How much does it cost to go Off-Grid and to live on the Land?

How much Money does it take to Go Off Grid?


There are 10 things that you need to consider when going off grid and living on the land.


  1. water

  2. land

  3. shelter

  4. food

  5. communication

  6. power

  7. warmth

  8. transportation

  9. protection

  10. waste


Cob Cottage

Building a Cob Cottage

WATER

1. One of the most important items to find when preparing to go off grid is land with running water on it. Everything else can be brought in but water is essential, one must have a good water source. Ideally, it would be nice if you also had a well on the land. It doesn't matter if there is a house on the property because you can build your own house for as little as $1,000 or for as much as you want, but water...running water would be a nice luxury. Not only do you need water for drinking but you also must have it to irrigate plants, support animals and if you have a decent running stream of water you can have all the electricity you want for FREE! However, even if you can't find a tract of land that has a stream or creek on it you can still set up a water catchment system so don't despair if you can't find water on the land...it's still in the sky!

LAND

2. Regarding land, some people say that the least amount of land you can get by with is ½ acre. Personally that seems rather small to me. I think 5 acres is more like it. You want to make sure the land is habitable, that it can grow crops, that it's not in a flood zone and that it is relatively flat enough to put a house on and farm. As I mentioned previously having running water on your land is like having a gold mine, that is very important. You can find land for as little as $1,000 an acre and less but it probably wouldn't have water on it. I'm thinking it might cost about $5,000 to get a decent amount of land with some water on it but it's an educated guess from what I've researched. I recently did a little research on Craigslist and found a beautiful tract of land that was $123,000 for 160 acres of beautiful land. It was about one hour south of Portland, Oregon. If you went in with 16 people that would be approximately $7,500 for 10 acres of land in a great area! You could even divide it into 5 acres for less than $4,000. So you might have to look a bit but deals are out there and believe me the prices will continue to go down.

SHELTER

3. When it comes to shelter most people think that that is the most expensive part of the equation, but I have recently discovered Earthen houses and Cob Cottages. What are Cob Cottages? Cob Cottages also known as earthen houses are homes made out of mud, sand, straw and lime. They do not require wood framing although you can use it. And you do need some rocks for the foundation. But, the main advantage of cob is that anyone can do it and the materials are very cheap and in many cases completely free. I have included a website that teaches you how to build with cob. They say you can build a house for as little as $1,000, but I am conservatively estimating about $5,000. I am not sure if their definition of house is the same as mine but nevertheless, watch the videos and learn. People have been building cob houses for millenniums, some are still standing. They are much more durable than houses made out of wood and plaster and it's easy to repair them. And...they are so cute!

FOOD

4. It goes without saying that food is very important. A greenhouse is a must as well as a garden. There are books on how to build underground self-heating greenhouses for as little as $500. With all the chem-trails in the sky a greenhouse makes a lot of sense, not to mention having a food source year round. Animals also provide non-GMO, fresh food. Chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, ducks and cows all replenish themselves and take relatively little care. They also provide other products like wool, feathers, and lanolin. The cost of your animals will vary as well as the cost of seed but I would estimate it to be about $2,000.

COMMUNICATION

5. Communication is also very important. Satellite Internet Services are one way to go and they are relatively inexpensive. Also ham radios are another source of off grid communication. I think communication is very important as you need to protect yourself and how can you do that if you don't know what is going on. The cost for this is about $300 start up and $60 a month. However, if no satellite service is available or if you just don't want the government knowing exactly where you are via your computer or cell phone you can always opt out and get a CB or ham radio and save the $60 bucks a month.


POWER

6. These days there are many different sources of off grid power, some of them are solar power, wind power, hydro-power, and human power. All of these cost money, but I think that hydro-power is your best bet. You can buy a “backyard” hydro-power generator for about $2,000 and they say it will generate more than enough electricity for a good sized household. Of course if you are up north the water may freeze over the winter so you would have to have a back-up plan like a windmill or solar panels but if you are not up north water runs constantly (unlike the wind and sun) and you can meet all of your electricity needs with one source. Most of you are well aware of wind turbines and solar panels but there are also human powered bikes out there that can also help in a pinch, besides why work out on a treadmill that doesn't generate any electricity when you can work out and generate electricity at the same time?! Hydro-power is the most economical of the three, it provides the most power for the least amount of money. Wind turbines only work when the wind is blowing and solar power only works when the sun is shining and both are more expensive than micro-hydro power. Having said that, conserving power is one of your best bets while living off-grid. The less power you need the less you have to get. So before you do anything your home should be positioned and created in such a way as to require LESS power in the first place.

HEAT

7. In some areas of the country you might not have to worry about staying warm, but in others it will be a factor. If you build a cob house you will already be ahead of the game as they are very warm and it's easy to build a fireplace in them. In some states (like Ohio) you might be able to find a piece of land that has free natural gas on it, that would be a great boon as you wouldn't have to worry about finding and chopping wood. I think the most important factor regarding warmth is to make sure you build a house that keeps the warmth in in the first place. After that you can consider, wood-stoves or solar panels. I have just included this in the price of the house for a fireplace. However, if you do need a wood-stove, a really good one will cost you about $5,000. They have some at Lehman's hardware that are just wonderful and will heat your water as well. Personally, a wood-stove is on my must have list.

TRANSPORTATION

8. Personally, I would like to never own a car again as they require too much invasion of privacy. You have to get a license, register it, get insurance and on and on it goes. So my preferred method of transportation would be a tricycle. They have storage ability and are more stable than bicycles. I know, I know it might be difficult to go without a vehicle because of what could come up but another method might be to actually have a couple of horses or even a donkey on your property. At least animals replenish themselves! A tricycle costs about $1,000 to $2,000 dollars. Another alternative is to make your own solar car (you can find them on You Tube), however to do this would cost about $5,000, you can also buy a diesel engine car and grow your own vegetable oil but again the cost would be up there at about $5,000.



PROTECTION

9. Protection: Well, there are several ways that you can protect yourself. The first thing that comes to mind are fire-arms and I'm all for that but you'd better know how to clean them and use them before you get them. However, there are other methods to protect yourself as well. One method is by hiding. If you put a living roof on all your buildings it might be difficult for anyone flying over to notice that you are there. If your greenhouse or even your main house is partially underground it also would be difficult to know if you are there. Offense is just as important as defense. Dogs are also good sources of protection as are security cameras and security fences that are invisible. These costs will vary but should be minimal.

WASTE

10. Waste: Hopefully you wont have too much waste because you will use it. The absolute most wonderful book in the world (OK maybe that was a slight exaggeration) is The Humanure Handbook. Anyone who is even thinking of going off grid should buy this book. It tells you how to set up a humanure (composting human waste) toilet system that is incredibly cheap and will provide you with the best fertilizer your dirt has ever had! This is a MUST read and is listed above if you want to purchase it. If you dont' want to go the humanure composting route the next best thing is an incinerator toilet that doesn't use any water (therefore no need for a sewer system) and reduces human waste to non-toxic ashes. It can be put anywhere including on a boat or on the highest mountain. They run about $2,000 which is a lot less then putting in a sewer system but certainly $2,000 dollars more than using the humanure system.

Regarding income and property taxes. I have tried to construct a scenario that you could live without a job (considering so many people in this country are unemployed). One could easily sell a couple of pigs and some produce to acquire the needed money for property taxes. In some parts of the country 1 pound of wool goes for about $150. You do the math...a handful of sheep would more than pay for your taxes or other monetary needs. Cottage industries like making woolen articles from sheep, selling heirloom seeds and plants or eggs, milk and cheese would be more than sufficient. In order to get the things you need without paying any income taxes you could barter items. An idea would be to set up a bartering store and list items you have and items you need and then negotiate with your neighbors.


Finally, I haven't gone off grid yet but as you can see I've done a lot of research on it and hope to do so someday. I do think that if you can form a community and go off grid together that that would be optimal. And, I am also hoping that this way of life is viable in America in the future. Things are getting so bad so quickly that I'm unsure about whether it will be safe to stay in this country much longer. I hope this helps anyone considering going off grid and if you know of other inventions or other helpful suggestions please comment. I think that you could go off-grid for about $25,000 very nicely.

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Comments 636 comments

"Quill" 6 years ago

Excellent article... I have lived off the grid while I was in the Yukon, completely self sufficient. The amount of work it takes to maintain a lifestyle is something most people fail to consider.

At the end of the day knowing you have done it yourself is the real blessing, once you have the essentials ten you can have as much or as little as you need to survive. There I was able to live completely off the land as the land provided for all my needs.

Blessings and Hugs


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Quill, I think especially with all the innovations and information that we have now...it's easier than ever.


WildIris 6 years ago

One of the better articles I've read covering the basics of off-the-grid living. Water, year round water, is essential as is deeded access to your parcel. A compound bow is a more silent form of protection if a gun isn't your style. Cell phones don't work everywhere, nor does GPS. You've got to warn your town visitors to pay attention to your directions. Tricycle? What is that? ATV? Wood stove+firewood=warm. Brie, I hope you make it off the grid some day, but be fore warned, it is a simple lifestyle of chores surrounded by beauty.


EnLydia Listener 6 years ago

I watched a video a few months ago on building cob houses...not only are they so cool looking, but they use up so little resources compared to conventional housing....I would love to participate in building them. We live in Ohio.. in our area, I don't think there are many natural gas wells...though I think on the edge of Ohio near West Virginia they have them...google Looneyville in Pa...they have gas wells on some of their land...and also seems isolated enough for land....also looks like beautiful countryside.


Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

An interesting idea.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Wild Iris: Thanks

Enlydia, I know they have them near Akron Ohio.

Vladimir: Isn't a great idea!


bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

Enjoyed this! it's fun to wish i could,though at 61 and no spouse, it's just a wish I could for the present, but with the shaky economy, I may be off the grid in my own home cuz I can't pay the bills!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Maybe you should read my other articles about what to do if you can't pay your bills! Nevertheless, I'm almost 50 and I am planning on doing this either with or without another person. There are a lot of people out there just like you bayoulady!


gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 6 years ago from North Texas

The picture of the cob cottage is very cute. Thanks for sharing it.

My cousin built a passive-solar, rammed earth home in Colorado. There are some places in the U.S. that are guaranteed to have enough sunshine -- never going more than 2 days without seeing the sun. Here in North Texas, we can easily go a week with overcast weather during the winter, which doesn't work too well when you need solar energy.

If your proposed home isn't in one of the ideal locations, you have to be more thoughtful in the way you plan your off-the-grid home.

Also, you need to have lots of knowledge yourself, or have experts nearby, who can help you when things go wrong. My cousin said her solar batteries failed to equalize during the summer months, and it might be hard on battery life if she didn't fix that, and since she just became a widow, it was difficult for her.

Lots to consider! But it's a great lifestyle if you can get there.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

That's why I think hydro power is the better way to go.

Thanks for commenting.


majicat profile image

majicat 6 years ago

I always enjoy your writing, Brie. very interesting article, I love the idea of a Cob cottage.If such a structure was built partially in the ground, they are much easier to heat and cool. I have a friend that built a passive solar system that used reclaimed automobile antifreeze. the antifreeze ran through a pvc pipe grid in the floor to a solar panel for heating and into a large container buried underground where the ambient temperature remains at around 55 degrees.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

There are so many innovations out there these days that you can have a very comfortable life and just think...no bills!!!

glad to see your comment :)


Ray Thoughts profile image

Ray Thoughts 6 years ago from The East Coast

Brie, this is an excellent article. I wish I had the money to get off the grid. I have six kids I worry about as things seem to be getting worse in our nation. Keep spreading this good info. Go Alex!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Ray, who knows it might be even cheaper in another country...I'm trying to research that now.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

You get a "beautiful" simply for the subject matter. I never know when or if I might have to just take off with a backpack and a shotgun.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Wesman, come back anytime :)


JCShelton profile image

JCShelton 6 years ago from Seattle, Washington

Great article. I began by downsizing a year ago. Off grid has been swirling around in my mind. Like you, one day, either with or maybe on my own, I am taking the plunge. I am thinking out of the US. Thanks for the ideas!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

I just stayed at an eco-resort in Fiji that is 100% off-grid. It was comfortable and although rustic, quite pleasant to not have cell or electricity (other than a little generated by solar panels) for a few days.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

JC, I too am looking at places outside the U.S. since we are fast becoming a police state.

Stephhicks68, I think that going off grid might be a little like taking sugar out of your diet, a little difficult at first but later you feel so much better :) Thanks for becoming a fan.


J Sunhawk profile image

J Sunhawk 6 years ago from South Carolina

Prepare to work 18 hours a day to set up and maintain a home in the bush.

Working even a small one-quarter acre garden is an incredible amount of work. You don't just plow furrows, plant the seeds and watch them grow while reading books. That's fantasy written by dumb hippies who have never grown even a radish.

Then you need to deal with waste you generate, and for that you need a sewage system.

And you need to establish cleanliness for washing dishes, clothes and yourself.

Going "off grid" is incredibly complex and entails huge amounts of work. Plus there's the initial investment of many dollars to buy all the equipment.

You're better off finding a small community of like-minded folk and buying a house in that community.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Did you read the whole article. I would buy an incinerator toilet (no waste) and compost everything else. It's not as hard as you describe, there are people all over You Tube doing it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for this useful information. I think I am on my way off the grid.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're welcome...I think a lot of people will be joining you.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

These days I don't even think that you would have to sacrifice that.


onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town

What a fantastic hub!

My hubby and I have been

preparing for the last few

years to do just this thing, after

he retires.

I have a definite vision, goats over cows, no more than 2 pigs at a time, herb, vegetable

and flower gardens, wood buring cook stove, old school hand crank washing machine, generator for back up

power, ( and the computer) root cellar.... but

he recoils at the mention of honey bees!


JSAlison profile image

JSAlison 6 years ago

I didn't realize going off grid meant learning how to use fire arms. I might stay in the city!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for writing and good luck with the honey bees One Good Woman!

JSAlison: I suppose you could do without one but I wouldn't be isolated in the country without one...you are at someone's mercy if they stumble upon you.


visthevoid profile image

visthevoid 6 years ago from Around And About

Love the hub!!! I've been wondering what "cob cottages" were called for some time now - thanks!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Great, thanks for commenting!


fred 6 years ago

section 9 - I think you mean living roof, not living room.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

LOL, glad someone is paying attention. Thanks so much for pointing that out!!!


KLeichester 6 years ago

Off the grid living sounds interesting. I'm jotting notes.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

LOL, ok, thanks for writing...rate me up! :)


hattersmen 6 years ago

Brie, never read idea like this before. Sounds really interesting! I am curious if many people tried it already.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Oh yes, you can look on You Tube under Off Grid, Sustainable Living or any other terms you can think of.


Sword of Fire 6 years ago

Depends on how far off-grid you want to go. As a survivalist on the contiental divide, we had three dome tents and not much else. This is a good hub for anyone whose tastes tend more toward the comforts of civilization without the hassles. TV, stereo, appliances, central heating are all a part of the kind of off grid living you describe. Most think that it really means a lot of sacrifices. You and I both know that's not true. Good writing!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Sword of Fire..I'm curious were there any women there with you in those tents? I must confess I would like as much "civilization" as I can get..only without the government intrusion.


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 6 years ago from Northern California

Brie, thanks for this informative hub. I'm particularly interested in "backyard hydro power". We have a small farm and have been working towards self-sufficiency for a few years now. We're still a work in progress. We are tired of the government intrusion in our lives as well. We've got our food and medicinal herb gardens and a small greenhouse in place. Power and bio fuel are next on our list of To Do Items.

We looked into building an Earth Bag house here on the farm as an alternative to assisted living for my mother when the time comes. I'm going to do more research on the Cob house as well. Thanks again!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Susie: Did you see the vids on the water hydrosystem? Where are you? I think the store for one of them is in CA. Good luck with all that, I wish I was half as far as you are in the process. Let me know how it goes, OK?

Thanks for writing.


Elvis De Leon profile image

Elvis De Leon 6 years ago

I love this, and is in fact my main goal---one day to be accomplished with the help of a few hundred Hubs, lol.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

LOL...you and me both!


libby101a profile image

libby101a 6 years ago from KY

Interesting article. Thumbs up. Rating it up. Good job.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks so much and thanks for becoming a fan ...I did likewise!


Clare 5 years ago

It is interesting to go off grid but i do not think i can do it. Well, i am sure there are people who are interested to know this. Brie, this post caught my attention :) Never read article about going off grid before.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I think more and more people will start to think about these things as prices become outrageous and jobs scarcer. It is a different way of life. Personally, I think you could live very nicely off grid these days because of all the wonderful inventions that provide electricity and other things. I am by no means a "survivalist type" but I think I could do it. Just think of the freedom of having NO BILLS, NO JOB, FREEDOM...that is what appeals to me.


Aéius Cercle 5 years ago

When things collapse...communication will be limited to the local area...I would look forward to reading the next article if these other factors were taking into consideration:

-ALL Fiat-style Currency becomes as worthless as sand (well, technically it already is worthless, but I digress)

-ALL forms of very long-distance communication is DISABLED (Internet, cell-phones, even regular land-lines, ALL disrupted)

-ALL forms of transportation is HALTED (gas and fuel are no longer transported which means that other transport-devices, trains, air-craft, buses, etc., are no longer running, thus NO FOOD is delivered to re-stock ANY grocery store)

All these city slickers who`ve never worked physically hard in their entire life-times will be in for a real spill when the systems SUDDENLY all go collapsing upon everyone... soon the politicians and cops will join us mere peasants with shovels in their hands for farming potatoes IF they expect to SURVIVE...


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well, I've addressed everything except the communication which I think would be impossible to circumvent. Regarding the transportation we would have to use alternative fuel (oil based) or bikes or horses. Regarding money gold and silver, seeds or bartering would be used.


Brenda Durham 5 years ago

.........

Very interesting article.

But (sigh) my mind is paralleling it to the message of the movie "The Village" and my common sense is purty shure it ain't do-able, at least not for long enough to make a difference.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well, you are wrong. First of all people lived with a lot less than this for thousands of years. Second, go on You Tube and you will see lots of people doing it.


Mike Dale profile image

Mike Dale 5 years ago from Far northern California

I think this is a great way to live, and get more in touch with what really matters. There is something to be said for simplicity.

Having said that, I'm currently renting, and don't think I'll have the resources to buy property any time soon. Still, I try to make due as best I can. Growing food is always an option. Having plenty of wood for heat, a generator, a way to collect rain runoff, these things are all doable.

Good article!


Sophia Angelique 5 years ago

Hi Brie,

I've also been looking at this for a while, but I also have the option of living outside the US as I haven a couple of other passports.

I also think things might get very bad very quickly.

