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

Updated on December 28, 2016

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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    • patchofearth profile image

      patchofearth 3 months ago from somewhere in the appalachian foothills

      Sounds like you and I have the same dream. Very interesting article.

    • profile image

      Sam Boothe 6 months ago

      Greetings once again Brie.

      In your top Ten countdown should medications not be considered a high priority? We do have a vast amount of elderly here in West Virginia and so many are, such as I, in dire need of medications. Which turns us toward our extremely high Veteran population.

      Thanks

      Summersville, West Virginia

    • Jennifer Mugrage profile image

      Jennifer Mugrage 7 months ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Thanks for the useful article and links. You make it sound so doable. I don't have time to read all the comments, but it looks like there is plenty of good advice there as well.

      IMO, living off the grid is a lot harder than we city dwellers imagine. Look at Charles Ingalls ... omnicompent, cool-headed, brave ... and look at how in Little House on the Prairie alone, his family almost died in almost every single chapter.

    • profile image

      Corruption Free 2 years ago

      Let there be a law that the rental on buildings be remain static in a year with no growth in India, Let continuous no growth or zero growth freeze rentals. let the rental decrease by 10% every year in a year of negative growth and let 50% of rental revenue be used for upkeep of the building.

    • profile image

      Tracy 2 years ago

      I am addicted to these small homes and living off grid.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      I think if you are in good shape with some help you could.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks for the pointers "Margy".

    • profile image

      Margy 2 years ago

      I live off the grid for the majority of the year. I agree with all of your points. I would add two other things to consider. My husband and I have chosen this lifestyle and it fits us. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. Everyone involved needs to be sure it's a lifestyle that will work for them. The other factor I would add is entertainment. Daily living does take up a lot of time: wood gathering, gardening, maintenance, going to town for supplies, etc. But there is a lot of free time (especially during winter when our days are short and the nights are long). We have chosen to have to Internet or TV, but love reading and writing. We love outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, quad riding, and exploring. Thinking ahead about what you like to do helps you find the right location for your off-the-grid home.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      Yeah, it gets difficult when you start climbing those numbers!

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Although I dream of living off the grid, at my age I don't think it's likely to happen. I did enjoy reading your article though, and particularly liked the idea of a green roof, as in your intro picture. That would help with insulation, for sure!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      Thank You "ImproveBallet", it is a pity that something like that would prevent you from living a more natural life...maybe someday eh.

      And, Thank you "colorfulone" you don't know how much that means to me.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      This is one of the best living off the grid articles I have stumbled upon and I have read several. I would like to go more green using solar power, but first there are several huge trees that would need to be cute down to the south, and I'm just not ready to see them fall.

    • ImproveBallet profile image

      Magietha du Plessis 2 years ago from South Africa

      I love this article and the whole idea of living off the grid. I live in South Africa and I only wish it was possible here but it is not. With our farm murders the general thinking is that no one older than 55 should even consider it. What a pity.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      The only place I've actually gone off the grid is in Manhattan and yes I wrote about that.

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 2 years ago from USA

      How is your off the grid experiencing going? What are some things you have learned, like things that worked and mistake made if any? Do you have a hub that goes into detail about all those experiences?

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Tracy :)

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      tracy 2 years ago

      You are awesome!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Sorry but if I post it here it's public and I don't want that. The fan mail is there, other people have managed to find it and send me private messages but if you are having a hard time..that's ok, it's not the end of the world.

    • profile image

      bob marley 4 years ago

      Spent 15 minutes ,couldn't find fan mail. Why not just send it here as not for posting. My laptop needs work. Very slow.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      To send me a private email you go fan mail..then once in there you can send a private email message.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Bob, you can write to me using the link in the top right corner. Send me your email address and I will have it in case anyone wants to write to you.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Bob, you should put an email address on because it's not easy to find you through this website.

    • profile image

      bob marley 4 years ago

      Im sure some of your followers would be interested. I'm flying out to Belize this wednesday for 3 weeks. I'll be O.G. (off grid). I won't be on line that often( once a week maybe) Anyone wanting to contact me or come down to Belize during this time, can get in touch though here. With your permission of course Brie, I'll be glad show them the ropes.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Ok, thanks Bob.

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      bob marley 4 years ago

      Yes Brie , you won't find land for sale over the internet cheap, in Belize ,Chicago, or Idaho. You would either need to know some who knows Belize or go there yourself and find people who wants to sell their land or knows someone who wants to sell. Stay away from realestate agenceys. There are times when they will give land away you have to clean it ,and pay a small servay fee. I pick up 3 acers that way.Cheap

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Yes Jesse, if the spring water that you have has no force to it ..you wont be able to generate electricity. However, spring water is a great source of fresh water so that is good in and of itself. There are ways to create more force by digging and redirecting the water but that is above my pay grade. Good luck in your ventures, I'm trying to make a go of it as well.

    • profile image

      Jesse 4 years ago

      Brie when you mention running water are you talking about a stream of water? i have spring water running down the mountain on my dads land he bought but its no where near as much as the guy in the video. Im thinking it may not generate much electricity... But nonetheless i keep hope in someday i may have the chance to live like this, its been on my mind for years now... Nice information btw!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Bob, I just checked out the price of property in Belize..it seems to me that it is just as expensive, if not more so, than in certain parts of the states...where is the cheap property?

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Well Bob, if it doesn't work out for me here in Idaho..I may join you.

    • profile image

      bob marley 4 years ago

      I am not crazy about the very hot. In winter its not so warm. I have to sleep sometimes with a blanket at nite.It does make it easy not to worry about heating you houe . Crime, they have there share. Mostly against each other. and in the city. They have cruise ships nealy everyday. Belizeans don't want to mess with Americans. The point, is you can build what you want where you want. No permitt. or building codes. Yes .I just pick up 10 acers more. Brie, they have so much land and so few people. I'm happy

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Yeah..I thought of going to Belize but I'm not crazy about tropical climes. They do speak English and you can get to it by land and they will allow you to bring your pets.

      What's the crime rate like? Do you have a good link for property?

    • profile image

      bob marley 4 years ago

      BELIZE

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Where?

    • profile image

      bob marley 4 years ago

      It's nearly imposible to live off grid hear in the USA , I ch0ose to go outside the country. I can drive there in two days, and they speak english. I can rent my house,save money, go and live like most Americans would call , the adventure of their lives. I love it. Plenty of fresh water, food, non GMO's. The best thing about it is you can own land without being a citizen. Oh! that wasn't the best thing. The land is dirt cheap. I mean acres for less than $1000, DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks for the encouraging words "LongTimeMother", everyday it gets a little closer.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      My family and I love living off the grid. I'm pleased to see your adventure will begin soon. With the right attitude, you'll find you face challenges, not problems. There's a lot of fun and a wonderful sense of achievement associated with meeting a challenge.

      There is also a great sense of community among off-gridders. It doesn't matter where a person lives. We all offer each other advice and support, whether that be in person or on the internet.

      Your real education in off-grid living will get underway the moment you actively start living the lifestyle. There will be lots of surprises, but I trust you'll enjoy it

      :)

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      I don't know about you but I'm going to pursue the off-grid life..I'll let you know how it goes.

    • profile image

      foreignpress 4 years ago from Denver

      I'm glad you updated this hub from two years ago to include cob dwellings. My great-grandmother lived in a sod hut on the prairie. She had almost nothing and lived a long life. What you suggest, though, is very demanding, hard work. There's no "easy life" to this even if land, water, and other necessities are acquired. Still, we only get one life on this planet. So how are we going to live it?

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      No one ever said it was easy, I just believe it is much more fulfilling than driving for an hour, sitting in a cubicle working for someone else in some meaningless job, driving back home, sleeping and doing it again! So, as you can see there are downsides to both scenarios. I will be starting my off-grid adventure very soon so I'll let you know, become a fan and you will get my articles as they are written. I'm also going to put them on You Tube.

