Author Topic: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods  (Read 10435 times)

Cezilous

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #50 on: March 02, 2017, 06:42:36 AM »
Cezilous, is there such a class? I keep telling my husband the land takes care of itself for the most part, but maybe I'm a bit too optimistic on that front?

Depends on you definition of "care"!  Your location will determine the final appearance, but all land will eventually reach a stability point in one form or another with no human input.  If you are starting with a mature ecology, it should pretty much remain the same, perhaps with some ocasional disturbance from heavy storms, fire, etc.  If you are starting with previously cleared, or otherwise disturbed, land it will need to go through full succession before you reach stability.  In our neck of the woods, that usually means impenetrable growth of non-diverse, less productive species, that take decades to thin out enough to even walk through. 

I'd consider my land pretty heavily managed.  I use livestock to clear underbrush and maintain fields.  After the fences are built, they don't require too much of my time to maintain, but do require some attention every day or two to check water, health, etc.  We cut dead trees for firewood (probably my most productive activity $ wise but hard dangerous work), build brush piles for wildlife, and are slowly adding more productive species, such as nut and fruit trees (long term investments!). 

Now if I had wanted, I could have let it all go wild, maybe just maintaining some walking trails, hunting a bit of game, and ocasionally picking up some deadfall wood for a campfire.  That would have been cool, too!

Jet9, someone once brought Alderleaf Wilderness College to my attention, and the seed continued to grow in my mind about finding something like this wherever I happen to end up.  Link here:  http://www.wildernesscollege.com/

"Whether its animal tracking applied to wildlife management, survival skills applied to natural disaster preparedness, or wild medicinal plants for home health care, wilderness wisdom provides solutions for many modern environmental challenges."

As for "caring", Gone Fishing has stated it quite nicely, thank you!  I'm all for letting the land stabilize itself, do its own thing, because I know it's capable.  I suppose what I had in mind was potentially getting it back to that stable point.  Of course, I might find myself somewhere where this is already done, no problem  Wonderful!  :)   However, I'm coming at it with a more cynical perspective, assuming that humanity has done damage, because that's what we seem to do best to the environment (sorry, there's personal history which makes me think this way regarding these dreams).  But if I'm lucky..yeah I'll end up where it's mostly all good and all I need to do is relax and enjoy it.  :D

Fishindude

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #51 on: March 02, 2017, 07:04:09 AM »
The problem with letting the land "do it's own thing" to get back to it's natural state is that it probably can't do it without some help.  Many areas are getting over-run with invasive species that need to be controlled to some extent if you want the native species.  In my area, Asian Honeysuckle is rampant and will take over a woodlot, leaving no room for the native hardwoods.  There are methods for killing these invasives and giving mother nature a little help.

Rural

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #52 on: March 03, 2017, 05:19:17 AM »
The problem with letting the land "do it's own thing" to get back to it's natural state is that it probably can't do it without some help.  Many areas are getting over-run with invasive species that need to be controlled to some extent if you want the native species.  In my area, Asian Honeysuckle is rampant and will take over a woodlot, leaving no room for the native hardwoods.  There are methods for killing these invasives and giving mother nature a little help.


You're right about that, and I did have a major fight against Asian honeysuckle in one area when we first bought our property. It's pretty well over now, and I just get out there and kill off all the sprouts every spring. Also every couple of years I walk the property line where it adjoins a public road and kill privet sprouts. But one reason we decided on this property is that it's largely uninfested, and I intend to keep it that way. I plant nothing but annual food-producing plants (in raised beds) and natives, for example.

Jet9

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #53 on: March 03, 2017, 07:04:46 PM »
Thanks for all the input everyone; it sounds like purchasing and owning/managing forest land at least has the potential to be quite complex and work intensive. I've been researching things to consider and questions to ask when buying land, but the more I learn the more daunting it becomes.  I'm beginning to understand that this isn't something I can do  without a lot of planning and expert advice. Not ready to give up yet, though. Adding "presence of invasive species" and "stages of forest growth" as well as "conservation easement" and "Forest Service support" to my list. I suppose when we actually start looking at land with an agent we'll get a much better idea of what we want, what to look for, and how much land would suit us. After reading these posts I'm already thinking of going smaller.

