Question to ponder...............How much house

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by nealglen37, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. nealglen37

    nealglen37 Tinder Gatherer

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    22
    I have been backpacking a few years and have changed my views about dwelling spaces. Before I start I am single with no children, so this will cloud my outlook. Anyway, back to the topic. I have realized that I will need, or think I need less and less space as I grow older. I have stayed for weeks in tents, and lived for years in a 350 square foot apartment. I have a 1,500 hundred foot house that i have have renovated. I am now in my 50s. I am thinking about selling the house and buying a used travel trailer. I have found that the older I get the less space I need. I rent one storage shed that holds all my tools and outdoor gear. What do you think about this as it applies to your lives?
     
    gohammergo, Bobsdock, reppans and 8 others like this.
  2. happywanderer

    happywanderer Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    712
    Location:
    Central Florida
    If I was not married with children, I would very seriously consider an arrangement like that. So much cheaper and low-maintenance.
     
  3. blind & lost

    blind & lost Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    5,301
    Likes Received:
    27,731
    Location:
    Florida
    My wife and I spent 99 nights in our 19' travel trailer last summer on a long road trip, believe it or not, no space issues. We learned we REALLY DO NOT NEED so much space to be happy. It was a good lesson. Good luck to you.
     
  4. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2017
    Messages:
    1,776
    Likes Received:
    8,066
    Location:
    Quakertown, PA
    About 2-3 times a year, my wife and I go through an “simplifying” phase where we go through all our stuff and put stuff we no longer need or want in a box, and stuff we’re undecided on in another. We either sell or give away the first box, and normally the second box. Sometimes it’s more than what fits in a box, but you get the picture. Every year we end up with less and less, and we realize what we want more and more is a place outside, with a small house. We’re not quite to “tiny houses” yet, but maybe one day when our son is a little older. (You should look into those! You might like them.)
     
  5. Revinmama

    Revinmama Scout Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    1,034
    Location:
    WI
    I've been thinking about this for at least a year now, and wondering how well I would do with it. I love road trips, and although I am married, I often travel alone, so no fear there. I do wonder how much "poorer" I would feel without a vegetable garden and the space to store the canned or dehydrated produce. Also, I am interested in keeping chickens at some point. Would they travel well?

    Marlene
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  6. nealglen37

    nealglen37 Tinder Gatherer

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    22
    Very informative, thank you.
     
    Bobsdock, Winterhorse and central joe like this.
  7. schapm

    schapm Incompetent City Dweller Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,911
    Likes Received:
    6,145
    Location:
    Indiana
    I lived in a one room cabin for a year with my wife and four kids. We moved back to town and a more conventional 2000 sq ft house for a variety of reasons, but I could see us significantly downsizing once the kids are grown. If it was just me I’d gladly go back to the cabin or a small apartment. I find I’m happier and more free when my stuff is at a reasonable level.
     
  8. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Indigenous Skills Junkie Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,928
    Likes Received:
    9,472
    Location:
    Interior Alaska/Southern Oregon
    Sounds like an awesome plan to me! I don't have very many consumer goods at all, I could fit all of my belongings in a small one room cabin with room to spare. As I get older I notice too I need less and less space and less and less stuff. According to everyone I know I'm a "minimalist" lol :rolleyes:
     
  9. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,912
    Likes Received:
    6,302
    But, but, my stuff!
     
  10. Roamer

    Roamer Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,036
    Likes Received:
    2,241
    Location:
    Ely, Nev.
    My wife and I and our dog lived and traveled in a 13-foot Scamp trailer for most of last year. We pared down so everything we owned fit in that trailer and our truck. If the Scamp had a shower in it, we'd probably still be living that way. We moved back into a house, but want to get back to that lifestyle some day. It was incredibly liberating.

    Here's a shot of our outfit taken in a farmer's field near Franklin, WV, last year. He was renting out camping spaces for $10 a night, complete with water & firewood.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
    Bobsdock, reppans, Kreger and 8 others like this.
  11. Bridgetdaddy

    Bridgetdaddy Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    5,495
    Location:
    Central Maine, USA
    Small camper would be what I would do in the OP situation
     
    Bobsdock and blind & lost like this.
  12. RickS

    RickS Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    2,355
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    I lived in a tipi for several years and really liked it. I bought a new one not long ago and would probably live in it if there were a problem. I found living in a mobile shelter with a small space to be one of the best times in my life. I say go for it!
     