Have you looked at maker bots? They're very handy things to have.

http://makerbot.com/

Also, there are now methods of farming, including vertical farming, that mean that not so much land is required.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/16/vertical-...

There are now gismos that look like a hatstand on which one perches plants and they grow.

However,there are also some basics. For example, one only needs a few lettuce and cabbage plants. The plants actually grow enormous and one can just cut one leaf off every second day or cook it. It will feed two or three (depending on whether main dish or not).

Good article, by the way. There was a lovely article with a lot of interesting stuff about it in a magazine called 'Mother Earth' about two months ago.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Mike: There are some states Michigan and I think Kansas that are giving away free land if you will build a house on it, you should look into that.

Sophia: Thanks for the heads up, I will look into these.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick

Cob houses have interested me for a few years now, thanks for the info.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Your welcome.


Piper Day profile image

Piper Day 5 years ago

Brie, I've often thought about going off-grid too and this is a great article for necessary information so I've book marked your hub for future reference. I'm interested to know where outside the U.S you have considered going off-grid i.e. where you think are viable options (something to cover in your next hub perhaps?)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Hi Piper: I haven't really thought about going off grid outside the U.S. I've thought about leaving the U.S. and where I would go but not going off grid outside the U.S. The difficult part about that would be owning property. Each country has different requirements and I haven't even begun to research it. Maybe someday.


boyfromsweden profile image

boyfromsweden 5 years ago

interesting article. makes me think if i can do this, not a bad idea though. it'll be a great adventure!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

YOU CAN DO IT!!! It would be a great adventure, who wants to live an ordinary life!


wilderness profile image

wilderness 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

I have considered this, but there are huge problems. Where can you ever find land with running water fit to drink outside of really remote mountain ranges (where it will freeze in winter)? And for $1000 an acre, assuming you can find someone to sell only 5 acres or so?

And after water comes power. A human can power a light bulb via a bicycle generator for only a few minutes at a time by working very hard. Even the small water wheel you show cannot possibly power a well pump, refrigerator and freezer (remember, you can't poach whenever you want for your meat). Solar cells are fine in good weather and southern latitudes (where clean water is nearly impossible to find) but the cost is enormous. Few people understand just how much power we use for simple things. My mother's house, built in 1900, has gas everything, but can still use 12,000 watts of power through her ancient and tiny fuse box! (A large solar cell array may produce 100 watts at a cost of $600). Consider that your waste incinerator will use large amounts of energy, whether electric, gas, oil, wood or whatever. You still need to provide that power somehow.

Will you cut your firewood with an axe? Chainsaws need gas, oil, etc. In short order you will have cleared all your land, and you probably can't cut trees on federal or state land. Even if you can, you will have to transport it home - that means a horse, mule, ox, etc. Are you prepared to grow and store feed for the animals as well as yourself?

And finally, are you prepared to handle a broken leg with no help at all? How about a heart attack? Doctors are kind of nice to have around... Yes, people lived off the grid for thousands of years - they also died young.

For me at least, while sounding very appealing, the problems and challenges far outweigh the benefits.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well Wilderness I think you should change your name to suburburbanite! First of all in Ohio they have FREE gas wells so that would take care of heat and the gas could be used for the toilet. Regarding electricity the water power generator will generate enough power for a whole household (at least that is what they say). Yes, finding running water is key but it can be done. There are places in the country that are giving away free land (albeit without the water) but there are also lots of places where land is very cheap. No one said it would be easy...easy is sitting back in your easy chair with remote in hand and saying it can't be done!


prayers 5 years ago

Great Hub! Thanks for the info on Cob Cottages!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're welcome


lovetherain profile image

lovetherain 5 years ago from Untited States

One of the best hubs I've read so far! Great job


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Wow, what a compliment..unless it is the first hub you've read :)


indigo blue ideas profile image

indigo blue ideas 5 years ago from Philippines

Great Info. I plan on having a home that taps the environment for resources, but not totally off the grid.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Good Luck and thanks for writing Indigo


wilderness profile image

wilderness 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

LOL. Maybe you're right, Brie. I very much enjoy visiting the wilderness, but even then I take the "grid" with me in the form of an RV.

My hat's off to those that live totally off the grid - there was a big write up about someone up in the mountains of, I think, Idaho a while back. The forest rangers kind of looked the other way about his poaching, squatting and wood cutting, but then he lived in a cave and made no changes to his surroundings. A wild and lonely life.

In any case, a good hub and one that might convince some to decrease their dependence on modern conveniences even if they don't get completely off the grid.


Leftout 5 years ago

Hi Brie. Your optimism about living off the grid and your pessimism about condition the USA are both intriguing to me.

You've done a lot of research. Please consider living in a developing country for at least 1 month as part of your research. I do and it is eye opening.

Power has been off for the past 3 days. We buy flour and rice 200 pounds at a time. Anything that comes in a box is a luxury we bought when we visited the capitol city. We had to hire a car to go that far because we don't own one. Legs and tricycles don't take you very far.

Whether you think the USA will be a police state or a lawless state, I think if you consider it, you will realize that someone stronger than you will come and take all your stuff you so carefully planned for an bought. We are "strong" because we are white so that keeps most of the gangs away. Though others have had home invasions by army soldiers with their ak47s. Not government sanctioned... Just guys supplementing their pay. Soldiers and police make about $150 per month. A general makes about $2500 monthly. As long as you do everything they say, they don't want to hurt you but go against them for an instant and you will be hurt.

Yes, a am suggesting you are naïve but I really am not trying to be rude or suggest you are stupid. Again, Just suggesting you consider an extended stay overseas as part of your research.

One small note of sarcasm.... We call cob cottages mud huts here. :-)

Best regards


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Leftout: I am well aware of conditions in other parts of the world (although I've never lived in an area such as you describe). And while I do think things could degrade to such a level in the U.S. I think that one has a greater chance living in an obscure area with a little farm than one does in the city. I could be wrong, sure but nevertheless. It's not about winning so much because if you've read my other articles I don't think we will win (the Bible says there will be a one world dictatorial reign). But, I think a person can stall and I think you would have a better chance doing what I am suggesting. Some Jews who hid out or survived in the woods lived to see the next day. While most that were rounded up died in concentration camps right away. Nothing is going to be perfect in this world.

Btw, maybe you have mud huts but cob cottages can be quite beautiful as my pictures show depending on one's skill and time. It's not the ingredients but the artist, one artist makes finger-paintings while another can make a Rembrandt!


helene.bliss 5 years ago

Wow! I really enjoyed reading your informative hub. I learned new things and thanks for sharing such a wonderful hub to us.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Helene, it's my pleasure!


ecoggins profile image

ecoggins 5 years ago from Corona, California

This hub is very fascinating. It is very informative and has many good ideas. But, sorry to be so dense, what does "off-grid" mean?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

The grid is specifically the electrical grid but the common meaning these days is to be self sufficient, to not be hooked up to power, sewer, gas, etc..any municipalities.

Glad you liked it, come back soon!


Leftout 5 years ago

As I read your comments and answers, it is clear you have a wonderful sweet heart. Please believe that I'm not trying to rain on your parade!

I really do hope to give you some more areas to research as you desire to go off grid. First, my inverter has been overheating for days. My background is aerospace engineering and I'm a hands on guy so if I can get the info and parts (or gear to make parts), I can get it working again. Pretty much anything mechanical isn't a problem for me. If you have a problem with your electrical power source, who repairs it?

Now farming, while I can fix about anything, I can't grow a thing. Thankfully, my day security guard ( I have 3total for 24 hour protection) is also a wonderful gardener. We live 30 miles from the equator so we plant new nursery beds of vegetables every 2 weeks. Vegetables are continually ripening. I'm "rich" so I can afford to get water transported to water the plants in the dry seasons. The point is, as J Sunhawk mentioned above, farming isn't easy. It requires lots of labor, some love and some expertise gained by experience. I can't do it.

Animal husbandry is the same as farming. From cows to chickens to bees, they again require time, love and expertise gained by experience. I have really enjoyed learning to raise bees. The cows and goats get loose and eat the garden. I can't seem to get raising chickens right. The ones that survive get eaten by the German shepherds I have for protection.

And do you have any idea how much 3 German shepherds eat? You need a job just to pay for their food. You also need some expertise to own a good watchdog. Otherwise, he is useless against intruders and will hurt your friends.

Multiply your present assessment of the difficulties by 10 and then continue pursuing your desire to live off grid. You will be better prepared to succeed.

Finally, if you know Christ as your savior, do you really want to be hiding out while the world is going to hell or do you want to be in there helping others, sharing their burdens and sharing the Good News of Christ with those who so desperately need it? Is your security in Him or in things?

God bless you, Brie


Leftout 5 years ago

Hi again and for the last time. I've read some of your other hubs on this really slow internet connection I am using. Just too slow for this type of activity.

Just wanted to say that there is no need for you to address that last paragraph about where your security is. I can see your love for Christ in your posts.

I don't agree with the need for so much doom and gloom about the future (my take on a lot of your hubs) even though it sounds as though we share end times interpretations. I like to find what is good today and encourage someone who needs it. It makes my day so much brighter! I don't think we will be around when things get really bad but if we are, I hope I can manage to do the same then.

Back to the topic at hand, I'm only partially off grid and providing for myself and even that is tough so take my advice/experience there to heart. Also, things break and wear out so factor that in your calculations.

All the best to you.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Hello Leftout: I'm glad you stumbled upon my blog. Let me address some of the items you mentioned. First of all, my family has had a garden for as long as I can remember. It's not that hard. I really don't understand why you think it's that hard. If you look on You Tube a great many people grow and eat their own food. So, I guess I don't understand the difficulties there. Also, with a greenhouse it's even easier (something I intend on having). Regarding fixing things if they break down, well I guess I will learn as much as I can about them and do my best. If the toilet breaks down we can always revert to an outhouse. If the water power generator breaks down we would have to go without electricity (something people have down for millenniums). I think we could survive it but sure it would be uncomfortable. If I can find a place in Ohio with the free natural gas wells, we would always have heat and some light and could cook. So that is a big plus for Ohio. Regarding the animals, sure I don't know that much about them, but once again people and animals have been surviving for thousands of years without being on the grid so how hard can it be? If something happens it happens, we would deal with it. I had a friend who had a cow and he hardly had to do anything with it, just let it eat from the pasture and it was fine. Chickens can be tricky and I'm reading up on them now. Sheep, from what I've read are very easy to take care of and so are pigs. I would have a fence to keep them in.

Regarding dogs for protection. It probably wouldn't have them for protection. I love dogs and might have one or two small cute dogs but I would definitely have to keep them away from the chickens. I would use guns for protection.

If someone stumbled upon my farm and wants to kills us and take everything so be it. Once again, not worried about that..my true home is heaven.

Finally, all of these plans are just that plans...if the Lord wants me to do something else I am more than willing. These are just things I research and look into. I am not "depending" on them, the trust is in the Lord and my true home Heaven.


crazyman 5 years ago

hi i think it is great to think that you should go off grid, but what about getting people together to fight the gov take over of this country and still live on as much of what god gave us , and (wilderness) that person is talking about poaching. well god gave us the animals to live on why should we care if the gov put a law in place for there own agenda as long as u use all of what you kill god well not judge you,


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well Crazyman: You can't fight if you are dead from exposure or starvation, can you? And what about the older people and children...they have to have a place to survive.


Steve in Maryland 5 years ago

I visited a neat ecovillage in Missouri and found it to be inspiring. There are about 50 people living there now. They are mostly off-grid. They build cob houses themselves and reuse construction materials. They have solar panels and wind generators. I learned a lot about the whole lifestyle. I loved it. I am a cyclist, so it was a natural for transportation. I currently live in the suburbs and am thinking about getting chickens.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Great but check the laws in your area, some suburban areas don't allow chickens, some only allow a certain number of them. I have a friend in Portland Oregon and they allow 3 chickens in that city. Of course you could get them anyway but make sure that you share your eggs with your neighbors so that they don't complain :)


tcfsu profile image

tcfsu 5 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

Very interesting hub. Hopefully I can put these tips to use one day!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You and me both!


jdavis6618 profile image

jdavis6618 5 years ago

Very interesting article. How did you come about the idea of living "off the grid?"


jdogg42 profile image

jdogg42 5 years ago

I would love to do this


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

jdavis6618: The more government intrusion I see and the more they are taxing us and the more inflation makes me want to be completely independent.

Thanks for writing jdavis and jdogg


Ryan 5 years ago

One thing to think about before going off grid is to see what you really need as far as water, electicty, etc. and reduce as you can. All I did was change the way I did laundry, put in a low flow toilet and altered my shower habits ( i.e. less time) My water company called and asked for a meter reading because they figured it was broke, that's how much it was reduced. I'm also looking into starting a vertical garden in my small backyard. As long as you keep a good crop rotation going, and by this I mean harvest what's ready and plant something else, you can keep veggies coming in all the growing season. And to the nay sayers? Anything can be done....it's simply a matter of what you're willing to put up with until you join us =) Grat hub!


RyanWI 5 years ago

BTW after reading this and a few other of your, hubs? I gues they're called? lol I decided to join and keep up with you....Great topics!


hattersmen 5 years ago

wow - such a great hub :)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Wow RyanWI, what a compliment! And thanks to you too hattersmen!


hub007 profile image

hub007 5 years ago

awesome water power generator video keep posting hub like that thx


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I know, I love it too and the really great thing is that they keep inventing things. Believe me I will.


ugagirl66 profile image

ugagirl66 5 years ago from South Carolina

Very interesting article. I was watching a documentary a week ago about Armageddon and what survivors would live like once it happened. It is liking stepping back in time. It is beneficial to know that you can live off the land that God provided us with. Sometimes I am surprised at how needy some people are to technology and the comforts of it. What would happen if the world stopped today and we all had to start from scratch. Could they survive?

Thanks for the information. Awesome!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for commenting ugagirl66.


New Era Hats 5 years ago

New Era HatsI really liked your article and I shared with my friends in my facebook account ..


cooltriker profile image

cooltriker 5 years ago

A great article, but in reality i dont think you can be totally off grid, or self sufficient in the uk, dont think they would ever allow a cob cottage..

would be fun trying though


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Are you kidding Cooltriker? They are all over the place in the UK>


JeffLesa101 profile image

JeffLesa101 5 years ago from Missouri/Southwest

Hello

Great article and lots of good comments on both sides

we (myself husband and all our animals) are 85% off grid

we started 100% on 5 avres of undeveloped land in the middle of nowhere..LOL

Have been at this lifestyle for a year now

and let me tell you...It was a real eye opener..

How much you have to give up, conserve on and thinking outside of the box so to speak.

We just got elertic back in May and use very very little

Have no well or running water..haul and store all our water

Wash laundry by hand and hang outside on line

Have a woodburning stove have built almost all of our housing out of recycled plywood and pallets (all for free) except a tiny travel trailer we started in and a small (free) mobile home we just got in with rooms added to it..Everything we have built including our barn for our cows/calfs goats rabbits chickens quail ducks pigs and dog houses and all storage shed including our outhouse..Yeap have one of those too..But mostly use our composting toilet in the colder bad weather which is inside..

It is very hard but very do able and very rewarding

And yes it is about an 18 hour day and cell phone doesn't pick up out here just got internet out here a year ago..

Gun a must have if you want to keep your livestock and chickens safe from all the wild animals

5 acres is a good size area we think

We really liked your article and wish you the best of luck with your dream of living off grid..

It is very rewarding..

Look forward to getting to know everyone, learn from others and share our life experiences with everyone as well thru our own hubs hopefully real soon..

God bless

Lesa and Jeff


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Lesa, what state are you in? And, thanks for writing your first hand information is very valuable.


Solar Panels 5 years ago

This is Interesting


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I think so too!


Lamme profile image

Lamme 5 years ago

Brie, what an interesting hub! I've always been interested in this and you have done a great job in showing some of the important elements that need to be considered. I have to admit, protection has always been a big hurdle for me. I guess if they over power us, there is not much we can do. I'm in total agreement with you though ... my true home will be with the Lord. I don't think that contradicts preparedness.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I am always so glad to hear from people like you. I write about things I'm interested in so it's nice to know that there are others out there who are like-minded, it sort of makes one feel a little less alone in the world

Thanks for commenting.


Grant W profile image

Grant W 5 years ago

Great article I agree with your last paragragh. The U.S. Gov't is making it harder and harder to be self reliant.

If you have the ability to get out, get out. The wealthy and influential are.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

So true, so true

Thanks for writing


jaslevine 5 years ago

Never even thought of something like this, but a really cool idea. Not many people could probably do it though, I don't know what I'd do without my iPhone and iPad!


Trinsick profile image

Trinsick 5 years ago from Cali

I'm all about the 4 hour work week, someone earning 5k/month working 4 hours a week is richer than someone who makes 10k/month working 40 hours a week.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

jaslevine: I think you could still have both of those items using satellite as I mentioned.

Very true Trinsick!


pylos26 profile image

pylos26 5 years ago from America

Brie…I truly enjoyed reading your article…until the religion oozed in and categorized it.

BTW…might a left wing thinking person (non-religious fundamentalist) also enjoy the idea of living “going off grid”?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Sure, in fact most are of the left wing ilk already. But, surely you don't begrudge my freedom to think and say what I believe on my own blog!? BTW, I just reread it..where is the "religion" oozing in? Not that there is anything wrong with that!


Brunomax 5 years ago

I've been thinking off grid for several years now, just trying to convince the wife it's the right thing to do. Tired of going to work just to pay for this big house that I don't need. Wife and I just turned 50 and it's time to start living life like it's meant to be.

Excellent articles Brie! By the way I live in NW Ohio. What part of Ohio do you reside?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I live in Manhattan but I have relatives in Akron.


mviadam profile image

mviadam 5 years ago

Really cool stuff. I guess the hardest part would be the mental transition from on-grid to off-grid. Any advice?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I don't think that would be difficult...after all how hard can it be to transition from expensive to FREE!


MikeNV profile image

MikeNV 5 years ago from Henderson, NV

Wow after reading this I'm thinking it might be cheaper to stay right on the grid :)

I remember watching a series called Survivor Man and he showed his experience with "Going off the Grid". If you get a chance to see this program it's well worth watching at least this one episode.

You can find it by searching Survivorman Off the Grid on Youtube.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I don't think it would be cheaper and not only that but then you are at the mercy of those who control the grid.


GuitarTabsForBe profile image

GuitarTabsForBe 5 years ago

Really enjoyed reading this hub. Thanks for posting it. It's given me lots of ideas about what I might be able to achieve in terms of 'living light on the land' in the future.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks, I think it's pretty exciting actually.


dpatullo741 profile image

dpatullo741 5 years ago from UK

The basics you have mentioned is fantastic for being a grid. I feel people should try this.


mobile themes 5 years ago

very nice and informative hub...