Thanks for the link, Cezilous; the Wilderness College looks like fun and useful training; I'd especially like the mushroom hunting class! So far I only trust myself to pick morels.


Nate R

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #54 on: March 03, 2017, 07:11:30 PM »
Thanks for all the input everyone; it sounds like purchasing and owning/managing forest land at least has the potential to be quite complex and work intensive. I've been researching things to consider and questions to ask when buying land, but the more I learn the more daunting it becomes.  I'm beginning to understand that this isn't something I can do  without a lot of planning and expert advice. Not ready to give up yet, though. Adding "presence of invasive species" and "stages of forest growth" as well as "conservation easement" and "Forest Service support" to my list. I suppose when we actually start looking at land with an agent we'll get a much better idea of what we want, what to look for, and how much land would suit us. After reading these posts I'm already thinking of going smaller.


I will say, you can put as much time and effort into it as you like. Plenty of people do it with no planning or work. You will get different results, but if you accept that, no big deal.

My family has owned 35 acres for 25 years now, and done very little to it over time. Meanwhile, the 4 acres my wife and I recently bought will get more attention in the first few years than probably 10-15 years of effort at the other property. I'd contend you CAN make it a hobby/job, or you can choose not to.

Jet9

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #55 on: March 03, 2017, 07:30:20 PM »
Thanks, Nate. That gives me some hope!

Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #56 on: March 03, 2017, 10:05:13 PM »
I highly recommend the book Finding and Buying Your Place in the Country by the Schers. It will help you evaluate what you want in a rural property and what to look out for as you look at properties. Add "firewise" to your research too. :-)

We had a great time looking for land...it's a great excuse to go camping somewhere and check out what's for sale. By the time we found the DDR, we had seen enough to know it was the one.

Rural

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #57 on: March 04, 2017, 12:28:50 AM »
Thanks for all the input everyone; it sounds like purchasing and owning/managing forest land at least has the potential to be quite complex and work intensive. I've been researching things to consider and questions to ask when buying land, but the more I learn the more daunting it becomes.  I'm beginning to understand that this isn't something I can do  without a lot of planning and expert advice. Not ready to give up yet, though. Adding "presence of invasive species" and "stages of forest growth" as well as "conservation easement" and "Forest Service support" to my list. I suppose when we actually start looking at land with an agent we'll get a much better idea of what we want, what to look for, and how much land would suit us. After reading these posts I'm already thinking of going smaller.



You can learn a lot through Google. I think you'd probably be better off to do some leisurely reading over time before you start talking with an agent; they do want to make a sale, after all, so I would go in informed.


That said, you can mostly disregard the stages of growth - I was just trying to communicate the size of our trees and the fact that some are end of life and some are early stages in a mixed forest, so we get big limbs down and ancient logs as part of the forest floor and the ecosystem.


Other things you can mostly disregard: A conservation easement, in states that have them, is a good way to save on property taxes on forest land. There are other ways, and it will vary widely by state. You may get forest service support if your land adjoins a national forest. They also offer general advice for free to anyone.


It is a good idea to be able to recognize the worst offenders in invasive species in your area before you start looking so you'll have an idea of problems you may face and what you're up against if you do try to eradicate. Again, though, Google is your friend, and time is your friend. Since you're looking at several years out, you can leisurely read up on woods in your area as part of your daydreaming process and get what you need to know. Heck, it'll probably be fun.

Jet9

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #58 on: March 04, 2017, 12:02:11 PM »
I highly recommend the book Finding and Buying Your Place in the Country by the Schers. It will help you evaluate what you want in a rural property and what to look out for as you look at properties. Add "firewise" to your research too. :-)

We had a great time looking for land...it's a great excuse to go camping somewhere and check out what's for sale. By the time we found the DDR, we had seen enough to know it was the one.

If I can use land-shopping as an excuse to camp for free, maybe I'll never need to buy? Thanks for the book recommendation; I'll check that out, literally!

