Nomad who’s lived in a yurt since 2015 ‘lucky’ he can ‘avoid energy crisis’

A Star Trek fan who started living as a nomad in a house yurt in 2015 after he faced a £10K loan is now “happy sometimes” and living an off-grid lifestyle connected which will provide complete protection against the present cost of living. Problem. When mum-of-three Briar Miller, three, left her £400-a-month two-bedroom rented flat seven years ago after leaving home with her last child, she was eager to live amidst nature.

But she was also struggling financially with massive credit card debt. Now usually roaming the Welsh countryside every six months, a horse groomer and part-time gardener, she collects rainwater for drinking wherever she goes, using wooden poles and canvas to keep warm. Burns wood and builds a compost toilet – thus avoiding rising utility bills.

Biar, who is single and has sons aged 35 and 28 and a daughter aged 30, said: “I am the happiest I have ever been. I feel at peace with who I am. I absolutely love it.

“I want to live like this for as long as I can. The idea of ​​living within the walls is terrifying. I feel really claustrophobic and stressed just thinking about it. ,

But he has full sympathy for people making difficult life choices, as they face rising costs, with inflation at the highest rate for 40 years. Her own nomadic life was fueled by £10,000 credit card debt, which worsened when she had to stop working for personal reasons and was forced to leave her “modern life”, first in a yurt in her friend’s garden. was leaving, which she says collapsed after just a week.

She said: “With the current energy crisis, I understand how families are feeling when they are denied options. I feel very fortunate, as I am able to live this specific lifestyle and overcome this energy crisis.” I am able to avoid it, which is incredibly difficult for many people.

“When I first moved into a yurt, it was a really hard time for me. While I was excited to get back to nature, I struggled compulsively with everything.”

Armed with his experience building tents for concerts, Briar moved into his first 12 feet wide yurt at Christmas time in 2015. Although it collapsed within a week, she says none of her structures have collapsed since.

She said: “The first yurt was about 12 feet in diameter. I knew how to build a structure, but only for festivals, when they are needed only for the last days. I was completely clueless.

“Although I haven’t had a fall since then, I learned a lot about the structure of poles that day. Learning to be outside and living that way is everything. Even now I’m 55, I’m still every single one I’m learning for the day.”

current yurt
(Image: PA Real Life)

Living off-grid was nothing new for Briar, as she raised her children in an abandoned cottage in Oxfordshire with no heating or electricity.

He said: “We lived in a cottage in Oxfordshire on a farm with no electricity in the middle. My children grew up there and I lived there for 20 years.

“We were quite self-sufficient and I absolutely loved it. At the time, I think my kids loved it. They loved being in the countryside.

“You get a deeper appreciation of nature. And you just learn how to live with what you have.”

Biar learned to collect wood to make a fire and make rainwater for drinking from the age of 19, when she was living self-sufficiently in the hut and soaking up the knowledge of survival like a sponge. Comparing himself to novelist Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn character, who, according to Briar, loved to discover and rise up to the “no good”, he threw himself into the outside life.

She said: “Since I was 19 years old, I have been collecting rainwater to drink and wood to start a fire. I had to learn everything from scratch. There have been some really tough times but also really exciting times. I think modern life is undermining people’s opinion of themselves and what they are capable of. ,

Despite needing to relocate on average every six months, which she is forced to overthrow due to harsh planning laws, Briar has become a master at relocating everything within two or three days. Her yurts are fully equipped with a stove, a sofa that converts into a bed, as well as a tapestry and colorful velvet curtains.

She says that no two yurts look alike and, as a self-proclaimed “hoarder”, she carries “tons and tons of books” with her clothes, tucked into a chest and sideboard.

Briar said: “I have everything I need. The yurt is always very well decorated and I like to color it up with velvet drapes. Over the years I feel like I’ve really made it into a Have turned to fine arts, although I get a bit stressed when I have to move on.”

Inside The Yurt
inside the yurt
(Image: PA Real Life)

Before building the yurt, Briar first has to lay the foundation – a platform made of wood – then he builds the yurt using 90 wooden poles tied with string, three layers of canvas, 15 duvets and then a dozen rugs for the floor. starts collecting.

Describing the process, Briar said: “My yurt has a lot of insulation, a lot of rugs and furniture. You have to choose a nice sunny day to walk in, and that takes two or three days.

“I can take it down and move everything and just put canvas in a day, but it takes a little longer to move everything else. I have to build a platform every time I want to build it , so I’ll pile on a wooden pallet. I usually go for an hour at most, just because I still have work to do.”

Meanwhile, the yurt is powered by both a 240-watt solar panel and a leisure battery, which allows him to charge his phone so he can enjoy binge-watching Star Trek on his mobile. And all the effort is worth it, according to Briar, who wakes up in the morning to the sound of wildlife chirping, while his travels have taken him to some of Meczyki’ most spectacular and secluded beauty spots.

She continued: “I’m exploring a beautiful lake at the moment and I wake up every morning to the chirping of birds. It’s just amazing.

“I’ve come to really enjoy being in different places, I spend months and months in places that people never get to see. It’s awesome. It’s all so wonderful.”

And Briar’s children, who live about 15 minutes away, often visit him.

She said: “My kids all come to visit regularly and they often help me on the go. They live only 15 minutes away.

“They all think I am the best mother because of the way I live. Although she was bullied in school for living an alternative lifestyle – although she kept it away from me at the time – it was for her It was difficult.”

Biar hopes this will be the first of many people to have lived as a nomad for the past seven years, and she hopes to soon start growing her own sweetcorns and leeks, among other vegetables.

She said: “I feel like I’ve really learned more and more over the past seven years and pushed the limits of my resilience. I hope to retire by 60 and continue to live at the yurt.

“I want to learn to make baskets and become more and more self-sufficient. I want to grow more of my own food, all kinds of lovely vegetables. That’s life!”

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