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The Hilleberg House Project
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Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Unna Wins on 05/31/2014 22:28:36 MDT Print View

If you need specific pics or measurements
of the Unna I can pitch it and get them for you.

Edited by stephenm on 06/01/2014 09:05:24 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Vents? on 06/01/2014 14:48:49 MDT Print View

I've lived in a tent and worked before, and it wasn't a problem. School isn't especially tough for me, i'm really in my element in academia and homework is never a challenge. If I can ace Honors Environmental Law with a graduate-level professor, I can handle whatever the master's will throw at me, too. I'm taking it seriously, I'm just not seriously worried.

If things do get REALLY stressful, I have friends I can crash with on a couch.

Stephen, I would love to know if there's partial mesh on the Unna door, and how many vents there are total without exposing anything to falling rain.

Thanks very much!


Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Vents? on 06/01/2014 14:51:58 MDT Print View


The inner door has mesh at the top 10inches or so, but it has a rooftop backing that can be closed up. You can open the outer door about 5 inches or so at the top and its covered by the top hood.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Vents? on 06/01/2014 16:34:21 MDT Print View


A few things:

1. If you hear someone walking around the woods at night saying "Purdy mouth? Purdy mouth?" turn off any and all sources of light and don't answer them. You'll regret it if you do not follow these instructions.

2. I've got a kick @$$ recipe for hobo stew if you're interested.

3. Don't believe the hype. Sterno does not make for a good cocktail and you WILL go blind.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Banjo on 06/01/2014 18:41:27 MDT Print View

If you just sit in your tent playing a Banjo no one will bother you :-)

Cole Crawford
(CDC43339) - F

Locale: Omaha
Do it on 06/01/2014 18:56:05 MDT Print View

Go for it Max. If nothing else I think you'll gain as much insight on life from the experience as from the masters.

That's still a pretty expensive program though. I'm applying for Fulbright/Marshall and some PhD programs next fall, hoping one of them pulls through - everything I'm looking at is fully funded + stipend. Not sure which programs generally make you pay sticker out of pocket but hopefully you'll have good job options on the other side - student debt is nobody's friend.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Do it on 06/01/2014 19:08:04 MDT Print View

+1 on just doing it.

You're young, you're still "stupid" (and I mean that in a NICE way...not an offensive one...meaning when you're young a full of life and don't mind living in a fly creek UL1 for 60 straight days because, well, why not?), the stupid is, unfortunately, going to go away soon, replaced by a different kind of approach to life...and one that isn't necessarily any better...just more stressful and full of responsibilities.

So go for it. You'll have a blast, great stories to tell, and you'll save a ton of cash.

J Mag
Re: living in a tent on 06/01/2014 19:38:30 MDT Print View

Just to play devil's advocate (uh oh): If you are getting your Master's degree wouldn't it be worth it to think of the extra money for a real living space as an investment? In my undergraduate major just a 0.2 variation in GPA was the difference between starting above six figures and below it. If I were to go back for my master's the difference would easily be 10-20k in salary once hired.

Where are you living that rent is THAT expensive? I'm in DC and that's how much I pay for rent in a very nice place.

Edit: I realize this is not applicable to everyone. I think the RV idea is a great one. Easy to move and a real place to live if you can find a good place to park it. You will likely be able to resell it for nearly what you bought it for.

Edited by GoProGator on 06/01/2014 19:52:49 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: The Hilleberg House Project on 06/01/2014 19:42:51 MDT Print View

Personally, I would like to use a big canvas tipi tent with a wood stove.
I would want more gear than I could carry on a bike for living a year.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Like it on 06/01/2014 19:47:35 MDT Print View

I like the idea. Would it be less high maintenance if you could work out a more or less permanent site? Would save you a lot of time. I think the robbery issue might get solved by not having anything there anyone would try to steal. Then you could also go a but bigger. Like a 4 person tent with a nice Pendelton blanket for a floor covering. Then when the local newspaper people come to interview you you can invite them in for tea in a civilized manner.

Plus with a bigger more permanent tent think of all the little UL improvements and inventions you would get to obsess over!

I have a unused 4-person REI tent that I would be glad to donate, but is sounds like you might have more expensive tastes than that.

Edited by millonas on 06/01/2014 19:51:37 MDT.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"The Hilleberg House Project" on 06/01/2014 20:24:10 MDT Print View


Edited by book on 06/01/2014 22:53:40 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Think inside the Box! on 06/01/2014 20:25:51 MDT Print View

About 15 years ago I lived in an 8 foot long tent trailer for two years. I was working full time and had to call on clients 4 days a week all over Arizona and California. Plus I had to wear a suit everyday. There are all sorts of tricks to this kind of lifestyle.

If I were in your position, given the severe winters, I would rent a small storage unit. They have lights (think electrical outlet). I would get a cot, 1500 watt electric heater, a hot plate, and maybe a Porta-Potti. Wouldn't necessarily live in it full time, but when weather was bad, so I wouldn't be a burden on others. They are cheap and a good place to store things when you don't need all your belongings.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: "The Hilleberg House Project" on 06/01/2014 20:47:00 MDT Print View

From reading Max's posts on here for a while I'm guessing he knows what he is in for, probably much better than the typical PCT noob. From this I conclude further that he knows what he may be giving up, and that this is not an entirely practical choice. But I do feel it might be oppressive so close to civilization to live out of a small tent, especially one you have to move all the time. What you probably want is a yurt with a small wood heating stove on someones property with permission. Maybe (gasp!) with a very nominal rent to do so. The you would basically have more or less the comforts of a real home but you could still go all Thoreau on that sucka.

