Living Off The Grid In Stages

Ever wish you could just unplug from your current hectic life?  Maybe quit your stressful job, move to a farm with several acres, build your own solar panels, and spend your remaining time living off the grid.  Yeah, me too.

The problem is that this type of lifestyle seems so simple, but is terribly difficult to pull off these days.  Why?  Because we have become slaves to our stuff – myself included.  We have our houses, our cars, our expensive hobbies, our electronic gadgets, our new furniture, our designer clothes, etc.

We spend the majority of our lives working to pay for the stuff that keeps us from living a life with more freedom.  Along the way we usually manage to accumulate debt buying more stuff than we can afford.  So then we spend even more time working to repay the money we borrowed to buy the stuff that we work to pay for in the first place.  Whew!  It’s a vicious cycle.

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Photo courtesy of iLoveButter

How To Break The Chains of Stuff?

So how do we break the cycle?  How do we join others who are living off the grid?  It isn’t easy.  I believe the very first step is to stop accumulating stuff.  Draw a line in the sand (or on your front porch), and vow not to allow anything else to enter your home unless it is a necessity or improves your quality of life in some way.  If something qualifies under those two conditions, you must save for it and pay cash.  No more borrowing!

The second step is to take a look around your house, and your budget.  Are you paying for things that you could really live without?  The $40 gym membership, or the $15 Netflix membership, may not seem like much by themselves, but how much of a nest egg would be required just to cover those expenses?  I mentioned the multiply by 25 concept in a previous post.  The idea is that you can estimate how much of your nest egg would be required to maintain your current expenses.  I used Netflix as an example:

At roughly $9 a month, our Netflix membership sets us back $108 per year.  To continue paying for Netflix out of passive income earning 4% per year, I would need a $2,700 ($108×25) savings balance.

So I would need to save $2,700 just to cover my monthly $9 Netflix membership.  Imagine how much a $500 per month car payment would require?  Frightening isn’t it?  When you think about things from this perspective it makes it a little easier to separate needs from wants.

mountainfarm040509
Photo courtesy of flattop341

Discover Your Passion

The next step in living off the grid is to discover your passion.  Ask yourself:  If you didn’t have to wake up tomorrow morning and work for money, how would you spend your time? Gardening? Fishing? Volunteering? Teaching?  Some people enjoy what they do (believe it or not), and wouldn’t want to give up their jobs.  The rest of us go to work to pay the bills, and look outside of paid employment for self actualization.

The point is to figure out what it is you want to do with your life, and figure out how to do that more often.  By eliminating bills, downsizing your home, avoiding the accumulation of stuff, etc, you might be able to afford to spend more time working on your passion, instead of your job.

Think In Terms of Sustainability

The freedom to unplug from the hustle and bustle of our current lives and “live off the grid” doesn’t come without sacrifice.  Many choose to give up creature comforts like cable television, an automobile (or two), or even electricity (paid-for energy, that is).  Some are able to harness the power of the sun through solar power, or wind, to generate power for their homes.  Imagine how nice it would be to lose that utility payment! Wells can supply water, and gardens or small farms may provide a percentage of a family’s food source.

I feel the need to pause here and add a disclaimer to this post.  My tone may have seemed preachy in the lines above.  I live in a neighborhood, have a mortgage and a car payment (almost gone), and education debt, and a job, and I’m an energy hog when it comes to air conditioning, and I failed to produce enough crops last year to build more than a couple salads.  I am about as “on the grid” as one can be.

But I’m also a daydreamer, and at times when I’m lost in my thoughts I think about how nice it would be to get rid of all this “stuff” and start over.  I think about raising my kids to be less materialistic.  I think about how much I would enjoy devoting more time to gardening, and raising my children, and coaching youth sports, and building projects around my house.  And then I ask myself, why can’t I do these things?  I know the answer, and I know what needs to happen, mechanically, to get there.  It’s getting there that is the hard part.

