Living in my Soul Shack

in #homesteading4 years ago (edited)


This post is about how I'm finally living off the land in a shack constructed from available materials we found locally. I returned to the hills from the city along with my family to finish setting up the shack so I could comfortably live there. I last left off where we had placed the wooden poles and tarp on site to figure out how much space the shack would occupy.


Since then, our workers finished the construction of the shack using leftover fencing material and thatch that our neighbours at Hike N Heal generously donated to us. I didn't get to see the finished shack before leaving for the city due to some bike trouble, so it was nice surprise to come back to see it in all its splendour.


Admiring the finished shack our workers built in my absence.

As we had come from the city in our car, I also carried a lot of useful things like mattresses, a trunk and a water filter that I could use in the shack. We have road access that four wheel drive vehicles can drive down, but as our car isn't capable of driving down that route, we had to use the help of our animal friends to carry all that stuff down to the shack.



My wardrobe, suitcases, solar panel and tent had already been transported to the land, so after the pony transported the remaining stuff, I was all ready to start unpacking, helped by the family and also our four legged friends.



My Mom and I worked on setting up the tent and water filter while my Dad and Sister set up the solar panel.



The first night I was supposed to spend in my shack, also happened to coincide with a thunder storm. I was essentially left stranded at Hike N Heal, our neighbour's backpacking lodge as the rain was too intense to make a return journey to the land. The rain was so heavy that we couldn't hear ourselves speak underneath the tin roofs. I almost thought I wouldn't have a shack to come back to, but the shack endured the weather remarkably well with only a few non consequential leaks.

To make the shack even more resilient we wrapped another layer of tarp over the roof, and also added a sheet between the solar panel and shack interior. Although I preferred the blue of our original tarp over the new tarp's yellow, the shack is now super resilient to the rainy weather and no water gets in anymore. The last step was unpacking my suitcases and adding a few decorative elements.

I now present to you, a tour of my shack

The Entrance

The doorway to my shack is located at the rear. The fencing material used as a base in the door overlaps with the wall, so I can lock the door with a padlock if required.


Standing at the door, you see the wardrobe, tent and screen before the solar panel.



Immediately to the left of the door is where I keep my shoes, coats and laundry bag. In front of that space is my wardrobe, and adjacent to the wardrobe is where I keep my water filter.



The Tent

The tent is where I sleep, chill and generally relax. It's a 3 man tent, so it's pretty spacious for me and allows me to keep my valuables and personal belongings inside as well.



I'm still learning to play that guitar and for some reason recordings result in a hiss caused by one or more of my electronics that I need to figure out a way around. Either way, I have my art supplies and music to keep me creatively occupied in my free time. The tent itself is really comfortable as we're in the temperature range that doesn't require artificial cooling or heating.

The Work Space

In front of my tent is the work space, where I've converted my trunk to a desk and laid out some nice mats in front of it.



This is where I'm writing this post from now, bathed in the yellow light caused by the tarp. This section is also where my solar assembly including battery and outlets is kept to allow easy charging for all my appliances.


Standing in my work space, this is what I see looking back out.


From Outside

At the front of the shack is where the solar panel is housed. I've planted a few passion fruit creepers and a flowering plant to eventually convert it to a solar garden.



At Night

I've got a whole bunch of solar lights to light up the shack at night, including mood lighting for subtler soft light.



The View

This is the view of the mountain side from outside my shack.


My shack provides more or less everything I need to live comfortably on the land. The only thing missing is a kitchen and bathroom. Fairly important aspects, yes, but I've found a way to manage both requirements. For now I just go behind bushes for regular bathroom needs, and trek to Hike N Heal for showers. My food is parcelled by our workers in lunch boxes which I eat through the day. It took a lot of effort to get to here but as of now, my cost of living is as little as ₹ 5000 a month including expenses on luxuries. That's about 30 SBD at today's prices. If I can make that much a month through my posts I would've figured out a way to live truly free, doing what I want with no compromises. Of course, farm expenses still exist, but they're also diminishing as we've finished a lot of the people intensive infrastructure work. I've spent the last week in my shack, and I'm slowly getting used to life in the hills, finally living off the land. As I'm living on the land full time, I'm able to better plan out projects on the land. Keep an eye out for all the exciting stuff we're about to get done.



Amazing project. I wish you the best, may you succeed in living freely and independently! :-)

Thanks. I'm definitely well on my way towards an independent and free life.

Wow this is so inspiring! Your shack is chain link with palm fronds woven in? Where in the world are you living? I'm assuming the climate is pretty temperate?

Have you heard of @steembasicincome ? It could help you reach your 30sbd per month goal.... although it seems that you are doing quite well at the moment :)

Thanks. Yeah, the frame is chain-link and the thatch is made from woven coconut leaves that are simply tied to the frame.

I think a few people were kind enough to sign me up for steembasicincome though I should probably research more into it and pay it forward with signing people up myself. I'm pretty stoked to be doing alright here organically though without using bidbots and the like.

Dude! Awesomeness :)

Thanks, man. It's finally happening! I'm still settling in, but once I figure out a schedule I feel I can be at my creative peak here. Speaking of, we gotta do more colabs soon.

