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Tell Us Your Story! How Did You Make The Move to Off Grid Living?

[ 39 ] May 18, 2011 |
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We know the folks who visit this site are as varied and dynamic a mix of people as you’ll find anywhere. Some live in RVs, some in off-grid cabins in the woods, and some travel the world. Many are still grid-tied but trying to make their way off the grid. Some want to fly under the radar, while others want to be an active member in a local or global community. And, as we found out with your answers here, living off the grid means something a little bit different to us all. This makes us very curious about how everyone is approaching the off-grid lifestyle, not just philosophically, but “in real life” so to speak.

Tell Your Story image from Wadem on FlikrSo we’d like to put up some profiles from those readers / visitors who don’t mind sharing their story. You can share your picture if you like, or just a picture of your home or garden, or no picture at all. You can share your name, use a pseudonym, or we can just call you John Smith. But we want to know how you did it and how you’re doing it. Inspire us, and our other visitors! Let those who haven’t been able to make the leap yet know that it IS possible without hundreds of thousands of dollars. Give us instruction. Give us hope. Give us your story!

If you’re interested in being in one of our “Off Gridder Profiles” please use the comment form below to get in touch. Your email will not be published, but is required so we can contact you. You don’t need to write a whole bio (save that for the profile!) but if you could just give a few words about what you’re up to, how long you’ve been doing it and express that you’re interested in sharing your story we will be in touch.

Here’s looking forward to reading about some everyday, inspirational off gridders!

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About Everett: Everett writes about voluntary simplicity. This blog catalogs his search for "the good life" as he tries to strike a balance between work and play; freedom and responsibility; simplicity and comfort. View author profile.

Comments (39)

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  1. Fred says:

    Not currently off grid or even semi off grid but we are actively helping one daughter and her family pursue building a small semi off grid home in rural North Carolina.

    However, over 30 years ago we did build a passive solar home in Arkansas.

    Will have our first meeting with an home architect over the Memorial week end.

    Will update as we hopefully move forward.

  2. Hello Fred,

    I read a blog from a young woman who lives in a small cabin in rural NC. It’s called the Oko Box.

    Please do get back with us as things move forward. I look forward to hearing more about it.

  3. Katy says:

    I’d love to share my store with you. Some of it is located on our blog “Transitioning off Grid”. We are currently trying to sell our home. Then we plan to go into a transitional home and save for a nice piece of land. It is a long process and we are only at the beginning, but we maintain a determined spirit and are excited about our future! I am taking the waiting time to educate myself on the country life and making many homemade things like butter, cheese, bread, etc. Looking forward to sharing more with you.

  4. Kingazjay says:

    We’ve been living and building our semi-off grid home in Northern Arizona for two years now. I say Semi due to the fact, that although we have no utilities, we are still tied to the grid for water delivery, and propane. Solar takes care of the day to day activites, but a generator still does the heavy tasks.

  5. We have been off grid since October of 2010. We built our home with earthbags, and have all the neccesities of life, i.e. hot running water(shower, kitchen sink), a refrigerator, washing machine. We have chronicled our story in our blog http://www.montelloalpacacompany.blogspot.com, and invite you to take a look at it. We are living in an area that is open for alternative building, has lots of cheap land ($300-500 an acre), good ground water, lots of sunshine, and wind. There is a small town nearby that has all the essentials. We have a paved highway running through the valley that is open all year round. There are two cities both 2 1/2 hours away, Salt Lake City, and Twin Falls Idaho. There is a Wallmart 1 hour 20 mins away in Elko Nv. The county doesnt enforce building code in our area, so as long as no one complains about your project you can do what you want. I do not recomend mobile homes for the area as they are not suitable for the climate. There are several off grid homes in the area, and an off grid community is in development. For questions feel free to email me at golds_borough@yahoo.com.