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks, now if I can just find the land!


wsupaul88 profile image

wsupaul88 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

I'm really into renewable energy, especially solar so this Hub was really interesting to me! You are a great writer!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Wow, thanks wsupaul88 I really needed that tonight :)


jmarq25 profile image

jmarq25 5 years ago

I like the Hydro generator section. I did not know they could be had for $2000.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well that's what it says and it seems to me if you were at all inventive that you could invent or make one for much cheaper...trick is finding a fast flowing stream or waterfall on your property. If you have that...you are GOLD!


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

Very interesting article Brie! Had never given this much thought before, but now the wheels are turning. Hmmm. I think this article deserves a "Part II" with more details on the risks and benefits involved. Great piece of writing!


Kenngd profile image

Kenngd 5 years ago

I'm a relative newbie, so this is just what I needed to read. Thank you!

The only remaining confusion is why I earned nearly $10 the first day (I was very enthused!) and just pennies ever since. A come on?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Pharmacist: I do have an article about the Pro's and Cons of Cob Cottages and I am in the process of writing more about these things ..mostly because I am so interested. Thanks for writing!

Kenngd: I don't understand your comment regarding the money?


Rouillie 5 years ago

I've been in love with cobb homes for years! Thanks for another great contribution on the subject. :)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're quite welcome. Not very many people are aware of them and I wasn't either until about a year ago.


lilyfly 5 years ago

Thanks Brie... I grew up w/ a Father who put in solar panels, had a windmill, and even a solar shower,(quite an invention!), and a Mother who grew wheat, oats, and flax for spinning. I've never heard of a place that has Natural Gas for free.... you mean an underground resource? I've worked in the Oilfiend for 30 years... that stuff is tricky! Tell me how! Thanks for article...lilyfly


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I don't know how it works I just know it exists in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Interesting life!


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 5 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

Thank you. Bookmarked for further use!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Wonderful, thanks for dropping by, information is key!


David Roth 5 years ago

Brie,

This is really good stuff. Thanks for bringing it together and writing a fresh piece on what's needed to live off the grid.

Like you, I love NYC. Despite having moved to the beautiful desert Southwest three years ago and loving it, I miss Manhattan and so returning for my regular dose of life in the City is a (volitional) necessity.

So where off the grid do you aspire to moving? And what, for you, are the real driving forces behind and determining factors for where and when you'll make the big leap?

Again, thanks so much!

David


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Hello David:

Thanks for writing. Welllll, I haven't quite decided yet. I am considering southern Oregon. The land is relatively cheap, there is decent sun (better than further north) and most importantly water. Also, Oregon is a state that seems pretty amiable towards alternative energy and that kind of lifestyle.

I do love NYC and this whole thing of going off the grid has nothing to do with my love for the city. My reasons have more to do with the current state of the world and specifically our country. If I didn't think that our country was going to hell in a hand basket I think I would stay in Manhattan forever. I think that things are getting bad and will get a lot worse. I think food prices are going to go through the roof as will energy prices and just finding a decent job is difficult, not to mention the rising taxes. So, I love the idea of being FREE! And going off-grid is FREEDOM indeed. I love the idea of eating healthy non-GMO Frankenfoods and drinking clean non-flourided (sp?) water. I also don't want to work for some evil corporation. The idea of baking bread and milking cows sounds much better to me.

One of the main things I am looking for is another big drop in real estate and hopefully a corresponding hike in gold and silver. I think that might happen this year or at the latest next. When that happens I will leap!

Glad you liked the article I hope you became a fan as I have related articles out and more coming.


miles moxley 5 years ago

i like this article and im in the process of going off grid and should be gone to it by 2012.. im building a wooden yurt.. they're dependable.. sturdy and efficient and you can by one under twenty-thousand dollars.. i cannot wait to leave this society and get back to basics.. remember.. all you need to survive is food.. water and shelter and fire.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Great, good luck Miles Moxley


David Roth profile image

David Roth 5 years ago

Brie,

A fan I already am. Great stuff!

Oregon is a great place. I love my 330 days of sun each year, however. Now if only I could get land here with an endless, rushing water source.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Yes, that is the challenge in the southwest!


Glemoh101 profile image

Glemoh101 5 years ago

thanks for your great hub , but i comment here to ask you some thing and i hope you reply me .

How you this hug number of likes on facebook 1000 Likes!!!


craig 5 years ago

ANYBODY have twenty five thousand they cane spare


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I wish I knew Glemoh101, I wish I knew..it just happened today. It's actually more like 1300 now but I think it stops at 1000 on the front page.


Rick 5 years ago

You forgot hugs. Can I have one?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Sure! ( )


Fabian 5 years ago

Brie, how can I follow you or stay in contact with you? I want to continue to learn more. I put my house on the market and am needing to have plans in place. I live in my dream home now ( 9300 sqft) but it's not going to be practical staying here. Enjoyed your article very much. Are you on Facebook?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You can become a fan..(under my picture)top right corner and subscribe to my RSS Feed and you can also write to me..same spot.

Thanks for writing


blackreign2012 profile image

blackreign2012 5 years ago

Brie this was very valuable information. Especially for me.. due to the current climate as far as this gov't has got me looking for ways to go off grid and get the hell out of the city.. ty for sharing this ~hugs~


jblogys 5 years ago

Very good article, I dream of going off the grid to some extent-someday . . .


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks blackreign and jblogys, I'm glad to be of some help.


Piper- profile image

Piper- 5 years ago

Oh my gosh, I really love this hub!! This is absolutely spectacular, and not to mention it is and excellent way to help one get more intuned with nature and conserve the environment. God bless you for this, I just love it!!

This is so inspirational. I was thinking to myself recently that if I win a sweepstakes taking paid surveys that I really want to help the genuinely homeless and down and out folks and I said to myself "what would I do with the money?", "In which way would it be best for them and for myself to utilize this if I won say $50,000 on top as a bonus of me already being paid for each individual survey. You have helped me decide with this hub. OH my gosh, I want to build a eutopia for the homeless, shattered, and broken using these methods, thank you so much for sharing this.

Sat Nam, **(-_-)**

Piper

P.S.

I will now go and click on "relevant" google ads to show my appreciation.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Piper, I'm so glad you like it and I think it would be wonderful for the homeless BUT Please don't click on ads for that reason, you might get me into trouble!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 5 years ago

What a wonderful article Brie. Very informative.Thank you!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Mechesier, I'm glad you liked it.


JodiVee profile image

JodiVee 5 years ago

I've thought of living off the land before, but it was just wishful thinking. If I ever decide on it, I'll return to this hub for reference. Thank you for writing, it was very insightful.

http://www.jobvirtue.com


BigSerious profile image

BigSerious 5 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

Really fascinating! Our home in Vermont used a composting toilet that assisted good soil production for our large garden. We also composted all of our food waste, adding to healthy soil. Healthy soil is imperative for not only a great, sustainable garden, but to feed the natural ecology of the area. It all works as a great symbiosis for healthy clean living. With a well-balance ecosystem, you could move to having wild animals for food, or simply to till the earth naturally, making for a plush and bountiful land. Canada has a lot of land... and a lot of cold! :) Have fun!


Playdoh profile image

Playdoh 5 years ago from Michigan

This is kind of how my uncle lives. He said it was the best thing he ever did. Also a couple of the alternative energy ads that come up are worth looking at.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Playdoh, what state does your uncle live in?


VermontBotanicals profile image

VermontBotanicals 5 years ago from Vermont USA

Great ideas here, especially in this economy.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I think so too, I think that people with very little means could make a go of this.


William Lawson 5 years ago

You mentioned Southern Oregon as a possible destination. Good choice. And, as you've noted, Oregon really does have a very progressive attitude toward sustainable living. In any case, its very nice to see that your article has gathered so much interest. Keep it up! ;-)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

It's amazing to me! Thanks


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 5 years ago from USA

Ive always wanted to do stuff like this- congratulations on the hub.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks PhoenixV...I haven't done it yet either but this is what I've researched, there will be more coming.


Mik Fielding 5 years ago

An interesting article, not sure about the incinerating toilet idea as it needs fossil fuels. A compost toilet works very well is simple to make and produces useful compost.

There are hundreds of ideas in Autonopedia that can be put to good use and I would suggest that it is the best starting point for anyone considering living off the grid http://www.autonopedia.org

Contributions are also welcome as it exists for the purpose of spreading the knowledge about sustainable and autonomous living...


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for the tip. I'm not sure but the incinerating toilet might be run on electricity that is generated by wind or water?


bigocean profile image

bigocean 5 years ago from New England

Hello,

I love the concepts in this hub. From my building experience the "off the grid" concepts presented here are more than doable! Many of us have dreamed of this life style and in today's world with easy access to information and products and other folks experiences...well the ground work has been set. That's what I call.... "going Green to the extreme". Thanks for a very informative hub.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks "bigocean", I agree. Even though I haven't gone off grid yet I've watched hundred of videos from people who have and researched this quite a bit (still am) and I think that not only is it doable you can have the same, if not better, quality of life for a very low amount of money. It's very exciting to me because it represents freedom. Thanks for commenting.


Vcize profile image

Vcize 5 years ago from United States

But how do we write new hubs from off the grid? :P


FabLiz86 profile image

FabLiz86 5 years ago from Los Angeles, Ca

Great ideas! Definitely bookmarking this one for future reference.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Vcize, easy...satellite (I mentioned it in my article)

Thanks FabLiz86


dpatullo741 profile image

dpatullo741 5 years ago from UK

The article is interesting. I have read this again.

Hoping to see next time more interesting article.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I'll try Dpatullo


mike6181 profile image

mike6181 5 years ago

Bought a piece of property up near the Puget Sound, on the coast of Washington. Due to misunderstandings of the zoning for the property, neither it or other nearby lots had been developed. It was thought that the private land on this Quinault Indian reservation was under tribal regulation. It appears clearly that it is not so now, nor had it ever been. In any event, I was looking at many of the ad items you placed on this hub and came to the conclusion I had been on a similar track. I had been considering placing a hard wall yurt or other such item on the land, the tribe telling me that only an RV was permitted. Not so. By the way, if I might say so, if someone wants property within a few minutes of beach access, let me know. I'm selling the property.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Look into this, you can list your property here:

http://www.off-grid.net/landbuddy/


martycraigs profile image

martycraigs 5 years ago

VERY cool article! I hadn't thought about moving off the grid before, but that's probably because I've been so caught up in today's technology and modern living. Going off the grid where no one is able to bother me...now that sounds like paradise!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

FREEDOM! That's what it means to me! Thanks for commenting martycraigs.


joyfuldesigns profile image

joyfuldesigns 5 years ago from Washington State

Very interesting. I've never heard of a cob house. The image of the one at the top is also, very cute. It's hard to believe they estimate that you could build one for 1K.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well the one in the picture would be a lot more. The one for 1k would be very small.

Did you see my other hub about the Cob Cottages?

Thanks for commenting joyfuldesigns.


zippot profile image

zippot 5 years ago

Excellent Article like you i have been researching of grid living and that way of life i moved to spain from the uk for the weather mainly and have found many people living that lifestyle. a friend is building a earthship in andalucia which is another form of building. I look forward to reading more of your articles.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks zippot, I have several on this topic. I hope you became a fan.


Kwazzy profile image

Kwazzy 5 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

You put alot of thought into this! Very impressive and i look forward to reading more! Good job!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Kwazzy, I hope you rated it up. I had over 3000 "likes" on facebook on this article for some reason they all disappeared.


Kwazzy profile image

Kwazzy 5 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

just did! thanks again for the article :D


Y not profile image

Y not 5 years ago

The Amish would be the authority on that subject,from what I understand they don't even have to pay taxes.


janderson99 profile image

janderson99 5 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

Great hub- What about solar heating and energy supply?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Kwazzy!

I think the Amish do pay taxes, but I'm not sure I looked it up a while ago.

One at a time janderson99, one at a time!


RegStier profile image

RegStier 5 years ago

Sometimes I think about what would it take to live off the land, and I must say, there's a few points you've brought up that I didn't consider! Excellent article, thought provoking and educational.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks RegStier, I guess I'm a little obsessed :)


rpalulis profile image

rpalulis 5 years ago from NY

Now this is my kind of living. I too have been researching this and plan to start building next year. I have never heard of cob houses before. I just recently wrote a hub on tiny house and the small home movement.

I think this is wonderful and so doable

My parents own 5 acres and surrounding family another 120 acres. I plan on building my self a tiny house on wheels and parking up on top of one of our breadth taking views, and begin my journey of living off the grid.

I agree that it would be great to form small communities.

I have family that still live in NYC and Long Island and they can't wait to get off the Island. We always talk about building a bunch of small houses on our property so that they could sell their homes, quit their job and come and move upstate with us.

Anyway I can go on and on. I am super excited about this.

I think you did a wonderful job with this hub. I rate up useful and very awesome.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thank you so much. I love your enthusiasm. I have some other hubs about off grid living, stop by anytime, rpalulis!


Shane Belceto profile image

Shane Belceto 5 years ago from WA USA

Great idea and yes I think the location would be key for me for some reasons such as you suggested .. don't think i would fully go off though but like you said satalight internet access would work smiles and then could earn online money to pay for those things that come up like new animals property taxes etc. Oh and to pay for chocolate since it don't grow arround here well grin.

~Expect Miracles


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Did you see my other article about WHERE to go to live off grid?


ArcherDawn profile image

ArcherDawn 5 years ago from Las Vegas

Great article and wonderful details on how to really get up and running. A lot of things to consider when thinking about cutting costs. My biggest drawback? We live in the Las Vegas desert and my gf is having triplets in a few months.... trying to do that here w/o the security we would need and 3 kids so young being comfortable and close to emergency personell.

I did a little research on Magniwork link and found only 3 complaints have been reported to the BBB. All in different categories. Haven't been able to find one unbiased (not paid for the blog) review, yet. More people should check it out before buying. I have to assume that for every 1 complaint, there are at least 20 people that don't report the issue to the BBB. More people should use the BBB resource to help protect their fellow consumers and keep companies in check.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

ArcherDawn, thanks for writing. People go off-grid with kids all the time. There are many You Tube videos about it. But, I would not recommend going Off Grid in Las Vegas. I wrote another article about "Where" to go off grid and one of the areas I said to avoid was the desert.

BTW, thanks for the heads up regarding Magniwork. It sounded good to me but I didn't check out the BBB (should have). I will remove it based on what you found. Thanks again for writing.


parduc profile image

parduc 5 years ago from Kos island, Greece

Fantastic hub, great idea! I wish you all the best and lots of success!

Liv


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Liv!


burning bush profile image

burning bush 5 years ago

This is really a great article. Its well researched and offers useful information. I certainly appreciate your effort. Thank you.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Burning Bush, I have some others about off-grid living you might enjoy as well, thanks again for commenting.


Rastamermaid profile image

Rastamermaid 5 years ago from Universe

This is a awesome hub.

Giving me tons of ideas,I've been looking at rental property in Jamaica and Panama.

Your hub has given me new vision,never thought of building.It's an option,I can fruits and veggies so to grow my own and preserve would be a labor of love and especially coming from my own land that I tilled and maintained myself.Can't get any better than that.

Great hub!

Thanks for sharing!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Oh I am so glad, it makes me very happy to help others fulfill their dreams.


Andrew 5 years ago

Brie-

I see from your profile that you are from Manhatten. I'm from WI and have lived on a farm all of my life. I appreciate your vision, but please be aware your conceptualization of living of the grid is naïve at best. I'd suggest gradually living a more rural lifestyle before attempting any such drastic lifestyle change. You can't just buy a plot of land and suddenly start living off the land. It requires a level of knowledge on crop production and animal husbandry, as well as a fairly "hard" ability to deal with discomfort that someone such as yourself is highly unlikely to possess. Please leave the "instruction" to experts who have lived an actual life of self-sustainability, your research doesn't amount to squat out here in the sticks


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well, for one thing I DON'T Plan on living in Wisconsin! For another, I am just passing on information that I have gathered, I am, by no means, making MYSELF out to be an expert. You are not the only one who has gone "off-grid" there are many people who have done it and have been successful at it. Besides all that I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to milk a cow and feed some chickens and grow a garden...maybe it does in Wisconsin but I am quite confident that most people can do it if they choose to, after-all people did it for thousands of years!


Deepak kaletha 5 years ago

that really great info ... awesome article


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Deepak kaletha


godbluff 5 years ago

hi brie. I didn't see any mention of Power Inverters. I think many of the "off the grid" people would be best served for power with one of these. They have them that supply up to 10000 watts ( cost about 400 on ebay) these convert the power of a 12 or 24 vdc battery ( car, truck or boat battery) into AC voltage. You can buy a cheap car, park it somewhere on the property and just run it every now and then to charge the battery. cost per day is like 3 bucks or less. ( 30 gal electric hot water uses about 4000 watts) Electric stove 3500 watts.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks godbluff: It's funny, every time I write a new article someone tells me to write another one. I am thankful for the information and I am looking into everything as fast as I can and I appreciate any and all information that my fans provide. Some of this stuff is pretty new to me and inverters are one of them, thanks again for the information.


elnav 5 years ago

Brie saw your post on Nick Rosens website then read your article. You sure base it on a lot of assumptions. Water power for instance. Water runs constantly. Oh yeah? Not from what I hear and see. Many streams and river vary wildly with the seasons. A friend trying to set up for off grid living in the cascades runs out of water in his well for several months per year. Micro-Hydro. Ever tried it? Its not as straight forward as you might think. Until such time as we have a total breakdown of society ther will be obstackes to deal with that has nothing to do with technical details. Check into riparean rights to get a idea of how complex water rights are. I live next to a creek and I cannot even begin to use it. Our neighbor grows enough food in her garden to feed her family but its hard work. You need an acre to graze one cow. So yes 1/2 - 5 acres is about right. Just hope you have enough hours in a day to complete the work. any folks around here were born off grid. not one of them wants to return to it unless forced into it. Two of my wife's uncles still live off grid because the wires haven't got that far yet. Too darn expensive to get the utility company to run wires.

Keep up the good work. People need something to give them hope even if it is unreaalistic. We have been living almost off grid this past year by the grace of God. No work and no money no income and no prospects. Although it gets us through it; we could not all manage to live that way. So we hope and pray Armageddon come soon. Then we can all start over and we will all be off grid.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well Elnav, there are others who do not have such dire experiences. And yes you do have to find a "good" source of water and the rights to it. I am assuming that.


MarcellusShale profile image

MarcellusShale 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

I feel bad for you people who want to go backwards instead of forward. While I keep food stocks and try to live a little more self sufficient incase something terrible happens, I surely dont want it to. I want to see the world, not be confined to 5 acres. I want things to get easier and more exciting, not harder and boring. The worst thing about people living off the grid is they get lonley and jealous, they start hoping for an appocalypse so everyone has to live like they do.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I think you are looking at this all wrong. Living off the grid is freedom because you are not dependent upon the government for services, nor are you beholding to anyone for bills. I think you have a warped view.


