Tent camping has been looked at as a hobby and recreational activity for so long that many fail to see it as a real form of housing. Six months ago when my husband and I decided to make the switch from traditional housing that we could no longer afford to maintain on a fixed income, many people were in disbelief that we would chose such a radical extreme by choosing a tent to live in.
After much modification to our life style and a few surprises along the way, we are adapting very well and enjoying the daily experiences that randomly occur. Some experiences are funny, some are strange, and some even frightening. Through it all we have grown closer as a couple and have learned a new respect for the weather and others that have chosen to live like us.
What we do find disturbing is the fact that in most typical campgrounds, we are considered part of the slum sites, the other side of the tracks, or one of those people. For anyone who has ever tent camped, you know that you are never placed right next to one of those half million dollar RV rigs. Where has this negative image arisen from? We bathe regularly, we don’t play loud obnoxious music, we don’t use drugs, and we are very respectful of not only the people around us but also the environment around us. And yet we continue to run into this attitude that somehow we are less than human and should be treated as such. People from those big rigs will walk on by and shift their gaze away as if they are shamed by our presence in their vicinity. Not all of them, but a large majority of them.
We have had the opportunity to settle into a modest RV park which will remain unnamed and have even been given the opportunity to work for the park. It wasn’t until we became employees that people started to talk to us and find out we were here by choice. Some of them probably still talk about us behind our back but at least now they have some facts not just useless assumptions. Some people have told us that they just can not wrap their minds around giving everything they own up and living in a tent full time. We try to explain that there is more freedom in this life style than most people could imagine.
We arise with the sunrise every morning without the need for alarm clocks. We retire at night when the sun sets. We have endured roasting hot day time temperatures and below freezing night time temperatures with a small amount of discomfort and adjustments that we had to make. Over all, I would make the same choices again.