    Three years ago, we moved out to the middle of nowhere where we bought land on the internet site unseen. We saw some pictures on the internet and thought it was good enough. Now after one heck of a ride, and 3 lifetimes worth of hard lessons packed into 3 years, we have done it. We have learned a lot, and are ready to share what we have learned with others who want to move to this area.

  6. Grant Hall says:

    Hello,

    This is a valuable website.

    Living off the grid does not always have to mean living in remote areas. For instance, I and others have lived under the radar-off the grid through business and personal privacy principles.

    Privacy living can enable one to travel, bank, work, and live anonymously while still living in populated areas. However, it always costs more in terms of time, effort, and money to accomplish these goals.

    THANKS for a great site!

  7. Trish says:

    We are currently making the transition from a semi-. self-sufficient lifestyle to an off-the-grid lifestyle, which is involving the purchase of a lot of hand-crank household gadgets and many more hand tools. We will have gravity fed water from the spring to the house and barn and water power for electricity, maybe some solar. We are going as completely self-sufficient as possible (raising chickens, lamb, beef, grain crops, vegetables, fruit trees, berries, herbs…making our own laundry soap and other cleaning products, shampoos, bar soaps, lotions, herbal medicines, breads, canning and drying all our food, sewing a lot of our clothes, knitting our socks, spinning our wool, hope you get the idea) would love to share more about our situation so as to encourage those who are also getting started or thinking about it.

  8. Laura Hansen says:

    SimpleHaven evolved into an experiment in off-grid lifestyle choice. It has been almost 10 years now since I started. Some people invest in old cars which they work on every weekend. I have SimpleHaven. I was inspired by the book by Scott and Helen Nearing, “Living the Good Life”
    SimpleHaven is located on 40 dry high plains acres adjacent to state trust land at the base of a mountain on the front range of the Colorado Rockies. It started with recycling a ~950sqft cabin. Which was moved to this site. I designed a solar wind hybrid power system using my background in electronics and a book called “Living on 12 Volts”. It has been adequate and reliable. House was wired for 110v so DC is converted to AC for use on all house sockets. Parts were not so readily available as they are today. There are somethings I would do differently, with the knowlege I gained over the years. Water is hauled now, due to almost 10 years of drought, methane drilling pulling out ground water and two dry wells. The 1200 gal underground cistern gravity feeds to the house, where pressure is boosted via a 12 volt pump for faucets, shower, etc. Hot water is on demand, heating via a thermostatically controlled propane “wood look” stove and blower. I have posted a link to my FB album, hopefully it allows viewing access.

  9. katlupe says:

    We have been living off-the-grid in upstate NY for 12 years now. Our home was a hunting camp in the state forest and we have been remodeling it and working on it ever since. You have been to my other blog, Homesteading On the Internet, where I write about our lifestyle. A lifestyle that I call “Modern Homesteading.” We use solar and soon will be adding a wind turbine. I believe the way we live will be the way of the future, high tech, with some old fashioned methods of long ago. My site Solar Baby details our system, which is affordable for most people. Little by little adding to it as we can afford it. Soon we hope to have running water in the house, and some other changes are coming also.

  10. paula deason says:

    Thank you for sharing. I think your lifestyle is just amazingly wonderful, and I hope that my husband and I can get there with solar.

    I pray everyday that we can somehow get off the grid.

  11. Nicky says:

    We live totally of grid in the backwoods in Southern California.
    We have a small portable solar panel to charge our laptops and phones. We have satellite phones (there is no cell service here), nor is there electric service. We have a propane refrigerator. We have a wood stove for heat, cooking and to heat my fashioned iron. I have a treadle sewing machine, hand operated washing machine with a hand cranked wringer, and a clothes line to dry our laundry. We have oil lamps for lighting. When it is hot we cook outside. We have a solar shower
    outside, and an outhouse bathroom. We have a well with handpump
    for our water. We have a garden and fruit trees. We hunt and fish and gather wild food too. We have a dog and a couple of horses. We are planning to raise some cattle in the future. We tried raising chickens, but the coyotes ate them. Our cabin has one very large room downstairs and a large sleeping loft upstairs. We have sky lights in addition to our windows for daytime lighting. My husband commutes to the city to work.
    I stay home and cook, sew, knit, crochet, tend to the garden, animal care, and when I have time I do leather work as my hobby. We have everything we need and want. We live a very happy life.

