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Need Advice to Living Off Grid

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posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 08:51 PM
reply to post by cosmicexplorer

I don't live off-grid -- more 70% off-grid, so I can't give you advice about that. Not really.

There are some things that my Darlin' and me have discovered, though, that might benefit you. This will seem obvious, but it really has merit -- at least toward our situation, and hopefully yours.

We discovered that we don't really need the things that we thought we did. We figured this out after a bad hurricane several years ago. So, here's my take:

* Lighting is good, but not necessary -- at least to the degree that most homes enjoy. Lighting, however, is cheap, so no reason to scrimp on it. I love headlamps, and enjoy using them. They aren't for everyone, but that's the way I roll. LEDs -- whether in a headlamp or in a light socket -- cost more on the front end, but often pay for themselves and then some.

* Refrigeration is necessary to support your lifestyle, but not your survival. . Freezing is primarily necessary if you live in an area where you need ice. Some 24-volt refrigerators and freezers together can use less than 25% of the power required for a convention upright fridge/freezer. Plus, appliances such as those made by Sundanzer have so much insulation and an excellent Danfoss compressor that they will maintain temperature for a long time. We have a fridge and a freezer -- chest style -- and they are very efficient. Three days without power, and everything in the freezer is still frozen. I live in the Caribbean.

* Water pressure is nice. A shower is possible without water pressure, but is it really a "shower" or just falling water? A very small FloJet 12 or 24-volt water pump pressurizes to 40 psi -- plenty to run a house. It's nice to turn on a tap and have water come out. Some of the FloJets have a demand switch on them such that they only turn on when you use the water. They make a growling sound like any angry bulldog, and burn very little power. No need for an expansion tank.

* Water heating is one of the quickest paybacks of alternative energies. We have two water heating systems -- one 12-volt for heating the hot tub, and another 24-volt for heating the house water. The hot tub can gain as much as ten degrees (500 gallon tub) on a sunny day.
We've discovered that we really don't need HOT hot water. 106 degrees becomes uncomfortable quickly for immersing one's body, so no reason to my thinking to have the tap water much hotter than that. Solar collectors for heating water can be made much cheaper than buying them, but even if a person purchases them, they pay for themselves quickly. Any conventional hot water heater uses a heating element -- even the on-demand type -- and that is a large usage of power (but not as much as air conditioning). Simple solar collectors pump water at a SLOW rate through copper tubing that is heated by the sun, and recirculates it within a system. Obviously, if you live in an area where water freezes, then more complex counterflow measures have to be used.

*Air-conditioning is not so bad in areas where the air is mostly dry. Evaporative coolers work, even heat pumps. In high humidity, there reaches a breakpoint, where......... when you need the coolth the most, it isn't efficient. So, in high humidity areas, unless a person has a lot of money to throw at the problem, fans are going to be the in-between measure. Consider a whole-house fan, which has been characterized as a "poor-person's air conditioning." It draws air into the house, and the draw must be at least matched by the volume of the exhaust. A person can close most of the doors and windows in a house except that room in which they are, and draw rapid air movement past themselves via a whole house fan. They come in various D/C voltages also.

Can you garden and can foods and dehydrate and pickle and otherwise preserve foods? Those are skills that support self-sustainability. Can you hunt and fish, or will you purchase foods to stock your larder? No judgement, just a consideration.

*Most countries of the world allow tax or other incentive credits for alternative energy systems.

*Wind turbines can be your very best friend. We studied our winds and documented them with a windmeter and several surveyor tape flags all about the area. We climbed trees to tie the tape so that we could make a general graph of our winds. We were surprised to discover that we almost always have a wandering wind. If you live near a canyon or drainage, you might have consistent winds at sundown and sunup. If the terrain is relatively flat, you might have consistent winds. We settled on a small wind turbine (

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 08:54 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Thx for the reply my friend....ya water would be ideal..its something like 90% is like 20%..however I just read an article a day ago or maybe even today that showed solar is becoming 40% efficient and new stuff coming out soon will be 80% effciient. I dont know if that is a load of crap or how much itll cost but the tech is improving. I agree though water would be idea but im worried about flood plains a little and forcing myself to have water would limit my options. But you are right water would be the best option if I found that perfect spot...hell even with the flood plains i could put something on stilts.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 09:00 PM
reply to post by cosmicexplorer

Well, apparently I miscounted my character limit. (CONT'D)

We settled on a small wind turbine (

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 09:02 PM
Dup post
edit on 23/12/13 by argentus because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 09:02 PM
reply to post by argentus

This was a phenomenal post and thank you for replying. I never thought about water pressure that is something id like to have. Oddly I do have a few quirks I need. Refrigeration is one..I have medication that has to be refrigerated at all times. I honestly probably will barely use light as I tend to go to bed when its dark and rise when the sun comes up. The house im looking at building or the yurt design im thinking will have a large glass roof...I think...and at night I can even use a lantern if i had to hold back but one small light is plenty for me.

