3 must-haves for rural living

The move to the country brings new benefits and challenges. With these must-haves, you'll be more ready for life away from the city.

3 must-haves for rural living

1. A rural living tool supply

With so many chores to do around a country homestead, power equipment can save time and effort. This equipment isn't cheap, so if you expect to use it only occasionally, consider renting. Here's some equipment you will probably need at some point:

  • Chipper/shredder: A chipper/shredder can make quick work of underbrush and stray foliage. As a bonus, you can turn saplings and prunings into wood chips, which make for a great mulch.
  • Brush cutter: Unlike a regular mower, brush cutters travel over rough ground and cut through small saplings. Most feature a cutter bar with powerful, scissor-action teeth.
  • Logsplitter and chainsaw: These are useful if you plan on using a wood stove as a significant heat source, or if you have a heavily wooded site that needs thinning.
  • Tiller: Tillers are good investments if you'll be tending a very large vegetable garden. A variety of sizes are available. Since most gardens should be worked at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) deep, the deeper the tine tills, the better.
  • Lawn or mini tractor: You can do all sorts of things with a lawn tractor, from hauling lumber in an attached cart to plowing snow from your driveway.

2. The right safety equipment

  • When you operate any piece of equipment, you should wear safety goggles and ear protectors.
  • Always wear sturdy work shoes (never sandals) and avoid loose clothing that might catch in blades or other fast-moving parts.

3. Dependable and durable 4-wheelers

  • You'll need a reliable, well-maintained car or truck since everything is a little further away in the country and there's not much in the way of public transit.
  • Ideally, you should have two vehicles just in case one breaks down. Also, consider buying a special vehicle suited to rougher terrain.
  • Pickup trucks can do many jobs, but be aware of how much your truck is designed to carry.
  • A sturdy truck is also good for navigating less-than-perfect country roads and off-road terrain.
  • Four-wheel-drive vehicles are useful if you live on a dirt road, especially in wet weather. They're also helpful on roads that are not plowed in winter.

When you move to the country, lots changes. Some things become more relaxing, sure, but other things get more stressful. Having the right tools (and wheels) on hand to help you out will take you a long way.

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