  12. [...] the grid is still calling your name check out how others have been successful doing so on the site Living Off The Grid. It is totally possible especially when a homeowner understands the costs and possible energy [...]

  13. aknate says:

    I have been living off grid with my wife and kids for 3 years and we love it! It is a way of life now. The straw that broke the camels back was when the electric company wanted 9K to run power to our home (power runs in front of our property)so we decided to invest that into alt energy.

  14. Holly says:

    My family of four moved off grid 8 months ago and laugh at how easy it is. We wanted to get out onto our land to begin building our homestead complete with a cordwood house. We currently live in a garage with a wood cookstove as our heating and coking source. We are just now putting in a hot water heater.

    Between the hydro company and the pole contracter, we were looking at 15k plus a lifetime of bills. instead we invested in our solar system and there is in going back. Very little sacrifice with a lot of rewards.

  15. Terrence Walston says:

    I homesteaded 5 acres of land in east central alaska. this land was staked under the old federal homestead act of 1860. i built a small cabin on the land and lived there several years summer and winter. the land was 4 miles from the highway up into the mountains on a very rough trail. difinitely off the grid. that was my second cabin to build in alaska. i’m looking at nevada for some off grid living. i prefer a state or county where i can build a nice little place without all the gov interference. the first cabin that i put together was a log cabin 15×35 feet in which my wife and i and my 3 sons lived for 2 years with 7 years all together in that remote area. i wouldn’t trade off grid living for anything. Anyone can build a nice place to live in. doesn’t have to be the taj. i want to go solar and mouldering toilet and gardening. and be pleasant to my neighbors if there are any.

  16. Terrence thanks for sharing your story. I hope you find the right place in Nevada or wherever you end up. I had to look up ‘moldering’ toilet on Google. We call them composting toilets. I thought perhaps there was a different option out there.

  17. Terrence Walston says:

    Just a heads up on the toilets. Most composting toilets are bucket affairs and are dumped when full onto a compost pile. Other have small holding tanks that give an end product. It is an alright way to do it. Moulding toilets have comtainers that when full are switched to another container. The full one is left to sit for 2 years, at that time you can use it on the vegatable garden safely.

  18. Granny Sue says:

    I moved off-grid in 1976, to our land in West Virginia. We had no electricity, used a gravity feed spring and propane for cooking and hot water, heated with wood. We grew most of our food, raised a lot of animals as well as sorghum molasses and other crops. Then my first husband and I divorced. I went to work, remarried and continued the same lifestyle until 1989 or so when we had electricity put in. We drilled a well then too (the spring had gone dry) and I was in college. We stopped almost all farming and attempts to be off-grid for about 20 years. But I missed the freedom of self-sufficiency and we started back down that road. Now we have free natural gas, we raise almost all our food and I provide most of our income with storytelling performances and through selling vintage stuff on ebay. We’re not totally off-grid but we’re at a good balance for us at our age (60). We raise herbs, turkeys, chickens for meat and eggs, honeybees, and many vegetables and fruits. We also forage for wild food. I love this life, and would not trade it. I’ve tuned out the media–no TV here for years–and don’t read newspapers. I just live my life, my way. Uncle Sam still digs into our pockets from time to time, but this is a manageable lifestyle and one that allows so much freedom.

  19. Granny Sue thanks for sharing your story here and on the post about what living off grid means to you. It sounds like you’ve had a rich, wonderful life so far. Here’s to many more years of the same!

    E.

