Dwelling Portably

Dwelling Portably is one of the finest publications we have ever come across. Produced on a manual typewriter in a yurt in an undisclosed location in a forest in Washington State, Dwelling Portably is a how-to guide to living without a permanent roof over your head. In short, this is a guide by homeless folks for homeless folks. Holly and Bert Davis have been putting this collection of tips and anecdotes out for decades. Formerly known as the Message Post, this zine has evolved from multiple pages with a staple to just a single sheet or two with incredibly small type, so as to save paper.

Content ranges from cooking and bathing out of your car, to edible weeds, to improvised bicycle pannier bags, to musings on 12 volt microfiche readers and the practicalities of nudism. The advice, written in a consistent and factual manor, is interspersed with letters from readers who are also living the portable life. These stories offer a glimpse into a lifestyle most of us have not lead, and offer a perspective on and compassion for those who don’t have a place to call home. Even if you do have a roof, the practical advice in this publication should be a part of the library of every Urban Homestead.

Holly and Bert Davis don’t have much nice to say about computers or the internet and as a result the only way to receive this fine periodical is by mail at $1 per issue 2 for $2, or 6 for $5, or 14 for $10 with back issues available. The P.O. box, which Bert and Holly check when they are away from the yurt is:

Dwelling Portably
POB 190
Philomath, OR 97370

DPc/o Lisa Ahne (just the initials of dp, ie, NOT spellled out)
POB 181
Alsea OR 97324

Via Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools blog here is an excerpt from Dwelling Portably:

Legality of salvaging from dumpsters. Amy Dacyzyn, who phoned several police officials, said (in The Tightwad Gazettte, July 1993), “Dumpster diving is generally considered to be legal with the following exceptions: — If the container is on CLEARLY MARKED private land, behind a fence or locked up. However, most dumpsters in ‘semi-public’ areas such as parking lots are fair game. — If the discarded items are outside the dumpster they should not be taken.” A deputy district attorney in Santa Clara, CA, where many people rummage for high-tech discards, told Amy: “By putting items in a dumpster, the companies have abandoned ownership…. The idea that people are stealing is not a prosecutable case.”

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  1. The first installation of Dwelling Portably is now online at: http://www.dwellingportably.blogspot.com. I created and maintain the site for Bert and Holly, who are still successfully living portably (some might call it homeless) after 20 something years. This blog is the result of a year’s conversations between Bert and I via snail mail between NY and Oregon. I have been a Dwelling Portably fan for the past 15 or so years, and receive the little newsletter a few times a year when it comes out. I am volunteering my time to help DP as I really love the little rag and want to share it with the wider internet world. For those who want a free read, Bert’s first installation can now be seen online. Please feel free to pass this along to any groups you think might be interested. They charge a $1 for snail mail issues, and now they finally have them in larger print.

  2. The first installation of Dwelling Portably is now online at: http://www.dwellingportably.blogspot.com. I created and maintain the site for Bert and Holly, who are still successfully living portably (some might call it homeless) after 20 something years. This blog is the result of a year’s conversations between Bert and I via snail mail between NY and Oregon. I have been a Dwelling Portably fan for the past 15 or so years, and receive the little newsletter a few times a year when it comes out. I am volunteering my time to help DP as I really love the little rag and want to share it with the wider internet world. For those who want a free read, Bert’s first installation can now be seen online. Please feel free to pass this along to any groups you think might be interested. They charge a $1 for snail mail issues, and now they finally have them in larger print.

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