Axel Heyst's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Western Red Cedar wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:36 am
....
Hey WRC, glad to hear some of my Deep Work ramblings have been useful! And thanks for those links - what a beautiful build. I'm looking forward to getting my build far enough that I'm dry, warm, and have some space, and can maybe slow down and devote some time to more thorough/artistic build projects.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:51 am
Hey man, glad you are doing well. I’m interested in your shipping container build, I am 80% sure I’m about to help build a small music production studio in a 40 ft container and a kitchen in another 40 ft container. I’m interested to hear any knowledge you gain from building yours/ playing around with your friend’s container.

Going back to work FT to reach full FI is one of the strengths of semi-ERE. Why make your entire retirement concurrent? I think time and distance from paid employment can be a great way to reimagine how you’d like to do paid employment.
Those sound like fun projects, I'll definitely keep the build updates coming here and share any insights/mistakes I uncover.

Thanks for that point about semi-ERE. If I didn't have the cognitive framework of semiERE as a recognized option, I wouldn't have taken this time to recover and resort my life, and maybe would have just ground it out FT until FI but my life wouldn't have been as good as it a) has been the last half year and b) will be, I'm pretty sure, even after I go back to FT, considering my fresh and re-invigorated stance. I really appreciate all the thoughwork that's been put in to the concept by you et al around here.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Brief Update:
We made it to what I’ll call... hmmm... Shelter West, two weeks ago. We’re living in Serenity - sleeping, cooking, etc. There is a flush outhouse and an outdoor shower on the property. My friend, who owns the land, lives in a tiny house on the land and we often share meals with him and his dog (she eats what he eats, or perhaps vice versa).

Priority number one is getting the container insulated and enclosed, and ready for the wood stove once it arrives. Everything else in my life is either on hold or on life support - aka I’m doing just enough w*rk to keep my team running, I’m eating enough to have energy to work, I’m writing in my journal just enough to not go insane, I’m “being a boyfriend” just enough so DW doesn’t dip, you get the idea.

I want to get the container move-in-able asap because Serenity isn’t enough space for two people, not by a long shot. Our lives are basically on hold till we can expand to the container. The weather is fine now, but once winter shows up (in a week perhaps?) it’s going to make the 68sf lifestyle even more challenging, not to mention building when you can’t feel your fingers sucks. I’m trying to move as fast as possible without actually screwing anything up too bad.

I did enough financial tracking to note that my *lifestyle CoL*, meaning everything I spent money on except for building materials, was 1.3 jafi last month. My frugality practices are basically running just fine on autopilot without much cognitive bandwidth required. I’m looking forward to getting more stable and continuing to dial those down even tighter, but for now I’m happy with the work I put in over this whole year to get ~1.3jafi somewhat habituated.

Oh also, I got $1,650 worth of insulation for $650 the other day.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Hope it's not too cold :) Godspeed, build thy shelter!!

mooretrees
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by mooretrees »

Cool to hear all that's happened for you recently. Seems like the part time work was really a great reset for you and some concrete plans for the year ahead came out of all that reflection. When you've got your building livable and have more time to write, I'd love to hear how you're thinking/planning for going car free.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Container build pics:

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As you can tell, I'm going for continuous insulation with as few thermal bridges as possible. Besides what will go on at the door and window frames, the only thermal bridges are eleven "floor joists".

This amount of 2" polyiso insulation purchased from a regular big box store would be $1,650. I got these factory seconds for $650. It meant I had to housewrap the interior because they weren't foil faced, so add ~$200 for the wrap and distance I had to travel to pick them up.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Thoughts on my carfree strategy:
I purchased my first vehicle at 31 years old. I was carfree the entire time I lived in the Bay, and most of college. It was trivial while living in a city, and if I lived “in town” I wouldn’t even think about owning a car.

