Perhaps you have been searching for the perfect alternative housing option. You desire something that produces a very small footprint and gets you as close to the natural world around you as possible. Has tent living crossed your mind? After all, people have been living in tents for thousands of years.
The Bible is full of references of people who lived in a tent: “By faith [Abraham] made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.” — Hebrews 11:9
Moses and David also lived a nomadic lifestyle. They pitched tents and travelled from one location to another, generally searching for water and pastures for their livestock.
Now, while you may not necessarily desire to be a nomad, tent living does have a host of benefits, including:
1. Financial Savings. If you own your own land, the cost of living in a tent is nominal. If you are wanting to save some hard cash, a tent is a good option.
2. Nature Connection. Nothing gets you closer to nature (apart from sleeping under the stars) than living in a tent. You will be one with natural surroundings around you, and it may take you quite a while to get used to new sounds.
3. Small Footprint. Living in a tent is a very green alternative housing option. Your footprint is remarkably small, and you can reduce this footprint even more by purchasing a tent made from natural and organic materials.
4. Simplification. We can all benefit from a little slow down and simplification in our lives. Tent living screams “simple living,” and is a great way to get in touch with what is really important in life.
Story continues below the video
Do you want to know what people who live in tents think about it? Here are a few sample quotes:
“I never thought I would last. My friends dared me to live in a tent for six months and guess what? It has now been two years and I am still going strong. I love the simplicity that living in a tent demands of me. I love that a bird singing outside is as good as in my hand and most of all I love the way the rain sounds over my head when I sleep.” — Joseph
“Tent living is not at all what I expected. With the right tent, there are no bad weather days. You can stay warm and dry anytime of the year. I lost a lot of money during the recession and living in a tent has allowed me to build up my savings one again.” — Nancy
“Living in a tent is not for everyone. Not everyone can sit quiet on a starry night and listen to the sounds of nature all around, although everyone should at least try to get quiet once in a while. My tent is as much a home to me as was my 3,000-square-foot house that I left a year ago. Because my space is limited, I watch what I buy and don’t have to spend hours cleaning or taking care of the yard. Now, I finally have time for things I enjoy –hiking, biking and photography. I also have money left over each month to help others.” — Tracey
Before you get started
If you are ready to give tent living a try, there are a few important things you must consider before you move forward.
Where will you live? Perhaps you already have a piece of land where you can live. Does the land have a power source or water? If not, you may want to consider a solar generator, depending on your needs, as well as either a well or a water storage tank if there is a place close by to haul waste. In addition, what it the terrain like? Is there a nice flat place where you can pitch a tent? If not, you can, and most people do, build a raised platform. This protects the bottom of your tent and makes living a bit more comfortable. Of course, you may choose to be nomadic for a time as well. Although many campgrounds do not offer year-round living spaces, some allow for extended stays. Do your homework before you set out on the road.
What will you do with your stuff? Some who decide to try tent living get rid of everything apart from a very small amount of personal belongings. Some, however, who wish to keep their things rent a storage unit or build a shed. Although there are many spacious tents, storage space is at a premium in most. Carrying a lot of stuff will be particularly cumbersome if you are going to be nomadic.
So, which tent will you choose? This is where you need to do a ton of research. Many luxury resorts are now using large tents for guest quarters. They are outfitted nicely with real furniture and are extremely comfortable. Keep in mind that you can make your tent living experience as rustic and rugged or elegant and comfortable as you choose.
There are a number of tent styles from which to choose. What you purchase will be dictated by many things, including your budget, the number of people you are housing, and the climate in which you will be living. Many people who choose year-round tent living select a higher-quality canvas wall tent. These tents offer protection from the elements and a comfortable living quarters.
The other advantage of wall tents is that many come with sturdy metal or wooden frames and even real doors or windows. If you plan on travelling around, you may prefer a nylon tent that is easy to set-up and take down. Do your homework before you buy anything. Read as many reviews as you can and make sure the tent you select is suitable for your needs.
Have you ever lived short- or long-term in a tent? Share your tips and suggestions in the section below: