People ask me every day: “Are you still sleeping in your tent?! And isn’t it getting cold?” So far, the answer is yes and no (The tent is pitched in my mom’s backyard). I don’t know if their smile means a lack of comprehension, a little admiration, envy or just bemusement. But for me it adds up. I can’t forsee for how much longer I’ll sleep there and what will happen when frost and snow arrive (The first nights close to freezing went fine). But for now I’m content to remove myself behind the zippers, beneath the tarp, night after night.
These are the top 10 reasons, why I do it:
- The air is fresh and crisp, I can breath freely.
- I also feel that the moisture level is much better. Inside the house it’s often dry and makes you snore and cough. None of that outside.
- I feel good being closer to nature. It’s in line with my desire to be more aware and conscious – or less detached and removed from “the real world”. I am very much aware of light and dark, temperature changes, wind and rain and the constant evolution of the seasons (e.g. falling leaves).
- It’s also highly fascinating to hear all the animal noises at night. I never knew how much life and activity there is all night long, in a simple row of bushes and trees between garden and road. Curiousity kills me, when i hear rustles and cries, steps and beeps. Hedgehoge, marten, rats, deer, fox and owl are the suspects. But I have no chance of identifying them for certain – for the time being.
- My down sleeping bag keeps me warm and cozy, it feels good to cuddle up inside, zip up, pull the hood over my eyes. I usually fall asleep real fast – and sleep very well through the night.
- It’s just a theory, but I feel like my metabolsim works better (harder?) out there. So it helps me to stay nice and slim. On top, I’m hoping that it builds up my body’s defenses: getting used to being in cold air should toughen the system, no?
- I just switched from using my phone as an alarm clock to an old fashioned one. So despite wifi reaching out there and I’m not always leaving my phone inside, I’m less surrounded by electrical wires, devices and all those other electro-magnetical waves.
- I do admit, it’s also cool to have this story, to impress and or confuse people. I enjoy being a bit unconventional.
- It’s very homey. I’ve laid out a small rug, keep my eye drops in a little basket and I have a nightstand, a dustbin and a box for my clothes. There’s also a battery powered light attached to the ceiling. I’m keeping all my other belongings inside the house but still it is a reminder of how good simple and reduced living feels.
- Going back to that tent every night is also a reminder and a memory. It puts me back to the farm in the US, to my cycling trips in the Pacific Northwest, my emotions, thoughts and resolutions. It reminds me of what I found to be important and that I want to focus on in my life.
* In case you found my title annoying, please forgive me, it’s a joke.