  13. LongChinJon

    LongChinJon Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Messages:
    983
    Likes Received:
    2,562
    Location:
    TX
    I hear you on downsizing. We lost a lot of possessions in flooding nearly a year ago. Much of what we did not lose is in boxes. It hurt a LOT, and still does, but the funny thing is the sense of freedom at times. So many heirlooms gone means I don't worry about what to do with them. Having so many things in boxes--unmissed, for the most part--means there is more we can get rid of. We are learning we can be less a slave to our possessions. We would love a small house on some land, or even the ability to travel with a camper.

    As far as your situation, "Tiny Houses" or a small shipping container home might be worth looking into. A buddy had hunting cabins made from finished-out shipping containers, and they were really nice.

    The things that concern me with a travel trailer are the possible lack of longetivity (who wants to be fixing a trailer in their 80s or anytime in poor health?), susceptibility to bad weather, and the potential for neighbors being extremely close (assuming you keep the trailer at an RV park). Just a couple of thoughts.
     
  14. happywanderer

    happywanderer Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    712
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Our family stumbled across urban exploration videos on YouTube that really helped to put "stuff" in perspective. Urban exploration is a hobby where people go into abandoned buildings to document them on film. It's interesting, but also kind of sad. Many houses are left full of things that were once important to people--sometimes even family pictures, etc. But after people have died, they get left to decompose or eventually get bulldozed. Makes me think about all the things I treasure now that will be meaningless trash in just a couple generations. Really puts things in perspective and makes me realize that I need to invest my energy in people and experiences rather than stuff.
     
    Bobsdock, LongChinJon, RickS and 4 others like this.
  15. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    6,700
    Likes Received:
    16,260
    Location:
    Maine
    True housing and material goods freedom for me and the ability to roam about any where in the world I please has always been a ship's cabin and to a some what lesser extent my Dodge work van and sailboat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  16. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    2,963
    Location:
    between Ft Worth & the RED RIVER
    @70yoa i find the OP's concept quite interesting... UNTIL this old fat man has to avail himself of the plumbing facilities

    having a full sized throne and shower stall are becoming more n more important

    that said... the only other drawback is the materials modern(more current year models) RV's are made of

    we just traded off a unit that was beginning to show signs of failure due to manufacturer material choices(along w/ a couple personal physical limitation issues)

    there are several(so "they say"...) units being manufactured out there that are made of common residential dwelling materials which would resolve this/these issues

    IMHO some kind of "tiny house" w/ full sized plumbing fixtures, bedding and made of common residential construction materials would work for one who is comfortable with the downsizing concept

    then as mentioned more than once above is STUFF

    is a shop facility of some sort needed by the downsizer?

    or does he/she simply need a secure space/location to store a few simple items for recreational use?

    not having my shop and tools would be a death sentence for me

    having the shop and tools along w/ several ongoing projects keeps me out of this LazyBoy w/ the laptop on my lap

    over the past few years i have lost too many friends and relatives of friends to the LazyBoy and lack of activity and purpose

    some have the fund$ to purchase their toys which obviously just need a place to be kept

    some folks prefer to create their toys and thusly need a shop facility of some sort

    for this old curmudgeon it is a combination of both PLUS some land/space to park larger STUFF

    if one has a more conventional bridal unit it behooves him to make concessions on her behalf in order to maintain a "more harmonious outcome"(like more sqft & modern appliances)

    edit: i forgot the HOT WATER SUPPLY one of my luxury items is a nice hot bath w/ penty hot water and while i'm on the hot water subject having enough hot water to run a full load of laundry sure is convenient ;-)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  17. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2016
    Messages:
    1,345
    Likes Received:
    4,575
    Location:
    NYC
    So many factors
    Alot of it personal choice
    First thing to consider is where will you park it and what services are available
    Campgrounds usually charge about $3000 per season plus additional fees like utilities
    If placing it on a private lot have to check regs if full time living in such is allowed also services,
    Electric water waste disposal etc
    When running the numbers may find its cheaper and simpler to just buy a small house somewhere
    My community in pa has lots of decent houses for like $50k some as low as $30k that are fixer uppers
     
  18. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,951
    Likes Received:
    9,750
    Location:
    Portsmouth Virginia
    Living in a 1800 sq' home with a wife 2 kids, 3 cars, and a guinea pig I could definitely see how a 1500 sq' home would be a bit much for one person. That said I don't know if I'd trade home ownership for renting. If you're living in a travel trailer full time you'll be renting a place to park it and utilities basically.