Additional Resources

Comments

  1. Dear Frugal Dad,

    I’m one od those daydreamers, well I have realisede my family will never be the ones living off the grid compleatly. But we are working towards beeing more independent.
    I love to follow this blog http://eclecticculturefarm.blogspot.com/
    One of those families who do live the dream out.

    By the way I love your blog and find much joy in reading your articles,

  2. Wow! Did you read my mind? I’ve been wanting to live off the grid forever (or so it seems). But like you my stuff keeps getting in my way. I’ve been a lurker for a long time but this post really hit me so I thought I’d post a comment.

    I live in Ontario Canada and I have become jobless because of the economy. We were a two income family up until last week. We will be OK with some adjustments to our spending habits. I am taking this new change as a good thing. I now have some time to concentrate on our budget, my vegetable gardens and my new stuffless philosophy.
    I’ll try and let you know how I’m doing.

    Thanks. I feel slightly less ‘nuts’ now.

  3. LOL – thanks for the post. I especially liked the line about your agricultural productivity (couple of salads)…. I don’t really think it’s necessary to get entirely off the grid (or even desirable)… that’s one of those little fantasies that probably aren’t all that they’re cracked up to me. Have you every read Barry Schwartz (Paradox of Choice). I don’t have the link handy – but check him out or look at his TED video. His point is that we have too many choices and it leads away from unhappiness. He has some pointers on how to become a “satisficer”.

  4. I appreciate this post! As a new subscriber, wow, how awesome to have this as the first message in my inbox. Definitely in line with my heart and spirit.

    As one who has lost much financial stability due to Disability, I believe it is possible to live off the grid and have met people who do. Haven’t heard a single complaint yet!

    Everything worth having takes sacrifice and gosh darn it, us humans are quite creative and adaptable to change. I believe in possibilities regardless of how circumstances look.

    Great post, great blog – thanks for sharing!

    Blessings,
    RH

  5. I grew up off the grid.

    Everything was bearable, except for the lack of air conditioning. Air condition, as far as I’m concerned, is a Great and Wonderful thing.

    FYI, you can get solar cells (which I consider to be sustainable, because they never wear out) to run a laptop, and update your blog from there.

    We did have a telephone, which was our sole connection to the outside world. We used to tell people to follow the telephone poles when they first came to visit.

    We had an ancient (60yrs ) black and white TV which picked up one channel – you guessed it, PBS!

    We had well and spring water, and free natural gas heat, 5 solar panels (so electricity was carefully rationed).

    The refrigerator ran off natural gas, using the ammonia cycle. No freezer.

    We had an indoor composting toilet, and an outhouse. After I left for college, my folks got a septic system, and hence an indoor flush toilet.

    It can be done, and it is a lot cheaper to live that way, if you can afford the extra effort.

    • courtny: I am very interested in your story, I live on a sailboat in s. Florida…However I am looking at property in Montana…40 acres… I am ready to take the big leap and go off grid…please tell me a little more…I myself am a very 3D thinker.. I can come up with answers to most problems and very creative, I know about solar/wind power having lived on my boat more many years… Question: what about heat in winter,, Arteision springsand so forth….any answers…

  6. I grew up somewhat off grid. It is indeed a much simpler life. We are striving to get back as much of our simple roots as possible, meanwhile still living in town. Love that little barn in the second picture. I just calculated the DSL bundle…ack. anyway to just get high speed internet without the land line and cable?

  7. I live in a major east coast city, in an apartment.

    I’d love to go solar, but it’s not an option. (Can’t afford it as an individual renter, building won’t allow it and the co-op board would not spend money on this type of investment).

    We personally recycle whatever we can despite the difficulty involved in a city, we try to buy green. We think hard about purchases and are careful about reuse, where possible. We buy local, where we can (even though we spend more on food)and wish there were more small farms we could support (Food co-ops don’t work for us due to $, our area and the fact that we can’t volunteer our time.)

    But really, so many of these ideas just don’t apply to world in which we live. (I’d kill to have a garden of my own. Despite the work to grow veggies, it’d be great. There are a few people’s gardens around city, but no openings.)