Scott_Grigg profile image

Scott_Grigg 5 years ago from Midwest USA-Southeast

Absolutely great info. Had never heard of Cob Cottages before I read your article. Thanks so much!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I'm so glad you liked it, please rate it up!


munirahmadmughal 5 years ago

"How much money does it take to go off Grid?"

The hub is full of information, full of education and full of experience. It merits to be rated "up" by all standards.

Money should not be the consideration if one feels shifting to another place for good reasons which may be varying from person to person according as to his or her circumstances.

Stress should not be on what I feel good for me but what good I can provide to fellow human beings being anywhere.

Advancement from good to better and better to best is certainly admirable.

May God bless all.


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

I like the ideas you listed out here. Thanks a lot


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I'm glad you like them, thanks for writing Crystolite.


rallyre profile image

rallyre 5 years ago from San Diego, California

Insightful and Interesting. I never would have thought about a bike for generating power or washing clothes. Even if I would never live like this, I think it is very creative, economical, and educational. Excellent article!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thank you rallyre


inbo5599 profile image

inbo5599 5 years ago from Michigan

Like your hub!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks, I like it that you like it :)


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

interesting hub - my sister and her family live off the grid... they have a solar panel and a windmill plus a small generator they need to start to fill the preasure tank (well water system)

I agree with the people who post "Be prepared for 18n hour days" - it is TONS of work living like you are describing.

I grew up on a small farm in Saskatchewan where we had cows that we milked, pigs and chickens.

It is NOT a life of glory.... however it is simple and there is some freedoms that you do not have if you live in a city... but those freedoms eat up 18 hours a day keeping up with sustaining yourself.

Good hub


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well, sustaining yourself might start to look pretty damn good if things keep going the way they are!


aleida_77 profile image

aleida_77 5 years ago from Los Angeles

Excellent hub. I believe it takes a great deal of courage to live off grid.


Patinwy 5 years ago

There are some interesting ideas here. Of course, not all of them will work everywhere. I did like the way ya slapped down the person from Wisconsin. They were too arrogant for their own good. In my case, I have an RV so if it hits the fan I can just hook up and head for the hills.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Sometimes I just get in the mood :)

Thanks for writing Patinwy!


trimar7 profile image

trimar7 5 years ago from New York

It would seem our ancestors had something which has gotten lost until recently. Great hub. I sure would love to be off the grid.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Most definitely! You might HAVE to go off if things keep going the way they are.


sam70 profile image

sam70 5 years ago

I enjoyed reading your hub as it's extremely motivating to know that people are able to live off the grid. I hope to offset with solar panels this year.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Good, one has to start somewhere.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Good, one has to start somewhere.


ozcam profile image

ozcam 5 years ago

Wow.. what a mega post.. Its my dream, but I cannot realize it.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Maybe in the future then...


arcadereview 5 years ago

Life would be much more interesting this way :)


Tiffany Mitchell profile image

Tiffany Mitchell 5 years ago

Love this information. Thanks for sharing!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Love that YOU love it!


ketou 5 years ago

Great hub. Interesting way to live!


Vitamin Monkey profile image

Vitamin Monkey 5 years ago from San Francisco, CA

thanks for the tips! very interesting!


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

is a wonderful hub just another potential way to live and I like reading your hub as it's quite encouraging to know that people are able to live off the network.


DaisyChain profile image

DaisyChain 5 years ago from France

It all sounds great until I came to the defence bit. Defence against what, I wondered, only to find out that it's the 'somebody' you fear. Thoughts turn to Stephen King et al!!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well, you can be afraid of anything anywhere. It's just in the country it's not like you have a local police station on the corner so you have to defend yourself. Of course if you live in the city you can't really count on the police to get there in time either.


notforsale 5 years ago

There are a few things that you may want to consider before you move off the grid.

1. Water – it is not advisable to drink service water without treating it first. Just because you have a decent running stream doesn’t mean that you will be allowed to us it for irrigation. I’m not sure what you mean by a decent running stream but to generate electricity you must have head pressure which will require a dam that you will not be allowed to build.

2. Land – 5 acres may seem like a lot but you will still have close neighbors and most 5 acre plots have zoning laws and maybe even covenants which will restrict the house you build and don’t allow pigs or goats. You mention raising cows but depending on your land one cow may take more that 5 acres. Even if you’re allowed to raise pigs and goats what are you going to feed them especially in the winter?

3. Shelter – Even with your humanure system the county will probably require you to install a septic system which will require county approval.

4. Food – storage will be one of your problems and you can’t grow everything especially on 5 acres. Try to live now on just what you think you can grow.

5. Communication – where are you getting that $60 a month?

6. Off grid power – I agree that hydroelectric is the best but I don’t think you will be able to pull it off with 5 acres. Small wind just doesn’t generate that much power and solar is expensive but you will need a way to store the power probably batteries and many things require A/C so you will need an inverter.

7. Heat – if you have a fire place or wood stove you will need wood and a way to cut it, a good chain saw is a must.

8. Transportation – you will need to haul that firewood and those horses, not enough land.

9. Protection – not sure what you are protecting your self from but as far as hiding your neighbors will know you are there and how are you going to hide the cows? Security cameras require power and when are you going to have time to watch them. I don’t know what invisible fences are except the type used for your dog that requires them to wear a special collar.

.I don’t mean this to discourage you but to encourage you to spend more time researching before you jump into anything. There is also the mental problem, are your going to be able to stand to live this life style year after year. If you find other like minded people to move off the grid with you it will increase your chances of succeeding.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Notforsale: I have written about some of the things you mentioned already. However, I will address them here.

1. There is nothing wrong with drinking rainwater (I wrote about this in another article) and also wrote about how to go about putting up a water catchment system. If your still squeamish you can always boil it...no high tech there.

2. I wrote about this as well in "Where to Live off the grid". It is very important to find areas that are amenable to doing this, there are still many areas that are and that is what I would recommend. Five acres is plenty of room, in fact books have been written on how to do it with even less than that (and yes with animals). The Backyard Homestead is one and there are many others.

3. Also, see #2.

4. See #2 It has been done, it can be done. You can also check out the many YouTube Videos that show people living off of much less.

5. You can make money by selling your produce, I make more than that just writing for Hubpages or some people have Social Security or Pensions etc. $60 is not hard to get.

6. The best electricity system is one that includes all those things however I did mention that hydro is the best and if you can get it you are golden...I was very clear about that.

7. You have to have a woodstove that you can cook on as well and yes you will probably need a chainsaw, however people have chopped wood for thousands of years and survived so it can be done in a pinch.

8. Plenty of land and wood can be hauled in a wheelbarrow if needs be.

9. Guns are pretty cheap

I'm not discouraged at all. I think if you don't want to do something you will find all kinds of excuses. I don't see this as something to "stand" I think it will be a great adventure.


doodlebugs profile image

doodlebugs 5 years ago from Southwest

It's interesting you put "water" at the top of the list. Water and energy are the two biggest obstacles. My wife and I build an off the grid cabin in the Big Bend region of Texas and we hauled water once a week from a tap several miles away, since rainwater is scarce in the region. Great Hub, thanks for sharing the info.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks doodlebugs..you should check out my hub about catching rainwater...you can do this even in dry areas.


Steve L. Cameron 5 years ago

Hello Brie, Love your article on the cob house and 10 things that a person needs to know before living off-grid. I may have the solution to some people living off-grid without bankrupting them. I lease land for living spaces, gardening, and small animals for people that would like to try homestead living without the cost of buying the land. I do have good water suppy, all weather roads. Do have electric lines running across property if needed. Located south central Illinois. Lease is $1000.00 a year. Feel free to post this even with the contact information. Please have anyone sending e-mails to put land lease in subject line. E-mail me at sdc@wabash.net Thank you Steve


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Steve, I hope you are successful.


mojefballa profile image

mojefballa 5 years ago from Nigeria

well done steve, gues your successful and living off grid.


flipu4it profile image

flipu4it 5 years ago from Washington

Useful info. thanks for sharing


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're welcome, I'm glad you like it!


tritrain profile image

tritrain 5 years ago from United States

This is my dream, to someday live 'off the grid'. Although, the picture of the house at the top is possibly a little smaller than that in my dream. :)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

LOL, I hope so! Thanks for writing.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A great hub. Thank you so much for sharing this hub plus your beautiful photos.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Glad you like it Eiddwen


DrMel 5 years ago

Love this topic! It reminded me of a couple articles I saw in YES Magazine about how small a person's accommodations can be.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/sustainable-happ...

http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/my-tiny-free-...

I've come down from a 5-bedroom in Bellevue WA to a cozy 1-bedroom apt in Seattle. And after spending 3-weeks with my mother sharing a small cruise ship cabin and having a fine time, coming home to my apartment, it felt massive!

My props to anyone who is making plans or taking real action to simplify - I think it's helped me improve the quality of my life.


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan

This is revelation to me Brie. You did a fantastic job explaining Off-Grid! The closest I have come is - camping for a few days.

People that go Off-Grid may appreciate life more than those who don't.

Vote Up - Wish I'd read this sooner!!!


Rudra profile image

Rudra 5 years ago

Good idea to live like this, but one needs to be a hermit really.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for voting it up Treasuresofheaven..it's never too late. And Rudra, you don't have to be a hermit to live like this, there are communities that are more connected living like this than a lot of people are in big cities.


vr106 profile image

vr106 5 years ago

This was good realistic information on living off the grid. The part about generating your own electricity is especially accurate as wind and solar just won't cut it for full time electricity generation. Although I do think you minimized just how much work there would be to do everyday.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I don't think I mentioned how much work there would be.


loseweightmama profile image

loseweightmama 5 years ago from Maine

Interesting Hub - I'll have to take the time to come back and read all the comments.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks and yes do some are quite interesting.


suzetteboston profile image

suzetteboston 5 years ago

Wonderful article, it is so tempting to chuck it all and runaway to some place exotic, I am too chicken though.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

We might not have a choice one day...thanks for writing.


jcnasia profile image

jcnasia 5 years ago

Very interesting article. I don't have any plans to go off grid, but if I ever want to, I know where to look for advice. Thanks for writing such intriguing hubs.

I live within about 100 miles of the Tibetan Plateau which is full of off-grid nomads. Have you written any off-grid articles about how various nomadic ethnic groups survive?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Can't say that I have jcnasia. Thanks for commenting.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 5 years ago from America

Like this Hub.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Glad you do moonlake!


sagbee profile image

sagbee 5 years ago from Delhi

The ideas you have suggested are terrific. Well, I am going to follow one of them.

Thanks


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Which one?


TheSloneGal profile image

TheSloneGal 5 years ago

very interesting and helpful thanks for this great hub


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're welcome, I'm glad you like it.


primpo profile image

primpo 5 years ago from Ocean County New Jersey

if after reading my hubs about computer chip being inserted in the skin and what it's going to get like, we should probably be looking to get land as soon as possible. this was a great hub. I plan on going back and reviewing and learning all I can. Thanks for the research and the wonderful hub..


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're welcome, thanks for writing.


nauticaricky profile image

nauticaricky 5 years ago

I would so do this if I wasn't such a fraidy-cat :) Excellent article.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

It's not that hard..thanks for writing Nauticaricky.


smanty profile image

smanty 5 years ago

Nice article, it was a great read. I was curious though, if you are communicating through satellites wouldn't that keep you on the grid?


primpo profile image

primpo 5 years ago from Ocean County New Jersey

I was thinking the same thing smanty.. Brie he is right.. that would, we would have to go back to two way radio maybe or something like that..


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I suppose you are technically right and the two way radio is a good thing. However, my main point for looking into this is independence. One could still be independent and have a satellite communication system especially if it is powered by your own electricity. Good point though.


Cameron Dean profile image

Cameron Dean 5 years ago from New York

Great article, I love how you addressed each point. I tried living off the land once, although exhausting it was peaceful.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Cameron.


Elizabeth N 5 years ago

Great job! I have been interested in this kind of a thing for a long time and from my research; you are right on about all of it. A book I highly recommend is BE YOUR OWN DOCTOR. It has so much information about how to treat simple things like skin rashes to complex like 3rd degree burns. Your attitude about wanting to do this and being optimistic will take you a long way when difficulties arise. Doing this now when there are supports to fall back on is a lot better than in a crisis when EVERYBODY else is trying to do the same thing in the mode of PANIC!!! God bless your writing and your future :) I will be following you!


tsmog profile image

tsmog 5 years ago from Escondido, CA

Love it! (Big Smile). Great Article. Fantastic Composition. Close to heart subject matter. Wonderful ideas for here at home too! Food for thought for retirement! (Another Big Smile). AND, thank you for such a creative work! remember to have fun, fun, fun


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Elizabeth and Tsmog, you don't know how much it means to me to hear encouraging words like yours.


blargablarga profile image

blargablarga 5 years ago

Wonderful article! Very inspiring!


tajul 5 years ago

Wonderful article! i read it with enjoy and interest.


RosWebbART profile image

RosWebbART 5 years ago from Ireland

Love the idea of 'going of grid' thanks for this hub.


daned123 profile image

daned123 5 years ago

This article is good, how do you get so much traffic to your page? I have made a few hubs but only 19 views altogether.....suggestions?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I've been here for 3 years, I have a lot of fans, I'm on all the social networks.

Thanks for commenting.


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

What an unusual hub about alternative lifestyles. This is a bit primitive for me, but I have been thinking of simplifying some more....again. I do think some conveniences are worth the expense.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Not everyone just dives into this kind of thing...most people take it a little at a time. Thanks for writing Kim


petertheknight profile image

petertheknight 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Wow!!! I have been looking for great information like this to build a self-sustaining home on the property I inherited and own. I really want to do some of this and I don't want to have to pay anything except property taxes. That's it.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You should check out my other articles too. I have a lot of articles about sustainable living. I'm glad you like it.


sagbee profile image

sagbee 5 years ago from Delhi

I feel good to live at alone places.


Susan 5 years ago

This is a great article. Who would wire up the electricty?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Ummm I'm guessing an electrician :)


David 5 years ago

Considering where you say you live,it is interesting

the subjects that you write about.

Love your work.

Google JJ Luna.no it's not me


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well, one should do their research before embarking on such a journey, don't you think?


Kattalover profile image

Kattalover 5 years ago

Well, everybody used to live off the grid, back in the "good old days". If you look at pictures of those days, most people look pretty harrowed, but maybe solemn faces were the way to go when having your picture taken back then. :)

One thing I don't see mentioned in your article is health care. I think unless you have a way to make enough money to take advantage of modern medicine (and a way to get to a medical facility if necessary) you have to be prepared to endure all the consequences of doing without.

Whenever I feel the desire to get off the grid I watch "Frontier House" to remind me how much hard work is involved and that it requires sacrifices.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Kattalover: I have addressed the issue of health care in another hub: http://hubpages.com/hub/Sick-and-have-no-Health-In...

Personally I think it would be easier to go off the grid today due to modern inventions.


Mike 5 years ago

What about health care?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I wrote another article on health care...look at my other hubs.


skilby1 5 years ago

Thanks for the tips, although i probably would never do this full time i am thinking about doing it for a month or two just as a holiday/adventure, it should be fun :)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Let me know how you like it skilby1.


darntoothysam profile image

darntoothysam 5 years ago from Burnsville, MN

Will I still get high speed internet access and be able to rent Blu-rays?

=)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I'm counting on it.


fillform profile image

fillform 5 years ago from New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada

Hi Everyone.

Good article Brie and obviously you have touched a button in many people's lives looking for a way out of the growing pressure of day to day living.

A couple of things that came to mind as I read your article which is very well presented.

The first are Bugs. I live in New Westminster, British Columbia by the Fraser River. In the summertime you cannot get near the river for mosquitos. I spent the summer in Squamish a couple of years ago (near Whistler, BC) and again the bugs. Black Flies and mosquitos. One of my eyes was swollen shut 3 times over the summer and countless lumps, bumps and discomfort. That is one thought.

The other is an electromagnetic generator. If some of you enterprising guys out there got hold of the plans, they cost about $50 and materials cost around $120. The result is supposed to be able to meet the needs of a modern home without any batteries, fuel, etc. It is self-purpetuating. And it is supposed to be just about silent. This was the way electricity was originally created but was subplanted by New, Great, Wonderful and Progress.

Your Hub is a good presentation and the comments show that not everyone is impressed with today's lifestyle.

Thank you for a good read.


mcimicata profile image

mcimicata 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

Extremely informative hub! I always wondered what it would cost to go off-grid, and this article allowed me to fully understand what is needed to do so!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Filform: Well, the bug thing I haven't really thought about as I have never encountered that. I suppose if I were you I would get on the internet and see what would take care of those particular pests. My other thought is that I most likely would not set up shop in a place that was plagued with bugs like that. Regarding the electromagnetic generator, I have looked into a few things that were "supposed" to be self-perpetuating but they usually don't turn out to be what they are built up as. If you have a link send it to me.

Mcimicata: Thanks for the comments, glad you liked it.


MarittaC profile image

MarittaC 5 years ago from Utah, USA

Wow, Brie, what a great hub. Just today I was thinking about how much I hate the rat race and wish I could secede from traditional society and its insanity. Thanks for the thoughtful blueprint (and many related hubs!).


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're welcome, I research this stuff constantly so if you have any questions feel free. I'm hoping to make a go of it in a year or two...waiting for the gold and silver prices to rise more while property values continue to go down.


Sam1970 profile image

Sam1970 5 years ago from NY - Londisland

That is amazing and you have put in a lot of work in research. It would be my dream to do something like this, but I don't think I would last a life living like that maybe 2 months a year. now I just need a good job..


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I think if you had a community you would actually have a better quality life.


Sunny Barb profile image

Sunny Barb 5 years ago from Central Florida

Loved this, Brie! How timely for such an article, especially in these times when things are getting challenging. I like the community idea because it is always nice to have one another to support. Very well-written! I'm a fan.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Sunny Barb...yes the community is very important not to mention that buying a large tract of land and dividing it amongst the community can make the land extremely affordable (at less than 1k an acre).


Sunny Barb 5 years ago

Agreed! It would also be good to like the people you are sharing with, but that would probably be the case since everyone is going towards the same goal. This is what it is coming to, almost reverting back to the way it used to be many, many years ago. Look forward to reading more of your work.


Morrison1 profile image

Morrison1 5 years ago from antarctica

it's not a very good idea unless your poor . but you can save lots of money by doing this


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I disagree. I think it's a great lifestyle because it substituted the rat race and the daily grind for natural processes, growing your own food, raising animals, being self-sufficient, and participating in a close-knit community. Sounds much better than commuting to work for two hours a day, working for some corporate hack of a company and going home to the boob-tube!