As a few have mentioned to ..the idea of combining the two ideas of moving off grid and in a foreign country. Would put both of my options into one basket and see how it goes. I know Costa Rica has some amazing tree homes that are eco friendly and affordable. Great post and thx.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 09:04 PM
reply to post by cosmicexplorer

If this appears as a single sentence, hit "quote" to see it all. Something odd going on.

We settled on a small wind turbine (

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

I like some of the yurt designs. I like the idea of a house that can be moved. Seems like you're on the right track. Good luck and skill!

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 09:32 PM


And i am sorry for the bad english you are about to meet... to my defense... i'm Norwegian.


First i'd like to say hi to you all here ats. I've been following you all for a while without interfering. There is a lot of you that truly bare the answers for the future in you hands as individual fractals. All of these fractals seem everyday now like the combining power in motion towards a true world of consent and free from the dark side of human properties that have ruled our world...
I do most respect each and everyone of you, and would like to add that i see you all as the true pioners of tomorrow... (There cant be no life/matter without truth !!!!)
(ref: as consiousness builds matter...)

I am truly sorry for not interacting with you at an earlier time, but/and i will come forward when the time is right to do so in a more propper manner you all deserve... I have something truly amazing for you all...(for future use...) I will explain that in another topic.
All i can say now is that you are to control your own future were YOU are in charge of your own personal/workrelatet/comunity/country data...(i've already been tried bought out on for who i am i told them i am not for sale, as i STILL AM NOT, AND WILL NOT EVER BE !! My purpose i life is to HELP human entities(not greed, personal agendas, or driving money up someones ass as a result of what i do), unconditionally !!! I Dont CARE ABOUT MONEY!)


A Independent Powerunit

The make a long stor short..

I started a few years ago a study on the free energy field and came to a still undiscovered discovery...

As there are a lot of diffrent types og energysystems that people around the world try to enhance for cosuments correctness/needs (magnetic, wind, solar, quantum... etc ), it occured to me that not even one could seem to comply with the prime goal(consuments requirements) to provide enough energy to keep humans off the grid.(4-10 kwh)
(There are a couple now by the way as i know of. 1 magnetic + 1 gravity)

As individual systems they dont seem to either give the amount of power needed, nor the stability to work as an reliable resource for power over time.

Then it occured to me... every single one of them seemed determined to find the answer within
their own "fractal"/discovery/energysystem, as i still see this are the common workline...

Well, i had to try. what nobody seem to realise was that IF you actually combined some of them, you would come closer to the reliability and powerneed...

the Unit

ter months of research i magnetics i saw american oilpumps, i saw that they have motoric power one part of the lift and use gravity for its next.
Then it hit me...

If you take away the top-block and the spark of an engine and just hold the crank on top, you'll see that it almost make a whole turn
if you let it go. Now, That itself might not be intreresting but...As you now a car engine doesnt get its "power" from the sparks
but the moment generated as a result of the spin the spark give.

The whole idea is to replace the sparkunit with something else. In that way there is a possibility to gain moment(in wich you harness power)
if you got the crank going. Ok. Let me introduce two priciples..

1. The Air replacement.

the first prototype i made was with air. By that i mean to change the sparkunit with an airdriven one.

I bought myself a tank i could manually pressurize (12 liters of air)
on top of the crank(1 crank first. a mopeds) i buildt a stift/nail on top that on every turn went into an oneway (easyblowout) ventile that
became totally closed in contact position. a finetune of weights made sure i got enought "drive" to reahe
the point og air release. The vent was easy letout, so the pressure pushed the crank into another round.

As you now can see this pattern DO repeat itself "forever" IF the pressure is there. Now, With this principal
Its gonna cost pressure back into the tank as well as energy shared for other use. This i fixed with solarpower.

