16 “Ways to Live Freer,” A Critical Evaluation by Rayo (VONULIFE, March 1973) – from LibertyUnderAttack.com

Shane Radliff of LibertyUnderAttack.com wrote the following analysis of an issue of of Vonulife, a publication that featured articles from Rayo.

This past week, I received an original copy of VONULIFE, March 1973. It is an 80,000+ word issue of the publication and is full of new articles by Rayo. It also provides “us” with an actual idea of the discussions that were had in it. I’ve been hyping this for over a week, so I figured I’d leave ya’ll with a teaser of what to expect. Any errors in the transcription are solely those of your humble transcriptionist. The digitization process should be completed soon.

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16 “Ways to Live Freer,” A Critical Evaluation
by Rayo
Here are brief critiques of various methods for increasing vonu or liberty, including some approaches often touted as liberating which usually aren’t. Use these to stimulate your own brainstorming and study.

NOT WORTHWHILE

JOIN A MOVEMENT. There are countless political and propaganda organizations – “left,” right,” and bottom center – which claim to be promoting peace, freedom, security, conservation, etc., and solicit donations of money and time. There isn’t space here to thoroly [thoroughly] analyze movementism, but I will point out the most obvious faults.

A political movement seeks to change “society” as a whole rather than help people as individuals. Consequently incentives are weak, except maybe for a few organizers at the top. One will share in the benefits, if any, whether or not e joins. So why join? Relatively few do. Very few remain active for long.

Movements use manipulative or coercive means – they must if they are to “move the masses” who have little incentive. And it is the means employed, not the intention of the rhetoric of the founders, which determine the ends achieved.

Movements lack constructive feedback. When someone tries to repair a truck (for example) e learns whether or not e did it properly from the truck’s performance or customer’s satisfaction. But in a “crusade” to improve society there is no way of learning the real effects of one’s own efforts – “society” may be getting “better” or “worse” for unrelated reasons. Often there isn’t even an adequate way of learning what is an improvement – what helps some may hurt others. A crusader can only try to empose ER ideas of what is better on others. And the longer-range the movement the poorer the feedback. Someone campaigning to repeal a specific law (for example) can at least count votes in a legislature to gauge effectiveness. Whereas an “educationalist” movement which hopes to “improve” the attitudes of future generations grops blindly.

Movements bring out the worst in people. Eric Hoffer, in his book THE TRUE BELIEVER, hypothesized that movements attract incompetent neurotics who are trying to “escape” from their unwanted selves. More important[ly], I think, movements turn competent people into incompetents by encouraging them to neglect their own affairs. To “compensate” for inadequacies they seek power over others.

Not surprisingly, movements have a dismal record. They are begun by well-meaning dedicated people but usually bring regimentation and destruction. Current U.S. problems – war, taxes, pollution, inflation, unemployment, coercive schooling, drug laws – are largely the fruits of “noble crusades” of past generations. For example, “pure food and drug” laws were enacted to protect consumers from unhealthy food and treatments. Their main effect has been to deny people the options of legally obtaining raw milk, raw sugar, fresh (locally butchered) meat, and medicines not approved by the AMA.

It is the broad, long-range movements which have been the most harmful. Both Bolshevism in Russia and Naziism in Germany begun as social betterment movements. In the U.S., the “liberal” movement, originally for helping the poor, brought withholding taxes, “urban renewal” and the Vietnam War. The “conservative” movement, originally for less government interference, brings no-knock laws, wage and price controls, and S.S. registration of six-year-olds.

To blame such results on bad leaders or imperfections of ideology is to miss seeing the forest for the trees. Politics, whether conducted by outright violence or by symbolic forms of civil war such as elections, lobbying and propaganda, is a contest of coercion and manipulation – the most coercive/manipulative people naturally rise to the top.