    • profile image

      Utopia 4 years ago

      Why is that many folks, especially city folk think that off grid living would be so much easier today then let's say the 1800's?

      I'm only one generation away from dirt floor cabin farm living. Grow up in the city , but now live in the country. Not far from my grand parents farm. My home is over a hundred years old. Five acres. We have a spring, creek, well water, and natural gas well. The gas well sucks in the winter. Got the wood burning stove - used it the past to winters for heating the house. Lots of work keeping the wood burning. Not to mention a sh!t load of wood.

      Yes, were on the grid and TSHTF we can go back to living in the 1800's.

      I would encourage those that are interested in off grid living to take a month off and volunteer your services to those that are already off grid. Many will welcome your help. Better yet lease land like steves for a 1000.00 a year. Go work it for a year. Build a tiny cob home. Experiment with off grid living before commenting all your resources.

      It's easy to romanticize living off grid, but doing it is not as romantic as one might think.

      Or forefathers were a lot more talented then we give them credit for. If the SHTF then you can kiss them solar panels goodbye. They don't last long and take batteries to store the power. How long would they last?

      I know people that moved to the country with dreams of the simple life only to find out the hard way that life ain't so simple. They bought the farm and are miserable for their efforts.

      With all this said, I love my life on the farm, it has it's perks. Lots of work. The work is never done. Even when you think it's done. I learned a lot about death as one does when they raise farm animals. This part I don't like. You get attached. Some animals I won't kill. I won't nor can't kill my chickens. I love my chickens. So I just enjoy their eggs. I butchered a pig. I can't do this again as pigs are very smart. I can kill and butcher / dress a deer because the deer is like a stranger.

      If I had it to do all over again... I'd have moved to another country. I'm fifty and hubby had a stroke. So I would imangine that I'll stay where I'm at til I'm to old to do it.

      Good luck and hope you can make that off grid utopian dream come true.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thank you for commenting, please feel free to re-post the article on your Facebook so that others will be informed.

    • pramodgokhale profile image

      pramodgokhale 4 years ago from Pune( India)

      Modern lifestyle and building large cities is a matter of pride for governments but it is going expensive. In India we are on course of urbanization under the name of rapid progress and development but it is done by rich politicians of our country.

      The rising expenditure on urban amenities , it is difficult to cope with it.

      I appreciate Americans with such low cost innovative ideas to get relief and a self reliant model of living, Secondary we live in contaminated atmosphere , it further increases our health expenses and carbonized cities only add more health disorders, cob houses should be satisfying human needs but GREED!!! is a devil.

      Thank you for innovative ideas and interaction.

      pramod gokhale

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks "Little Grandmommy", feel free to repost on your facebook page and spread the word.

    • Little Grandmommy profile image

      Gail 4 years ago from Small Town Tennessee

      This is great! I have learned so much reading this. I can't wait to go to the website and find out more about cob houses. Terrific hub. Thanks!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Enjoy the Cob houses, I'm hoping to build mine next year..oh and thanks for the kind comments.

    • Lizolivia profile image

      Lizolivia 4 years ago from Central USA

      Concise and well written. Thank you for sharing the well thought out and unique information you have obtained about living a self-sustained lifestyle. Going to look into the cob houses.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Great, thanks. I am hoping I can do it so that others will see that it can be done.

    • profile image

      Joanne M Olivieri 4 years ago

      I am pretty much in the same boat as you, only a bit older. I will definitely stay tuned and I am following you so I can get the latest news. Thanks.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Well Joanne, I'm going to do it myself next year and you can be sure I'll be writing about it so stay tuned. I am a 51 year old woman and I don't have very much money so if I can do almost anyone can do it!

    • profile image

      Joanne M Olivieri 4 years ago

      I certainly like this idea and have been thinking about something like this for years. I however have that self doubt that I don't know if I could do this on my own. I really enjoyed reading all of this info and will check out your links. Being self sufficient and hot having any bills would be a dream come true :)

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      The reason I want to do this has nothing to do with wanting to separate from everything..I just don't want any bills AT ALL! To me it's a lifestyle of freedom.

    • busillis22 profile image

      busillis22 4 years ago

      Glad to know how to do this if ever I wanted to give living off the grid a try! It sure would be nice to feel a little separate from everything!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Actually MarieAlan1, I have! In fact, I am really hoping that once I get the house built and the farm up and running that I will be able to have people come and stay..sort of a B&B thing to see how it's done. :) I'm leaving NYC next month and should be able to move to Idaho where I want to do this within a year or so. I will also film my adventure on You Tube under Brie217.

    • MarieAlana1 profile image

      Marie Alana 4 years ago from Ohio

      This is a great hub. It is something that truly interests me, but I don't think I could do. I spent a term of college in ecotourism and learning a little about these types of things. Have you ever thought about building an "adventure land" where people can come, spend a week, and learn about how they might go about "living off the grid?"

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks, "wallflowereys". I will be following through to some extent either this year or the next.

    • wallflowereyes profile image

      wallflowereyes 4 years ago from New York

      This is a great hub. This topic is something that has always intrigued me. Thanks for being so informative. Looks like you have spent a lot of time doing your research. If or when you follow through, I wish you the best in your journey!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      I have the book and it's the best.

    • ajwrites57 profile image

      AJ 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Okay thanks so much! I will have to look into it.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      If you get the book I have for sale above called "The Hand Sculptured House", the author Ianto Evans will tell you everything you need to know. His telephone number is in the book and I have called him and he was extremely helpful.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      If you get the book I have for sale above called "The Hand Sculptured House", the author Ianto Evans will tell you everything you need to know. His telephone number is in the book and I have called him and he was extremely helpful.

    • ajwrites57 profile image

      AJ 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      My son has extreme sensitivities to mold. We have heard of cob houses before but haven't met anyone with experience building, living in one. Thought you might know...

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Why are you worried about mold with Cob Cottages?

    • ajwrites57 profile image

      AJ 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Brie Hoffman, thank you for the informative Hub. Off grid living will become increasingly important, I'm afraid. I have question, maybe you know the answer to it. "How can a cob cottage be built to be mold free and to stay that way?" Please let me know. Thanks again!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Kaiyan717 for your very uplifting comments.

    • kaiyan717 profile image

      kaiyan717 4 years ago from West Virginia

      Hey Brie, seen this linked to one of my hubs, love the thought and research that went into it. Like you I hope to go off grid completely one day, although like you I know there is alot to learn, but we have to start somewhere. I lived off grid for several months after Katrina, although it really wasn't my choice, although I could have moved to another area for a while like many others did.

      I am sad to see so many debbie downers personally, I read some of the post, but they just kind of bummed me out. As of now I live in an apartment, but I do what I can. like you, I research and try out new things, while trying to lower my current use of the grid, I use a third of the electricity I used to, as well as gardening on my balcony and preserving food. Gardening is not so hard, I mean you are probably not going to plant acres of food, realistically I produced 85 percent of my produce in the warmer months on a small balcony porch in buckets and pots, not to mention a nice stock for winter. I hope you dont let the negativity get to you!

      I also believe we in America are in for a rude awakening and all this knowledge will merely put you one up on those that have not learned. I think it is hard for many to fathom such a way of life, so they flip their nose to your positivity. Crafts and even content writing are a great way to procure extra money, think clothes making, crocheting, knitting, all these things can be sold locally or you can use Etsy, I do and it is a great platform to show your goods. One of the top earners on hear writes a lot about homesteading activities fro her house. Keep up the positivevibe and I wish you luck in your endeavors! Dont let the debbie downers get you down!

    • ryano123 profile image

      Elvis Jackson 4 years ago from All around the world!

      Luckily though zombies don't fly planes or use binoculars.:)

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Yea but I'm planning on using galvanized steel in order to collect rain water for drinking. I figure they can always use heat sensitive binoculars if they really are looking for you.

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      Elvis Jackson 4 years ago from All around the world!

      I love the part about a living roof to go undetected. I'd probably throw me a few goats up there.;)

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Dan, it's very exciting isn't it..I mean the possibility of living a good healthy life that is doable.

