WILDERNESS LIVING - Getting AFFORDABLE Supplies! ~for frontier, mountain man, survival homesteads

Supplies and mail by dog team
     One of the biggest struggles of the remote homestead and wilderness living is... getting supplies!
As seen in the pic above, before UPS our mail and supplies often came by dog sled team or snow machine, and still does in many outlying areas of Bush Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories etc. This method of getting supplies has a couple of significant issues, first, there are weight constraints on the teams and there is alot of time involved. Often summer supplies had to be ordered and delivered during the winter months while the snow is good, and that meant storing your supplies after they arrived in a cabin space already too small often times confining in the winter.  

I read about a fellow once who got into a spat with the dog team driver who delivered his mail to his wilderness cabin back in the 1904, I think.  After a good natured argument over getting supplies delivered, The cabin dweller, being a self proclaimed "wiseguy" and wanting to "get back at" his mailman ordered 20 giant boxes of "CORNFLAKES" cereal. The mailman had to deliver them because they were within the weight limitations, and the mailman cursed the guy up one side and down the other. The cabin dweller got a good chuckle out of it each time he got mail over the next couple of years, as he only got about 4 of his boxes at each delivery (because of the combined load of all the other supplies being delivered to other residents) and the mailman complained about having to store those "dang boxes" at his cabin until they could be delivered. .....Guess there's more than one way to get the last word! :)

Today, with mail and supply delivery by airplane, and with more roads by UPS, Mail Order is still THE EASIEST WAY to get your supplies. The advent of the INTERNET has made compiling supplies in a "one stop" shopping method about the easiest its ever been for the remote homesteader and wilderness living families. Satellite signal and cellular phone signals have also create ease of access to the internet for ordering supplies and goods through the mail. Take this blog and many others, focused on the experience of wilderness living, who have gathered together in one spot links to many of the companies/suppliers and "know how to" resources that help make wilderness  living in remote areas, or wilderness tripping simpler, easier, and more comfortable.  Many times supply runs to town for supplies or mail can only be done once a week or once a month, and in very remote locations, once a year.  So being able to order your goods online and knowing that they will be at the post office waiting for you when you arrive makes planning easier and the use of your time and resources for fetching them more efficient.  

It used to be that one went to the closest general store where goods were sold at huge markups by the proprietor and left the remote cabin dweller/homesteader with no choice but to pay exorbitantly inflated prices for his supplies.  One no longer has to resign himself or herself to that course. Mail/Internet order has created competition that keeps the cost of supplies low. The offering of "flat rate" boxes by the USPS also helps remote dwellers living in the wilderness by creating a way to have heavy objects delivered at a reasonable cost as well.

The internet has also opened up a wider variety or resources for the wilderness living population who wants a semi-modern lifestyle, linking the wilderness dweller with many new 12 volt items that can run on battery or solar and wind power. This has revolutionized the wilderness cabins, bringing many electrical tools and appliances that are perfect for solitary off grid dwellings. Many of these items are available through internet order as well. Another overlooked opportunity the internet and mail ordering  provides to the homesteader are returns, money back guarantees, replacement parts etc not commonly available at many outpost stores.

So when you plan your wilderness homestead or adventure take the time to really look around on the websites and blogs you visit because they are often put together by folks who are living that lifestyle and have a good idea of what you will need or want to make YOUR wilderness experience more enjoyable. You get the real deal. Not nonsense salesman suggestions, but experience  and practical suggestions. Such as; 
1. You'll need this...
2. You'll want that...
3. You'll wish you had purchased...
4. Shouldn't have bought the cheapest one...
5. Wish I would have got two of...
6. Wish I would've thought of.... Etc. 

Alot of us have been there and done that, so take a minute to look through all the resources on our sites and blogs, because there is probably something  you will find useful or interesting relating to cabin life.....
Cabin building, Dog sledding, book/stories/biographies of homesteaders and wilderness dwellers and wilderness lands like Alaska, Yukon, etc., wilderness based movies, food supplies, Gardening, useful tools, clothing, gear, hide tanning & leather supplies, Camp living supplies, tents, stoves , showers, water filters. There are also cabin supplies, wood stoves, fire starting equipment, matches, lighters, magnesium sticks, fire-starter sticks, wool & fleece rugs, footwear, Generators, chainsaws, Cooking on wood stoves, over fires etc., Home crafts like knitting,, crochet & sewing, Wood working and furniture building, Screws, glues, nails,Travel & hiking tools like GPS gear, Cameras and video cameras, journals, Snowshoes, knives, axes, hatchets etc. There are so many resources for mail order shopping, here are some we use;
1. Ebay
2. Amazon
3. Bailey's
4. Lehman's Homestead Supply
4. Alibris books
5. Google shopping
6. Janns netcraft
7. Cabelas

 (If I forgot something important jot me a comment with a heads up!I love hearing from others!) I really want to help folks serious in getting into this lifestyle a real and tangible educated start, I want them to be successful and see how much the wilderness has to offer in enjoyable living! Another thing we found very helpful in planning our own cabin was the TINY HOMES SITES ...

www.tumbleweedhouses.com/
www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/...tiny-houses.../index.html
tinyhouseco.com/
or "tiny houses" on google images
Tumbleweed Homes
We looked at alot of pictures and websites and it really helped us in figuring 
Out how to best used our space while using as few resources as possible.
Which really helped keep the costs down.


We are here to help others find a way of fulfilling and reaching their dreams and goals of enjoying a wilderness lifestyle and sometimes you just have to get started...maybe with a how to book, or maybe stock piling supplies while you are still working a "real job", or by making your partner feel secure by having supplies that make them feel safe and secure... Taking that first step can help get you on your way...
Get a book on "How to build a cabin", buy "Food Supplies", get comfortable bedding, waterproof goods, warm clothing and footwear, books with "Back to Basics" know how info. You'll feel alot better and more secure in taking the plunge! Move from your "armchair dreaming" to action. You don't have to go full force into this lifestyle, you can slowly gain these skills, by practicing in your own back yard, your own garden, learn how to use the equipment, take some short hikes, rent a canoe for the weekend, go camping etc. GET YOUR FEET WET..... Maybe we'll be neighbors one day...

     

2 comments:

  1. Hello Jade, I would like help in getting started in homesteading. I'm 49, and had lived in Anchorage, AK before. I want to return there, but lay a claim for a homestead this time around. Can you help me with this?

    And I am familiar with Tiny Home living, at 300-500sq ft. I used to own a condo with
    920sq ft. Start small...and build on from there.

    Let me know how to get in touch with you, via email or Skype. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Jade, I would like your help in getting started with a Homestead of my own. I have lived in Anchorage, AK for 3 yrs. before. And this time, I would like to steak a claim for a homestead of my own.

    I would start small..by having a Tiny Home, and build from there. I am 49, and hope it's not an age issue of getting started.

    I hope to hear from you soon via reply here, email, or Skype. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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