and dishwashing.
  • Remember the old adage: “You pack it in, pack it out.” It should be self-explanatory.

Personal Hygiene
Staying clean can seem like a major issue when you live in a tent. If you have a gym membership, a friend’s house you can visit regularly, have a shower at work or school, you pretty much have it made. If not, it’s really not that hard.

Heat water in one of your pans. My Sterno stove does just fine heating a quart of water in a blue enamel saucepot. Pour that into a clean bucket and add a little liquid soap and your washcloth. Add just enough cold water to make it the temperature you like. Swish around a little, and wash inside the tent, wringing out the cloth before washing. Frequently dip the cloth into the soapy water and squeeze it out. You can have a separate bucket with warm water and a clean cloth for rinsing, but I’ve found this unnecessary.

For washing hair, heat water and pour into another bucket. Lean over and use a cup to get your hair wet. Your goal is to clean your scalp. Use just enough shampoo to get your hair clean, dipping the cup into the water and pouring it slowly over your head while you wash. It takes a little practice. You won’t have a head full of lather unless you want to pour water over your head for quite a while to rinse. You can use a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner or use a leave-in conditioner.

For ladies, we have to deal with feminine napkins every month. Do not bury these or toilet paper anywhere on the camp ground. Place these items in a trash bag and take it out of the camp daily.

If you do not have a toilet, a porta-potty is a great answer. Do not dig a latrine in the campground. There is a porta-potty that uses bags called “doody bags.” You do your business in the bag, close the bag and dispose of it in the trash. It contains gel to take care of liquid and solid waste.

If you have leftover food after cooking, put it in a plastic bag and into the trash. Do not dump it on the ground; you will have to deal with bugs and wild animals if any are around.

Pet Hygiene
If you have a dog in your camp, prepare to “scoop the poop.” Do not allow your pet to mess anywhere just because you are camping. You will have to deal with flies, stink and bugs. The landowner or campground will ask you to leave. Clean up after your pet.
If you have a cat, the same advice goes. Use a box with cat litter and scoop the waste into the trash bag.

Wild Animals
If the land you are camping or living on has no wild animals, don’t worry about this. Of course, anywhere near a residential or urban area you could be dealing with stray domestic animals. There are a few rules to follow for the safety of your camp, yourself and your pet(s):

  • · Do not leave human or animal food out overnight.
  • · Keep all food in a container that cannot be opened by an animal- a Sterlite storage container with the lid locked in place will do.
  • · Although this has been mentioned before, do not pour food bits out around the camp. This attracts pests and animals as well. Raccoons are not “friendly Disney creatures,” they are incredibly dangerous.
  • · Ensure your pets have their vaccinations up to date.
  • · Do not attempt to track, pet or feed wild animals.
  • · Do not allow your pets to run free or to chase anything.

It is not hard to maintain a clean camp, keep yourself and your pet safe and clean. It does take effort; after a few days it will become a habit.

tent eureka copper canyon collage

 

C.  Frugality, Making a Living and Living Without Electricity in a Tent
18 Mar 2013, Yahoo! Voices,  by Tina Gallagher, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/frugality-making-living-living-without-electricity-12049380.html?cat=7

I decided to live in a tent during 2013. I learned a lot about living without different luxuries and things we often take for granted. It is a truly different way of life. I will share what I learned with you. Before you begin, make sure you have the permission of the campground or landowner.

Frugal Living
It is not expensive to live in a tent. If you have a pet or other belongings with you, you will soon discover what you can and cannot live without. You do not need refrigeration for some foods such as peanut butter, honey, most condiments and fresh vegetables. If you have limited space, you can shop for what you need for the day or the week. If you do not have an ice chest which requires frequent additions of ice, you can still have healthy meals.

Condiments, peanut butter and honey as well as other foods do not need refrigeration. Only use clean utensils to scoop out such items as relish or mustard.

Purchase meat in cans; it will keep for several months. It must be used within a couple of hours of being opened. Fresh meat should be cooked and eaten within a couple of hours. Only cook what you will eat; leftovers will not keep and waste will cost you too much money over time.

Earning A Living
Some people who live in a tent go to regular jobs during the day and return to their campground in the evening. Others make handcrafts that need storage space until they are sold.

I make a living as a freelance writer. I had no electricity in the camp, so I put my laptop in my backpack and carried it to the local public library every day and worked. The library allows customers to use their wi fi without any time limits. Before I had the laptop, I worked on the library’s computers; they have a two-hour time limit every day. I saved the money and ordered it; friends allowed me to use their address and they accepted it for me.

Living Without Electricity
Noting some of the panic in my neighborhood after hurricane Hermine, my neighbors and I tried to educate children about living without electricity. It is not as hard as it sounds; millions of people around the world do it every day.

The first feeling is one of a mild panic; at sunset the sky and everything turns dark. The first few nights I used a battery-powered lantern. After a few nights, my eyes learned to focus with the available moonlight to move around at night. Of course, with some of my wild neighbors such as raccoons and skunks, I did not go far from my immediate area. The ground was also very uneven; staying on familiar footing was also safer.

I used the laptop at the camp every night until the battery went low. I noticed quickly that in colder temperatures the battery would drain faster. I simply used the time I had to work or watch an entertaining program.

It should be noted that entertainment is a necessary part of a human being’s life. While I did not go out to movies or restaurants during this time, I still watched favorite television shows on HULU.com and other sites.

tent solar panels


D.  Make Your Next Camping Trip a Solar Experience
Let the Sun Power Your Camping Gear
22 Feb 2013, Yahoo! Voices,  by Tina Gallagher, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/make-next-camping-trip-solar-experience-12016869.html

I love camping. I hate to carry charcoal, firewood and batteries. Many campgrounds are not allowing people to bring in firewood anymore because the practice spreads diseased wood and bugs that are detrimental to the forests. When a burn ban is enacted, barbeque pits with charcoal are sometimes not allowed either.

So, what am I supposed to do? Sit in my camp eating cold beans and franks?

I won’t. With today’s technology, I am collecting new items for my camping gear. The sun will power my camp, cook my food, heat my water and provide a hot shower. I don’t have to run a generator or carry fuel.

All of these items can be found online and in various big box stores. Shop around to find the brand you like the best and obtain the best price.

They will also make a great addition to your disaster preparedness supplies or bug-out kit.

Hot Water
To have hot water for showers, you can buy solar showers in five or 10-gallon bags, either with or without spray nozzles. You can make your own pressurized solar shower as well. [See: http://voices.yahoo.com/diy-own-pressurized-solar-shower-11151012.html?cat=16%5D

To have hot water for drinking, washing dishes or cooking, you can heat water over a stove, in a solar oven or by setting a glass jar painted black in the sun.
If you take your car, there are 12 volt water heaters that plug into your cigarette lighter outlet. [Search, “12 volt water heaters” at Amazon.com]

Security Lighting
In a campground, you might not think about having a small sized solar powered security light. It may bother other campers. Then again, it could discourage a bad person from entering your camp and taking something. Lights suddenly coming on could scare off animals that could cause harm to you or your gear. A wide variety of designs are available; they could mount on a PVC pole that can be included in regular camping gear. [Search, “solar security light” at Amazon.com]
While they are not standard equipment on an RV or car, having them attached could also help you see if you have to step outside at night.

