Car Living A Vital Skill

April 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Self-Reliance

Simplicity Can Be Fun!

This year, the topics discussed on Hobopoet have taken a deadly serious turn.   We are at the beginning of a huge economic disaster–   the same kind of bankster engineered disaster that Argentina experienced.

Because of this, the collapse of American Empire is accelerating.  While Obama and the banks loot the country and enslave it’s citizens with massive debt, the media continues to show idiotic stories about “the coming recovery”.   The corporate media also loves to fawn over Obama.. while purposely hiding what is actually happening.

Why is this important?  Because practically, it means very tough times ahead–  “The Greatest Depression” as many economist are calling it.  In fact, we are nowhere near the bottom… the worst is yet to come and it’s going to be much worse.  We’ll see another huge stock market crash, massive unemployment… and then the killer–  massive price inflation.  In other words, the value of your cash savings, if you have them, will be eroded or destroyed–  just when you are either losing your job or starting a new one with much less pay.

Such is the bankster economic system… a system that Naomi Klein calls “Disaster Capitalism”.  First the banksters & their government partners engineer (or take advantage of) a disaster.  Then, while regular people are dazed and confused and pliable, they swiftly enact new laws that enrich the banksters while looting the confused and clueless public.  They did it in Argentina and many other places.. now they’re doing it to the United States.

In fact, it’s already done.   So the practical question becomes–  how to survive the unfolding disaster?

This is where Hobopoet skills become important.   As hobopoets, we choose to live simply but happily.

The difference between a miserable homeless person and a happy Hobopoet is planning, preparation, and mindset.

Being thrown into homelessness (and unemployment) is traumatic… but carefully planning and choosing it can be quite fun.   As my old archives note, its possible to live very happily and comfortably even in a Nissan Sentra.  To do so, you must be intelligent:

  • Modify the car for living:  Take out the back seats and create a bed from the back area all the way into the trunk (extend your legs into the trunk area when sleeping).   Tint all back windows as dark as possible (and put cardboard behind the tinting).  Run a shower or curtain rod just behind the front seats, and hang a black blanket or sheet over it (to block rear area from sight).  Use plastic storage bins for clothes and food.  Use a camp toilet… or a gatorade bottle (for peeing– women can get a funnel to make this easier :) and doubled freezer bags (for emergency shitting).   Park in stealthy areas– such as big apartment complexes or public streets with  other cars around…  or best of all- at a friends house.
  • Create a micro-business:   Create a business that is tiny and easy to run from anywhere.  You might sell art or jewelry at music festivals.  You might create a small online company.   You might sell information products.  Just create an independent small income source.. to lessen or eliminate your dependence on jobs.
  • Collect Quality Camping Gear Now:  A quality sleeping bag and sleeping pad is vital if you will car-live in a cold climate.  A camp stove is also useful.. as is a set of compact cooking gear.    Consider quality (non-cotton) clothes for cold weather.   A hiking water filter is also useful (for filtering water from rivers, streams, or public sinks).   A tent is also great if you plan to be in rural or wilderness areas sometimes (or campsites).   An LED headlamp is extremely useful at night.
  • Think about Cleanliness:  How will you clean yourself?   You could join a gym and use the showers there (if the membership will be affordable).   You can sponge bathe in public bathrooms (use lockable bathrooms and ALWAYS thoroughly clean up any water– so they’ll never suspect you are bathing in their bathroom!).   In hot weather, you can bathe in a stream or river (as I did in Athens, Georgia).
  • Consider Safety:   Take a combat self-defense course or study one at home now (I recommend ).   You might consider keeping pepper spray in your car….  and possibly a knife or gun (but only if you REALLY know how to use them and are well trained.. otherwise stick to pepper spray and self-defense training).   Another safety issue:  identify safe and fairly “stealth” parking areas in your town.  If possible, secure a parking place in a friends’ driveway.

Those are the basics.   As I read more about tent cities popping up, and people losing their homes,.. and the economic disaster still to come…  I feel that car-living and voluntary homelessness topics are more important than ever.

Therefore, I’ll be re-visiting these topics in the coming months–  to provide detailed practical strategies for people to THRIVE (not just survive) even if they lose their home, job, etc.

Car Living is one such strategy– as long as you can still afford to insure and maintain a car.  If that’s possible, I believe that car-living is the best choice for those who have no other home.  Tent living (or open air camping) would be a distant second choice,.. as it’s less secure.. but I’ll discuss homelessness strategies as well.

I believe that everyone should think about and plan for this… even if you feel you are financially secure.   Planning for the possibility of car-living or homelessness will give you tremendous confidence and strength if you are indeed forced out of your home.  You won’t fear it so much and won’t panic if you already have a plan and have already prepared!


10 Responses to “Car Living A Vital Skill”

  1. Cloyd Campfire on April 11th, 2009 2:40 pm

    Howdy Mr. Happy Hobo Poet!

    I am ~ I am ~ a happy hobo poet too. I’m quite thrilled to have stumbled into your campsite here. Please drop by my site at your leisure:

    As for your take on The Obama Administration, I have not really grappled with this new flip of the political coin. I started an independent newsletter about the time Bush gave his “Axis of Evil” speech. The newsletter got quite political. And I was glad to see Obama take the White House. In fact, we, meaning me, the staff of the Old Timer Chronicle, campaigned for Obama.

    Your take on the new political phenomena that we face is probably, in my estimation, pretty accurate but not necessarily so. How’s that for vague?

    Flipping the political pancake from Bush to Obama worked for me. So presently I am piling it high with butter and syrup and have already taken a couple bites. Hmm hmm.

