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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Living in my car:

It should be noted I am writing significantly more on this section than the previous entries. I am in the middle of living out of my car. While there certainly is a bit more skill or technique to do this, the thoughts and experiences are current and fresh on my mind.

May 2022 – Current (June 2022). As I write this, I am living out of my small SUV. I purchased this vehicle shortly after my hotel stay. A new job allowed me to save enough to get a bigger and more reliable vehicle. This was at the higher end of my budget, and I had in the back of my mind that if things got bad for me again, I could sleep in here to avoid high-priced hotel rooms if funds become tight again. Well, things got bad and funds are tight. So time for an adventure!

Would a truck have been better? Maybe. I think it’s best to be able to crawl into your sleeping space from the driver seat so people don’t see you. Someone climbing into the back of their truck and shutting themselves in might draw a few eyes. Whereas someone pulling into parking spot is common. But work with what you have.

Would a van have been better? Sure. More space would be good, but I use what I have. Make do with what you have, not with what you wish you had.

I have the back seats laid down. A thick blanked forms a base, then a new back-packing air-mattress, and the top cover of my bed sheets I use between the rubber air-mattress and to cover me. It’s summer time in Texas. Days are 90+, and evening get down to mid 70’s or low 80’s. At night, I have all the windows cracked open about an inch. Even with a small USB powered fan (that I run off a solar power battery bank) that I have on high pointed at my torso at night, I’m still hot. In the beginning, I sweat a lot. After a few weeks my sweating has surprisingly decreased. I’ve learned I need to keep my car in the shade as much as possible, especially later in the evening to keep things inside cool. From the air in my air mattress, to my sheet and pillow. The cooler you can keep your vehicle you’re sleeping in, the cooler your nights will be. Then again, maybe I’m not as distressed on week #2 as I was week #1. Regardless, after a short amount of time I’ve started sleeping very well at night.

Along with me in my car, I have 2 small storage containers: 1 has my food (canned chicken and tuna, tortillas, BBQ sauce, trail-mix, chunky peanut butter); and the other has some miscellaneous things (OTC pain meds, allergy stuff, baby wipes, batteries, flash light, eating utensils). On top of those I have a duffle bag of my clothes, a trash bag inside the duffle for gym clothes (helps keeps things more organized), and a dirty laundry bag. I tried using a regular trash bag for dirty laundry, but it wasn’t working out so I bought a small laundry bag. Initially, I WAY over packed on food and clothes to the point I was having trouble sleeping as there wasn’t enough room. I had to drop some of it off in my storage unit (extra socks, second and third jar of peanut butter, second bag of trail mix). I’ve heard people talk about going on extended backpacking trips. One thing they say is to pack everything you think you’ll need for your trip, and then cut it in half. That’s what I ended up doing here. I made a trip to my storage unit and dropping off the excess I didn’t really need.

The week leading up to this adventure I filled gallon jugs of water from a Berkey to take with me so I would have clean water. About 10-gallons in total. This was not necessary. It took me a week to get over needing filtered water and just go with drinking the water from wherever I was. I still needed water to wash my plate and fork, as well as to brush my teeth at night, so the water was used. However, I could have saved a lot of space in the beginning. I kept a 1-gallon jug to refill with water from my water bottle or disposable cup I refill in the places I go (library, restaurant, gym). This water I still use to wash my dishes and brush my teeth with. I also keep a smaller 1-liter bottle to use in an “emergency” should I need to pee late at night.

The gym I use now is not open 24 hours a day. While it opens at 5:00 am Monday through Friday, on the weekends it doesn’t open until 8:00 am. It’s only 3 hours, but that’s 3 hours I have to be up and moving to help prevent myself from getting caught as people start to wake up. With me changing in the back of my car, the fewer people around the better. I usually drive to the gym on Saturday and Sunday, and wait there until they open. This does draw a bit of attention from the other early birds at the gym, especially when I’m their Saturday and Sunday, and multiple weekends in a row like that. Additionally, sleeping in your car when it’s 80 degrees outside and 70% humidity isn’t fun. I stink, and need a shower.