Solar Battery Charger
Some things just have to have batteries or to be charged. IPods, cell phones, laptops (for entertainment, of course) need power to operate. For standard batteries, there are several models for using the sun to charge regular batteries. Some models also charge cell phones. [Search “Solar battery charger” at Amazon.com]

For a laptop, more power is needed to charge the batteries. I carry a spare battery for my laptop in case I can’t get to a place I can plug the charger in. While the first battery is charging, I can use the 2nd. This solar panel will charge the laptop battery while I’m fishing, hiking or just having fun. Search, “ SUNPACK 16W Portable / Foldable Solar Charger for Laptops” at Amazon.com.

Solar Cooker
Solar cookers abound on the market. You can also make your own; many different designs are listed online. It depends on what you will be cooking, the size of cooker you want to carry and the size/type of pans you will use. Your home made model can be any size you wish. Currently, I use a Sterno stove and a single qt.-sized enamel pan for cooking in my camp. My solar oven won’t be very big at all. [See Global Sun Oven at: http://www.sunoven.com/   This is my personal favorite. Mr. Larry]

Solar Lantern
If the moon isn’t out, I need to see where I’m going at night. A solar lantern will light my way. Each model on the market has different charging/lighting times and may provide light for a specific amount of time. I’ll carry two. If one dies down, the other will work fine. I think I’ll find a model that uses both solar and batteries. With rechargeable batteries, I won’t run out of lighting.

Solar Radio
Several companies offer radios that have solar charging panels, use battery power, AC power or can be charged by turning a hand crank. This will not only provide entertainment, but could come in useful in an emergency.

There are models that can charge a cell phone, have flashlights or emergency flashing lights, sirens and more. There is a model for everyone.

Solar Flashlight
If I want to go outside without waking everybody up, I can use a solar powered flashlight. I can carry one in the car, have one in the house and anywhere I need one. It can sit in a place where the sun can charge it. In an emergency, or when I need a flashlight, I’m not looking for batteries or wishing the store was open.  [Search “solar powered flashlight” and “solar powered lantern” at Amazon.com]

My new camping gear won’t take up a lot of space. With the sun powering everything, I won’t need to carry batteries, fuel or haul a generator everywhere. My travel trailer will be a little lighter, which means I save on fuel. My backpack will be lighter as well- yippee!

tent battery bank

[Above Left: Steve Harris Emergency Home Battery Bank. See,  www.Battery1234.com This demonstration photograph shows the type of small appliances- personal electronics that can be powered by a deep cycle battery with an inverter.
Above right Mr. Larry’s “mobile power unit” shows a 125Ahr (70 lb battery) and outlets mounted on 2 wheel luggage dolly. Power is taken from the battery in bottom box, fed up to the inverter and 12 volt receptacles in the top box. An orange extension cord runs electric power to an appliance at a “remote” location. This is a very simple “plug and play” electrical system, no special electrical knowledge is necessary. The deep cycle battery is set in a Minn Kota Power Center  (bottom box); the top battery box houses a 4-way 12volt receptacle and a 400 watt inverter with USB,  also providing area for extension cord storage. A very simple system.]

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E.  The Gear You Need for a Completely Solar Powered Camping Trip
27 June 2011, Yahoo! Voices, by Mrs. Renee, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Excerpts pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/the-gear-completely-solar-powered-camping-8688841.html?cat=11

When it comes to camping there are many different ways that you can go about planning out your trip. If you are looking to really benefit from all that nature has to offer then you may want to consider camping with solar power. Solar power also comes in handy when you are at a campsite that does not offer electricity. One of the best ways to add solar power to your next camping trip is to get the right kids of gear. The first step to planning your solar powered camping trip is to stock up on solar powered camping supplies. Once you have all of the solar powered supplies you can then put them to good use. Below are some of the tp solar powered items to add to your camping shopping list.

Solar powered flashlights
Having solar powered flashlights, can really help when it comes to saving money on batteries for flashlights. A solar powered flashlight that comes with a back up batter will make sure that you stay charged through out the day. What is great about these lights is that they do not require direct sunlight to charge. So you can let them charge during the day, and then get them when you need them at night.

5 Gallon Solar Shower
Even though it may say solar shower, this is perfect for cleaning dishes as well as using as a shower. Or you can just rinse off the kids hands when you need to. Just leave the bag in the sun and it will warm itself up. When you are ready to shower you will get at least five nice short showers out of the bag. You can just get a tent that is made especially for showers, and use this bag with it. You can find these items at most Wal-Mart’s. [Search, “Camp showers” at Amazon.com]

Soul Cell Solar Powered Lantern
Having a solar powered light to brighten up the nights is really what you need on a camping trip. You don’t have to worry about bringing along tons of batteries for an extended camping trip. With less to carry this item is really a must have. Search Google for, “Barefoot Power Firefly 12mobile Super Bright LED Lamp”, or comparable models]

Cordless Bug Zapper
The cordless bug zapper just needs to sit in the sun to be recharged. There are mosquito bug zappers, or the all in one bug zapper. Do a simple search on Google and you are sure to turn up plenty of options. Just allow the bug zapper to charge during the day, and let it rest at night. Search Amazon.com for: (mosquito control) “INADAYS InaTrap Electronic Insect Killer and Elegant Night Light” or (fly control) “Fly Web Glue Board 10 Pack”.
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F.  How to Maintain Your Safety in a Campground
Part Five in the Series, “Living in a Tent”
5 Apr 2013 , Yahoo! Voices,  by Tina Gallagher, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-maintain-safety-campground-12070185.html?cat=4

I camped on a friend’s property in 2013 as a sabbatical. I had permission to be on the property, but my location was near a busy highway and two very busy roads. I was concerned for my personal safety not only during the day, but at night when I slept. When I left the camp every day to go to the library to work, I was concerned for my campground, my cat and my belongings.
Maintaining your safety is not a difficult task if you follow some tips.

Step One: Noise
If you make a lot of noise with a CD player, TV, DVD player or musical instruments, you will likely be heard by people passing by. Since a tent has no lock on the door, a nefarious person may begin to watch the area to find out when you leave. On large pieces of land, the owner may not have the ability to keep an eye on you or your tent all the time.

Choose your campground wisely; walk beside the property to see if you can spot your campground from the road. If you can, move it to a more secure area. The taller and more brightly colored your tent is, the more chance you have of being spotted. Shorter and smaller is better.

To eliminate noise, do not bring musical instruments with you. Use headphones for electronic devices. You might not sleep well the first few nights because of unfamiliar noises. You will get used to hearing the sounds of the area around you and will sleep through the night eventually.

Step Two: Light
I seldom turned on my battery operated lantern at night. I became accustomed to using the available moonlight to move around my camp. After the roads died down and the businesses in the area closed for the evening, I might turn on my laptop and watch a show for a little while. I had the screen turned away from the road and used earphones.

Needless to say, I did not go exploring in the area at night. In rural Texas, that’s not a good idea. Critters come out at night; not all of them are friendly and a few have no sense of humor about being stepped on by clumsy humans who can’t see in the dark.