    A pal of mine on the extreme left seems awful unhappy. And those folks on the extreme right seem to have taken some kind of mental dive into deeper total absurdity. And in the middle there is more and more unemployment. And way way out there it seems we still have two fronts on Bush’s war ~ in Iraq, and in Afghanistan. This, my friend, is not exactly a pretty picture, as I’m sure of which you are aware.

    So continue living simply but happily and maintain your political awareness. How’s that? Adios for nowwwwwww…

  2. How to Live on Raw Land, Part 9 | The Raw Land Guide on April 18th, 2009 11:59 am

    […] Car Living a Vital Skill […]

  3. Ken Nubo on May 3rd, 2009 12:32 am


    Excellent article hobo poet. I read your blog waaaaaaay back when your blog was hosted on blogspot, and I spent hours reading through it :)

    I wrote “Doom and Gloom? I don’t give a *****” at

    I think your readers will like it! :)

  4. Kris on May 4th, 2009 4:04 pm

    I have done a bit of Truck-Camping myself. Currently I am using a 1993 Toyota T-100, that has 240,000 miles on it.

  5. JerryC on November 11th, 2009 7:35 am

    Great advice on using your back seat and extending into trunk. to sleep Taking out the front passenger seat and removing the rear bench seat can provide over six feet of space. Cut a section of plywood with 2×4 risers to elevate plywood across this space. While this design leaves you open to people looking into vehicle , you are on the floor of your vehicle and by most accounts pass the “blend in test”. By being so low inside your vehicle one would have to walk up and look into your vehicle. From as close to as 36 inches away your vehicle will appear unoccupied. Purchase chrome vents as sold by boat and marine hardware stores. Have a body shop mount the vents along the right and left side of the side connectors from the car top to the rear panel. Paint the vents to match car color. The marine vents will prevent condensation from forming and car windows can remain totally closed. Many communities are well aware of vehicles used by people to live in and the need to blend in is now more than ever greater.

  6. admin on January 27th, 2010 3:36 pm

    Fantastic advice about the vents… wish I had thought of that! I totally agree with the need to blend in and to take extra steps to do so. Seems most in power would rather you be homeless on the street (or in their monitored and controlled shelters) than safe and free in your own vehicle…. so it’s wise to make your vehicle look as “ordinary” as possible.

  7. Obbop on February 15th, 2010 1:00 am

    If I could convert a 1975 Honda Civic hatchback into a bedroom any vehicle can be modified for full-length sleeping.

    ” There’s class warfare, all right, Mr. (Warren) Buffett said, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

    Expect a growing number of decent Americans to be forced to live in their vehicles.

    Plan ahead. Be prepared.

    If you can chip in to assist in another to pay rent you can have a “home base” to shower, cook and to receive phone calls and perhaps a place to lounge in the off-hours.

    I had a 5 member family I knew well but the 2-bedroom apartment did not have room for me to sleep and they needed some privacy so my Honda was my bedroom.

    Be creative in finding places to park.

    Is there a business where you can park at night with permission and be a deterrent to vandals or thieves just by your vehicle’s presence?

    I did it for an auto salvage yard.

    We are likely facing a future where an increasing number of Americans will be confronting a 3rd-world-like life-style due to the ever-growing concentrations of wealth and power into the hands of the few.

    I believe the ongoing class war has been in place since around 1973 or so.

    I see little chance of any real change in the future since our elites, corporate America etc. appear to desire the USA to become an oligarchy.

    Prepare now for tough times.

    Try to procure a vehicle conducive to the most comfortable sleeping/living in as possible.

    Modify it before-hand, as much as practical, so it will take minimal preparation if homelessness hits.

    And consider changing events and situations. Perhaps the American populace will rise up though I fear that would not be enough.

    I believe that nothing short of a full-scale military coup will result in any real changes within the USA to prevent most of us (or our off-spring) from sliding down into the depths of economic despair and living akin to a 3rd-world life-style.

  8. amanda on April 23rd, 2010 3:05 pm

    Looks like I will be living in my truck next week, due to lack of housing in the area I work and the fact my cats are not welcome anywhere. So 2 cats and I will be sharing a small space. Done it before , so I will be ok.
    I enjoy reading about other people in similiar situations. It can be made into a positive and enlightening experience.

  9. ta gitana on October 7th, 2010 9:34 am

    The only issue is, sometimes drunks hit parked cars. If you’re prone inside a car and a drunk plows into the back, I don’t see how you survive that.

  10. fred sponholz on March 12th, 2012 6:13 am

    from one to another. it is the gypsy in me i guess that was brought out of hiding one day reading articles such as the ones posted here at the age of 52. i love being different and walking the not so beaten path. i began to experiment to find out what i would need to do this on a daily basis. the MOST important thing i have learned is the need for stealth to sleep. one of my major enjoyments. i could not find the solution offered anywhere in stores after weighing them all, so i created my own. in the process it occurred to me that others might benefit from my experience so i wrote a book, i mean wrote every detail, photographed and organized the entire thing, and that through the process i might even make a couple dollars to help support me as recommend. how to make custom car shades was written with this in mind. i don’t want to be seen at night, AT ALL, when i’m away from my truck i don’t want people to see what’s inside and i wanted to be able to watch tv or dvds in complete privacy. i didn’t want a car cover because you have to install it outside which would make leaving in a hurry impossible. i created a technique that anyone can follow of making car shades that fit so well, you HAVE TO turn the lights on inside to see anything. well over 100 hours went into producing it and knowing money is tight it only cost 3.78. by the time all the fees are paid i don’t really make much, but all the little bits help.

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