Curiad profile image

Curiad 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

This is very interesting, thank you Brie!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Quite welcome, thanks for becoming a fan.


Kim Broome 5 years ago

question for all of you off the gridders: We have a 650' deep well. If we were to lose our electricity, is there ANYWAY we could hand pump, or use some other way of getting the water out of that deep of a well? Not sure that it is possible, but if there is a group to know, it would be the experts of this site! Thanks for any help and your time.

Kim


FirstStepsFitness profile image

FirstStepsFitness 5 years ago

Great insightful hub. How much closer are you to going "off grid ?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I'm waiting for property values to go down some more. I think next year will be the time.


Robert 5 years ago

A little advice from someone that has seen people with this same dream, fail-

Double or triple your cost estimates.

Look for low property tax areas of the country. Otherwise you will not survive by "selling a few piglets" to pay them.

Consider realistically how much work is involved. While having a woodlot for heat or an artisan well for water is cheap, you will pay for it in your labor.

If you're going to be off grid and still use power, those alternative systems are not a one time purchase. They will depreciate over time. Just think of the price of solar panels 20 years ago and how much they are today.

I work in real estate in rural northern new england and have seen too many people give it up and move back to the cities they came from.

Good luck.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for the advice. However, you may have seen people give up and move back but I think in the near future there will be nothing to move back to...this may well be a luxury. In any case that is why I'm planning it. And, yes I am looking for low property taxes.


MLC 5 years ago

Regarding your comment about the rain catching system to the people in Texas. We go through droughts. You can't catch rainwater that doesn't exist. Everyone here is still praying for rain. We live in the Hill Country many, many miles away from major cities and you have no clue what it is like.

Also, you cannot get "satellite" service where it isn't available. Even though we are an hour away from the city, most residents cannot get satellite service. Unless you are rich and can afford it, you will do without it. And cell phones, television, pretty much everything else.

Our rivers are beautiful when there isn't a drought going on. However, most years there are and when it's not a drought, it's a flood. What will you do then on only 5 acres? Be washed away.

You aren't going to find a plot of land with running water and no bugs (re: your comment about not buying bug infested property) Good luck with that. Everything in the wilderness is infested with insects and wild animals. Nothing you can do about that.

Although your idea may comfort some, knowing there are other alternatives if things go bad, they are extremely naïve even with all the research in the world. You will never know until you do it. I hope you find a way to blog about it if you do.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well MLC, I just wouldn't live in Texas...problem solved! And as far as the satellite system, it's not a "must have" so if you can't get it, just get a CB or Ham radio. The property taxes are too damn high in Texas anyway!


xtina 5 years ago

Wow great info. I bet it's a lot harder(at first) than it sounds, but I really want to do it! It seems it would be so much easier to do as a community with shared skills and efforts. I too am not so good at growing things. Do you know of any resources for finding other people who want to do this as a community??

I would be really interested in learning about the optimal housing and resource options in a rainy more tropical climate such as Costa Rica. Would a cob house still be practical? Staying cool and dry would be more important than staying warm. Flooding may be an issue.

Also, can you address the issue of water purification? Is well water usually safe to drink?

In all, it seems far more feasible if you could get off the grid one step at a time rather than all at once, i.e, get off electricity, then water, then sewer etc...

It's easy to find cheap land here in Utah, but I want to go somewhere with milder winters.

Thanks for all the great info!!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I have a link on the article called Off the Grid Communities...that's where you want to go. Yes, doing it a little at a time may be a good idea. Rain water is safer than well water as a rule but you would have to have well water tested to make sure it hasn't been contaminated. Cob in warmer climates is called Adobe :) There are cob houses in every climate. Thanks for commenting.


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 5 years ago from Western Kentucky

Excellent article, Brie! I am amazed at how many people have never thought about nor investigated what it would take to get off the grid. They must be either blind or just plain simple minded? The way our economy is going, it is VITAL that we consider ways of surviving, mainly having to do with keeping from starving or from freezing to death. I am also amazed at how many people are so negative about the feasibility of living off-grid self-sufficiently, saying "it can't be done", or pointing out all the possible problems, without understanding what they are talking about.

There are many things to consider when you are learning about going off-grid. Everyone is different, and your needs and talents will also be different - some are loners, others need company... Also to be considered is how good your health is and how much heavy work and what kind of work you are physically able and know how to do, and also an understanding of how much electricity you actually need to survive. I recommend that anyone considering going off-grid, seriously study and LEARN how much power common appliances use, and how solar/wind power systems work, and how to calculate the size of a system, how to install and use them, etc.

I have been researching and studying this for years now. Trying to figure out the cheapest and best way to make it work, while also having a desire to get an intentional community going, so area homeless could have a place to be. I have kind of lost hope on the community thing, but still refuse to give up becoming self-sufficient myself, and getting myself off the monopolistic power system that is eating up half of my meager disability check! I also don't like the fluoridated water, nor the grocery prices, nor the toxins and GMO in the food that is making me sick.

I think the area where I live, in Western Kentucky is very good for going off-grid. Land is cheap, the weather is not too cold, we have a long growing season, and if you find some land out in the boonies, building codes almost non-existent. People here are "good ol' country people" and have survival skills! Knowing people who know how to drive a well, run a backhoe, roof a house, put in a septic or a water pump, stock a pond, fix an engine, run a trot line, wire a battery bank, raise pigs or goats, or how to can food or build a chicken coop, can really help make things look easier! And there are plenty of that kind of people around here!

The most important things to think about when you are trying to find some land, is that you MUST have WATER!! I found 5 acres of very cheap land last July, but there was no city water, nor would there be, and since the land was so close to a big lake, drillers could not get to water despite drilling several times! So the neighbors who lived on the land next door to the land that was for sale were having to haul water in from a water plant in barrels on their truck. So I would say rule number one is to make sure there is water! The best is to try to find a place that already has a working well and working septic tank. The land I mentioned above, had inadequate drainage and could not get a permit to build a septic system. Of course, you can always go the humanure or outhouse route... Right now I am looking at one acre WITH a well and septic, for $10,500!

As far as electricity, it is very important to study how a solar/wind system works, how much electricity you need at a minimum, and have a plan for what appliances and etc you will use, calculate kwh of usage and load volume, so you know how big your system needs to be, and research prices. It is important that people know 2 things: 1) You can start out small! You can start out with just a couple solar panels and a couple of 6 volt, deep cycle gel batteries with an inverter and a solar charge controller, with a generator for backup. Be sure to get a pure sine inverter so you can use your laptop and tv, and be sure to buy an inverter that will allow you to recharge your battery bank with your generator. Your charge controller and battery bank should be big enough to handle your desired final system size. You can always add more solar panels and more batteries to your bank. (Just trust me on the type of batteries, the 6 volt, deep cycle gel batteries are the ones you want, for various reasons.)

If you don't get enough sunlight, you can use your generator to recharge your batteries. Be sure you know how all this equipment works, and how to care for your batteries so they will last longer. As a rule, they should not be allowed to fall below 50% charge, some batteries should not go lower than 70% charge, because it shortens their life and charge capacity.

Learning how to set up your energy system will be the most important thing you will be doing, and learning about how much electricity things use, and how you can save it. There are several things you are going to be doing without. You can kiss your clothes dryer, your microwave, your 220 volt stove/oven, your coffee maker, blow-dryer, desktop PC, central heat and air, and your energy sucking refrigerators GOOD BYE!

You will be hanging your clothes out to dry, cooking and making coffee on a wood stove or a 110 volt 2 burner stove, you'll only use a laptop, will use a wood or a rocket stove for heat, and maybe you can figure out how to make enough power to use a portable air conditioner plus a fan for cooling. (Do NOT get the "evaporative" type of portable air conditioner! They are crap!)

I really like the idea of LED lights with batteries for lighting at night time (how much light do you need at night, anyway? just enough so you can see where you are going, I think...)

You are right about there being so many new and innovative products coming out lately. The one I really love the best is the new complete solar energy systems they are coming out with. They come with 2 solar panels, a battery pack with built-in charge controller and inverter, and outlets to plug your stuff into. They only give you 1800 watts of running load. But, you could survive with one of these, along with a generator to recharge for back up. They are $1400 at True Value Hardware, cheapest price I can find. You could build one of these yourself, maybe for cheaper, but if you got better quality inverter and charge controller, maybe spend a little more, and build it up as you can afford it...

Going off grid is nothing out of this world, nor is it that scary nor hard. Yes, it does cost a little money to get started. But if you do your research and understand how energy works, you will be able to make a viable plan that WILL work!!! Yes, you CAN do it. And you CAN do it on as little as a half or one acre. Make sure it has water on it, preferably already has a working well. Remember, you can drive your own well and install a hand pump. This is how our great grandparents and how my grandparents lived! They raised their own food, built their own houses, rode in carts with horses, canned or froze their food, made their own cheese and butter, etc.

Myself, I would probably not raise animals for meat, since I am not a meat eater. But I would have chickens for eggs and for a source of income. (where I live you can sell 4-5 month laying hens for $30 apiece at the local auction) And you would always have eggs to eat and something to barter with...

Raising a garden is not that hard. I have COPD and last year I shoveled up a garden plot by hand with a shovel. It was hard, took me a couple weeks, and I had to rest every 10 minutes or so, but I did it.

You should get a food dehydrator and a vacuum sealer. It will make it easier to store food.

It is NOT impossible. There are plenty of people, country people in states like Kentucky, where people live half off the grid already! You know, you don't HAVE to build a house. You can live in a camper for a while (my neighbor has one for sale for $500!!), or you can get a used mobile home for little or nothing (one in the paper today for $1500!!! needs to be moved), and hook it up - maybe you can get lucky enough to find a little piece of land that is already set up to put a trailer on it!


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 5 years ago from Western Kentucky

Sorry so long, but some of my comment got cut off. (I meant to say your charge controller and inverter should be large enough capacity to run your desired final system size, not battery bank! Sorry! Also, you can add a wind turbine to your system later if you want. They are expensive, but can add a lot of juice to your system, esp if you live in an area where there's not a lot of sun sometimes.)

People need to understand that "going off grid" is not a shocking, sudden brutal transition, or doesn't have to be. It is a decision and a changing of the way you think and do things, a changing of your self! Really, the main objectives of going off grid are to get off the monopolistic power and other utility companies that are choking the life out of us, and/or to keep from starving or freezing to death if the shit really hits the fan and our society and economy completely collapse to the point where there is no electricity nor any food.

You can start out small. Start by sitting down somewhere and just thinking. How would you survive if there were no electricity? What would you need? Make a list, then start buying those things. If there were nothing in the grocery stores, what would you eat? Then make a list of the things you might need to know how to do if you were living in the boonies and needed to build, drive a well, roof a house, plumbing, wiring, fix an engine, raise livestock, preserve food, plant a garden, etc. What do YOU know how to do? Who do you KNOW who DOES know how to do any of those things. What things can you LEARN how to do? Start making friends, start learning things. Start stocking up food, plant a garden, practice saving electricity, start living more simply, learn how to cook things that you might have to know how to cook if you were in a survival situation, living on stored, dried foods, like making pan fried corn bread or biscuits, beans, etc. Learn skills that you could maybe use to make money or barter with in a survival situation, like raising chickens, sell plants, learn how to install solar systems, drive wells, run a backhoe, build chicken coops, dig a septic, wire a house, sew, fix an engine, make herbal soap, whatever...

Just because you decide to get off the power grid does not mean you will be on your own in the wilderness somewhere. You will still have friends or neighbors, you will still probably be able to go to the store.

As for me, I am stocking food as much as I can on my little check, which is not easy. I have a kerosene heater, a propane camp stove, some other stuff... I am looking at that camper my neighbor has for $500 - it has everything you need to survive: shower, toilet, sink, stove, refrigerator, heat/air, bed, etc, and could probably be powered ok with that 1800 watt solar kit that costs $1400. I will buy a generator soon. I have found a cheap used wood stove that I am getting ready to buy pretty soon, and going to buy a laptop as soon as I can, and kick this energy-sucking desktop to the curb! My garden is already dug up and ready to plant, got to wait till after the first of the month so I can afford seeds and plants...

Be inventive and resourceful - you can find all sorts of good stuff at second hand stores! Keep your eyes open! Look for stuff you might be able to use if you were in a survival situation. You can make a food dehydrator yourself with an aluminum-foil lined cardboard box, a 100 watt light bulb, some racks, and an extension cord!

Going off grid and becoming more self-sufficient is a process, not a sudden, drastic event.

Thanks for a really good article, Brie, I enjoyed it. I know I can DO this!! And I know YOU can do it, too! Don't let the nay sayers discourage you. But DO figure out a way to get OUT of the city ASAP, in a collapse situation, (and yes it is coming VERY SOON!) it will be dangerous in the cities!! If you are out in the country somewhere, you will be able to survive.

(Country folk know how to survive! Remember in the last Depression, farmers did not starve to death!)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Wow Magic that was quite a comment or two! I agree with almost everything you said except I see no reason whatsoever to have a septic system. They are entirely too expensive and ruin the fresh water. Also, you don't have to have a well if you live in an area that has enough rain. Look at my hub about catching the rain. I am planning on creating a place that can run without any electricity at all (in a pinch) but I am also planning on having a small wind turbine, a small solar system and a small hydroelectric system. So if one doesn't work the others might. I have found a refrigerator that will run on propane in a pinch because I haven't quite figured out how to manage without a fridge yet. I totally concur that you can do this a little at a time (which is what I plan on doing). Also, I think a greenhouse is a must if you are depending on food you grow yourself as well as a garden.

I am waiting though. I'm waiting for the next big chunk down..the next big crash when I think property values will plummet and gold and silver will rise exponentially, that is when I will buy. Also, you can build a cob house for very little money (as much as that trailer) and then you can use firewood for heat and light and to cook on. Lehman's hardware has a wood cook stove with my name on it!

Forget the septic system..too much money and the well too.

Keep in Touch


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 5 years ago from Western Kentucky

:) Yes, I agree with you, if you don't find a place with a working septic already on it, forget about digging one, it will cost too much, they run in the thousands. Dig you an outhouse or compost! Absolutely! Greenhouses are awesome, too, to be able to control the environment better, but will also use some electricity heating them in the winter... I saw this really nice vid about a woman who build a greenhouse in a large room in her house - she fitted it out with shelving - it already had lots of natural light and she supplemented it with fluorescent lighting, it was pretty cool!

I love cob houses! I have been following Iggy's cob house at Dancing Rabbit. He has had some trouble with it, with keeping it warm enough in the winter, and with moisture issues. He did not, however, insulate his place - the roof and under the floor should be insulated. Also, I am not sure if he built a mass to go along with his rocket heater, and ventilation in the roof of the house would prevent the moisture problems. His cob house is in Missouri, and I would think that you might be better off fitting your cob house with storm windows during the winter months? Weather stripping, etc... I am learning from his mistakes... I can't wait to find me a little piece of land and start digging! I dream of that cob house constantly! If not a cob house, I am also looking at these little pre-made cedar sheds, you can get them I think 16 X 40 and that is plenty big enough! You could set them up on a foundation, plumb and wire them, drywall them, put in some flooring, sink, cabinets, maybe shower and toilet and have you a nice little place. You can find all sorts of previously used building materials and repurpose them! It could be done, definitely! Go look! http://www.portablesheds.net/CedarPottingShed_Boar...

You might want to order your doors arranged a little differently, maybe not have that double door?

A properly done and pre-existing septic is a good thing, Brie, and does not contaminate the environment, as the waste runs through a drainage field and is cleansed before seeping down into the ground. By the time it gets back down to the ground water, it's clean again. Where you have the trouble is running waste water into city sewer systems, where it is run to water treatment plants, and treated with boo-koo chemicals and the toxins allowed to into the ground water! :( (Hopefully if you had your own septic you would have sense enough to refrain from flushing down things that would contaminate the ground water, like medications, solvents, or other toxins!

I am hoping to buy stuff as soon as I can afford it. Even if the economy does not collapse, I am still serious about living a simpler, more self-sufficient life and getting rid of my electric bill forever! I also want clean food! I am tired of being sick from the Frankenfoods and the GMO crap - I want to eat REAL FOOD again! I would recommend that if there is one thing you should buy ASAP, it would be the solar panels, they have a little more than doubled in price just over the past few months. All the solar manufacturers are being bought out by big energy companies or foreign investors and are being moved out to China and other places, and will continue to rise in price!

I applaud your determination and am right with you all the way! If you ever want to see what Kentucky looks like, let me know and I will help you try to find some land. (I am even thinking of moving to Dancing Rabbit, quite seriously, and have a scheduled trip to visit there in September! :) I hope I make it there - I can't wait to see it! Won't know if it is right for me until I go see it and experience it for myself.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

The problem with the septic system is that is uses up your good water...nope..read the book Humanure, you'll agree.

Also there is a book about Solar Greenhouses for very little money...

http://www.undergroundhousing.com/

Let me know how it turns out for you, thanks for all the information.


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 5 years ago from Western Kentucky

Thanks, Brie! I appreciate your article so much and so glad that someone else is serious about this besides me! Look at this land, Brie! http://westky.fnismls.com/publink/default.aspx?GUI... (4 1/2 acres for $12,000!) Let me know if the link doesn't work. I hope you would consider this area for when you decide to go off grid. Living is cheap here, taxes are very low, we have a long growing season, and winters are very mild (maybe only one or 2 light snowfalls per winter!) If the link doesn't work, try this: http://www.kentuckylakebarkleyrealestate.com/ I would LOVE to have you for a neighbor! :D


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Hi MagicStarER: I'm sorry but I have Idaho in my sites. Not only that but I am waiting until the next big crash...which should be any day now...you will be able to get that land for at least half and maybe even at a quarter of the price.


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 5 years ago from Western Kentucky

Idaho sounds good, Brie! I wish you all the best of luck! :)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks billf0ns.


Iconoclast 5 years ago

Very much appreciate the article (including references). Let me add a few thoughts, if I might--not to be critical, but to help refine the possibilities.

1. Water: An on-site stream is probably a fairly unusual feature and is most likely very changeable in volume based on seasons. There are issues here of water rights (which vary from state to state here in the U.S.) and other impacts (and legal issues) on other property owners for diverting water. You are probably better off with a well (which can also be seasonal) plus a backup catchment system and storage tanks (which could also be filled via truck delivery). I know your stream idea might include some level of electrical power (assuming the micro-hydro idea), but there are design, topography and drainage issues that need to be considered. And, even though a well might (might!) be the most stable source, it could also be very expensive to dig, depending on how far down the water is and what the composition of the earth is between here and there. And... you have to get the water to the surface...