But I don’t live in town anymore, and I don’t intend to ever again. Most people in my situation say “well, car ownership is mandatory based on where I live, so I’ll put my attention to as-frugal-as-possible car ownership”. Eff that, challenge accepted, I say: how can I ditch the cage while still living the rural/dirtbag lifestyle I desire? Also, I expect vehicle ownership to be something only the uberelite can afford within a few decades, so I'm keen on avoiding the rush. I'd rather get good at a carfree life now, at my leisure, than have to scramble to figure it out when it's forced on me. These are my thoughts:

The Great Lakes future Shelter will be selected to be within 20 miles of “town”. The vast majority of trips (to see people, to grocery shop, to pick up supplies at the hardware store, et cetera) is via bicycle, e-bike, or motorcycle. When a car is needed to pick up lumber or move a table or something, either borrow a friend’s truck or rent one from uHaul for $20. Overall cost of “transportation” ought to be significantly lower than vehicle ownership, even if we’re renting a truck several times a month (which would be way more than I’m anticipating). At first we aren’t planning on living there in the winter. Eventually we likely will, and perhaps then we’ll opt for owning a car seasonally, or just becoming tougher and sticking with the bikes.

Shelter West is more difficult. Climbing in [_____] looks like hitching a ride and camping there for a week, or motorcycle or ebike. Still, the challenge of it is part of the adventure - forced to meet new people by getting rides to the valley, etc.

Getting between the Great Lakes and The West. Amtrak, bicycle, motorcycle, hitch, hobo, walk, or rent a car/truck if moving a sizable amount of stuff (although Amtrak is a decent way to send a bunch of stuff as well).

My target date to ditch the cage is mid 2022, when I expect the Great Lakes shelter construction to be substantially complete.


Summary:
  • The trips we make that *require* a vehicle such as moving lumber are infrequent, and would be more cheaply executed by renting a truck (ride bicycle to truck rental facility, do truck errand, ride bicycle back home).
  • Most other trips can be executed via bicycle, e-bike, or motorcycle.
  • This lifestyle will also induce us to be healthier, plan our trips better, learn bicycle technics better, reduce our likelihood of dying in an auto accident, and reduce our exposure to the toxic materials found in and around car ownership. It will also present us with more opportunities for novel experiences like hobo’ing, long-distance bike touring, hitching, etc.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

That's a very interesting pursuit (the car free life). A motorbike definitely makes things a lot easier wrt getting places that are off the beaten path with no public transport available.

This container is the Great Lakes shelter? Why do you expect it to take another 18 months to complete?

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:38 am
This container is the Great Lakes shelter? Why do you expect it to take another 18 months to complete?
No, the container is in Shelter West. I expect the container to be occupiable (basically, has a wood stove and a door) within a month.

The Great Lakes Shelter is a twinkle in my eye at this point - we don't even own any land yet. So the sequence looks like: look for land > buy land > design a site-appropriate shelter > get permits/approval > build shelter. 18 months is probably wildly optimistic for all that.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:38 am
That's a very interesting pursuit (the car free life). A motorbike definitely makes things a lot easier wrt getting places that are off the beaten path with no public transport available.
Yeah... even then, I'm thinking about putting a cap on my motorbiking days, much as I love the activity.

I can't remember if it was Peter Kalmus (author of Being the Change) [eta: yes, it was Kalmus: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as ... -1.4442890 but I think the anecdote that follows I heard on a podcast interview on the Duncan Trussell show) or someone else who said that the more he learned about climate change, the more physically uncomfortable he felt engaging in activities that he knew burned a lot of fossil fuels. On his last flight, he said he was nauseated and just saw dead babies (presumably killed by climate change related catastrophes). He became psycho-physically unable to board a plane after that, and *that's* why he doesn't fly. To him, he hasn't "chosen" to cease flying, he *can't* fly anymore.

I'm not quite at that point yet with ICE cars, but I'm moving along in that direction. It's been a goal of mine to secure fossil-fuel-free transportation for myself for years - I thought I'd just become a biodiesel nerd, but lately I'm honestly more attracted to the "why do you feel entitled to hurtle along at 80mph whenever you want anyways, self? If everyone in the world thought it was fine to drive for 'at least a few more years', the planet would fry by next Tuesday. Why not just leave it all behind?" path.

In the "pull motivation" category, I've always been interested in even more slow-travel and fringe adventure styles - hitching, riding the rails, simply walking, long distance bike touring, etc. Committing at some point to ditching the car will constrain/force me to experiment with these other experiences, because the "easy" way will be blocked to me.

(This tactic of artificially constraining my life, thereby forcing me to do the behavior(s) I say I actually want, tends to work really well for my personality.)

