Essential Tools For Country Living
Tools for Country Living
When you move to the country where neighbors can be a few minute’s drive down the road, it is essential to be prepared for as many different inconveniences as you can. Unlike the city where help is always at hand, country living ensures if there is a problem you will likely have to handle it yourself, so here are a few tools to purchase before you make the move from city to country life.
A chainsaw is likely one of the most essential tools you can own. Many of the storms that happen each year bring down branches and trees, if you have a chainsaw (along with a spare chain and extra gas for it) then any trees which fall across your driveway can be quickly moved so you can get your car out or other vehicles in. A chainsaw also allows you to cut your own firewood quickly and easily. A gasoline powered chainsaw is much more flexible to use than an electric model which won't help much if the power goes out or you have to work a distance from the nearest power outlet.
A snowblower or a plow for your truck is another essential if you will be moving to an area where snow falls are expected. Snowblowers are great for clearing your driveway or a path up to the barn. Not only can they quickly move a lot of snow, but your back will thank you for saving it the strain of shovelling heavy snow. A plow for a 4X4 truck is very handy if your driveway is too long for a snowblower and really useful if the road you live on doesn't get plowed out fast enough. A truck plow will ensure you can get to town in almost any weather condition.
Sooner or later if you do live on the back roads you will slide into the ditch either from mud or ice or the road. Whether you own a truck or just a car, purchase a tow chain with hooks on each end or a nylon tow sling. Either the chains or the sling can be used to pull you out of the ditch by a passing motorist, saving a hefty charge from a towing company. Booster cables along with a box of sand and a shovel are some other automotive necessities to keep in the trunk of your car during winter months.
Generators Heat Things Up
Portable generators are a valuable piece of equipment to own. If the power does go out in the country it could be a few days before it is restored. A portable generator that has capacity for four 15Amp 120Volt circuits or more can be used to keep the refrigerator, freezer, well pump, TV, cell phone chargers, along with some lights going until the power comes back on. A generator also can be used with various power tools and to keep heat lamps going in the barn or chicken coop during a blackout. A portable generator is also very useful in a green house where lights and heat have to stay on in all weather and a portable generator is great for powering tools in the "back forty" if you have to repair a fence or drill some holes in a gate post. Never run a portable generator indoors during a blackout. Carbon Monoxide gas will build up from the exhaust fumes causing severe sickness or worse to anyone inside.
Extra gasoline is a must to have on hand in the country. If you are any distance from the nearest gas station then ensure you have at least a couple cans filled and ready. Always keep a jerry can filled with the proper oil mix in it for chainsaws and other tools as well. Keep extra engine oil and windshield washer fluid on hand as well. Ethanol is an additive to most gasoline these days. It is very hard on small engines, so use high octane gas which generally doesn't have ethanol added to it.
Learn To Be Your Own Doctor
First aid training is an important skill to have for country living. Often in an emergency minutes can save a life, yet in the country you could be an hour or more from the nearest hospital making all injuries that much more urgent. Learn skills such as how to properly bandage a wound, the Heimlich maneuver for choking and of course CPR. CPR skills can be useful for anything from a heart attack while hiking in the woods or rescue breathing in the event of a boating accident. Keep prescriptions and other first aid supplies filled in case there is a delay getting to the pharmacy. Ensure you have a first aid guide book located in the house where everyone can find it. Smart phones also have apps which will walk you through many of the most common first aid situations.
Don't Forget The Food
When people speak of country living images of large gardens filled with vegetables and wild game running all over the place come to mind, but the reality is that at certain times of the year food can be very scarce so keep a month's supply of canned goods on hand along with matches for starting a fire to cook on. Keep bottled water in the house as well. Make sure you have a good quality non-electric can opener in the house along with any other cooking implements you may need. Vitamin C tablets and powdered milk are also good supplies to have on hand. Don't forget to have some extra food for the family pets and your farm animals.
The Country Life
Country living for many people is a way of life that they wouldn't trade for anything, and once you spend some time getting away from it all it is very hard to go back to city life. Before you buy your house in the hills, consider purchasing some of these essential items to make your country life safer and even more enjoyable.