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      Dan Barfield 4 years ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

      This is a fantastic hub!! What a pleasure to read! I particularly love the idea of cob houses - I'm a bit of a hobbit at heart and dream of earth-houses with turf roofs. It's good to know that this kind of living is affordable as well as doable :)

      Interesting, voted up!!

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      Britney 4 years ago from Southern California Desert

      What an awesome Hub! Seriously. I love the photos and videos and the style of writing is so personal! I feel like a friend is chatting with me. :) Great job. Voted up and everything!

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      Saloca 4 years ago from Liverpool, UK

      Interesting article, it's not something I've ever thought about but it would be nice to try - it seems like a much lonelier existence though which isn't really for me. As an extended retreat I could see this as a great way to get back to our roots so to speak!

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      Barbara 4 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Too funny- I did not realize all these comments were yours because the article was yours, lol. I liked what you said above and wanted to make sure I friended you before I read further along the line of comments... only to discover you wrote this excellent hub. Oh dear.

      I did have a suggestion for transportation. I have taken to renting a car when I need one. Right now I am renting a Mazda 6 for $9.95 a day. I don't have car payments or high insurance payments and I get a car in great working order. I am returning it in a week, after I run all my errands...

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      greencha 4 years ago from UK

      Your welcome Brie . Very best wishes. Chas

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      Better Yourself 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow, you've definitely thought this through! Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

    • ryano123 profile image

      Elvis Jackson 4 years ago from All around the world!

      Looks like you've done your research! Great! Thanks!

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      If I ever get to the UK again I will contact you! Thanks for writing.

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      greencha 4 years ago from UK

      Excellent article. There is an old established community in USA (I think first one in the States),called Twin Oaks,my friend used to live there and found it an excellent community with luvly folk.

      If you ever in UK contact me I will show you around the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales. I agree with what you infer-our so called established society is breaking down fast, I think we all got to get back to the land and work with nature best we can now. Blessings

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      You're welcome "thost"

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      thost 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      You have given me food for thought. Thank you.

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Good to know "LongTimeMother".

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      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Hey Brie, I am racing outside with my camera now and will post some encouraging photos. It is summer here and my solar system is at 100% charge, plus my extraordinarily easy vegetable garden is looking good. Good news for you ... being off the grid is not the same thing as being off the planet. I live just one hour's drive from a major city.

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks "Smartbuyproducts" and "FreezeFrame34". I hope to start my adventure soon.

    • FreezeFrame34 profile image

      FreezeFrame34 4 years ago from Charleston SC

      Very interesting hub!

      My friends and I once stubbled upon a small house as you described in the middle of the woods while we were riding our ATV's.

      It would definitely be different than city living, that's for sure!

    • Smartbuyproducts profile image

      Smartbuyproducts 4 years ago

      That's a lot of good ideas for going off grid, keep it up.

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      Alana Nicole 4 years ago

      Wow I love it !!

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      Buster Johnson 4 years ago from Alabama

      Interesting hub

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks "iammrnathan".

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      nathaniel 4 years ago from tagum city

      very good!!

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks "Deltachord", I'm glad you liked it. I hope you voted it up.

    • Deltachord profile image

      Deltachord 4 years ago from United States

      Very good article that is a lot of help to people wanting to be self-sufficient. Enjoyed reading it.

    • A Driveby Quipper profile image

      A Driveby Quipper 4 years ago

      How much does it cost to go off the grid?

      Nothing . . . lose your job, and face the challenge.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks "jainismus". And, I agree "Natashalh".

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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I would love to do this! I genuinely enjoy having to participate in my everyday life in ways we don't tend to think about any more.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      This is one of the great articles I found at Hubpages.....

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks for commenting Elisha. You might watch some of Dan Rojas' vids, he does a lot with solar heating. I have added one of his at the very bottom of the article.

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      Elisha 4 years ago

      Thank you for the article, very informative and well thought out. I live in northern Canada, any resources you could point me towards to living off grid and staying warm in the long cold winter?

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Unfortunately I believe you are right. Thanks for commenting "2besure"; please feel free to repost this article on your facebook.

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      Pamela Lipscomb 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      There will come a time when we all will need this information. If or when our society falls apart, it will be the ones who know how to 'go off the gird' are the ones who will have a better change of survival. A great hub!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thank you. You can get a small unit and just add on to it as you can afford. But, I agree I wish they were cheaper too.

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      timewarnercablenc 4 years ago

      really helpful and informative article you have here. I wish solar panel cost is cheaper here, we have more then enough sun rays to harvest.

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      You're welcome Vicky022389, feel free to repost on your facebook page.

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      Victoria Postlewait 4 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      This is such a cool post! I live in Orlando, FL and I am sick of living in the city. I want to move somewhere out in the country. I have often thought about living off the land but have never known where to start, thanks for the advice!

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Imogen, thanks for your wonderful perspective!

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      Imogen 4 years ago

      I have lived off-grid through a Yukon winter with four children ages 2yrs to 7yrs. It does not take 18 hours of work to do this. It takes an innovative, willing, non-puritanical and non-competitive mind.

      A thermal mass rocket heater needs twigs from deadfall to heat a whole home. A homemade rocket stove also uses only twigs for cooking. f you can build with lego, you an build these, and they are not difficult to do.

      Hauling water is also not very complicated. Fill a bucket with stream water and walk home with it. Do this every morning with two 5 gallon buckets- once for a couple (a nice walk together) or twice for one adult, if there are children (otherwise, a single person would not need to go more than every second day except for laundry days). Invest in 2 Berkey purification elements every few years to clear water from any source.

      Don't grow foods that don't do well in the climate. Even better, don't cultivate anything! Gather greens, berries and mushrooms from the woods. Hunt. Fish. Learn to maintain less stuff. Wear clothing more than one day, shower/bathe once or twice/week. Don't keep high maintenance livestock or any at all. Ground squirrels have delicious meat and are herbivores feasting on vitamin and mineral rich vegetation, so they are densely nutritious and yummy. We still need some cash for property taxes and tickets for hunting game, and fishing licenses, etc..., but that's mostly because we live within what s considered "driving distance" from serviced areas. The Canadian govt makes allowances for subsistence hunters that don't otherwise apply.

      We are (not-by-choice) partly on-grid now (electricity, but no water, sewage, etc...) and will be completely off grid beginning next month, with no grid even close by. Off-grid living can be as leisurely or as hard as you make it. If you fight the experience, it will be hard. If you cannot shake the puritan work-ethic while you are out there, you will MAKE it hard- harder than it needs to be, by a long shot.

      If you cannot integrate yourself into the wild, but think you are there to conquer it, it will be hard. If sharing your water with wasps as you wash your hair outdoors is terrifying to you, then it will be hard. If you cannot calculate the real life-energy expenditure of living in the city and having a job, you will mistakenly think that bush-living is hard. It isn't hard; it is just living.

      If you want to live in the bush with a farmer-mentality, you will find it hard. Farming is a conquering activity. As such, it requires loads of energy to maintain a position of power/control over the indigenous population of plants, fungi, and animals.

      If you live with a hunter-gatherer mentality, you will find innovative and harmonious ways f obtaining what you need and want without taxing your physical/mental/emotional energy beyond what is comfortable. As an omnivorous predator in the wild, it is not strenuous to live. The pace is varied- sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes intense, sometimes leisurely, etc.... In the bush, it doesn't matter, because we don't live by a clock. We don't need lights until 1am; it's dark, so we sleep. We're not missing anything by doing a specific activity for as long as it takes to complete it, and we don't miss that activity by taking a break from it until we come back to it. It just doesn't matter, within the reasonable consderation of living with the seasons.

      I don't call it off-grid, though because I don't have any desire to be seen as living an 'alternative lifestyle', but rather just for my own enjoyment, the way a wild human lives. It's just living, and if I really must spell it out, I call it "bush-living" because amenities (implied by the question that prompts the answer 'off-grid': But how will you get electricity/water/sewer/phone/internet/garbage collection/ambulance/etc...?) are not the focus of my life: living it is.