As for ideological errors: ALL new creations contain errors. With inventions, works of art and other personal endeavors, there is constructive feedback – flaws are identified and eliminated as development proceeds. With movements, in contrast, errors snowball – authoritarian ideas drive out peaceful ideas – ideology is “reinterpreted” to justify exploitation and regimentation.

Short-range campaigns for repeal of specific laws are less apt to run amok, but even these are doubtful worth. Prohibition of alcohol was repealed only after it became unenforceable. Repeal merely replaced, in part, home-brewing and free enterprise (moonshining) with heavy taxes and regulations. But, assuming that repeal was nevertheless desirable, a crusade is unnecessary. So long as a law is enforceable, repeal is unlikely; when it becomes unenforceable, the bludge themselves will end it – e.g., the draft. The best way to reduce coercion is to develop techniques which render it “unprofitable.”

Movementism cashes in on guilt – unearned as well as earned. Anyone who contributes to murder and slavery by paying taxes has reason to feel uneasy. The cure is not writing angry letters or joining a demonstration but discovering ways to avoid or reduce taxes. To the degree that one steps out of the oppressive society, does er own things and doesn’t harm others, e has no grounds for guilt. In view of movementism’s records, it is the manipulators who head most political organizations who have the most reason to search their souls.

This is not condemnation of everyone involved with movements. Many show integrity and courage that is commendable. But their energies are misspent. Nor is this a rejection of theory or education. It is a rejection of “theory” which doesn’t relate to practice (which is mysticism) and “education” which doesn’t teach useful arts (which is preaching).

The question to ask about any endeavor is: Does it fill real needs of flesh-and-blood people as individuals? Or is it aimed at unreal groups – “society,” “humanity,” “nation,” or “race”? Someone who solicits donations to “fight” cancer, “fight” pollution, or “fight” taxes turns me off. Someone able to tell me how I can better prevent cancer, clean up my environment, or reduce my taxes gets my attention.

PROBABLY NOT WORTHWHILE

SEE A THERAPIST. If you are unhappy, you will be told by most psychiatrists, ministers, counselors, and relatives that YOU are at fault, and that it is up to you to change – “adjust” to society.

Instead “adjust” society to you by changing your pattern of interactions with it. Some of your supposed faults may prove to be assets once you are in freer surroundings. Others result from continuous exposure to sick culture and will resolve themselves as you reduce your involvement.

Beware of religions, cults and psychotherapy groups which offer “mental freedom” and claim that it is separable from and more important than “physical freedom.” Such “freedom” can be achieved only by numbing oneself – reducing awareness and sensitivity to the outside world – focusing instead on myths, rituals and goals set forth by leaders of the faith.

In a sense almost everyone has a free mind (exceptions being inmates of “mental hospitals” undergoing shock treatments, etc.). It is freedom for my body which I am concerned.

This is not a blanket condemnation of all forms of therapy. Some may be helpful for certain conditions. But therapy is not a substitute for physical security.

PROBABLY NOT WORTHWHILE

BUY A FARM. Commercial agriculture is not a freedom way to earn money. Farmers are harassed by Big Brother as are urban workers. Some have been fined out of business for growing rain on their “own” land to feed their “own” livestock.

Most “back-to-the-land” people don’t expect to earn money farming, only raise some of their own food. But even as a place to live, a farm or small-town is rarely desireable. True, one is more likely to survive a nuclear war than in a big city. But day-to-day coercion is great; there isn’t the anonymity of the city.

For example, many a city-dweller has allowed er children to remain out of coercive schools for months – sometimes for years without being hassled. Whereas in the country word soon reaches the authorities.

One family wrote: “We have owned a beautiful homestead and found that ‘five acres and independence’ is largely a myth under present-day pressures. Our taxes were increased 140% in one year, and, ironic as it is, my husband was put in jail that same year because we wanted to educate our children at home.”