  20. Dawn says:

    We moved to the Ozarks in April of 2011. We bought a small unfinished cabin 12X16 with 20 acres. We enclosed the covered porch to make our cabin 16X20. We purchased 2 100watt solar panels and 5 12V batteries. This has worked to provide plenty of electricity for our lights, tv (we don’t watch much but do use a regular antenna which gives us 5 channels as clear as cable), misc. other small appliances. We have a propane stove and oven and a nice wood stove for outside. We use a composting toilet(and an outhouse outside, haul water, and use water catchment barrels on the cabin and the barn.
    We both work in town (30 minutes one way) at least for now. We didn’t have time to get a good garden spot started when moving here but plan a large one for the upcoming season. We have goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens, horses, and dogs.
    We left high paying jobs, a large house (4-5 bedroom), and a lot of stress to come and live in this calm and rewarding lifestyle. I could go on and on about all of the things we have accomplished and some of the small failures that backed us up a few steps to begin again.

  21. Keith says:

    I’ve become more and more interested in leaving the city life for something closer to nature. I live in Atlanta, and this city is really starting to make me a bitter person. I’d like to buy land in North Georgia so that I can stay near to my family. Has anyone here moved off the grid in Georgia or maybe North Carolina/Southern Tennessee?

    I’m completely new to this whole concept, and fascinated to know that there are so many others who share my mindset. I’m 28 years old and looking to build my future away from the city.

    Thanks!

  22. bruce fuller says:

    bought a house from an amish guy and we were off the grid the nxt day. here’s the set-up. wood heat, wood hot water heater, air driven well pump (compressor run by gasoline engine w 500 gallon air tank) leacock lanterns x 2 ( about 200 watts and u move them to needed location) cook on a coleman camp stove inside with a removable metal oven on it when needed. also cook on a second wood stove as needed. icebox instead of fridge. we use 2-3 blocks of ice a week in summer and hav a small room with a window in it for winter refridgeration.also had propane fridge. hang u’r cloths on the line. BUT insurance for the bank for non-electric house is $2800/yr. They rate u if u dont hav termostatically controled heat. so we ran wire, put in an high efficiency propane furnace and the insur. went to $750. since we got the furnace in WITH THE WIRING we discovered that electric fridge is way cheaper than icebox and freezer was a nice feature if u shoot a deer. So we hav run 5 outlets. we could hav done propane fridg/freezers but they are very expensive and few used ones around. we never use the propane furnace but might if we get sick or something. we’re not philisophically off gridders but we had no big adjustment. the thing that made it easy was being in an Amish area where all the technologies were available and network of non-elecric folk are everywhere. oh yeah, we have no TV, cell phone only. it works and isnt really a big deal

  23. Rhoda says:

    I am so thankful to have found this blog. My husband and I are just now attempting to wrap up the city living and trade it in for the same self sustaining lifestyle that my parents enjoyed as children, with a twist. We want off grid, no outside power… Our first problem we hope you or your readers can help us with is finding a place, some property to start on. We are currently looking for some property here in California but I am concerned with water in our future. Any property near a great water source is beyond our ability to pay, about $50K and acre… There are alot of small rural 5 to 10 acre parcels that have been subdivided but i am not sure I like that idea either. Any and all advice we can get would be appreciated!

    find my new blog at http://sincerelyrhoda.blogspot.com

    So where is that perfect location? Can we find it in California?

  24. Mimi says:

    Sincerelyrhoda, I’ve been trying in vain to respond to you on your website…not even signing up for google & googlefriends & enabling cookies worked. So here’s what I tried to tell you there. :) These are important things to incorporate at the planning stage, before you build:

    ——–
    I don’t know if you’ve seen this family on the news, but they live right in the suburbs of Pasadena & went completely off-grid:
    [EDITED OUT BECAUSE WE at L.O.G. DO NOT SUPPORT THE DERVAES FAMILY TRYING TO TRADEMARK THE PHRASE "URBAN HOMESTEADING" AND THEN SENDING THEIR LAWYER AFTER SMALL TIME BLOGS FOR USING THOSE WORDS. THESE PEOPLE ARE SCUM IN OUR OPINION.]

