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Rural Living requires a complex and diverse set of skills and knowledge. These 15 country life tips are provided to help a beginner start their journey, and as a prompt for the seasoned rural dweller to add a few improvements to their lifestyle.
Weather, adaptability, self-reliance, and utilities and community are offered as areas to improve with 3 thought-provoking tips for each.
- Self Reliance
- Recommended Top 5 Items To Help with Rural Living
1 Dress Appropriately
Layers are the key to country life. Much of your time may revolve around being outside. be that for work or pleasure. Having the right clothes makes all the difference.
Your climate zone can be your first indicator of what to expect weather-wise. Nationmaster had a useful country list worth checking out.
Here is an example for the UK and USA
|United Kingdom||temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast|
|United States||Mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains|
Plant rescue have a great map version
The next level would be to investigate hardiness zones for your area. These are not only helpful in obtaining information about the minimum temperature for your area, but are primarily used to know which plants and crops will be best suited for that region.
For example if you live in a US hardiness zone rated 9b within an arid or semiarid climate zone (Southern Arizona for example). A raincoat is probably not high on the list of clothing to wear in May or June (Rssweatherlists 0.24in. for those months). However the low-temperature range of 29-30f (-3.9 to -1.1c) indicates chilly evenings and nights.
This is valuable information for those wishing to move to a rural area within a different zone as it allows the ability to approximate the new weather type.
The next step is important once you understand the overall weather zone you live in/ are moving to.
2 Learn to Read the Signs
Weather forecasts on TV or Radio, rely on a combination of data from different sources to approximate the potential weather based on predictive patterns. Satellite, weather stations, and huge collections of data from previous years are the main sources used.
For the general rural dweller, there are a few simpler methods, one of the best-being clouds.
Fast moving clouds help to show wind speed at different altitude. This can help indicate how long before an approaching storm front will arrive.
The type of cloud in the sky can indicate the type of weather front. As an example the wispy Cirrus clouds high in the sky generally indicate a warm front approaching within 12 to 24 hours, which also may indicate rainfall.
By combining knowledge of different cloud types and what they indicate, a reasonable assumption of the coming weather can be made.
All this knowledge about the weather leads to the next tip on weather
3 Try Not To Work Against It
By combining the previous two tips you can easily build up an understanding of the weather in your area, time also will help build this knowledge. With this understanding in place, you can look towards planning appropriately for the weather. A rainstorm is perhaps not the best time to be out digging a trench, unless absolutely necessary. much like high winds would not be the most suitable time to be replacing a roof.
Living in a rural setting where much of your time is based outdoors, will allow you to become more adapted towards the weather. It will also allow you to learn when the best time to carry out tasks may be.
This leads into the next section
Adaptability Rural Living Tips
4 Learn To Adapt To The Country Life Environment
A common mistake made by those new to living in the countryside is the attempt to try and change the environment. Learning to adapt and live within the environment is key to having success.
This quite often will involve trial and error over time, such as when learning out what plants will grow best in the area. When moving to a rural area, adapting to the speed of life, availability of things, and having to work around both daylight and weather restrictions can be a shock.
Learning to adapt to the environment helps this transition. There are times when working against the environment is crucial, such as adding new or improved drainage to an area. The understanding of how the environment works and how to adapt to it also aids in these tasks
5 Learn To Live On Flexible Time
Plants, livestock, the weather and the amount of daylight available can all impact on the time you have available to carry out a task or the urgency with which you need to complete one.
Plants grow at their own speed so patience is required while they are growing, yet planting, propagating and harvesting have quite short windows of time available. likewise, animals work to their own schedule and will require actions to be carried out at specific times, this is quite often regardless of weather conditions.
Food will still need to be provided in the rain and snow even if you personally don’t feel like going out. learning to be fluid and flexible with your time as well as combining the other tips in this list all form part of what rural living entails.
6 Change What Is Not Working
This is especially true regarding crops, and livestock. if a crop you wish to grow doesn’t do well assess why, and change it. small changes are preferable as they are easier to document and measure.
For example, If your tomatoes don’t grow well on a north-facing slope. Moving them to a south-facing one, changing the fertilizer used, and watering them more often creates too many variables to calculate which one was effective.
It is far more productive to only make one change and give it time to succeed or fail before trying something else. Being prepared that no matter what changes you make you still may not succeed is also important.
Self Reliance Tips
7 Learn How To Fix The Basics/Essentials
For this tip the first thing to do is make a list. What is essential to your day to day life. Is the stove essential or could you cook over a fire if the stove was unusable?
This list will also help develop Tip 9 and further rural lifestyle tips. Once you have a list of essentials you can start looking at improving your skill and knowledge on how to repair them.
Look at which items are basic items and prioritize these for example a combustion engine, if you have a car, generator, tractor, lawnmower, and chainsaw that all use a gas/petrol/diesel engine. Learning the basics of engine repair and maintenance should be high on your list.
You should view this as a level up from basic home maintenance and include areas that relate to your immediate needs. Timber framing skills may be useful if most of the buildings you own have been constructed with this method, basic brickwork skills may be more useful for others.
8 Work On Storage Methods
Storage methods can be structurally based like learning timber framing as mentioned in tip 7 to be able to build a chicken coop or barn, to learning how to keep a cellar dry.