If, nevertheless, you yearn for a farm, I suggest: (1) Try it for at least a year before buying, by care-taking, share-cropping, renting, or hiring out. (See “Situations and Positions” in THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS.) (2) Locate in an area where there are already many people of your sub-culture – freek if you are a freek, conservative if you are a conservative, etc. A large flow of seasonal transients is helpful for anonymity.

Some areas of the Siskiyou region have quite a few alternate-culture residents the year around plus a large Summer Influx. Soil and climate are poor for most commercial farming but adequate for small-scale gardening.

WORTH CONSIDERATION BY A FEW

LIVE OFF THE LAND. This may sound like the ultimate in vonu. Leave behind all the clutter of “civilization” except maybe a jack-knife and trip lightly thru the woods – dining on berries and nuts.

Half-truth: “Over 90% of wild plants are edible.” Elaboration: While relatively few plants are actually poisonous, only a few portions of a few plants are particularly nutritious – some seeds, berries, nuts; a few roots. These mature only at certain times of the year. And they are avidly sought by many little animals, birds and insects. When hiking I nibble almost continuously on various conifer needles, grasses and berries. And I undoubtedly obtain vitamins, minerals and roughage this way. But I always return to camp with a hearty appetite.

Half-truth: “I lived completely off the land for a week during a survival course.” Elaboration: Most likely you lived off your fat – the bugs and berries were hor d’euvres. Most people out of the slob society have at least 15 pounds of fat, which will fuel one for two weeks to a month, depending on activity. Haelan has fasted (for therapeutic reasons) for a month – embibing only water. She was active and vigorous for much of that time.

Half-truth: “Some city people have moved to the woods and lived off the land.” Elaboration: The ones we know of write mostly about the wild foods they get, but also consume large quantities of wheat, corn, beans, rice, and other staples.

Some Indian tribes lived exclusively by hunting and foraging. They had generations of experience learning not only what was edible, but where to find, when and how to gather, and how to prepare and preserve. Most of their working hours were spent obtaining and preparing foods.

Half-truth: “The only way to be really vonu is to be completely self-sufficient; if you need anything at all from that society you are vulnerable.” Elaboration: The more self-sufficient one is the more vonu one is, OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL. But other things often are not equal. Vonu is costly; for example, a concerned shelter takes longer to build than does a conventional shack of the same size. If one must spend most time foraging, one won’t have time to develop vonu.

In conflicts between American Indians and government soldiers during the 19th century, the Indians were usually more skillful and better armed (due to the army ordinance bureaucracy). The Indians won many battles but lost extended campaigns because they had to take time out to obtain food (or starve); the soldiers had outside sources of supply. Today there are tribes in the Amazon Basin who are completely self-sufficient yet very vulnerable.

Haelan and I have eaten a great variety of wild foods – dozens of different kinds of berries and greens, porcupines, rattlesnakes, squirrels, rats, mice, grasshoppers, and acorns. Yet after three years “in the woods” only 20% of the food we eat is wild, figuring raw weights; only about 5% counting calories.

On the other hand we have devoted relatively little time to foraging – we consider shelter development more important. As we gain experience and have more time we expect to forage more. We have available more processing and storaging techniques than did the Indians (though some of these use materials out of the other society). Eventually we believe we can obtain most food thru foraging plus small-batch horticulture.

A few people already have decades of experience and do much better. A few others are exceptionally talented and learn faster than we [do] or are in unusually lush areas. But to anyone new to wilderness vonu I recommend a big grub stake to plus a way to get more supplies.

WORTH CONSIDERATION BY A FEW

GET A HORSE AND WAGON. This conjures up romantic images – perhaps of American settlers moving west – perhaps of gypsy caravans in Europe.

Unlike a motorvehicle, a horse feeds itself, largely maintains itself, and sometimes even produces a replacement. A horse and wagon can travel legally on many rural roads if they stay on the shoulder. Contrary points:

The less time one spends on the road the safer one is. I once towed an unlicensed, oversize trailer a thousand miles with an automobile without being hassled once, by choosing my route carefully and traveling mostly at night. I doubt if anyone has moved a thousand miles with horse (or bicycle) on roads in present day North America without being questioned by the bludg.

