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Need Advice to Living Off Grid

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posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 05:32 PM
I have been fortunate enough to retire at a very young age. I plan on spending a year with family then I will either move out of the USA to country with a lesser cost of living or move into the woods/wilderness and be hopefully completely self sustaining.

I have done plenty of research on survival, but I'm finding I know very little knowledge about maintaining a home off grid. So I come to the ATS forums hoping to seek wisdom and advice from the brilliant people I know you are. Below is a list of what I'm looking for, and I'm hoping you guys can point me into the right direction. I have done some research on my own so I don't want to come off as lazy, but I know there has to be better alternatives out there to what I have found.

Off grid I don't want to necessarily mean out of existence. I will still run to town and have to ship medicine to myself along some kind of means but I would just like to be severed from every bill possible besides property taxes and perhaps an internet bill.

(Long Version)

I am looking to get a plot of land and invest a small cabin or even a yurt made from stone or something durable. Im looking to need no more than 400-600 sq ft. Probably would like some land in a wooded area. Those are easy to do and/or find.

The hard part is. I dont know the best way to go about having some kind of energy. I was thinking solar panels for the energy if I'm not too deep in the woods.

What options would I have for running water? Large container to catch rain water?

Heat is an easy one with a small fireplace.

Ive heard of those toilets that use saw dust to dissolve waste....are there any alternatives to that? Whats the best option for waste?

I will eventually set up a greenhouse and garden depending on where I end up...which is another idea...what do you think would be the ideal location. I have a few in my mind but would like to hear your guys/gals' advice.

And the last one....I know this will get me so much flak haha....internet off grid...will satelite work? Other alternatives?

(Short Version) Single guy looking to live off grid with some comforts.

1. Best source of energy for my home to be off grid.

2. Best source of freshwater to have water in my grid.

3. Best way to remove grid.

4. Best locations to live off grid.

5. Getting the internet in a remote area.

Thx lads.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 05:37 PM
Move location to the top so you can work everything out from there. It's all up to you. As they say LOCATION LOACTION LOCATION!!! Then everything else.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 05:44 PM
reply to post by cosmicexplorer

Move to a mountainous region in Ecuador next to a stream. Ecuador is cheap, warm, and safe enough. Dig a hole for a bathroom. Ride your horse into town whenever you need satellite.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 05:47 PM
Rent a cabin first. Try that. Just rent month to month. Try pacticing your self sufficency skills. See how you like it. Within a year you'll know if it was the right move. If it was, then you'll both be ready to take it the next level and buy your own place and apply the skills you've been practicing. If for some reason it's not as good as you had hoped maybe what you'd do instead is move back to the city and write a best selling book about how you lived off the land in a remote cabin and sell that. then from time to time just go rent the cabin to get away from the hussle and bussel and reconnect with nature and practice your survival skills.

I'd be careful with it for a few reasons. If you do it and you don't know what you're doing you could end up in a survival situation and or dead. Plus if you do it and you don't like it, then you're stuck there, you have no options. No ones' gonna buy this cabin you've built. It might sit on the market for a year or two before someone buys it off you from cheap. Or it might never sell and you'll have to just abandon it. And or you might get lonely and want to meet some girls. Man is not an island. If you were along long enough you go crazy.

As for internet you just get a cel phone with nation wide coverage and unlimited data and you plug that into your laptop. As for power, solar panels hooked up to a battary arry.

here's a good series for you to watch. I'm really having fun watching this show. As I've also though many times about the idea of buying a cabin and living there, just like you're describing. I still might do that one day. Just got to get my finances in order first, as it really is a great idea. My friend tried it, he lasted for about 3 year actually but then got sick of it and moved back to the city.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 05:49 PM

This video is very inspiring and helpful..
The gentleman who built this solar cabin for under $2,000 has lots of great info to share in the form of other vids and a very extensive e-book for sale for under $10.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 05:51 PM

reply to post by cosmicexplorer

Move to a mountainous region in Ecuador next to a stream. Ecuador is cheap, warm, and safe enough. Dig a hole for a bathroom. Ride your horse into town whenever you need satellite.

get real you'd be eaten alive by mosiquitos and or a boa constrictor that or you'll die of heat exhaustion

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 05:55 PM
I hhave a cabin in japan you can trial for a month or so.

