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-   -   How simply do you live? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=163801)

mijome07 06-18-09 05:43 PM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 9122028)
Rowan and I are together in our "Love Shack" now. :)

The cabin is 9 metres by 6 metres (so, about 20 ft x 30 ft, or about 600 sq. ft ... a pretty good size). It has a fireplace which is our source of heat, and there are more than enough dead trees in the area to provide us with firewood.

We are in the process of insulating the place so it will hold the heat a bit more because it does get fairly cool at night. However, we did buy a down duvet for the purposes of keeping warm at night and it works quite well. Things like clothing are important because we need to keep warm, so we've got a collection of warm clothes, and I am hoping to pick up a few more pieces in the next few days.

We have power provided by a generator and the sun (when the sun shines). Rowan has set up the plumbing so that we have running water in the cabin now, although we are still working on getting consistant hot water. Oh, we also have good internet access up here so we can communicate and listen to the radio etc.

We've got decent food up here, although we can't keep much that needs to be cold. And we've got a small gas stove to cook the food, so that's all good.

And we've got a few luxuries ... like our bicycles. :) I've also picked up a handful of used books because we don't have a TV or similar forms of entertainment here.

We're living simply ... but comfortably.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7619719051119/

Good for you and Rowan. :)

poopisnotfood 06-18-09 06:06 PM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 9122028)
Rowan and I are together in our "Love Shack" now. :)

The cabin is 9 metres by 6 metres (so, about 20 ft x 30 ft, or about 600 sq. ft ... a pretty good size). It has a fireplace which is our source of heat, and there are more than enough dead trees in the area to provide us with firewood.

We are in the process of insulating the place so it will hold the heat a bit more because it does get fairly cool at night. However, we did buy a down duvet for the purposes of keeping warm at night and it works quite well. Things like clothing are important because we need to keep warm, so we've got a collection of warm clothes, and I am hoping to pick up a few more pieces in the next few days.

We have power provided by a generator and the sun (when the sun shines). Rowan has set up the plumbing so that we have running water in the cabin now, although we are still working on getting consistant hot water. Oh, we also have good internet access up here so we can communicate and listen to the radio etc.

We've got decent food up here, although we can't keep much that needs to be cold. And we've got a small gas stove to cook the food, so that's all good.

And we've got a few luxuries ... like our bicycles. :) I've also picked up a handful of used books because we don't have a TV or similar forms of entertainment here.

We're living simply ... but comfortably.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7619719051119/

That really does look like a cool area, I like it.....

Machka 06-18-09 06:08 PM


Originally Posted by poopisnotfood (Post 9127023)
That really does look like a cool area, I like it.....

It's gorgeous ... very remote, but gorgeous! :)

I_bRAD 06-27-09 04:04 PM

Is that a full time residence Machka?

stu842 07-26-09 01:27 AM

I'm so jealous, Machka! The scenery is beautiful and the cabin is awesome. Sure beats life in suburban McMansions.

Machka 07-26-09 02:40 AM


Originally Posted by I_bRAD (Post 9178193)
Is that a full time residence Machka?

Yes it is! :)

I don't think it was originally meant to be a full time residence when it was first built. I think the intent was that it would be a summer cottage. But it is a full time residence now ... we're living here in the middle of winter!

Newspaperguy 07-26-09 09:19 PM

I'm going through another round of cleaning out some possessions in my home. The last time was five years ago.

I've sorted through my books and between one-quarter and one-third will be discarded. At least half the things in the kitchen will probably go, as will a number of things taking up space in the basement. I'm now going through the house and beginning this process. There are things I no longer need.

I may have a yard sale in the fall to get rid of the stuff or I may take it to a thrift store.

Badwx 07-27-09 06:44 PM

It has been very interesting reading everyone's opinion on simple living. Many years ago, I was able to pare down my belongings to two car loads (Honda Civic sizes). I almost went car free, but in hindsight, I'm glad I didn't.

Unfortunately, I moved to Southern California for a job. I had to buy a new (used) car and my commute was from HELL!! I was also working with people who did not and would not understand simple living. They lived and spent freely. I was caught up in the materialistic lifestyle again. I incurred an extreme amount of debt and anger.

I finally moved to Kentucky and I currently live in a studio apt (13X14 size). I have accumulated many things that I wish I never did (besides the debt). My studio is very cramped but it comes with internet, air conditioning, and cable. I am watching tv more (mostly the weather channel, history channel, and scifi channel). I am relearning how to control my spending habits and remembering all my previous dreams and goals (ie, biking around the US). Because of my extreme debt, I have come very close to losing everything. I didn't have a job for 6 months. I finally found one that I enjoy and will take me to one of my goals.