7Wannabe5
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Canoe, kayak, dog-sled, cross-country skis...send your solar powered robot to the store for you.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Many of the blogs/stories I've read of people trying to create an off grid type lifestyle in the US have listed "spend way too much time in a car" as the number one issue. Partially, because the land that's cheap, tends to be far away from places that have goods/services and/or marketplaces for their goods/services. They didn't think through the ins/outs to their system. Partially because people who gravitate towards this type of lifestyle tend to dislike car use as well.

I'd love to see a success story with a lower budget and without car usage, they seem few and far between. If anyone can do it, it's you. Good luck!

RockyMtnLiving
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by RockyMtnLiving »

I live in a very remote area, along with family. I am older — late 50’s. We abandoned HCOL for LCOL years ago, so I admire where you are coming from and respect it. I work with climbers (alpinists, bouIderers) and get and admire the lifestyle. We are serious DIY’ers.

Winter here is September through May. Roads frequently close. Most of the roads are dirt.

A few observations about transportation from where I sit (literally). And I clearly am not made of the right stuff compared to you.

1. People die here without reliable transportation. I have known people who have gone out and not gotten back for days because their truck broke down. If they weren’t found, they could have died.

2. I don’t know any climbers that don’t have ICE trucks (typically Toyota’s). I don’t know any climber that has the luxury of walking 4 weeks to a climb, then walking back home for another 4 weeks. It could be that I haven’t met enough climbers. Maybe singles in their early 20’s can do that; the climbers I know are a bit older.

3. People with children need transportation (school, emergencies). I’ve known several young climbers (35 and younger) who lived in their Toyota’s, but when they settled down, they generally bought a new truck.

4. I have never seen an EV of any kind in the years since I have been here. EV’s have to be charged. Quite frankly, anybody with an EV here would be viewed, fairly or not, as an uninformed city slicker. And actually, people here might shoot at them (sadly). And EV’s require rare earth elements, critical minerals and other components that are typically mined. No free lunch.

5. Old people like me need transportation (nearest hospital 2.5 hours away). If I were to have a heart attack, I would want DW to get me to the nearest town ASAP. I am into this rural LCOL lifestyle, but all things considered would prefer not to die out here only because I couldn’t get to the nearest clinic fast enough.

6. I don’t know anybody with a motorcycle here. They don’t work in snow or on ice. The only “bikers” I know are mountain bikers — and they get to the trails by taking their bikes in their ICE pick-ups (see above).

So I admire you. It just seems highly implausible. You might want to consider a horse. But even a horse takes energy (hay, etc.). Horses die in remote areas all the time, too. Did I mention the winters are brutal?

So I’d get a Toyota Tundra with a good set of expensive tires.

The only people I know without cars live in dense urban areas. Here, trucks mean survival, literally.

theanimal
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by theanimal »

I have great interest in seeing how you tackle this problem and am hoping you'll succeed. I tried the same myself once when I was living in the Arctic. I had no car and got around via borrowed bike/rides, skis, packraft and on foot. I ended up getting what would be my first car not much later on. Don't underestimate winter. You will not be in the Arctic but still in the great lakes you will be unable to use motorcycle/scooter for a good part of the year. Bikes work fine in winter but are miserable in fresh snow. This problem can be solved by not needing to go places at fixed times (ie ERE lifestyle). The other things worth considering are getting regular supplies and socialization. The supplies isn't really an issue anymore with Amazon but socialization can be. I'm sure you have a good idea of how much you need based on your van experiences. One thing I did have a problem with internally was with feeling reliant on other people more than I'd like. I like having things in my control and can have some internal struggles when that doesn't happen. This was more so in winter than summer and may not be true for you.

Best of luck!

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 2:41 pm
I'd love to see a success story with a lower budget and without car usage, they seem few and far between. If anyone can do it, it's you. Good luck!
Thank you for the encouragement! It seems to me that the world needs more success stories for non-urbanites going carfree. I think where most people fail is that they go *too* remote, to a location that simply isn't within any kind of reasonable distance to anything. Like where I grew up; a couple neighbors 3 miles away, and then bare-ass desert for 35 miles until the next anything. I would never try to live long-term carfree in a place that far out.

@rocky, you addressed all the issues so well I'm just going to reply to your points as you wrote them.