One is safest on the road when traveling at the same speed as other traffic.

A motorvehicle needs little care when not in us; an animal is a continuing responsibility.

In forest or brushland, a horse or even a burro is largely limited to prepared trails – it can’t get to places a human on foot can.

A horse is easily followed by hoof prints and droppings.

When being worked a horse needs supplemental feed, just like a human does, unless there is exceptionally rich grazing.

A human can pack a larger load, in proportion to body weight, than can a horse.

Horses eat small trees and churn trails into foot-deep mud, and so are usually more objectionable to “land owners” than are jeeps or motorbikes.

Nevertheless, a horse (or mule or burro) may be worth consideration by someone who is already very experienced with horses, and lives either where there is miles of open country (parts of the southwest) or where there are many parallel farm roads (parts of the midwest and south).

WORTH CONSIDERATION BY A FEW

EMMIGRATE. A permanent move to another country may be worthwhile for someone who has a special legal problem in the country where e lives but not elsewhere – e.g., someone coming of draft age in the U.S.

But emigration doesn’t offer a high degree of liberty. All major countries have repressive governments – less so than the U.S. in some ways, even worse in others.

Large English-speaking countries include Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand and Rhodesia. The latter three are in the Southern Hemisphere and may receive less fallout in event of nuclear war.

Legal immigration involves much red tape. Some people just enter as visitors, then develop “phony” ID. Regardless of how one enters, having friends in a country who “know the ropes” is recommended.

Some smaller countries offer interesting legal interstices but few job opportunities and little anonymity. English-speaking places include Bahama, Bermuda, British Honduras, Channel Islands, Grand Cayman. Such spots may be useful to one who is internationally mobile (further on).

WORTH CONSIDERATION BY A FEW

TRY TO START A NEW NATION. Probably quite a few will be started during the next 50 years (many have started during the past 30 years). And some of these will have interesting features. But this is not a worthwhile activity for most people.

New countries are most apt to be founded by (1) regional rulers who manage to secede from larger states; (2) large multi-national corporations with millions of dollars of speculative capital (the formal rulers may be local “puppets”). Trying to pool the capital and energies of a large number of small investors is unwieldy; it gives rise to the same problems which infest movements of all kinds – corruption and power-struggles.

The chances of any particular venture succeeding are small, though the potential payoff if it does is correspondingly large. Success or failure will likely hinge on unpredictable circumstances. Even a project which succeeds commercially may not offer much liberty (Freeport, Bahama, for Example). And how much liberty it offers may, again, depend more on happenstances than the ideology of its founders. A small new nation must be on friendly terms with most other governments if it is to have foreign trade and visitors, which it must have to survive. Principles will be compromised.

There may be opportunities right now for people with such skills as oceanic construction, small-boat operation, dealing with foreign bureaucrats, etc. The livest new-free-country venture at the moment I know of is Minerva which can be reached by writing to International Maritime Legal Research, Station E Box 4022, 1723 Broadway, Toledo, Ohio 43609.

The wisest course for someone who doesn’t have any special skills but would like to move to a new, free country IF any materialize, is to keep self and savings internationally mobile (topic further on).

At one time I believed that oceanic free-states on artificial islands were the wave of the future. I now think that the same opportunities can be realized more easily, economically and vonuly if less dramatically on continents. Hiding is easier on or under land than ocean. An artificial island is a conspicuous target, unlike a dispersed group of wildnerness-vonuans who associate mostly thru undetectable radio links.

I expect formal claims to territory will become less and less important as the ability of any organization to control or defend large amounts of territory declines.

WORTH CONSIDERATION

COMPARTMENTALIZE YOUR LIFE. Conform outwardly while doing your own things in private. The best places for this is a large city where there are millions of people, and people are less observant and curious than in small towns and farming area.

