Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Living Car Free
Reload this Page >

Broadband, Yes. Toilet, No. (NYTimes article on minimalist living)

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.

Broadband, Yes. Toilet, No. (NYTimes article on minimalist living)

Old 12-31-09, 03:15 PM
  #1  
Llamero
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Broadband, Yes. Toilet, No. (NYTimes article on minimalist living)

Here is a great NYTimes article that just came out on a couple who lives minimally: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/ga...agewanted=1&em

I think the author did an excellent job on describing both the allure and difficulty associated with minimalist living, and really drove home a good point that minimalist living isn't about going without, it's about a completely different approach to life with its own challenges and rewards.
Llamero is offline  
Old 01-02-10, 11:55 AM
  #2  
gerv 
In the right lane
 
gerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 9,565

Bikes: 1974 Huffy 3 speed

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nice article. I like reading about people who "rough it". I spent a while doing something similar back in the late 1970s, early 80s. We had a composting toilet, but, of course, no broadband. No yurt, but a self-erected, small house. Closest thing we had to broadband Internet was the Book of the Month club. It was fun for a while.
gerv is offline  
Old 01-02-10, 11:50 PM
  #3  
BadBoy10
Senior Member
 
BadBoy10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Florida!
Posts: 267

Bikes: Mercier Mini Velo, Rivendell Quickbeam, 80's Hampton Beach Cruiser

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wow!

The article is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. I love this forum: Everyone is so philosophical and intellectual. I really love it.

My thoughts:

If it works for them: okay. It is not going to work for me. I am unable to go a week without showering. I just don't want to do it. How a woman presumably she is still having the natural process monthly:--how she does it---not bathing specifically during this time frame of the month: ummm, no.

---Im simply not going to be able to live under these conditions. Licking plates: no. Being cold all the time. No. I love hot weather.

The baby: no. It would be kewl to some degree with me and my partner/spouse/mate what have you but with a child: Absolutely not.

I am fully aware it has been done for centuries and this lifestyle is lived by people in many parts of the world however I was not born into this culture and am not interested in imitating it. I have a choice. I choose not to want to live/exist this way. No judgement from me. For sanitary and medical reasons: I would be emotionally, spiritually and maternally unable to live this remotely, this minimalistically with a baby. Knowing what I know about sanitation (meaning since I have lived with toilets, hot water)--I would not be able to "back track" and do without.

I like hot water. I want to bathe regularly. I am thankful for running water and toilet facilities. If I had no knowledge of these things and this is what I was born into:--could I miss what I never had or had no knowledge of? I don't think so.

The yurt: I LOVE! I have always loved yurts, the teeny tiny homes and mobile homes.

An interesting phenomenon in the human psyche: It is like rap stars that brag about poverty and from being from the most desolate, depressing, horrific environments. Why is this something to brag about? Why do teenagers want to emulate this? Why do wealthy children want to "slum" it? (sorry for the slang) Why do so many people want to be something they are not? And why is that something usually at a lower spectrum? So many people are desperate to be so different. And that is the irony: in trying so hard to be different, to stand out---you are like everyone else.

Each of us searches for our individual purpose. For many living is simply not enough.

I am not into extremism however I do not judge what works for others. This would not work for me. The walking and traveling: okay. This lifestyle would be extreme, counter productive, uncomfortable and simply not feasible for me. Perhaps I have been spoiled by modern conventions.

Question for the OP:

*Do you think the broadband necessity is telling?*
BadBoy10 is offline  
Old 01-03-10, 02:58 AM
  #4  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,434

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2874 Post(s)
Liked 75 Times in 54 Posts
Rowan and I are currently living a very minimalistic lifestyle, sort of similar to theirs, only in a small cabin in the Australian bush. Their yurt is 452 square feet, and our cabin is about 600 square feet.