A few clarifying points first:

Neither of the locations are what I consider "super remote". I grew up "pretty remote", 35 miles from the nearest anything, so I get that lifestyle. Shelter west is 5 miles from a little town, and 15 miles to a decent sized town. Shelter Great Lakes land will be selected carefully to be within 20 miles of a decent town, and just based on how that area of the world works, it'll be within 2-5 miles of a couple different smaller townships. I'm hoping to find a sweet spot distance from amenities. We'll see how the search goes.

Shelter West is 4,500'. Winter isn't that bad (I grew up at this elevation and climate, and spent a year living up at 8,000' in Truckee during one of it's worst winters in 20 years, so I have a fair sense of How Not to Die by Not Taking Winter Seriously).

At the moment, I don't plan on living in the Great Lakes area through the winter. I haven't lived through a Midwest winter yet, so I don't feel confident devising a plan for how to make it through one carfree. At some point I will want to live there through the winter, and I'll either a) have to get tougher/smarter/both or b) own a winter-only car, ideally biodiesel (but biodiesel doesn't like cold temps, so....)

1. People die here without reliable transportation. I have known people who have gone out and not gotten back for days because their truck broke down. If they weren’t found, they could have died.
Yep. I wouldn't think of living carfree in a remote place with a climate like Truckee or wherever you live in the Rockies.

2. I don’t know any climbers that don’t have ICE trucks (typically Toyota’s). I don’t know any climber that has the luxury of walking 4 weeks to a climb, then walking back home for another 4 weeks. It could be that I haven’t met enough climbers. Maybe singles in their early 20’s can do that; the climbers I know are a bit older.
Yes, my climbing "career" will have to look different. My deadline for going carfree and my deadline for quitting my FT job are coincident. Shelter West is very close to one of the best and largest climbing areas in the world, and lots of climbers come and go without a car. Another point: "climber" isn't my primary identity. I'm other things first, and am willing to pose constraints on my climbing career that more serious climbers wouldn't.

3. People with children need transportation (school, emergencies). I’ve known several young climbers (35 and younger) who lived in their Toyota’s, but when they settled down, they generally bought a new truck.
I'm #childfree.

4. I have never seen an EV of any kind in the years since I have been here. EV’s have to be charged. Quite frankly, anybody with an EV here would be viewed, fairly or not, as an uninformed city slicker. And actually, people here might shoot at them (sadly). And EV’s require rare earth elements, critical minerals and other components that are typically mined. No free lunch.
I agree with all of that. I once drove my boss' Tesla from San Francisco to Washington DC. Neat experience. And no, I don't see an EV in my future (well, an e-bike perhaps).

5. Old people like me need transportation (nearest hospital 2.5 hours away). If I were to have a heart attack, I would want DW to get me to the nearest town ASAP. I am into this rural LCOL lifestyle, but all things considered would prefer not to die out here only because I couldn’t get to the nearest clinic fast enough.
Yes. I'm a ways from that dynamic, but am already thinking about it because my parents (~75yo) live 35 miles from anything. Again, neither of my shelters are *that* remote.

6. I don’t know anybody with a motorcycle here. They don’t work in snow or on ice. The only “bikers” I know are mountain bikers — and they get to the trails by taking their bikes in their ICE pick-ups (see above).
The motorcycle thing is mostly "because I love going for a rip every now and again". Motorcycles don't play a crucial role in my plans - my plans assume I won't have a motorcycle eventually. The point is to get off fossil fuels, and biodiesel motos essentially don't exist, and electric ones are unlikely to fit my lifestyle. Anyways, as you said, they're fast death in winter if you're dumb enough to get on one.

So I’d get a Toyota Tundra with a good set of expensive tires.
I love my tacoma with grabbers. It's going to be tough to give him up when the time comes.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

theanimal wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:52 pm
This problem can be solved by not needing to go places at fixed times (ie ERE lifestyle). The other things worth considering are getting regular supplies and socialization. The supplies isn't really an issue anymore with Amazon but socialization can be. I'm sure you have a good idea of how much you need based on your van experiences. One thing I did have a problem with internally was with feeling reliant on other people more than I'd like. I like having things in my control and can have some internal struggles when that doesn't happen. This was more so in winter than summer and may not be true for you.
Yes, a big part of the plan relies on being able to look out the window and go "Brr!! Eff that! I'll go to the store next week."

