One of the hardest things to get used to in wilderness living on a remote homestead ... is how long everything takes! As a people, we humans in the developed countries have become so accustomed to having instant gratification! Our automated world is literally at our fingertips! From instant entertainment, to instant food, to instant money. Our desires are fulfilled without hesitation.
NOT SO on a remote homestead! EVERYTHING TAKES LONGER!
Let's take morning coffee or tea for instance... There's no expresso machine!
You get up, get dressed including your coat,boots, hat and gloves and go out to fetch some stove wood (which hopefully is already cut otherwise you have to do that too). You come in and take off all your snowy gear. Drop the wood next to the stove, fetch the matches and firestarter (paper, kindling, firestarter cheat sticks) put the firestarter and wood into the stove, light it and squat there on the cold floor in a cold cabin blowing on the little flame to coax it to life. Once there is a reliable flame you close the door, adjust the damper, and fetch water - that's the interesting part... its usually frozen. So you put the ice in the pot and WAIT for it to melt, then you WAIT for it to boil.
When the water finally gets hot enough your real coffee starts to percolate, or, if you're impatient like me, you pour the hot water into a cup of instant coffee. This whole scenario just to get that first cup of coffee takes up the first hour of your day!
This whole project happens over again if you leave your cabin long enough for the fire to burn out and allows the cabin to get cold. So when you get home, you start from scratch with a new fire and there is no instant heat like with a thermostat electric or gas heat. It takes a long time for the wood stove to reheat the walls, floors, furniture and air inside the cabin. Patience is definitely in order there!
Cooking... Most rustic cabin living does not include microwaves! There are no TV dinners, or store bought bread. A quick sandwich means going through step 1 then instead of heating coffee water you will either fry bread, bake biscuits, or begin a batch of sourdough yeast bread which adds a couple hours time to the chore to accommodate the bread "rising" before baking. As for meals, canned meats can really speed up the process as the meats are already pre-cooked and just need reheating, so I pressure can grouse, fish, venison etc. for various meals. Otherwise the meat has to be brought in and thawed out then sliced or ground up then fried, baked or boiled along with veggies, beans, potatoes, or rice until tender and soft. How long that takes depends on how hot your stove is. Often times baking a cake can take 2 or more hours if the oven temp is only 200* f.
Laundry... well, that could take a long time just to type all that is involved but its already been well said by another blogger and she really hit the nail on the head.... check it out on her blog...SWEET HOME ALASKA (<=click) http://remotealaska.blogspot.com/2010/06/doing-laundry.html
She says it so perfectly that she deserves full credit, and I couldnt have said it better! I do my laundry the same way except I wring out the clothes through a wringer attachment on my washing machine and hers spins them but takes time both ways, this job takes 2-3 hours and a little longer if you have to carry the water in 5 gallon pails any amount of distance.
If you want to take a shower or bath, you do not just "turn on" a faucet and jump in. You have to follow step 1 above then fetch the water, heat the water in quantities sufficient for the shower or bath which takes a couple of hours, "not super fast" like heating a pot of coffee water, but big pans and pots of water. It takes alot of wood to keep the fire going hot and steady, so there is the constant feeding of the stove in there as well! Then you hook up whatever shower apparatus you have for your cabin, (there are many) either gravity fed which involves transferring the water from the stove to a container high above the shower unit, or a pressure sprayer then pump to pressurize, then shower some then pump some more etc etc., or the electric showers offered by Cabela's and similar stores, but that method involves having gas or solar or generator which must be turned on in addition to heating water... So, you see after all that work to get the shower ready, you are sweaty and definately in need of one!
One of the characteristics wilderness living will develop in you is PATIENCE! Some native tribes had wise elders who knew from long living this wilderness lifestyle that "IT TAKES AS LONG AS IT TAKES!" There is no hurrying in the wilderness. Hurrying causes carelessness which causes injury or death. The key to living in the wilderness is to live intentionally, with care and thought put into every action.