On that note, let’s talk hygiene. While it certainly depends on the weather where you are, it is safe to say you will start to notice that you / your vehicle smells like old socks. My laundry bag full of gym clothes, day cloths, gym towels, and shower towels. Plus my shower shoes and gym shoes. And my bedding I’m sleeping in are cooking in here during the heat of the day. It’s going to smell and you’re going to smell – especially towards the end of your laundry cycle – and there’s little I can do about it. I do laundry once a week and wash everything. I use more detergent than normal to help try and kill off any odor and give a fresher scent to the clean clothes. I’ve also started using more body wash when I shower and refresh my deodorant in the afternoons. But that can only do so much. I could try doing laundry every 3-4 days, but that’s more time and money I’d have to spend. I’m not terribly close to people during that day, and no one seems to be repulsed. But still, pay attention to your smell. As camp counselors told me at summer camp as an adolescent “if you can smell yourself, everyone else can smell you 3 days ago”. Words to truly live by.

Let’s talk about being “stealthy” while car camping or living out of your vehicle. There’s an idea in camping / survival called “gray man concept” or “gray man theory”. Think about it as hiding in plain sight. A three-piece suit looks fantastic, but if you went to a construction site or oil rig in one, you’d stand out like a flamingo among ducks. Its’ dependent on your environment. It’s about blending in. I have a roof rack and tow hitch on my vehicle I can use for extra storage space, but I don’t use them. Why? Because that would cause me to stand out on a street of vehicles that don’t have roof racks with boxes on them. It draws attention to me which I don’t need. My vehicle isn’t rugged off-road type either, making those accessories even more noticeable. Anyone at any time can look into my windows and seem my bedding and boxes of stuff, and can easily tell someone’s sleeping here even if they don’t see me sleeping at night.

The only sunshade I use in my car is for the front windshield. Having sunshades or cardboard boxes posted on all my windows at night would also draw attention to my vehicle. While the privacy would be nice, it would do the opposite by inviting inquiry into my vehicle. Street lights and car lights will shine in at night, that’s just how it is.

Along these lines, the backpack I’m using is slightly different than the mil-surp from my storage unit camping days. That type of bag would stand out significantly more and draw attention to me as I go from place to place (still carrying the same laptop, plus chargers and snacks!). Now I have a solid black, off-the-rack from Wal-Mart backpack. It looks more like a book bag or one someone still in school would use. It doesn’t stand out while I’m in libraries or coffee shops. It fits right in with others in this area. It provides a lower profile and doesn’t draw the eye like the light brown one with “tactical molly-webbing” on the sides would. This is good to keep in mind if you’re wanting to stay low during this time. Now back to the main story.

In trying to find a place to park and sleep at night, many websites and forums recommended Wal-Mart parking lots as they are open 24 hours a day. The problem now is most Wal-Marts in my area are only open from 6am – 11pm (because COOF-COOF). I still found a Wal-Mart to camp in. I was more anxious at first this time. I was going to be very exposed and in the open. The store I picked had a side parking lot, kind of secluded from the main store front. There was a large box-truck already there that someone else was camping out of. I saw the truck there earlier in the day while I was scouting and it was still there in the evening when I was pulling in for the night around 9. The person had their stuff in the box area, and even a small dog with them. I thought this would be a good place for a camp.

The second night of Wal-Mart camping, another car pulled into this little “community” of car campers. However, by night 4, the security patrol came over and told us we couldn’t sleep there anymore. So I moved to a backup place I had already scouted out. It was a side street between some apartments. There were other cars, trailers, and tractor-trailers parked on the curb on either side. I pulled up and made that my camp for the next few weeks. Blended in perfectly. Camping next to apartments on side streets is definitely the way to go.

After a few weeks at this spot, I ended up moving to a different part of town. My new spot giving me 3 immediate options within 1 block to sleep:

Option #1 – side street between an apartment and empty field. The apartment complex did not have enough parking for their residents, so many parked along this side street that ends in a cul-de-sac. Going far enough back there are few lights, and less traffic driving by. I park on the far side, away from the apartments, to help reduce foot traffic spotting me. However, there are a few residents on that end who seem to stay out on their apartments’ patio late in the evening facing the street where I’ll be parking. Sometimes I’ll get lucky and they won’t be out. Other times the street is full and I have to change spots. The down side to camping by apartments is that many apartment dwellers are the types to have loud mufflers on their trucks, and even louder mufflers on their “race cars”. You WILL be woken up by someone at all hours of the night trying to impress their childhood self with these cars. Learn to live with it. Additionally, these spaces fill up quickly later in the evening.

