Living and Hacking in a Tent

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nocash
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Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by nocash »

I am now living in a tent (for summer months, at least). Okay, that's not really computing related, but I am so happy that I am posting about it anyways. Or well, maybe it is computing related - there are hackers and artists that make $10000/month upwards... and then there are hackers and artists that struggle to get anywhere near $200/month, so living in a tent is a good way to concentrate on work and to cut housing costs.

Last week, I've set up a small igloo tent, it's located in a private garden, and I can get water, internet and electricty from a weekend home next door, and there's little risk that goverment would remove the tent and throw my belongings into trash. I've also got a forty year old 4-room family tent (planned to be set up next week), then I'll have three small sleeping rooms (for up to 2+1+2 sleeping mats, or other purposes), and a large living/working room with more than enough space for a working desk and some chair(s), and enough ceiling height to stand upright inside of that tent.

The sleeping rooms have separate "zip-doors" for a maximum of privacy, without risking that people could intrude my private space at any time unannounced (or hell will break loose if somebody should happen to enter uninvited). And, I can smoke as much as I want indoors (where I've been the living the last 3-4 years, I could smoke only on the condition that I keep a terrible loud fan permanently running for 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year for pushing the smoke out, and that I would never ever open the window, because that could push the smoke back into the house). Yet better, I can now (try to) grow my own tobacco in the garden, for further cutting housing and living costs to near zero.

What I am bit worried about is humidity and computers. It's getting a bit wet in the igloo at night, and more so when it's been raining on the previous day (I hope it'll be better in the bigger tent). Does somebody have experiences with that? I hope that the PC, monitor, or harddisk won't die over time if they get too wet. The PC's and harddisk currently don't have a case. Hmmm, I guess humidity tends to gather on the surface of objects... so it might help if I put the harddisk and mainboard into a case with only some small ventilation holes?
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Drag
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by Drag »

Wisdom around the internet suggests that it's condensation and dew points that you need to worry about. It also looks like there are dehumidifiers you can get for tents, maybe that could be something to look into? Not just ones that use electricity, but also things like silica gel pouches. Someone on reddit mentioned that they found some kind of "dehumidifier block" that they mounted inside their PC case, but it sounded more like a DIY solution rather than a specific product whose usage is specifically that. :P

I think the old standard of keeping regular backups of your important things would apply more than ever in this case (especially if you have electricity and internet access, the internet at least is nice and dry). Otherwise, your precautions would depend on how easy it is to source new components if something gets damaged, right?
Ziggy587
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by Ziggy587 »

Quit smoking. Then any time and money spent on trying to grow your own tobacco (or buy cigarettes) can be spent on better things. When I was a smoker, I hated being told that I should quit. But honestly, now that I have quit, it's easily the best thing I've ever done for myself. It's not just the money you save, it's everything. It's not being a slave to an addiction.

I was a pack-a-day smoker for many years, and the last year or two that I smoked I was at a pack and a half to two packs a day. I give myself no credit for quitting, I never would have been able to do it by myself. I've tried, and like most smokers, failed miserably. Get yourself a book called The Easy Way To Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. It'll be the best 10 bucks you ever spent. There's no tricks, no gimmicks, no funny exercises you have to do. It's just pure logic, and you can stop smoking just like that. You can even keep smoking as you read the book, and smoke as much as you'd like. I quit in the middle of the work day, in 2017, and haven't smoked a cigarette since. I recommended this book to two close friends, and they have also successfully quit. And the best part about it is, it takes NO will power at all. I can be around smokers as much as I like and I have no worries of craving a cigarette. In fact, quite the opposite, the smell seems to disgust me now.

And trust me, I know, as a smoker you read the title of this book and think it's pure bullshit. But it's not! The fact is, there's a certain amount of brainwashing that has to be done to become a smoker in the first place. All this book really does is undo that brainwashing. Someone bought me this book, a nonsmoker, and I was almost angry about it. I had it for a year or two before I actually read it. And even when I started reading it, I kept thinking "When do I get to the part that gets me to quit?" In fact, I read it from cover to cover and was still smoking, so I was a little upset about that. But I reread the book, and made sure to really focus on the parts that I knew just weren't clicking with me. It's kind of funny, but I even took smoke breaks after certain passages to ponder about what I just read. Then at some point, it all just finally clicked for me, and I haven't smoked a cigarette since.

