5 [Not Really] Essential Country-Living Purchases

by Beth

A benefit of moving to the country is spending less money, thanks to fewer stores, fewer fancy outfits, and lower prices in general. But some items are worth splurging on because they make living in the country even more fun, like things that help you walk in mud, check out what’s making that noise in the woods, or reduce your 2-hour round trips to the grocery store. Here are 5 of my faves.

Waterproof Boots
Mud, snow, creek-crossings, mud, more mud…To make exploring more enjoyable and less devastating on your shoes, invest in boots that can handle all kinds of terrain.

If you’re like Chris, a pair of mud boots from Tractor Columbia waterproof bootsSupply will work wonders. I wanted something more substantial and lucked into Columbia’s waterproof boots on Amazon. I can’t recommend them enough.

Columbia Women’s Minx Slip Ii Omni-Heat Snow Boot

They have enough arch support and grip to walk in for a few miles at a time, and I can literally stand in snow or the creek for as long as I want without getting wet feet. That’s magic!

MukLuks
Warm feet are crucial for my happiness, but our concrete floors do their best to leach all warmth any body parts they touch. We can’t wear our outdoor shoes indoors (the mud, ohhh, the mud), so a warm, squishy indoor shoe works wonders. If you like warm toes, too, your feet will never stop thanking you for a pair of silly, slouchy Muk Luks.

Muk Luks Women’s Angie Slipper

chainsaw black bear of AppalachiaChainsaw Bear
No country cabin – or country dome – is complete without local art. In east Tennessee, nothing says, “you’ve arrived” like a black bear carved out of a cedar log with a chainsaw.

The first day we woke up after moving to the mountains, we dusted ourselves off and went exploring. Chainsaw carving workshops comprise the majority of the retail in our town, and, caffeinated and sugared up from our country breakfast, we speedily identified a favorite local chainsaw artist. Chris installed this bear in the dome by that afternoon.

Spotlight
Country life is full of weird sounds in the woods. You’re absolutely going to want to know whether it’s a rabbit or coyote, opossum or bear, deer or skunk, and a regular flashlight has nothing on a spotlight.

Stanley SL10LEDS 10 Watt Lithium-Ion LED Spotlight

Our Stanley spotlight is outstanding. Easy to hold and aim, rechargeable, and the price can’t be beat for this amount of lumens: 2,200!? That sounds like a lie, but this light is very bright. You’ll be identifying critters from a couple hundred yards away.

That was helpful on a recent evening dog walk, when a quick scan of the field with the spotlight revealed that the giant, white neighborhood skunk was charging us. We were visible to it in the porchlight, but without the spotlight, we wouldn’t have known we were in its sights until it was on us. We dashed back up to the dome before a stinky stand-off happened.

By the way, skunks sometimes charge what they fear, but they’d rather not spray you if it can be helped.

Chest Freezer
You can’t beat a chest freezer for storing enough wonderful food to reduce long trips to the grocery store. It sounds so simple, but a 7.1 cu ft Haier chest freezer revolutionized the way we shop. It’s been the right size for 2 people + 2 dogs (who eat homemade food that’s made in bulk and frozen).

We freeze containers full of bone broth, load up on frozen pizzas and waffles to fill in the snack gaps, and have loads of extra space leftover for when Chris bags a turkey or pig.

Reviews warn that cheaper brands like Haier will be loud and need to be inside, not in a hot garage, or they can’t keep up. But “loud” must be relative. Ours is whisper quiet, and its occasional low hum is only a reminder of the time and gas it’s saving us on trips to town. Keeping this model inside is no problem if you have space for it.

Have you purchased something special for your new life in the country? Tell us about it in the comments.

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