And one criteria for the great lakes location is that there needs to be neighbors within snow-shoe clomping distance. Shelter West already has a robust neighbor scene.

Your point about control is well put, and long-term control is at the heart of this. I don't want to wake up one day in 2035 or whenever and go "oh, wow, yeah I can't own a car anymore", and be forced to suddenly have to abandon my lifestyle and move in to town or whatever.

I expect to be "forced" into carlessness at some point in my life. I aim to achieve carlessness on my own terms before having my hand forced.

chenda
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by chenda »

Is there a particular reasom you want to be 20 miles out, would it not be preferable to actually live in or closer to the town ? I assume it would be more expensive but maybe a more long term robust strategy ? Living close to a medical clinic and policing is another line of security.

Either way good luck, giving up your car can be very liberating :)

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by Western Red Cedar »

@AH - Cool photos - thanks for sharing!

Interesting to hear your thoughts and see all of the perspectives on car-free rural living. I went the first 11.5 years of my adult life car-free. It was mostly for environmental reasons, but a nice way to save some money and simplify. One of the major, unexpected benefits was that it provided a lot of really interesting experiences and encounters with random people as I was traveling locally or between cities.

It did limit my ability to get to the backcountry, and I occasionally felt like a bit of a burden in my social circle. It wasn't a huge deal but by my late twenties the feeling of dependency started to get a little old. In terms of rural living, DW and I were spending a week on my parent's homestead at one point and I cut my leg with a chainsaw. Luckily it wasn't too bad and I had a good first aid kit and wilderness first aid training. That changed how I think about living/staying in a rural area without a car and the type of activities I've taken on up there since.

It sounds like you have a pretty tight knit climbing circle and you have the ability to carefully select your MW location so you can probably make it work - at least for a while or as an experiment. You can always do a trial with one vehicle that you rarely use. This is the point that I'm at living in the city - optimized location without a need for a car for daily activities. I just use it to access certain trails or specialized stores.

One of the challenges with homesteading is that it kind of requires a lot of stuff (tools, materials, etc.) to keep things going. I grew up in a rural environment and I can't imagine many people trying to live w/out a car - though some of the old hippies used to get around by horse in the late 70's.

I always appreciate the unconventional approaches to life among this community so I wish you luck!
AxelHeyst wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:34 am
The Great Lakes Shelter is a twinkle in my eye at this point - we don't even own any land yet. So the sequence looks like: look for land > buy land > design a site-appropriate shelter > get permits/approval > build shelter. 18 months is probably wildly optimistic for all that.
You've probably already thought this through, but I would recommend looking at county codes as one of your site selection criteria. I've worked with a lot of people who purchased property without fully researching what they could do/build there per the local code. It often involved the desire to set up some formal commercial operation (restaurant, brewery, winery, motocross park, etc.) that wasn't allowed in a rural zone. Regulations can differ significantly from county to county. Something that seems as trivial as connecting multiple domiciles to a well might be prohibited, even though you're using less water than a neighbor with a single connection.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

chenda wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 5:49 pm
Is there a particular reasom you want to be 20 miles out, would it not be preferable to actually live in or closer to the town ? I assume it would be more expensive but maybe a more long term robust strategy ? Living close to a medical clinic and policing is another line of security.

Either way good luck, giving up your car can be very liberating :)
To be precise, I think 20 miles is the absolute maximum *from the major town* that would be doable. I doubt 20 miles *from the nearest anything* would be doable.

Why I don't want to be right in town: mostly cost. I want an acre or five, and I want to build my own house. I've done enough scouting to know that I can get that much land for $5-20k if I'm a little ways away from town, but I don't have to be all the way deep in the Upper Peninsula or something.

Honestly, you're probably right that being actually in town would be a more robust strategy for a number of reasons. It's just not my jam, and I've lived in enough different kinds of places to have a good amount of information on my likes and dislikes (waaaayyy out in the woods, downtown San Francisco, outskirts of Oakland, various smaller towns throughout the west, various locations on the East Coast, a couple locations in Europe, etc).