I said I had two friends quit by reading this book. I have other friends and relatives that I got to buy the book, but have never read it. I myself had the book for a while before I got myself to read it. But after I did, I I wished that I read it sooner. There's something in the addiction to nicotine that'll stop you from trying to quit. You tell yourself that you like it, and convince yourself that there's benefits to it. Even when an ex-smoker is telling you there's an easy way that takes no will power, there's something that stops you from trying it. So my only advice is, from a former chain smoker, just get the book and give it a chance. I had all those same thoughts and reservations about quitting. And like I said, once I finally read the book, I wish I had read it sooner.

https://www.amazon.com/Allen-Carrs-Easy ... 615482155/

I have no stake in you quitting, so feel free to ignore this post. I only want to share this with you because as a former smoker, now that I have quit (and in such a way that I'll never crave a cigarette again in my life) words can not even explain how good it feels.
tepples
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by tepples »

My grandmother quit smoking when I was 9 years old to make sure she lived to see me graduate from college. It worked.

Tapering works for some people.
  1. Find the time of day of your first cigarette on a usual day.
  2. On a calendar, write down that time for today, then for each following day over the next 30, write down one minute later. For example, if you write 10:15 for June 11, write down 10:16 for June 12, 10:17 for June 13, 10:18 for June 14, etc.
  3. Have your first cigarette of the day no earlier than the time on the calendar.
Eventually the time on your calendar will cross your second cigarette, your third, your first half pack... Then instead of tobacco you can grow tomatoes.
dink
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by dink »

nocash, I like what you're trying to do, really - I'd love to try to live outside but the summer heat is so unbearably hot here in Michigan. Just wanted to say: best of luck to you, buddy!

best regards,
- dink
coto
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by coto »

Yeah I agree with others... Quit smoking! During my studies, of which happened 14 years ago? I used to smoke a lot as well, let alone the fact most of my friends from back then did smoke as well. "Smoking: Thought it was cool, but the next day it'd suck", let alone the fact it does create addiction when instead there are other ways to take out the stress.

Also tent related stuff: Yeah pretty much all countries have taken "strict covid measures" literally destroying nearly 50% of the workplaces over here in Chile. I don't know if it's anything like that in Germany, but it has led up to a lot of people living like that, forcefully.
nocash
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by nocash »

That does all sound a bit stressful: Dealing with calendars, graduations, disgusting smells, hair washing, next days, money, and stress compensation. I would rather forget about that kind of problems, and if it's getting too much: Perhaps you should start smoking, or just sit down and relax.

Anyways, smoking or not, I do currently enjoy working in the tent. The PC is doing well so far, and there's nobody nearby who could interrupt my work flow every some minutes to discuss far fetched and mind blowing issues like what is on their shopping list for next week.
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coto
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by coto »

No thanks. I pass.

Tents are popping up as a recurring thing in Chile now. Regardless, "political" things in Germany are arranged so in more or less 10 years everyone will be living in camps. So, good for you I must say!
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Ben Boldt
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by Ben Boldt »

nocash wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:54 pm and there's nobody nearby who could interrupt my work flow every some minutes to discuss far fetched and mind blowing issues like what is on their shopping list for next week.
LOL! I can understand some of that. Privacy is a difficult thing to come by, especially if you have noisy neighbors. I have had a few shopping lists thrown my way as well. Engineering types have always been strong introverts.

If you're a good hacker, you can probably get a pretty easy job in an air-conditioned cubicle somewhere. Money just rolls in without having to really do anything too challenging. It might be boring, but at least it's climate controlled. Some workplaces even have showers, we have a couple where I work. You can try a few of those jobs and walk out back to your tent if they get too annoying. You will find a workplace that leaves you alone and pays the bills if that's what you value.

How are you getting power and internet access in your tent? Where do you use the bathroom and take a shower? Do you have a refrigerator for food? Do you cook, and if so, how? Where do you put your garbage? How do you handle relationships, do you avoid them? I would be interested to know how you fulfill your basic necessities.
nocash
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by nocash »

Technically
I can use the kitchen and bathroom in the weekend home, and get electricity from there (long cable) and internet (wifi repeater connected to the PC's ethernet socket), and there's a trash bin a few hundred meters away from here (but I don't produce too much non-compostable waste anyways).

More off-grid, that's all possible & affordable with solar, gas stoves, and mobile internet receivers, for normal cooling you should be fine with a hole in the ground (about 1m deep), the problem is needing building permissions for permanent settlement, and tents or small huts are unlikely to match german building regulations, at best you could get a semi-legal status, and are still at risk that somebody will decide someday that you can't stay there any longer.

Socially
I haven't travelled the city during covid, but I don't think that the housing situation has changed too much (visibly), the german welfare system does ensure that the landlords can get more and more money even if people can't pay the rent themselves, and, as tents don't qualify as legal housing, people who still drop into homelessness are likely to be forced to move in with friends or family, or even to return to their home countries, or to sleep in cars or under bridges as last resort (also not legal housing, but less eye-catching than tents).