Option #2 – across this side street from the apartments is a small group of houses with a street leading to them with no buildings on either side. A fair amount of cars park there, not a lot of light, and traffic is light as well. The down side here is only one side of the street has parking and it’s next to a side walk, and there are usually people walking even later in the evening. Some nights this spot is also full.

Option #3 – there is a shopping center parking lot adjacent to both the above 2 locations. The lot is on the side of the center, there are always 18 wheelers or car-carrier’s parked here over night. Sometimes a few overflow cars from the apartment too. While someone walking by and noticing me here is the least possible of the 3 location, there is a ton of light on this spot so it’s hard to get a good night of sleep. I can only put so many obstructions between my face and the light without making it obvious someone is sleeping in their car.

I found my parallel parking skills came in quite useful during this time. Find an open spot on the side street and maneuver in. My car also has a backup camera, which makes it much easier. If car camping is something you find yourself needing to do, I highly recommend getting good at parallel parking.

What was my food situation like? I live in Houston, which is prone to hurricanes. I’ve always had emergency supplies on hand – batteries, candles, canned meat, canned potatoes, and other foods that required little to no cooking time when needed. I had initially planned on having a can of chicken or tuna with a can of cooked potatoes for my meals. The issue I ran into with that was that the potatoes are very bland (so bland!) and required me to use a lot of salt to get them down. More salt required more water to drink, and more trips to the bathroom. Additionally those cans take up a lot of space. Once I finished the potatoes, I switched to fresh tortillas from a local grocery chain to go with my canned meat. It was a much simpler and cheaper meal that I can get down pretty quickly. Not wanting to spend a lot of time outside in my car eating a meal with the AC off makes this a better option than a can of potatoes. Since I had more canned chicken than canned tuna, I was rotating in the tuna every second to third meal. After about 2 weeks of this, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to eat tuna again. Especially canned tuna that’s been in my hot car all day.

You should pay attention to your supplies. I was getting lunch of canned chicken on tortilla. When I pulled the tortillas out of my storage box and found they were covered in some fuzzy black mold. This was sitting a foot away from my head at night. I foolishly pulled one from the middle out in my car, hoping it wouldn’t be moldy (they were all moldy). Within 30 minutes of doing this my nose and throat became very irritated and had chest congestion. Started taking Tylenol, and then some night time anti-congestion meds before going to sleep that night. Nothing would give away my presence in the back of my car like coughing up a lung at 2 in the morning. Point being don’t let your food spoil, and take special consideration when you do find something that’s gone bad in your car.

Be careful with the foods and snacks you purchase. I bought some trail mix to snack on and add to my meals for extra, easy calories (I was losing weight fairly quickly). I usually buy the fruit and nut trail mix, but during this time I thought it would be a good idea to buy the trail mix with chocolate covered raisins. It was a way to get some extra fat in my diet and also a bit of a treat. The problem is that this bag of chocolate is sitting in my 110 degree car all day. First time I reached in to the bag I realized the terrible mistake I had made. My hand was covered in melted chocolate, as was my mouth and sometimes shirt when I missed a piece. Unless the temperature in your area is mild, try to avoid chocolate.

So what do I do during the heat of the day? In short, try to find a place with wifi, AC, power outlets, and a bathroom. Then job hunt, listen to music, watch videos, and try to stay cool. There is a cafe chain that I’ll go to after the gym. I bought an unlimited coffee / drink membership for $11 a month (considering a cup of coffee is $3 I’d say this is a good deal!). So I’ll head there and use there wifi while having some coffee in the morning, and again in the evening after the library to get some sparkling water that I’ve started to look forward to. A treat of sorts.