I never started a campfire; the smoke and flames would attract attention in the area because a burn ban was in effect. My little Sterno stove flame could not be seen from the road; I had hot coffee, food and bath water every day.

Step Three: Protection
If you believe in the power of prayer as I do, pray for your campground’s safety every day.

I also had a 15-inch long Maglight in my tent as well as a piece of rebar for self-defense. The heavy metal flashlight can readjust someone’s attitude. Of course, the best protection is non-detection. I did see trespassers on my friend’s property one night; they came near my campground in the night. I was terrified. They came to a point on the trail that dropped off sharply and would have caused them to crash if they had continued; subsequently they turned around and went away. I informed my friend about them; she watched the area as well. Her hired help caught up with them and I did not see them again.
A cell phone can be a lifesaver; practice ahead of time to let the police know where you are and how to find you quickly.

Step Four: Travel Carefully
If you walk or drive to your campground, do not take the same path every day. Most people do not notice a car or truck turning off the road. If you walk, do not call attention to yourself. I was leaving from an area that did not have a house or road close by; most people on the road took no notice of me.

When I returned to my camp every day, it was a little after dusk, just as the light was leaving the sky and the night was turning dark. I was never followed. People on the busy street were more concerned about getting to their homes than paying attention to someone walking beside the road.

Step Five: Be Careful Who You Talk To
Do not walk around telling everyone you know what you are doing. A well-meaning friend or someone who overhears you could call the police, the health department or other authorities. Although I had permission to be on my friend’s property, someone could have made trouble for her and me because I was living in a tent.

Living in a tent can be a rewarding, relaxing experience. Taking care of your security is a daily task that takes a little effort in the beginning; you will develop the habit quickly.

[Note:  Consider “Household Alert” motion detecting alarms or other light/alarms installed inside/outside the tents greatly enhances security. Plug the  four way control unit into your inverter. The “Household Alert” remotes  each run and transmit off two AA rechargeable batteries. My home motion detection alarm batteries need  recharging about every two months. Mr. Larry]

tent interiors2

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G.  Extended Tent Camping
Considering Life on the Road in a Tent
26 Jul 2010, Yahoo! Voices, by Carrie Hetu, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/extended-tent-camping-6433286.html?cat=7

While it may not be highly popular and certainly not highly publicized, there are those who choose a lifestyle involving extending tent camping. Basically a choice to live in some type of tent while either traveling or staying put in the tent on somebody’s land for an extended period of time. For some, it may be more of a forced option after foreclosure, eviction or job loss. Yet for others it is very much a conscious choice for whatever personal reasons they may have such as a desire for sustainable living or simply the pleasure of traveling and life on the road. Whatever the case is, there are several things to consider, especially if it will involve full time traveling.

Choice of tents will be something to devote a lot of thought on as most nylon tents are really not made to be living in and lack durability. Reinforcing the seams may help aide in a longer lasting tent. The attraction to nylon tents is that they are quite reasonable in price. They are also fairly easy and quick to set up. Rain tarps will also help tremendously in keeping the tent, you and your belongings dry in rainy weather. Of course size is always a consideration as well for it must be able to comfortably sleep the number of people who will be staying in it.

Canvas Wall tents while pricey may be the best choice if you can readily afford them. They are roomy, can have a wood stove fitting on them, extra ventilation windows and were made more durable for miners and hunting campers that typically stayed for lengthy periods of times in them. Of course you will also then have the added expense of purchasing a wood stove, as when traveling you are never sure if you may get caught on a few wintery or just plain cold nights.

If you have a car, then most likely you will need to purchase a pull behind trailer to store all your belongings, especially if you have several people in your group or family who will be coming. These typically can run from $300 to $700 for a good used one and again durability is a big consideration in purchasing one. An all metal one would most likely be your best option here as wooden ones can fall apart and will not last near as long. The length you would need would depend on how much you really need to take with you, depending on the number of people that will be with you. Make sure your vehicle will easily be able to haul it without due stress on the engine when going up and down really steep inclines. If you have a suitable Truck, a trailer may not be necessary then.

Of course money always must be a top consideration as money makes the world go round and you will need some. You will have to figure out how much you will need a month to cover camping fees, although there are places you can camp for free, you will most likely want some paid camping sites that offer showers, water and other amenities. You will need to consider how much you will need for gas, food, car insurance and perhaps other things like cell phone and mail service. On a low side it may run a family around $600 a month yet on a high side perhaps around $1500 depending on the quality of life you are looking for and the things you typically like to spend money on.

Once you get an idea of how much you need a month, then you need to figure out how you plan on acquiring this money to supply your needs. Will it come from money you have saved or will have once you sell everything off if you plan on giving up your residency for life on the road? Will you work along the way or have work you can do on a computer from anywhere? Do you plan on having an emergency fund to cover auto repairs or to get another place to live if you find you do not like life on the road? This may be a wise thing to have in place before you plan on embarking on your journey!

If you plan on giving up your residency then downsizing will have to be considered as it will be a MAJOR downsizing undertaking. You will need to sell everything you do not absolutely have to have, sticking to the items you will have to take with you in order to cover your basic needs. This can cause a sense of stress for those who are attached to material possessions yet can be a liberating experience to cross over to sheer simplicity.

4 seasons must be considered when purchasing the things you will need on the road. While you can tend to follow weather when traveling, you cannot always guarantee you will be in pleasant, dry weather. Weather is unpredictable and yet your lack of knowledge of certain areas may catch you in less than desirable weather as well. It is best to be prepared for any weather conditions and purchase items and pack accordingly. It would not be much fun to be in a tent in negative zero weather, with no heat and only short sleeve shirts, not to mention that would be a tad dangerous!

Dreams and ideas must be considered as well as they rarely live up to what our mind holds in conjunction with reality. Expect the unexpected and really try to look at the reality aspects of things that could happen. Lengthy rain periods may have you dealing with mold, lack of jobs may leave you financially strapped, broken down vehicles are never a pleasant experience. Wildlife may rampage your food supplies if you are careless or even try to enter and tear up your tent. It will not always be that romanticized image of a perfect life you may see in your mind. Be prepared for the worst but expect the best may be totally appropriate for this endeavor.

Besides a tent, consider what other equipment needs you may have such as an actual spare tire on a rim and full of air rather than just a doughnut. Other things you may need, want or should consider yet not a complete list would be:

  • First aid kit
  • Sleeping gear
  • Coleman stove
  • Cast iron cookware for cooking on open fire
  • Flint and steel for starting fires in wet weather when matches or lighters would not work
  • 5 gallon bucket with a loo cover for a toilet
  • Solar shower
  • Water jugs to fill with water before going to some free camping areas where water is not available
  • Fishing gear
  • Axe and shovel
  • Flash lights
  • Solar weather radio with cell phone charger
  • GPS system or atlases
  • Emergency glow sticks and flares
  • Extra tarp covers
  • Clothing for all weather types
  • Hiking boots
  • Basic tools such as a hammer, saw, wrenches and screw drivers
  • Lap top computer if you can work from computer for pay
  • Batter cables for car
  • Jack for car
  • Cooler for cold food storage
  • Emergency food bar packs
  • Emergency thermal blankets
  • Pocket knives
  • Tent fans
  • Tent heater or wood stove depending on type of tent you purchase
  • Silicone seam sealer

While extended tent camping may not be for everyone, for those who are considering it, hopefully this will aide you in making some wise choices to get you off to a good start! Have fun and be prepared!
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H.  Would You Live in a Campground?
5 Nov 2007, Yahoo! Voices, by Carmella Mae Dunkin, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/would-live-campground-638794.html?cat=16

If you wouldn’t live in a campground, why wouldn’t you? I know up until a year or so ago, I could not picture myself living in a campground, but now I see it, and I’m doing it, along with my husband and kids.

