How to Live in a Tent Long Term?

A complete and detailed guide for any camper

Written by Camilla Moln. Updated on How to live in a tent long term

Many of us think that life in a tent is romantic and pleasant. You stay in the wild surrounded by nature and have the opportunity to enjoy the peace and quiet surrounding. No cars rushing, no people wandering around. Awesome!

But is it really so? Is living in a tent long-term really so wonderful? Are there any possible complications that a camper might face?

These and other questions often come to people’s minds once they start thinking about trying to camp longer than just a couple of weeks.

In this article, you will find a lot of useful information on this subject. We will tell you how to live in a tent long term, what should be considered before you start, and what benefits this kind of extended camping has.

All You Need For Living In a Tent Full Time

Camping full-time often seems very attractive to people, and it makes sense. The main reason for living in a tent long-term is to free yourself from the stress of city life and allow yourself more free time to enjoy the simplicity of living in the wild.

However, when preparing to live in a tent for a long period of time, it is important to not only get ready for the upcoming changes but also make sure that you know what you are doing and why.

Stuff You Will Need To Have If You Become Homeless And Living In A Tent In The Woods.Stuff You Will Need To Have If You Become Homeless And Living In A Tent In The Woods.

This is why we suggest you a short checklist to accomplish if you are going to try long-term camping.

After you answer several easy questions, you will be able to better understand why you want to get away from the city and whether or not you might be ready for the “wild” life.

What Are Your Goals?

If a person decides to go and live in a tent in the woods, there must be serious reasons for that.

Living far away from civilization is nice and romantic only when you know you will be coming back in a few days. But an extended period of time spent in a tent will be followed by certain changes in your life and daily routine.

This is why it is important to make sure that this decision is wise and consciously taken. This is why, before anything else, take your time and think about your goals.

  • Why did you choose to live inside a tent for a long-term?
  • Are you just trying to prove something to yourself or to others (family, friends, society)?
  • Are you running away from something?

These kinds of questions matter as this would further solidify your need to live a simple life inside a tent.

What Are Your Goals
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The Duration Of Your Stay

Once you have figured out your goals and have fully realized why you are still going to move to the wilderness and live in a tent, it is important to figure out how long you would like to live in a tent in fact.

Some people would start by trying it for a few months in a year, going back to their homes every winter. In fact, such an approach makes more sense since, like that, you can see if you are able to stay alone in a tent in the middle of the wild (that’s if you want to camp solo, away from a campsite).

Giving yourself enough time to try it helps you to really see if you can live a camp life without the facilities and conveniences you are used to in a city.

And only if you realize that you are ok with camping for a couple of months or more, it might make sense to try a longer period of living in a tent. At least, you will already be sure that it is manageable and you will hardly feel lonely or depressed because of the lack of people around you.

The Duration Of Your Stay
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Location You Will Be Staying At

Ideally, the campsite should be within an hour’s drive away from an urban center, or at least a small town with medical facilities and all the other conveniences (e.g. pharmacies, stores, gas stations, etc.).

It is much better to rest at night knowing that medical help is twenty miles away than living deep in the woods where nobody can help you should anything happens.

Look at designated campsites inside national parks as they are more established and would further lessen your impact on nature.

Location You Will Be Staying At
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Current Stuff

If you are a homeowner, then you can just leave your things and belongings at home and lock them up.

However, if you live in an apartment or condominium, then you might face a complication: where would you place your stuff while you are gone?

The best option, in this case, is storage units. They are available for long-term rent, and most city centers have this along with the fringes of their boundaries. Besides, these storage units are rather cheap which means that your budget will not suffer while you are enjoying the beauties of nature in a tent.

Current Stuff
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If you are going to camp solo, then you can skip this step. But if you don’t feel confident enough as a camper, then you might want to take a companion with you to live in a tent. Especially if you want to try living in a cramped space.

However, note that not everybody would love the idea of being away from their electronic devices for a long period of time!

In addition, living in a tent with someone can be nerve-wracking. This is why we recommend you find someone who shares your ideals and goals.

More importantly, find someone who is willing to live inside a different tent than yours.

If you have answered all these questions and you are sure that you will cope with living in a tent alone (or sharing your campsite with another person) for an extended period of time, it is time to move on and see what essential factors should be taken into consideration before your departure.

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Tent Camping Full Time. The Essentials

When going for a long-term tent camping, one should be properly prepared and ready for the upcoming challenge. And believe us, if this is your first experience of camping long term, you will find it challenging!

We recommend you check out the list of aspects that you should consider before you set off in order to be sure that you have everything you need and that you have taken all the essentials into consideration.

