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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 03-16-09, 01:14 PM   #1
tieka
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What can't you live without?

After reading car-free living, house-free living and other forums I started to wonder, especially in a recession: What can't you live without?


I for one will not give up my:
bikes (given)
bike trainer/ bike stuff
tools
laptop
internet (unless I absolutely have to)
pets
toaster oven
freezer/ refrigerator of some sort
cell phone w/ camera (cell phone doesn't have to work)
close proximity to library and hospital
memory foam mattress topper and specific pillow
specific brand of hair conditioner
old pictures (until I get them on my computer)
wire grid shelves
old Winnebago
Basement

There are a lot of items I want but don't absolutely need:
more than one computer
lots of video games
cool kitchen items like pasta maker
specific makeup
yard with fence
new neighbors
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Old 03-16-09, 03:26 PM   #2
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Bikes, spaceheaters, electric fan, pillow, and prewashed bagged baby spinach. I could survive just fine with those things on a desert island.

j.

p.s., and a working 110v outlet
p.p.s., a soft-serve ice cream machine would be nice on a desert island too
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Old 03-16-09, 03:39 PM   #3
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A laundry list of "stuff" is not what anyone "needs". We all "need" the same "things" to live.

A shelter of some type (home), Food to fuel our bodies, work to fill our time & pay our way,
a family or friends to feed our soul (love & acceptance), mild adventure to add spice to our
life, and lastly a belief in a God or something greater than ourselves.

All the other stuff is just that........stuff. Point & Period.
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 03-16-09, 03:59 PM   #4
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I could not give up:

My wife (who is also my best friend),
bikes,
bipap machine (I have sleep apnea)
pets,
music
clothes
food
water

Nightshade, yes we can survive with less stuff, but would that really be "living"?
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Old 03-16-09, 04:19 PM   #5
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What can't I live without?

Some sort of shelter ... a tent will work, but I'd prefer something a little bit more solid like a caravan (RV) if I'm going to live in it for an extended period of time (i.e. more than 3 months). And I know they are luxuries, but I do like something in the way of a mattress (a small Thermarest will work), adequate blankets to keep me reasonably warm at night (i.e. a sleeping bag), and a pillow.

Basic food. I've spent over a year living on pullet eggs, day-old bread, the occasional package of bologna, and for a special treat an apple or a little piece of cheese now and then. It wasn't the best year of my life, but I could do it again if necessary.

Clean water ... without water we die.

Adequate clothing to keep out the elements ... these items can be purchased from the local thrift shop.

And as for luxuries ...

Personally, I like toilet paper. I know I can clean up with leaves and grass and things, but I prefer toilet paper.

And I like having at least one bicycle.
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Old 03-16-09, 05:42 PM   #6
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My land.
I can live off of it. But to do so takes a bit of equipment and work, so I want that too.
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Old 03-16-09, 06:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tieka View Post
After reading car-free living, house-free living and other forums I started to wonder, especially in a recession: What can't you live without?


I for one will not give up my:
bikes (given)
bike trainer/ bike stuff
tools
laptop
internet (unless I absolutely have to)
pets
toaster oven
freezer/ refrigerator of some sort
cell phone w/ camera (cell phone doesn't have to work)
close proximity to library and hospital
memory foam mattress topper and specific pillow
specific brand of hair conditioner
old pictures (until I get them on my computer)
wire grid shelves
old Winnebago
Basement

There are a lot of items I want but don't absolutely need:
more than one computer
lots of video games
cool kitchen items like pasta maker
specific makeup
yard with fence
new neighbors

tieka ... suppose a fire roared through your town destroying absolutely everything, and suppose you managed to get out alive ... perhaps with a few items, perhaps with nothing. Now you're in an evac centre, sleeping on a mat, with no prospect of permanent housing, and practically nothing to your name except maybe the few things you grabbed as you were fleeing the fires, and a few things you picked up at the donation centre.

Now ... can you live without your specific brand of hair conditioner or your memory foam mattress topper and specific pillow?

This isn't some far-fetched story ... on February 7th this happened to thousands of people in Victoria, Australia, including my husband Rowan.
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Old 03-16-09, 07:53 PM   #8
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Clean water and protection from the elements, then a source of food...

