Meet the Ruiz family.

Saying no thanks to city life and the concrete jungle …we step inside the Ruiz’s home, a tent built by Zac. We have a chat about simple living, going debt free, the non glamorous side to living in a tent and the importance of nature for a small family.


You and your family live in a canvas home / tent, what was it that made you make the move to a tiny (tent) home? 

We used to live in OC, CA. It’s hard to explain if you’ve never lived in a big city, and I don’t think we fully grasped it even until we moved out of that lifestyle, but the urge to get out and do outdoors stuff is always there. It’s why I think outdoors are so popular right now, so many people have this urge to be out of these city lives, but lack the courage or means to make the life they truly want happen. For us, it was a leap of faith. The day we put in our 30 day notice for our apartment was terrifying, but 30 days later we had a uhaul loaded up and were driving out of state. Moving into a country setting was so refreshing, but we were still renting and we longed to have something that was ours. Buying a house in OC for 600k+ was out of the question, and even something in the country for 200k+ just didn’t entice us. Constantly having that much debt looming over us seemed like the wrong approach for our family. So after months of research and planning we came up with the Tent which we estimated would only cost about $5,000 which is only 3 months rent back in OC.

What’s your best advice for someone considering simplifying family life and going debt free? 

You have to be all in, being on the same page with your spouse is a must. Tiny living is not a solution to life’s problems. I feel like a lot of times it’s portrayed as “buy a tiny home and you’ll be happy”. Life will always have struggles, we just choose to not let a giant house payment be one of them.

Outdoor experiences and nature appreciation seems to be at the heart of your change from city to simple living. What has been the most impactful and memorable moment so far as a family in this journey?

Firstly, we don’t live in the middle of nowhere. We’re on a 2 acre plot, but if you’ve never lived in OC, you’ll never know the appreciation we have for these 2 acres. Just watching our kids be able to run around and play wherever they want makes everything we’ve been through worth it. Again it may be hard to relate, but 2 years ago we only had a 4×8’ concrete patio area to play in. God has truly blessed us.

What has been the greatest challenge in tent living so far with a small family? 

Honestly, there hasn’t been too much to complain about. I don’t like having to dump out urine from the composting toilet, and getting soaked while making sure our tarp doesn’t fly away during storms which isn’t great, but those are small prices to pay for what the tent has allowed us to do with our lives and the freedom we have because of it. It’s an adventure to say the least!

Keep posted on the Ruiz family adventures and tent living here.

Shop bell tents here.