Dwelling Portably 1980-89: By Bert and Holly Davis, 178 pgs By Kurt

Nov 19, 2008

Well, kids, here it is: the guide to portable living. Do you want to be free of the constrictions the “man” has put on you? Would you rather live in a yurt than a house? How about stories of people living in the woods on the fringes of society? Dwelling Portably has it all. This book is a compilation of the zine Message Post (later renamed Dwelling Portably) from 1980 through 1989. As someone whose relationship with the outdoors has been greatly soured due to my ability to get poison ivy/oak simply by looking at it, I’m not necessarily the target audience for a publication such as this. Not to mention, my first thought upon flipping through Dwelling Portably was, “Those crazy hippies are at it again.” Because if there’s a mortal enemy of a punk, it’s a hippie. But even hippies are allowed good ideas now and then and there are a number of them herein this book. Besides, if riding the rails is good enough for Avail, then there’s no reason I can’t pick up a few tips about it from Dwelling Portably. Beyond riding the rails, though, there are ideas about living cheaply, cooking, bicycling, clothing, and my favorite: shingles. Even though the content may be close to thirty years old, a surprising amount is still relevant and helpful. For anyone who likes to camp, hike, fish, or just be a little more off the grid, then definitely check this out. –Kurt Morris (Microcosm Publishing, 222 S. Rogers St., Bloomington, IN47404)