Wow, this is amazing - Soul shack indeed! I think we should all support projects like this... Well done, you gained a new follower :) Wish you all the best, see you around!

Thanks, I appreciate it. I'm always amazed at how strong the homesteading scene is here on steemit. It really gives me hope for humanity in the future.

congrats to you.. wonderful to see what you are doing!!! <3

Thanks, man. It's a bit unfortunate that my journey in these hills is about to begin just as yours is about to end, but seeing your progress and all the stuff you've achieved in your time near Kodai has given me the confidence to keep at it and that I'm on a good track.

Awe thank u for that! And super congrats on the curie vote!! That should keep you going for a long time!!’

I love what you've done with the work area! Agreed, the blue tarp was nicer but at least it's totally leak proof now! The lights look amazing and the whole thing has such a nice vibe. So glad I got to be part of setting it up. Can't wait to come back. We're all super proud and excited.

Yeah, thanks for helping with the setup. It really came out better than expected. It's super comfortable and you have to visit again to see it again in all its functional splendour. Also the doggies have been guests in the shack too! We have to get a farm dog soon.

Dreams coming into reality!
Love it man!
You've already got quite a scene going, with cupboard, guitar, workspace, mood lighting, and what not!
I've been inactive since my first post, but seeing this post is perhaps the smile I needed!
Puts a being smile on my face bro! So happy for you!
Now you need to throw some BBQs and art parties!
Lil byob and byoTent events!

Yeah man, it's all coming together slowly but surely. You should come visit sometime when you have the chance. We need to have an official shack warming party for sure, haha. We have a pretty cool community in Kodai even if we're all spread out, so yeah, hopefully I can open up my space to other people soon too. Also steemit is a great place to read about all the good stuff happening in the world. If this put a smile on your face you should see what the rest of my homesteading homies are up to.

Soul :lovewaves:

very cool dude! happy to see this beautiful project manifesting and unfolding. my child self is super intrigued by your shack-- this is like my childhood dream, right?! to live in a cute little thing like this! :) best wishes!

Haha, yeah it really is like a grown up version of a childhood fort. It truly feels like a dream come true. It's only been a week or so but I'm so happy here. My childhood was spent barefoot and atop trees and my inner child is ecstatic too!

<3 so great to hear, friend!!! yay for living out those childhood dreams and feeling the childhood exuberance flow through you <3!

That's some amazing scenery you have there. Really impressive shelter as well. Having a good time checking out other helpies. Hope to see you around.

Thank you. It does feel like a slice of heaven.

Helpie does seem to have the best people. I'm familiar with most, but yet to make my way through everyone's blog. Definitely gonna take the time to do that eventually. So, now that I'm settled here I hope to get around more too.

How you convinced your parent's soul?? How?? Indian Parents and expectations, I want to know the complete story .. :)

Haha, well my parents are pretty cool people. They put me in a Krishnamurti school to begin with. People are probably asking them why I turned out like this too. I guess my Dad was influenced by different cultures because his job involved a lot of travel and my Mom has always been an artist and free thinker. So really they didn't need much convincing. They've always been interested in sustainability and instilled it in us as kids. This works out for everyone as it's an investment that will last a lifetime and more. So it made sense to spend a college fund towards a lifestyle instead, and once it takes off they'll have a beautiful place to live too.

You've got quite the setup. Looks very cozy. While the blue tarp might be prettier, the yellow gives a really cool glow when the sun is shining. Mood lighting is on point, too! Happy for you! Turning dreams into reality is where it's at! <3

Thanks! Yes, the warm glow from the yellow tarp is rather nice. I've always preferred yellow light even though all my leds are white. It's super cozy and very comfortable in general.

Dreams do come true! Here's wishing the same for you and for your trees to prosper despite pesky groundhogs attacking their roots.

This is a really cool start on an off grid life!

Thank you. My permaculture journey is off to a flying start indeed. It's been around a year since I started this path and moving to the shack has been an amazing milestone.

Amazing post. I love seeing how differently so many people all over the world live. I am also stunned you can now live on about 30 SBD a month, and extremely happy that the big vote just covered two months for you!

This post was nominated by a @curie curator to be featured in an upcoming Author Showcase that will be posted Monday night (U.S. time) on the @curie blog. If you agree to be featured in this way, please reply and:

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Thanks for your time and for creating great content.
Gene (@curie curator)

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Thank you! 30 SBD a month refers to the basics I need such as shelter, food, water and electricity. As I'm not paying rent and have my own source of water and electricity my cost of living is quite minimal. The only external sources I rely on are our neighbours for showers and our workers to supply food. Farm expenses can get expensive but are a lot less now as we have only two workers who charge a combined wage of around 80 SBD per month. It did take a lot of time and investment to get to this stage but I can finally see it paying off.

I'd be honoured to be featured in a curie showcase and have this article quoted. I don't really know what to say. I'm just a simple homesteader/artist who posts what I'm passionate about and I'm really grateful for the curie votes I get. It's a reaffirmation that I'm doing something right and gives me the motivation to keep blogging. The dollar value is awesome but more than that it's the recognition and inspiration curie provides that makes me love them so much. Curie is definitely one of the best big accounts facilitating positive change on this platform and I'll always have gratitude and respect for them.