We've also got a small kitchen with just a few feet of counter space, but we do have running water. Rowan has installed a sink, and the necessary piping from our 2000 litre tank on the hill behind us. The water in that tank, and the 1000 litre tank next to the house, come from rain. When it rains, the 1000 litre tank fills with water which we pump up to the 2000 litre tank. In a time of no rain, we haul water up from a stream a km or so away. I wonder why they haven't set something up to collect rain water.

During the winter we were able to get away with only a car cooler for a "fridge" because it was cold enough to keep most food fresh, but now that it is summer, we had to come up with another idea, and so Rowan bought a small chest freezer and a device, which he installed, which converts the chest freezer to a fridge. The chest freezer is an energy efficient one to begin with, and then the principles of "cold sinks, heat rises" means that this is more efficient than a regular upright fridge.

We also travel at least an hour, often more, once a week, or once every other week, to get our groceries and supplies. Our nearest grocery store is 8 km away, but it is really, really small and doesn't have much more than emergency food. The next closest one is 25 km away, and it's expensive. We use it if we're going to be in that town anyway, but otherwise we prefer the variety and prices in the larger centre.

Our heat comes from a fireplace. In the winters there were mornings (even here in Australia) where the inside of our cabin was 5C ... just above freezing. We have, however, insulated the whole cabin now, so hopefully next winter won't be quite so cold.

We do have a flush toilet, in an outhouse ... we use the water from the 2000 litre tank to flush, sometimes, but more often than not, we use used water ... left over from baths, washing clothes, etc. I'm guessing there must be a septic tank somewhere, but I'm not quite sure where it is.

We don't have a shower. We do have a bathtub, which is filled with a hose connected to the tap from the kitchen sink. And we do have a hotwater heater which uses LPG. In the winter we took weekly baths because there was lots of water, but now that it is summer, we have to conserve water so the weekly bath is out. Fortunately I've been working at a place with a shower this past month, so I've been showering relatively frequently. But that seasonal work will soon come to an end and I'll return to the "old fashioned" way of bathing I was doing prior to working there .... bathing in about 5 litres of water in a plastic bucket. I would love to be able to walk an hour once a week to a shower. However, setting up some sort of shower is in the plans.

We do have a wash machine, and it is set up so that we use the rinse water from the first load as the wash water for the second load ... and then the used wash water is used to flush the toilet. And we hang our clothes to dry.

But I'm curious to know what they do about power. If they are running a computer, they need power. We're 100% on solar now, and with our current setup it is a problem if there is more than one day in a row of clouds ... we don't have enough power to run our energy efficient fridge, a single computer, and some 12-volt lights. We are upgrading our system to allow us to experience at least three cloudy days in a row.

I had to smile at this statement: "They decided they could live without running water, shower, bath or a working toilet, but they had to have broadband Internet access." ... the last couple days I've only had limited access to my computer. I am fine going a week or more without a shower, and having limited access to running water, and flushing my toilet by pouring a bucket of used water down ....... but take away my computer, and it feels like an arm has been removed!!
Machka is offline  
Old 01-03-10, 07:46 AM
  #5  
nancy sv
family on bikes
 
nancy sv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: on my bike between North and South
Posts: 2,376

Bikes: which one?

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I can totally understand why they would choose that life - except why in Alaska where it is bitter cold? We've chosen a similar life in many ways - we're traveling on our bikes with our children.

We carry everything we need on our bikes, which means we have very little in the way of possessions. altough we do use toilets and showers at hotels when we stay at them, we camp out a lot and head back behind a bush to to our business. My sons have repeatedly said they prefer going to the bathroom outside than in a toilet.

I think there is someting about a simple lifestyle that is fulfulling and satisfying. You have a chance to really focus on what is important and what is not - that's what's hard to find in today's society. When you live simply, you realize you don't need all that stuff and tend to be more content with little.

