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Home Forums General Discussion my journal on progress for getting off the grid

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    I am a 50+ year old woman, on disability due to MS & COPD. This has not stopped me from living off the grid for close to a year in Manistee National Forest. It was there i discovered my love of peaceful living, my ability to be happy lacking many “so called necessities.”

    i have a tent, a small car, a cartop carrier that when camped doubles as waterproof animal proof storage.  I have a nice portable grill. thanks to camping previously, rather than buy charcol, i have learned to use what is available to use the grill to cook.

    I have a older chihuahua dog named Mona who presented me with puppies a little over two months ago. I kept one male and one female with thoughts of breeding/selling puppies in the future. I sold the other puppies from this litter and they are deliteful puppies.

    So far, my gear has tent, grill, extra oven racks and spikes. still to be added are tarps and clotheslines, good sleeping bags, cot, chair, and my cast iron kitchen gear, solar yard lamps, a solar power unit to give me minimum electrical ability.

    this is just to start out with. i have emphasized mobility and lightness so that i can load, pack, set up & tear down camp while i look & research my permanent landing spot.

    other essential items i take with me are books. flea marketing allows me to shed excess gear and to obtain some items inexpensively.

    i have a gear list on my laptop, so that i can keep track of what i have, what i need, and what focus areas of gear i need.

    it’s a big bite to chew off by myself, i am not adverse to being around others or having an off the grid buddy, but i am very cautious.

    I am from Michigan originally, have traveled extensively, currently live in north carolina, think i will be heading for southwest.

    i really enjoy this site and i am learning a lot from all that i read. for once i feel delightfully quirky instead of downright odd. it is very freeing to find others that also value self suffieciency and are willing to work toward what they want. i don’t think i am a commune type person, but i do like other people around.

    i hope to be off grid and looking for where i will settle permanently by march 2013




    today, i go to the store and add a few items to my “bugout” gear in my trunk. i have looked at being mobile right now vs having everything. that has changed some of my off the grid gear i am getting ready.


    What sorts of things are you buying?



    i’ll try this one more time. had post disappear three times.

    part of my bugout gear list follows.




    tent tarp for top

    awning tarp for in front of tent

    sitting area tarp

    chairs, fold-able,

    tables, fold-able, wooden

    pet tent

    sleeping bag


    propane stove

    solar panels/charger

    dutch oven

    cast iron skillet









    fold-able dish rack

    d rings

    foam bedding pads

    small dome tent for pets

    leash clips



    toilet seat for composting toilet

    cast iron griddle

    today i thought i’d get some of the small things, clothesline, pet leads for running a pet line, d ring type clips.



    dont forget the dehydrated food and water.  For you and the 4 legged kids.


    i like packing lots of dry rice, dry beans, canned meat. for the fur type people, i always make sure i have at least 20# of their food.  Since i have a nice large enclosed car top carrier, it gives me critter proof storage when camped. i also take bottled water in 2 liter bottles from where we were. dogs get sick if you change their water abruptly. i usually go in 1/4 increments until they adapt.


    med kit is always packed. items like pills for diahreaha, allergy, aspirin,


    any opinions on the value of a separate small dome tent for the puppies & momma? i thought it would give them a safe, shaded, secure nap place


    i wasn’t happy with the prices at dollar gneral today so i will wait and get the few items i want to get right now at another store offering better prices on these items.

    they did have good prices on the dog food and the cat litter. my puppies are being litter box trained at the moment. makes for easier travel and can come in handy


    whooeee. today my book arrived Off The Grid

    other book i purchased that has arrived.  Reader’s Digest 1,801 Home Remedies

    i have other “reference type” books on order from Amazon. Suggestions would be appreciated. what references are absolutely essential. paperbacks prefered since i will be doing some traveling and want to keep it light



    landlord just blew up again. kind of bi-polar type stuff mixed with alcohol. looks like i am packing and moving as soon as my check gets here. not much longer, first check on dec 31, 2nd on jan 3. try to hold out til 3rd.  don’t want to be on road on new years eve


    Usually when people go off grid they are talking about living on their own land. Otherwise its called camping.


    this i do understand. but for me, camping and traveling, is part of investigating where it is best for me in terms of climate, ability to build, learning more of the skills i need to go off the grid, and part of that is starting to learn about the solar power.

    i know how it works in theory. i have had a travel trailer and a motorhome. i had planned on going solar at that time, putting it on some land, and starting from there.

    i still think camping while checking out areas, saving more money so i can afford land, and finding out many things like building codes, there is a lot to think about.


    feel free to look at my motorhome (now scrapped, but i learned so much) and travel trailer at



    what I have to do in order to get off grid

    travel (camping) to look at locations and environments that would work for me

    learn various types of dwellings that are compatible with off grid living and what would work best for me in terms of comfort, cost, energy efficient

    learn how to set up and manage power, solar? Wind? Water? Combination

    find land that I can afford to pay cash for and purchase it after making sure that I can go off grid and what constraints do I have to work with.

    find out if I am able to occupy my land while building

    do I need professional plans, a pre-built structure,

    once built, can I add on without too much bureaucratic snafus

    aquaponics, need to learn and implement

    preserving food canning vs drying



    well, you need to get a account and start a blog as your journal. get a digital camera and post some photos..

    I assume you are doing this without money? no money equals camping from now on. You have ability to do construction yourself? if not then again money is your problem. There is no dirt cheap method for doing any of this. You can go minimal and get by much cheaper however. Check out the papercrete dome at  you may want to read my blog articles also


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