      That said, if all you 18 hr/day people are really looking for something to fill all that extra time once you figure out that it's unnecessary, I am sure that you could get my whole year's worth of work done in a few short weeks. But nevermind, I like my pace the way it is- just right.

      The mind is a powerful thing. "Whether you believe it can or it can't be done, you're right." Even a gear-head, city-slicker like Henry Ford knew that. ;)

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      John 4 years ago

      Wow what a great read! It's almost like someone living in the woods.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Lisa.

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      Lisa Seville 4 years ago from Key West, Florida

      interesting read

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Absolutely, thanks for commenting "plussizepixie"

    • plussizepixie profile image

      plussizepixie 4 years ago

      Really informative hub - thanks Brie. So far my self sufficiency extends to chickens & growing fruit & veg but every little step is a step in the right direction:)

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Boots Iacono, it's true, life can get very complicated very fast.

    • Boots Iacono profile image

      Boots Iacono 4 years ago from Northern New Jersey

      Unbelieveable article! Bravo! it almost makes me think that I can actually do it... but I cannot survive without the internet and my communications. It would be nice if there were towns like this one could take vacation at... like those villiages you see in those Medieval movies.

      Once life becomes so complicated, it is that much harder to go back.

    • profile image

      Steemjammer 5 years ago

      Another safety note to all - we set up our rickety stovepipe rocket stove in a brick fireplace, and we didn't get close to it. The sticks were long, and we gently shoved them in from afar. Even so, a can of hot-to-boiling water on top of my rickety stove could have spilled on my arm. It wasn't very smart of me, and I'm not using the device again until I make it sturdy and safe. Please think through all safety aspects first - what can go wrong often will go wrong.

      Sorry if this is obvious to people - just thought I should say this.

    • profile image

      Steemjammer 5 years ago

      Understood, it would be a big project. And if there are no home improvement stores nearby, the pipes would be a pain. Our rocket stove weighs a few ounces. Really. The sticks weigh a few ounces. With a lightweight device to safely prop it up in a bbq pit - this thing weighs very little.

      You could make a modestly sized clay one in a pottery class, if you want, and fire it to make it hard. It wouldn't be that hard to carry (make it thin). But of course, this is your shot to call. I keep banging the same old drum - that all of us (even in Manhattan) can do this stuff - and if we can possibly motivate ourselves, I think we all should (experience is the best teacher). But don't let me get too pushy here. Real life is real life. I'm lucky to have a yard and fireplace.

      Also - I've been trying to urge people to be safe! This one's very dangerous. Cutting metal = sharp edges. Fire - don't get burned or burn down your house. Also don't let hot water spill on you - that's a huge health hazard. I know you know this, Brie, but I say it for people who might read this. Also the smoke - in poor countries people use rocket stoves indoors because they have to - but don't. Carbon monoxide, smoke - bad stuff.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      That's great Steeljammer..just that I have no car and no way of hauling all that stuff if you could even get it here. Not much of a market for steel pipes in the city.

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      Steemjammer 5 years ago

      Oh shucks, then I'd be working!

      This site shows 11 Manhattan area parks where you can barbecue on coals.

      http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/barbecue

      You use lighter fluid or a metal chimney (i.e. fire) to light charcoal, so fire must be legal there. I assume there'd be metal bbq grill boxes or some such set up. Put your rocket stove on or in one of these, and you're good!

      You just need an L shaped piece of stovepipe (galvanized steel duct pipe). Get clay and ancor it on a board - so it's portable. Rig some metal to help it stay up - and something stury enough to hold a pot of water over the flame. It won't be that heavy, if you use low amounts of clay (just enough to protect your board). Boom, you're cookin' with sticks! Lo-tech rules! Hah!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Steemjammer, unfortunately no you can't light a fire in central park! LOL

      Why don't you write a hub and include step by step pictures, I would love to see that. I could link it to this hub.

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      Steemjammer 5 years ago

      Guess what? We made a ROCKET STOVE yesterday!

      Even crazier - it actually worked!

      Went to local hardware store to get duct/stove pipe. Their selection was limited (I always go there first). Then to the medium sized conglomerate "home stuff" store, and then to the Home Despot, where they had the right pipe (sadly they have the variety - and I guess they aren't "evil" - but I give the little guys a chance first). Anyway, bought a 4" diameter 90 degree bend pipe and a small piece of 4" diameter extention pipe.

      Can't believe that cost over $8. Not too long ago they'd have been under 2 bucks each. There are cheaper ways of doing this, but I was looking for "very easy" and fast to make.

      Okay, I ignored most of the "how to make a rocket stove" plans - I was just interest in the fire chamber itself. I put the pipes together with the extension sticking up - you want a 40 cm "chimney" - but mine was only 30 cm. This is a problem, but I'll find a way to fix it or make a new one. Again, just wanted to test this thing - see if you really can boil water or cook rice using just a few STICKS. That's a huge claim with huge and massively positive implications if true.

      Okay, so the heart of the rocket stove, an L shaped pipe of 4" diameter, was lodged in the grate of my fireplace. I used tin snips to cut a piece of corn can out (don't get cut if you try this! sharp edges on the cut can!), and I lodged it in the base opening to make the "SHELF" for my sticks to rest on.

      Found 6 sticks in yard - ranging in diameter from less than a pencil to about as big around as my thumb. Dropped some torn up newpaper down the chimney so it went to bottom of the L - of the tube - the burn spot. Lit a small wad of newspaper on fire and dropped it down onto the newspaper I'd just dropped.

      My son said "oh that's why it's a rocket stove" - the flames SHOT OUT THE TOP, like an upside down rocket! I was thinking THIS COULD WORK!

      We put the sticks in on the "shelf" - shoved em in until they hit metal, and they caught on fire. Put an old rack on top (need a better top piece tho) and put a corn can 3/4 full of water on top - so the heat and flames hit its base and went around it. This is a flaw - my chimney was too short - should have been no flames at top. But it still worked - flames at top means not as efficient, probably making more smoke.

      Okay, flames then went down - paper burned out. Sticks were going, but not as hot as I'd like. We had to keep pushing them in, especially the small diameter ones - they burned up fast. Went into yard and got one more thumb-diameter stick. Put it in, flames and heat went up.

      The first wood load had burned maybe 5 min and was hot, maybe hot enough to boil water. But with the addition of one more "big" stick, we had boiling water in less than 3 minutes (the 3/4 full corn can on top). Corn can was blackened - this is gonna happen. Need to get a cheap cooking pot for the real deal, when I make a permanent one. Anyway, the water boiled and boiled strong - just on STICKS! A much bigger pot would have easily boiled! IT WORKED!

      I felt really good. If an earthquake hit, if some other bad thing happened, we could cook food and sterlize drinking water using STICKS! We can take this camping!

      Too cool. I'm writing another long post - agh. Anyway, I feel this is another example of a small step in learning survival skills in the city - but I have a yard and fireplace. Brie, can you light a cook fire in central park? Is there anyplace with bbq pits where people cook w/ charcoal in NYC parks? Find one and try a makeshift rocket stove - find a friend w/ a fireplace! You've got to try this!

      Don't get the flimsy aluminum duct pipes - get the steel ones. You can actually use old cans, just don't get cut - and I'm not sure how to join cans (wrapped in fire clay? cob?). You could make a rocket stove from CLAY!

      People all over Haiti, Africa and India (and elsewhere) are stipping down forests to get firewood. With a rocket stove, you can cook on junk wood - maybe cardboard or paper trash even. You're using so much less wood it's nuts! Not only is this good for our survival cabin ideas - this could have (and is having) a huge positive impact on very poor peoples' lives. Cooking on just a handful of sticks - amazing - it really works! Anyway, I'm so jazzed. Really try this! It's exciting!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      I've heard that one before and it's a good one.