Germany has some well-meaning regulations that ensure basic living standards, mixed with less well-meaning nazi-era laws to discriminate people without permanent housing. It's both not so nice if you can't afford - or simply don't want to live in - official standards. I don't want to force to anybody to live in tents, cars or huts, and I don't think that germans would be even allowed to do so any time soon (or it will be gentrified and become as expensive as normal housing).
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nocash
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by nocash »

Got my nicotine flowers all planted well (except 4-6 being planted too close to the river got eaten by snails), now I am curious if they will really grow 2m tall, and help me to avoid the infamous 1000% tax on goods for poor people, if it's working then I'll hopefully pay only twice as much tax as the untaxable go-to-space-good-bye-please-stay-away billionairs : )

With the weather, I guess germany is not so different than Michigan, the warmest days were 35'C, still bearable (although not optimal for gardening and removing an old tree trunk - a day later I've heard that the population was prompted to stay indoors and to not to do such things). Then I had a day with constant rain, with the igloo starting to leak here and there, so I've moved to the giant 20m² family tent, and that's a huge improvement with lots of space.

I had completely forgotten that I could eat while sitting on a chair (instead of having to sit on the bed), I can also read a book on the chair (instead of also having to sit on the bed), and I have a table made of bear crates and some planks, and - unlike the igloo - the main living/working area is now open to all living beings (I try to keep insects out of the separate sleeping area, but that isn't so much hazzle). I'll add a coffee machine next week, and perhaps try to build an indoor toilet - and then I'd feel like a living human being.

Well, and the PC and handhelds are doing okay so far. The monitor is a bit dim at daylight (the brightness control buttons got lost, or buried in a storage room, alongsides with most of my other stuff), but I prefer to work at night anyways. And I'll have to do something about the power supply connectors (the 5V tends to drop to 4.5V when slightly touching the cables, an old problem that I've been able to fix only temporarily by resoldering the contacts).
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Gilbert
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by Gilbert »

nocash wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:51 pm I have a table made of bear crates
Sorry, I know it is a typo (unless it is not) but I can't help image googling this and imagine you are having a very adorable table:
vintage-early-yellowstone-park_1_ccee9248000e3dca9d5de19846885fae.jpg
:oops:
Arisotura
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by Arisotura »

Well, I hope the tenting (if that's a word) goes well for you.

I have been in non-standard housing conditions before too, albeit not a tent, but I've had to live in squats for two years for several reasons: around Sep 2017, my civic-service job ended, and I found that I had no right to any unemployment benefit (because, lol, these are not 'real jobs'), I also couldn't apply for the RSA base income (you have to be atleast 25, which I wasn't), thus I was left with no income at all (solution from job center? just get a job idiot :) ); job-hunting is pretty soulcrushing for me especially with 'find a job in X months or end up in the streets' pressure; I needed time to figure out what I really wanted to do; that also had to be the time where I found out that I'm trans, and the coming-out to my parents had been a shitfest, so going back to their home wasn't a solution.

Things are better now (good relationship with my parents, stable housing, etc), and that's good. Squats aren't exactly good for your mental health, between having to move all your belongings to a new place every X months, worrying whether the next squat is going to work, sometimes your personal space amounting to a mattress on the floor...

Atleast with a 20m² tent you have quite a bit of personal space. Hell, that's almost as big as my first apartment, so that's nice. I hope you'll find something that works for you during Winter, if the tent doesn't.


re: tobacco

My point of view on that is that of a non-smoker. My friends are almost all smokers. In the squats, they would casually smoke indoors, and I don't like the smoke, I don't like the smell, I don't want to be exposed to smoke that's gonna deposit sticky gunk in my airways, there's already enough air pollution as it is. At first I didn't want to be the annoying fucker, but over time I became more vocal about it. I don't mind if you smoke, but I'm not going to want to stay in a smoke-filled room.

That being said, when people tell you to 'quit smoking' as if it was going to be easy, or as if you wanted that... shrug. I know what it feels like when you're damaged (if I can say) and try to find yourself a crutch. I'm prone to depression, for several reasons, and it's not a place you want to be in. I have tried several substances, legal or not, some helping for a while, some not doing shit, some worsening things. Lately I made weed edibles and found they work well against depression, for me. Can only hope it continues this way...


Well, that's what I had to say on the topic. I hope I don't come off as making it all about myself.
SkinnyV
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Re: Living and Hacking in a Tent

Post by SkinnyV »

Would be interested in seeing picture of your setup once you are done. Sound like a cool way to live for a while.
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