The solar power charge(a bigger tank) and drive it during daytime, and use it for nightimne with a 12 volts
heavy duty compressor that can push 200 psi/20 sek. I did not Fine tune the use of air, something that other can do
to make a tank last very much longer...(i pushed out 12 liter in 29 minutes(not very effective in my eyes..))

The interesting part to me at the time was just to make it and actually see that it worked. And it did.

A car engines 12 volts charger hooked on harness then power from the moment generated from the motion.

2. The Cooler principle

I got the idea for the link above.
I am in this time doing this one.

This principle is far more interesting. If you could imagine to replace the "airdriver" with let me say electromagnetic
ḧydrolic suspension. The problem here as i see it is to find these drivers in the right volts with fast action...
Electromagnets can also be used along with a read switch.

The whole idea is interesting because it does not require any special expensive things to be created.
The other interesting thing about it is that you could increase the size on the crank to get more power.
Size doesnt matter for the princip.

I do like to add that this last principle might also be trouble. the radiowave harnesser doesnt destuinguish
between frequensies so it might as well use power from the emergency frequensies as well as flight, military, radio.. etc

I'm currently working on HOW to have control the frequensies and tuning in on these usable frequensies to see if they bare
enough power for the "spark"driver.

Hope any og this make sense to you TS. I would also like to take the opportunity to wish both good luck and marry christmas...
And the marry christmas of course also goes to all of you ATS'ers out there fighting for the truth...

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 09:47 PM
reply to post by octahedron

HEy octahedron...thx for posting and speaking in english. I lived in Germany for 3 years and my ex wife was German and I know how difficult and brave one must be to put their thoughts into a 2nd language that they are not totally familiar with.

There is a huge philosophy I believe behind living off grid. It is true freedom. I was a cop for 7 years and literally hated my life after year 3. I couldnt believe how controlled I was and how borderline many of the laws we were enforcing. I left on horrible terms after a serious disagreement with my boss. But I love that I no longer work there. Ever since that moment I have been doing everything I can to get further from the "system". I am disgusted of what we have become, myself at times included, and it is all of us. No one is exempt or perfect. I feel this move to "off grid" is a step to get back to the real me. I was always most happy as a kid in the woods or on hike. Since I have left the job I feel more peaceful and understanding. I hate society and love it at the same time. So thank you for bringing up the philosophical side of it because I do think it will make the world better.

As your energy idea you mention. Magnets and gravity. I am college educated with very high scores but I have zero ability when it comes to mechanics. I barely can put together IKEA furniture even with directions. I just flat out suck. So I would have no ability whatsoever to make a energy machine that could use magnets and gravity...with that said you know of anyone who has done such thing? Or do they have systems like you are thinking on the market? I like your idea alot and I think it is even possible if you find something to give it that little lift before it uses gravity. Thx for posting Im glad you wrote your thoughts down instead of lurking...too often I lurk going back later wondering if I should have posted.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:17 PM
reply to post by AliceBleachWhite

I agree. Fishing is good and a bit of research into edible seaweed and other ocean plants. If the boat is big enough you can have small scale hydroponics set up below deck.


posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:34 PM
reply to post by pheonix358

well well... I've been ridiculed for 7 years now as a result of knowing things you don't...

So, i must say first, come on starspark... show me you you knowledge...
Or is throwing thoughts of weed the only intellectuel thing you could think of regarding the topic ???

just curious ..

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:40 PM
reply to post by cosmicexplorer

Another thought on sailing;
If you don't really need the money, don't mind the work, and have the time, there might even be some sailors looking for crew.

If you find someone you can get along with in close quarters that won't mind your lack of salty knowledge and experience, you might can sign on to crew a sailboat across water, for delivery, or even just day sailing for tourists.

You get paid. You get experience. You learn how to tack and point, reef sails, what sails are good or better for what, and what your options are with a compliment of sails, reading charts, learning your stars, and other fun things. You learn about boats, boat maintenance and water life before you ever drop any money into your own boat, and, you even get paid a little bit for it.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:43 PM
Ok here we go...
Awesome stuffe here! ...this is adaptable as opposed to concrete pours which are also an option.
Geothermal Construction
Better toilets ...but seriously...dig a damn 3x3x9 hole and use that...basically your classic outhouse.
Earthship Ideas (don't rely upon alone)
Just so you don't take things the wrong way. Please read this...understand the above advice is about theories not following step by step. Please don't follow the heard.