I am glad we are raising our boys ths way. They each have a little bag on the bikes for their stuff - whatever they want to cram in there they can. They each have a few toys and a Gameboy, and that's it. they don't need more. If they find something else they want, they have to get rid of something else to make room. The boys are very creative and play with sitcksand stones and pinecones - who needs all the commercial stuff?
nancy sv is offline  
Old 01-03-10, 09:40 AM
  #6  
travelmama
Senior Member
 
travelmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Long Beach,CA
Posts: 1,410

Bikes: Kona Ute, Nishiki 4130, Trek 7000, K2 Mach 1.0, Novara Randonee, Schwinn Loop, K2 Zed 1.0, Schwinn Cream, Torker Boardwalk

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Badboy-
After reading the article and seeing the photos, I came to the same conclusion as you. While I think it is great they chose to live in that fashion, the hygiene really is a concern for me. She, being a woman should want to wash her triangle more often than not. He gets crusty down there, he needs to wash too. I wonder how often the baby is really cleaned. It is cold in Alaska, but to have to live in the same sweaters day after day would get old. It looks like they live so cold that they cannot allow their bodies to breathe. I think there are cleaner ways to live as a minimalist.

Machka- Your way of being a minimalist is great and I think many more should live this way. I do my part and it works for me.

Nancy- I can't say enough about what you and your family are doing.
travelmama is offline  
Old 01-03-10, 10:55 AM
  #7  
gerv 
In the right lane
 
gerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 9,565

Bikes: 1974 Huffy 3 speed

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I grew up in a rural setting where hot water and sewer facilities were pretty rudimentary. We got a weekly bath and other than whatever washing we could get in a sink... that was it. Nowadays, I am addicted to a daily shower. I suspect most of the fascination with "cleanliness" is cultural or even just plain habit.
gerv is offline  
Old 01-03-10, 04:44 PM
  #8  
rockmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 273
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BadBoy10 View Post
The article is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. I love this forum: Everyone is so philosophical and intellectual. I really love it.

My thoughts:

If it works for them: okay. It is not going to work for me. I am unable to go a week without showering. I just don't want to do it. How a woman presumably she is still having the natural process monthly:--how she does it---not bathing specifically during this time frame of the month: ummm, no.
She is likely breastfeeding and experiencing lactational amenorrhea. Also not having a shower does not equal not making use of water and a washcloth.
rockmom is offline  
Old 01-03-10, 05:26 PM
  #9  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,434

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2874 Post(s)
Liked 75 Times in 54 Posts
Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I grew up in a rural setting where hot water and sewer facilities were pretty rudimentary. We got a weekly bath and other than whatever washing we could get in a sink... that was it. Nowadays, I am addicted to a daily shower. I suspect most of the fascination with "cleanliness" is cultural or even just plain habit.
The "daily shower" is a cultural thing, and only a very recent cultural thing ... as of the late 1970s/early 1980s. A lot of people seem to forget that ... or are too young to remember. When I was growing up, we got two baths a week: Wednesday and Saturday ... and that was a lot. Most of my friends only got the Saturday bath. In between we washed our face, hands, and neck in the sink every day.

I got so I thought I needed a daily shower, and then I went back to University, and by about the third year I was so busy with school, work, travelling back and forth to both, trying to keep up some sort of exercise routine, and especially living in a variety of places here and there that either didn't have shower facilities or had limited facilities, that it was simpler to shower only 3 or 4 times a week. And many of my classmates did the same thing.

So coming here, where I could only bathe once a week wasn't a huge transition. I do enjoy showers, and it has been a wonderful luxury to be able to shower twice a week this past month at work .... but it isn't really necessary to shower more often than that. Even if you're a woman, like I am. You can keep clean in other ways.


travelmama - it isn't that cold here in Australia (we only got down to freezing 0C), but I spent the winter wearing one sweater combination per week. I didn't have much in the way of clothing when I arrived here. We picked up a few things from an opp shop shortly after I got here, and then I just wore the same thing all week long. If you use wool, which I did, and it looks like they do too, your body can breathe. I suspect a lot of the synthetic fabrics wouldn't allow for that, but they are generally not all that practical in those situations anyway.

