Many people are ditching the city life for a slower-paced life in the country. It's quiet, there's wildlife, fresh air, and my favorite misconception "more privacy." While there is more space between you and your neighbor, we look out for each other out here. Every once in awhile someone new to town gets mad when you point something out but at the heart of it we truly care about each other. Neighborly interdependence is actually a thing. At some point, you're going to run to your neighbor(s) to barrow one egg or a cup of sugar. Let's dive into a few things you need to help you be more independent while living in the country.
This may seem like common sense, but if you gonna live in the country you need common sense. You will be faced with many obstacles to solve. Keeping a Boy Scout Handbook handbook on hand is a great resource to help you handle any situation. With our scout book in hand let's dive into some must-haves.
Good running vehicle preferably with all-wheel drive.
A good paying job that pays over minimum wage is hard to come by in the country. Make sure you have your finances in order before you make the move.
First Aid Kit - add whatever you need for your health situation.
Two weeks of emergency food rations in case you're snowed in, power is out, and/or you're under evacuation.
Evacuation Plan/shelter in place plan and a bug out bag
Reliable Heat source - a wood fireplace, a covered wood area away from your house, and a steady wood supply is the best option. You can also buy small electric heaters to warm up smaller rooms like your bathroom and bedrooms.
Air conditioning - swamp coolers are your cheapest option.
Water filtration system if your water supply has lots of iron
A cat or two to help keep the rodents down.
Thick Skin - You’re going to see dead animals more often and let's be honest the locals can be a hard crowd to please.
A Gun or a crossbow because ammunition is so expensive now.
For when the power goes out:
Welcome to the country, where power has a mind of its own. The power goes out often. To survive without power you will need:
Outdoor Solar lights - These are great for helping light your yard up at night and when the power goes out they make great indoor lights.
A gas stove and a box of matches - If you don’t have a gas stove, buy a non-electric portable cooking surface. (Camp stove, fire grate, or small BBQ...whatever you are comfortable with using).
Generator, extra fuel stored in a safe spot, and extension cords
Candles - check out our candle line here.
Flashlights and extra batteries
Extra water if you're on a private well
Landline phone with a cord - cordless phones don’t work without power
Gas tankless water heater
For winter weather:
For country folks, like us in Julian, living at higher elevations we will need a few extra items to handle the snow.
4 wheel drive is a must and chains
A heavy-duty snow shovel - plastic ones don't work.
Snow cloths - Waterproof boots, pants, jacket, gloves, and a nice hat for all members of your family.
A reliable/constant firewood source
Insulated water pipes or remember to leave a faucet dripping on nights 32°F or colder.
Buying in bulk:
With a closest major grocery store being at least an hour's drive, you're going to have to buy in bulk.
Large pantry to store your bulk and emergency food supply
An extra freezer
For yard work:
Unlike in the city, most country folks do the majority of their own yard work. It's common to hire help for big jobs. For the day-to-day tasks, you will need a few basic yard tools.
Hatchet or hand knife
Weed wacker or lawnmower
Chainsaw and know how to use it in case a tree that falls in an inconvenient spot
Comfortable outdoor work boots
For the dust:
The green grass only grows in the spring so get used to your unwelcome guest, dust.
A good duster
Hepa filter - it’s amazing how much dust is filtered out of the air.
Myself and so many others love country living. It will be an adjustment. So if you think you have what it takes, hop on board and enjoy the twist and turns along the way.