When you think about living in a campground, you probably think of a tent, no bathrooms, no showers, at this time of year it is cold at night, so you think of staying warm. The reality of it though is this, people who live in campgrounds, (yes people really do live full time in campgrounds), live either in an RV, a trailer, or a cabin. There are probably almost as many Americans living in campgrounds as there are living in “houses”!  [In some parts of the country, during the winter in : FL, TX, NM, AZ, CA. and during the summer, across the northern tier of states. Mr. Larry]

Despite popular belief that camping means pitching a tent and “roughing it”, many campers now days, (AKA RV’ers), live year round in campgrounds across the Country in their RV’s, 5th wheels, and travel trailers. In fact, full time RV’ing has become quite a trend, and many families are now selling their homes, storing their belongings, and taking to the road and living full time in their RV’s. A lot of these families are even working on the road. Many work in campgrounds in exchange for space rental and a little cash. Most campground jobs require 20 hours per week, and the work is easy enough that someone with a mild disability could do the work with little to no trouble.

Many who live in campgrounds year round do so just because it is a fairly cheap and easy way of life. Monthly rates in many parks here in Colorado are under $400.00 per month, plus your electric and propane, and phone if you do not have a cell phone. There is no lawn to mow. Your home is small, so repairs will be easy for the most part, and not huge. You can replace an RV roof for about $1000.00, and a day or two work. Try replacing the roof of a house for that price! RV parks, (campgrounds), have full bathrooms with showers. They also have laundry rooms with washers and dryers. There are a few that do not have laundry rooms, but we only found two between Indiana and Colorado that did not have a laundry room. Some RV parks have swimming pools, hot tubs, rec. rooms, playgrounds, and a lot more. RV park/campgrounds are like small communities of people who enjoy living in the RV or 5th wheel.

Living in an RV is actually a lot of fun. Many RV’s and 5th wheels are made for full timing now, and are quite spacious. They have slides that can double your space depending on how many the RV has. They are fully furnished, and many of the newer models have fireplaces in the living rooms!

Living in an RV park can be just as much fun as living in the RV itself. Depending on the state you choose to live in, and what park you choose, you can have a wildlife wonderland just out your back door. We live in the high mountains in Colorado, and it is a wildlife park right out our door! We have a fox that comes to visit us often, and he is so adorable. There is a momma bear and her baby cub that come and wreak havoc on the trash dumpster up front almost every night, and the deer are in great abundance right out our bedroom window.

Our family loves living in an RV park/campground, and not one of us want to live anywhere else right now. We love our RV, it has just enough room for us, and is very cozy and our home. We all look forward to when we can own a Fleetwood Regal 5th wheel, that is our dream RV, and it is a beauty too. Don’t believe me on that one though, you can see for yourself how awesome this rig is, just click here. As you can see, it is a real beautiful home, and is our dream rig!

So the next time someone asks you if you would live full time in a campground, you’ll have a whole new picture of what they are talking about, and may even consider it. It’s great!!!

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Emergency Tent Living, Part 3 of 4

(Survival Manual/ 4. Shelter Issues/ Emergency Tent Living, Part 3 of 4)

Living off-grid in a tent

A.  Why we’re living in a tent – in winter
10 February 2012, The Guardian, by Patrick Barkham
Pasted from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/11/family-living-in-tent

tent2 cookingWhy on earth would Matt and Lily Gibson give up their house and take their baby daughter to live in a tent in the countryside? Patrick Barkham finds out…

The stove has to be topped up with logs every two hours to keep the tent warm.
A white frost clings to the fields and the mud on the farm is frozen hard. In a secluded paddock behind the stone farmhouse stands a small bell tent, a curl of smoke rising from the metal flue poking out of the canvas. The temperature dropped to -7C the previous evening but inside the tent it is surprisingly warm, which is just as well because since the middle of January this octagonal dwelling, 5m wide and mounted on old pallets above the mud, has been the home of Lily and Matt Gibson and their nine-month-old daughter, Louise.

As unpaid bills mounted, and the couple struggled to pay £625-a-month rent for a dilapidated house, they made a drastic decision: they believed they would be better off, and happier, trying to survive in a tent. When their tenancy agreement expired on 15 January, they pitched a tent they had bought for £370, borrowed from Lily’s mother, on a farm in the west country.

“The mud and rain may be depressing, but the cold is scary,” admits Lily. “But we’re glad we’ve done this, even though it is frightening sometimes thinking about our responsibility for Louise and how we must keep her warm.”

The wood burning stove inside the tent is their life. Everything is focused on keeping the fire burning. Every two hours at night, Matt must get up to feed it more logs. So far, it is working. It may be freezing outside but under a single layer of canvas, the couple have created a snug and idyllic-looking – if minuscule – home. The tent smells of wood smoke and a delicious beef and vegetable broth is bubbling on the stove.

Matt was working in retail, spending wages on an expensive commute to a nearby city, and Lily, a freelance graphic designer, had stopped work when Louise was born. “Matt wasn’t getting home until 7pm and we still couldn’t afford to live properly,” says Lily. “We paid all our rent but we weren’t ever going out. We weren’t buying new clothes. We didn’t even get our hair cut. We’d occasionally get a coffee with friends in the town, but we were living very frugally. There was no way we could save at all and we wanted to do something for Louise’s future. We tried to be positive and we wanted her to have a happy home, but it was really quite depressing.”

Then they chanced on a press cutting about Simon Dale, who built his own eco-home for £3,000. This inspired them to take the first steps in their dream of buying a plot of land and building a low-impact home on it. “For me it was also inspired by the Occupy movements across the world,” adds Lily. “I don’t know what they might achieve but they have shifted consciousness in some way.” Previously, she assumed that “if we could not afford our rent it was because we were not budgeting properly. The Occupy movement made me see it wasn’t my fault – that it was the system that was not working.”

Matt and Lily began by finding a farmer, a friend of a friend, who generously allowed them to pitch the tent on his land. Matt has quit his job but the couple are not claiming unemployment or housing benefit – Matt does farm work between cutting wood for their stove. It may sound romantic but the challenges of living simply under canvas are daunting.

“A lot of people would go mad in a tent at this time of year. People could find a million and one things to burst into tears about,” says Lily. This morning, she hung her one warm jumper on the stove flue to warm up for a minute, got distracted by Louise and singed the jumper. “You definitely need a sense of humour and you can’t be vain – you’re just going to get upset by the mud or lack of running water.”