    We tried, FYI, going without air conditioners, but we have a home office, and it’s one thing to be totally uncomfortable at nite, but not when you’re trying to work and/or meet people and do business with them. In the summers, the humidity is such that even ceiling fans aren’t enough. We’re also not kids anymore and with health conditions, we simply can’t sit in rooms that are well over 80 degrees.

    Can you suggest resources to learn more about what can be done in big cities, when you live in a rental apartment?

    Thanks

  8. This is one of the best posts you’ve ever written, and who cares if you are “still on the grid”? It is great that you have dreams and desires outside of the typical materialism of our society as a whole. This blog is a great summation of the message I am attempting to convey at my website, Hundred Goals. You’ve done a wonderful job at explaining my feelings. I hope that with enough practice in writing that my style and technique will improve to the level which you have written this article. Thanks for the great read and reminder of what is important.

  9. I am blown away by this post! DUDE!

    The first step to realize it is to dream it…so keep dreaming. Your situation doesn’t disclaim your right to bring this up. Its really helpful to me and others I’m sure.

    FEAR is what keeps me on the grid – that and 3 kids who need to get through college. I think that going off the grid completely (at least for me) would be selfish but that’s not to say that I couldn’t unplug more than I do.

    Thanks to you….I’m going to do it!!!!!!

  10. We are living this dream. When my husband came home and announced he wanted to “chuck it all” and travel the country in a converted bus for a year, I asked, “Why can’t you be like a normal husband in a midlife crisis and have an affair or buy a Corvette?” We’re both shrinks, and he’s obviously the better one, because we did do the trip.

    It was so life-changing, that by the time we got back, I was the one who suggested we sell the house so we can full time.

    We worked hard all our lives, never had credit card debt, didn’t live beyond our means, so when the time came to do something extraordinary, we had savings to dip in to. (Something we’d never done before, either.) I’ve always loved material things, but getting back and unpacking all those boxes in storage with stuff I hadn’t even thought about, let alone missed for a year, really taught me what my priorities should be: Putting more time and energy into supporting being with the people I love, rather than supporting a lifestyle.

    I think I didn’t want to do the trip because my life was comfortable, but I learned that isn’t enough: Even the disasters we had on the road (fire, armed robbery, finding ourselves in a nudist RV park to name a few), were challenging and put a certain spark back into our lives I didn’t even know was missing.

    Without a mortgage, home (with all the stuff in it) and two cars to support, we won’t have to work very much at all. We don’t consider ourselves “off the grid,” and don’t really want to be: We regularly stay at campgrounds, go into town, have cell phones and internet etc. But, we have simplified our lives to the extent that we won’t have to work nearly as much as we did, and certainly not to support stuff. I wish we had done this years ago.

    http://www.QueenOfTheRoadTheBook.com

  11. @Queen of the Road: A nudist RV park? I bet there’s a great story (or joke) behind that one! I just checked out your website and have to say I’m intrigued. I’d love to do what you’re doing – even if only for a summer when the kids are out of school.

    @Neal: Interesting that you mentioned the selfish aspect of this, because that’s something I’ve considered as well. Over the last couple years I’ve read many stories of people living off the grid, and it seems that their families are in harmony with the decision. But I wonder if they were all in agreement before making the move.

    @All: Thanks for your feedback on the post. It’s Sunday, and I was feeling reflective, so I wasn’t sure how this would be received. Sounds like many of you share the same feelings I do about wanting to do more (or less), but we struggle putting it in action.

  12. I’m totally with you on this post. Our family of four has recently moved from a 3000sf home to one that is only 1000sf and we’re totally happy (although I’m not sure I can keep myself from adding on anyway!)

    When you do get around to those building projects on your home, let me know if I can help.

    Best,

    Tim

  13. I love this post. I too live in the City San Diego in a apt,but I have done some of these things. Still have to pay my electric bill, but i cut it down. San Diego is great because heating and AC is not needed here, just put on a sweater.I would love to live in a little more rural setting were I could grow some veggies, raise chickens, rabbits and maybe goats.If I could solve the housing problem I could do all of this.