I'd go into detail here and look into what water is available to you at your chosen location.
You can:
A. Drill a well.
B. Catch rain.
C. Buy water rights to a larger area or buy in as a community.
D. Truck it in.

I've seen all these done and to varying degrees. However my most favorite is the rain catch for most areas. Now some folks will say you won't have enough water but I say BS. I have in fact for 6 months in a stretch lived with my friend off the grid and didn't have rain catch. We borrowed from our lovely neighbor a 67 year old lady living alone. She caught enough rain in a desert off her roof for 3 of us and herself. Now our house had no plumbing but hers did. She ran baths no problem and washed her dishes/cooked in the kitchen using her sink no prob too. That's 4 heads on one roof top in a desert. The biggest thing about whatever system you look into is the filter. My friend accept no substitute go for a reverse osmosis filter and about a 500gal. cistern for a 2-3 person house hold. You can also do some neat stuff with gravity fed plumbing when you use geothermal principals in building a house. You can usually get an all black cistern and put it above your house to feed hot water.

As far as power I'll say this. I had finally talked my mom into solar power when I came back from my first stint off the grid and she had the top local companies come give estimates. It seemed that 20,000$ could get you a solar system they would vouch for that could power her on the grid house like the power company could, and about 12,000$ would set a pretty generous back up system up, but alas my folks are weak when it comes to sticker shock and they didn't do anything with it...even though they still agree it's a better investment than a bill.

If you really want to live off the grid and are serious about retiring and can fund it properly I'll be more than happy to give as much first hand knowledge that I can about the different methods and products that I have used. But my advice to you is to learn as much as you can about geothermal heating, passive solar gain, the local water table and sources ( you can gravity feed water from a moving water source pretty easily without pumps), Solar/Wind powered systems. (it's not always sunny...sometimes wind is the better bet). And lastly I'll leave you with my sentiment...I plan on buying a boat of the 38'-42' variety...with sails and a full keel. If I can afford it I also want a self sustained house in the mountains too.

I'll leave you with this doozy of an off the grid project out of the UK where space is much more limited than here.

U2U me if you need more direction...but I warn I do expect you to do research into what I point to...I'm not going to do it for you.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:49 PM
reply to post by AliceBleachWhite

You sir represent a far more interesting boatstory if i may say so...

That might be so because the sailor is good at a lot of suff exept picking the ones for his close quarters....

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:49 PM
reply to post by RickyD


these are 2 of the exact locations I lived off the grid.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:55 PM
reply to post by RickyD

Excellent ...thx brother...good stuff and links

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:57 PM
reply to post by AliceBleachWhite

Ya a year ago I was looking into taking one of the transport ships moving containers for a cheap "cruise" on over but backed out. Id imagine there has to be tons of work around docks....and in video games that is where all the scallywags hang out would be a great skill to learn honestly...I love astronomy...learned many knots in the pick it up quick. Thx for thinking outside the box on this stuff.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 11:46 PM
reply to post by cosmicexplorer

Don't be an idiot, you move to equador and you go into the bush you'll die. It's that simple. You'll be the pray for a dozen anaimals that are hungry. If you can't survive already off grid where you are right now, by going into the woods and lasting a month or more, then forget going to some foregin country and thinking you'll just go off grid and make it. That's dumb. You'll most likely be killed. A big python finds you sleeping at night, your dinner. Or a leapord, or a spider, or venomous snake. Test it first and see if you can cope. And take baby steps not giant leaps that get you killed. Here's what you do, pack a backpack, tent and sleeping bag. Go drive to a national park. Hike deep into the woods and last a month. Hunt, trap, fish and forage for food. Build a small basic shelter, get comfortable with wildlife and weather, and test your abilities to cope. that's how you start. you don't go to equadorian jungle unless you got a death wish.

edit on 23-12-2013 by spartacus699 because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-12-2013 by spartacus699 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 11:56 PM
reply to post by cosmicexplorer

omg just thr thought gives me goose bumps.

id be afraid id find a nice spot and never leave the jungle lol

just thr thought...


posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 11:59 PM
reply to post by spartacus699

yiu sir/mam really need to learn reasing comprehension

he never said any of that

please reread. understand. then contribute sonething worthwhile

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