Living In A Tent

Photo of author
Written By Jay Clatworthy

Off Grid Camping contributor.

living in tent

Can you live in a tent long-term?

Out of necessity or passion, some people may consider living in a tent for an extended period.

It is possible to live in a tent as long as anyone wants, whether it is for the simple life, tiny home movement, or to save money and live inexpensively without the cost of hefty rents and bills.

Depending on the tent’s material quality and how well it is maintained, the tent should last for years. With proper planning and preparation, one can live a comfortable life in a tent. Although it requires certain lifestyle adjustments to be made, it can be an endeavor worth considering.

Another factor to consider is that every location has its own set of rules or regulations on whether camping is authorized. State regulations determine whether camping for an extended time or permanently residing in a particular area with a tent is permissible.

In the USA, for example, camping in the same spot for more than two weeks is prohibited, and campers must move at least twenty-five miles away once the time limit has passed (Gilmour, n.d). Different parts of Australia have different rules, depending on the local council.

How to live in a tent long term

There are many factors to consider before deciding to live in a tent. This lifestyle is not ideal in some ways so prioritization and planning are crucial. Deciding on how long to live in a tent is also a vital factor before carrying out a decision as this can influence the planning phase, including the type and amount of things to bring.

With this, it is essential to bring only the needed items to avoid unnecessary loads. First-aid kits, gears, weather-appropriate clothing, and basic fire-starting tools are just a few of the necessities to consider bringing.

Another vital factor to think about is food. Fishing and cooking over an open fire may genuinely be the definition of primal life, but it requires the necessary skills, permission, and equipment to do. Hence, keeping a supply of dry and canned foods may be necessary when the situation calls for it.

It can be challenging to live without electricity, so some people consider a renewable energy source such as solar panels. Living in a tent for an extended period necessitates a heavy reliance on batteries and charges.

Also, calling someone every few days or weeks, whether a friend or family, is quite helpful. At the very least, someone will know when something is wrong.

Downsides of living in a tent

Living in a tent is a difficult venture that demands careful consideration. It may come with benefits, but it has its downsides as well. The first and probably one of the most significant disadvantages of living in a tent is the major lifestyle adjustments.

Having to deal with limited space to move around can become an issue. The simple life pleasures, such as taking warm showers or sleeping on a comfortable mattress, can be difficult to give up, but they are only a few of the many sacrifices that must be made.

When it comes to full-time tent life, sanitation, or the lack thereof, is also a significant concern. One must be accustomed to utilizing public restrooms and showers and the possibility of getting rid of human waste in the woods.

Another disadvantage of living in a tent is the unpredictable weather conditions. Bad weather is challenging to deal with on a weekend getaway trip, and even more so on long-term camping.

Storms, heat, or snow are just some conditions that make it difficult to live in a tent. Not to mention the fact that even the most durable tent fabric may still be overwhelmed by harsh weather conditions.

Furthermore, living in a tent means maintaining a semi-constant state of alertness as privacy boundaries are thin, and safety is not always guaranteed.

Even if the tent is set up on the private property, there are still consequences of living in a space without locks or walls, which provide a basic sense of security.

Benefits of living in a tent

Living in a tent for an extended period can be difficult, but there are numerous benefits. First, the cost is one of the most prominent and popular factors.

While living in a tent may seem excessive, some people are ready to do so because of how inexpensive it may be. They would not only be relieved of the burden of paying high property taxes, but they will also save money on amenities, electricity bills, and other costs associated with living in a house or an apartment.

Another significant benefit of living in a tent is the independence and portability it provides. If one does not like the concept of settling down, they can easily pack their belongings and relocate.

It would relieve them of the stress, expense, and time associated with organizing with moving agencies. Living in a tent makes packing and traveling a lot easier and with minimal effort.

Aside from that, this lifestyle has a lot of environmental benefits. It reduces the number of carbon footprints that contribute to the increased effects of climate change.

Because people would have to live more simply, they will be urged to prioritize only the bare essentials and make simple choices, resulting in less trash in the long term as recycling will become their second nature.

However, this requires conscious effort as this benefit can potentially cause more harm to the environment if one remains reckless in disposing of their garbage responsibly.

Lastly, there is the feeling of satisfaction, fulfillment, and inner peace. Not everyone dares to give up the life they are comfortable with just to live in a tent.

Aside from that, everyone will learn a new skill or two once exposed to the independent life that this journey has to offer. Being constantly immersed in the outdoors increases one’s appreciation for nature.

According to Veggie Vagabonds (n.d), there is something special about living minimally. Living in a tent long-term is one of the best ways to unwind and stray away from the digital world. The sound and beauty of nature bring satisfaction and indescribable happiness.

This is a perk that people who live in cities pay for, yet it is a free benefit for those living in a tent. Moreover, in a Japanese study by Kobayashi et al. (2009), spending time under the woods allows the body to absorb phytoncides produced by the trees.

These substances aid in the improvement of air intake, body regulation, and immune system enhancement that no modern medicine can do.

How to choose a suitable tent for long term use

It is essential to consider the size and material of the tent before deciding to live in it. The number of people living in the tent, the length of time they plan to stay there, and the amount of space to allocate for the belongings would determine the size.

When a tent is empty, it can appear enormous, but after a bed, table, some seating, and storage bins, are added, it can quickly become crowded. For instance, a six-person tent can fit a set of tables and folding chairs for a group of three or four campers.

In choosing a material for the tent, whether it may be made from canvas, nylon, or polyester, one factor that should influence this decision is the location and the probable weather conditions of the area.

For example, canvas tents are durable, heavy, and can withstand harsh weather conditions, while nylons are much lighter. They are, however, intended for calm environments.

On the other hand, polyester fabrics can withstand prolonged exposure under the sun. In choosing this kind of lifestyle, waterproof tents that are durable are a must for long-term use.

Another factor to consider is the ease of pitching. Living in a tent equates to having more freedom to travel, and no one wants to spend the entire day trying to set up the tent. They should be easy to pitch and disassemble when needed.