living off grid is a growing trend that’s gaining momentum worldwide

And those at the forefront are choosing tents over houses, because they want more freedom and sustainability in their lifestyle.

Nature is a therapeutic escape for many. People tend to reconnect with their natural environment and embrace the simplicity of life without all of its stressors, such as work deadlines or traffic jams.

So is living in a tent long term a realistic possibility? The answer is yes.

It is important to consider your off-grid adventure a meaningful experience if you want the best out of it. We’ve got all sorts of advice for beginning and experienced campers so they can have an unforgettable time in their own wilderness.

 Why Should You Live Long Term In a Tent?

Before answering the main question, “How to Live in a Tent Long Term?”, you should always start with “Why should I live in a tent long term?”.

Why are you leaving behind your current living situation and moving into a tent? It’s an incredibly personal decision, so it should feel comfortable to make such decisions. Otherwise the experience of camping may only add more stress onto what has already been going on in life for some time now with no end up sight.

People who are looking to simplify their life and get away from stress might want to try tenting. It’s an easy way of reducing the amount you have in your everyday routine, without sacrificing comfort or safety.

Many people are looking for ways to live sustainably and lower their carbon footprint. Some want the costs, time or both invested back into them so that they can save money too.

It’s never easy to take the first step, but if you’re really committed and motivated then I can’t think of anything that would make your life better.

There’s A few Things to Consider Before Beginning life in a Tent 

When planning for a tent life, it’s important to think about all of the factors that you will be dealing with while out in nature. It can help make sure your expectations and plans stay on track with what living off grid is really like.

  • What is the ultimate goal of your tent life? It doesn’t matter what you want to do whether it is sustainable living, going back into the roots of our culture or saving money. Your goal must be at top priority for anything else in life.
  • Do you plan on living in a tent full-time or part-time? Tent living doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Many people choose to get by during the warmer months with just their tent, but they’ll move back into traditional housing at night when it’s cold outside.
  • Where will you be living? It’s important to choose a location that will allow you the opportunity for privacy and safety. The best option is one with legal land, such as camping grounds or trailer parks since it can be difficult living in tents on public property without permission from authorities.
  • Are you going to be living alone? This will be a big deal. Make sure that your companions know what to expect from the ride, and you should as well.
  • What will happen to things connecting you to your old life? Some people who want the benefits of living off-grid without having to build and maintain their own home can do so by selling everything they have. Those seeking more security would rather rent out properties, while others prefer planning accordingly for when it comes time disposal leave behind material possessions in order avoid difficulties down the road.

Mobile or Permanent Tent?

You’ve made the big decision to live in a tent! You picked out your perfect site and got all of the necessary paperwork. Now what?

It’s hard to know if you’re going to be staying in one place long term or moving around. Both have their pros and cons, but it all comes down what best suits the needs of an individual person.

Picking a spot to set up your home away from the ground is always an interesting decision. You want somewhere easy enough that you can get in and out of quickly, but at least one person should be able take down their shelter if necessary so they’re not stuck with extra gear just because it’s hard moving around between campsites frequently during camping trips or festivals where space may be limited outdoors especially since many people don’t like heavy tents.

What Size Tent Will you be Comfortable in?

If you’re camping with just yourself, then the size of your tent is not as big an issue. Permanent tents tend to be larger than mobile ones and 2 man models will usually suffice for most campers who want some privacy when out in nature’s woods or fields.

Tents come in many different sizes, but for permanent tent living we recommend the 4 man and up depending on what you are planning to take with. A four man sized shelter can provide enough space to sleep comfortably as well leave some personal belongings like clothes or bookshelves inside where they’re out of sight when not being used, if your pack contains more than just these two essentials then it’s an excellent choice.

Choosing different Material Canvas or Nylon Tents?

You’ll want to choose an adequate shelter that will provide you with the necessities of long-term living.

