Camping in a tent can be great fun, particularly during the summer months with long days and warm weather.
For most people the time spent in a tent is short, normally weekend breaks or vacations.
But what about longer periods of time. If you enjoy tent life then you may have often wondered if you can live in a tent, maybe outside in the back yard or garden?
It is perfectly possible to live in a tent all year round. With the right type of tent and equipment you can enjoy the freedom of living closer to nature and a more natural way of life. You’ll have the advantages of lower bills, more freedom to move around and, maybe most importantly your life will be simpler and less cluttered which, for many is the most appealing factor.
Is living in a tent legal?
This depends on where you intend to live and the local laws and legislation which you will need to check before you set up camp.
Many cities have introduced laws that prevent people from camping in towns and within town borders and city limits and, for some people, this can even include their backyards and gardens.
Can I live in a tent in the woods?
Again, this is dependent on the area and on who owns the woods. Large proportions of forest are owned by governments or large private organisations and you will need permission or permits to camp in them.
It is likely that this permission would only allow you to camp for short periods of time.
If the woods are privately owned and the owner agrees to you setting up your tent and living there then you can normally stay for as long as you like.
Can you live in a tent in winter?
With the right type of tent and equipment then it is perfectly possible to live comfortably in a tent in the winter months.
The key things to consider when living in a tent during winter are:
- Do you have the right type of tent? You’ll need a good quality tent for maximum insulation and comfort. There are many different types of tents including bubble tents that provide high levels of comfort and warmth.
- Sleeping gear – a good heavy sleeping bag and extra blankets will help to keep you warm
- Cooking – you should have a separate place for cooking to keep condensation to a minimum
- Heating – will you need a source of heat? There are some great canvas tents that you can install a stove in which will keep you warm, even when the weather is at it’s worst.
Winter tent with stove support
How can I live in a tent without electricity?
Although you may not have access to mains electricity this does not mean that you have to sacrifice devices that need electrical power.
Many modern devices use rechargeable batteries and you can easily rig up a small array of solar cells that can be used to keep these batteries charged.
You can also use garden solar powered lights for the outdoor area or put the panel outside and feed the lights into the tent. With a little thought you can use existing things in different ways.
Whether for a laptop, phone, lamps or other items there are many options available for portable and lightweight solar power systems that are also reasonably priced.
We’ve used some of these solar panels ourselves one of the best ones is this 100w portable solar power system.
Of course, you might just grow to enjoy having no power and getting back to a more natural way of life.
Surviving wet weather
One of the worst aspects of living in a tent is wet weather. If your tent gets wet inside then it can take ages to dry, particularly if it is winter and you have limited sources of heat.
To reduce the pain that the rain will cause there are a few things that you can consider:
- Get a bigger tent – this will give you greater flexibility for moving around and this added space will help you to feel better
- Fit a stove – having a natural heat source will help to keep the interior of your tent dry and will also provide some options for drying out wet items
- Add a porch or gazebo to the front of your tent – this added shelter will enable you to move around more freely when it is wet, it will also give you somewhere to change and leave wet items
- Always keep at least one set of dry clothes in the tent – never take these clothes outside, when you are not wearing them store them in a plastic bag to keep them dry. Simply having dry clothes has a massive psychological effect
- Throw a large tarp over the tent – peg it down to keep it secure and a tarp will provide an extra layer of protection and shelter. If you can string it up over the tent to form a canopy (maybe between some trees) then it can also provide you with some outdoor shelter too,
Get some home comforts
Just because you are living in tent does not mean that you have to rough it.
Although tent life can be more basic than regular living you should do your best to look after yourself and provide some things to make your camping more luxurious.
- A camp bed
- A soft, comfortable chair
- Perhaps a hammock
- Good cooking stove with utensils
- Battery operated fans for hot weather
- Some good books
Remember this is your home and you should make yourself as comfortable as you can, just as you would anywhere else.
It is perfectly possible to live full time in a tent and there are many people across the world that do.
The simplicity of life and the disconnect from modern society is a big driving force for many.
You will have to make lifestyle changes but, if you are thinking of tent living, then you probably want those anyway.
Get a good tent, a source of warmth and work out how to feed and water yourself and prepare for a much freer and natural way of life.
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