Jet9

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #59 on: March 04, 2017, 12:10:02 PM »
Other things you can mostly disregard: A conservation easement, in states that have them, is a good way to save on property taxes on forest land. There are other ways, and it will vary widely by state. You may get forest service support if your land adjoins a national forest. They also offer general advice for free to anyone.

These were entirely new concepts for me, and they do come up in real estate listings, so it's good to at least have an idea what they mean.

It is a good idea to be able to recognize the worst offenders in invasive species in your area before you start looking so you'll have an idea of problems you may face and what you're up against if you do try to eradicate. Again, though, Google is your friend, and time is your friend. Since you're looking at several years out, you can leisurely read up on woods in your area as part of your daydreaming process and get what you need to know. Heck, it'll probably be fun.

That's exactly what I intend to do. And travel a lot to look around for potential areas to buy...I hope it will be a fun process!
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Rollin

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #60 on: March 08, 2017, 08:44:34 AM »
The timing of your question encourages my response, because a few months into ER, I am finding that we are spending much time in the forests, some near home, some a couple of hours' drive away. Only a few hours ago, we returned from this week's three-day jaunt to a state forest a few hours away, where we hiked on Tuesday and biked nearly the entire day yesterday.   We were in swamp land, on the tops of mountains, and crossed many creeks. When we were done, we sat for a few hours in the late afternoon sun on a lake, where I knit, kept an eye out for the bald eagle I'd seen the day before, and watched the fishermen. Each walk, I saw a multitude of mushrooms sprouting, along with the teaberries in the underbrush. (Ha ha, even in the woods, I am food-oriented.)   Each night, we sat for hours in front of our fire, sometimes chatting, but mostly listening to the night sounds of the forest, enjoying the warmth of the fire as the coldness of the night crept up behind us. 
A few weeks ago, we did a similar car-camping/biking trip in the Finger Lakes area of NY, and next week we're heading out for 3-4 days of trail riding/camping with a group of friends, leaving from home.  Having the time and mobility to make these small trips has added tremendously to my appreciation of life.  There's something magical to me, too, in stretching into the time that used to be "work time" -- my sweetie and I were chuckling over how it seems last weekend was just here, and now it's nearly this weekend.  The middle of the week, which used to be so measured and demanding, now all but disappears as we are completely engaged in whatever adventures we find.  Even I am surprised at how easily we are taking to living so much in the outdoors.   I hope you get the chance to go for it!
 

Frompa you summed up what I feel about my ER. Thank you.
I love being outside.

undercover

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #61 on: March 12, 2017, 05:23:31 PM »
Not sure if there are any Asheville mustachians, that region in general would probably fit a lot of people on here.

Born and raised in rural Western NC - near Linville Falls. Parents (and me at times) live on about 40 acres. Neighbors are close but they're generally great neighbors - older and quiet. I don't think having neighbors where you live is inherently a bad thing - it's just you don't exactly get to choose your neighbors and it's more or less a lottery. Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't. Living rural allows you to eliminate the uncertainty of course (see below). Pretty much all of the acreage consists of woods behind my house that's ours and free to roam through. Family lives around us as well so in reality there's a lot of exploring to do. Plus we have an amazing view - I say virtually the best in the area.

I quit my job about 2 years ago even though I'm still young and will likely be working/making money in the future. I bought a house in Asheville but I definitely still prefer being closer to nature. Asheville is still close and very pretty in spots but nothing really replaces having woods at your backdoor and a mountain less than a mile from your window. Even if you don't use the woods everyday, it's still peaceful being so close. I've come to realize that it doesn't matter how close you are to things anymore (stores/etc) unless you need to be there for your job. I really thought that being closer to amenities and more like-minded people would increase my quality of life, perhaps bring me closer to the "next big thing", but it feels like I've only gone backwards. I stayed close to home intentionally because it's not only where my parents are, but it's one of the greatest places in on earth (at least the Eastern US). So, for now I split my time between my parents and Asheville, so we'll see where I end up ultimately I guess.

Rural areas in general are known for their tendency to be self-sufficient. But, yes, Asheville in general has a very Mustachian vibe if you can stay away from parts of downtown and Biltmore Village/Town Park ;) The neighborhood I live in consists of very efficient homes. They're eco-built and there's basically no wasted space. Even the lots require virtually zero maintenance since they're on a slope. Everyone tends to drive older cars and there's a definite community vibe. I'd very much compare where I live to Longmont. They're both similarly sized and similar vibes.