Resource-based such as learning how to harvest and store rainwater, or firewood. Food-based storage is perhaps the largest and most valuable area to learn, canning, preserving, drying and smoking are common methods to preserve food.
Looking into how long dried goods are storable and how to store fresh produce for maximum longevity is also highly important. There is little use growing a years supply of potatoes if your storage method only allows them to last for 5 months.
9 Prepare For Problems
Closely tied to tips 7 and 8 Preparing for problems is critical for rural living. These problems can range from a simple broken tool, to a flood or long term power cut. Having a list prepared for how you plan to deal with the larger problems becomes invaluable if a crisis does occur.
The creation of this list also gets you thinking about your current situation, skills, knowledge and abilities. This allows you you highlight areas to develop and new skills to learn. A plan for problems also helps with family members understanding the actions and tasks to do and in which order to do them. This can help reduce potential damage and loss with everyone working together.
The Prepper community is an excellent place to look towards for ideas for problem management in rural settings and many.
Utilities Rural Living Tips
10 What Is On The ‘Mains’
Following on from tip 9, knowing what utilities are on the ’mains’ IE connected to an existing network, such as internet or power, allows you to assess potential problems with how they are obtained.
Being aware that there are 3 miles of power line that could be damaged by a storm resulting in your home is without power, helps in not only planning a solution but also in things to be aware of around the issue. IF the power does go out, what do you have in place to supply an alternative? IF it is a generator can you fix that should it also stop working? do you have enough available fuel to run it for a reasonable amount of time? DO you need to ration the fuel, therefore limit the amount of things drawing power from the generator? What essential things require power from the generator?
Each question will invariably create more questions. Thinking about these things and planning out how you will respond is a key method in ensuring that your rural living does not become a nightmare of problems and stress. Country life should be a more relaxed way of life.
11 What Has To Be Delivered
What utilities are delivered again ties into the previous tip. Propane and oil fuel systems will require regular deliveries. These may be less frequent in the summer months and more frequent in the winter months.
In very rural areas these deliveries may have trouble arriving if there is bad weather. you have to account for this. Also knowing how to check levels, and calculate when to order more is also important.
Likewise if you have a wood-burning stove, do you need to fell and process your own wood or does it have to be delivered? Again how much do you need? if you are felling your own, you need to assess space and drying time for the wood before it is usable as fuel. If it needs to be delivered, like the other fuels you need to know how to assess when to order more and make sure you have enough to hand for the period it is required.
12 What To Do When Things Run Out/Stop Working
This tip again requires planning and ties to tip 9. Crucially this also concerns steps and actions needed to take to ensure your safety. For example if the propane system suddenly stops working, do you know how to shut it all down safely to reduce the chance of an unplanned ignition.
Do you know how to check for a leak? Can you isolate the system to contain a problem? Do you have a list of repair/maintenance people on hand? This also applies to a downed power line, do you have contact numbers to report this.
Rural living is about thriving in a less populated area and as such you become essential in reporting problems to relevant people as you may be the only person who knows about it in a radius of many miles. Even in more populated rural areas having 10 people report a problem is far better than having no one report it.
This leads to the final section in these tips Neighbours
13 Get To Know The Closest Neighbours
Urban areas tend to breed isolation although they are densely populated. Less and less urban dwellers talk to their neighbours. In a rural community this has to be the opposite. If you live in a remote area your nearest neighbour could be 10 miles away. They could also be the difference between life and death during an accident. In rural areas your neighbours have to become a support network, and you have to be part of that network. Anything from helping with building a flood barrier to driving to the nearest hospital are all things that you need to support each other with. Rural living is about community with leads to the next tip.
14 Work With The Community
In a rural area the community is an essential network of people. Working with that community is crucial to an improved lifestyle. Not only does the community support each other, they also offer valuable skills and knowledge that may not be first apparent. Sharing spare food resources, bartering for services or goods and teaching each other skills and knowledge are all ways community can support rural living with out increasing the cost. Importantly leading to the next tip
15 Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Advice Or Help
The nearest neighbor may be the fourth generation on the land, they may know exactly what crops grow best on your land. They may know that after heavy snowfall on the nearest mountain, the small stream on the edge of your property bursts its banks. They may know a shorter route to the nearest hospital. These tips are all things that may help you with living in a rural setting but without conversation and asking you may never know.
Something that a neighbor has known for years they may not think to divulge as to them its common knowledge makes them a wealth of rural living tips. Take the time to talk to the nearest neighbors but also ask about information and if needed ask for help. reciprocate when possible as well.
Country living is as much about community as it is about the peace and quiet away from the cities. Being a part of that community is half of the lifestyle
To conclude the key tips for the country life are to Learn as much as you can. Plan as much as you can but be adaptable. And be part of the local community. These are the three takeaway points to ensure your rural lifestyle experience is the best one it can be. Living in a rural area can be hard work but the benefits and lifestyle are worth the effort.
Our Rural Internet post may also be useful
Recommended top 5 items To Help with Rural Living Tips
- Hanover HANMLTIWDSHD-Gry 2-in-1 Galvanized Steel Multi-Use Shed with Firewood Storage
- DuroMax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
- API Kirk Containers 5 Gallon Samson Stackers, Blue, 6 Pack (30 Gallons), Emergency Water Storage Kit
- The Complete Guide to Food Preservation
- The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible
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