Canvas is a natural material that allows the tent to breathe better than nylon, meaning it’s best suited for warmer climates. On the other hand, Nylon tents are much easier to clean and don’t stain as easily they’re also more visible due their bright colors.

How Will You Protect Valuables

You don’t need to worry about thieves in your tent. You can lock them out of your tent, but it won’t stop someone who really wants the contents of yours and everyone else’s pockets for their own gain.

With that said, two viable options are to:

  • Be sure to secure your valuables in a safe place. For example, leave them at home or lock up the camping ground office before you go out for dinner with friends.
  • For those who prefer to live in tents, you can dig a hole and coat it with concrete. You will then need to install a safe.

Safety and Wildlife

The most dangerous animals in the woods are bears, wolves and mountain lions who can track you down to your tent. They’ll smell any food that may be left by campers or strays for miles away.

Though there’s little you can do in those cases, other than laying some warning traps or carrying animal deterrent spray on your person at all times. An alternative is to keep the food away from your tent site if that causes bothersome animals around it though this may not always work.

Trail Saver Pepper Spray for Hiking and camping
Trail Saver Pepper Spray for Hiking

Storage and Managing Space

Bigger is not always better when it comes to tents. Even the biggest ones are still limited in terms of space and finding a way store your clothes, accessories or tools can be challenging at best.

You can maximize the space you have by:

  • The perfect solution for storing away extra items is to install an elevated or bunk bed, which will leave room under the mattress.
  • Hanging storage is an effective way to keep your tent organized. Whether inside or outside, you can use a nearby tree for this purpose.
  • A good way to optimize space is by taking advantage of furniture that can be conveniently broken down when not in use.

Maintenance Costs

A quality tent can last you for years. Even if the weather turns bad, a good shelter will protect your camping trip from turning into an awful memory.

Tents are usually durable, but they can be damaged. Repairing a tent is inexpensive.

Canvas tents have repair kits available in most outdoor retailers for patching.

Repair Kit for Canvas Tents
Tear Mender glue

Nylon tents require a special tape repair kit but are repairable as well.

Tear-Aid Fabric Repair Kit
Tear-Aid Fabric Repair Kit

Off Grid Power camping

Depending on the level of comfort you seek, your electricity needs will differ. Some people go completely off-grid with no power whatsoever.

Others find themselves forced to settle for something in the middle, relying on solar panels and batteries or even diesel generators.

 

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

Sustenance

To live off grid in a tent, the way you acquire food for sustenance is connected with your general goal of self sufficiency.

Some people still prefer to rely on grocery stores for their food, but there are those who take a more adventurous approach and hunt or fish. For these individuals farming in nature is an option as well.

No matter which lifestyle you choose, it’s important to be prepared. Fishers and hunters need skills for providing food in case of emergencies, purchasing groceries is inconvenient and requires a lot of time as well as money but that doesn’t mean they can never go shopping.

Cooling and Heating Your Tent

Your heating options will differ depending on whether you chose a canvas tent or a nylon tent.

The canvas tent is a perfect choice for those who want to use their indoor wood stove, but unfortunately it’s not suitable in nylon tents.

Nylon tents are made of an extremely durable fabric that will not melt in the event of a fire. There is no need to worry about your tent catching on fire because nylon can withstand high temperatures.

To keep a tent cool during hot months, you can install fans and vents in the roof or walls. Also be sure to check out our guide on how to do this without electricity for some great tips.

Facilities for Hygiene and Sanitary 

If you plan on camping, make sure that there are plenty of shower and toilets available. Think about the logistics before setting up your tent.

If you’re going off grid, it’s important to have a plan for the little things. Communal facilities at campsites or trailer parks can be an option when available and if your improvised shower isn’t enough on its own there are even solar solutions available that will let you take care of all those hygiene needs in style.

Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet
Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet

By Anthony Paton

Anthony Paton, the outdoorsman who loves to report all sorts of interesting stories about camping in Great Britain. He's based out London and doesn't get much time for himself these days because work commitments keep him away on occasion but does what he can with what little free time there is.