Compartmentalization probably includes rented living quarters separate from mailing address and from legal home (ID) address. An adept may sleep, work, bank and play under different identities.

Many people cannot for long withstand the psycho pressures of such a life – a sense of emersion in an alien culture of hostile values – the need to keep up a false front much of the time. One tends to become what e pretends to be.

One doesn’t have a secure place to do or own things. A house or apartment is subject to inspection by landlord or police.

Such a life offers no protection in event of nuclear war. I’m not predicting apocalypse; it MIGHT not happen this year, then again maybe not for 10 or 20 years. But an attack will probably come without warning – the weapons exist. So living in a target area is like playing Russian Roulette once a year.

Cities have smog and noise on one hand, and the availability of a great variety of products and services on the other.

Despite the hazards, living this way for a short time may be advantageous for someone who already knows the city and wishes to accumulate savings.

WORTH CONSIDERATION

LIVE IN A GHETTO. One way to reduce psycho pressures while remaining in the city is to gather together with fellow non-conformists. One loses anonymity with respect to the larger culture as one develops subculture speech, customs, mannerisms and dress. But one becomes relatively-indistinguishable member of a subculture, requiring an aggressor to attack everyone or no one. “All (Chines, Niggers, Hippies,…) look alike.” This doesn’t always stop aggressors – e.g., Jews in Germany and Japanese in U.S. during World War II. But this may be a fairly pleasant way to live between pograms.

Someone wrote in VONULIFE #9: “I find the radical community to be very congenial. I find most of these folks tolerant, voluntaristic, very anti-state, and usually quite reasonable – not the dirty, irrational, hippie stereotype you get from straight newspapers…I work as a coordinator with a food co-op, live in a collective, socialize with radicals, so I live 90% of my time in an anarchist society. I know there is a different fascist version out there somewhere, but I have to come in contact with it. Radicals tend to be very cool about aliases.

You can become known in a radical community by any name you choose. You could wind up living in a house where no one knew or cared what your “real” name was. And if you’re underground, say because you are dodging the draft, your roommates would probably be willing to cover to keep even your presence in the house largely unknown.”

One is still threatened by nuclear attack and other hazards of the city. But for someone who can find a compatible, already-established group without much effort, this life is probably more satisfactory than living alone in a city.

WORTH CONSIDERATION

BUILD A SECRET CELLAR beneath a cabin or garage on “owned” or leased land. Entrance to the basement is from within the covering structure. Traffic appears to be to and from that structure, so trails can be made and vehicles driven to the site without arousing suspicion. Thus conventional building materials and techniques can be used, which makes construction easier than is the case for a completely hidden shelter.

Such a cellar may be used only as a bomb shelter and for keeping a part of one’s home or shop out of sight. But with good soundproofing and insulation, self-contained utilities, and careful access, what appears to be only a weekend/vacation cabin could become a full-time home. One person at a time could commute weekly to city work, using a vehicle with few windows, so that apparent travel is consistent with weekend-only use.

Possible drawbacks: Keeping secret during construction is difficult. Draining and dampness may be problems as in all underground structures. It will be complex and costly, especially if equipped for surreptitious full-time use. It is immobile and may not be saleable for full cost should one move. It necessitates considerable involvement with that society – “owning” land, permit to build the covering structure. The covering structure draws attention to the site, which is thus more apt to be closely scrutinized than an area where no structure is known to exist.

Nevertheless this may be an attractive way for someone with plenty of money who is committed to an otherwise-conventional way of living.

WORTH CONSIDERATION

FIND AN ABANDONED SHACK in the woods. In some areas there are quite a few, though on “public lands” the forest bludg burn them when they find them. Some already have stoves and other furnishings.

