Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition.

Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition.

Since you started living a more eco-concsious, greener lifestyle, have you ever daydreamed about cutting out all the complex ins and outs of modern living and getting back to the basics? I think we've all thought about it from time to time—letting go of the expensive conveniences and saying goodbye to the traffic jams and soaring grocery prices. It would be a hard lifestyle to get used to after being raised in such an instant gratification world, but the payoff in personal health, eco-friendly lifestyle and personal satisfaction in living off your land is unparalleled.

Walking away from modern convenience isn't for everyone, but for those who really want to commit to a brand new, simpler lifestyle, it isn't impossible. Author Abigail R. Gehring is an expert in living a self-sufficient life, having lived it herself. She's written and edited several publications on the subject, but the one that caught my eye was Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition.

Within its pages are how-tos on everything from choosing the right property for your farm to dying your own wool and, if you're really ambitious, building a log cabin. It's an interesting book, filled with pictures and instructions for building, cooking, playing and just plain living a self-sufficient life.

While I've entertained the idea of moving my family out to the country and living a simpler lifestyle, like my ancestors did, I don't think I'd ever be able to convince my wife to make such a drastic change. Traditional living will have to continue to be a daydream for now, but who knows? Maybe I'll be able to convince her someday.