ETA: I'll be 75 in 2061. I don't expect to be able to get driven down to the clinic regularly then. I don't expect to be driven anywhere, because no one will be driving anything, and I expect "the clinic" will have a couldron in it. Furthermore, I'm proooobably going to die of starvation, COVID2043, the weather, or a 13 year old warboy with a rifle before '61 rolls around. I'd rather spend what time I have left being a weirdo in the outskirts than in town, is all.
Last edited by AxelHeyst on Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Western Red Cedar wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:54 pm
It did limit my ability to get to the backcountry, and I occasionally felt like a bit of a burden in my social circle.
One thing that's bugged me about my and my friend's lifestyle is that we all love the outdoors, and we're aware of and concerned about the effects of GHGs, and those seem related to each other in our self identities. Yet we choose to shut off the part of our brains that says "y'know, if you're serious about living a lifestyle in accordance with your values, you should probably stop driving 300miles in to the woods every single weekend" because we think we have a binary choice: go outdoors, or give up our cars and be stuck inside the rest of our lives. Like people who love to travel, and think that they *have* to fly to travel.

A big part of this initiative for me is attempting to creatively resolve that issue, building a lifestyle that allows me time in the outdoors *and* doesn't require me to live with this massive cognitive dissonance (I care about climate change AND I drive a lot = something has to be suppressed, so we tell ourselves stories about how driving isn't that bad).

And to me, (a big part of) ERE is about questioning status quo assumptions about life, and it's about the freedom to do weird and kind of extreme stuff that you can't get away with if you have to hold down a "real job". Living off $7k is kinda weird and extreme, and requires a lot of planning, strategy, training, et cetera. Why stop there with the oddball stuff?*

Why not be a dude who walks 20 miles in to town once a month with an expedition cart, stays at friend's houses for a week having fun parties drinking homebrew and smoking backyard herb, and playing music and fixin' stuff in barter for honey and canned tomatoes and a box of nails, and then walk back to 'my place' for a blessed three weeks of me time?

And why not be a dude who takes the train out West in the Fall, hitches up to the Valley, and spends most weeks sleeping either in Camp 4 or a ledge, hitching back down to "his spot" (the container) for laundry and solo time every once in a while?

That all actually sounds pretty good to me. :)

AND - I guarantee you that I will not do that stuff if I own a car. I will take the easy, more expensive, less adventurous, less socially engaged route of driving my butt around instead.

*I know the selling point is "you can have a nice middle class lifestyle at $7k CoL if you're just efficient with it and skill up!" but that was never a motivator for me. I've never wanted a middle class lifestyle, even when I pretty much had one. I have no problem with people who do desire that, but I've been trying to figure out ways to force myself to live on the fringes of acceptable society since I left home. It's an odd journey, because I've been walking this line between corporate salaryman and wannabe dirtbag/hobo/radical, erring on the side of salaryman because security and golden handcuffs and all that, and honestly not loving that about myself. When I read ERE for the first time, a light bulb went off in my head and I realized that I could just hammer this salaryman thing for a couple years and then dip, and focus entirely on pursuing this desire I've always had to tinker with / invent a really unique lifestyle that makes sense to, as far as I can tell, only me.
Western Red Cedar wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:54 pm
One of the challenges with homesteading is that it kind of requires a lot of stuff (tools, materials, etc.) to keep things going. I grew up in a rural environment and I can't imagine many people trying to live w/out a car - though some of the old hippies used to get around by horse in the late 70's.
Yeah, I just was thinking about it the other day, and I realized that I could probably just switch to renting a truck once or twice a month for my stuff Runs with almost no effort, and the total cost would be way less. It would require slightly more planning and forethought that I currently employ.

Also, I'm not trying to run a productive legitimate Homestead. Just a place, a little past the outskirts, with some stuff growing here and there and some weird structures and things. It might turn in to something a little more productive in the future if I dig it, but my plan doesn't require it.
Western Red Cedar wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:54 pm
You've probably already thought this through, but I would recommend looking at county codes as one of your site selection criteria. I've worked with a lot of people who purchased property without fully researching what they could do/build there per the local code. It often involved the desire to set up some formal commercial operation (restaurant, brewery, winery, motocross park, etc.) that wasn't allowed in a rural zone. Regulations can differ significantly from county to county. Something that seems as trivial as connecting multiple domiciles to a well might be prohibited, even though you're using less water than a neighbor with a single connection.
Some of my earliest memories are tagging along with mom to the Santa Cruz County Building Department as she did battle (her words) with those folks, for building a normal-ass house in a normal county neighborhood. Yep, codes are very much on my mind.

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