2. Land: I'm not sure where you are getting your land prices, but prices like that are probably going to get you land out in the Arizona desert. And even though being away from the rest of civilization may have its upsides, you will need some kind of access to that very same civilization to get much of the equipment you mention elsewhere. Additionally, it's not nearly as easy to subdivide land as you might think it is. There are issues of title/ownership, platting, easements (you can't sell land that has no legal access), water/mineral rights, deed restrictions, etc. And, finally, zoning will add to the land use restrictions.

Having said that, though, I will agree that we have some of the best deals available in land that have been seen for a long, long time. It's not so much that prices will go down, per se, but that specific great deals will be popping up. This IS a wonderful time to purchase (and will be for a few years), but you have to keep a watch out and be ready to jump (hopefully with a good plan), as there are a lot of people thinking the same thing right now.

3. Shelter: The problem with Cob homes (and even straw bale and rammed earth) is largely code issues with town or county ordinances. The problems here are manifest. The first and most important problem is that you may well not even get a building permit for these kinds of technologies. Second, even if the county you are in allows them, you will still have to have designs, systems and plans approved by the appropriate authorities and then inspected at each step. Third, at a minimum I would expect codes to require waste treatment systems of an acceptable sort. This is more time and money. And there are plenty more issues around the aspect of shelter...

4. Food: Yes, greenhouses are cheap to build. But make sure you are armed with the knowledge of which plants will grow at your elevation and in your soil type with the amount of water, nutrients and light you will be able to supply. Also give a lot of thought to housing and protecting and containing your animals and crops. It can take quite a bit of work to just keep foxes and coyotes (etc.) from chickens. Deer and other animals will happily feed off your crops. And speaking of that, how do your animals keep from freezing? As well, your animals do need to eat. Chickens can often get by with scratch, but will need supplementary feed, especially in months where the ground is frozen or they can't even go outside. And then there are food storage issues...

5. Communication: My main concerns here would be power source(s), one- or two-way communication, functionality of technology choice and distance from (and topography between) sources or targets. Battery-powered systems will require, well, batteries, and that will tie you back to the grid (at least the economy and access to it). The other basic choice is something that uses traditional 110/220 power and that means you have to have that kind of power system, which, of course, is money and equipment (probably including larger battery storage systems). One-way (listening) devices could possibly use kinetic power (e.g. wind-up) and are not trackable via their outbound signals. Such devices would be very inexpensive and allow weather, general news and emergency news to be heard (but not transmitted). However, a two-way system will most likely require typical power requirements (though a mobile CB could be run off a 12volt system, if you are using lower-voltage systems). AM radio is typically better at working around difficult terrain and a solar-powered repeater can be installed on local peak terrain for greater coverage. There ARE a lot of options here, but none of them are perfect for off-the-grid because they all require the grid in one way, shape or form.

6. I agree with your conclusion here: The better you set yourself up to use less power, the less expensive and less fragile your power requirements will be (meaning that it will be missed less if it goes down). However, more than likely you will need multiple types of generating equipment for different natural sources and storage. Because of the unlikeliness of flowing water moving across your property on a relatively regular basis, I would probably look more at solar and wind in combination, with a mechanical backup (e.g. a bicycle-based system) for emergencies.

7. Heat: A typical fireplace is horribly inefficient, pulling heated air out of the living space and giving off much less radiant heat energy than it sucks out. A wood stove typically has far better radiant output. However, the general answer is probably just lots of good insulation and a small living space. There are also good low-cost emergency alternatives such as small propane-powered space heaters.

8. Transportation: This depends a lot on how far off the grid you really are, how quickly you want access to it and how much you want to be able to move at one time. Having said that, it's almost impossible to provide any guidance. Even your feet are going to need protection at some point to walk to town, so we could start there and work our way outward...

9. Protection: Again, there are quite a lot of factors here. When it comes down to it, if someone really wants your stuff, they will take it. I do agree with firearms, including basic sidearms, as well as a basic shotgun and perhaps a decent basic hunting rifle. And I do agree about hiding, but I think of it more as simply not displaying what I have and/or just not having that much. However, even a basic power system could be worth quite a bit to someone with bad intentions. I would also agree that a dog (I would think a medium-sized and very loyal breed). Just remember they take more food!

10. Waste: The problem with a basic, traditional septic system isn't its toxicity to the soil (the leach field makes great growing ground!), as it is a pretty straightforward and organic system. Typically, they simply need to be a certain minimum distance from water sources, but the percolation system is pretty natural. However, pumping it could be a big problem when the grid collapses. There are a variety of systems out there and natural technologies (e.g. pooping in the woods...). I would think basic sanitation would be a bigger issue.

Overall, I think you are right that moving from an on-grid lifestyle to an off-grid lifestyle is not technically that big of a difference, though you really need to think it through and it does mean that you will have to provide most of your own manual labor for everything you do. What makes it difficult is both the lack of protections available in an on-grid lifestyle (raising risk) and the fact that the owners and enforcers of the grid don't want to see you become independent (e.g. the law).

Barring a really bizarre set of coincidences, I would suggest the cost for this move would more likely be in the 6-figure range.

I look forward to following your travels!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Sigh...

Boy this is going to take a few minutes to answer!

Water..I mentioned that one might not be able to get water on the land BUT if one could that it would be the most efficient way of getting electricity in the article. I also included the possibility of using solar and/or wind to supplement. In addition, I have written about setting up a water catchment system as well.

2. Land, I just found and was bidding on a piece of property in Southern Oregon that was beautiful...the going bid was $820.00 for 1.7 acres. It was on ebay and that particular seller had already sold 1.5 acres for $510 dollars just a year ago. Now some of the other sales were higher...there was one just last week for over 10 acres (same beautiful area) that went for $6,000 dollars...not only is the price I put doable it is becoming more and more frequent as prices decline. So I stand by my article.

3. This land was in Oregon, Oregon already has many Cob homes and it is becoming more and more frequent to see earthen homes in many parts of the country, in some places you don't need a permit at all.

4. As one has the means they can build a barn from Cob as well, if you can't afford that right away I would suggest starting off small with chickens. Regarding the safety of the animals...well there are chicken coops and fences and if you cannot afford a fence for the bigger animals right away one might have to wait. Regarding the weather, I've already looked into this...apparently animals can withstand very cold weather..seems they have done this for thousands of years..who'd of thought (said with much sarcasm). People have had cows and sheep and pigs in very cold climates and they have survived even before we had electricity!

5. There is a video on my hub about making it off the grid, the man uses a few solar panels and he is able to power his computer and he gets TV and you can also get a Satellite...I see no reason why you think having batteries is "not going off the grid". I plan on buying batteries to go with the solar panels. I also have a hand crank radio that could be used in a pinch.

6. I also plan on using different sources..primarily solar and water.

7. In the Hand Sculptured House they show you how to make a very cheap "rocket" heater...heating should not be a problem, if you build a cob or strawbale house as they hold the heat in very efficiently. However, having said that I plan on buying a wood cook stove that will serve to cook, heat water and heat the house from Lehman's Hardware store in Ohio.

8. I have on my hub an article about a solar car, also you can always buy a donkey or a bike or even a cheap diesel car that runs on vegetable oil...there are alternatives and all of it depends on your circumstances.

9. I think most people would rather rob from someone who is close by and unarmed..you do not have to be living in a barricade you just have to be better armed than the others that they will target.

10. I plan on using the "Humanure" method of composting waste to use in my garden...no need for waste treatment, everything will be reused.

I think you have a very negative attitude and with that I'm sure you will stay ON the Grid and keep paying the MAN for your sustenance, keep eating GMO poisoned food and keep paying they ever rising taxes. You talk like this has never been done before...geez it wasn't much over 100 years ago when everyone lived like this...wake up!


viola woolcott 5 years ago

AWESOME information. Thanks!!


Iconoclast 5 years ago

Wow, I'm sorry you see trying to be more informative (as you have been) as a negative attitude. I am also very much interested in being off the grid and have been looking at my own options and I have some specific experience that is applicable. I am not at all talking like this has never been done before. I am talking about how difficult the grid (as in the whole thing, not just the power element) tries to make it and things we need to think about (it would really suck to go out there and do almost everything right and then, for instance, realize you couldn't subdivide the land you just gathered all that money for and purchased). I was attempting to help you (and your readers) refine what you have already done some hard work to put together. Like you, I am not an expert in living off the grid, but I do have some particular areas of helpful experience.

My responses:

1. Water: The point is that it is not very likely at all that the average piece of land will have a stream running through it and even if it did there are a multitude of problems to think about if one decided to use a stream for power and water source, especially if that water source needed to supply a 5 acre parcel for crops of some sort. The average piece of land will need some other method of providing or housing water and people should be prepared for that. Not sure why that point is negative, but I'm not sure why any of my points were, so...

2. Land: I'm not saying that you can't find deals on land. However(!), that can be tricky. While it may appear that the economy is simply driving prices down, there are a host of reasons that property might be really cheap that someone who has no experience (or inapplicable experience) in real estate should be aware of. (BTW, I have been a Realtor in two states, including Oregon, and been involved in subdivision and single parcel land development.) Let me give you an example of how one of those pitfalls works: In Newport, Oregon a piece of land was sold to a buyer over ebay for very cheap. It was very near the ocean, but had utilities at the street, easy access and was near town. The buyer called me to ask for an appraisal of value (after they purchased it), so I went out to take a look at it with the plat map in hand, but, oddly, I couldn't immediately find it. The roads around the property seemed to end prematurely in midair. Actually, it turned out it wasn't that odd--the entire end of a bluff had collapsed years prior and took with it about four square blocks of otherwise buildable and platted land (to the tune of about 50-75 feet below grade). There was no longer access to the property, the ground that was under the existing platted land was very unstable, there were no city services (except for the pipes hanging out of the cliffs...) and the land was now subject to direct ocean erosion. In other words, you couldn't legally build on the land (if you could even get to it).

3. Shelter: It MAY be possible to build such structures within zoning and code restrictions and legal compliance, but that's highly UNLIKELY. If it was legal to do these things in some (or many or most) areas of the country you would see people flocking to those areas to build housing at a fraction of the cost it requires for conventional housing. What would be more useful here than "blue sky" thinking or "it can't be done" thinking is a more detailed analysis of the typical issues someone would face based on standard codes and building requirements. Let me provide a link to a Google search I just did to support my point (and I didn't have to dig to find this): http://www.city-data.com/forum/oregon/381517-build...

They don't go into heavy detail on this thread, but you can see my point generally borne out if you read most of it.

4. Food: Inappropriate sarcasm aside, yes, animals have survived cold for millions of years. That is, the ones that survived survived. A cold snap or a harsh winter or simply prolonged exposure could kill all your animals (not to mention your crops) in one fell swoop. If you want to buy/raise/feed/house/maintain/invest your time in cows or horses or whatever that then die because your notion of protecting them is to leave them to their own devices (read skin), you might have some tough news to swallow during the winter (and then a lot of digging to do).

5. The batteries I was referring to include those for any low-voltage devices, such as cell phones, flashlights, portable radios, etc. Most of the (non-organic) technology you are talking about requires purchasing from the grid and some level of reliance on the grid for replacement, repair, etc., so there is a straddle point here that should be acknowledged.

7. Heat: Again, among other things, CODE. See a limited discussion on the subject of rocket heaters/stoves and building codes here (just happens to be in Oregon, btw): http://www.ernieanderica.info/rocketmassheaterperm...

Etc...

I am NOT saying you can't use all these technologies (both organic and non-organic). I'm saying there's a whole bunch of stuff that most people are not aware of (I sure wasn't until I had real estate training and then I built my first house (as my own general contractor) and had experience in real estate (including in Portland, btw) and had specific extended education and experience in land and parcel development.) Yes, it CAN be done; but have some kind of idea of not just what is possible, but what could stop you so you don't get halfway to your goal and then fall off a cliff (the one with the pipes sticking out of it).

100 years ago there wasn't nearly the pressure on resources we have now, the amount of people we have now, the technologies we have now, the legislation and laws we have now and the close oversight (i.e. governmental control) we have now. As far as our relationship with the natural world, yes, we have the same actual physical needs we had back then; however, it is much more difficult to get to such a state of affairs than it was 100 years ago.

It occurs to me that we could also do with some context of application in this conversation. If you are expecting to apply these things (technologies, etc.) when civilization collapses and there are no housing inspectors, code enforcers, permits and laws, well, then you have one type of situation and your rocket stove and a bunch of other things might work out without a hitch (maybe). However, in that instance, you will also be subject to people far better armed than you who would love to take your frozen cows off your hands (and rocket heater); you would also need to figure out how to support all that fancy technology that you took into the bush with you after you bought it at Home Depot and then it broke (and, gosh, where is that extra copper wire so I can re-wind the coil on that burned out motor?... Oh, that's right, I don't even understand how electricity works. Drat.). On the other hand, if you want to apply all these things NOW, you will need to think your way through all the technical, logistical and legal hurdles created and enforced by governmental structures that are very much at play.

Contrary to your unfortunate and misinformed assessment of me, I have a very strong interest in doing exactly what you are interested in doing. I would just prefer to go about it as intelligently as I can to avoid (as much as possible) any potential traps. In fact, that's why I read your article--to see what else I could gain.

Finally, and once again, I'm sorry you felt my approach was negative. I suppose you could unread everything I've written and/or delete it from the thread if you feel it's not useful. My intention was the opposite. I applaud any effort to inform the general public (or any segment of the public) of ways to live that reduce demand on natural resources, reduce pollution, make life simpler and make life more self-sustainable.


Iconoclast 5 years ago

BTW, speaking of buying property over ebay, have you heard of title insurance? Do you know how to tell if the title to a piece of property is legitimate, if the seller has the right to sell it, how to read a deed to see what any deed restrictions might be, where to find places that will tell you what other restrictions (e.g. zoning ordinances) might be applicable? Can you perform your own title search? Do you know why one would want to do a title search? Are you prepared to deal with unrecorded (or unrevealed) liens or encroachments you are not aware of after the fact? Are you aware that the present use or configuration of any property may be illegal (or at least in violation of this or that) and you will inherit any of those problems? Did the ebay-bought property sale get recorded? Do you know it did?

And if you don't know any (or most) of that, how are you going to deal with any of the legal aspects of your land at all when it comes to building on it or altering it in any way?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

If I really had taken offense I would have deleted your post but I didn't. Nevertheless, at the least I think you are really overly cautious which may or may not be helpful to you or anyone else. You should check out this guys site:

http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com/

He has somehow managed to overcome all of your obstacles and is living as off grid as anyone I know.

I think that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time..sure the codes might be a problem but somehow someway people (like the guy above) have overcome this and like I said there are many places that do not have codes. If you can buy a property that is big enough maybe it's possible to avoid codes altogether or to register your place as a shed since it wont have electric or a sewer. In any case, I realize that there are obstacles but like I said people managed for thousands of years and yes that was before all of the bureaucracy but there is more than one way to skin the cat of bureaucracy. After all if they make it illegal to breath are you going to stop breathing?


Iconoclast 5 years ago

The most valuable commodity ever found and traded so far has been information. The reason for this is that it is generally far more efficient to purchase distilled information about, say, an area (e.g. a map) than to walk into it on your own and figure out the lay of the land and your plan before the natives (or the government or the diseases or the lack of resources or...) kill you. And it seems that you are taking advantage of this yourself by collecting all this information that was originally distilled by other people. How is what I am doing any different? The truth is a combination of what you can (though you may not know it) and can't (though you may not know this either) do. If you are not interested in knowing these elements, why are you collecting any of them at all?

If you are talking about doing any or all of this illegally, then be clear with the people you are informing that this is or may be the case. You can do just about anything you want illegally--until you get caught. I'm not saying it's right or wrong to cross that line or that I would or wouldn't myself. But you have a set of information pages that are designed to help people move their lifestyles in a particular direction and if you are covering up or ignoring the dangerous elements of that equation then you are not really doing anyone a service at all.

People who are really savvy about these issues aren't reading these entries. The people who ARE reading them are almost entirely novices or completely unaware of the complexities and are leaning on your advice and characterization of the opportunities.

Remember the Donner party...

Codes (etc.) are not a MIGHT BE problem


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

All I can say is when and if the government makes living illegal then people will have to do what they will have to do. I really don't think you are adding anything to the conversation at this point.


McWhirt 5 years ago

"Things are getting so bad so quickly that I'm unsure about whether it will be safe to stay in this country much longer."

*****

There is nowhere safe on this planet. If you exist you can be found. The only safe haven is trusting in God who can blind those who seek to harm you. I know this works as I've done it. I fully believe that what is happening is supernatural. So taking matters into your own hands is folly. Yes, I know that writing about God is hardly marketable these days, especially when posting on LA's Rant & Raves. But to join God's army will serve you better than catering to heathens. You are correct when you say that time is short. How about writing an article on a boot camp for God's warriors?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

McWhirt: If you will check out the rest of my articles you will see that I am a Christian and I have written about God as well...I agree with you.


edmondsyd profile image

edmondsyd 5 years ago from Michigan

Sounds ideal. Thanks for all the wonderful information!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Your welcome, thanks for the nice comments.


WriterDJ profile image

WriterDJ 5 years ago

great hub, something I wanna do in my land... very inspiring


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks WriterDJ, I hope you will vote it up and post it on facebook!


rorshak sobchak 5 years ago

Nice write up Brie! This was a unique one to write about.

Thank you

rorshak sobchak


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Glad you like it Rorshak


cjcarter profile image

cjcarter 5 years ago

No wonder you want to go off-grid, you live in Manhattan! Great article :)


leni sands profile image

leni sands 5 years ago from UK

Great hub, thoroughly enjoyed this and love the idea. Have you read The Traveller by John Twelve Hawks...fictional but also has this idea running through it. JTH also lives off the grib - look him up on the net. I really think you will like his work! Looking forward to reading more of your hubs.


bulkdive profile image

bulkdive 5 years ago from Marina, Ca

Great Hub and a topic that there needs to be more discussion of in the coming decades. One thing to consider when it comes to water, however. There are places (such as Thornton, CO where I have lived) where it is illegal to collect rainwater in a cistern. As more and more corporations buy water rights I'm afraid that this will become the norm. Living off the grid is ideal but I fear that as it becomes more and more necessary to do so, the powers that be" will make it more and more difficult to do so.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Cjcarter: I actually love Manhattan, the reason I wish to go off grid has more to do with freedom than anything else.

Leni: I will look into John Twelve Hawks, thanks for becoming a fan.