  14. We did it…it took some planning, but we moved to the “country” and need only a fraction of the income we needed before. This has allowed me to work about 4-5 hours a day, for myself, and my wife to keep teaching (which pays nearly nothing). We have our own well, our own water catchment system, and a passive solar house that barely uses any heat, even in the dead of winter.

    It was a big change from Los Angeles, but the best decision we have ever made. Anything that enables me to work less and spend less is good with me!

  15. We’ve been talking about this, too. My dream? Colorado. My husbands? any where that is slower than Southern California, and less liberal. Our issue is that we can’t get to that 25x level-our ‘next egg’ is in our house and until prices rise we are stuck. (We’re not upside down as many are, there just isn’t the huge difference that there was just a short 2 years ago. I’m sure we aren’t the only ones!)

  16. I would never want to go totally off the grid, but I am looking into installing solar panels in the near future. Living in South Louisiana, I really enjoy my A/C in the hot and humid summers. I lived off the grid after Hurricane Gustav for a few days. We have a hot water heater and stove already on natural gas so we could still cook hot meals and had hot water. The worst part was definitely the heat and humidity. There wasn’t a breeze for several of those days. I really appreciate my A/C.

    I do enjoy our slower paced lifestyle. So many of my friends and family members are constantly on the go. It makes me tired listening to their full schedules. No thanks. I enjoy spending time with my family, and we do spend a lot of time together. I also dream of owning chickens in my backyard, and making more of my own food like cheese. I want to experiment with cheese making this year. I already live out my dream of staying at home instead of working.

  17. Sweet post Jason. Going on vacation reminded me of this whole idea of living off the grid, of being “unplugged” from it all. It was great, but as soon as I got back I couldn’t wait to start up my computer and bask in the glow.

    I like what you’re saying though and it kind of goes hand in hand with my All The Money in the World series: we need to figure out what we would want to do if money wasn’t an issue, then see if we can’t accomplish those very things in a world where money very much is an issue.

    At least it sounds simple…

  18. Sounds lovely, and those pictures make me go all weak in the knees!

    But alas, I grew up on a farm, though not 100% off the grid. My dad built our little house by himself for less than $10,000, which seemed like a fortune! We had electricity and a (party line) telephone, no AC (in the rural southeast), one car for many years, a HUGE vegetable garden, raised our own pigs and chickens…I worked in tobacco fields in the summer for spending money.

    It’s one way to live if you choose it, and if you have that passive income stream to allow you to go to the grocery store if you need to or fix your car if it breaks down. I learned a lot from it, including what I am capable of accomplishing and what I can live without. Just make sure you have some sort of safety net before you leap off the grid…

  19. I was a historical reenactor for 8 years. I know more about the realities of daily life “off the grid”. I learned one thing – I LIKE electricity! I just want to use less of it. The Frontier House Project also showed that the off the grid Little House on the Praire lifestyle isn’t as romantic as it seems. It was very isolated and hard. There are lessons to be learned on how to live well with less but I’ll take indoor plumbing any day.

  20. Sometimes I think going totally off-grid is too hard all at once. Our farm has kept some of the old ways: hydraulic ram for pumping spring water, which then is gravity to the house and barns, and we heat with wood and heat our water with wood also during fire burning season with a thermal siphon system which utilizes an electric hot water heater too. Best of both worlds. Our power usage is lower in the winter, and we have plenty of hot water when we need it.

    It takes a lot of skill/human labor to pack water and then heat it year round with wood heat. Not to mention an endless supply of wood.

    We like our internet and the convenience of freezers for our surplus garden food. Could we live without it, yes, but we don’t want to.

    Great post!

  21. Nice post. Though I’m not terribly tempted to live off the grid, I feel the same way about “stuff”. Sometimes it feels like it taken over our lives. I’m working on selling some of these things we don’t need/use/want to pay off debt (CC that bought the stuff in the first place!)