My local public libraries don’t open until 10 am most week days. In my area, they all have wifi, and are open later on different days. Library A might be open from 10-6 Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but 10-8 Tuesdays and Thursdays. While Library B might be 10-8 MW, and 10-5 TTH, and 10-5 on Saturdays. So it’s finding a good library that’s open later in the day and going there for a few hours. When the library closes, I’ll usually head back to the cafe for a few more hours. Try and stay entertained and cool until they start to close when it’s cooler outside. Then it’s off to a side street to park and sleep.

On the weekends, however, things get really long and drawn out. Like I said earlier, my gym doesn’t open until 8 am on the weekends when it’s bright outside. I’m usually out of my parking spot and sitting at the gym around 6 or 6:30. Sit there and listen to music or an audio book. The library will be open after the gym, and I’ll head there until the evening and go do laundry, then onto the cafe. Sundays after the gym, I’ll head to the cafe. Around lunch I’ll leave to a different cafe or just go window shop somewhere. I don’t want to spend more money on the food at the cafe. It is good food, but canned chicken with tortillas are cheaper, and it’s nice to move a little.

Why didn’t I take a job, any job, to keep an apartment and have a source of income? Most apartments requires you to earn 2 or 3 times your rent to move in. Most retail and service jobs will advertise $12 per hour and are part time, which is around $1,000 per month. But lets say they are hiring for full-time at $12 per hour. That’s around $2,000 per month gross income. Which would get be a decent apartment, barely get by living pay check to pay check. While also interfering with my ability to take off for an interview or do a phone interview. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try and pursue a job to generate income for yourself. Breaking even is better than being in the hole. For me, right now, I think it would be better to wait for a job that will pay enough as well as a job I’ll enjoy spending my time at while providing me a little more in terms of pay and experience. But that’s just me. You do what you have to.

Side note. My car hit 69,000 miles today (nice). Remember, it’s the small things that get you through the day sometimes.

As I mentioned above in the storage unit section, I had to use the gym to shave and cut my hair. By this point my hair has started to go and had already started shaving my head while I was living in the hotel room. To give myself some type of personality, I grew a beard – the perpetual five-o-clock shadow look. Just like before, on days when I needed a shave or trim my beard, I’d plug my electric razor in an outlet, go work out, and then get to it. I’d buzz my head first to cut the hair real low before the razor, and also trim my beard to be more presentable. Lather my head and get to work. Since I did this on the weekend when more gym goers go home after their workouts to shower, the sink area was relatively quiet. No one questioned or hassled me. Just did my business in peace. Unlike the storage unit, in the evening when I’d brush my teeth, I’d just do it while sitting in my car in a parking lot and spit it onto the ground outside my driver side door. I know it’s gross, but that’s what I did. Did it draw attention? Maybe. But no one came up to question me. I think mostly it had to do with people being uncertain in the situation. Can you tell the difference in someone brushing their teeth in a parking lot who’s living out of their car vs someone who is headed to a hot date after getting off work late?

Since I didn’t have a bathroom, I would cut off liquids around 7:00 in the evening. This wasn’t a huge deal, but you should be aware of how late you are drinking. One thing I noticed almost immediately was my bathroom trips changed. Between mild fluid restriction, reduced caloric intake, and increased energy expenditure and sweating, I wasn’t needing to use the bathroom as much as I do when I have housing. I have also begun to notice significant reduction in stamina and energy. I’m not able to exercise as rigorously going into week #3 as I was when I had an apartment. I’m not eating as regularly or as well rounded meals. I’m not staying as hydrated due to being outside in the heat and humidity more. I’m also not getting as quality of sleep as I did when I have a bed. Calorie restriction, less fluids, and lower sleep quality are causing me to fatigue faster.

Special attention should be paid to the weather where you are. Leaving all the windows in your car cracked open in the summer is a must! Mine are down about an inch to an inch and a half. That slight breeze helps circulate the air and keep you cooler. When I knew rain was in the forecast in the evening I had to keep the windows rolled up. The temperature because uncomfortable very quickly. Even at 10:00 at night, the temp was still 80 degrees F with 70-80% humidity. It made my bed sheet stick to me from the sweat and could feel drops roll off my forehead and neck. However, when the rain did start, it eventually cooled my car off enough that I could get some sleep. With the lightening lighting up all my windows, and the thunder rolling through my vehicle throughout the night, it made for a unique night of sleep.