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      Steemjammer 5 years ago

      This nation was founded on squirrel meat -- little known fact. Right, squab is pretty good - Chinese dishes use it, too.

      I think I was asking people if a disaster happened, what would they eat? This was in a big city, so I asked if people could shoot and eat a squirrel, a pigeon? (I didn't ask about rat or stray dog - worms, crickets and so on - survival situations get, well, "yucky." Google "second harvest"). These peoples' plan was waiting until the Army air dropped food. That was it.

      They had no concept of the things in their yards that were edible: dandelion greens and root, rose hips (vitamin C), acorns (must be detoxed properly!), cactus, some flowers (careful, some, like oleander are very poisonous), certain tree membranes, pine nuts, other possible tree seeds, grass seeds, and so on. That sounds like a lot, but it really isn't that much - given all the people there.

      Well, such issues "aren't civilized," and "normal urbanites" don't like to think about them. It disturbs them a lot. If, God forbid, a really bad situation comes along, it's going to be non-normal people who make it.

      I agree - do our best - the rest is up to God. Here's a joke along that line:

      A really faithful guy's boat sank in the ocean, and he was stuck treading water. He prayed and prayed, and along came a fishing boat. "Get in!" they said. "Nope," said the man, "I've prayed to God, and I'm sure a miracle is going to save me! I'll wait for it!" Hours went by, and he got very tired, then along came a Coast Guard helicopter!

      "Nope," the man said to the crew, "I've been praying for a miracle, and I'm waiting for it to happen." A day went by, and he kept praying - and managed to stay afloat, when a Navy submarine spotted him and surfaced. He told the crew the same thing - no thanks, he was sure a mircale would save him. He died.

      At the Pearly Gates, he went up to Saint Peter and said: "Hey, what gives! I prayed and prayed for a miracle, and you guys never delivered!"

      St. Peter said: "Never delivered?! First we sent a boat, then a helicopter, and even then a...."

      Well, some might find that sacriligious - it's not meant that way. It's really an extreme way of looking at the issue of faith and life - and how little we know - and assumptions we make. In my life I've been in tough spots - and I've prayed and had a "boat" come along - I got on the boat.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Roast pigeon actually sounds pretty good :) I've had squab and that was yummy. Yes, all we can do is our best and the rest is up to God.

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      Steemjammer 5 years ago

      My feelings exactly! I'm not ready to really do it, to really cut off all the way from comfort and convenience - but I feel I'm keeping the option open if I (really "we" - it'd be a family choice) want to (or have to). That's why I get kindling and light a fire w/ one match in the fireplace, even though the gas starter is much easier. That's why we hunt and fish and garden - and other wacky stuff. A little at a time - yes!

      It's awesome, Brie, that you know how to can and use guns! You're way ahead of others (by the way, your research and points are very well thought out - you've got the right ideas and mindset to survive, it seems to me). Don't ever let yourself get "over civilized" (of course you won't); that's just weakness. I know people who are "so civilized" they say they'd rather starve than eat squirrel stew or roast pigeon.

      Now, if they were truly hungry they'd change their minds, but by that point, it'd probably be too late for them (sadly). Let's hope and pray it never comes to that, that it never gets truly "bad." But if it does, some of us will make it.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Hi Steemjammer,..well I know how to can food..so check on that and I was raised with guns, so check on that (although it has been awhile). I have books on foraging although I've never really done it. The main thing is (I think) to do these things a little at a time..add more and more as you go. I think if you were to go off the grid completely right off the bat..it would be a disaster.

    • profile image

      Steemjammer 5 years ago

      Haha! I did read it; that's why I added "go camping" and "farmcations!" I bet there are "survivalcations." Get a friend who lives upstate maybe and visit them, see what they'll let you do on their land. You'd be shocked how much you can do in a major city, even living in an apartment. (also others might read this, others who have yards)

      Seriously, Brie, buy fruit and practice canning it at home (safely, please read up on it - of course you would - I just add this to be ultra cautious) - maybe you already do this. You'd need to buy jars and some other simple stuff, but it's easy and fun - and you can make jelly/preserves that are really good. Cheese and vinegar making, all doable in any kitchen. Beer, wine and mead making: easy (so you buy your grapes and don't grow them? so what? learning is awesome!).

      You can make your own jerky in an oven - or get a dehydrator (some are cheap). So much you can do!

      Central park - oak trees? Forage acorns? See if you can make them edible! Hard to do right - be careful! You got to soak em right to get the tannins out (don't try w/out research pls! safety issues!) - but acorns are an awesome survival/forage item (unless you get sick or die from preparing them wrong)! A forage class run by an expert might be a good idea. Or Google multiple sites until you find one you trust - get a well known, trusted book, too.

      Get a grow light and grow some crops in your apartment in pots! Sounds silly, but it's not that costly (maybe a window's good enough). Are you allowed to roof garden? Manhattan has community gardens. Maybe look into that.

      Dreaming about this stuff is lots of fun. I have to admit I dream more than I "do," but I've still been doing it - every day, usually, in some small way. Truly cutting off really is hard work (so I cheat).

      I watched the Eden movie. Cool! That guy is really inspiring. He has strong faith and loves what he does.

      Oh - in Idaho (Idaho might be an awesome place, maybe I'll see you there when the big one hits) or wherever you make your place, that film reminded me: plant orchards. Fruit and nuts, especially nuts. Learn to prune. Nuts store really well for a year - protein and fat and minerals. Great food.

      Brie, you'll need a "guncation" I think. Bears (griz may be returning to Idaho, and black bears are bad enough) - and wicked people - and hunting (gun or bow) - fishing - trapping (none of which is allowed in Central Park - except I bet there's an archery range!) - absolutely nec. to survive in Idaho, even without a big disaster. Okay, not really, but they are good skills. Also, animals and bad people will steal your food and tools - such a pain.

      One thing about the Eden film, that guy's been doing this for YEARS - and he lives in a place where it's easy to get free chips and mulch. It's not sustainable, though - look at all the machinery needed to make his mulch! There are much simpler ways to do that (are you by a forest - bring or make a rake - rake leaves and needles) - also, do it bit at a time. See for real if it's actually as good and easy as he says. I've done a mulch layer. Weeds went right through it. He says it's work-free, but it ain't. He's not really lying. He's a cool guy, and his gardening skills put mine to shame! However, he's fixed it so he LOVES and FEELS GOOD ABOUT the work he does, so it doesn't feel like work to him. I promise you: he's workin' his bottom off.

      Also - his is not a survival garden. You can't live off chard and apples and radishes. A real survival garden = calorie rich crops = corn (way more than he grows), potatoes, beans, peas, field peas, peanuts, carrots and so on - and some chard and leafy greens and radish, sure. But mostly foods w/ high calories that you just dry and store (taters in root cellar, keep cool). His garden is awfully pretty, though! And perfectly good to supplement his family's diet.

      Also, good news. America's soil depletion's not really the nightmare the film says, so don't lose sleep. It's bad, but it's not "the end." Farmers are slowly changing to better ways (they only change when economics make them, really). His chip/mulch idea is small scale only. Also, the real reason veggies have lower minerals and vitamins is because we now use varieties that set and ripen really fast compared to 50 yrs ago. It's not really that the soil is drained - a tomato now just doesn't have to time to load up on minerals like in the past before it is ready and picked. Classic associative fallacy: you can't really blame people (I make the associative fallacy all the time!).

      Also, the film inspires more than it teaches. That's why I hope you'll go for a community garden (if it's all taken for 20 years - see if people will let you help!). Remember the guy who said he shouldn't have tilled his chips? Right! Rotting vegetation/wood/manure ROBS the soil. Only fully rotten GIVES to the soil. Gosh, there are so many little things like that.

      Maybe join a Maker's Movement club or DIY group?