Also when we went to bed (and I suspect it would be the same for them), we changed into night attire, which for me consisted of a very large baggy sweatshirt and sweatpants ... looser and different from what I wore during the day. On realy cold nights I might wear a T-shirt under the sweat shirt. I found that much variety was all I needed.


rockmom - my cleaning method now is the washcloth and water method. They don't have running water, but they do have well water (and snow, which can be melted into water). What I do, and what they might do as well, is to put about 3 litres of cold water into a plastic bin, and top it off with about 2 litres of water I've boiled. Then I wet my hair down with that water, apply shampoo, and then rinse it off with that water. That takes care of the hair. Then I use a wash cloth and wash down the rest of me with that water, which is now slightly soapy from the shampoo. I towel off, rinse the washcloth off with a little bit of fresh water, empty the bin into the toilet, and I'm done.
Machka is offline  
Old 01-04-10, 07:45 PM
  #10  
Cosmoline
Biscuit Boy
 
Cosmoline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Speeenard 'laska
Posts: 1,355
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I wish them better luck than I had. I lived off grid up north of Willow, which is considerably colder than where they are. I didn't have a sexy yurt either. It was a derelict trailer and a garden shed. That's the reality for most mortals living away from civilization. It's rough, dirty and extremely difficult. Far from minimizing my environmental footprint, I carved up an acre of wilderness with a chainsaw and burned way more kerosene, diesel and gas than I care to think about in an often-vain effort to keep from freezing at forty below zero. Plus I had to do a 190 mile a day commute! It all ended with the inevitable car crash on the Parks Highway o' Death.

I live in the downtown of Anchorage now, and ironically I use a heck of a lot less fossil fuel. A minimal amount from a forced air heater than also heats a dozen other apartments, a little bit of electricity for efficient lights, and that's about it. I have no car and need none. I've set up a great pantry that's full of locally grown produce and I have a freezer full of home cooked meals ready to go. Civilization isn't always bad for the environment.

Mind you, the SUMMERS were fantastic. Not a care in the world and those endless sunny days fishing. Tons of food to be had all over. But I should have done what most folks do and head to town for the winter.

And I did love my weekly bath. I used a 50 gallon feed trough--the hard plastic kind you get for livestock. Heated the water on a custom-made high powered propane tripod in a 15 gallon USN surplus pot. I loved those hot baths in the spring snow come April. Or under the stars in September listening to old time radio on an ancient AM receiver. It spoiled me for very hot baths, which are actually hard to come by these days. There's something about being in a hot bubble bath surrounded by great mounds of snow.

But if I ever do it again I'm not doing it all year, and I'm going to skip the commute!

This was my home in the shed. I learned to construct an ultra bed from old military surplus wool blankets and insulating pads that was good down to about zero or a little below. After that I had to bring in some heat source. It was kind of cozy, and you could hunt without getting out of bed by just opening the shed door!



PS--ruffed grouse and sailor boy pilot bread go very well together! Those were yummy birds. Like flying hamburgers. I still salivate when I see one.

Last edited by Cosmoline; 01-04-10 at 08:05 PM.
Cosmoline is offline  
Old 01-05-10, 05:05 AM
  #11  
wahoonc
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,852

Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sounds like it works for them...if you were to try to live like that in many other parts of the country, social services and the code enforcement officers would be all over you. It looks like they have prepared well and made sound decisions. The fact that he is from that part of the country, I am sure played a part in their choosing that location.

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline  
Old 01-05-10, 08:32 AM
  #12  
dynodonn
Banned.
 
dynodonn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: U.S. of A.
Posts: 7,465
Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1253 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 22 Posts
Thanks, but no thanks. In a area with a low population density, this type of living works well, but trying to do it in higher density areas, and I can see a lot of the diseases like cholera making a roaring come back.
dynodonn is offline  
Old 01-05-10, 02:59 PM
  #13  
bizzz111
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 519
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
They are missing out on a myriad of efficiencies that would make their life so much easier. Not sure if they are doing that by choice to see what it's like to really rough it, or if they just aren't knowledgeable enough to know when they are working way too hard.

