Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Complexities of Simplifcation

Getting simple:
People seem to say that they moved to their homestead to simplify their lives.
I'm not sure that is an accurate statement. Sure enough the pace can be much simpler, but in reality you are just trading one type of stress for another. The primary difference being that you may be better able to cope with the stress of living "off the grid?"
I, for one am much better suited to long stays away from civilization an the road system. Others are not, and I have witnessed a number of people unable to adjust to being away from the conveniences of town. Eventually I'm sure they would adapt and really appreciate the homesteader lifestyle.

Just getting there:
Isolation is not the only thing to overcome in simplifying things. The remote homestead can require a rather complex travel system just to get in and out. Either via boat or plane, an TV is usually required for at least part of the journey, unless you live on a lake or right on a river. Travel by these means can seem romantic at the outset, however like everything else soon becomes the usual grind. You appreciate the convenience of these craft but they wil neer be as simple as just hopping in the car and running to the store. Add to the equation the fact that you will ALWAYS be carrying things with you. Packs, totes, gear, groceries, lumber, equipment and supplies, the hauling never ends.. never... It just becomes another task you accept in order to live in the sticks.

This is attached to that whole travel thing... The weather can shut you down for periods of hours to weeks. I have experienced being standed in town due to weather. Boats don't go on the river and planes can't fly. You just have to get used to the fact that, you can't get there from here. Floods can keep you home until the waters receed, and blizzards and cold temps will keep you homebound and feeding the fire for weeks at a time. This is just another part of the game you will play. When you leave the cabin, leave it assuming you my not be back for awhile.

This is probably the biggest deal breaker... Homesteads need money. More than you would think. The whole notion of you walking out into the sticks with an axe over your shoulder to hew out a life for yourself is just that. I'll keep the coffee on for when you get back. You will have to decide how you are going to play it. Now obviously if you have a passive income, retirement or just plain wealthy, this won't apply to you. Most of us however are not rich.. some of us don't even qualify as poor! so what is the plan? Go into town and work enough to keep you going ??? months?? That is what most of us do... The trade off that we'd rather be a bit poor but live on our own terms. I have personally lived on about $3500.00 a year. It was NOT easy.. but it can be done.. but I doubt you would do it for long. There are just to many needs and that amount won't cover it.... It just won't. Nothing that breaks gets fixed. You eat and thats about it.

Fixing stuff:
So.... a front CV joint goes out on your ATV.... you are 50 miles from nowhere, and need to get the ATV fixed. Simple right! Not hardly. This I have experienced time and time again. Living remote and relying on tools and machines to help is great. But real work in the real bush is real hard on equipment. You will need to just accept the fact that there are times when you will be foot bound.. Keep a good pack around... you will need it. You can of course "rig" up a repair, but these rarely last long, and are only stopgap at best. The best advice I can give is don't overwork your equipment. Treat it like gold..

This wasn't meant to be a complete essay on anything really other than nothing is simple. Basic.... is perhaps a better term than simple