      Well, I talk a mean game - but if I'm next door to you in Idaho, the sad reality is that my family and I are likely starving - just barely getting by (or sadly about to die). What I know is just basic stuff, cuz I've only partially lived this. Real country people, people who do this every day (who know this stuff in the marrow of their bones), they're the ones you want as neighbors. They are truly amazing. As long as you give back something to them, they'll help if they can. A tight and good-spirited small community would be so nice in a survival situation.

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Steemjammer..will you come and be my neighbor in Idaho!?:)

      Btw, I guess you didn't read my profile..I live in Manhattan, kinda hard to scavenge for fire-wood (if I had a fireplace which I don't) in Manhattan :) I think there are laws against cutting down the trees in Central Park :)

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      Steemjammer 5 years ago

      I may be repeating stuff on your other pages - not finished looking at them yet. Anyway - thanks! I was taught about firewood by family members who used to basically live off it (and by a friend who did). In the old days women had to be able to do anything a man could do, when men went off to war - went off on hunting trips - or died. You can do a lot of this stuff without a pro-wrestler's physique!

      The few solar saw sites I've found suggest an 8' by 8' or so bank of photovoltaic panels can run an electric chainsaw. Possible, but can you drag these panels up a hill or mountain to get wood in the first place?

      New stuff is so intriguing! I don't say "no" automatically just because something is new, but I do advocate a healthy open-mindedness - and keeping options open. What worked 100 years ago was an evolution of 1000s of years of human progress - much of it still works for us now. So, I'd advocate investigating things like solar saws while also learning "old school" ways. Old school is far less cool but is tried and true.

      First thing you got to know about firewood is that it must be seasoned to burn. That means, usually, a year or more of aging (drying). Your first year you will need to look for dead wood that's not too rotten; even though it's exposed to rain, it will still be dry enough to burn (green wood has high water content and won't burn without gasoline or something to help it). The problem is that dead wood is hard to cut and dulls your saw fast.

      Picking a wood stove or fireplace is another consideration. The smaller you must cut down your logs to fit, the more work you're doing. But you're wasting wood if you burn too much at a time (more than you need).

      A "pro" woodsperson uses a chainsaw to cut living trees (using forestry approved "thinning" techniques, cutting a tree that's not going to make it anyway - leaving the ones not cut healthier), then cuts off branches, cuts down the logs to transport length - and then uses an ox or tractor or atv (or people power) to drag the logs (and big branches) down to the house, where green logs are cut to stove length. Wood is seasoned 1-2 years (in a woodshed, or covere w/ heavy plastic and rocks). When dry wood is split. Big diameter logs are split with a sledge and wedges, small w/ an axe. You need experience with fires to know what size wood you want.

      Okay, that's a major deal. What if realistically you can't do that? I would look for fallen dead branches and young dead trees. Drag these to your cabin and cut them down to size. Much easier - ready to burn now. But you need a forest around you to supply you with this, one with not too many other people taking wood.

      Oh, this is really important: please don't mess with saws and axes until you've been trained and learn safety. An old timer who knows his or her stuff (and who is a good coach) is good enough - you don't need some course and gov't license. You can die cutting down even a small tree, so do learn and be careful! Also, there are laws about cutting wood on public property (if you're surviving, laws shmaws).

      Well, this is just a start. You can cook on your cabin woodstove/fireplace or outdoors - with dutch ovens (iron pots on coals w/ coals on top). We are on the edge of a big city and get free firewood by dragging fallen trees/branches on vacant land down the street to our house. We get wood in the van that people give away (when they have to cut a tree) - pre cut and easy! We just split it. Sometimes we get dead wood from a public forest - but it's a major pain to haul, even in a van.

      If you have a fireplace, try getting your own wood now - don't buy it. Or go camping and make a safe campfire from wood you find. Until we do this, we don't really and fully "learn" it - experience is invaluable - and again, you don't have to live off grid to practice these skills (and build strength and confidence). Knowing what is too hard to do and what pretty much works - from actually doing it - invaluable.

      True, you can have a propane fridge/freezer. Kerosene is interesting, didn't know that. You need considerable head to make enough micro-hydro to run even a small appliance. Solar and wind are bad, bad ideas for food storage - sorry - cuz when they go off, your food spoils (you need backup). That said, things depend on how "hard core" you're going. Again, I'd learn what worked 100 years ago: canning (in Mason or Ball jars - safety issue, don't die from food poisoning!!!), smoking (again, safety - many tricks to learn to do this right), drying, root cellaring, pickling (need lots of salt + vinegar), and so on. Greenhouses for fresh veggies in cold weather.

      Chickens - you only really want to kill and eat a layer when she stops - they lay several years (depending). You eat the males, usually (you allow some eggs to hatch, if you have a rooster w/ your chickens). You have to learn how to sex them, when to kill them - and old hens are TOUGH - must be slowly stewed or braised for hours on low heat to be edible.

      Idaho would be good - but I wouldn't plan on outside meat freezing there. Can warm up too much even in mid winter (you can never tell). This is only truly safe in Canada and Alaska (imo) - too cold for me there (in general). Also, need to protect stored food from bears and wolverines - and even chipmunks and birds. And PEOPLE! So much to do.

      Even seed storage (like beans) is tough. Little egs that you can't see are on them. You can heat them before storing (dry heat) to a certain point to kill the eggs. Or just live with worms in your beans - grow more than you need and live with the loss. Seed you plan on regrowing - Ethiopians and others cover such seed with ash - store seed in bags mixed with ash - it seems to kill bugs that hatch. Again, remember that most hybrid seed you buy is only good for one planting - seed from a hybrid won't make a good plant, often. I've grown hybrid corn the next year just to see - and I got BIRD SEED, not modern "corn." You can get heirloom corn that you can regrow again and again. Be careful not to mix varieties in your garden. Again, start gardening now, if only in a pot on your apartment balcony or back yard. So much to learn, and it must be learned by doing - and again, don't let the naysayers scare you off! Any of you can do this (and arguably we should all know this, just in case). With all I know and done, if the stuff hit the fan - and if we somehow escaped to the wilds - we'd still just barely scrape by (if we were to make it), barely, cuz we're in the city, we haven't got a place prepared, and we still have far too little experience.

      But putting aside survivor doom n gloom, "farmcationing" is real now (people do it). Roughing it on weekends - or 2 weeks in summer - cheating when needed - is all still very much worth doing. Any effort to learn this is good, even if you're not 100% - even if you're only 10%. Your friends might not understand, but there is huge satisfaction making your own fire from wood you got - eating food you grew - or a fish you caught.

      (agh, how you gonna start a fire when matches run out? Magic spark sticks - buy several. Flint and steel, right? Try it. It's hard as hell (charred cloth needed to catch sparks and turn to flame, or crazy small and dry tinder). Rubbing wood - try it - I've never gotten it to work. Big magnifying glass and sun - will work with ultrafine tinder (fine ultra dry grass, paper) - but not all magnifying glasses work well to make an actual flame (they all blacken wood).

      Wow, I better stop. Fun relating this - hope it's not too frustrating for people reading - again - try this stuff now. Grow things. Take a foraging class. Learn safety. Try preserving food (read up or even take a class for safety issues - don't die of food poisoning!) in your kitchen. See what it's all about by doing. Have fun, please be safe and good luck!

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Hello "Steemjammer"! What a great comment. And yes, I plan on having my off-grid homestead in northern Idaho where there are lots and lots of trees! As far as refrigeration goes..I just finished reading a book "How to Live without Electricity and like it". There are alternatives as far as propane fridges, kerosene fridges and the like. And then of course you can and I sure hope I can do this..and that is hydro-electric electricity. If you have a good source (ie a year round creek) then you can run a fridge on that. Other than those options, one would have to smoke their meat or do without. Oh..one other option in the northern regions is to freeze the meat outside if you can..if it is cold enough. Cheese is a great option for using the milk in the winter and I suppose you could always butcher one of your chickens that aren't laying eggs in the winter.

      As far as gardening I just came across a phenomenal film called "Back to Eden" google it and watch it...that is what I plan on doing for gardening and then of course canning and drying the produce for the winter.