Inside the tent are nice rugs, plants and homely trinkets the couple have picked up on their travels. “It’s got that nomad feel to it, which I love,” says Matt. It has been a steep learning curve, however. Because the sides slope inwards there is far less space than they anticipated – no furniture can be allowed to touch the canvas or the rain will come in. They have been flooded already, and after they failed to secure the stove flue, it blew down in a gale. It is now firmly screwed in place.

To begin with, they lived off tinned food heated on the stove top. “We were sat there for three hours wondering why things wouldn’t come to the boil,” says Lily. Since then, she has mastered slow cooking – Turkish meatballs with rice, pot-roasted chicken with roast potatoes and even omelet’s in tin foil – while Matt has learned how the type and size of log can radically alter the stove’s heating power. Although he is doing less paid labor now, he says his days seems fuller. “There are not enough hours in the day now.”

Washing is done with a Wonderwash, a hand-cranked machine Lily imported from the US for £80. Clothes are cleaned with six jugs of hot water and two minutes of vigorous cranking, followed by 30 seconds of cranking in cold water to rinse. As the tent is a temporary measure, they borrow the downstairs loo at the farm and pay to have an occasional shower and charge their phone. “There is more drudgery, like hand-sweeping the floor, but it is more liberating and empowering as well,” says Lily. “The simpler things are, the less alienated you feel from your own life – the more in control you are.”

They have had to learn to prioritize certain jobs in the precious daylight hours. After dark, they light the tent with candles. There is no television, although Lily gets the internet on her phone. “We like talking, we sit around the fire and I sing to Louise a lot,” she says. “We haven’t felt bored, not for a moment. We don’t miss having loads of TV channels showing things we don’t want to watch anyway.”

As they explain how they are coping with living in a tent, Lily and Matt are clear that their priority is Louise. They are meticulous about sterilizing her bottles and ensuring that she is never cold. She and Matt may exchange nervous glances when the wind howls outside, but Louise loves it. For her, it seems that the tent is a secure home, where she can be physically and emotionally close to her parents. “So far she seems to be flourishing health-wise,” smiles Lily. “She is very happy, alert and engaged with what’s going on.” Their concerns about Louise are assuaged by the knowledge that, in the worst-case scenario, they can seek a warm refuge in the farmhouse, as they were forced to on the night a storm destroyed their stove flue.

Their parents have been very supportive – “They get concerned when it’s cold and ring to check we are OK,” says Lily. What would they say to people who would see them as reckless for living with a small child in a tent in midwinter? “What we’re doing might seem irresponsible,” says Lily, “but if we stayed where we were with unaffordable rent we would have ended up in so much debt that we wouldn’t have been able to feed Louise properly or get her warm clothes. It was terrifying. We would have been very depressed and therefore not able to produce a positive home environment for her and we would have ended up more dependent on benefits as well. We’re trying to stand on our own two feet.”

Living in a tent places them at the mercy of the elements, but Matt and Lily feel they have taken control of their own lives. By staying temporarily in the tent, they hope to save up to buy a piece of land on which they can build their own eco-home, a roundhouse with straw bale insulation. They are not just surviving: they are learning off-grid living skills they hope to teach to other families who want to live in a simpler, more sustainable way. Ideally they want to build their eco-home this summer but so far have been too busy keeping warm to find land. They admit their hope of buying a secluded half-acre on a south-facing slope, with a stream, for a few thousand pounds is probably unrealistic.

They may have chosen to live like this but, like other hard-pressed families, Matt and Lily have found that economic pressures made their old way of life intolerable. They believe more working families will be forced to live like they do, as rents and bills rise and first-time buyers are permanently priced out of the housing market. The government, however, seems unwilling to help people like Matt and Lily to help themselves. To get planning permission for a low-impact house on rural land requires navigating an impenetrable planning maze.

Lily would like to see reforms to encourage more self-built, low-impact housing. “There should be assistance to help people do this, not obstacles,” she says.

The reality of life in a tent in the middle of a British winter is far from bucolic but there are unimagined benefits. Sustained by their dreams of a self-built home, Matt and Lily are determined to accentuate the positives. Lily has noticed how well Louise sleeps at night in the tent. In fact, they all sleep much better than they did. On clear nights, the moonlight shines through the canvas and they hear the hoot of owls and the barking of foxes. Are they woken by the cockerel in the morning? “There are about 15 of them, which Louise loves,” says Matt.

“I love the sound of rain on the canvas, the candle light and the wood smoke. I like everything being simplified,” adds Lily. “It might be a cliché to talk about being in harmony with or close to nature but an element of that is very true.”

[Note: How do you heat the tents during a cold winter?
Answer: We recommend using space heaters, propane heaters, or a centrally ventilated heating system (easily run in through a deck vent). We DO NOT recommend using open flame to heat the tent. Canvas is a fabric material, and even though we do have customers who do use open flame in their tents and we’ve never encountered a problem, you are more prone to fire accidents if you use fire.
(Pasted from: http://www.exclusivetents.com/faq.htm#platform) Mr. Larry]
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B.  Living Off-Grid in a Tent
March 2011, By Bob Wells
Pasted from: http://cheapgreenrvliving.com/Tent_Living.html

[The following example of tent living is provided just to show what one can do, its not the life style I would suggest for long term tent living, being way too Spartan for my comfort. Kudos to “Desert Rat” for setting up a generator-deep cycle battery-inverter- power system. On a higher initial budget this operation would have been better with a larger tent, more amenities and solar power. There is a lesson to learn in the life stories people tell, this story speaks to the possibilities of Internet connectivity while in a remote or possibly, regional “grid down” situation. Mr. Larry]
tent2 eureka cu canyon 12

[Looks like the Eureka Copper Canyon 12 (12′ x 14′) Mr. Larry]

No matter how small a house or apartment you live in, it is hard on the environment. First, the huge amount of material required to build a house has to be produced, at an enormous price to the planet. The raw materials (ores, minerals, wood and oil) have to be extracted from the earth, transported to  be processed, be processed, then transported again to wholesalers, then transported to retailers, then transported to the job site. You read that last sentence really quickly, but it represents a great deal of damage and pollution to the planet. Once the house is built and you move in, you must buy furniture and lots of “stuff ” to fill it.
All of those things do more damage to the earth. The house has to be heated and cooled to make it comfortable. You can’t sit in the dark, so the house needs lots of lights to keep it bright. For cooking you need a stove/oven refrigerator and dishwasher. You can’t possibly stay clean without hot water, so you need a 50 gallon hot water heater. The lawn and landscaping has to be watered, mowed and tended to. All of those utilities require huge amounts of pollution to produce electricity, bring you water, and process your sewage. One more way houses damage the earth: a long commute to and from work. Nearly all of us have to work, and the majority of us work in cities. So five days a week you drive to and from work in your car, often crawling along in miserable  traffic.

Contrast all of that to a friend of mine I will call Desert Rat. I met Desert Rat in the desert of the Southwest where he was busy working from his tent. He was sick of the rat race so he decided to chuck it all and move to the desert. He was fortunate that he could work from home via the Internet. He didn’t know for sure where he was going, he just knew he wasn’t going to be living in a city any longer. He had heard about dispersed camping on BLM desert land and National Forests, so he decided to give that a try. He had a plan, in the winter he would live in the warm desert and in the summer he would move up to the cool National Forests. Since nearly all BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and National Forest land has a 14 day stay limit, he knew that all he had to do was carry 14 days worth of supplies, and then he had to move anyway.