My eventual goal is to do as much of a house build by myself/a few people and just spend a lot of nights by the fire and live a sustainable lifestyle for weeks at a time. I'd also like to do this in a much more remote area somewhere out west as well since there's just so many more options. PNW area preferably.

I think what I really crave is a Mustachian "city"/community that's full of financially independent people that are doing awesome things everyday. There'd be definite private areas but far more public ones for people to interact and sit by fires and talk/plan and build/create. There'd be one amazing store for everything - no waste. Of course everyone would bike/walk because everything would be so close together and no one needs to get to jobs. And of course this city/community would border tons of wilderness and beauty. There would be nothing obstructing the serenity and views.
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esskay1000

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #62 on: March 12, 2017, 05:45:08 PM »
Not sure if there are any Asheville mustachians, that region in general would probably fit a lot of people on here.
I think what I really crave is a Mustachian "city"/community that's full of financially independent people that are doing awesome things everyday. There'd be definite private areas but far more public ones for people to interact and sit by fires and talk/plan and build/create. There'd be one amazing store for everything - no waste. Of course everyone would bike/walk because everything would be so close together and no one needs to get to jobs. And of course this city/community would border tons of wilderness and beauty. There would be nothing obstructing the serenity and views.

You just described what I've dreamt about a few times.  I've experienced this "vibe" on numerous travel excursions and mountain climbing expeditions, but the group always had to break up and disperse back to their 'real lives'.  Would be nice to have it be more permanent.

SCUBAstache

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #63 on: March 13, 2017, 08:32:17 PM »
Not sure if there are any Asheville mustachians, that region in general would probably fit a lot of people on here.
I think what I really crave is a Mustachian "city"/community that's full of financially independent people that are doing awesome things everyday. There'd be definite private areas but far more public ones for people to interact and sit by fires and talk/plan and build/create. There'd be one amazing store for everything - no waste. Of course everyone would bike/walk because everything would be so close together and no one needs to get to jobs. And of course this city/community would border tons of wilderness and beauty. There would be nothing obstructing the serenity and views.

You just described what I've dreamt about a few times.  I've experienced this "vibe" on numerous travel excursions and mountain climbing expeditions, but the group always had to break up and disperse back to their 'real lives'.  Would be nice to have it be more permanent.

Same. I've looked into the "co-housing" movement for this reason, it seems pretty close. Definitely something I'm considering for post-FIRE, though I will probably travel first.

GreenEggs

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #64 on: March 13, 2017, 08:58:35 PM »
I'm not sure why most people choose to live in cities, but I'm happy that they do.  It helps keep the rural areas rural, and the natural areas natural.

I love living in the mountains.  I feel alive and connected to nature, and tend to forget about the "race" city folks get caught up in.   


highflyingstache

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #65 on: March 13, 2017, 11:32:49 PM »
I too am one for the peace and tranquility of the wilderness. Can't say I've yet found my niche but I'll envision some acres in BC, a log home and about half my time there. For me, I'll gather that would probably suffice to my needs. Whether to "work" the land or let it do its own, I'm unsure. I can't speak for the landscape just yet on what work is to be done to keep it as natural and free of the invasive species you're all discussing.
But certainly the quiet of the pines is something, isn't it? I could enjoy that for a while (hopefully including some mountain views).

Linda_Norway

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #66 on: March 14, 2017, 01:26:32 AM »
Our previous house was on a hill with a nice view towards a forest and the rest of the forest started behind our house. We had animals visiting often, like badger, deer, fix, squirrels and lots of birds. Even a moose once.
Our new house is also close to the forest (5 min walking) and has forest material (pines and blueberry bushes) as a garden.