A yurt in Alaska??? I know the yurt company advertises such a thing, but even with the "cold weather package" your average retail yurt is woefully inadequate for the winters of Alaska. They would have been much better off spending the $30-40k building a small house with double insulated walls and a russian stove. They probably would have burned 1/4 the amount of wood that they are now. It's also fairly simple to install a hand pump in your yurt/cabin so you don't have to slog water every day. Add in a 50 gallon storage tank (old water heater) and you probably only have to pump a couple times a week. And lastly, get a flippin' xtracycle or something. Walking 3 miles into town each way I'm sure is noble, but again if you just spent hours chopping wood and hauling water, why spend an hour each way walking into town when you could do it in 15-20 minutes, plus haul a lot more back each trip so you wouldn't have to go into town as often.

I don't envy their life and honestly I don't really applaud their efforts. They are using way too much wood for their situation and will probably have to abandon their homestead in five years or so when they have chopped down all the nearby trees for fuel.
bizzz111 is offline  
Old 01-05-10, 04:06 PM
  #14  
BadBoy10
Senior Member
 
BadBoy10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Florida!
Posts: 267

Bikes: Mercier Mini Velo, Rivendell Quickbeam, 80's Hampton Beach Cruiser

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The article is beautifully written.

@Bizzz111: Your sentiments are expressed somewhat identical to what I think===I however have no knowledge of this type of lifestyle so cannot be as technical. I guess I really do not understand the purpose of living so extreme. What really is the point? Obviously you can do it if you want to but why is this a choice?

It is like hoarders. Yes, I guess if you choose you can have over a 100 cats but why live this way? There may not be relationship between hoarding and extremism but to some degree it is perplexing why someone would choose to live this way. It is not a judgement on whether it is right or wrong? I am questioning the purpose--why?

I am thoughtful of what others have stated about the baby--but I simply cannot say this lifestyle would be how I would want to begin the stages of my child's life---

I cannot stand a day without taking a bath. Again, if I had no choice and didn't know any better---but as it is --I do know better and do have a choice---and I love a hot bubbly.
BadBoy10 is offline  
Old 01-05-10, 04:12 PM
  #15  
BadBoy10
Senior Member
 
BadBoy10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Florida!
Posts: 267

Bikes: Mercier Mini Velo, Rivendell Quickbeam, 80's Hampton Beach Cruiser

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
@Nancy:

Hi:

I think there is a difference between outright extreme commercialism. I like balances. Perhaps your children enjoy not having commercially produced toys because they know nothing else. This is more of your parenting choice than their personal choice don't you think? This is how you have elected to parent them as opposed to they woke up one day and stated: "I don't want to play with Legos!" Or did they?

What is your reaction to them becoming adults and wanting to assimilate into commercial society (owning a Wii) for example?
BadBoy10 is offline  
Old 01-06-10, 12:55 AM
  #16  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,434

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2874 Post(s)
Liked 75 Times in 54 Posts
Originally Posted by BadBoy10 View Post
What is your reaction to them becoming adults and wanting to assimilate into commercial society (owning a Wii) for example?
Hopefully Nancy's children will have developed the ability to be individuals and think for themselves rather than being assimilated into commercial society.

Rowan and I have a friend who raised his kids in a similar way to the way Nancy is raising hers. Shorly after the oldest one graduated high school she hit the road and travelled around the world for the next 2 years. IMO that's a MUCH better use of money than buying something like a Wii. She got out and lived real life rather than being stuck inside living a virtual life.
Machka is offline  
Old 01-06-10, 01:04 AM
  #17  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,434

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2874 Post(s)
Liked 75 Times in 54 Posts
Originally Posted by BadBoy10 View Post
I however have no knowledge of this type of lifestyle so cannot be as technical. I guess I really do not understand the purpose of living so extreme. What really is the point? Obviously you can do it if you want to but why is this a choice?
It is a choice because some people don't want to live the same life as so many others. Some people don't want to be sheep following the herd. Some people want to be individuals and have interesting life experiences ... they want to live life to the extreme.