    They have some ingenious ideas & have made the most of every square foot & every watt of solar power.

    Personally, I’ve been googling a lot about passive solar power. Just orienting your home so that a long wall of windows faces south can not only bring you a lot of light & warmth (overhangs prevent too much in summer), but if you then make that wall the outer wall of a solarium and make the floor of hard surfaces (concrete, tile, etc) to soak up the heat, you can grow vegetables in there year round, regardless of where you live. To keep extra heat from the solarium out of the house if needed, some people add a 2nd wall of glass (openable) or windows for the inside wall of the solarium. That way, you control the heat.

    To keep the home as constant a temp as possible without using non-renewables, you can bury the back of the house at least six feet into the hill (or create a hill in the back by heaping it up). This provides geothermal-ish insulation. If you eventually choose a home site in a place with real winter, you can use the back wall of this dug-out area (some make this a garage) to store canned goods. You can even dig into this wall, line & insulate a space, and make a little “root cellar” underground with a door in the garage for access! :)

  25. Mimi says:

    Also, sincerelyrhoda, these links are to two of my favorite homesteaders, the Essexes, who moved from a city condo to open land & built SMART and sustainably…esp’ly check out their Masonry Heater (also called Russian Heater or fireplace)–burns clean & a fraction of the wood (which they harvest & re-plant, so no footprint). Also rainwater cisterns, plural.

    http://offgridworks.com/
    http://goodideasforlife.com/

    This one has amazing design principles for solar, off-grid, green building:

    http://zeroenergydesign.com/

    Hope these help, Rhoda. I’d love to hear your family’s progress…feel free to email me…my email address should be available on your blog as a follower. :) Best to you & God bless you!

    Mimi

  26. Mark Reid says:

    I have just survived my 3rd winter in an 8×24 shack, totally off grid in northern Alberta, Canada. I love it. I could live in the shack for alot longer if I had to, although I would have to do some major changes as the winters are pretty darned cold here at times. I am in the process of building a 16×24 foot house which will also be off grid. I had purchased the 3.6 acre parcel of land quite a few years prior to moving out here. I work like a dog and saved money to fullfill my offgrid dreams. One of the hardest obstacles to overcome, was worry about what everyone else would think about me for living like this. I’m quite happy so far that I took the plunge. I do plan to slow down quite abit with working soon, and taking up a bit more of a homesteader type lifestyle. Gardening, chickens, food preservation etc. And living. I have learned quite alot and I have alot more yet to learn. I have been blogging off and on about my journey. http://simpleplansimpleplan.blogspot.ca/

  27. Lauren says:

    It’s great to have found a forum of likeminded people. Don’t know why I didn’t think of looking on the internet :) I’m 29 yrs old and don’t currently live off grid, but am prepping to do so. Both sets of my grandparents were farmers and it’s a lifestyle I identify strongly with, although not so much for profit as for supplying my own goods. Would rather not leave it to retirement age, so I’m saving and looking for a piece of land. Simplifying my life more and more each day, having fun and working hard to learn the skills I know I’ll need. Searching I found Turtle Island Preserve, one place that I can do an “internship” so to speak, as I like the idea of testing myself. Making sure I have no lingering romantic ideals about the lifestyle I’m endeavoring to take up :) and to gain a practical hands on understanding. Does anyone know of any other place where you can undertake something like this? Or has anyone gone through one of their internships? Thanks.

  28. Terri says:

    My husband and I are currently on the grid. We are purchasing land to go off the grid next year. We will live in a camper or rv while building a straw bale house. We are still deciding on heating, water, and any electricity options. We have a lot to learn and a long road ahead of us. We would love to learn more everyone here.

