How to Live in a Tent Long Term Comfortably

Some people love to camp so much that they want to live in a tent year-round, but is this really possible? Will campgrounds allow people to stay there 12 months out of the year, or is this only a temporary place to stay? For the most part, it is entirely possible to live in a campground full-time; however, you should check with the campground you wish to live in because each of them has different requirements.

Tents for Long-Term Living

If you’re going for long-term living in a tent, you’ll have to first find the right tent. Here are a few tips to help the search become a little easier on you:

  • Buy a tent that is big enough to move around in day after day. Otherwise, it will get too cumbersome and even painful to do your day-to-day activities. A tent that is roughly six feet tall or taller is perfect for giving you enough room to walk around, and if you find one that fits eight people or more, it’s even better.
  • Decide how long you’re going to stay in your tent, then go online to find a campsite that will accommodate you. If you plan to stay there permanently, make sure that they offer that service.
  • Make sure to get a good canvas tent with a thick floor. It should also be waterproof and wind-resistant, because if you’re going to live there 12 months out of the year, it will have to accommodate the weather throughout all four seasons.
  • Make sure that it is heavy-duty and not lightweight. This may mean that it’s cumbersome to put together, but only a heavy-duty one will last long enough not to be a burden.
  • If you intend to take hot showers without boiling water first, you need to consider purchasing disposable water heaters or battery-operated propane gas bottles.
  • Tents with a chimney, stove jack, and flue are important for long-term tent use because they make cooking much easier. Take this seriously because it is possible for cooking fumes to be fatal if the tent doesn’t have these things.
  • Get one with extra perks, such as a door, a canopy, and windows and doors that let air flow through on days that are nice.
  • Keep in mind that even in places with warmer climates, it’s possible for the temperature to dip below freezing occasionally, so make sure the tent is big enough to store heavy blankets for those times when you’ll need them. 

Finding different types of camping tents for long-term use isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Consider the different seasons and what you’re going to need for each of these. DON’T try to go cheap. Living in a tent full-time always means purchasing a tent that is higher in price than a tent used for just occasional overnight trips. 

Is it Legal to Live in a Tent?

While it is legal in some places to live in a tent, it can be difficult to find locations where this is allowed. Many cities and towns have enacted laws that disallow staying in tents full-time even if you’re staying in your own backyard. These laws are mostly a result of the authorities trying to keep homeless people from staying anywhere they please. At one time, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had dedicated spots where you could camp full-time; however, even those areas sometimes won’t allow any type of camping now, especially long-term or full-time camping.

Public parks usually let you camp there because it’s public land, but you usually can’t camp there on a full-time basis. If you’re interested in literally living out of a tent, you’ll have to check any local and community ordinances to make certain that you are allowed to do this. Keep in mind that more often than not, you’ll need a permit at the very least to camp there. Check out state and local laws thoroughly so that you don’t get a surprise visit from the authorities later on, in other words!

Can You Live at a Campground?

The general answer to this question is “yes,” but as with any other topic related to full-time camping, there are exceptions. Mobile parks normally don’t allow full-time campers, while RV campgrounds and RV parks often do. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can just bring your camping gear and set everything up, then go on with your life. 

You’ll have to check out the campground thoroughly so that you know for sure if that particular one allows you to set up and live there permanently. You’ll also need to get the right permits and whatever else you need before you decide that you want to be a “forever” camper.

One more tip has to do with the type of RV campground you find. They will normally allow you to live there full-time as long as they are not a resort or some type of park owned by the government. Federal or state campgrounds and parks, in other words, normally won’t let you live there 24/7. The reason is because these types of parks are usually considered parks that are owned by everyone; therefore, you are only allowed to stay there temporarily.

Tent Living Tips

If you’ve decided that you want to live in your tent 12 months a year, you’ll have to make some adjustments to your lifestyle. After all, regardless of how big your tent is, it won’t be big enough if you don’t adapt well to your new surroundings. To make things a little easier on you, pay attention to the following suggestions.

  • Get to know your tent. Bring your user manual because if something goes wrong, you’ll need to know how to fix the situation. Be familiar with each part of the tent and its purpose before you go out to the campground.
  • Make sure that you have all of the right gadgets and accessories. You’ll need products for eating, sleeping, washing dishes, and keeping yourself clean. Develop a checklist first so that you don’t miss anything.
  • Do a “spring cleaning” once a year. Throw out anything that you don’t use or need any more and load up on things that you’ve decided you do need to make your life a little easier.
  • Be ready for the unexpected. This means planning ahead for things such as flash floods, lack of a cell phone signal, a medical emergency, or even a sudden lockdown or evacuation of the campground itself.
  • Be flexible. You may have to change your plans along the way so you’ll have to learn to go with the flow. Enjoy your journey, and don’t become so set in your plans that everything gets ruined just because one thing doesn’t go your way.
  • Appreciate the benefits of living in a tent full-time. If you don’t like where you’re living, you can just pack everything up and move to another location! The lack of a permanent commitment to a specific location can be liberating.

Also, keep in mind things you’ll need to deal with 24/7 and make sure you’re prepared. This includes:

  • Make sure you have a fire pit for cooking and warming yourself.
  • Spend the time necessary to find the right camping bed.
  • Determine how you’re going to keep bugs and insects away.
  • Find the best way to get your water.

Remember, every detail must be decided with one thing in mind: how you’re going to stay in that tent on a full-time basis. Only then will you be prepared for this adventure.

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