Did you ever watch the show called, "Pioneer Quest" set in Manitoba and filmed in the early 2000s? That show fascinated me ... and interestingly enough, I'm now living a life much like the one in that show, with a few extra conveniences.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0294167/
http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2000/11...eer112400.html

And what about in the world of cycling? Have you never wanted to push yourself to extremes there ... to test your limits ... to see what your body can do? I did ... and so I got into ultracycling - Randonneuring and 24-hour races, and I loved them.

I have no desire to live a usual, ordinary, run-of-the-mill life. For me, that's just too boring. And I'm guessing the couple in the article feel the same way.
Machka is offline  
Old 01-06-10, 01:05 AM
  #18  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,434

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2874 Post(s)
Liked 75 Times in 54 Posts
Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Thanks, but no thanks. In a area with a low population density, this type of living works well, but trying to do it in higher density areas, and I can see a lot of the diseases like cholera making a roaring come back.
Living a lifestyle like they do would lose a lot of it's appeal if there were other people around.

The one concern I'd have in that situation would be to ensure that my outhouse is far enough away from my well so that my well water wouldn't become contaminated.
Machka is offline  
Old 01-06-10, 06:07 AM
  #19  
Rollfast
What happened?
 
Rollfast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Around here somewhere
Posts: 7,524

Bikes: 3 Rollfasts, 3 Schwinns, a Shelby and a Higgins Flightliner in a pear tree!

Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1545 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 49 Posts
Originally Posted by Cosmoline View Post
I wish them better luck than I had. I lived off grid up north of Willow, which is considerably colder than where they are. I didn't have a sexy yurt either. It was a derelict trailer and a garden shed. That's the reality for most mortals living away from civilization. It's rough, dirty and extremely difficult. Far from minimizing my environmental footprint, I carved up an acre of wilderness with a chainsaw and burned way more kerosene, diesel and gas than I care to think about in an often-vain effort to keep from freezing at forty below zero. Plus I had to do a 190 mile a day commute! It all ended with the inevitable car crash on the Parks Highway o' Death.

I live in the downtown of Anchorage now, and ironically I use a heck of a lot less fossil fuel. A minimal amount from a forced air heater than also heats a dozen other apartments, a little bit of electricity for efficient lights, and that's about it. I have no car and need none. I've set up a great pantry that's full of locally grown produce and I have a freezer full of home cooked meals ready to go. Civilization isn't always bad for the environment.

Mind you, the SUMMERS were fantastic. Not a care in the world and those endless sunny days fishing. Tons of food to be had all over. But I should have done what most folks do and head to town for the winter.

And I did love my weekly bath. I used a 50 gallon feed trough--the hard plastic kind you get for livestock. Heated the water on a custom-made high powered propane tripod in a 15 gallon USN surplus pot. I loved those hot baths in the spring snow come April. Or under the stars in September listening to old time radio on an ancient AM receiver. It spoiled me for very hot baths, which are actually hard to come by these days. There's something about being in a hot bubble bath surrounded by great mounds of snow.

But if I ever do it again I'm not doing it all year, and I'm going to skip the commute!

This was my home in the shed. I learned to construct an ultra bed from old military surplus wool blankets and insulating pads that was good down to about zero or a little below. After that I had to bring in some heat source. It was kind of cozy, and you could hunt without getting out of bed by just opening the shed door!



PS--ruffed grouse and sailor boy pilot bread go very well together! Those were yummy birds. Like flying hamburgers. I still salivate when I see one.
I've actually bought that pilot bread! I had no clue what to do with it so it ended up being like huge crackers or matzos that didn't seem overly burnt. Still figuring out what the foodbank gives out and stuff like that, no worries-Heinz ketchup helps any thing but orange juice or Kool Aid.

Ever get froglegs from a foodbank?
Rollfast is offline  
Old 01-06-10, 06:09 AM
  #20  
wahoonc
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,852

Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Hopefully Nancy's children will have developed the ability to be individuals and think for themselves rather than being assimilated into commercial society.

