After another night of howling winds and very little sleep, the sun comes up and starts another beautiful day. I have been following the weather reports of the tornados on the east coast and am glad we did not decide to live in that vicinity of the world. Those families will be in my thoughts and prayers for a long time to come. Its hits hard when you see an RV park flattened by the forces of nature. Thankfully there were not more people killed. I feel lucky to have such minor complaints as wind, chilly nights, and hot afternoons.
People often ask why anyone would want to live in a tent. I am not sure I can totally explain the amount of freedom that is granted when you give up everything and start over with next to nothing. First off, the less you own, the less you have to worry about fixing, replacing, repairing, maintaining, breaking, storing, or having stolen. You learn to truly appreciate what you do have and you learn not to take things for granted. Then there is the financial side of things. My house (tent) costs about $150.00 and lasts anywhere from six to twelve months. My air mattress runs $20.00 and last about the same length of time. A typical tent site in a campground runs between $300 and $400 a month and includes a lot of amenities depending on the campground. Currently our site includes water, electric, Wi-Fi, a picnic table, a fire ring for campfires, a campground hot tub and pool, a campground bathroom with showers, access to a laundromat 24 hours a day, an on site camp store for basic supplies, games and books that can be borrowed for free, on site mail delivery and pick-up, a large flat screen television in the store if I chose to watch it during business hours, and free trash removal. A small town is less than two miles away and a bigger town is only twelve miles away. The only difference between living in a tent and living in an apartment is that I have to walk a lot further to get to the restroom than you would in an apartment or house. I consider that part of my exercise for the day. I breathe fresh air everyday, I get plenty of sunshine, I hear the birds sing all day long, I see the stars shine brightly every night, and I feel healthier because of it.
Living in a tent in a campground or anywhere else for that matter has a lot less stress than trying to maintain a house. I don’t need to own a vacuum cleaner nor do I have to mop floors. I’ve learned I don’t need a closet full of clothing and can survive very nicely with about five different changes of clothing. Make-up and perfumes are for a younger crowd that is dissatisfied with who they are so that was no big issue to leave it all in a trash can when I was deciding what was essential for this journey. I have no one to impress but myself because my husband loves the real me and not something that comes out of a container or off a shelf in a department store. My husband downsized from several large tool boxes to one small travel tool box and has managed very nicely. An 18 gallon plastic tote houses all of our cooking utensils and dishes, not several cupboards full of extra items that rarely get used. Food storage has been our biggest struggle for space and we could probably do better. We have three 18 gallons totes and two 5 gallon buckets just for food, besides the small Styrofoam cooler. One tote for beverage and beverage related items such as coffee, creamer, teas, hot chocolate, water drink mixes, and bouillon. One tote is for dry goods like pasta, crackers, oatmeal, instant potatoes, soup mixes, and cornmeal. The other tote is for anything that comes in cans including tuna, chicken, soups, vegetables, and gravy’s. One bucket is full of white and brown rice and the other bucket if full of dry beans and peas. I doubt we will go hungry anytime soon.
Storage space is very limited when you live in a tent. Our space is limited by the fact that everything needs to fit into the back of our S-10 pick-up should we decide to up and relocate anytime soon. Which is another reason we chose this style of living; if you don’t like the neighborhood, you move on easily. There is no long term lease that forces us to stay in any one place for any length of time. We are truly free to travel and see whatever sights we can afford to travel to. Free to be who we are, go where we want when we want, free to do just about anything we want whenever we feel like it. Its that freedom that enticed us to give campground tent living a try and what has kept us here for so long. I don’t see us moving back into what is considered regular housing anytime soon.