  29. Lana says:

    I have been doing research on living a natural lifestyle and hopefully to meet someone who i can start that kind of life with. I am from dominica na dthere is lot of cheap land there. it is very natural and green. if anyone interesting in starting a real life out of the rat race. hit me up. my fb is lanna phoenix rising

  30. Dan says:

    We’re going off grid as a cultural experience for our children, for at least a year. Perhaps longer. We’re moving from a 5100 sq ft house to a little cabin (under 400 sq ft) that I plan on building. It’s WAY out in the middle of no where. Should be interesting. Our blog is at gridrid.com.

    Cheers!
    Dan

  31. Pete says:

    I found L.O.G. while looking around for similar sites, having just recently started writing my own – http://blog.OffGridGeek.net

    My home has been off grid solar powered for 22 years and counting.

    Unlike many of your readers who want to “get away from it all”, I live a daily combination of a high tech Silicon Valley engineering career with a modern semi-rural solar power and wood heat lifestyle about 40 miles south of San Jose in the redwood forest of the Santa Cruz mountains.

    I bought the house from a family who built it as a summer retreat beyond the power lines. It was substantially less than anything I could buy in town, trading fantastic peace and quiet for a longer commute.

    They had a few panels for lights, but I designed and built a full battery and inverter system with about 1.4 KW of panels. I use propane for cooking and hot water and an RV fridge, and while I do have a generator, it rarely gets used except when it rains more than a few days in a row in the winter.

    It took me a long time to get interested in growing my own food, but I now have a decent vegetable garden, and I’m working on getting a green house together to see if I can grow things year round. No livestock unless you count honeybees.

    Pete

  32. Leigh Rhodes says:

    My husband and I are going off the grid in April 2013. We are buying a travel trailer and camping at a local campground in TN while we save one of our incomes to buy land and then build a home that will be aid for as we go. We are going to make the house as energy efficient as possible. The land backs up to a creek that we may use for watering our gardens when there is not enough rain water to harvest. The land will be paid for in 7 years. We are planning to have a vegetable garden and have fruit trees, grape vines, chickens, etc. We are going to be canning and freezing as much food as possible. We also plan to harvest wild berries for jams and pies.
    My daughter and her fiance are planning to do the same and will be living on the property next door to us. My daughter will be able to be a tay-at-home mom and will have quality time with her children as they grow older.
    We are so very excited to get started and wish that we could start sooner than we have planned but we are saving $ to buy our travel trailers now. Can’t wait to get back to the basics and out of the daily rat race.

  33. Terri Geer says:

    I am not, currently, living off the grid. We are in SW Washington, on the beach. We both live in RV’s and I love them, he doesn’t. :P

    I am looking into buying some cheap land in NM. We both agree that it can be anywhere but the Mexican border counties. I would like to live as close to AZ as possible, which is where most of the rest of my family lives. For various reasons, we don’t want to live in AZ itself.

    I’ve been looking at cheap land in NM to buy. I’ve been looking into what it will take to build an Adobe Brick Home. And we want a septic system, well, solar power and wind power. I would, also, like to have a large vegetable and fruit garden, with a covered dome for growing plants in winter.

    We are looking for at least 5 acres to buy. That can be more than one plot,as long as they are next to each other.

    I can design the house and systems, and have them checked out by an architect before submitting them.

    What I have been reading on this website has been fascinating and leads me to believe that we can actually do this. :) Thank you.

  34. Jennifer says:

    My off the grid journey began October 2012, after hurricane Sandy destroyed my apartment. I had been planning to go off the grid in a year or two and purchased land and a few needed items earlier in the year. Was I happy I did that! Being a single mother and unemployed I decided it was time to head out and start building. I with my two teenagers built an earthbag home on our 3 acres of land. It was definitely a challenging experience. We went through many ups and downs while building. It took us 3 months to build our small earthing home. We are now living in our home and are plastering the outside. We still are overcoming a few challenges with heating and solar electricity but we are learning. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  35. I am off the grid by accident, or not knowing any better than to listen to the guy I bought the land from. I bought the land for camping. But circumstances brought me to the land on a full time basis. In the literature for the land it was stated that electricity could easily be had. Well, that did not happen. The local Elec. Co. got burned by several people who said they would pay then did not so I was refused to have power to my land. I actually don’t mind. We have made it quiet well, once we decided we were going to have to learn a new way of living. I actually enjoy waking up each morning, knowing I will have to work most of the day to have the necessities. I guess it pays to be a tough old gal.

