Remote-Homesteading Drawbacks

| 11/23/2015 10:12:00 AM

Tags: remote living, woodstoves, home heating, winter, Bruce McElmurray, Colorado,


We have homesteaded for 18 years, and perhaps if this lifestyle is something you also long for, maybe our experience will help you decide if it is right for you or not. We live semi-remotely in the mountains at 9,870 feet elevation. In the past, I have written blog posts about various aspects of homesteading in a semi-remote location, but this post is more geared to the macro aspect of this type of lifestyle, illustrating  some of the otherwise unforeseen drawbacks.

Most homesteaders like to write about the positive aspect of homesteading and there clearly are an abundance of positive aspects in living like we do. In fact, there are too many positive aspects to cover in a single blog post.

Mountain Homesteading

To start with, it is important to know exactly how we live. We have a small cabin, which is slightly over 850 square feet of living space, and our home is situated in a heavily wooded part of the Sangre de Cristo mountains of Southern Colorado. Our winters are long and often harsh with over 250 inches of annual snowfall. We heat our cabin with a wood stove and with the lengthy winters, we burn about 9 to 11 cords of firewood per winter.

One drawback is that it is unwise for both of us to be gone at the same time during the winter. When the fire in the wood stove goes out the temperature starts to drop inside the house even though our home is very well insulated and gets full sun during the day. If we both were delayed in town, such as during a long wait for a doctor/dentist visit or if the road was closed due to an accident and the fire in the stove went out, the lowered temperature inside the house could present a problem.

Therefore, one of us goes shopping and the other one stays home to keep the wood stove burning. Because our home is on the east side of the mountain, it also tends to get dark earlier because the sun sets on the other side of the mountain. Of course, when the sun sets on the opposite side of the mountain, our temperatures fall rapidly.

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