We’ve been homesteading for five years now. Fortunately, our homestead came with a house we could live in while we fixed everything up and made it livable — this is not the case for many starting their homestead.
An RV or other camper is a decent option. As an RV owner, though I don’t like that option. Living in a camper is sort of like living in a narrow hallway. There isn’t much room to move around and it feels very claustrophobic. RVs are also very expensive. You could rent a home nearby but that is also costly and with all the work required it would be nice to be on site.
For these reasons, when we buy our land and start building our log cabin and homestead, we are going to dig an outhouse and live in our new 14-by-14-foot spike tent. What is a Spike Tent you may ask? Well it is very much like a wall tent — a thick canvas tent built to last — only it has a built in floor and uses more traditional tent poles. Our spike tent has poles around the edges and one in the center and one over each door.
The thing I love about our spike tent is that it is like a portable tiny house. You can have a bed, woodstove, a kitchen table, and room to move around, unlike a camper. It is also a lot less expensive compared to a camper. Our spike tent has a front and back door, both with screens as well as two windows. It’s nice, because the tent is completely enclosed with a built in floor so you don’t have to worry about any mice getting in and causing trouble.
Dave Whipple (of the History channel’s ALONE TV show and someone who knows a thing or two about shelters) owns a wall tent and over the last 20 years, along with his wife has bought land in Alaska and Upper Michigan and lived in a wall tent each time as a temporary shelter while building up their log cabin homesteads.
I’ve owned a wall tent for several years and we love it. We built a permanent platform on our 20-acre homestead for it and we often camp in it during the winter. We recently decided we loved the wall tent so much we wanted to try a spike tent, something a little larger and a bit more portable so that we could take it out on camping trips (and leave our wall tent on the platform). We also will use it when we buy our land while we build a log cabin.
In conclusion, if you are building a homestead from the ground up and need a place to live during the process, consider a wall tent or spike tent. I am not trying to sell you a wall tent, it makes no difference to me. But on our YouTube channel, one of the top comments we get from people are “where did you get that tent from?" The answer is from WallTentShop.com, a veteran-owned company in the US.
Here is a video I did with my daughters camping in our new Spike Tent in the Northwoods of Wisconsin at -17F! It was one heck of an adventure and a great test for when we buy our land.
Kerry W. Mann, Jr. moved to a 20-acre homestead in 2015, where he and his family use modern technology, including YouTube and Instructables.com, to learn new skills and teach homestead projects. Connect with Kerry on his Homestead How YouTube page, Instructables, Pinterest, Facebook, and at My Evergreen Homestead. Read all of Kerry’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here
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