Tent Camping Full Time. The Essentials
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Choosing a Tent

The type of tent that you would need for a long-term camp would depend on the kind of climate that you have. Also, the weather conditions that you are going to have during your stay will play an important role.

From this information, you can begin to explore your tent options, weighing them depending on their materials and how strongly constructed they are.

Setting Up The Tent

Once you have identified your location and have purchased your tent, it is time to set it up. Here are the steps on how to do that:

  • Find a spot on the campsite that is a little higher than the terrain
  • Make sure it is close to the established cooking area and latrines to avoid any inconvenience
  • Lay down a ground sheet that would come in between you and the ground
  • Set up your tent as you would on a regular campsite
  • Fix your peg in and use a stone to bury it deeper into the ground
  • Flysheets can be draped over the assembled tent, or they can be placed on the side until it is more needed
  • Lay down a thick blanket inside your tent first to make the tent warmer and more comfortable
  • Arrange your things inside

If you are not an experienced camper, it would be much better if you practice setting a tent before you arrive at the campsite or at the spot where you plan to stay. Like this, you will feel more confident and besides, should you camp alone away from a campsite, there will be nobody to help if you can’t set your tent.

So practice is your best friend!

Setting Up The Tent
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Finding What To Eat

One of the things that is very important and that you would need to plan in advance is your food. When staying in a tent for a long period of time, you need to know in advance what you will eat and how you will get that food. So answer these questions first:

How would you eat (hunting/fishing, bring food with you or eat it raw)? Where would you get your daily food?

Living In The Woods In a Tent | Camp CookingLiving In The Woods In a Tent | Camp Cooking

It would be great if you could learn how to hunt and fish for fresh food. But if this is not an option for you for some reason, you can take advantage of dehydrated food items or freeze-dried goods.

Cleaning Up

One of the main traits of city folks is their compulsive need to be clean at all times. Not all of those who live in cities can stand dust and especially dirt, let’s be honest.

But if you are going to camp for a long time, be ready that the area and living conditions will be pretty far from those you have in a city!

Of course, most campsites have an available source of water within a few minutes’ walk, and some are strategically placed right beside a pond or a river.

But a campsite is not your city apartment! This is why use biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning solutions when washing dishes or when taking a bath.

Like this, the other inhabitants of the campsite would not have to live with your chemicals.

These are the most essential nuances that one should consider before going to live in a tent for an extended period of time. And even if you are not planning to stay at a campsite, it doesn’t mean that you must not take care of certain aspects, for example, the safety of the surrounding.

This is why, even when camping alone in the wild, try to use non-chemical washing products and don’t leave trash behind.

Cleaning Up
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Advantages of Living In a Tent

What could be the pros of a full-time tent living, you may wonder? You will be staying in a tent, alone or with a bunch of other campers (should you choose a campsite), and the conveniences you will have can hardly be compared to those we have in cities! However, it is still possible to find a few advantages.

Advantages of Living In a Tent
RomanPashkovsky via VIstaCreate


City life is stressful, sometimes way too much, and nobody will argue with this fact. But living in a tent helps people get rid of all the buzz and fuss of their city routine. All the unnecessary electronics and other material things.

Instead, you would learn to live with what you have without asking for more than you know would be hard to find.

This gives an ability to feel grateful for what you already have and experience happiness right at the moment.

Camping Gives an Increased Mobility

One of the advantages of living in a tent is that you can move from one camping area to another by just packing up before trekking and setting up again. It is pretty convenient, and you get to have a different view every single day if you want.

Camping Saves Money

When we live in a house or an apartment in a city, we may end up paying more than we should, and it would always be a burden. Tent living gets rid of these fees and regulations. As a result, you save more money that can be used to finance your extended campout.

So, as you can see, living in a tent for an extended period of time may not only be pleasant but also beneficial!

Anyway, now you know how to live in a tent long term, what you should prepare for your extended camping time, and how you can make sure that this is the activity that you are surely ready for.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐What season is it best to try long-term camping?

It’s best to start in summer or late spring when the weather is warm. However, still make sure that the spot you’re going to is safe!

⭐Will I be able to call 911 while camping in the wild?

You an call them if the mobile connection is good. But you should have the phone numbers of the local resque team as well.

⭐How to protect yourself from wild animals when camping solo?

Before you go camping, check out the safest spots in the area you’re going to.


Written by
Camilla is an experienced Consultant with more than 20 years of preparing professional articles for numerous online resources. She has done a tremendous job and has learned a lot during her career. Camilla will advise you on the latest trends and give amazing tips on how to decorate a house.
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