Bulkdive: We need to oppose the government by any means necessary when it comes to things like that.


peterhark69 profile image

peterhark69 5 years ago from Canada

Really great hub and very informative article. I like the idea of inviting some friends to join and buy hundred+ acres then divide it among the people who put money. Really great idea to save and get a great deal of lot.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Peter


Diane  5 years ago

man I loved it I so want to be moving up to a cute cob house but I'd have to be married to a man who belived in God more and trusted Him. He accepted Him but I don't know where he is at now. And it isn't good he is full of doubt and unbelife and what is even weirder is our last name is Thomas! Oh my gosh. Sigh so am scared in my flesh but trusting God in my spirit where I am at is a dangerous place in the near future e ven perhaps I am a Prophtess in training. Sadly my husband is my worst mocker and critic he gets so angry yes, he is a ostrich. So I am like stuck praying yes learning how we will manifest into Yeshua/Christ amen! Learning day by day sometimes though falling and repentance all the time. You can see the earth trembling it's had it all the weight of the sins. ugh! Not easy time for any of us but Jesus is with us amen. Pray for us as these things begin to happen and Jesus is going to warn us in here in Southern Cali. to get the heck out of here in time. I sure hope my husband listens and kid or I will be heading out of here with a few friends for a trip I'll tell them but it's more than that. It's a run for our life. Or stay and trust Jesus in either place. I know some folks up at the Staff and Sword minsitry who would help me to come up that way to a safe area first I would have to go up through whyoming to get I hope my daughter and grandson to come when it really is nuts and hopefully some of his family too. I don't know what is going to happen I don't know how I am going to be able to leave my husband and son at that point in time I want them to come too! Sigh! Both backslidden and my daughter too but she is up there so far on the way to somewhere safe. She is also on or near a huge volcanic nutty scene!

shalom Di


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Read the Word and Trust in Jesus.


Basil Peutalo 5 years ago

Enjoyed the article as Am pursuing similar ideals in my own area. Though it refers to community, my own situation involves living with my clan members and extended relations who go by a general idealogy that "what is yours is mine,,". In many cases this incurs lots of extra costs!!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well maybe you should give them a little of their own medicine and see how they like it.


htodd profile image

htodd 5 years ago from United States

This is really great hub,Thanks for the post


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks..I hope you "liked" in on facebook, I'm on a roll!


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Yes you are!

Thought I'd just drop in to congratulate you on what I knew would be a very good article for a very long time. I thought of another couple places that I could put it for you so that maybe it will get a bit more traffic.


carolp profile image

carolp 5 years ago from Switzerland

Great hub. Thanks for the tips. My plan is to go to the Phil. where my father owns hectars of land a part of it is mine. I love nature and simple living so this would be perfect, 6 months there and 6 months in Switzerland.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Wesman..boy it has really taken off, I wish some of my other articles would get this kind of traffic..thanks!

Thanks Carolp, good luck with that.


DrMikeFitzpatrick profile image

DrMikeFitzpatrick 5 years ago from Sandpoint, Idaho

not only an accurate and great hub-impressive for a person living in manhatten to write this! i live out in the mountains/country (our county has 33,000) and live about 10 miles from montana in n. idaho. i have a dear friend who does live off the grid with similar items you described. there is a website called findaspring dot com that lists many water free sources in the world too. their "system" that balances the garden to feed animals, droppings to fertilize the garden, hogs to clear roots, again, accurate great info-tx.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Dr. Mike Fitzpatrick,nice to have a little pat on the head now and again!


John Rose 5 years ago

Have been living off-grid for forty years. As to the comment that it takes 18 hours a day, pshaw! Once you are set up, a little maintenece is all. Four pints of Guiness per day is the limit of my global footprint. . . .and well spent!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Ha, that is my kind of footprint! Thanks so much for writing and putting all the naysayers in their place John!


joekreydt 5 years ago

there's a really good movie about people who have gone off the grid called humboldt county


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I've never heard of it but will look into it, thanks for the tip.


Jennie Demario profile image

Jennie Demario 5 years ago from Floating in the clouds

This is rad. I want to be resourceful enough to pull something like this off. I have a hard enough time growing a tomato or cucumber plant.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Start small and build on that..grow that tomato!


fashion 5 years ago

Great hub


angemac23 profile image

angemac23 5 years ago from Canada

Great article!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Fashion and Angemac23; if you like it please post it on your facebook.


rodney roberts profile image

rodney roberts 5 years ago from Owensboro, KY

Nice article. It seems that even if we all just used a portion of our abilities, not necassarily even going off-grid, then we could accomplish great things for ourselves and each other. The quest for an easier softer way has cost us dearly. Thanks for your effort.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I agree. I think we just have to quit watching TV, quit listening to the so called experts and start thinking outside the box for ourselves. We are living in difficult times and they will get more difficult but there are ways of coping and coping quite well actually. Thanks for writing.


purplepoodles profile image

purplepoodles 5 years ago from Florida

Good hub! I can't tell you how many times over the years my husband and I have thought about living like that. Though we live in a small town, instead of a large piece of land, we do a pretty good job of taking care of ourselves.

I think, in this economy a lot more people will be doing it whether they want to or not. They already are!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I think so too. By the way this is my most popular hub so I think that there is a lot of interest in the freedom this kind of lifestyle can offer.


Nirmala Selvam profile image

Nirmala Selvam 5 years ago

This is great. Thanks for the post.


Paul Draper 5 years ago

I loved the concept of living off the grid..in the video I did not see any African American, also is it based on a religious concept...?


Freegoldman profile image

Freegoldman 5 years ago from Newyork

Great Hub...its really unique...


LED street light 5 years ago

No wonder you want to go off-grid, you live in Manhattan! Great article


Carlon Michelle profile image

Carlon Michelle 5 years ago from USA

I like the idea of living off grid but I fear anyone can be found once a serious endeavor is made. Case in Point, Bin Laden was found. The thought of being self-sufficient is a thought that I can get with. I've always wanted to have five to ten acres and be able to live that way with my family. I hope you get what you want. But the real answer to the situation in this world that is worsening is God's Kingdom that Jesus taught us to pray in his model prayer where he says "Let thy kingdom on earth as in heaven." Daniel 2:44 tells us what God's government will soon do for mankind as well as Revelation 21:3,4. That's where my hope is because I know that man doesn't have the answers and a bomb can kill anyone anywhere even in error. Best wishes. Smile!


BethanRose profile image

BethanRose 5 years ago from South Wales

This is so informative! I always talk to my boyfriend abut doing this. I'll bookmark your hub and read your others too! Voted up!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for commenting Nirmala.

Paul: I must say that I haven't seen any African American vids either, when someone makes one I'll add it. You asked whether it is religious. Some off-grid homesteads are,some aren't...it's up to the inhabitants just like anywhere else.

Thanks for commenting Freegoldman.

Ledstreetlight: I don't want to go off the grid because I hate Manhattan, I love Manhattan and it will be very hard to leave when the time comes. I want to go off grid because I want the freedom from government and to grow my own food and to be completely independent from this police state we now have.

Carlon: I agree, no place on earth will keep you from dying or be completely safe and no place on earth will ever substitute for heaven. I am looking forward to heaven with Jesus Christ, my Savior. The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. – Proverbs 27:12 (NIV

BethanRose: So glad you like it, post it on your facebook and spread the word, thanks for commenting.

Thanks for commenting.


Sierra Solar 5 years ago

Great article Brie, Thanks.

My company in Grass Valley, Ca supplies equipment to most of the off-gridders in the local area as well as a good portion nationally. The passion for being independent while healing the Earth is incredibly rewarding. However, I often find heavy resistance to the idea of living independently and it stems exclusively from folks that simply don't understand that they CAN and SHOULD be accountable for their own footprint.

This article will help because it is relatively short, simple and to the point. I agree especially with woodstoves, cob and passive solar. There are so many amazing yet simple ways to take full advantage of the available resources no matter what climate you are in. Last winter, a man in the midwest set up a solar hot water system with a PV powered pump to warm the water up for his cattle!!!

I love it people, keep the brilliant ideas rolling and please spread the good word! And thanks again Brie.


ezeiglerwriter profile image

ezeiglerwriter 5 years ago from Ellijay, GA

This is a fantastic article!


Bocephus 5 years ago

I want to do this. I just bought 3 arces with a nice barn house. It's fenced & has a strong well, we even put 2 cows in the front 2 arces but i still need power for my well and heat. How much will it cost get off the power. We have alot of wind but its not always windy. Also solar but if I do both how much will that cost. Screw the Govenment. The New World Order may be real and probally is. How much more do I need to spend to get my own power. I do not have running water.


marriednokids profile image

marriednokids 5 years ago from California

Great idea Brie!Very informative Hub as well


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 5 years ago from United States

I **completely** agree with your statement - "Personally, I would like to never own a car again as they require too much invasion of privacy. You have to get a license, register it, get insurance and on and on it goes." Excellent Hub. Rated UP. If you have a moment, will you check out my Hubs on frugality..sort of goes hand in hand with this great Hub I just came across. You are an excellent writer. TY!


Md. Anwarul Islam 5 years ago

Nice hub....i have ever seen...


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Sierra: I think people are resistant to anything that makes them responsible for themselves these days. Just my take on it..thanks for writing.

Thanks for commenting Ezeigerwriter, please post it on your facebook page if you like it.

Bocephus: Each area is unique, you have to figure out which method whether solar, hydro-electric, wind or even human powered or all of the above is what's best for you. Having said that I think a combination of all methods is best and being set up to go without any electricity at all is optimal (just in case). I mean what did people do for thousands of years w/o electricity...they managed quite well.

Thanks for commenting Marriednokids.

MarloByDesign: thanks for commenting I'll try to check out your hubs when I get a chance.

Md.Anwarul Islam: Thanks for commenting; please post it on facebook..spread the word.


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 5 years ago from United States

Thanks Brie, I really appreciate it. I am sure you are busy...Miss "100" Hub :) You are an awesome writer for sure.


NWO 5 years ago

have u researched the NEW WORLD ORDER and do you think it is real?


thecarte profile image

thecarte 5 years ago from New Jersey

Awesome Hub it helped me refocus on my end goal


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

NWO: the answer is YES and YES.

thecarte: Glad you like it, you might want to take a look at some of my other off grid hubs.


polo ralph lauren outlet 5 years ago

Good writing, I wanted to thank you for this interesting I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the latest stuff you post.


AgesMGMT profile image

AgesMGMT 5 years ago from New York

not a bad goal for anybody to have!!


carcro profile image

carcro 5 years ago from Winnipeg

Wow, that packs a punch! Great information, I think you covered everything I would ever think of. I will keep this for reference, as several ideas are real practical even if you don't rough it totally, thanks for sharing.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Polo ralph lauren outlet, becoming a fan would be a better way to get my new articles. Also please feel free to post a link on your facebook.

Thanks for commenting AgesMGMT and Carco


CloverFox profile image

CloverFox 5 years ago from Caribbean

Brie, I so enjoyed reading your hub (originally typed 'hug') -- the personalized writing style, organized educational presentatation, numerous resource links, and good reader feedback are great.

When considering living off-grid, one must consider, in addition to the mechanics of developing the homestead, the change in lifestyle.

Many people can not fathom giving up their materialistic needs, modern-day technology, and/or living in greater solitude. For me, I love being in and working with Nature. Its beauty, the peace and joy I receive, is awesome - my heaven on earth.

Recently, I moved to the Caribbean, to fulfill a life-long dream as well as to remove myself from the US's hostile atmosphere. In order to do so, I sold my vehicles (old), my house (small), 85% of my belongings (of little value), and gave away my pets (heart-broken). However, because I am a resourceful woman, and a risk-taker, it was sufficient to take the leap of faith.

In this process, it was necessary to make difficult yet necessary decisions about what to maintain and what to release. As a Feng Shui consultant, my mantra is: Need it, use it, or love it. Only those items that meet this criteria are considered, while fewer are kept as chosen treasures.

When one reviews their property, consider what is touched daily (or used on a frequent, regular basis) and what will fit in a couple/few suitcases. This cleansing affects all levels of being: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual (and beyond). One must also consider what level of outer world connectivity is acceptable. It is not easy to finetune your self-definition.

Playing a musical instrument that does not require electricity versus riding a stationary bicycle all day long to power up mega electronics might provide more satisfaction. Living, even somewhat off-grid, has its aspects of simplicity and hands-on involvement.

Interesting story ... I had a galvanized flower watering can that after many years was falling apart. Originally it came with 2 heads - one still in its plastic wrapper. For whatever intuitive reason, I kept the new one, bringing it with me. In the house where I am currently living, there was only a pipe extending 2" from the bathroom shower wall, so for $0.43 I bought a PVC connector, installed my watering can head, and now have a nice showering flow instead of pressing against a cold (ground water temperature) stream of water.

I am not off-grid, yet little by little, I am re-engineering myself. Again, it is a process, which takes time, energy, thought, action and a heart in harmony with your Self to be comfortable and successful.

If there is any advice I may offer ... if you have a dream, like living off-grid, begin today to make decisions and put all your passion into seeing it become reality. In every moment change occurs, and if you hesitate, you wait, with opportunities missed and circumstances complicated.

Again, Brie, thank you for gathering together a lot of useful information and inspiring others through your writings. We all need little helpful nudges to spring forth creatively to manifest our desires. Many blessings.


RoughOutline profile image

RoughOutline 5 years ago from England, UK

Interesting topic, something I've been looking at a lot recently as well.


blairtracy profile image

blairtracy 5 years ago from Canada

Very neat! I have always been curious about this.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for writing Clover; I agree about "things" to take although I'm not sure I could have given up my pet (if I had one) that must have been so hard.

Thanks RoughOutline, I have other hubs on off-grid living..check them out.

Blairtracy..me too! That's why I write about it :)


Ramzeed profile image

Ramzeed 5 years ago from Maryland

What a good article. I have always wondered what it would take to just go away and live off grid. I really enjoy this information. Great read indeed.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Ramzeed, I have other articles about off-grid living that you might enjoy as well.


JakeOffTheGrid 5 years ago

Hello Brie. Great work. Have you found any info about a steam generator for electricity? I think this could be a great thing if you run a wood stove. You could produce steam to run a generator that could possibly produce a great amount of electricity in a short amount of time and store it in batteries. I was having trouble finding anything about people using a system like this though. Let us know what you come up with. Thanks, JAKE


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Jake, I've never heard of this b4 so I will look into it.


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 5 years ago from Western Kentucky

Sign of a great hub, still remember it! Thought I would come back to share a link with you for a solar energy kit - it is a 5000 watt one, which is simple to set up and could enable you to actually have enough power to get off the grid, providing you used non-electric heat/air/water heater and stove, a small energy star or propane refrigerator, and no dryer. Here it is: http://surviveit.us/survival-tools/surviveit-3000-... While it may not be as good as setting up your own system, and choosing your own components, it definitely fits the bill for providing enough energy to survive on fairly comfortably and anyone can put it together! Most people are dismayed when they find there is so much learning involved in getting off the grid. This kit makes it easy for anyone to do it. I hope this helps anyone. I am hoping to save up enough to buy one.

Another thing I have become greatly interested in lately are Masonry Heaters. There is quite a technological learning curve to overcome as far as how to build the masonry heater core, but these masonry fireplaces are certainly the most efficient and reliable way of heating and use the least wood. This is the one I am hoping to figure out how to build, with help, someday: http://turtlerockheat.com/moretown.html Here are many more: http://turtlerockheat.com/heaters.html Here is what it looks like when they build the heater core: http://mha-net.org/docs/v8n2/wildac09d.htm (Which also takes you to the Masonry Heater Association of America, where you can get more information about these heaters, plans, etc.) I think they are awesome!

I notice that many comments have to do with wondering about building codes and taxes, etc. If your structure is 150 sq ft or less, you can build anything you want, most places. But in most places, you are going to have trouble building with cob as far as getting building permits. Yes, you do have to check what the building codes look like for wherever you are planning to build with cob. I actually went so far as to call the inspection dept and the water company to find out more about one particular parcel of land I was interested in. That is how I learned that there was no water there, nor any to be gotten, and that the land could not be permitted for septic. That would have left no other option but to haul water in. There are ways to do this, however. You can buy water tanks that fit in your truck bed and haul water in, get a hand pump to pump it out into a holding tank, etc. It's not too hard, but is harder than it has to be.

The truth is that you really do need to find a place with a working well already on it and either install a hand pump or a solar pump, or both.

I think I have found a way to get around all of the code morass and problems regarding water, septic, etc. I am looking at a 24 x 30 ft. shed that already HAS water hookup, has its own septic, and sits on a concrete slab foundation. It already has a breaker box and wiring, (which I would not use, I would use solar) The slab foundation makes it feasible to both build a masonry heater in it, and also to use the floor as a thermal mass in a passive solar situation. It also has a chimney already, though it is not in the place I would want it to be - I am guessing it could be moved without too much trouble, though.

Since the building is already there, and already hooked up with water, septic, and electric, no permits would be required (at least here) for renovations, remodeling, and etc.

I think that going off the grid really involves making things easiest and cheapest on yourself, with the least pain possible. Ingenuity is king!

You are absolutely correct in your figure of $25,000 to do this. In my case: $10,000 for the shed that is already there plus the bit of land that goes with it (enough for big garden and chicken coop), $5,000 for the solar kit, and probably another $10,000 for fixtures, cabinets, flooring, and heat,

Now if only I can figure out how to save $25,000 on my meager disability check... :( Maybe praying hard and doing without everything, saving every penny for 5 years???

My other thought is to buy that $500 camper and just get the solar kit, and live in it until I can save up the money for the shed (or one like it)

How are you coming in your efforts? It is so hard to save up!

I have, though, managed to get rid of mostly all of my bills by moving in with a friend, so hopefully I can start saving soon, though it's not much and will take a long time.


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 5 years ago from Western Kentucky

(P.S.: You are a STAR on Facebook!) :D


femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

Excellent article! I loved it! I voted it up, twittered and facebooked it. Totally worth the clicks! :)


Ash Hicks profile image

Ash Hicks 5 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

This was a very interesting article. Great read! Being self sufficient is great for the environment. Not only are people using less and wasting less, but they are more 'in tune' with what is going on around them. I wish that people could take some of these ideas and incorporate them into their mainstream lifestyle. Only a few changes could make a lot of difference!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

MagicSarER: Wow, you wrote so much I don't know where to start. A few things..yes you have to check the building codes but most places that are out of the way, you should not have any problems. Also I wrote another article about how to do a rainwater catchment system so that you can get by without a well if needs be. Also I wrote another hub about humanure and human waste composting so that you won't need a septic tank..you should read that one too. The fastest way to make money is to Buy SILVER, it will double soon...I have several articles about that and several others about finances.

How do you know about my success on facebook? I know I have had great success there because I actually have over 11,000 (likes) but they were wiped away when hubpages changed something on here and I lost most of them..such a drag.

Thanks for writing MagicStarER, femmeflashpoint and Ash Hicks. My primary reason for writing this is to help people become free..going off-the grid helps to become free of bills and therefore live a better life.


