How "rough" are you willing to live?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Wilbursmommy, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. Wilbursmommy

    Wilbursmommy Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2003
    I am just curious about how "rough" people are willing to live. If you were debt-free, would it be worth it to you to give up a lot of modern conveniences? What are some things you wouldn't want to live without?

    I know for myself, I would want electricity. Solar would be great, but grid would be acceptable. I just would like to be able to make do if the power did go out for extended amounts of time. Plus, I just like an electric stove for the summer time. Wood is great for winter, but I think canning in the summer on a wood stove would just be too much.
  2. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 6, 2005
    NW Oregon

    How rough could I be, LOL Well if I had to, but I would want electricity, we have a generator, for those times we don't. Won't run the stove but keeps the pellet stove, TV, well pump and of course the computer running.. :happy: I couldn't live without the internet, how would I get here. So many Questions and so many good answers. To be honest I could live without it all, but I wouldn't want to. But I do find over the years I have needed less to be happy.

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Certainly, for me it would be worth being debt free and able to live with less
    'conveniences'. I'm planning basically to do more of that. I could live without the grid and set up basic solar or wind generator power for a small investment. I would use wood heat and use my time in winter bringing in firewood from the woodlot. I wouldn't live that 'rough' by doing these changes, but only adapt by living a more reasonable lifestyle by less wasting.
    Don't need such things as automatic clothes dryer.
    I would want a microwave that uses less energy to cook. A propane stove top and oven would be practical unless using the wood stove/oven. I would want a good drilled well in place with an automatic pump to make it more livable and conducive to using time for caring for the livestock, foraging, and food prep/storage, etc. Roughing with a few modern conveniences isn't all that impractical or wasteful.
  4. edcopp

    edcopp Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    A real good question, and I would bet that few of really know the answer. So what's the alternative? If I can't cut it , do I die? If that were the case I would bet that I could live pretty ruff.

    Now another question mught be, for how long, and why?

    Basic needs are pretty simple. I like grid electric. It is a bargain for my lifestyle. No house/land payment is a very worthwhile thing. I could most likely put off building or remodeling for that comfort. Could I use an outdoor spring rather than to have running water in the house. Sure but I might not want to do that forever. Haling water in a bucket is healthy activity, but the older that I get the harder it would be to do. Same with an outhouse. The outhouse is probably the most environmentally correct way to do things, and they have many good points. They never freeze so bad that they can't be used. No ongoing bill like sewer, and water. Not as much cleaning needed as a facility in the house. Now there are some bad points too. They can be a bit cold in the winter time, this helps one learn to do tasks quickly.

    One could live in a tent or even in the open. The question again is for how long and why? There reasons to do different things. I am sure if I had little money that I would do things a lot different than if I had a $500,000. nestegg. The latter being a good reason to ruff it at a motel.

    The point is that if we are working toward a goal it is a lot easier to deal with some adversity.
  5. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

    May 13, 2002
    I am debt free and, if I had to, I could turn off everything and still make it just fine. In fact, I've done it when the power was out for 3 weeks.
  6. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    I'm also a debt free home owner. I can do without power, but I do like the electricity so I keep it. (and agonize to keep the comsumption to a min) I have a gas stove, but i can use the electric one in the other kitchen if I need to. no power and I have gas... no gas or power I have a wood stove. I'll keep the power til I cant afford it. it pumps the well and well well well ya cant live without water.

    but I do have one of those 4" pipe-buckets with the trap door bottom, so if I had to... and I could find 250 feet of rope.... I could get 2 gal per dip.
    I'd have to be really desperate to try that... lol

    the TV cable... ah, I can use an outdoor antenna and get a lot of local stations. but I like the cable so I'll keep that till I cant afford it.
    the cable internet.... oh i have shut that off every now and then to save $60 a month... like I will have to in a month or two. (fear not I have a plan, 300 feet of cat5 cable and 325 feet of conduit pipe.... hehe hoho)
    gasoline... it would be hard, but I could get by with little. None, it would be really tough.
    worst case, I could make it but I wouldnt be happy.
    after i got used to it... I'd be happy (no sense in whining over what ya cant have right?)
  7. Animal

    Animal Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I would love to have the chance to live without all of the things that I put up with now. My family can't live without their electronic life support. Sometimes I think that their energy comes directly from the TV and if it's not on they can't function. I would love to live somewhere with minimal power usage (i.e. well pump). I could deal with a composting toilet and wood heat and cooking. I would like it if I only went to the grocery store only once every few months instead of a few times a week. I have got to get out of this town and into the country.
  8. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 23, 2003
    My mortage and bills describe how rough I'm willing to live to save money. I have electricity, running water, heat, etc.