During my jobless time, I had to face reality and I wondered what would happen if I couldn't pay my debts. I have a great imagination and realized that I still have my bike (praise God) and my backpacking gear. I imagined selling most things and deciding what I would keep and how to transport it via bike.

For those of you wondering if you can live simply, here is an exercise I did long ago. If I could take only one to five things with me while the rest went up in flames, what would those items be? I have been imagining this for a long time. I know this helped me emotionally let go of items even if I didn't physically let go of them.

iron.wren 08-04-09 01:43 AM


Originally Posted by Badwx (Post 9366558)
It has been very interesting reading everyone's opinion on simple living. Many years ago, I was able to pare down my belongings to two car loads (Honda Civic sizes). I almost went car free, but in hindsight, I'm glad I didn't.

Unfortunately, I moved to Southern California for a job. I had to buy a new (used) car and my commute was from HELL!! I was also working with people who did not and would not understand simple living. They lived and spent freely. I was caught up in the materialistic lifestyle again. I incurred an extreme amount of debt and anger.

I finally moved to Kentucky and I currently live in a studio apt (13X14 size). I have accumulated many things that I wish I never did (besides the debt). My studio is very cramped but it comes with internet, air conditioning, and cable. I am watching tv more (mostly the weather channel, history channel, and scifi channel). I am relearning how to control my spending habits and remembering all my previous dreams and goals (ie, biking around the US). Because of my extreme debt, I have come very close to losing everything. I didn't have a job for 6 months. I finally found one that I enjoy and will take me to one of my goals.

During my jobless time, I had to face reality and I wondered what would happen if I couldn't pay my debts. I have a great imagination and realized that I still have my bike (praise God) and my backpacking gear. I imagined selling most things and deciding what I would keep and how to transport it via bike.

For those of you wondering if you can live simply, here is an exercise I did long ago. If I could take only one to five things with me while the rest went up in flames, what would those items be? I have been imagining this for a long time. I know this helped me emotionally let go of items even if I didn't physically let go of them.

Where do you live in Ky? i Live in Williamsburg. I am working on getting a lot of stuff out of my life. I'm Trying to live pretty simple and enjoy life and not get caught up in all the materialistic issue

Machka 08-04-09 02:14 AM


Originally Posted by Badwx (Post 9366558)
For those of you wondering if you can live simply, here is an exercise I did long ago. If I could take only one to five things with me while the rest went up in flames, what would those items be? I have been imagining this for a long time. I know this helped me emotionally let go of items even if I didn't physically let go of them.

This wasn't just an imaginary exercise for my husband, Rowan, on February 7, 2009. A massive bushfire swept through the state of Victoria, Australia that day ... it killed 173 people and left over 2000 people homeless ... including Rowan.

This set shows some of the before and after photos of Rowan's place:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7611337191865/

Most of the furniture and that sort of thing in the place is gone. But he managed to save most of his documents and most of the bicycles.

Here's his account of that day:
http://www.cycling-adventurer.net/bushfires/index.html

zephyr 08-20-09 09:50 PM

I have been working on simplification of my possessions this year. I've been living in the same 1 br apartment for the past decade. I don't have much furniture, but I do need to reduce the amount clutter and stuff that has accumulated, a lot of which I don't need or use.

I have been sleeping on my latest experiment in simplifying things at home. My old bed was made of natural latex foam, but it got too soft and was not supportive enough of my back. I gave it to a foam shop that said they could re-use the natural latex foam. I didn't want to buy a new big clumsy box spring and mattress set. Some of those new mattress sets are massive, and become a landfill nightmare when they are worn out. Instead I bought a simple Japanese style thin (4") cotton "shiki" futon. It's light enough to roll up and move around. Once a week I hang the futon over the balcony and let the sun air it out to keep the cotton inside from getting matted down. I keep an extra shiki rolled up in the closet for the occasional visitor. My back feels much better.

cthunter01 08-24-09 08:27 AM


Originally Posted by zephyr (Post 9529105)
I have been working on simplification of my possessions this year. I've been living in the same 1 br apartment for the past decade. I don't have much furniture, but I do need to reduce the amount clutter and stuff that has accumulated, a lot of which I don't need or use.

I have been sleeping on my latest experiment in simplifying things at home. My old bed was made of natural latex foam, but it got too soft and was not supportive enough of my back. I gave it to a foam shop that said they could re-use the natural latex foam. I didn't want to buy a new big clumsy box spring and mattress set. Some of those new mattress sets are massive, and become a landfill nightmare when they are worn out. Instead I bought a simple Japanese style thin (4") cotton "shiki" futon. It's light enough to roll up and move around. Once a week I hang the futon over the balcony and let the sun air it out to keep the cotton inside from getting matted down. I keep an extra shiki rolled up in the closet for the occasional visitor. My back feels much better.