Its not really a home unless going there is a relief - you don't want to have to go somewhere else to get away from your oppressive shelter. A nice yurt will also allow you to get to work on your unabomber manifesto in more comfort. ;-)

Edited by millonas on 06/01/2014 20:56:15 MDT.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Re: "The Hilleberg House Project" on 06/01/2014 21:20:04 MDT Print View


Good journey, friend. Sounds like a nice ride.

My only advice about the tent decision:

Make sure you go out and get the cheapest poly tarp and cover your precious Hilleberg with it - at least while your not residing in it.

1) A years worth of UV will destroy even the best of tent flys. No use having such a beautiful tent go down from a years worth of car camping, so to speak. Even if Hilleberg might feel generous and replace it some day, no use having it fail "by accident" while you're out in nowhere.

2) It will look less "stealable" to those who seek out things like that (trust me, some people know.)

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: The Hilleberg House Project on 06/01/2014 21:25:33 MDT Print View

You should do it. I lived on a sailboat for two years while working and attending community college. Granted, this was in San Diego so the weather worked in my favor, but there were still plenty of cold nights on the water and moisture was always an issue. Single-hull fiberglass boats have terrible condensation issues. Shower at the gym, hit the laundromat every few days... it's not a bad life. You're an interesting, funny guy; you'll probably get invited to dinners and make friends with people who own couches. If shit hits the fan you can always hole up in a motel for a few days. I had to do that during my second winter on the boat when I had the flu. You're a smart guy, just go for it.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: The Hilleberg House Project on 06/01/2014 21:59:46 MDT Print View

I think your idea will be fun. What's the worst that can up and renting a place to live?

My only question is why it has to be a Hilleberg. It seems plenty of other tents could do the job for much less money while attracting a little less attention. I wouldn't leave a $500-$1000 tent unattended on a regular basis.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Looking Back on 06/01/2014 22:32:18 MDT Print View

I couldn’t have done what you’re proposing, but you may be able to, without breaking a sweat. You’re an experienced outdoorsman. And you’ll become very intimate with the library for sure. I found grad schools to be intense social experiences, lots of research meetings in the ap’t, lots of study meetings in the ap’t, some parties in the ap’t, time you want to be alone with the GF. To keep costs down, most of my meals came from my refrigerator (taco salad mostly) as restaurants and cafeterias can really run the bills up. But who’s to say you can’t survive off unrefrigerated backpacking food for morning or evening meals. You’d have a lot of extra money to spend on eating out with no rent. Also appreciated having a nearby toilet, and climate control, and a safe place for the toys, including mountain bike, guns, tools, shelf upon shelf of books and file drawers bulging with articles (necessary to get through the program). But that’s me, this is you, and it’s amazing to me how today’s “kids” can make do with a computer/smartphone and not need/want much beyond it. Would make a helluva good story and a great blog. I’d follow it for sure.

Why not give yourself a more proximal goal of camping out for one semester? Perhaps not the first one! Which can be rough. You’ll need some time to learn the nooks and crannies of the campus and the town where you can hang your hat, get into the rhythm of school, and grok what your professors and peers expect. Just an idea. Best to you, as you pursue those letters after your name!

Just In Time
(ArcturusBear1) - F
Re: Re: The Hilleberg House Project on 06/01/2014 22:32:25 MDT Print View

Sort of along the lines of what Matt Dirksen and Marko have said. I would go with a tent that has a polyester fly, it will last much longer with all the UV exposure. I don't know if they sell siliconized polyester tents/fly's or not, but if they do, i would go with that so that you can touch it up occasionally with cheap silicone spray. Once PU (common on poly tents) starts to peel, crack, etc, yeah it sucks and not as easy to remedy.

If it were me, i would try to find someone who would let me pitch my tent in their backyard, preferably a larger backyard with some privacy, if at all possible. Yeah, maybe you might have to pay them a little a month, but better than the hassle of being moved around all the time, constantly taking down, setting up, which is one thing on the trail when you got a lot of free time, but in the depths of winter with cold, short days and with all your other responsibilities and activities, will likely get old fast.

I also echo numerous peoples' sentiments, why the need for a super expensive tent that might get wrecked, stolen, and in any case will likely suffer at least significant UV damage? I could possibly let you borrow my tipi tent and titanium woodstove during the coldest part of winter, if you are in some place stable and relatively safe (like someone's back yard in a good neighborhood).

Sharon J.
(squark) - F

Locale: SF Bay area
library on 06/01/2014 22:51:59 MDT Print View

Depending on your field of study, you may end up being forced to buy a $hit-ton of highly specialized books that won't be available in e-format. If you are lucky, your department or library may have some sort of locker available for students to rent, otherwise, well, storage or transportation seems like it would be an issue. Just one more thing to consider.

David Hyde
Re: The Hilleberg House Project on 06/01/2014 22:52:35 MDT Print View

I had a good friend that did this for FOUR YEARS of a PhD program in Chinese History at UC Santa Cruz. The big difference was Santa Cruz has easy weather and endless woods.

Essentially what you're talking about is being homeless. People do that all the time.

The big questions I would have are:

Location? Will there be a cost to pitch the tent? Are there areas near enough that are REALLY cops, no hikers, no meth heads?

Warmth? It's one thing to sleep outside for a few nights or even weeks, but a full winter could get old. Readily available warm showers on campus solves this?

Storage? Carrying all your gear for a year seems unrealistic. Books? Clothes for more formal department luncheons and job interviews? Your childhood baseball card collection? You are going to need SOMEPLACE to store at least a couple of milk crates worth of personal belongings. You are an American. You have such things or will. Be realistic and plan accordingly.

The tent? I'm not so sure I'd prioritize a big expensive tent. I think I'd be more inclined to add a pound or 2 and go cheap and big. Again this depends on where you'll be setting it up. Frankly I can see living out of a small car for a year no problem. But 1 panier seems tight.