It should also be noted on what to wear when you sleep at night. In my opinion it is best to sleep in designated sleeping clothes or PJ’s. Sleeping in just your underwear can lead to 2 issues as I see it.

First: if someone walks by and seeing you in just you underwear, that could cause additional problems for the neighbors and / or police. So to avoid further issues, I chose shorts and a t-shirt and my normal sleep shorts.

Secondly, if you are caught and have to leave, it’s best to be dressed enough that you aren’t exposed if you have to move into the driver’s seat and drive. I had to do this my 4th night. So choose wisely.

You should also be aware of what you are actually wearing to sleep in at night. I had initially opted to sleep in the same white t-shirt I had worn that day. While convenient, the issue is my cars interior is all black and gray, so any light that came in would light my shirt up and make it stand out a bit more. I switched to a dark grey t-shirt I had as it wouldn’t give me away as much.

Did anyone ever notice me while I was asleep in my car? Yeah, probably. There were several times when I was laying down that I saw and heard people walk by my car. Sometimes I could see the top of their heads as they walked by, but they either didn’t notice or didn’t care. I tend to snore too. So it’s very reasonable that someone getting off their late shift, out walking their dog, or just outside at that time heard a small chain-saw in the back of some car, walked over and saw me sleeping there. I was never woken up or disturbed by them if they did. After all, what would you do if you saw someone obviously car camping on a public street next to your apartment complex? Wake them up and find out what’s going on? Call someone? Ask them to leave? Or just walk away?

Since cars are really designed to sleep in, there are cracks and crevices EVERYWHERE! Just wide enough for your phone, keys, iPod, or other essential items to slip down into and disappear. With it being so dark and in an unfamiliar place or situation, stuff can get lost quiet easily. Take extra precautions. Be intentional in your actions and movements. At night when I crawl in the back to sleep, I take the shirt I wore that day and lay it beside me to cover a small gap in my seats. There’s a small pocket in my clothes duffle bag I have facing me to put my phone and keys in at night.

In terms of interaction with others who are down on their luck, there was 1 older gentlemen who approached me. I was parking to the side of a store front to stay in the shade. It was later in the evening and I was eating dinner. I had my headphones in to listen to music and he snuck up on me, asking how I was doing. He asked if I could spare some money so he could get something to eat. I gave him a few dollars and a box of fresh cookies I bought the day before. He thanked me walked away. There are a few lessons to be learned here:

  • Pay attention – I was distracted with my music and eating, so I didn’t hear or see this man get within 3 feet of me. If he had wanted to hurt me or streel from me, he easily could have.
  • Know when to say no – I had a box full of canned chicken and other food. Probably 20 cans/meals worth of food. Did I offer him any? Other than some cookies that I bought as a treat, no. I have to worry about myself too. While I was doing better than he was in that moment, I still have to take care of my needs before someone else. I bought cookies for a few dollars, more than a single can of chicken for sure. However, that chicken is my main food source. As much as I want to, at the end of the day I can’t help everyone. I gave him what I could. While it wasn’t much, it was more than he started with and truly hope it helped him.
Traveling around a lot, I’ve seen a lot more people who are much worse off. People with their cars packed full of stuff parked in a row on side streets. Cars with towel and blankets up over the windows. People trying to find food in restaurant dumpsters. A woman asleep under a tree by the side of the road with her shopping cart parked beside her. One guy was sitting outside of a library by a power outlet to use their wifi and charge his devices. I could tell he hadn’t showered or washed his clothes in a while. He may have been told by library staff he couldn’t come inside due to his appearance or hygiene. There is always someone in a worse situation than you. I try to keep that in mind when I’m in a bad state of mind.

Sometimes I wonder why some places like churches don’t open their parking lots at night to provide the less fortunate a place to either car camp or pitch their tent to sleep over night. I think about what I’ve read about homeless shelters: fights tend to break out over small things, personal effects gets stolen, and there’s never enough space as its first-come first-served. Once shelter are at capacity, that’s it. Shelters are trying to pack as many people with many different personality types into 1 place, so I can see how conflict would break out. If everyone had their own space, like their own car or area for a tent, would that alleviate some of the tension? It would make it harder to steal from others when those belongings are locked in a car or zipped behind a tent. As for not enough space, there are plenty of religious building in the Houston area to allow for many people to find a place to stay a night while being a bit down on their luck. Then again, the crime and drug / alcohol problems that are very real in this population can’t be overlooked. While I sincerely wanted a place to sleep at night, others might have different plans for such a place and take advantage of the situation.