    Being a backpacker it's not like you need a travel trailer to travel. I think I would move to a small home or even buy land and build a tiny house as a permanent structure. Then setup a pick up truck with a camper shell for traveling. Just a thought.
     
  19. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,506
    Likes Received:
    2,953
    Well said!
     
    Bobsdock likes this.
  20. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,506
    Likes Received:
    2,953
    There's a significant burden storing and maintaining travel trailers and RV's. Think it thru before committing!!

    The great thing about backpacking and tent camping is the gear takes up very little space.
     
    gohammergo and Bobsdock like this.
  21. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    6,432
    Location:
    southern california
    I have often pondered the question and Minimalism has it's place, so long as you have enough cash to compensate for inflation or social collapse .
    Accept the fact that if you appear to be fly by night ,that much confidence will be added to your resumé.
    Job application = home address , ,, trailer in a friend's back yard .
    I don't write the rules, but I've felt the consequences .
    People with computer skills don't need much in space since most of their tools are in their brain,
    However some one like a carpenter must have a significant volume of power tools to be competitive in that market.
    Personally My shop trailer , truck and camper are all I need EXCEPT, materials don't just show up out of thin air .
    I have lived in my camper ,it's no big deal . but I cant put every thing I own in it, for all the interests I enjoy ,And I don't plan on narrowing my interest either , rather i plan on expanding them . the older i get the more I value learning new things.
     
  22. saxonaxe

    saxonaxe Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2017
    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    4,535
    Location:
    County of East Sussex. England.
    When my wife died over 22 years ago, I sold everything I owned ashore, house,Land Rover, and many other possessions and went to live on my 35 foot steel Gaff Cutter. The kids had grown and left home ( Here she is anchored in the Greek Cyclades Islands)
    [​IMG]

    I lived aboard for just over 12 years, not in one place but Ocean voyaging. Without 'swinging the lamp' and telling yarns, I would just like to say that the solitary mode of life in a relatively small home, whether afloat, in a trailer or a tent, is very much a frame of mind and being able to adapt to new restrictions..and happily..new freedoms too..:D

    The old trick with clothing of "Three of everything" works well. Wear one, one in the wash and one spare does the trick. Five pairs of jeans, eight shirts etc:..not required.
    Books. Apart from reference and in my case Navigation books, I used Libraries and book swop meets, avoiding the need to find space for numbers of books.
    Tools. I sold all my power tools and just made up a tool box of quality hand tools. Jobs sometimes took a little longer but there was no need to hunt for mains power supply points or somewhere to charge tool batteries.

    To keep dairy foods fresh I had a 12 volt cool box which ran off an engine charged Tractor battery. By adding extra polystyrene insulation to the outside of the box it became extremely efficient...not pretty..but it kept the food fresh..:D
    Heating was by a small wood burning stove and in all those years I cannot remember ever having to buy wood fuel. Old wooden cargo pallets, vegetable boxes or even drift wood burned nicely.

    Someone mentioned maintenance and that's a very valid point. The ability to make repairs, whether it's sewing sails on a boat, putting new brake pads on a Camper or patching tent fabric all make for independence and cheaper living costs.

    Whatever you decide nealglen37, there will be people queueing up to tell you that you are crazy or courting disaster. Listen to their views, but do your research and planning and then go ahead with your plans. If for some reason the life does not suit you, then fine, but if you do not try it you will always wonder and perhaps regret that you did not follow your dream.

    A long winded post, but I've met so many people who say to me..."I wish I had done that and now it's too late"...that I could not read your original post and not add some encouragement.
    As we Brits say.." Go for it Mate"..:dblthumb:
     
    reppans, gohammergo, Bobsdock and 4 others like this.
  23. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    1,514
    Location:
    Central Texas
    We are retired and enjoy our grandkids. That requires space so we gladly keep up our home. That said, for just me what I need is space—that is a few acres. I could imagine living in a barn or shop. Just wall off a space and insulate it well. The less valuable your home the less property taxes you pay. The less homeowners insurance you pay.

    It would be nice to be off the grid but I do like a lot of the modern conveniences like refrigerator and freezer and so on.
     
    gohammergo and Bobsdock like this.

Share This Page