He got a Verizon data card and cell phone so he could work from anywhere. His pattern is that he goes out to a place where he gets a good Verizon signal (which is an amazing number of places) sits up camp and stays there for 14 days without starting his car again until the 14 days are up and he is out of supplies, then he breaks camp, gets supplies and moves on to the next camp spot. He gets the seclusion he needs and does just about the absolute minimum damage to the earth that a human can do in the twenty-first century.
Everything he has is as small, light and fold-able as he could find in order to fit it in his small economy car.
tent2 coleman white gas and gasoline stores
When he was preparing for his new life, he decided that essentially, he was going on an extended camping trip (for many years he hoped), so he went to an outdoor store and outfitted himself. He needed something to live in, so he bought a large, high-quality tent made by Eureka. It is a great tent! In the two months we camped together we had several storms blow through that brought winds well over 50 mph. The tent weathered them like a champ! He needed to
cook so he bought a Coleman 2-burner, dual fuel stove. He got it instead of a propane stove because he was already carrying gas for his Yamaha generator and he didn’t want to have to carry a second fuel.

He needed consistent power in the middle of nowhere, so he bought a Yamaha Generator which (along with the Honda) is famous for its reliability, quiet running and low gas consumption. I found it interesting that he set it up on a 5 gallon bucket to keep dust and dirt from coming in through the air filter when running. I thought that was a very good idea. He carries 10 gallons of gas which easily lasts the 14 days for running the generator and cooking.

He has deep cycle batteries he leaves on the floor-board of his car since they are too heavy to be carrying around.  He runs an extension cord from the generator to a battery charger in the car which charges the batteries. From the batteries he runs cables into the tent. In the picture below, top- right, we see the inverter and cords that run the many electrical items he uses for work.
tent2 interior power & inverter
In the picture above, lower- left, we see his office. Having a comfortable chair is important, so he bought a good folding recliner. A portable table holds his laptop and he uses five gallon buckets for tables.

His bed doesn’t look like much but, he has the highest quality self-inflating sleeping pad that Thermorest makes which is very comfortable. He is a cold sleeper so he has two sleeping bags so he can sleep inside both of them when it is cold, or just one when it is warmer. The desert can be surprisingly cold at night!

His tent is 12×14 feet and over 6 feet tall. That is a huge amount of room for one person, and would be more than enough  for a couple as well. He finds it very comfortable.

He carries a total of ten gallons of water in his two Coleman five gallon jugs. That’s enough for 14 days as long as he is conservative in its use.  Notice the spigot which makes getting water out and washing/rinsing easy. [If you plan to use a small utility trailer to carry your gear, I recommend increasing the water supply by bringing a 30 gallon potable water drum. The extra 250 lbs./30 gallons of water will keep you clean, bathed, keep your porta-pottie flushing, wash your dishes and laundry, as well as keeping your mornings coffee pot filled– without “cutting corners”. Mr. Larry]

All in all, it is a wonderful life! There is something magical about the desert that starts to get in your heart and changes you. Inevitably the strain and constant stress of city-living starts to fall away and a peace and contentment take its place. Desert Rat wasn’t sure if he would like his new life, but it has far exceeded his expectations. Already, he can’t imagine going back to his old life in the city.

It wasn’t his primary purpose, but a side effect of living this way is that it is one of the greenest, most environmentally friendly ways you can possibly life. He is completely off-grid except for the small amount of gas he uses to cook and for the generator. And that is much more than offset by the fact that he no longer commutes to work. In fact he only drives once every 14 days and that is in an economy car.
He is a true minimalist with nothing more than it takes to survive. His entertainment and joy come from nature.

tent2 alt solar additions

[Above, solar panel photos added by Mr. Larry, a recommended addition or alternative to the aforementioned generator.]
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YouTubeC.  See the 5:04 video, “Off Grid: The tent in pictures,” at YouTube, click-or paste the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGOS_XRkGVo

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YouTubeD.  See  the 4: 47 video, “Off Grid: The ultimate bug out location,” at YouTube, click or paste the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9HisSpOFkM

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Emergency Tent Living, Part 1 of 4

(Survival Manual/ 4. Shelter Issues/ Emergency Tent Living, Part 1 of 4)

You never know when you might be forced out of your home by a disaster or need to leave in order to preserve the safety of your family in an emergency situation. When that time comes – the main thing you need to have in your gear is a good, sturdy tent. Be sure to choose a tent that is appropriate for your family size and the geographical region where you live . Don’t wait until it’s too late – protect yourself now by purchasing a quality shelter you can use in a worst case scenario.

Post Disaster Emergency Shelters
Exerpts pasted from: http://shtffood.com/shelter.htm
Emergency temporary shelters are places for people to live temporarily when they can’t live in their current residence due to a SHTF situation. An emergency shelter typically specializes in people fleeing a specific type of situation, such as natural or man-made disasters, civil unrest, or somewhere to stay at a tent logotemporary destination. A post-disaster emergency shelter is often provided by governmental emergency management departments such as FEMA or the Red Cross. Tents are the most common temporary structures for a single family. After Hurricane Katrina FEMA provided dislocated families with small white trailers. These settlements may be inhabited for the entire duration of the reconstruction process and can be thought of more as settlements than shelter. Unfortunately, planning for water / sanitation is often inadequate.

Ideally, if you are in a bug-out situation, you will bring your own shelter.  While a tent is sufficient in warmer climates, it may not work well in winter. In that case, a motorhome or trailer you can pull with your own vehicle may be a better option. Like a permanent bug out location, a movable shelter needs to be stocked with the necessities you’ll need to get by for as long as the emergency lasts. This can be difficult with a tent, but when no other options exist, at least it provides a dry, warmable place to wait. Cooking will have to be outdoors as will the latrine – not for everyone.

Family Tent
Excerpts pasted from: http://procurement.ifrc.org/catalogue/detail.aspx?volume=1&groupcode=111&familycode=111001&categorycode=TENT&productcode=HSHETENT01
The standard tent for a family of five conforms to the recommended minimum-standard living area for hot and temperate climates (37 sq ft per person). Improved insulation for family tent is recommended for cold climates. The tent is not a long-term habitat solution. It is meant for emergencies. It has a minimum 1-year lifespan, irrespective of climate. It has a minimum shelf-life of 5 years under normal warehousing conditions (in a dry, clean and ventilated warehouse – not in containers or tented warehouses – and stored on pallet racks or pallets elevated off the ground, not piled). The tent is vulnerable to rain and moisture when packed. The tent design was developed by shelter specialists to ensure a product fit for human use, ensuring the minimum required outdoor lifespan in all climates, at minimum cost.

tent BH III close up

A.  Extended Tent Camping
26 Jul 2010, Yahoo! Voices, by Carrie Hetu, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/extended-tent-camping-6433286.html?cat=7

Considering Life on the Road in a Tent
While it may not be highly popular and certainly not highly publicized, there are those who choose a lifestyle involving extending tent camping. Basically a choice to live in some type of tent while either traveling or staying put in the tent on somebody’s land for an extended period of time. For some, it may be more of a forced option after foreclosure, eviction or job loss. Yet for others it is very much a conscious choice for whatever personal reasons they may have such as a desire for sustainable living or simply the pleasure of traveling and life on the road. Whatever the case is, there are several things to consider, especially if it will involve full time traveling.