Aaron
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RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 03-16-09, 08:27 PM   #9
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a homeless shelter
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Old 03-16-09, 09:23 PM   #10
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you will all be scratching at my tent to get some of that ice cream.

j
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Old 03-17-09, 07:23 AM   #11
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I saw a cartoon, I wish I could remember what it was called so I could search for it and link to it, but anyway...

It had a cave man saying to himself "Food, water, AND shelter! I wish there was some way I could make my life simpler..."
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Old 03-17-09, 09:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
A laundry list of "stuff" is not what anyone "needs". We all "need" the same "things" to live.
I use my job to buy shelter and food. I need to commute to my job. I NEED transportation (of one type or another) to buy food and shelter.

EDIT- BTW, I also think I *need* medical care, although I don't see it on your list.
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Old 03-17-09, 10:15 AM   #13
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EDIT- BTW, I also think I *need* medical care, although I don't see it on your list.
It's there in the "mild adventure" part since as we all know any illness can be a real "adventure."
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 03-17-09, 11:30 AM   #14
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tieka ... suppose a fire roared through your town destroying absolutely everything, and suppose you managed to get out alive ... perhaps with a few items, perhaps with nothing. Now you're in an evac centre, sleeping on a mat, with no prospect of permanent housing, and practically nothing to your name except maybe the few things you grabbed as you were fleeing the fires, and a few things you picked up at the donation centre.

Now ... can you live without your specific brand of hair conditioner or your memory foam mattress topper and specific pillow?

This isn't some far-fetched story ... on February 7th this happened to thousands of people in Victoria, Australia, including my husband Rowan.
This happened to quite a few people in the USA due to a couple hurricanes. What I do is have a home disaster recovery plan. Any business should have a DR plan, I just model off those and made one for home. It says things like if I had to evac my home how would I survive. Many people were in this situation, they had to evac and go to hotels or other peoples homes and live there for a week. there were people who couldn't get their pay checks or to their banks to pay bills. people who left with no driver's license or any form of ID and had to get replacements. People who went back to no home and had to rent an apartment.

So I put together a few guidelines:
Pick two banks and open checking, savings and credit accounts with each. banks like you to have a lot of their services and will usually give you free accounts if you have more than one service with them. So consolidate instead of having 20 different accounts at 10 different banks consolidate them all to a couple. make sure you have two or three so if you can't access money in one you can the other. have your pay direct deposited nearly equally into each bank and keep the bill pay info updated in each should you need to make a payment out of either. Again if one bank is inaccessable/gone you can use the other. sign up for paperless statements and download those on a regular basis for all banks, utlities, etc. no paper to get lost in the mail plus you can print off those if needed for references when renting ana aprtment or getting ID's replaced. Make backups and have a backup copy offsite. I drop off burned dvd's every 6 months when I visit my parents (and every time my senile mother calls me to tell me I left something behind).
I keep a DR manual and a spreadsheet with account numbers and such so I can quickly reference all my data should it be needed. You can use an open source tool like truecrypt to keep the data safe and I recommend using something like openoffice and burn the portable version on the cd/dvd or flash drive that has your data rather than relying on a borrowed pc to have the correct version of MS office and all the proper importers and patches and such to read your files (MS office is bad about not wanting to open other versions). Also consider a smaller laptop that can read that data. When your city is destroyed by a hurricane and your living in a motel you don't want to have to go buy a computer from whatever store is open to read your important data. I also print put my documents and keep them in a report cover inside my firesafe so if I can't read the electronic copies for whatever reason its there as well.

