It can be done! In fact, I know someone who’s doing it. This is a “shout-out” to an old high school friend of mine, Diane Lutz Bentley. Diane recently sold off property and other responsibilities (including a beloved horse), and she’s now actively pursuing her dreams of creating fine greeting cards/paintings and traveling the U.S.A. in Serenity, her “glamped up” vintage camper. People have asked her how she manages to live and survive on the road … in a 12-by-7 foot space, no less! … and, with her three dogs in tow!! How does she keep it clean and smelling sweet? How does she protect herself and her pets from danger? The following, “Boondocking and Keeping Dogs Safe,” is reblogged from her site, ChasingFlowers.com.
For those wondering how she’s surviving financially, Diane says, “You know what’s so nice about this? I’m just barely making it, but the cards are starting to pick up. I will be getting an Etsy store together in the next few days. With my spartan lifestyle, I don’t have to make as much money to be happy since I have fewer bills.”
Today I want to talk about how one can live in such a small space as I do, have 3 dogs and appear to be happy. Well, I am happy in 12 foot by 7 foot of space. I have windows all around me that let the sounds of the night in. No not traffic sounds or the sounds of neighbors. I hear bugs and night birds and the wind sometimes and maybe small animals like coons or possoms. Daytime I may be lucky enough to be awakened by a bird singing or like yesterday, a little wren looking in at me off my bicycle which is still on the rack behind the camper. Usually I’m awakened by the dogs who have to go out to pee.
I travel with a couple of dogs. I welcome anyone to check out my housekeeping skills. My camper does not stink of dog and it is kept clean.I have a few products that help me out, such as foam dog shampoos and febreeze. When possible my dogs get bathes and I wash the bedding every time I go to a laundry mat. Now and again one of the dogs will roll in something, then you will hear all kinds of cuss words pouring forth from my lips. Between time, hanging sheets or blankets in the sun does wonders. The hardest time to keep the place clean is when I’m living in humid or rainy areas.
This post today isn’t about collars with name tags or shots for pets. It’s about day to day living in wilderness areas with pets.
On keeping my dogs safe, yes this is always a concern. I often am in the middle of no where. That means more likely hood of coyotes or sometimes bigger predators or poisonous snakes. With my 2 small dogs there is the possibility of an attack from the sky. I worry more about large owls and coyotes at night. If someone has to get up to go out at night, I have to throw on a robe and slippers, grab the combo flashlight stungun, make noise to warn what may be looking for an easy meal of warm soft dog and go out and closely listen to whats going on around me. I am not a brave person at night so I will usually hold my big can of pepper spray when I go out too. I try to park away from brush piles and heavy brushy areas when possible to make it easier to have a buffer zone. So far the worst that has happened is I get attacked by skeeters or noseeums but I always accompany the little ones outside as well as the big dog at night. I suppose dawn and dusk are the times bigger predators come out and I am always aware at those times too.
No, I didn’t say this life is perfect but there is always a way to do it if the time is right in your life. I will admit it would be easier to travel with no dog or just one but I have a dependency on my dogs and enjoy their company and I like to have something to take care of. I also have an early warning defense team to set up an alarm if my perimeter has been breached by by man, armadillo or snuffling opossum.
These pictures are from a location in Ohio I have been staying at for some time. They only predators that can hurt a dog here are coyotes and raptors.
Ivy in the first picture just woke up, went out and came back in to watch the cows in the pasture beside my encampment.
Below 2 pictures I thought were so cool. I was still laying in my bed and took the morning sun coming up. The sheer curtain was tied to the side and just looked pretty to me.
That Queen Ann’s Lace teasel and other thistles and wild flowers.
If there are bugs and mosquitoes the screen door gets closed and the sheer curtain gets dropped. The curtain is good to shield the sun a little too.
The pond Ivy likes to cool off in.