      Also, I have seen a solar electric saw for cutting wood that would come in handy for us women who don't want to chop firewood.

      I hope you become a fan and comment again, you are a great resource and very inspiring as well.

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      Steemjammer 5 years ago

      Hi Brie, great hub! This made join Hub just now & is my first post on Hub.

      Good info & thoughts. I'd plan on using a lot of wood for fuel, unless you go off grid in a desert. People with.no real experience getting, storing & burning firewood should read up on it and try to get a friend (who knows this stuff) to teach (get some practice, build up strength). Trees are natural "solar energy batteries," and they're a wonderful resource. Do learn all you can. It's a real art, living off firewood, lots of tricks can make it work really well, & you CAN do it!

      Also you can make a car or truck run off wood gas! Not easy or inexpensive but very much worth investigating! A fire "cooks" volatile gasses out of wood, which actually run an internal combustion engine! And you have some charcoal left over.

      What crops will you grow? How will you plow? How will you store food?

      Some foods store well in a cool root cellar. Potatoes, onions, apples - many others. You can't easily grow grains like wheat (it's a pain). Potatoes and corn are your mainstays, plus legumes, beans and field peas. All easy to store. How will you store meat? Cold smoking? Pickling? Jerky? Solar Wind and even micro hydro may not even give enough energy to run a fridge!

      Chickens don't lay well in winter. A light in their coops at night helps them lay more if days are short. Cows & goats don't milk well in winter. Learn to make hard cheese that can store in a cool cellar, that's the main solution (cheese means you can eat what you milk in spring & summer in winter).

      Look into a small concrete dome home that is insulated. Yeah, more costly than a cob, but can be made very cheap. Very efficient and safe! Another cheap option is hay bale homes.

      I am not off grid, but I keep these skills alive and learn all the time. We make cheese now, vinegar, and we hunt and fish. We learn foraging techniques and garden many edible plants. Oh, start collecting HEIRLOOM plants, as the seeds are plantable next year. Typical seeds are hybrid and usable only ONCE, you can't replant those. You want disease resistant heirloom seeds or plants.

      Even if you're in a big city now, practice and learn. Go camping, make a fire and so on. Get strong, because as an earlier poster said, this is hard work. I'm not saying you can't do it. I'm actually hoping that if you're drawn to this, that you will start doing it! You don't have to be off grid to practice living off grid, to develop the skills and experience and muscles you'll need to really do it one day. Start now!

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks "mirandagoodenough".

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      mirandagoodenough 5 years ago from Sydney

      Ugh, I enjoyed every detail of this hub. I think, of all external factors, water is the most important one to consider. Sharing is much appreciated!

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      LOL, well "can't" they don't all come at one time..the questions I mean.. and the articles have been written over a few years. In fact, I've slowed down quite a bit in the past few months and really need to get back into the swing of things.

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      can't 5 years ago

      you are SUPER Committed to this website and answering all these questions... how do you do it?!

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Oh I quite agree nightsun and I have written a hub about where to live off the grid. Personally, I would NOT choose AK for the very reason you mentioned. Thanks for commenting.

      Thanks CJ, but there are quite a few that reach 100 and my article as well as others bounce around a bit. Having said that, this article is probably my best one as far as that goes.

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      CJ Sledgehammer 5 years ago

      Brie, it is early in the morning on Tuesday, May 22, 2012. I just wanted to congratulate you for writing the perfect Hub. I have never seen one before that scored a perfect 100...until now! :0)

      Best wishes, behave, and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer

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      nightsun 5 years ago from northern california

      lived off grid. be aware of where your going to live off grid first. it's a starting point as to what your going to need and can have...we lived in ak, so our veggie growing wasn't like veggie growing in cali..there's a lot to consider. but being remote can be scary if you aren't prepared. There was about a year that the only way to a hospital was a 2 hour heli ride. it is awesome in the end. peaceful...

      nice hub..

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thank you Smireles and L Grey, that is my goal too L Grey.

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      LGrey 5 years ago from Alabama

      Fantastic hub! Thank you for this excellent information. My major goal in life is to live simply, be self sufficient, and be as free as possible in this crazy interconnected world.

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      Sandra Mireles 5 years ago from Texas

      This is a great hub with lots of good suggestions. Excellent discussion, too.

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Amethystraven..that is exactly why I am interested in going off the grid..FREEDOM! Nothing less, nothing more. Glad you like it, please feel free to repost it on your facebook page.

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      Amethystraven 5 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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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

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      PennyCarey 5 years ago from Felton

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

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      breathe2travel 5 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

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

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      freecampingaussie 5 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 !

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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!

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      ryan 5 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.

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

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      ziyena 5 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

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      bocephus 5 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

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      GoVegan 5 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!

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Tammy.

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      Tammy Hare 5 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!

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

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      FirstStepsFitness 5 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 :)

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

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      Gregorious 5 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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!

    • FirstStepsFitness profile image

      FirstStepsFitness 5 years ago

      Brie ,

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

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Good luck, it's pretty cold there.

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      Teresa 5 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks, I'll do that.

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      Joshua Pine 5 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.

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

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      CJ Sledgehammer 5 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

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

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      ladyandrea61 5 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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!

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      Ms.OffGridOnLine 5 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.

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

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      Jeff magaw 5 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.

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

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      louromano 5 years ago

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

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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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!

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      mandy 5 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????

    • 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. :)

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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

      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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks "icountthetimes".

    • profile image

      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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • profile image

      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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks timntim9

    • profile image

      tlmntim9 5 years ago

      Great hub, nice dream

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Good to know Xenolit, thanks for commenting!

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Karen

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • Lateral3 profile image

      Lateral3 5 years ago

      Inspirational; thanks

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks, feel free to repost it.

    • samanthamsmith profile image

      samanthamsmith 5 years ago from Small Town USA

      Awesome hub.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • profile image

      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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

      https://hubpages.com/money/Which-States-Have-the-L...

    • profile image

      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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • profile image

      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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks for commenting SnapHappy.

    • SnapHappy profile image

      SnapHappy 5 years ago from U.S.A.

      Very interesting hub! Thanks for sharing this great information.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Scott

    • profile image

      Scott 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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-)

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • profile image

      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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks MichaelWriter.

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Josh..I love them too!

    • .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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • 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!

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

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

    • MagicStarER profile image

      MagicStarER 5 years ago from Western Kentucky

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

    • 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.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • profile image

      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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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 :)

    • blairtracy profile image

      blairtracy 5 years ago from Canada

      Very neat! I have always been curious about this.

    • RoughOutline profile image

      RoughOutline 5 years ago from England, UK

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

    • 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.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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

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      Paul Cronin 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.

    • AgesMGMT profile image

      AgesMGMT 5 years ago from New York

      not a bad goal for anybody to have!!

    • profile image

      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.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • thecarte profile image

      thecarte 5 years ago from New Jersey

      Awesome Hub it helped me refocus on my end goal

    • profile image

      NWO 5 years ago

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

    • 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.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

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      Md. Anwarul Islam 5 years ago

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

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      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!

    • marriednokids profile image

      marriednokids 5 years ago from California

      Great idea Brie!Very informative Hub as well

    • profile image

      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.

    • ezeiglerwriter profile image

      ezeiglerwriter 5 years ago from Ellijay, GA

      This is a fantastic article!

    • profile image

      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.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • 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!

    • 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!

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      LED street light 5 years ago

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

    • Freegoldman profile image

      Freegoldman 5 years ago from Newyork

      Great Hub...its really unique...

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      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...?

    • Nirmala Selvam profile image

      Nirmala Selvam 5 years ago

      This is great. Thanks for the post.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • angemac23 profile image

      angemac23 5 years ago from Canada

      Great article!

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      fashion 5 years ago

      Great hub

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • Jennie Demario profile image

      Venture Boyz 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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

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      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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

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      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
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      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • carolp profile image

      Carolina 6 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.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 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.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 6 years ago from United States

      This is really great hub,Thanks for the post

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • profile image

      Basil Peutalo 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Read the Word and Trust in Jesus.