There are billboards and signs asking passersby for donations to help “those in need” in other counties. What about your own country? Give to help the people across the street when there is still need in your own home? I don’t mean to sound heartless, but we have enough trouble with our own country to try and give to others.

A few days before my apartment lease ended, and living out of my car was becoming a reality, I reached out to a few homeless organizations in my area. I explained my situation and asked if they could recommend any place to safely car camp. A few responded they couldn’t recommend any places to do this (I think mostly for legal reasons), and offered me resources for shelters if I wanted to purse them. One of the organizations I reached out to was “homelesshouston.org”, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. An intake coordinator responded with the usual that they couldn’t recommend a place to car camp, and offered me some resources for assistance. This individual ended their message with a larger font for their name along with “Preferred pronouns: He/Him/His” and a helpful link to pronouns.org to help people understand the importance of using an individual persons correct pronouns… because god forbid someone who’s homeless – or on the verge of becoming homeless – uses this “persons” wrong pronouns and offends them/they. That would be so traumatic for him/her I’m sure. It made me wonder how much this person/thing, and organization/money-transfer-place, really care about the people they clam to want to help who are down on their luck. Do they really care or are they just trying to get super-internet points? People are no doubt reaching out to this guy for help, and he wants us to be sure we know and use his pronouns? I can’t help but feel like homelessness has become more of a political talking point rather than something individuals, real people, need help with. But I digress.

I’ve noticed my week has an optimistic/pessimistic cycle. Ebbs and flows from good mood to bad mood. I start out Monday and Tuesday being very hopeful and optimistic. “This will be a good week” I tell myself. “I’m going to get a call for an interview, its’ gunna go great and I’ll have a job and apartment in no time!” By Wednesday I become pessimistic and frustrated as I have not gotten an interview. Maybe an email that an employer wasn’t moving forward with my application. Thursday and Friday are just a waste. “I’ll be doing this again at this time next week” (driving around to find wifi or pulling into a street to sleep in for a night) is my Thursday-Friday mentality. Saturday and Sunday I try to get my optimism back “You don’t know what’s going to happen next week. By this time next week, you could be sweating it out moving all your stuff into your new apartment, getting your life back on track, and starting a job that Monday. You don’t know, so keep going.” Is my Saturday and Sunday mentality. I’m going on week number #5 right now, and so far this is pretty much my feeling from day to day.

Another thing that popped up that I didn’t see being an issue are public seats and chairs. Library, restaurants, park benches, etc. are NOT designed or purchased with YOUR lumbar support in mind. Quite a few are flat backed with a slight angle but still flat. Some are wood composite or maybe plastic, but still flat. Not the most comfortable to sit in for 8-12 hours a day while you’re sleeping on a 2” thick backpacking air mattress in your car. The chairs serve their purpose of providing you a place to sit and work on your laptop or read. But about 3 weeks in and I started to notice my lower back was aching. Add to that I can’t turn very well at night which is causing some neck and shoulder aches. My legs are also starting to get sore. Sitting for prolonged periods of time, not getting good and quality sleep at night, going to the gym every day and doing exercise so I can get a shower. Plus my not eating well rounded meals, means my body is sore and tired.

Part 2 - Living in a Storage Unit, Hotel Room, and Vehicle (part...


Main post - Living out of a storage unit, hotel room, and my car
Car Motor vehicle Head restraint Automotive design Car seat cover
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A couple random thoughts while I read that:

Could you put contact paper or black window screen in the side & back windows? Sold by the foot in hardware stores.

A squirt bottle with 70% alcohol kills sweat odor quickly.

Dry good foods won't mold.
12v Immersion heater for instant Folger's.
A handful of rice, thrown in a Food Thermos, add hot water.
Ready in 4 hours. Peas too, Ramen noodles, etc.
Mt House meal once in a while.
I don't want to put too much around the windows cause it will draw attention to my vehicle. The light isn't that bad, just takes some adjusting to go from black out curtains in my bed room to street lights.