Drawbacks: Most such shacks were not built with vonu in mind so they are easy to find. Repairing them may be as much labor as erecting a plastic tent. Insulation may be no greater than that provided by a tent.

WORTH CONSIDERATION

GET A BOAT. “Life in a small boat, with the simplest food and clothes, is indeed free and easy. Go where and when you please. You have a sturdy, simple, not too expensive, not too easily damaged boat you can leave tied places while you make side trips. Anchor among islands and eat fish. Tie up at a big city dock for $20 or so a month and water, electricity and garbage disposal is free. Stay along a river and grow a garden in the fertile, well-watered riverside floodland and probably no one will bother you if you choose it well. Sail the world and travel. Want to hide? Lower the mast, push into the tules and put some on your deck.” (Paul Doerr, PIONEER, page 222.)

A contrary view: “I have investigated the maritime scene and my best advice is to forget it unless you need a tax write-off. A boat is only a symbol of freedom…It was having a boat that taught me to hunger for freedom as a drowning man hungers for air…I’m reluctant to become involved with owning anything that requires The Man’s approval (registration and licensing), insurance and endless goods and services.” (Dick, PRE-IN-FORM, 1968-1969 reprints.) Also in this vein, Oct. 72 MOTORBOATING has a long article on small boat regimentation.

My own comparison of boat and van: A boat costs roughly three times as much (counting labor if one builds one’s own) as a van/camper/bus in similar condition with smaller capacity. For short visits to cities, a van can be parked anywhere (at least for short times), not just in marinas. Waterways seem to be patrolled as much as are highways and roads, at least in North America. For remote living, there are many more miles of interior land than of seacoast, and much of the coast is steep, rocky and sparsely timbered – not suitable for a boat larger than a kayak. The wind is free but maintenance can be expensive – salt water is very corrosive. While a boat can potentially go anywhere there is water, crossing an ocean in a small boat is a major undertaking, not a routine trip.

There are many different kinds of boats and many different life-styles possible with boats. To someone interested I suggest first trying a way of life with someone else’s boat, by being a crew member and sharing costs.

WORTH CONSIDERATION

DIG A HIDDEN CAVE. Unlike a secret cellar, there is no covering structure; the entrance is camouflaged to blend with the terrain. While a very high degree of vonu is hypothetically possible, achieving it is not easy. Problems:

The basic structure must be very strong to withstand soil and water pressures and thus heavy. Since a vehicle cannot be driven to the site (to do so would defeat the purpose) and backpacking materials a long distance is arduous, the structure must be built mostly of native materials. Many heavy timbers are needed and these must be cut with care over a wide area and carried to the site.

Much equipment is needed for habitation: at least artificial lighting and ventilation.

Good drainage is necessary. And during warm weather there will be condensation inside on everything exposed unless there is continuous artificial heat or some other means of reducing relative humidity of inside air. (Otherwise warm outside air enters, cools, and moisture condenses.)

The easiest way to construct is to dig a hole, assemble the structure in the hole, then fill the dirt back in, contouring with the surrounding terrain and adding covering debris. But while construction is underway the hole is visible to anyone walking by, or flying over if there isn’t tree cover.

Alternately, if a tunnel is dug, timbers must be put in as one digs (more difficult and dangerous) and dirt carried away from site for disposal. Rarely is solid rock so close to the surface that timbering isn’t necessary; if there is, noisy equipment is needed to cut the rock.

Great care is necessary going to and from the cave, to avoid forming visible trails.

All of these problems are solvable but require time and expertise. Completely-underground construction is a promising field for pioneering by someone who is already vonu and has time to experiment. It’s not for someone trying to get out of the city who needs something quick, simple and reliable.

WORTH STRONG CONSIDERATION

BE INTERNATIONALLY MOBILE. Don’t settle in any one country. Instead be multi-national. Pick and choose the best features from a number of nations while bypassing their undesireable aspects. Thus one might be a “citizen” of Canada, live most of the time in Bahamas, do writing or designing for a U.S. company, and bank in Switzerland. Many different life-styles incorporate international mobility.

