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December 31, 2012 at 12:00 am #63285vafancudoParticipant
I am a 52 year old male living in Texas currently that just wants to live the second part of my life as simply as possible.
I am open to relocate anywhere in the USA, have a tent, and hopefully will find a community to join. I am hard worker with many skills, and am not in trouble with any law enforcement.. just want to escape.
I have been interested in off the grid living for a number of years, but now I want to try it.. any suggestions/help would be appreciated.January 1, 2013 at 12:00 am #67052centralpafarmParticipant
Yes you need to write up a profile and post it around. There should be at least 20 facts you can mention about yourself for people to evaluate.
then post them here
The following should help you and check out woofer / places to live and work
check out the farming communities to find volunteer work
https://http://www.ic.orgJanuary 1, 2013 at 12:00 am #67053retired profile of WrethaOffGridSpectator
Those are some great links, but I don’t know if I could do a writeup with 20 facts about myself, of course the more things one knows the better it will be I suppose. :)
Good luck vafancudo, hope you can find your dream place.
WrethaJanuary 1, 2013 at 12:00 am #67054
I was 49 when I started my off-grid adventure, and 51 when I completed it. It was a lot of do it yourself work that was not simple. Laws of construction, and physics had to be obeyed, proper permits paid and inspections passed.
It continues to be not so simple, with continuing knowledge essential to be better at growing, composting, and maintaining my independent solar electric system.
The tents I started with rotted away by the time the first liveable house section got its Certificate of Occupancy. You can not camp permanently on government land, or in most counties. Off-grid to me means ecological responsibility, which is not so simple.January 1, 2013 at 12:00 am #67055caverdudeParticipant
52 years old, and what kind of resources? money? time? I’m 43 and I’m planning on being out of debt with a place to stay by the time I’m 45. Place to stay being a camper on a friends land at the moment. Though I’d rather have my own land.
If your income is very limited you will have to take a minimalist approach. I know a guy that is living in a one room house for example. And he is very cozy without wife and kids to take care of. He built his one room house for around $4000 or so if you count cost of some tools.
Tools are a big problem when going this route. Tools cost money and they have consumable parts and they break. You pay for this in your payments or rent in normal housing situations. Which is one reason that route is so expensive.January 5, 2013 at 12:00 am #67069ZathrisParticipant
vafancudo, that is far to open a question for any detailed response. However, perhaps my story can be of some help. I to am a single guy 52 and wanted to live a far simpler more sustainable life. I had about $35,000 and could see that if I was willing to do all of the labor myself a person could buy a few acres (3 in my case) and build a small off grid house. I built (am still working on the interior) a one bedroom one bath 504sq/ft. cabin. I have 6, 240watt panels and a roof designed for rain water harvesting. Outside of propane (just too convenient not to use) and a cell/internet connection my only expense is food. I now have a comfortable home that can easily be sustained for $500 a month. Even less when the fruit trees start to bare fruit and the garden starts to produce.
So how to get started? Well that really depends on you. Without knowing anything about your situation it is difficult to advise you on your next step. If you have some cash things get a lot easier, if you are starting out with almost nothing then things are going to be very primitive. One option if your resources are few is to live in an RV or even a box truck or van. This is a very inexpencive way to take life easy and do some traveling on the cheap. Many “Snow Birds” RV in the North in the summer and head down south in the winter. Checkout the Yahoo group “Vandwellers”: https://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/VanDwellers/
If a permanent location is your goal then you must find a piece of land in a part of the country that meets your needs. Finding that land can be tough. If your looking for 100+ acres you can find land fairly easily and cheap per acre; however, small parcels in good locations are becoming hard to find, at least at a reasonable price. I found mine through a Yahoo group. I don’t remember which (homesteads for sale, self sufficient farming, simple solar homesteading). I also found a few good deals on Craig’s List but bought this before actually looking at them in person. Just go to Craig’s list and pick a part of the country you are interested in and look at the real estate for sale. Do yourself a favor and don’t start out in the winter.
While looking for land do some preparation. Start selling off the stuff you will not be bringing with you. Pick up equipment you will need. Read up on things you are not familiar with solar, gardening, construction etc. be prepared when you get there because a half build home isn’t worth the lumber it’s made from in the cold and rain. Unless you have plenty of cash be prepared to rough it till your home is complete.
Anyway I could ramble on for quite some time but if you post more information perhaps I or others here could be of better assistance.