Won't leaving rubbing alcohol on clothes cause the colors to run?

I'm not opposed to buying a 12V heating element, but with fuel prices and it being something else to clean, it's easier to just have a plate with some chicken tortillas. But to each there own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Please limit your posts to 2 million words. LOL

Just kidding. This is a survivalist boards and any means by which a member has used to survive can be very useful to another member.

In just a few words ... I've had to live on the street a couple of times in my life. It's not fun but it was wholly necessary. I've lived in the back of a pickup truck (small Toyota); hotel rooms; campsites; and friends or acquaintances homes.

Glad you shared your story.
Dude! I didn't think I'd have this much to say. There's a lot more too it than I thought, and so many situations I never considered when I started. Moldy tortillas, really? lol

But I do hope this helps someone, or at least give a little guidance.

Hope you're doing well now. Have a great weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rubbing alcohol and/or distilled vinegar will both kill body odor. Each is only a short term solution though. Given the current xiden economy, many more people will be joining the homeless community soon imho. Be glad you have a vehicle where you can stretch out and lay flat. You should seriously consider darker tint for your windows. JMO, YMMV
Yeah, unfortunately I've seen a lot of people sleeping in their cars. Lots of homeless too. Really hope anyone who finds this can learn something and get a good start on their journey.

My windows has factor tint. If I had the money I would have gotten ceramic tint to help cut out the heat and possibly some more privacy. But money is tight, but maybe another time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Are you making friends in the homeless community, what are you driving, how old are you, what type of skillset do you have, what did you do when you were fired/laid off? It would appear that you aren't too bothered being homeless maybe you could comment on that?

In my area you can get a "nice" one bedroom apartment for $750 or rent a room for $400 per month while not cheap you could afford that on minimum wage. If I were in your shoes I'd work a McDonalds for minimum wage (or whatever they are paying) until I could find something better, why not go that route?
No. Making no friends. There are a few people in libraries and a cafe's I visit where we might exchange pleasantries, but that's about it.
Skills consist of Boy Scout camping, personal weekend camping, general cooking, and survivalist LARPer. Work skills are mostly sales.
I left a bad position, had a handful of interviews before my lease was up but didn't get a job. I really don't mind living out of my car as I thought I would. You know how before you lost your virginity you built up this idea of what life would be life after that, but then it happened and nothing really changed other than your perception? It's kind of like that. Sort of "yeah, so I'm doing this now". Maybe it's cause I've lived out of a storage unit before, maybe it's because I was mentally preparing myself in the weeks leading up to this. Regardless, it's just what I do now.

I can get a 1-bedroom for around $700, but I need to prove income. I had a situation that I explain in the next section (4.2) of what happened there, as well as some employment I found.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Jacob depending on where you live and your current status.......the next step for you would be to buy a cheap piece of land for $500-$1000 that you can park on overnight, clean gradually and put a 10x12 shed on.

This is not ideal.....but honestly......you'll own a home and a piece of land mortgage free.

Over time you can add a well and septic....which will allow you to "boondock" an inexpensive RV.

Done properly......and with discipline.......18 months are a minimum wage job will get you there with a little bit of sweat equity.

HK
So I live in Houston, and pretty sure what's not possible for 3 reasons.
1) just looked up cheap land in my area. Cheapest was about $12k for 0.5 acres of land, in the middle of nowhere. No utilities unless I get a permit to get it done. Being in the middle of nowhere, while it's what I want, has my second issue,
2) most of my skills are in sales, which require me to be around people. I can't be a 2 hour drive from work each way, that's not practical for me. An entire tank of gas a day is more than I can afford. I could get a high end apartment for just that fuel cost. But maybe someday I can have my get away and.
3) in most TX counties, you have to get a permit for everything you want to build, even on land you own. I don't think I can just build a shack to live in. I could possibly to a camping trailer, but again, no utilities to shower, prepare or store foods, and no internet to network and check on the world.

I want a piece of land away from it all (I think we all do), but it's not in the cards for me just yet. It's work and rebuild, save up for hard times ahead, and network with other likeminded individuals.
 
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