Choice of tents will be something to devote a lot of thought on as most nylon tents are really not made to be living in and lack durability. Reinforcing the seams may help aide in a longer lasting tent. The attraction to nylon tents is that they are quite reasonable in price. They are also fairly easy and quick to set up. Rain tarps will also help tremendously in keeping the tent, you and your belongings dry in rainy weather. Of course size is always a consideration as well for it must be able to comfortably sleep the number of people who will be staying in it.

Canvas Wall tents while pricey may be the best choice if you can readily afford them. They are roomy, can have a wood stove fitting on them, extra ventilation windows and were made more durable for miners and hunting campers that typically stayed for lengthy periods of times in them. Of course you will also then have the added expense of purchasing a wood stove, as when traveling you are never sure if you may get caught on a few wintery or just plain cold nights.

If you have a car, then most likely you will need to purchase a pull behind trailer to store all your belongings, especially if you have several people in your group or family who will be coming. These typically can run from $300 to $700 for a good used one and again durability is a big consideration in purchasing one. An all metal one would most likely be your best option here as wooden ones can fall apart and will not last near as long. The length you would need would depend on how much you really need to take with you, depending on the number of people that will be with you. Make sure your vehicle will easily be able to haul it without due stress on the engine when going up and down really steep inclines. If you have a suitable Truck, a trailer may not be necessary then.

Of course money always must be a top consideration as money makes the world go round and you will need some. You will have to figure out how much you will need a month to cover camping fees, although there are places you can camp for free, you will most likely want some paid camping sites that offer showers, water and other amenities. You will need to consider how much you will need for gas, food, car insurance and perhaps other things like cell phone and mail service. On a low side it may run a family around $600 a month yet on a high side perhaps around $1500 depending on the quality of life you are looking for and the things you typically like to spend money on.

Once you get an idea of how much you need a month, then you need to figure out how you plan on acquiring this money to supply your needs. Will it come from money you have saved or will have once you sell everything off if you plan on giving up your residency for life on the road? Will you work along the way or have work you can do on a computer from anywhere? Do you plan on having an emergency fund to cover auto repairs or to get another place to live if you find you do not like life on the road? This may be a wise thing to have in place before you plan on embarking on your journey!

If you plan on giving up your residency then downsizing will have to be considered as it will be a MAJOR downsizing undertaking. You will need to sell everything you do not absolutely have to have, sticking to the items you will have to take with you in order to cover your basic needs. This can cause a sense of stress for those who are attached to material possessions yet can be a liberating experience to cross over to sheer simplicity.

4 seasons must be considered when purchasing the things you will need on the road. While you can tend to follow weather when traveling, you can not always guarantee you will be in pleasant, dry weather. Weather is unpredictable and yet your lack of knowledge of certain areas may catch you in less than desirable weather as well. It is best to be prepared for any weather conditions and purchase items and pack accordingly. It would not be much fun to be in a tent in negative zero weather, with no heat and only short sleeve shirts, not to mention that would be a tad dangerous!

Dreams and ideas must be considered as well as they rarely live up to what our mind holds in conjunction with reality. Expect the unexpected and really try to look at the reality aspects of things that could happen. Lengthy rain periods may have you dealing with mold, lack of jobs may leave you financially strapped, broken down vehicles are never a pleasant experience. Wildlife may rampage your food supplies if you are careless or even try to enter and tear up your tent. It will not always be that romanticized image of a perfect life you may see in your mind. Be prepared for the worst but expect the best may be totally appropriate for this endeavor.

Besides a tent, consider what other equipment needs you may have such as an actual spare tire on a rim and full of air rather than just a doughnut. Other things you may need, want or should consider yet not a complete list would be:

  • First aid kit
  • Sleeping gear
  • Coleman stove
  • Cast iron cookware for cooking on open fire
  • Flint and steel for starting fires in wet weather when matches or lighters would not work
  • 5 gallon bucket with a loo cover for a toilet
  • Solar shower
  • Water jugs to fill with water before going to some free camping areas where water is not available
  • Fishing gear
  • Axe and shovel
  • Flash lights
  • Solar weather radio with cell phone charger
  • GPS system or atlases
  • Emergency glow sticks and flares
  • Extra tarp covers
  • Clothing for all weather types
  • Hiking boots
  • Basic tools such as a hammer, saw, wrenches and screw drivers
  • Lap top computer if you can work from computer for pay
  • Batter cables for car
  • Jack for car
  • Cooler for cold food storage
  • Emergency food bar packs
  • Emergency thermal blankets
  • Pocket knives
  • Tent fans
  • Tent heater or wood stove depending on type of tent you purchase
  • Silicone seam sealer
  • (Add a 12 volt deep cycle battery, 60-150 watt solar panel, solar charge controller and 275-400 watt inverter. Mr. Larry)

While extended tent camping may not be for everyone, for those who are considering it, hopefully this will aide you in making some wise choices to get you off to a good start! Have fun and be prepared!

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B.  How to Live in a Tent
Edited by Minuteman, Celeste, Puddy, Jack Herrick and 11 others
Pasted from: http://www.wikihow.com/Live-in-a-Tent
tent copper canyon

So maybe you want to prove some kind of point, maybe you’re camping for an extended period of time, maybe you’re stranded on a deserted island (unlikely but possible), maybe you are very poor and have lost your house, but the bottom line is, maybe you have to live in a tent for a while. This is a step by step guide to comfortable living in a tent!

1.  Buy or find a 2 or 3 rooms tent. I would recommend if more than one person a five room, a big one. This provides space for a bedroom, living room, and bathroom. You will also need storage place for kitchen stuff, food, clothes and some other possessions. Feel free to adapt any of the rooms into a space that better fits your needs, you may consider replacing any of them with one of the following: Kitchen, spare bedroom, storage room, or hallway if it’s too small for use.
2.  Use a thick blanket or rug remnants for carpeting. This will help keep out the chill on a cold night and also provides extra cushioning when you need to sit or lay down.
3. Buy a fan and/or a heater to use. Do Not put these near walls as they may tear or set fire to your tent. Make your choice of fan or heater depending on the location and season.
4.  Use pillows for a couch, and you can also use pillows for the bed, making things more comfortable in your temporary living space.

5.  Attach a light in each room. Make sure it will not catch the tent on fire by stringing them in the middle of the room and keeping them off as often as possible.
6.  Consider hooking a lock onto the zippers. This will keep out any unwanted guests and help ensure safety from the “bad people” of the world. (Look at the small, light weight, luggage locks sold through Walmart or Amazon.com. Mr. Larry)
7.  Buy a solar powered kettle. That way you can enjoy a hot drink!
8.  Make sure you have a mini gas stove or cooker. That way you can have a warm meal.
9.  Make sure you have a warm, comfortable sleeping bag each. That way you will be comfortable during the nights.
10.  Consider buying an air bed each. The bare ground can be very uncomfortable and cold, even in the height of winter. Or instead of an air bed, find a thick fold up air mattress, there are tri fold ones that are about 3″ thick, that way you don’t have to deal with the air mattress deflating.
11.  Consider buying small shelves for any items likely to be used sparingly or books.
12. Enjoy nature!
13.  If you are using nature as a toilet, make sure you bury and waste. Or you can Buy a potty or bucket and bury after.

