I bought this wonderful little kerosene lantern. I got it at Walmart, can’t remember the cost, but it wasn’t much, and I wasn’t expecting much.
Talk about surprised. I have a little 75 lumen LED lantern that doesn’t light anything, for all normal purposes, it’s pretty worthless. On the lowest possible setting, the kerosene lamp lights up the room by comparison, and if I crank it up a little bit, I can actually see my way around without busting out a higher lumen flashlight.
It has its drawbacks, but for area lighting, kerosene all the way. I bought a gallon for about 8 bucks, and filled the lantern with a tiny amount, so I imagine that it will last quite a while. I made some other adjustments out here as well.
I’m going to start purifying my own drinking water, because I’m sick of tossing money away on bottles. The lifestraw works great, so I built a little work station on the side of my cabin. I was actually surprised that the shelf held me! It’s pretty sturdy. I’ll use the station for other things eventually, but for right now, it’s all about purifying drinking water.
Tomorrow, after I water the trees, I’m going to bust out all the empty plastic bottles I’ve accumulated and spend some time prepping them. Lifestraw recommends drinking the purified water fresh, and I’m not one to argue with that. The longer it sits, the more chance of bacteria multiplying and causing problems. So after the normal filtering, I’ll have bottles labeled filtered, and a couple of smaller bottles the life straw will readily attach to waiting. When the time is right, do the final filtering and drink. It’s not a big enough setup at this point to worry about longer term storage.
I’m also learning my little two-dog stove a bit better, and the fine art of creating small fires until I’m ready to go to sleep, afterward packing it full and cranking it down to burn all night. Got six hours out of the tiny box last night, and with the wood I’m using, that’s pretty impressive, especially given the size of the stove. (I’m told experts can keep that one burning for 8 hours without stoking or adjustment).
It dropped to the very low 40s last night (Fahrenheit of course), which isn’t super cold, but there was definitely a nip in the air. Tonight it feels warmer. Anything over 50, and the stove isn’t even really necessary, but I like it toasty in here while I’m winding down. Once I crawl into my downy sleeping bag, it’s all over. Even on the most frigid nights that bag has kept me alive, even if it wasn’t comfortable. It’s new to me, but I’m starting to like it, a LOT. And it wasn’t even that expensive. It was kind of a present, but I picked it out. Think we snagged it for around 20 bucks.
But the highlight of my night, the reason I HAD to crank on the generator and hammer out this blog post, is that sky. Amazing. The moon is late to rise tonight, and I had forgotten how wonderful the sky out here looks when it’s clear. The seeing wasn’t even that great, probably from all the burning happening on neighboring farms, but still. Gorgeous sky. I can’t wait to bring the scope out here soon, even the little one, and see some magnification under a truly dark sky. I might even start with the binos just for fun.
I also stocked up on some canned food and dried beans and rice. Not a lot. There’s only so much room in a 8×12 foot space, and a large portion of it is dedicated to the wood stove, another even larger spot for my sleeping area. Cozy is the word, I think. I don’t feel cramped since it’s just me, but a second person would definitely be a problem. I’ll put them in a tent outside, lol.
Progress has been a little on the slow side. Today, I went to town to upload some you-tube videos. I also helped a local contractor with some work for a church “in town,” so I got to learn a little and do my part in the community. This month has been seven kinds of crazy, but I’m still out here in the woods, and getting my normal writing stuff done as well. Pretty sure next month will be better, but it’ll be getting hot at that point too.
For those wondering, the trees seem to be doing well, and myself even better. I’m getting more comfortable living out here in the woods for longer and longer time spans. That’s the goal. Once everything is bootstrapped, and I get my spots figured out, and my time management, I should be able to rough it out here for months instead of a week or two at a time. But you learn by doing, and going back to the comfy life isn’t going to help me grow as a homesteader. I need to carve out my little niche, and figure out the details as they become problems.
Anyway. I want to shut off the generator, because it’s annoyingly loud. Hopefully I’ll post this soon. Maybe next time I’m out of the woods for a bit 🙂 Keep writing, keep dreaming, and keep driving your story forward.