    #13 Queen of the Road – Now that’s my dream!! We’re campers and have always enjoyed it (whether tenting, lean-to, or in our current camper). The dream is to sell the house once the kids are gone and hit the road! Not living off the grid, but downsizing (a lot!) and simplifying our lives a bit.

  22. I’d love to find a little place in the country, raise vegetables and goats, and spend time writing books in my little office.

    This will probably never happen. I’m a 48-year-old heart patient (nearly ten years since my first, and hopefully only heart attack). I need to be within surviving distance of some high powered medical facilities in case something happens. I see a cardiologist twice a year, get annual stress tests, get quarterly blood work.

    Maybe I’d get a weekend place out in the country but for now (unless we develop cheap teleportation) I’m pretty anchored to major medical facilities near metropolitan areas. Alas!

  23. FrugalDad, I wonder if you had ever turned that rule of 25 around the other way. Many people don’t move off the grid because they worry about payback on the large capital outlay required. I’ll be conservative if you are spending $100/month on electric you would need $30,000 in savings to receive 4% cash flow to pay for it. This is right in the range of what a PV setup costs depending on how much you do yourself and specific site issues. As an added benefit energy costs tend to go up over time but you have locked in your costs. Over time you might have to increase your savings to cover higher prices but the array will continue at the same cost.

  24. I regularly consider doing this. I have a fairly work-anywhere job (at least as long as cheap air travel is in existence) and the only material thing I’d find hard to give up are my aquariums! Furniture, electrical equipment (laptop excepted), books and so on, all could go.

    What keeps you rooted ultimately are friends. There’s even been scientific research done to show having your friends nearby makes you happier. Worth factoring into the equation…

  25. These pics remind me of Kentucky! We decided a year ago to get out of the city (Seattle) and move to a less expensive area of the country. We aren’t exactly off the grid – but we are working hard to become self sufficient. We bought a small farm here – for less than a $100,000 – which would have cost a million in Seattle. We are developing a U-pick strawberry and raspberry farm to drive people to our farm where we are planning on producing Festivals several times a year so my musician husband can play. We have all kinds of ideas – like making goat cheese, growing goji berries and making juice, berry products, etc. I hadn’t planned on working – but found a great nonprofit where the job was a perfect fit – and it has been an even better move – because now we have used the extra cash flow to build three additional rental units onto the property (intentional community style) and are renting two of them already which completely covers our payment. Our next step is to become energy independent – but that is a lot more difficult, we’ve found out. The estimated cost is $80,000 – which is way beyond the budget. Hopefully new technology will drive down the costs. In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to be energy efficient.

  26. I am one of those who can tell my grandchildren that I once lived in a 1-room log cabin beside a river in a remote area of Alaska and used to cross-country ski to work. I am with #29: living off the grid is a lot of hard work! Hauling water, splitting wood, making soap, sewing by hand, growing a garden when the size of your pantry is directly related to its success, getting up at 4:30 a.m. to get the wood stove going, using an outhouse in -20 degrees, washing diapers… There are those who romanticize the “good old days” – and sure, we did fine without TV (no computers back then!) – but I tell you what, I just LOVE turning the handle and watching the water come out! Flip a switch and instant sunshine! Wow. Technology is making it easier for those who can afford it to be off the grid and still enjoy modern amenities. For the rest of us, simplifying our lives while keeping a few things that make our lives easier is also good.

  27. I can fully say this post has me pegged. I feel very much the same and have made my first attempt at vegetable gardening this year.

    However, I’m finding the irony in the fact that I’m participating in this post with energy from a coal fired plant, sitting in front of an electronic box when I could be improving my homestead and spending time with my wife and four kids.

    The bottom line is, I have to work and participate in society to make a living. I doubt that my kids would be happy if I pulled the plug, or my wife for that matter either. I would probably starve if not for my meager paycheck, because I probably wouldn’t eat my neighbors (aside from the deer that eat my tomato plants routinely).

    It is an admirable trait to keep your desires in check and get control of your spending. The thing I have been struggling with is what do I really want, economic freedom or the time to be with family? Can living off the grid give you either of these things when you have a family to support?