When we are going to FIRE, the preliminary plan is to sell the house, because we need to free up money that is in it and the house is expensive. We will sell most of our stuff, at least the furniture and put the rest into storage for a year. Than we will plan to spend a year doing all sorts of outdoor travel, like hiking in the mountains, cycling through Europe, canoeing trips. Then we have discussed to use our mountain cabin as our basis where we can keep all our outdoor stuff so that we can switch between activities. This cabin that we've had since 2005 is quite small and does not have running water. But it has a beautiful view of mountains and has a nice fishing river in front of it. Nearest mountain top is a 1 hour hike and there are several to choose from. I love that place during every holiday and weekend we visit it.
And than after that year, we can be a (cheap) house somewhere in a nice place.

Exhale

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #67 on: March 14, 2017, 06:42:33 PM »
When we are going to FIRE...we will plan to spend a year doing all sorts of outdoor travel, like hiking in the mountains, cycling through Europe, canoeing trips...And than after that year, we can be a (cheap) house somewhere in a nice place.

I love your plan. It's similar to what I'm going to do except I'll be doing it in the W and SW of the USA. I'll use that time to find out where I might like to settle (or decide to RV/van dwell full time) and then gather some dogs to foster.

Fishindude

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #68 on: March 20, 2017, 07:15:33 AM »
Pretty much spent the weekend in the woods on the farm, cutting firewood, doing habitat work, shooting rifles, and just hiking around looking for shed deer antlers.
Can easily get in a 2-3 mile hike without ever leaving our 160 acres.

fordman302

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #69 on: March 20, 2017, 10:54:16 AM »
Pretty much spent the weekend in the woods on the farm, cutting firewood, doing habitat work, shooting rifles, and just hiking around looking for shed deer antlers.
Can easily get in a 2-3 mile hike without ever leaving our 160 acres.

Had a similar weekend, made a few ATV trails and cleared an area.  Burned a ton (probably literally) of honeysuckle and hedge.  Found one shed but it was 1/2 chewed.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #70 on: March 21, 2017, 10:04:48 AM »
There is a little farm that has lots of animals including a male deer with an orange collar. Surprised he still had his antlers this late.

Windy and chilly weekends lately, this one should be good for exploring again. Saturday morning was a little cool but found some waterfalls within a 10 minute drive and not too difficult of a walk. Took all three kids by myself!

dude

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #71 on: March 21, 2017, 12:02:55 PM »
Mountains, woods, ocean -- wherever there's rock and/ice/snow to climb, snow to speed down on, and waves to surf.  The great outdoors.  Have the White Mountains National Forest only a 2-hour drive from me, with a lifetime of opportunities to do it all.

steveo

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #72 on: March 21, 2017, 02:31:39 PM »
Mountains, woods, ocean -- wherever there's rock and/ice/snow to climb, snow to speed down on, and waves to surf.  The great outdoors.  Have the White Mountains National Forest only a 2-hour drive from me, with a lifetime of opportunities to do it all.

I keep looking at houses on the beach to move too. I'd love to wake up every day and go for a surf.

dude

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #73 on: March 22, 2017, 08:29:59 AM »
Mountains, woods, ocean -- wherever there's rock and/ice/snow to climb, snow to speed down on, and waves to surf.  The great outdoors.  Have the White Mountains National Forest only a 2-hour drive from me, with a lifetime of opportunities to do it all.

I keep looking at houses on the beach to move too. I'd love to wake up every day and go for a surf.

Amen, me too, but beach properties and their associated costs (flood and homeowner's insurance, taxes, etc) are prohibitively expensive.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #74 on: March 22, 2017, 08:33:18 AM »
rural, somewhat inaccessible places can be pretty cheap. Farther north and colder areas often have some good deals if you can tolerate a wet suit.

tomita

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Re: Will anyone else want to mostly spend their time in the woods
« Reply #75 on: March 24, 2017, 11:42:17 AM »
I highly recommend the book Finding and Buying Your Place in the Country by the Schers. It will help you evaluate what you want in a rural property and what to look out for as you look at properties. Add "firewise" to your research too. :-)

We had a great time looking for land...it's a great excuse to go camping somewhere and check out what's for sale. By the time we found the DDR, we had seen enough to know it was the one.

Thank you for the tip DDR I just bought: 'Finding & Buying Your Place in the Country' by Les Scher
waiting for the book to arrive, we have a lot to learn.!!!!