Now the other tie in to living with less/living without is a complete inventory. I have everything I own inventoried n simple spreadsheets and on those there is a column that justifies why i have it. these are organized by where those itens live and every item must have a palce. for example take some basic hand tools, they are in a tool chest in the garage and used for repairing bikes/cars/etc. they justify theit existance and have a place to put them. So before I buy anything those questiosn must be answered. this helps prevent impulse buying I don't walk through a store and see somehting that looks neat and buy it, instead I stop myself and ask where will I put it, how will it justify itsself. If I decide it can be used to do x and fits in y then I'll consider buying it. And I make it a rule that since it meets those criteria its important enough to inventory. if its not important enough to take the time to inventory it then its un needed.
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Old 03-17-09, 12:38 PM   #15
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I had a really bad break up about 8 years ago won't get into the details but long story short we were living together and I had given all my stuff away when I moved in few years prior. I was basically thrown out with just my clothes. I got an apartment, a floatie raft (like for the pool) to sleep on and that was it. I agree with the one of the previous posters you really don't need much to get by. BTW way living on such simple means didn't mean I didn't enjoy life. Still had lots of fun. I had to blow up my raft every night before going to bed, good times.
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Old 03-18-09, 05:12 PM   #16
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I need very little. I have too much. I'm going to donate this weekend.
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Old 03-18-09, 06:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
A laundry list of "stuff" is not what anyone "needs". We all "need" the same "things" to live.

A shelter of some type (home), Food to fuel our bodies, work to fill our time & pay our way,
a family or friends to feed our soul (love & acceptance), mild adventure to add spice to our
life, and lastly a belief in a God or something greater than ourselves.

All the other stuff is just that........stuff. Point & Period.
I won't get into a debate over the existence of any higher power, but there are PLENTY of us out there who get along just fine without one. +1 to the rest of your post.
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Old 03-18-09, 08:08 PM   #18
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I won't get into a debate over the existence of any higher power, but there are PLENTY of us out there who get along just fine without one. +1 to the rest of your post.
He also said "or something greater than ourselves." I think charity and the desire to help the greater good falls into that.
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Old 03-18-09, 09:59 PM   #19
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In terms of material possessions, there are only a few things I consider really necessary: my bike (I only have 1), my house, my laptop with internet access, my clothes, some of my books, and my tools. I own a lot of other things, but honestly, I'd probably be much better off without any of them.
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Old 03-18-09, 10:24 PM   #20
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A trip to Europe decades ago showed me how simple I can live.

So.......
Oxygen,
Water,
Gravity,
Light,
Food,
A place to get out of the sun and maintain some kind of temperature stability,
A set of clothes.
A rich inner life and skills to get food.

So, pretty much what the average homeless person has physically with a better mindset. Though I did see a homeless man last week who had a laptop.
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Old 03-18-09, 10:52 PM   #21
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A trip to Europe decades ago showed me how simple I can live.
I made a similar discovery in 2004, when I lived for 3 months in Australia out of a set of panniers, a trunk bag, and a handlebar bag, attached to my bicycle.

I really didn't need anything, in fact, I was even carrying a few luxuries. But I would have liked a better mattress for that trip. I was using one of those thin blue foam mats cut down to about 16"x36" or so. Right after that trip, I picked up a small Thermarest.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:22 PM   #22
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bananas and a bike
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Old 03-19-09, 01:30 PM   #23
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To answer everyone's question, I do agree I can "survive" without the stuff I listed. To me, that is not living the life I want.

FYI, the pillow, mattress pad and conditioner are for medical issues. Just didn't think going that route would be a great way to start a post.
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Old 03-19-09, 11:43 PM   #24
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To answer everyone's question, I do agree I can "survive" without the stuff I listed. To me, that is not living the life I want.
Yeah, well I doubt if any of us are living such minimal lives. The ego is such a demanding b**t*rd. For me its more about what I think and do than what I have. Can't say I'm living the life I want, and the older I get, the less likely it seems I ever will. But it's all temporary anyway.
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Old 03-20-09, 01:33 AM   #25
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A shelter of some type (home), Food to fuel our bodies, work to fill our time & pay our way,
a family or friends to feed our soul (love & acceptance), mild adventure to add spice to our
life, and lastly a belief in a God or something greater than ourselves.
I'd add just one more thing to this list.

Everyone has a passion which is integral to their lives. In my case, it's a love of writing or storytelling. It's as much a part of my life as breathing. I don't necessarily need to make my living in this way, but it will always be a huge part of who I am. In the same way, I know some farmers and gardeners who have such a strong connection to the soil that they will never feel complete unless they are surrounded by the land. And I know some teachers who are defined by their love of working with students.

One can live in humble physical surroundings as long as spiritual, mental, emotional and psychological needs are being met.
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