I've thought about that. Using a futon instead of my mattress/box spring, especially one that can double as a couch. Another bed type that I don't think gets enough attention is the humble air mattress. I had one I got at Walmart that I slept on for a year, and it was the most comfortable bed I ever had. I could adjust the firmness to suit pretty easily. Portable, too. :) Then my parents bought me a "real" mattress because they couldn't stand how their son was reduced to sleeping on an air mattress on the floor every night... Oh well, my new mattress is nice, too, just not so portable.

Smallwheels 08-24-09 02:19 PM


Originally Posted by zephyr (Post 9529105)
Instead I bought a simple Japanese style thin (4") cotton "shiki" futon. It's light enough to roll up and move around. Once a week I hang the futon over the balcony and let the sun air it out to keep the cotton inside from getting matted down. I keep an extra shiki rolled up in the closet for the occasional visitor. My back feels much better.

Where did you get your Shiki mattresses? I've seen them on the internet for $400.00 plus shipping. That seems like too much money.

Smallwheels 08-24-09 02:28 PM


Originally Posted by cthunter01 (Post 9546241)
Another bed type that I don't think gets enough attention is the humble air mattress. I had one I got at Walmart that I slept on for a year, and it was the most comfortable bed I ever had. I could adjust the firmness to suit pretty easily. Portable, too. :)

I considered buying one of those inflatable beds. I tried some at a store and they seemed OK. I would put some type of pillow top on it to let the air circulate between my back and the plastic. One sheet didn't seem to be enough. During my research I found so many complaints about them leaking and being poorly made I gave up on that idea.

What brand did you use? Was it a high quality one or just any inflatable pool air mattress?

I bet a company that makes inflatable river rafts could make one that didn't leak. Of course their price would probably be extremely high.

mijome07 08-24-09 02:39 PM

I sleep on the ground. I double up a (thin) blanket, lay it down, use another (thin) blanket and 2 pillows and go mee-mees. :D I recently gave my brother a couch and matching loveseat. I also came across a nice maple wood/leather futon. The kind that have an internal spring. I had to take it apart to re-clean/polish.

I sold it for $125. That thing looked brand new when I was done with it. I probably could of sold it for more. I did get to sleep on it a couple of nights. :) Now I'm saving up for a Big Agnes sleeping pad. I'll be using it for touring and bikepacking as well.

OSCARSEVILLA 08-24-09 04:37 PM

really do you sleep on the ground?, :)

mijome07 08-24-09 05:26 PM

^ Sarcasm?^ :D

cthunter01 08-29-09 02:32 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 9548528)
I considered buying one of those inflatable beds. I tried some at a store and they seemed OK. I would put some type of pillow top on it to let the air circulate between my back and the plastic. One sheet didn't seem to be enough. During my research I found so many complaints about them leaking and being poorly made I gave up on that idea.

What brand did you use? Was it a high quality one or just any inflatable pool air mattress?

I bet a company that makes inflatable river rafts could make one that didn't leak. Of course their price would probably be extremely high.

The one I had was an Ozark Trails (I think it's called) air mattress. It's Walmart's brand, so it wasn't expensive. It was made of pretty durable plastic, maybe PVC, and it never leaked. I also hear a lot of people complain about air mattresses because they leak air, but mine didn't (at least not quickly, I'd have to add air about every three weeks or so, but I think that was just diffusion through the plastic). Maybe I was lucky, I don't know. My roommate at the time thought it was a good idea, so he also bought an air mattress (not the same model) and his didn't leak either.

It may be that I never had trouble with air leakage is because I'm not very heavy (160 lbs) and those people who weigh a lot more than I have more of those issues.

In the winter months I put a blanket between the mattress and the fitted sheet so that I didn't get too cold, because the air mattress doesn't provide much in the way of heat retention.

Curious LeTour 08-31-09 11:35 PM

I know that I've replied to this thread before, but I'll write just a little about my current situation.

I'm not car free, but I have a strong desire to be. I am debt free, and TV free. I do have a cell phone, and a wireless broadband connection.

I'm currently living in a small 18 ft. long bumper pull travel trailer. It's a single axle one. I'm living on an organic farm that I worked on this summer, but I will be moving from here this month, I think.

I have quite a few books, and maybe 10 music CDs. I purchased 5 of them recently (used), and regret the purchase for the most part. My other 5 CDs are of Native American Music, and one Pure Moods CD, and I don't regret purchasing those.

I've started to purchase clothing at thrift stores, and that's an improvement in my method of buying clothes. I'm not cooking right now, and I'm eating out too often.

I own two bikes, one single speed commuter/road bike. It's a Redline 925, and one Sun Kruizer with a 3 speed Shimano internal hub. I need to rid of that cruiser, and then purchase racks and a larger freewheel for the 925.

