"Batten down the hatches!"
That's what I wanted to yell as it stormed the other night and I snuggled deeper into the sheets. Ryan and I had just been married the day before and were now living in a tent - that's right, a tent...and by choice, no less!
It it all started with our impatience. We want to live in a building that's around 300 square feet but we need to clear the land it will sit on, lay the foundation, and work on The Nook (what we call it) cosmetically a bit more. So much to do!! I had wanted to get bees and do raised garden beds but with school and getting The Nook ready there's hardly any time. It would be ages, it felt like, before we were married.
Until last Wednesday, Ryan said he'd marry me the next day on my lunch break at work. He wasn't lying, either. He picked me up and we drove to the courthouse, got married, and then he dropped me off back at work so he could go to our now home and set up. (I'll leave out the mushy cerenony stuff for not only our own privacy but also for your guy's sanity - but let's just say I may have cried a little.)
I returned home to an excited husband, ready to show me what I'd be calling home for the unforeseeable future. It was mostly how we'd be living anyway, when we'd be in The Nook. Clothes line, wash tubs and washboards, grill, kerosene lanterns, and more. You see, this is actually getting me ready for Nook life with having me learn how to live "off grid". Let me take you for a tour....
Yes, I wasn't lying when I said that I wash our clothes in a washtub with a washboard. I use Dr. Bronner's Castile soap (peppermint one, to help with keeping down the bugs) as a laundry detergent and the lye soap I made to help raise any stains from the garments (which isn't perfect but also isn't half bad - won't remove my coffee stains from Thursday morning...)
I lug up some water from the creek (a run that we are sure is having nothing dumped into it from any sewage and such) that is next to our home site and fill two tubs: one with Castile soap for the washing and one clean without any soap for the rinsing.
Yes, we are clean! No, our clothes do not smell - I gave them all a good sniff test!
We do bathe ourselves in water from the same run. I lug up some more water, pour about 2-3/4 of it into another wash tub (we have three), and the rest I bring to a boil on either the grill or the old Coleman propane stove that my dad was so kind to loan us (it is so stinking handy).
The set up is made from branches and small trees my husband fastened together, and we can either stand or sit while bathing. We use the same Castile soap for shampoo and body wash.
Actually, we also use it for toothpaste, dish soap, and hand soap. FYI - buy Castile soap! Good for the environment and good for you...
We eat quite well, for those who may wonder. We keep perishables in a cooler (going to freeze two liters to keep in there to save on ice). Cast iron is a staple, and I was to get a set up for cooking over fires.
I laughed so hard once I saw this. I wasn't meaning to be rude to Ryan, but you have to admit this is comical!
We wanted to get into composting toilets and this is how he did ours; a pallet, a bucket, a bucket filled with potting soil, and a handicap toilet seat. He lined the bottom of the bucket with dry leaves and we cover everything with a cup of the soil after we are done. The bucket seals so you don't smell anything, it doesn't attract animals, and it stays hot to help the composting with gases.
Do not mix urine and stool - we pee elsewhere (meaning the bushes, basically).
Yes, we use toilet paper! It is biodegradable.
Our tent has withstood the storm with us not being wet on the inside, and we sleep on a full size mattress. It has been mighty cold as it gets dark and in the early mornings, so we are stocked up on blankets. Bentley, our son (doggie), sleeps on the bed made up of blankets and a pillow (to the left of the picture), beside us. I keep towels on the floor for easier clean up because of the rain and mud.
The tent is set up on pallets and 2x4s, with some tent foam padding on top of that. We are raised off of the ground and cushioned.
So with all of that being said:
We are safe.
We are fed.
We are clean.
We are in love.
Ryan is wanting to get The Nook finished soon!
We are, however, loving every minute of this.
Good health to you and yours...
BTW....here's something to scare some of y'all: no wifi and no service. *Screams in the background*
Author: Tina Potter
Master Herbalist, I've graduated as an American Healthcare College Alumnus, I've become a member of American Herbalist Guild and author of survivalist series Survival Ember co-authored by professional survivalist Kenny Dietrich of Ashland, KY. I've been beyond blessed with the constant desire to learn and teach.
COMMON SENSE NOTICE: I do not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease. What you do with the information I post is up to you, but it is advised to consult with a doctor before acting on alternative methods of medicine. I wish you all the best!