  36. Pepwave says:

    We just made the move to full time “off grid living” from our home in Arkansas to our cabin in Oklahoma. Added on 800 square feet to an existing 760. Seven acres at the top of a ridge line where the sun moves directly across the ridge. We have decided to investigate building a new main home on the slope. It would be half underground. This new idea was prompted by the current severe weather we are seeing in Eastern Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas. Cabin is pier and beam and we are in the process of building a tornado shelter. I am trying to decide on which wind generator system to install right now. Wood burning is great source of heat in the winter, but we are still dependent on electric and water at the moment. WE do have an functioning well however.
    We took over a year to decide to make the move. We love it. Peace and quiet, with great like minded neighbors. We highly recommend this lifestyle. Now we need to move to true off grid living. We will make it happen !

  37. rufus cox says:

    hi, had the same dreams and plans as all of you. waited too long and now i can’t live the life i had hoped. need to down size to a smaller place. this property is crying out for homesteaders.. maybe a group to get together to work the land. it could support lots of people. 97 beautiful, well watered, rich acres with timber too in southern wv. check it out, would love homesteaders to have it! go to coldknobfarm.webs.com and pinchcreek.use.com thanks and come see it. rufus

  38. Katie Pence says:

    We live off grid and created a homesteaded on our coastal Ca. land. We have large gardens and approx. 90 fruit trees we have a solar pump . We run our life with our kids very comfortably with propane stove and frig, propane water heater wood heat. We have satellite for computer, land line phone. We are even now renting our house through Airbnb and living in our shop, heated with our brick oven, electric frig. using an outdoor solar shower and a outhouse. LED lights have really helped we are running on only eight 240w panels. In the winter, during cloudy or short days, we run a generator about 30-45 mins a day to charge up the batteries.
    We love this life and find it simple to live.

  39. Mike Steed says:

    I’ve lived ‘off the grid’ part of the year in Alaska (summers)since the late 50s. Now that I retired from the fisheries and have daughters in CO I have purchased land in central CO and am building and living at 9400′ 5 miles from the nearest town. I have a 25′ travel trailer, 12×24′ deck w/ soft shelter over half of it,outdoor shower, hot tub, water tower, on demand hot water heater, solar powered water pressure system, propane fridge/freezer, total solar lighting system, mainly wood heat, a small genset (though my 2 solar panels and deep cycle batteries provide 90% of my power) at a total cost of $3600! I plan on enclosing all w/ straw bales, Tyvek and rough cut lumber to make an all season super efficient cabin over the next year. It hits 30 below in the winter here. I have to haul water and use a porta potty but it’s still way more luxury than my AK lifestyle. I’m currently building a wind generator using a bicycle wheel and motor from a treadmill (all free) to increase my electrical generation. Being retired on a fixed income I have cut my expenses to the bone and always seek new ways to save. I really believe anyone can do this, you just have to build everything yourself, set priorities and decide what is important for your quality of life. My necessities are: 1. Living the life I choose; ie- living in the middle of nowhere but a few hours drive from daughters, grandkids and 7 ski areas (I ski 100 days/year). 2. Doing this without having to work for a living anymore; I ain’t rich, but if you don’t owe anything and don’t live high on the hog it is feasible on what most would consider poverty level income. It’s true I only get one tv channel, spotty cel and almost never internet service, BUT living for free where most people spend mega bucks to vacation sure is nice. My life is good!

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