One might use a boat for shelter and transportation. But most of the pros lease living space, travel on commercial airlines, and rent equipment as they need it. A great variety of products, from electronic test gear to earth-moving machines, can be rented in any large city.

International mobility is an extension of urban compartmentalization. Instead of slipping thru the cracks and crannies of a single city one exploits the interstices of many countries. Someone who does well at this kind of life is probably an “extrovert” who enjoys dealing with many people and a great variety of people – among other things e knows when and how to bribe a local customs inspector or immigration bludg and doesn’t mind doing so. Some internationally-mobile people live and travel very economically. But life-styles of this kind are easier for those able to affect the outward appearances of affluence, especially when crossing borders. Visibly “poor” people are unwelcome everywhere in the “welfare” world.

There is no set procedure for developing such a life-style. Avenues to explore: overseas employment with U.S. companies; technical specialties in high demand in various countries; free-lance writing; employment in certain capacities with multi-national corporations; being secretary or assistant to someone already into this kind of life. Two periodicals about international mobility are NOMAD/OTHER SCENES and HARRY SCHULTZ LETTER. (See listing of periodicals).

WORTH STRONG CONSIDERATION

BUY A VAN, camper or bus. This can be a mobile shelter as well as occasional transportation for someone who lives part-time in woods and mountains.

One can choose from a great variety of equipment over a wide price range. For ten grand or so one can buy a new “self-contained” motorhome equipped with most of the conveniences of a deluxe apartment. Or, for a few hundred, one can throw a mattress on the floor of a worn out delivery truck.

A van can’t be hidden nearly as well as can a shelter that’s back-packable or built from native materials. But, if disturbed, one is usually able to move on.

Also a van depends on fuel and roads for mobility; it is comparatively costly as a means of transportation. A van is most suitable, not for one who travels considerably, but for one able to limit movement to seasonal migration and infrequent trips.

WORTH STRONG CONSIDERATION

RIG A TENT IN THE WOODS. For a very few dollars worth of plastic and rope, and a day’s work, one can erect a bright, spacious, airy, rain-shelter any place e can hike to. A few more dollars will furnish it with a foam pad, used bedding mosquito net, and cooking utensils.

Choose a site away from habitations, roads, trials, lakes and main creeks; put the tent among bushes; keep it low, put a few branches over it; be careful with fire, and it will rarely if ever be found. An extremely remote site isn’t necessary or desirable – count on backpacking in 50 pounds of dry foods a month plus other supplies.

A plastic tent is pleasant during Summer if shaded and if openings are covered with netting. In the Siskiyou region, it is tolerable all Winter if one has a warm inner dwelling such as a foam hut. Maybe you don’t want to live in a tent or live in seclusion the year around. But perhaps you can do it during Summer – vonu that much of your life.

A plastic tent is merely the simplest and quickest of a whole “family” of shelters which can be built out of a few pieces of native wood, polyethylene film, rope and cord. A next model might be a semi-underground structure such as a Shuswap dwelling.

DEVELOP YOUR OWN WAY.

This is actually what each individual or family does. There is no universal formula for vonu; different people have different desires, abilities, problems, and opportunities.

A few years ago I did not even conceive of some of the approaches described here. And, a few years hence, I expect there will be ways I can’t dream of now.

Approaches which seem especially promising for the near future: 1) Various kinds of semi-underground dwellings, built mostly of native materials, which are comfortable the year around without artificial heat – inside temperature remaining close to that of the earth – about 55°F. (2) Pre-fab modular structures weighing a few hundred pounds, with space and built-in “conveniences” comparable to s a small motor-home, which can be backpacked in pieces to a remote site and easily assembled or disassembled. (3) Smum life-styles involving migration between multiple, relatively specialized, relatively stationary low-cost shelters.


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