Rowan and I have a friend who raised his kids in a similar way to the way Nancy is raising hers. Shorly after the oldest one graduated high school she hit the road and travelled around the world for the next 2 years. IMO that's a MUCH better use of money than buying something like a Wii. She got out and lived real life rather than being stuck inside living a virtual life.
Bingo! I have a son and daughter who live car free by choice. They grew up in a semi carlight family. I was hauling them around in the trailer about the time they started walking, they were both riding to the grocery store with me on a regular basis by the time they were in primary school, then riding to school (after we moved) by the time they were in elementary school. Neither one currently uses a bike much for transportation, but live a different life than what is painted by the commercial driven "ideal" lifestyle. They both live fairly simply, love music, books and the arts.

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline  
Old 01-06-10, 06:09 AM
  #21  
Rollfast
What happened?
 
Rollfast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Around here somewhere
Posts: 7,524

Bikes: 3 Rollfasts, 3 Schwinns, a Shelby and a Higgins Flightliner in a pear tree!

Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1545 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 49 Posts
By the way.

Toilet +1
Broadband nil

If I had to choose...
Rollfast is offline  
Old 01-06-10, 06:44 AM
  #22  
azbackpackr
Senior Member
 
azbackpackr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
Posts: 94

Bikes: 05 specialized stumpjumper FSR comp and a Giant 0C3 road bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Nice article. I like reading about people who "rough it". I spent a while doing something similar back in the late 1970s, early 80s. We had a composting toilet, but, of course, no broadband. No yurt, but a self-erected, small house. Closest thing we had to broadband Internet was the Book of the Month club. It was fun for a while.
Ditto, in Hawaii, on the Big Island. I built the one-room cabin out of scrap lumber, mostly. We had outhouse, water catchment system, garden, no phone, no electricity, etc. Before I built that we lived in another similar cabin, and our first child was born in that cabin. (He is now a SSgt in the USMC--so go figger...) It WAS fun, until the baby came and I was washing cloth diapers in buckets of cold water. That was not fun. We moved to another house that had electricity and water, and I bought a used washing machine. But we still were "out on the land" as we used to say. I would do it again, but my husband is not very handy, and I got tired of being the only one who could fix stuff.

We now live in a pretty nice, big, old rambling house in a very small, very "Western" rural ranching community in the mountains. So we have all the modern conveniences, and a grocery store two blocks away. There is a hospital, community college, etc. But we do have half an acre with ditch irrigation, and we grow a garden every year. I don't live car free, and don't want to. I love to travel more than anything in the world. I do commute to work on bike or on foot most of the time, though. There is no public transportation here whatsoever. The nearest public bus is over 50 miles away. The nearest full-service airport is 200 miles away, in another state!
azbackpackr is offline  
Old 01-06-10, 12:25 PM
  #23  
Cosmoline
Biscuit Boy
 
Cosmoline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Speeenard 'laska
Posts: 1,355
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've actually bought that pilot bread! I had no clue what to do with it so it ended up being like huge crackers or matzos that didn't seem overly burnt
It's a staple up here in AK. It keeps really well. It's essentially hard tack. Good with cheese or with Spam.
Cosmoline is offline  
Old 01-06-10, 12:57 PM
  #24  
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Posts: 24,219
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 704 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For your consideration: I don't really need the broadband that costs $100/month (or whatever). I'm typing this at the library, free of charge, with faster access than any residential broadband service.

I do like my toilet, however, so TEHO.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline  
Old 01-06-10, 07:50 PM
  #25  
BadBoy10
Senior Member
 
BadBoy10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Florida!
Posts: 267

Bikes: Mercier Mini Velo, Rivendell Quickbeam, 80's Hampton Beach Cruiser

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
@Machka:

The point of the question which hopefully will be answered by the person I asked: what if your children reject your notions of anti-commercialism and minimilism. The Wii insertion was for point of reference. I could have said television, telephone or technology in general.

But thanks anyway.
BadBoy10 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.