TT Dolats profile image

TT Dolats 5 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

One of the most interesting articles I have read on HubPages. Thank you!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks TT, please post it on your Facebook page and vote it up, thanks again.


.josh. profile image

.josh. 5 years ago

Fascinating hub, Brie, I really enjoyed reading this. I'm not sure we're at a point where we're ready to go off-grid quite yet, but there is a certain romantic element to the thought.

And loved the cob houses - this is the first I'd ever heard of them. Very cool.

Voted up, interesting & awesome. Great hub!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Josh..I love them too!


MichaelWriter profile image

MichaelWriter 5 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

Great hub, Brie! I think it's time for me to take the first step to living off the grid. I'm going to check out the cob house videos now!

Voted it up and useful!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks MichaelWriter.


Bocephus 5 years ago

I am trying to get off the grid. Its not easy when you have a mortgage, but I have a cow and trying to get some chickens soon. After that its solar power. Maybe I should get a sheep to make some clothes. The problem with wool is it is to itchy. Any suggestions for that.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Not all wool is itchy..also you might consider goats for angora or Alpacas.


Scott 5 years ago

Great website Brie. You are doing a wonderful job!! I would like to share some DIY info with your readers. These are PDF files that I have collected over the past 10 years on everything sustainable. I only have about 25% of them online so far but more are added weekly. They are located at the bottom of each post at diy.edibleplanet.org. Enjoy!

Scott

PS - Thanks for helping others to prepare-)


Scott 5 years ago

Guess I should have mentioned that they are all free - http://diy.edibleplanet.org


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Scott


floating mind profile image

floating mind 5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

Great hub. I have been thinking about what it would take to try to live off-grid and found this hub to provide most of the information I need. Good Job.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Floating Mind, please feel free to repost it on your facebook.


SnapHappy profile image

SnapHappy 5 years ago from U.S.A.

Very interesting hub! Thanks for sharing this great information.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for commenting SnapHappy.


Limeline99 profile image

Limeline99 5 years ago from South Carolina

I had a professor in college who talked about living off the land when he was in college. I always remember him telling us how he got hot water by navigating water through copper pipes from the stream on his property and running the copper pipes around his woodstove so they would stay heated up and heat the water up! I would imagine it would take lots of hard work to live off the land but it would be worth it for sure!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Yes, that's exactly what you need to do...then you have free hot water..as long as you have trees to heat the stove. It's not hard work once you get everything set up. Thanks for commenting and you might take a look at some of my other articles on off-grid living; I have one on solar heating.


Realist 5 years ago

It all sounds fun but it's a bit misleading.

Paying property taxes, cell phones, satellite tv & internet access are all very "on the grid."

What you're really teaching is sustainable living, it's a little less revolutionary.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I have other articles about how to get around the property taxes and no one is twisting your arm to have a cell phone or internet access. That's up to you, nothing misleading about it.


bocephus 5 years ago

Please tell us how to get around property taxes. I would love not to pay for those. This information is going to be good. CAN'T WAIT!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You should read my other articles...here is one about property taxes:

http://hubpages.com/money/Which-States-Have-the-Lo...


jude 5 years ago

one thing I didn't see mentioned in the article is the fees and regulations in the county you live in. you don't get to choose whether or not to have a well or a septic system. You don't have to use them, but in order to put up any kind of dwelling you have to have both installed and certified, then there are permits, school fees [here, one dollar per square foot of home, paid one time] contractors [unless you know what you are doing you cannot successfully complete a septic system, its harder than you think especially if your land is not flat.and you are not allowed to dig your own well period, it must be certified by a contractor]. you also have to pay for bldg permits and turn in your plans to the county. right there, you are looking in total at close to 7 to 10 thousand dollars. our well had to go 120 ft, plus the pump was very expensive, we managed a lot of our septic, by buying the material ourselves but finally had to hire a contractor to dig the field as our land is on a slight slope and the process is not at all easy to understand, we failed inspection before resorting to the contractor, and by then only needed him to do the digging but all together, the septic, even saving money buying our own tank, pipes etc was around 3K. also, not all land is buildable with all the new ICLEI and agenda 21 attempts to rewild, hence zoning is critical. we had to get special permission to build because elk MIGHT want to go through here, and have restrictions on how much fencing etc...its crazy. so do your due diligence, know all the barriers and hog ties they might throw at you or it can be a bloody nightmare. On the other hand, we LOVE it out here in the big nowhere, and are glad we went through it, we still face finding a practical power source, solar is insanely expensive, wind not reliable, water not an option, it freezes below 0 here from time to time. In our case, we purchased a second hand manufactured home and dragged it out here. don't regret it, got 3 bedrooms 2 bath under 1000 sq ft tho, for 6500 bucks, PLUS the moving costs [about 6K for 200 miles.] we do wish now that we'd known about cobb homes though and plan to build one in the ground with a live roof on another property, as a hide down....hence can't reveal it to anyone or the purpose of hiding down is blown. Good luck to all, if you can swing it, it is the way to go, power issues notwithstanding, I wouldn't go back for anything.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Umm, I wrote another article about "Where" to live off-grid and the kind of place you described is NOT what I would choose. There are lots of places that don't nickle and dime you like that and lots of places that you don't have to have a septic system.


samanthamsmith profile image

samanthamsmith 5 years ago from Small Town USA

Awesome hub.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks, feel free to repost it.


Lateral3 profile image

Lateral3 5 years ago

Inspirational; thanks


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're welcome, I also enjoyed your hubs on wood-stoves. Thanks for becoming a fan.


CZCZCZ profile image

CZCZCZ 5 years ago from Oregon

what an awesome and well written hub about the topic. I have thought about wanting to go off the grid several times, but not ready to give it a go yet.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks CZCZCZ, I hope I pronounced that right! :)


Karen N profile image

Karen N 5 years ago from United States

Interesting idea, I think that this lifestyle would be attractive to a lot of people.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Karen


Just History profile image

Just History 5 years ago from England

Very intereting. I had never heard the phrase living "off grid". I can imagine people doing it when faced with the pressures of modern life. It would be difficult to do in the UK as they would need planning permission to build a cob house. Voted up and interesting.- off to read some more


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for commenting Just History. You do realize that there are more cob cottages in the UK than in America?


Xenonlit profile image

Xenonlit 5 years ago

I lived on an acre of land, and it is too much! Even a quarter acre can produce enough food and herbs to sell or can the excess. But if a few smaller animals, as with chickens, a pig or two, goats and sheep are in the mix, half an acre is fine. For cattle, a whole lot of grazing land is needed.

Also, most people freak out at the idea of having to haul garbage to the dumps or having septic tanks.

Great hub!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Good to know Xenolit, thanks for commenting!


tlmntim9 5 years ago

Great hub, nice dream


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks timntim9


eye say profile image

eye say 5 years ago from Canada

excellent! thank you so much for sharing can't wait for my hubbie to see this - you have a wack of other articles of interest, I think you'll be my reading for the weekend :O)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Eye Say, feel free to repost it on your facebook and thanks for becoming a fan.


Daryl 5 years ago

Hi Brie. First off, i quite enjoyed the information you have laid out here, it seems you have put a lot of thought into it. That being said, you seem to be a bit of a hypocrite in some of your posts here. Each time someone posts something talking about how hard it is, or how they need certain services not available off the grid, you put them down, or try to make arguements against it... but at the end of the day, you say that you have not even lived off the grid yourself? Or in other words, you too are currently using those same services still? Again, i am not trying to knock your research, i think it is well put together... but until you have the experience of actually puting in the long days and doing it yourself i can not take your arguments seriously. Sorry.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

It's true I haven't done it yet due to circumstances. However, there are a lot of people who have and they will testify to what I have written.


icountthetimes 5 years ago

A fascinating article. More and more people, I think, are considering this kind of lifestyle. Of course it isn't always possible, depending on location and whatnot, but it really does appeal to me personally.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks "icountthetimes".


cgreen7090 profile image

cgreen7090 5 years ago from Tennessee

I must say, this is a unique hub--well thought out and detailed. Sometimes simple is better, I agree. On the other hand, I'm not rushing out to build a Cob either. The closest we ever came to living green at my house was when my ex-husband (and I'll emphasize EX) bought a 1984 Mercedes and converted it to run on vegetable oil. What a disaster. Not only were we on the side of the road needing a wrecker every other day, but he ruined all our clothes, our driveway, and everything the greasy mess touched. "But honey, it's free." Right. Extra laundry supplies. More clothes. Towing bills...it was sooo free. Of course, the suggestions you make might work if you're dedicated, educated, and willing to put in a LOT of blood, sweat, and tears, and not just looking to save a buck. As I told him years ago when I still had the license to say what I wanted, "IF it were that great everyone would be doing it." There I said it. Still a wonderful and informative hub. Just not the lifestyle for me.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Lots of people use vegetable oil for gasoline, in fact I have a hub about it. Maybe you weren't doing it right? In any case thanks for the comments.


cgreen7090 profile image

cgreen7090 5 years ago from Tennessee

Oh no doubt he wasn't doing it right. That's my point. He wanted to save money, but he wasn't willing to put the energy into doing it right, which I imagine is what would be required to be successful at living off grid. Still a very nice hub. :)


mandy 4 years ago

I have been reading articles on living off grid til I'm blue in the face.First it cost money alot of it to do this second the county can come in and regulate what you can have and not have,then you have permits to get.If you don't abide then they can fine you. The money part is hard for people who don't have it, When buying land if your credit isnt good you cant purchase. Oh and dont forget there is the septic requirements that are expensive.You just cant buy a piece of land and go for it.You have to have a structure(money) septic(money)waterwellor tank(money) are you ready now????


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Did you EVEN read my article? You don't have to have a septic system! Also, if you live in an area that has all these permits MOVE to an area that doesn't!


louromano profile image

louromano 4 years ago

Tnanks for your great information. Interesting hub.Its a great idea !!!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks louromano, please rate it up if you like it.


Jeff magaw 4 years ago

I thought your article to be very informative and positive in nature. I am a maintenance tech by proffesion and possess the skills to make these ideas a reality. Also thru experience I know the lifetyle of "off teh grid" is a physical possibility. For me the most over looked motivating factor of off the grid living is the spiritual freedom and nourishing ground for spiritual growth, that a lifestyle of this nature would promote. Us human creatures tend to complicate our situations. A simplification of life all aspects physical, emotional, spiritual is a good thing.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

I couldn't agree more Jeff. Thanks for commenting.


Ms.OffGridOnLine 4 years ago

Ok but needs a little work.

1. hydro power is great idea but it is not as simple as the simply written artices found on the internet make it out to be. Take a class. A small hydrosystem will cost about $7000 or more to set up. Also depending where you are you will most likely need a costly permit to start generating electricity using a stream. If you are in a state like Colorado you can find yourself with a HUGE fine for tapping into a stream.

2. Animals. You can't just take an animal and bring it into the woods or desert and expect a good out come. Animals need grass to graze. 1 cow needs an acre of grass land. Animals don't like to be alone so one cow means two cows and two acres. Sheep need friends also. You can put about 4 sheep on an acre of grass and you will have to move them to another acre after a week. Even chickens are a challenge. You can let them be free range and all free range means is free food for other animals or you can build a chicken house for them. Once you have them in the chicken house you have to start buying grain and feed for them. They also require heat when it is cold and lots of fresh water. Horses..haha..rolling on the floor now..besides requiring an acre of grass land they need lots of other expensive care. Shots (don't skip them horses are the weakest large animal going, dental care and in most cases shoes. They also need shelter. They can't munch on the wrong plants or they will end up dead as door nails. You have lot's of work to do on the animal subject. Getting the wool off a sheep?? Ah a task not easily mastered.

You are a woman after my own heart...but going off grid requires a great amount of money up front...I have seen a few too many people try to go off grid and end up needing to be rescued when the wind starts blowing and the snow starts falling...along with the STARVING animals.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

I would suggest you read "You Can Farm" by Joel Salatin. As you can see I never ever suggested horses. If Colorado is so restrictive then I would suggest not moving there and sure you need pasture and a chicken coop but a couple of acres of land is very doable in a lot of areas of the country, especially in states like TN, WV and GA. Also, the more your animals can graze off the land the less feed you have to buy. As far as getting the wool off the sheep, I just don't know how people managed for thousands of years with such a difficult task..my my! If it is too hard for me or for a woman then the best thing is to go in with someone for the task and offer to give them half. If that is too difficult I would suggest not having sheep. Cows, pigs and chickens are more than enough to provide for everything you need.

I know one thing, with an attitude like you have it can never be done!


ladyandrea61 4 years ago

I am also looking into the same scenario. I am 50, single, modest income and the way things are, I will work until I drop dead.... The only way to 'retire' is to have a self sustainable life. I have a 5 year plan to learn, develop a design, save money etc. Ideally I would know other people with the same interest and we would buy land together and build our homes. A mini community. I do not want to leave completely by myself.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Keep in touch ladyandrea61, you are not alone. In fact you sound just like me. There are a lot of people who are moving in this direction.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

A very good read, Brie. Thank you!!!

You said:

"even if you can't find a tract of land that has a stream or creek on it you can still set up a water catchment system so don't despair if you can't find water on the land...it's still in the sky!"

------------

Yes, that sounds good on paper, but only one problem: The Federal government has been going around snatching up all the aquatic lands and riparian environments that they can get their filthy hands on.

Another serious issue to consider is that in the State of Washington, the state government has declared water collection to be illegal, because the State of Washington has declared rain water and all precipitation above their state as belonging to them. So, Washingtonians are not legally able to even set out barrels to collect rain water. Not any more.

Voted up and away.

Best wishes to you and yours - C.J. Sledgehammer


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

First of all I think that the state of Washington and the Federal Govt. should be challenged in court because what they are doing is unconstitutional and immoral. Secondly, because it is immoral I think the law should be disobeyed. Thirdly, most areas are NOT under those restrictions..fight the restrictions, disobey the order or move to a place that doesn't have restrictions. Thanks for the vote up and the nice fan mail CJ.


HowToLoveOne profile image

HowToLoveOne 4 years ago from San Francisco

Really important and relevant hub. I think we all need to learn or re-learn how to live on your own. Voted Up! Maybe you could make the headers a little clearer (Bold & Bigger) so its easier to read.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks, I'll do that.


Teresa 4 years ago

Hey Brie,

Great article! I am thinking of living off the grid in Wisconsin, and would be interested in knowing if anyone else within a 90 mile radius of Green Bay is doing the same. Again Brie cool article.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Good luck, it's pretty cold there.


FirstStepsFitness profile image

FirstStepsFitness 4 years ago

Brie ,

How is your blueprint moving along for your goal of living off grid in the future ?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Hi First Steps Fitness, I'm hoping to start small this year. But, I am planning on buying some cows and selling raw milk so I don't know that I'll be able to go completely off the grid since it takes quite a bit of electricity to keep that milk cold for the consumers. We'll see. I'm sure when I get going I'll be writing about it, stay tuned!


Gregorious profile image

Gregorious 4 years ago

Living off the grid and being completely self sufficient is something I have been seriously pondering about. I hope I will be able to pull it off in a few years.

Thank you for a very informative and inspirational hub.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thank YOU for your kind comments, good luck to you Gregorious.


FirstStepsFitness profile image

FirstStepsFitness 4 years ago

Good for you Brie , I appreciate your attention to detail ! It will give you a more lengthy time off grid . All of us following you , love all the input , this topic has just exploded with information , such a great hub idea , great timing for it as well :)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks FirstStepsFitness. It has exploded. It think that a lot of people are waking up to the slavery of the system and they want out. Really, it's all about freedom. People want to be free and they see this as a way out of the system. I know that the facebook likes of this article show about 3 thousand but in reality it's over 14,000..for some reason it reset a while back. So that tells you right there that a lot of people are looking into this way of life. Thanks again for commenting.


Tammy Hare 4 years ago

It's funny,35 years ago I wanted to live off the land for one reason, and now I want to for an entirely different reason. Wonder where I put those darned Foxfire Books. This was an awesome article, thanks for posting it!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Tammy.


GoVegan profile image

GoVegan 4 years ago

Wow, so glad I came across this! My boyfriend, son, and I are hopefully going as much off the grid as we can within the next couple months. We were hoping to get to California, but unfortunately I have not come across anything positive about the state and Cob housing. I was hoping you had some advice? Would be much appreciated!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Hi GoVegan: If I were you I would skip California and head up to Oregon. California is in a terrible financial mess, taxes are really high and property is high. Oregon is much more inclined to Cob housing and there are quite a few cob houses there already. The people who wrote the book "The Hand Sculpted House" live there.


bocephus 4 years ago

Are u running from the government or just want to see what its like to live back in the olden days? If your running from the government they are going to find u and take what u have. Don't u think. Ur property will be public record.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

People go off the grid for many different reasons. If the government is evil they will be resisted.


ziyena profile image

ziyena 4 years ago from Southern Colorado

Very interesting hub.

I enjoyed reading this one.

I did subsistence living in Alaska for about six months in the dead of winter just outside of Fairbanks on Murphy Dome. At that time there was nothing for miles except for my neighbor who was an Iditarod musher and his pack of dogs. Aside from their occassional barking when a moose or wolf came around, the sound of silence is deafening. :)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Wow, I bet you have some stories to tell! Thanks for commenting.


ryan 4 years ago

so, thats all good, but what if you get infected, or have a heart attack / stroke, or something? You'll end up costing society more as we send in a helicopter or risk lives to get to you and haul you out to a hospital.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Or...you'll just die like anyone else would on the grid. I've got news for you, we're all going to die of something someday!


freecampingaussie profile image

freecampingaussie 4 years ago from Southern Spain

Hi ! I have just come across your hub which I enjoyed as well as reading some of the comments which were entertaining ! I love the idea of being somewhere out bush ,having a vegie garden , chickens ( used to have them ) cooking on the fire etc . I don't know why people think you are going to die if you live this way of life .

There was a really cool house made in Britain not so long ago that was really cheap to make !


breathe2travel profile image

breathe2travel 4 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

Excellent. Am sharing on Facebook. Rated up, useful & interesting.


PennyCarey profile image

PennyCarey 4 years ago from Felton

Very interesting and something that appeals to me. I enjoyed your hub very much.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thank you "freecampingaussie", "breathe2travel" and "PennyCarey". I truly appreciate your comments and sharing my article on facebook.


Amethystraven profile image

Amethystraven 4 years ago from California

This is an AWESOME HUB!!! I am glad you posted it. I love that getting back to basics is not very difficult although the cash is needed for some of the materials. Living off the grid is definitely a goal of mine for the future. Self sustainability is very possible, that's what humans did before this so called progress came about. Switch the word progress with the word control and that is what this concrete jungle is all about. I for one just want to control myself and my own life and everyone else can happily live theirs where they want.


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