Q&A on Remote, High-Elevation Homesteading

| 10/12/2017 10:40:00 AM

Tags: remote living, mountain living, self sufficiency, predators, Bruce McElmurray, Colorado,


What Made You Want to Homestead Remotely at a High Elevation?

Many factors entered into our choice to live remotely but mostly, we wanted to spend our retirement in the mountains. From first visiting our property at 9,800 feet, we fell in love with the seclusion and wildlife. In 20 years of full-time living here with the animals, we have only had a couple iffy encounters but by remaining calm and not getting excited, both ended well. One was with a mountain lion and the other a bear. Both wanted to put distance between them and us but, obviously felt trapped, so we simply gave them room and they left.

What Animals Do You Encounter?

We have deer, elk, bear, mountain lions, bobcat, lynx, coyote, rarely an occasional wolf, rabbits, ground squirrels (both ground and tree variety), chipmunks, ermine, weasels, mice, voles, moles and a host of birds both raptors and songbirds.

Why Did You Choose a Small Cabin?

We had lived in larger homes in the cities where we had previously lived but when we retired we didn’t want the upkeep of a larger house. To have a larger house we would be spending more time cleaning and maintaining the home. We heat with a woodstove, so there is already a lot of needed work and maintenance to perform and a larger house would just add to that.

Why Choose to Heat With a Woodstove?

A quality cast iron wood stove that is capable of heating our house is an advantage. We have plenty of aspen trees that are not high creosote producers and the radiant heat is loved by both of us plus our dogs. We use Sunheat portable heaters to reach areas that the wood stove doesn’t. Burning wood leaves a negligible carbon footprint and is efficient and practical. Our air at this elevation is very pure without city or industrial smells.

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