At first, when I thought of homesteading, I thought of 100+ acre farms that lived the most self-sufficient life. But, now I'm recreating my idea of homesteading while we start our homestead in a camper.
Granted, we do have access to about 10 acres of family land, which is where we have our horses, it's still not ours. We have to abide by the rules of someone else and we always have to ask for permission. We want to do things our way, and not fight for every little thing we want.
For instance, we aren't allowed to have cows, pigs, sheep or goats. But, we can have a small garden, horses, and chickens. While this should be a win (and we are grateful), we still want more.
Related Post: Why We’re Transitioning to Become Self-Sufficient
How to Homestead in a Camper or Small Space
Right now, since my husband's job is 3 hours south from our house, the kids and Itransitioningoning between home and our camper.
This summer we sort of slacked on our gardening. Or, well, it was more we were trying to garden in an unfamiliar area and didn't quite assess the sunlight (or lack thereof) by our camper. We just so happened to park the camper in a nice shady area.
We thought we had enough sunlight where our garden was, but the fact that it petered out about halfway through summer told us otherwise. I'm currently analyzing different spots in the campground to potentially move spaces. 🙂
Related Post: Homesteading Skills You Can Learn On YouTube
Ways to Homestead in a Camper
1 Less is More
You don't need to have a lot of things to get by in life. That is one thing we've learned as we moved from a house into a camper.
The thing we're working the hardest on is pairing down what we have and being more picky with what we bring home. Since our camper is a family owned camper (for right now) we're having to work around the stuff that was left in the camper and shift things around. But, this doesn't hold us back.
Even with all the “extra” things in our camper we still have plenty of room for our things. It's also giving us a new mindset for the things we have at our home. We'll be having a huge yard sale this fall to get rid of the things we haven't touched in 6+ months.
2 Use Space Wisely
Some things require more space, but you can shift around to make the space that is required most times.
For instance, sewing takes up a good bit of room. But, you can use your dining room table as a sewing table and then clear everything away when you're finished. You can also can your farmers market finds in a small home or camper also.
Storage may be a little hard to come by, but if you're resourceful there are plenty of spaces that you can use as storage for your jars. We are using the space under our couch and under our daughter's bed to store our canned food and dry goods.
If you use your space wisely there is so much that you can accomplish in a camper or small home.
3 Make Your Meals From Scratch
This is a big thing for homesteading in general but can be tricky when you homestead in a camper or small space. It might even seem difficult at times if you have a camper.
Those fridges in there are quite small and it would seem like you'd have to make frequent trips to the store to stock up on food. That's where #5 growing what you can comes into play.
Try to narrow down on the different recipes you enjoy and make note of what you need to have on hand for each meal. Try to keep your pantry stocked with the most used items and only go to the store for fresh vegetables and other necessary items.
This will help you when trying to make your meals from scratch.
4 Purchase Locally
Locally owned stores and your farmer's markets are the best places to get food. In some areas, the farmers offer a CSA program. This is a great opportunity to either pick up your veggies each week or have them delivered. Each CSA has different rules so be sure to check into your local CSA.
A lot of times if you buy in bulk from your farmer's market they'll give you a really great discount on produce. This is really great for when you're canning. Be sure to stock up on things you use throughout the year and would normally buy at the grocery store.
For us, that's tons of diced tomatoes. Rather than canning diced tomatoes though we just can whole tomatoes instead. It ends up working out the same for us and is the easiest.
5 Grow What You Can
This is really difficult depending on where you live, but that's ok. It's not about doing everything you can all at once. That would be way too overwhelming!
For us, we've started with a few herbs, some pepper plants, green onions and will be expanding soon.
A great way to grow food is by utilizing recycled (free) pallets. You can add boards to the open ends (or not) and then add dirt through the slots. This will give you little “rows” to plant things and keep them separated. This also helps with keeping weeds at bay also.
6 Make What You Know How or Can Learn
What would go in this area?
- Hand towels
- Grocery bags (to cut down on the waste)
- Beeswax covered cloth for wrapping food up (cut down on saran wrap)
- Woven baskets
Each of these items can be made at home without needing to be purchased from the store or used at the store (grocery bags).
It amazes me what you can make at home that not everyone knows how to make. Check out the related post below and you can find tons of YouTube channels that will show you how to make certain items for yourself.
Related Post: Homesteading Skills You Can Learn On YouTube
You Can Homestead In A Camper or Small Space!
It's really all about doing what you can for yourself without really relying on stores or much else. Which reminds me! Find ways to incorporate solar power or some other renewable resource for energy. We're looking at how to build a little solar area for our camper that we can then use or transfer to a home – once we have one.
Are you ready to give it a shot?
Are you starting your homestead in a camper or small space? I'd love to meet you in the comments!
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