    • profile image

      Diane  6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Peter

    • peterhark69 profile image

      peterhark69 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • bulkdive profile image

      bulkdive 6 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.

    • leni sands profile image

      Leni Sands 6 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.

    • cjcarter profile image

      cjcarter 6 years ago

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

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Glad you like it Rorshak

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      rorshak sobchak 6 years ago

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

      Thank you

      rorshak sobchak

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • WriterDJ profile image

      WriterDJ 6 years ago

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

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Your welcome, thanks for the nice comments.

    • edmondsyd profile image

      edmondsyd 6 years ago from Michigan

      Sounds ideal. Thanks for all the wonderful information!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • profile image

      McWhirt 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

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      Iconoclast 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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?

    • profile image

      Iconoclast 6 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?

    • profile image

      Iconoclast 6 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.

    • profile image

      viola woolcott 6 years ago

      AWESOME information. Thanks!!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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!

    • profile image

      Iconoclast 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks billf0ns.

    • MagicStarER profile image

      MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky

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

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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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 6 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

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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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 6 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.

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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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 6 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!)

    • MagicStarER profile image

      MagicStarER 6 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!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • profile image

      xtina 6 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!!

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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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!

    • profile image

      MLC 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • profile image

      Robert 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • FirstStepsFitness profile image

      FirstStepsFitness 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Kim Broome 6 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

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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Quite welcome, thanks for becoming a fan.

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      Mark G Weller 6 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is very interesting, thank you Brie!

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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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!

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      Morrison1 6 years ago from antarctica

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

    • profile image

      Sunny Barb 6 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.

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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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).

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      Barbara Lease Walker 6 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.

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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • Sam1970 profile image

      Sam1970 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

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      MarittaC 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • mcimicata profile image

      mcimicata 6 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!

    • fillform profile image

      fillform 6 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.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      I'm counting on it.

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      darntoothysam 6 years ago from Burnsville, MN

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

      =)

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Let me know how you like it skilby1.

    • profile image

      skilby1 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

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      Mike 6 years ago

      What about health care?

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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • Kattalover profile image

      Kattalover 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • profile image

      David 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Ummm I'm guessing an electrician :)

    • profile image

      Susan 6 years ago

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

    • sagbee profile image

      sagbee 6 years ago from Delhi

      I feel good to live at alone places.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • petertheknight profile image

      petertheknight 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

      Thanks for commenting.

    • daned123 profile image

      daned123 6 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?

    • RosWebbART profile image

      Ros Webb 6 years ago from Ireland

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

    • profile image

      tajul 6 years ago

      Wonderful article! i read it with enjoy and interest.

    • blargablarga profile image

      blargablarga 6 years ago

      Wonderful article! Very inspiring!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 6 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

    • profile image

      Elizabeth N 6 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!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Cameron.

    • Cameron Dean profile image

      Cameron Dean 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • primpo profile image

      Primpo 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York

      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..

    • smanty profile image

      smanty 6 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?

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • nauticaricky profile image

      nauticaricky 6 years ago

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

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      You're welcome, thanks for writing.

    • primpo profile image

      Primpo 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York

      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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • TheSloneGal profile image

      TheSloneGal 6 years ago

      very interesting and helpful thanks for this great hub

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Which one?

    • sagbee profile image

      sagbee 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Glad you do moonlake!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 6 years ago from America

      Like this Hub.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • jcnasia profile image

      jcnasia 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • suzetteboston profile image

      suzetteboston 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks and yes do some are quite interesting.

    • loseweightmama profile image

      loseweightmama 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • vr106 profile image

      vr106 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • Rudra profile image

      Rudra 6 years ago

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

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 6 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!!!

    • profile image

      DrMel 6 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.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Glad you like it Eiddwen

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      LOL, I hope so! Thanks for writing.

    • tritrain profile image

      tritrain 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • flipu4it profile image

      flipu4it 6 years ago from Washington

      Useful info. thanks for sharing

    • mojefballa profile image

      Ikeji Chinweuba 6 years ago from Nigeria

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

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Steve, I hope you are successful.

    • profile image

      Steve L. Cameron 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • doodlebugs profile image

      doodlebugs 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • profile image

      notforsale 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • DaisyChain profile image

      DaisyChain 6 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!!

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 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.

    • Vitamin Monkey profile image

      Vitamin Monkey 6 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      thanks for the tips! very interesting!

    • profile image

      ketou 6 years ago

      Great hub. Interesting way to live!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Love that YOU love it!

    • Tiffany Mitchell profile image

      Tiffany Mitchell 6 years ago

      Love this information. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      arcadereview 6 years ago

      Life would be much more interesting this way :)

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Maybe in the future then...

    • ozcam profile image

      ozcam 6 years ago

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

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Good, one has to start somewhere.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Good, one has to start somewhere.

    • sam70 profile image

      sam70 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • trimar7 profile image

      trimar7 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Sometimes I just get in the mood :)

      Thanks for writing Patinwy!

    • profile image

      Patinwy 6 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.

    • aleida_77 profile image

      aleida_77 6 years ago from Los Angeles

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

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks, I like it that you like it :)

    • inbo5599 profile image

      Lisa 6 years ago from Michigan

      Like your hub!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thank you rallyre

    • rallyre profile image

      rallyre 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

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

    • profile image

      munirahmadmughal 6 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.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • Scott_Grigg profile image

      Scott_Grigg 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • MarcellusShale profile image

      MarcellusShale 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • profile image

      elnav 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • profile image

      godbluff 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Deepak kaletha

    • profile image

      Deepak kaletha 6 years ago

      that really great info ... awesome article

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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!

    • profile image

      Andrew 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • Rastamermaid profile image

      Rastamermaid 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • burning bush profile image

      burning bush 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Liv!

    • parduc profile image

      parduc 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • ArcherDawn profile image

      ArcherDawn 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • Shane Belceto profile image

      Shane Belceto 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • RegStier profile image

      RegStier 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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!

    • janderson99 profile image

      Dr. John Anderson 6 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

      Great hub- What about solar heating and energy supply?

    • Y not profile image

      Y not 6 years ago

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

    • Kwazzy profile image

      Kwazzy 6 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

      just did! thanks again for the article :D

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • zippot profile image

      zippot 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • joyfuldesigns profile image

      Valerie Garner 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • martycraigs profile image

      martycraigs 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Look into this, you can list your property here:

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

    • mike6181 profile image

      mike6181 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      I'll try Dpatullo

    • dpatullo741 profile image

      dpatullo741 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

      Thanks FabLiz86

    • FabLiz86 profile image

      FabLiz86 6 years ago from Los Angeles, Ca

      Great ideas! Definitely bookmarking this one for future reference.

    • Vcize profile image

      Vcize 6 years ago from United States

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

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • bigocean profile image

      George Bogosian 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • profile image

      Mik Fielding 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 6 years ago from USA

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

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      It's amazing to me! Thanks

    • profile image

      William Lawson 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • VermontBotanicals profile image

      VermontBotanicals 6 years ago from Vermont USA

      Great ideas here, especially in this economy.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Playdoh, what state does your uncle live in?

    • Playdoh profile image

      Playdoh 6 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.

    • BigSerious profile image

      Christen Roberts Comer 6 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!

    • JodiVee profile image

      JodiVee 6 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

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Mechesier, I'm glad you liked it.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 6 years ago

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

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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!

    • Piper- profile image

      Piper- 6 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
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

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

    • profile image

      jblogys 6 years ago

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

    • blackreign2012 profile image

      blackreign2012 6 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~

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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

    • profile image

      Fabian 6 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
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      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Sure! ( )

    • profile image

      Rick 6 years ago

      You forgot hugs. Can I have one?

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      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.

    • profile image

      craig 6 years ago

      ANYBODY have twenty five thousand they cane spare

    • Glemoh101 profile image

      Glemoh101 6 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!!!

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