    Thank you for the article.

  28. I forget how I found this site, but I have made it my home page, a frugal life style is my dream, I am married to a big time credit card spender, who has spent my retirement twice, I am waiting on God to help but patience is running low.

  29. Living off of the grid is more than just going green. It’s about absolute freedom. It opens you up to who you are, breaking the bond of the materialistic life. You can’t be free unless you let everything go. Get rid of everything you don’t use, and you’ll be surprised of how much that actually is. Everyone is unique, find yourself. Don’t try to live like the Rich Jones’ next door- or buy better toys than your friends, those things bind you. The more you let go, the easier it gets and your eyes open to how blind you have been. Learn to prepare and you could consolidate your life into a travel trailer (or a back pack). The freedom you have once you let go is awesome! If you own your land your possibilities are endless.

    • Hi

      We live off the grid and have several renters that live that way on our ranch. We have a unit that 2 guys are moving out of I list on craigslist and I love your post any ideas on posting our grean living rental ? In ca alot of people dont know what it is to be green. Well at least the bay area

  30. Well Trish, I would have never thought anybody could write words that makes livin off the grid sounding better that I dream it to be.

    Wow!

  31. I have had many dreams of living off the grid for a while now. Although I haven’t taken the plunge yet, I have been a ton of research on it.

    Based on all the comments, it seems that everybody has the notion that it will cost tens of thousands of dollars to get an off the grid house established. On the contrary, there is a huge Do-It-Yourself market out there that thrives on helping you get a off the grid lifestyle.

    I love reading your articles Frugal Dad….I am mostly a lurker, but some days I just like to put my 2 cents in….

  32. We’re living the dream!

    I’m 27 and my wife is 34…in all our aged wisdom we realized that we didn’t want to live the “rat race” in the city anymore. We never got to see each other and our life bills mortgage=TOO MUCH $$!

    We sold our place, found a cheap 5.5 acre piece with a LITTLE cabin and moved! HEAVEN!

    We’re in Northern BC, running almost exclusively off solar…sometimes we use the gas generator for the power hungry items like power tools. We are in the middle of building, by ourselves, a lovely 24×24 house. We just took the pigs in to get butchered and put the chickens in the freezer after enjoying their eggs all year. We make a fraction of the income we made in the city but we don’t need as much. We are home far more to focus on sustainable living, by choice. A lot of it is physical work that we are figuring out as we go. Now we are hunkering down for winter. Gotta chop wood…hard work that my body loves. Then at the end of the day, we sit on the couch with the lights on, put a DVD in the laptop, and drink a glass of wine.

    Lovely.

    BTW, made a homemade solar panel this summer…works perfect and MUCH cheaper that store bought.

  33. If you are theoretically enabling others to do what you cannot why set up a proxy. While living in rural Africa for nearly a decade I read the guide to self-sufficiency and found it a fools errand for suburban americans. ” Ma gavta la nata” , read Focault’s Pendulum by Umberto Echo for what that means.

  34. I’ve been thinking of going off the grid for about 15 years now, well I’m finaly going for it. Found a nice 10 acre plot and moving onto it in 3 months. Going the way of the yurt for the family and will be shareing the land with another family. Will be using propane, solar, and a natural spring and rain collection until a well can be drilled. Its a bit scary but dropping my rent by 600 a month and dropping the land loan in 5 years to 0 sounds like a deal to me. Keep on dreaming, because sometimes they come true.

  35. Excellent and intriguing article! I too have thought about or fantasized about living ‘off the grid’ for years now, although I would not or could not realistically quit my job. I would have to be gainfully employed in order to pay other bills and have other key things, like health insurance, car or motorcycle, travel, pet bills, and other day-to-day expenses. I would however, be extremely pleased to know that I am doing my part to help lower carbon emissions, and generally making the world a better place for us and our child. There is also the personal satisfaction of knowing you can run all your household appliances and electronics via hybrid solar/wind power. Even my Ham Radio (Amateur Radio) hobby could be easily run using less output power (let’s say 25 watts instead of 100 watts output), while still being able to maintain worldwide or emergency communications.