I've sold some books to Half Price books this summer, but I've probably purchased half as many as I've sold. I've rid myself of some extra clothing this year also. I have some things like a couple of books, a couple of shoes, a winter jacket, and dumbbells (with a bench I need to rid of) at other people's homes. I need reorganize first, then bring those things with me.

To top it all off, I'm wondering which west Texas town would be suitable to use a bicycle for most all of my transportation needs. I'm in Austin now. I came here to live near like-minded progressive people, but I sometimes feel that it's too urban for me, and too fancy. Sure, there are a few "simple living" folks here, but I don't know if I will stay here for years to come.

iron.wren 09-06-09 06:25 AM

I'm a college student now, so i've had to cut down, but the rest is at my house.

dd123 09-20-09 11:30 PM

I luv sleeping on ground by my wife hates it
Right now, for the last 2 weeks I have not used my car and within few mos I want to get rrid of my second car in my family
I live with my 2 kids ( 2 and 5 yr old ) and wife and have 2 cars
recently started biking and cant wait to get rid of my car and to be serious I am bit scared

Brennan 09-21-09 12:26 AM

Great topic, and nice to see so many people trying to simplify their lives. While I appreciate and strive for simplicity and limited possessions, my lifestyle makes it rather difficult.

First of all, I am self-employed. This means I have to purchase things, like office supplies, that other people would have access to at their place of employment. I also have to own the tools of my trade.

Secondly, my hobbies/activities necessitate possessions, like playing drums, camping, and even biking. Besides my nice road bike, I have a beater town bike: something I don't worry about leaving unattended on a bike rack for a few hours. Plus, I have a pretty extensive set of tools, bike stand, etc., since I do my own maintenance and repair.

Lastly, some of these activities necessitate a car. I simply can't haul my work equipment or drum gear around on a bike or on public transit. Plus, my destinations vary in time and location.

That being said, I do keep my possessions fairly limited. I think just about everything I own has a purpose. Nothing decorative or useless. And if something I own doesn't get used for a year or more, I tend to get rid of it. In fact, I have been trying to rid myself of unnecessary possessions for years now. It seems very counter-intuitive that minimizing possessions should take so much effort, but strangely, it does.

It can be enjoyable though. I've really gotten into repairing/reusing/recycling things. It's amazing how resourceful you can be if you put your mind to it. I also buy things used whenever possible. One thing I really dig is breathing new life into something that's been damaged or neglected.

I must say though, one of the best times I've had in life was traveling around the world. I literally lived out of a modestly sized backpack for an entire year. That was when it hit me that I really didn't need all those possessions I had left back at home.

Curious LeTour 09-22-09 06:07 PM


Originally Posted by Brennan (Post 9712623)
I think just about everything I own has a purpose. Nothing decorative or useless. And if something I own doesn't get used for a year or more, I tend to get rid of it.

It can be enjoyable though. I've really gotten into repairing/reusing/recycling things. It's amazing how resourceful you can be if you put your mind to it.

I do like your philosophy on choosing if you should own something, basically if you really need to use it for your lifestyle, or hobbies.

Some people have high impact hobbies, and that philosophy alone would not pear things down enough, from an ecological point of view, but your hobbies are not high impact. Rock on! More people need to become interested in low impact hobbies. I can't make that choice for people though. It wouldn't be fair, I guess.

Reducing how many things you own can be fun. It feels freeing to me, if that's a word.

JoeyBike 11-08-09 09:30 PM

Several times in my life I have hit the road with my bike and whatever 4 panniers would hold and enough money to stay out for 6 months or more. Those were indeed the happiest times of my life. If I had a modest fortune, I would probably never stay in one place very long.

I still tend to accumulate too much stuff when I am not traveling. Trying to buy happiness, or at least borrow some happiness until the next trip.

Dahon.Steve 11-23-09 09:22 PM


Originally Posted by shokhead (Post 2113038)
The plan is to have it paid off by retirement and stay. After that who knows what will happen and by just about everybody that knows what they are doing,a house is the number 1 investment you should do. Now i got in when it was 80,000 and now that its woreth 600,000,i call that a investment .

Living in New Jersey, $80,000.00 dollars would get you a studio coop today. I was looking to buy one seven years ago however, those coops are going for 95-115K but this was during the real estate boom. You are not going to get that kind of appreciatiion today for we are seeing prices drop in record numbers. Real estate prices are falling and people are walking away from their homes all over the country. Jobs are being slashed by the thousands each day making it risky to invest in homes since prices have not stabalized and companies continue the layofffs. Overall, things may change in the future by the incredible increase in home values are a thing a of the past.

Also, unless you have incredible credit, you are not going to qualify for a 600K loan unless your income is in the six figures or have 100K in cash!


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