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Living off grid is fine but you must plan things like a yaers supply of food. Growing your own food sounds great but think about it wisely. A simple thing like green beans used in a week require for a family could be around we'll say 2 quarts. That is 104 quarts you need to can of just green beans. 2 per week X 52 weeks= 104 quarts. Food must be planned for living off grid doesn't mean go to the store three times a week. I heat with wood and cook with wood and my garden will take at least three years before it will produce a good amount of food for me to can or dry to keep for a year. The biggest thing is please plan on getting the land in the right place. Good water and good planning will make life easier. For living off grid is not for the lazy and requires work. The rewards are better health, better food you grow yourself, and overall you can say this: For we raised this food ourselves for us as a family to live on. No games on the computer will grow it for me. You cannot live off a good score on a video game. But making things grow with your own hands has more satisfaction than trying to eat a CD disk. When the cities want more food they will come looking for off grid living people. When the power goes out off gird people are already ahead of everyone else.
Off grid living is a great life plan and live it well. MTNMNROY
We DID live off-the-grid in No. AZ off I-40 & 89 - unintentionally. Prescott had GROWN too much for 10-yr. Retirement Plan so drove west 'til seeing signs for land @ 1K/acre. That very day bought 40 acres w/a 2BD/1BA home (prev. weekend place). Former owner was electrician so it was wired. Have noticed many uninformed comments. County req'd. only inspected septic tank, but otherwise off-grid means OFF THE UTILITY GRID. As spouse started travelling for work, 10-yr plan became 1; could fly from anywhere! Yet DID need PC access to make travel plans. Have pic of husband out in field; cel phone on top of pole for reception, connecting to laptop! Otherwise, bought and installed necessary additions. Needed only 4 solar panels, backup generator, water tank (in-place) HEATER + PUMP to get water to shower at other end of house (otherwise gravity-feed worked fine to kitchen). 3500 gal water tank was outside + 500 gal. tank in Pickup. Drove into town to fill smaller tank (approx. $5/mo. every few months), then pumped (using septic-type) into larger tank. Learned I used only 100 gallons of water/month; double when spouse home (while avg. LA resident uses 75 gal/day)! Had 8 barrels around home to collect rain during monsoons - only water used on gardening. Generator required only during rare overcast or having friends over for movie night on Big-Screen. Had inexpensive propane delivered to tank (they supplied) for oven/propane room heater, tho had iron wood-burning stove.
Main point being: beyond desire to live eco-friendly, ya gotta be OK with the actual lifestyle. I did things never imagined: raising goats for milk; chickens for eggs, along w/rabbits, a cow & hog., etc; all for meat, too, & selling what we didn't use. Being isolated yet content with the peace and raising own food is crucial. Yet FRANKLY, our social life was livelier there (w/nearest neighbors 2-3 miles away) than in So. Calif! SOMEONE had a BBQ / pot luck every other weekend & most played some kind of musical instrument so we always had a great band! Lastly, you depend on one another. Somebody has what you don’t: a winch to get pulled out of mud/snow, various tools, and I personally bought half-ownership in a backhoe w/bucket & got good at using it for whoever/whatever was needed. It’s a great life!
I say good luck to everyone, and I would absolutely love more information on going off the grid if anyone can help me.
My family moved from Corpus Christi in 1968 to northwest Arkansas before progress really took over. My dad bought 80 unimproved acres away from town. We lived from 1968 to 1974 with no electric or phone and we hauled water every week in 20 gallon barrels from a spring 6 miles away. I was 14 years old and I took to that life. We heated with wood and had a propane refrig. We rented a meat locker in town to keep meat we butchered. We used kerosine lamps at night. Without all the distractions of modern conveniences I became a fairly good reader and have even written a few things.
I am now 58 and the memories and skills learned are priceless. I like knowing I can get by when others are stealing and killing to get theirs.
When a major disaster strikes and the stores have been pillaged where and how will you get yours? Can you honestly say you will not eat rats, cats, dogs and possibly each other before killing and stealling just to survive?
I'm not all convinced that these examples are "off the grid." If there is a power failure, the majority of solar panel and wind generator setups are useless. Unless there is some type of special equipment or batteries (more $$$), these systems cannot supply power to a home when there is a power outage.
Also, if you think you're going to save a lot of money you're mistaken. There is a reason we have a power grid and power companies: the grid is reliable and the power companies have the expertise to keep it running. I don't mind solar panels so much, but I know a few people that have those small wind generators and if they need maintenance, it takes special equipment to take them down; it's an expensive and time consuming process not to mention the noise.
It takes a lot of getting use to living totally away from the grid, but once you learn how. It is a worry free life or a bad idea.
First of all, I like the idea of not counting on the grid for my electricity needs. Having my own photovoltaic resources and not paying an electricity bill is wonderful! I don't have to choose a plan or join in a 2 years plan to save less payments. But having internet is a must too. The power of communicating and entertaining my family helps us keeping in touch will the happenings in this world. I purchase an internet phone system that I will not need to pay a phone bill for life. Cell phones are nice to have around, but I like having more time doing things with total freedom and not being called by some guys who wants me to buy something to save more money. I have a solar water heating system, but I am connected to the city's water source since water is still cheap and clean. I plant some of my favorite veggies, apples, oranges and pears.
But the bottom line is that I save about $5,000.00 or more with this lifestyle per year. I think of it as having a month paid vacation or not going to worry working for someone for a month. I have tried staying off the grid for a year with only buying batteries for my fm radio. I learned to save a great deal of daily resources that I took for granted when I was connected to the grid. I tweak it a little and I found a way of life that my kids would not have it in any other ways. So, half grid is good for me. I hate strangers freely going to my backyard to check my meters anyways.
Sustainable Disaster Relief: http://earthship.com/disaster-relief
Nightly Rentals: http://earthship.com/nightly-rentals