  36. Frugal Dad,

    You have described our dream. One which we are desperately striving towards. We want so badly to be off-grid- out of the system- broken free from the chains of the enslavement of modern conveniences. Will we ever get there. I hope we do. We are new to this lifestyle. This year will be our second attempt at gardening… hopefully a much more successful attempt! We have goats, chickens, and a pig. We are learning to raise livestock for food, though we haven’t gotten to the slaughtering stage yet. We are doing our best to live off the land, and yet, we are still stuck with a mortgage and power bill. If only we could be rid of those two prisons! It is good to dream about it though. It gives us something to work towards!

    • I noticed that you wrote this back in 2010, have you and your family got any closer to your dream? My family and I are hoping for similar living.

  37. I love this article. I absolutely am 100% behind supporting anyone living off the grid. My family and I are wanting to and are making steps to doing this in the future. At the moment we are preparing ourselves. I think it is so important for everyone to be self sustainable. Thanks for the article!!!

  38. Love your blog!
    My husband and I purchased a building lot on a mountain side. We cut the drive way with a pick and shovel. Everything was done with hand tools. We tore an old barn down for the lumber. We have had help from our 14 year old grand son but most of it has been done by us old 50 somethings it’s been an adventure doing this totally off grid. Yes we have ran into quite a few snags but the Lord provided away for us to over come.it’s under roof now and on the weekend we are able to stay. We heat/cook propane and wood stove. We keep cool with 12 volt fan. We have one solar panel to try to see if it would work, because we are in deeply wooded area. Very little sun light filters through. And we have a high rock wall due south. But in winter we get about two hrs of direct sun, enough to charge cell phone a little. I just got the order to have our address to be put on the map, I do want a phone and some sort of Internet if possible, for my profession.so I guess if our plans come true we will be almost off grid. Oh we capture our wash water, compose toilette, drink spring water.

  39. It’s great when you have money and can find a place to buy to live off the grid. Seems to me those people have missed the point. The only way to escape is to live off the grid and it seems to me that there are a lot of people who are doing just that by living off those people that are trying to live off the grid. Life styles of the rich and griddy. I think most of them have missed the point of living off the grid. Try hacking a living out of the wilderness without any money, I mean starting from scrach, and you’ll soon find some telling you that you’ll have to move on instead of helping you to suceed because you don’t own the land. Native Americans didn’t have a word in their language that described ” to own the land “. And if you don’t think that’s so than you forgot about the American Indians. Ironic isn’t it to find out that we now covet their past lifestyle of which was destroyed by those infected with greed. Romance is and always will be destroyed by covetting and greed. Sorry to burst youre bubble of romancing the land but reality is a dish best served cold. If you really want to live off the grid among those who are then find an indian reservation to live on with the rest of those who live off the grid and continue to suffer unjustice.

  40. We are currently workin towards an off the grid life style. We have started raising chickens and are about to start a pretty ambitious garden. Anyone else realizing that once you start thinking frugal and repurpose you really start getting creative and even if your still locked into your 9 to 5 you begin to get that sense of purpose? I honestly believe our journey is going to be as great as the end result! I’m so stoked everyday…I can’t stop looking for things to build or repurpose and I dream of the day when we cut the clutter and focus on family. Small steps, but steps nontheless. Would love to hear from some people in northern michigan who are taking the same journey

  41. Wanted to leave my email addreas just in case. Love the idea on earning extra income like the berry farm. We have sold both our new vehicles and bought used ones to rid ourselves of the payment. We rent so we are not held back by a mortage and we are currently in the process of breeding dogs as 1 source of income. I’m a machinist and my significant other is a nurse. We plan to use those skills to help us and as a bartering tool within our community for food or supplies. We both still work endless hours but we see a light at the end and it has caused us to really buckle down and work hard towards our goal. We have a 5 yr old and a newborn and decided we owe it to them to set a different example.

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