let me know and i'll give you an ATS mates rates

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 05:56 PM
I'm on my mobile so I'll post this as a place holder. I've lived off the grid a few times and once was an extended stay lol. I have a few tips I don't mind sharing and I could probably point you in a few new directions to research. If you'd like an idea of where I spent this time off the grid go to gmaps and look up carson estates...should be just by the rio grande gorge bridge in taos nm.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 06:09 PM
reply to post by cosmicexplorer

This is one suggestion I have with the link.You will need fresh veggies where ever you end up,so you need to know how to grow them.
Solar power is fine but have a back up wind turbine as well for non sunny days(also a generator as a last resort).
I would try parking a used RV and living out of it first and staying on grid to see how you like it.If after 6 months to a year you want more then start taking yourself off grid one utility at a time.
You can use a rain catching system for water,but in some places it is banned believe it or not,so check it out first.
Satellite would be the only way to get internet and then its not always going to be there even if the area your in gets it.
If you don't want a composting toilet,then you would have to have running water.That means your going to need a well and septic system.Kinda expensive to put in,and you have to hope your land has water on it that is drinkable and usable.
Don't build anything until you've decided you are going to stay there,the RV will keep you fairly comfortable if its in good shape until you can make up your mind.
Good luck to you if you try this,I have been watching others on Youtube that have been doing it,not as easy as you think.There is a reason most people left the country life behind and went to work in the cities.It was much easier to have someone else raise and kill your food for you then do it yourself.Then theres canning ,freezing etc.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 06:18 PM


reply to post by cosmicexplorer

Move to a mountainous region in Ecuador next to a stream. Ecuador is cheap, warm, and safe enough. Dig a hole for a bathroom. Ride your horse into town whenever you need satellite.

get real you'd be eaten alive by mosiquitos and or a boa constrictor that or you'll die of heat exhaustion

Speaking as someone whos spent time there, I must say that you have no idea what your talking about.
Did you miss the part where i said "mountainous region."
Different world than Amazon.
And by mountainous, I dont mean snow covered peaks. I mean 25/77 average temp during the day all year round. Ecuador is ideal for off the grid. Just have to learn spanish.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 06:41 PM

I recommend you buy a SAILBOAT!

A sailboat with the proper kit can get you anywhere on the planet that has ocean access.
Don't like where you're at?
Political climate is dodgy?
Bored with the people or scenery?

Up the sheets and get some Blue Water.
You can pick a dock and call it home, or keep moving around the world at whatever leisure you decide.

From anywhere on the Eastern Coast of the US one could visit anywhere in the Gulf, including all the Caribbean Islands, Aruba, Jamaica, Rio De Janeiro, Buenos Aires, or sail into the Pacific to Hawaii, any of the Polynesian Islands, Australia, NZ, PNG, Thailand, Japan, or anywhere that strikes your fancy.
Too much of that and you can up sheets to the Mediterranean for all there is to offer there.

Why stay trapped and strapped to a piece of land when you can take your home with you all over the planet, anywhere and everywhere the ocean offers passage.

Sure, there will be a learning curve in learning to sail, but, it's much easier than one thinks, and if teenaged girls like Laura Dekker or Jessica Watson can sail around the planet competitively, it shouldn't be too much an unassailable challenge to sail around the world, or at least picking a decent chunk of it to float around on at leisure.

You can have electricity and unlimited fresh water with wind turbines and fresh water maker systems. Food can be as easy as getting a cheap loaf of bread, luring in some Marina ducks and ... well, duck can be tasty, so too can fish.
Further, there's always work in any port where one could attach themselves to the tourist trade in taking people out on their boat, or just getting a crap filler job in a hotel, or just bumming it for cheap and free and doing absolutely nothing.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 07:02 PM

Ecuador is ideal for off the grid. Just have to learn spanish.

Isn't it customary for people moving to such regions to force the locals to learn English?

"Oi you, Juan! Fetch my Margarita mixer."

Ahh this off the grid life sounds nice!

edit on 23-12-2013 by winofiend because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 07:06 PM
reply to post by cosmicexplorer

become mobile.

i would suggest a nice van and a 22' sailboat.

u can rework the van so u can plug it in when u are using it as a home.

i have been an urban camper for 3 years or so now.

im basicly homeless andoff the grid.

work for cash in my chosen trade to avoid any gov entanglement

and plug in my van when needed

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 07:10 PM
reply to post by spartacus699

Thx for the sound advice mate....ya ...I know no matter what it is something I want to try...but like I said if I just really cant piece it all together Ill probaly move to SE Asia, Central America or South America...and as the above guy said Ecuador was one of my top picks! But id live normal and not off grid if I moved to a foreign country. I have lived in a few foriegn countries before with much success. I just would like to be independant.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 07:11 PM
reply to post by Jedimind

I literally just had this video up before I saw your post....excellent find!