    Can I do without them? Yes, if I truly have to. But as a choice, I chose to enjoy them.
  9. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

    Mar 11, 2004
    Northeastern Minnesota
    "Debt Free" takes on a different connotation for just about everyone. Electric bills, Fuel Bills, Property Taxes, Clothing, Food, Licenses, Permits, and the list goes on for items that most folks just call "necessities," but to me they are bills. One must pay them or be in breach of some law or an other, or in want.

    Then too, if one doesn't live somewhat as their neighbors, these kind souls will push to have one's home condemned as a health hazzard or a blight on the community.

    For me, any money that I am forced to pay to just keep or maintain what I have is a debt, from the filters for our milking machine, to the lids on canning jars, to building permits, to a simple fishing license debts are debts whether we pay them daily, monthly, or yearly.
  10. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2003
    Missouri, Springfield
    I could live very primitive. About the only thing I'd have a hard time with is doing without running water.

    would I choose to live this way? You bet, unfortunatly the wife isn't quite as willing :)
  11. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

    Nov 15, 2004
    Upstate NY
    If I had to live primitive I could. But I think that primitive means different things to different people. My house was a deer camp, but I am lucky enough to have a actual house. But I could also live in tent if I had to.

    Since we don't have running water or grid electric, those things wouldn't really matter. If we couldn't use our solar for some reason, we could live without it, but we wouldn't be able to use our computers or the 2 electric lamps we use in the evening. But for the most part, we use kerosene lights - unless the price of kerosene is too high. But we have in the past, just gone to bed at dusk.

    And I do sometimes cook on a outside fire, so that would be no problem. But I do use my wood cookstove even in the hot summer (doesn't bother me and I think it doesn't heat the house up any more than a electric or gas range). And to me using a electric range is primitive - especially for canning.

    We went a year without using our refrigerator, we had it, we just wanted to see if we could do it & we did. But I like having one. Then we went 8 months without a motor vehicle and used a bicycle and trailer. But we also have horses and a buggy. So we could use that.

    I think, if you had to live without things that you are used to, you could learn how to improvise. And anyone can do it - if you had no choice. I know it, as I have done it. And at one time, I lived a very affluent lifestyle and look how far I have come...
  12. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

    Apr 22, 2005
    South Dakota
    Good question.

    We did live a couple of times without and debtfree. Once I lived in another country for a year. There was water, most of the time, no hot water but once a week. There was occasionally electricty, but you couldn't count on it. It was fine. I didn't really think about it and it wasn't until we got back to the US that I had culture shock.

    The second time was after I was married. We bought a camper trailer and lived in it for two years to get out of debt (business went bust.) We hauled water from a friends, used kerosene and it was not really a problem. I had small propane tanks to cook with and we lived very simply. It was nice when we were able to hook up to electricity. But living without it was fine too.

    When we moved into this house we had water, and electricity, but no stove, no fridge or other conviences. I hauled clothes to town for laundry, froze 2 liter bottles of water to keep the cooler cold. The three months before we moved in we had NO electricty or water. We bought a 250 gallon water tank, used the camper stove and did most of our cooking over a fire ring. Heated water there and took baths in a kiddie pool. We loved it!

    Would we do it again. YES! If I could find a buyer for this place, we would have enough equity to buy an old farm and a few acres debt free. We ARE planning on this - goal, 21 months.

  13. ChiliPalmer

    ChiliPalmer Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2005
    Coincidentally, the spouse and I just discussed this. We're looking at a pair of places that are just about perfect. 40 acres with a two bedroom cabin and 45 acres with a four bedroom house, respectively. The prices are rock-bottom and incredibly affordable. The catch is that they're fairly rough and I've discovered that my husband thinks wood as a fuel is "too much like the pioneers". The house has a wood cookstove, forced air wood-burning furnace, running water, propane in the summer kitchen and this he deems too rough! Heck, this is fairly much exactly what my grandparents live in right now. I'm hoping he's game enough to adjust but currently he describes "too rough" as anything without an electric washer and dryer and a TV.

    Personally, I was willing to view even the cabin as merely a challenge. No electric, outhouse, wood cookstove for cooking and heating, water was via a hand pump at the kitchen sink. But then "too rough" is such a high bar for me to surpass; I've camped for two weeks in a place where you had to hike out two miles each way for water to lug back in, and thought it the best vacation ever. So long as I have food, cooking capabilities, water available somehow and a sturdy roof, I can manage without the rest. (Though I admit that I'm far happier when I can get on the computer from time to time, so throw in a generator just for accuracy's sake.)