Be well….January 9, 2013 at 12:00 am #67074dene111Participant
I am looking to live the 2nd half of my life more simply also. I have a few obstacles I have to get over first: Sell my current home and figure out where I should move. A few obstacles I can’t change which is I’m single and a woman. I have not come across many single woman living off grid and it can be a little scary. Most people I know have a spouse where they can work and help each other. I work on a computer, so building and fixing anything myself is very limited if not impossible.
I have been living more simply and learning about living off grid. I’ve also been purchasing non-electric items and learning how to cook using wood and propane. I am also learning how to preserve food and plant a garden but I have a long way to go and a lot to learn.
I am excited about getting some good ideas on this website.January 9, 2013 at 12:00 am #67075
This woman did it in 16 months;January 10, 2013 at 12:00 am #67076caverdudeParticipant
A lot of folks are joining in the downward class migration in America. Living within you mean is nothing to be ashamed of. I’m a trucker and my future looks bleak at best. An improved economy would help but when! I hope to have a camper paid for, my van, and some stuff for living off grid by the time I’m 45, a few years from now. That will begin to free up some cash for cash spent on improvements to land, if I can grab some land at that time. My camper is on a friends land right now and I can stay there indefinitely. So I will be debt free and have a paid for place to stay in a few years, except for possibly land for debt.
A minimalist approach calls for small structures for living. 300 to 400 ft2 at most. Stick frame’s usually cost about $50 per ft2 at a minimum. Now if you only constructed the structure with no plumbing, electric, etc. It might be cheaper. If you can do labor yourself cheaper yet. If you can use materials from the land cheaper yet. I’m thinking that for the do it yourselfer there is some good investments in some types of equipment. A pickup with flat bed and possibly a boom and wench. A small tractor with some attachments such as front end loader, back hoe, box blade, concrete breaker. A bit more expensive would be a bobcat type tool with similar attachments. If wood is used a portable saw mill and log arch. Logs could be shipped to your location. For earth maybe a rammed earth block pressing machine. But all of that requires investment capital. And I don’t suggest credit cards for any of that.
On a side note, if you are able to invest in some equipment you may be able to hire out to do work for someone else using it.January 10, 2013 at 12:00 am #67080westernriderParticipant
Well congrads to Dustoffer, well done! I am also a single woman and have my hobby farm for sale with plans to buy 30 acres and build a small cob/hobbit style house. And live off the grid….which should be an adventure in it’s self here in South Eastern Canada. Worried about permits and regulations that will make my dream even more difficult! I have lived off the grid before and am wanting a simpler live, lessen my debt and the need to work so damn hard! I would really like to enjoy this next stage of my life. I know how to garden, can and preserve, how to cook just fine on a wood stove and live raising my own animals. I want to do the things “I” want to do now! Hope I’m not getting in over my head…..need to complete my house before next winter hits!January 14, 2013 at 12:00 am #67093offthegridinokParticipant
Living off grid isnt a man or woman thing. Its a life style for whomever can achieve it. I would say you must find land and then RESEARCH codes and laws for that area. Decide on your structure. Then what type of power and water. Today there are so many suppliers of off gird lifestyle products that make the life more achievable. Plus You tube has made it even easier. Tons on informational video’s.
We found our land in OK with NO restrictions on our structure (portable Building), both land and building low costing. We have researched solar setups and wind setups through many many websites and phone calls. Water was the pain in the backside. But we solved that with the people next door. Its temporary but will do until i finish my hand dug well. It just takes a lot of research.
Create your plan and research every step of it. Then act upon it or it will only be a dream plan.
We have a blog http://www.solarcabin.org take a look at what we have started. There are many other sites out there to help you. If you need more information reply here or hit my blog and shoot me a msg.
Remember OFF GRID is not sexually orientated.
God BlessJanuary 15, 2013 at 12:00 am #67095
Here is another mother earth news article on 75 ways to live more simply and cheaply.February 6, 2013 at 12:00 am #67159Coyote GulchParticipant
I have lived off the grid for more than 30 years. It is a simple lifestyle. I had goats but am too old to handle them myself anymore. But that is okay, I use powdered milk. I am growing a garden in discarded tires, to recycle the ones my husband (now deceased) refused to pay to the tire shop when he got more used tires. I am now experimenting with “one straw revolution” type agriculture. I have 2 producing date palms. There are some extremes I have to deal with but this has kept my area pretty open and undeveloped (for which I am grateful). It would be a pleasure to help someone else follow their dream, I have 10 acres to share.
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