I have been living full time at Bear Ridge for almost three months. The experience has been close to what I expected. The budget is relatively intact, the house is holding up and summer project are moving forward. I was taking a long break from the internet while I settled in; I needed that separation from my old life to move forward with the new.
I do not consider myself a hardcore survivalist. I am a sustainist; I seek a sustainable existence removed from the trappings of consumer society. I do not want to wall myself off in a bunker, I enjoy my neighbors and actually get pleasure working with them and exchanging ideas. Frankly is it the only way to move forward as a person and as a society.
Here are some of the issues and items I have come across in the past few months.
Injuries are dangerous – Be very careful you are on your own. I had been here for about a month and was working in the sun room. Standing on a ladder drilling holes above my head I fell off the step and dropped the drill. The bit spun into my stomach taking a 3 inch long by ¼ inch wide strip out of my belly. It didn’t cut it but dug out a channel. Anyway this was simply the first of many cuts and punctures I have experienced since living here. Understand you body and be able to deal with these issues.
Plan for trash – There are many homestead sites where you can either burn or bury trash but that is not possible here. The plan was to take the trash away one truckload at a time to the local dump but as the pile grew this became less workable. I finally broke down and rented a 30 cubic yard dumpster. I very nearly filled it with construction refuse, brush and plain trash. No way could I have hauled off all the refuse. Plan your trash removal strategy before hand.
Boredom kills - This has been a big problem. You will be bored. Videos, books and online chats all help deal with the boor monster. I actually took a part time job because of boredom. I now work a couple of days each week for twenty hours. This money is stuck in the well fund. Greatly helps break up the week.
Wood and Propane - I am using about ¾ of a cord or wood each month and the house is staying very very warm. I am using about 80 pounds of propane each month, it is way too much. I only heat with gas when waiting for wood stove to warm up. The water heater is not really efficient; it is an on demand, but still uses a lot of gas. I am now changing that up heating water with sun and on wood stove then using a bucket sprinkler for showering.
Mice are fun – I hate the mice but the boys love them. They spend hours every evening chasing and cornering the mice who have taken up house here in the cabin. The boys love it plus I don’t have to use poisons or mouse traps to catch the beasts.
Shit Freezes – Composting buckets freeze if they are not quickly added to the compost pile. This is really a pain if you only have a few buckets to rotate through the bathroom.
Pee Stinks – I usually will pee off the front porch. If you pee in the same spot that spot quickly becomes stinky. Beware!!!
I will try to post a couple of times every week but you should check me out on twitter where I kick out quick simple thoughts and observations daily.
Always remember that the government still possesses a massive surveillance mechanism whose sights are being set on the counter culture survivalist movement.