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 07:11 PM
reply to post by okamitengu

I will check your link...thx mate.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 07:14 PM
reply to post by RickyD

Ya man id like to pick your brain later for can pm me or add any advice trying to make a list of more questions as im reading your guys' responses.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 07:18 PM
reply to post by Dimithae

The food aspect would be taken care of partially by trips to town. I will have a decent income to fix what im lousy at from the start. I hope to eventually make as much food as possible on my own but am trying to be realistic. And great tips by the way. I have debated about a compost toilet or not. Putting in a septic would cost quite a bit and I would love to find a way around it.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 07:18 PM
reply to post by cosmicexplorer

First i am not expert but I have looked at some aspects.

First location is everything. There are many reasons for doing this, many are preppers thinking of end of world scenarios. If you are not one of those there is a difference. Location does matter, trying to live in an area that gets snow and or is very cold gets difficult with just wooden stove for heat. Someone will have to cut and chop the wood and is also determined by where you go and will you have access to constant supply of trees to cut yourself etc.

This, wood, is a very challenging aspect to think about. So if you do pick an area that gets cold this is something to think about. Also, in cold weather areas solar panels are not very helpful, so you should think about location carefully. Water also has similar issues in cold weather climate.

So I would consider a semi arid location. There are some areas in Texas that are desirable. Although water can be issue. Water therefore does need to be high on your list. You can't live without it.

If you choose semi arid area you should choose one that has a known aquifer under it and drill your own well. You can solve your water issue and can have water even when there is no electricity. You can also check into a cistern, which is just a big tank under ground. You either haul water in and fill it once a month or so or make sure there is company in the area that hauls water for you.

Some people get there water from creeks or rivers and trees it. Rain in these areas is not much but the trade off is great energy from the sun and warm climate. Even if you go solar and batteries you will want a good wind turbine to provide power any time the wind is blowing. The two can provide all the power you need for small cabin including efficient electric heat.

I would not recommend yurt, you want the insulation you can get in a cabin. I would suggest partial underground cabin, just a foot or two underground the temperature becomes stable and is the same year round. This can considerably help you with heating and or cooling your cabin.

I would consider doubling your size, in the end you will thank yourself for the extra room, especially storage, which is number one issue in compact living.

I would look into big bend area of Texas, there is desert but then around the river there are oasis of beautiful green and trees etc.

So you are in a warm area and have solar and wind turbines for energy, you have your own water.
You can get fantastic systems for your waste. I would suggest you pick one where you use your waste in your garden. It is under the ground people lol. You will want to grow your food, semi arid let's you grow year round and waste has been used for this for thousands of years. The best fertilizer there is lol. It solves allot of your waste problem and allot of info on the net.

Now you have the major things covered. You will have to choose how you want to use your stored energy, for most i would suggest high efficient DC equipment. There are some things you will have to convert DC to ac.

Internet, forget the spotty cell phone and get high speed satellite. There are two to three companies now, I have Hughesnet and it is fast but the other gives you unlimited at night so I am going to switch.

This keeps you connected at high speed, no sense giving up everything. You can also get directtv as well.

Going offgrid is a dream for me too. Going offgrid in a cold environment is exponentially harder for obvious reasons. Water is second. You will thank me later, get your own well. Lol

Growing your own food.... It is fun and can save you tremendous amount of money. Right climate you can eat your own food year round.

I hope this helps..... Choose location wisely......

The Bot

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 07:20 PM
reply to post by AliceBleachWhite

You know have thought quite a bit on sailing....I think I would love it, but Ill be honest I am intimidated to hell about it. I was in the infantry for four years and walked everywhere.....Im afraid id make an awful sailor. One thing to add one point before this OP I was looking at cruises around the world. I am by no means rich but found a way to afford a cruise that goes back and forth from the USA to Europe at a rate of 47 dollars a night. I could afford that...and thought....maybe I could live on a cruise ship for the rest of my life haha!

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