Wow! This is so cool bro!
Looks like a beautiful location!
Blessings and smiles
in joy

Thanks! Yes, it really is beautiful. I'm super thrilled to be living here. I've already started getting up earlier, to watch the sunrises, and I can feel a change in my energy just by existing in a purer form, in harmony with my surroundings.

This looks so incredible! LOVE the workspace. I can't believe you're powering wifi through solar now. Do you have back up for non-sunny days?

It looks super cozy and I just can't wait to see what happens next. What happened to coming up with a name, btw?

Thanks! It really is a deluxe shack. Well, I have Hike N Heal a short walk away that has all the infrastructure and utility requirements I need that I cannot get from the land. It's been raining everyday for the past week though, and I've been fine while people dependent on the Government EB have had to face power cuts.

Yeah, I'm super stoked at the potential and evolution of the place. I think I'm gonna go with Turiya Farms. It sounds nice and has a beautiful meaning.

Yeah I like the way Turiya sounds! It's a great name.

Wow, this is so AWESOME! Living off the grid is where its at, we're living off the grid in our camper van currently traveling around the US. I LOVE your setup and what a view!

@elfeatheryoga, how long have you been living the #vanlife? I am considering it for myself.

@icosanwhich, so we set out to do 1 year traveling the US, however we’ll likely extend as even a year is really not enough.... there is so much to see. We’ve been living this life style for 9 months now.

Thank you. A mobile house sounds amazing! You must experience some incredible sights and adventures on the road. Off grid is indeed where it's at. Glad you dropped by, I've got to see your perspective on off grid living too.

How gorgeoys. I love the little painted trunk. Where are you? No where that needs heatimg im guessing?

Thank you! My Mom painted that trunk as an arts and crafts project. A little memento of the sea from where it travelled from.

I'm in the hills of South India near a town called Kodaikanal. The coldest it gets is about 8 degrees Celcius, so a sweater and blanket along with the insulation of the tent is more than enough to be comfortable in the deepest winter. Our climate is more or less tropical with slight temperate tendencies, so we're quite comfortable without artificial heating or cooling.

That sounds ideal. Are you from that area? What do you do there? I need to travel deeper into your feed methinks!

Well, I'm South Indian but always been a city slicker till now. The hills aren't that familiar to me, but I'm getting comfortable here. What I do is constantly changing, but in essence I'm trying to live a self reliant life in the hills embracing permaculture and organic farming which I balance out with my art and design. The goal is to someday provide all my needs from the land. I've only just begun this journey so there's a long way ahead, but I'm enjoying the ride and moving to the shack is so much closer to the dream. Haha, hope you enjoy diving into my blog. I try to do my best. I feel like I gotta swim through those flowing rivers too!

Sounds fantastic and a life definitely worth pursueing. I cant wait to read more about it! I love your name too...!

Im hoping to get to India soon.. its so silly that I havent been yet!

Hey if the shack withstood a massive storm then it should be able to tolerate anything right XD Looks like a nice little spot you have set up there :)


Yeah, I'm still surprised by how well this shack came together. We have some incredible workers. It really is quite a luxury to be living here. I still need to see how well it holds up during the major monsoons during November/December. I'm also planning a cob house using the terraces so I can have a kitchen and bathroom on the land. For what I thought would be temporary accommodation, the shack is turning out to be a lot better than expected and is quite cozy and comfortable.

such a wonderful post! showing us glimpse on the interior of the shack as well as how you prepare yourselves on living off the land is impressive! thanks for sharing buddy! :)

Thank you. Yeah, this has been the dream for a year since I got involved with working on the land and it's finally happening. Glad you enjoyed my virtual tour, and thanks for dropping by.

Hi @soulturtle ,

The new Curie Author Showcase which features this post is now posted and ready for viewing.

Thanks for being a part of it.
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You have a minor misspelling in the following sentence:

*Admiring the finished shack our workers built in my absense.
It should be absence instead of absense.

Yeah seriously, why nazi? It could have been anything else.

As a reader on Steemit, I scroll down to read reactions to a post and it's quite annoying that the first comment is something so irrelevant.

Also, it makes no sense to comment on the most minor misspelling. Logically, if sense is s-e-n-s-e then absence could be a-b-s-e-n-s-e.

Language evolves and morphs over the years. 'Mistakes' such as this should be ignored because obviously the writer has a good command over the language. We're interested in his content, not if he's going to get a perfect score in his TOEFL or IELTS.

I understand that you want to help have more readable content on the site but maybe it's of more use to offer your help to people who actually need it.

This grammarbot really seems to irk people. I get that it has good intentions, but perhaps it could've found a better way to make its point. That's probably why its rep is 13, haha.

Why nazi? Are you a German robot? You could’ve been grammaranything and go around being a computer, correcting misspellings (like a good little robot) or typos (like a good little robot) but you chose nazi.

Haha, valid point there. It's like the name just warrants that much more dislike.

Just one in the entire text? That's not too bad eh? It's been corrected.

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