Equipment we Need in the Country
When we moved to Our Little House, we were very much city folks. In the city, we had services such as trash pick-up, city snow plow services.
If we needed something, we made a trip to the store and made it back in 15 minutes.
We’ve learned a lot about country life since we moved 50 minutes from the nearest large town (in addition to making cappuccinos and iced coffee at home!)
Out here, it’s just us. When there was a major ice storm that stranded us for 5 days and left us without power for 10, there was no one coming down our road to put salt and sand on it and we relied on each other out here to make sure we all had what we needed.
I’ve made a list of some of the equipment we’ve found we’ve needed out here in the country. If you’re thinking of buying or building your little house outside of town, these are some items you might want to consider:
A good mower and weed whacker – We live in the woods, but the areas around the buildings are cleared and still must be mowed so we can get in and out. We’ve had our Honda lawnmower now for 24 years. We’ve always believed in the theory that you get what you pay for and it’s worked well for us on most purchases.
A tractor or ATV: We finally purchased an ATV. We have several trailers that need moved around, including a utility trailer to haul wood, as well as the wood splitter. It will also come in very handy in the winter to push snow off of our long, winding driveway. Of course, it also provides some recreational use as we take it down to the point on the lake and fish at night (too rugged to get there on foot or truck and it saves gas anyway). Dale has also used it to pull a couple of small stumps.
Wood splitter: I know a lot of men have the fantasy of chopping and splitting wood for their self-sufficient life. We heat only with a woodstove in the winter and Dale had to split the wood by hand for a couple of years. It is very, very hard work and let’s face it, he isn’t 20 anymore. We went in with two neighbors and purchased this equipment, which we can all use.
Generator: If you’re on the grid (which we currently are), I would highly suggest a generator. When we got our terrible ice storm, we weren’t prepared for how long we might be without power. Even after we could get into town, all of the generators were gone and a riot nearly broke out when people learned 5 would be coming in to the local farm and home store one afternoon. We have a woodstove to keep warm (one thing we did right in the build), but I work from home and I lost thousands of dollars in assignments during those 10 days. You might even consider a whole house generator. At the very least, get one that will not cause your electronics to surge. You don’t have to have a whole house generator, but you should have one that can run your refrigerator, television and well pump (make sure you always have extra gasoline on hand, not just for your generator, but for people who might run out of gas in the middle of your nowhere! It doesn’t last forever, so make sure you also use it and buy new).
Woodstove: Believe me, when it is cold and you’re without power, you will be glad you have this. My aunt strongly encouraged us to put one in and I’m so glad we did. It is our only heat in the house and saves us tons of money in utility costs. I also cooked on it when we lost power for 10 days.
Good chainsaw and pole trimmer: Comes in very handy cutting downed wood for the stove (if you purchase wood from people who supply it, they will typically charge you more to cut it smaller for stoves) or cleaning up after a bad storm.
Air compressor: Our road is very rocky and we’ve had more than one flat tire (guests have had them, too!) Having an air compressor on hand will typically fill up the tire so we can at least make it to town. Of course, it helps to have a mechanic for a husband who can patch and plug them, too!
These are just a few of the items I can think of that we’ve needed in the country. There have been other items, such as power washers and various other tools that we have borrowed from neighbors (the great thing about the country is that you can usually borrow and barter with folks. Dale is currently bartering with a neighbor for something he wants).
Can you think of anymore equipment you might need in the country that you don’t necessarily need in the city?