Tips
•  Buy a durable, maybe even 4 room tent to ensure a comfortable, enjoyable experience.

Warnings
•  Make sure there are no ant beds nearby. [If Fire Ant nests are found locally, carry appropriate ant poison. Mr. Larry]
•  Make sure you are not on rock ground or a slope.
•  Check if you can have a campfire in that area before you do because if you don’t, you could end up with a large fine to pay.

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C.  Thread: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
Aug 2012, CampingForum.com, by excerpts from the Forum member discussion
Pasted from: http://www.campingforums.com/forum/showthread.php?4430-full-time-tent-living…anyone-doing-it

_1.  Re: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
I’ve lived in a tent for up to six months at a time and done it several times. Each time, I was traveling cross country and staying anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks in each spot.
The hardest part is controlling expenses. Everything is more expensive. Laundromats are more expensive than owning a washing machine. Cooking with propane bottles is more expensive than cooking in a house. Groceries, and keeping food cold is expensive without a home refrigerator. At $20 a night, campgrounds are not cheap rent! There are a million examples like that. Cost control is going to be a constant issue for you, especially if you are maintaining a real home somewhere that you’ll eventually go back to.
If you can keep the expenses under control, then the payoff is in the places you get to stay. Long term camping can be a wonderful experience.

Here’s a few tips I’ve learned…
•  Tint your windows dark enough that a thief can’t see any gear in the back. Don’t keep any gear in the front where a thief can see it.
•  Make sure you have theft insurance on the contents of your vehicle, not just the vehicle. Camp security and vehicle security are going to be issues for you no matter where you go. I recommend you carry a firearm, but that’s up to you of course. A firearm is the ultimate equalizer when it comes to a confrontation with a robber.
•  It helps if you have a rock solid, well maintained vehicle. I always carried AAA Plus for towing.
•  Solar power is your friend. Get a solar panel for your roof and a 12V sealed battery, like an Optima Yellow top to power all your electronics.
•  Have a support person. This could be a relative who is far away. Someone who will answer your phone calls at any time of day and do everything from give you a weather report to taking your mail.
•  Use a mail drop service. RV’ers have a lot of experience in this area. Search around for RV and mail and you’ll see all the options out there. Most run around $250 a year and will forward your mail to you at campgrounds. South Dakota is a favorite location because their residency rules are very lax and you can renew your car tags by mail and there is no state income tax there.
•  Arrive at campgrounds on a Tuesday or Wednesday and stay through the weekend. Most campgrounds are empty on those days. Show up on Friday and good luck getting a prime spot or any spot for that matter.
•  Try ‘dispersed camping’ as much as possible – you’ll save thousands of dollars.
•  Living in a tent is very isolating. Don’t become a recluse. Meet new friends. Spend time with people. Get out of the campsite as much as possible. Spoil yourself with a hotel stay once in a while.
•  Don’t break the rules. Your gear will get confiscated (and they’ll destroy most of it when they confiscate it), they’ll tow your car and charge you for towing and storage, and you’ll be facing a judge in a strange town where the prosecutor’s first words to the judge will be: “Your Honor, this transient has no fixed address”. It’s all downhill from there. Follow the rules, even if they sometimes seem ridiculous. I’ve never had it happen to me, but we all hear horror stories.
•  Start with the absolute minimal gear you need. As time goes on, you’ll figure out what’s critical and what isn’t and you can slowly add gear that you need, not just gear you want or think you need. You’ll burn through a lot of camping gear too. Most camping gear isn’t built for use day after day after day. Getting your gear right is going to be an ongoing challenge.

That’s all I can think of for now. I’m sure a thousand more ideas will come back to me but at the moment I can’t think of any.
Good luck and get ready for an awesome time! You don’t need an RV to go full time!!!

_2. Re: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
Another area I thought of that might be helpful is with water storage. I realize you said that you will stay in campgrounds, but even there you can get some pretty bad tasting well water or you might be 100 feet from the spigot. You might want to think out a good water system.

Here’s what I do to give you an idea. I carry two 5-gallon Reliance water jugs. These weight about 35 pounds each when full. I also carry a several MSR Dromedary bags in the 10 liter size (10 liters is about 2.5 gallons). These store flat when not in use. I also carry an MSR Miniworks EX water filter. With this system I can stay quite a few days in dry areas or indefinitely in wet areas.

I also own a Berkey water filter which makes the best tasting water in my opinion. Even if you camp in campgrounds, you might want to look into getting a Berkey system to clean up all that sulfur and iron taste that a lot of campgrounds have. It will flat out turn ditch water into pure good tasting water better than any other filter I’ve used.
I also carry a 50 ft drinking water hose. Make sure you get one that is for drinking water – not a green garden hose.

_3. Re: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
If I had it to do over again, I’d get two 25′ hoses. A lot of places, 25′ is enough and there would be less hose to clean and coil up on the last day but you’d still have that other 25 footer in case you need a longer run.

I haven’t looked into putting a filter on the hose. Most of the hose use for me is for washing gear, showering, washing hands, etc. and doesn’t need to be filtered. Only the cooking and drinking water needs to be filtered which is only a couple gallons a day. A good filter, like a Berkey, is not cheap so I only use it to purify the water for cooking and drinking and try to preserve the filter as long as possible.

_4. Re: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
Our setup so far:
•  9×12 kodiak canvas tent,
•  separate shade canopy,
•  several tarps for both ground cloth and rain fly/shade
•  coleman 2 burner propane stove—several small propane cylinders/ 1–20# cylinder
•  Reliance 4 gal. beverage buddy,
•  6–1gal. water bottles/jugs, all refillable
•  for sleeping: a cot and sleeping bag, extra blankets, etc for housemate
•  I am using for the time being an air mattress, with a 3 inch foam mattress-(due to joint problems) on top of that,
•  emergency blanket between the layers, sleeping bag with fleece insert and a few extra lightweight blankets if needed…haven’t found a cot that’s comfortable for me yet…I’m picky…
•  we’re also bringing a box fan,
•  oil filled radiator type heater for chilly nights, when needed…
•  cast iron cookware, general cooking utensils/enamelware dishes, etc.
•  2 mid-sized coolers (lighter weight for us to carry),
•  round cooler for drinks(can double for water storage, if needed)
•  solar powered lantern,
•  NOAA radio (multi-function),
•  a couple of solar-powered yard lights,
•  couple of flashlights
•  personal gear (clothes/summer/winter) shoes/boots etc…
•  Still need to get some water hoses/filters, and a shower setup… have a luggable loo already.

If all goes according to plan, we should be starting this adventure sometime in October, camping in So. Texas, then maybe into New Mexico or Arizona during the winter, then work our way to Tennessee come spring…can’t wait to get started…

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