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    I’m about as enthusiastic about learning of OTG living as its possible to be! I’m very excited to begin the research phase, however I’m overwhelmed and not sure were to start.

    Some background info. I’m currently a nursing student. My goal is to become a Certified Nurse Midwife. I currently live in a small apartment in a medium sized city in TN with my husband and 1 year old.

    I have plenty of time to research. Its unlikely we would be financial able to pursue this dream for about 2 years. So i want to spend that time doing the research and learning what all is necessary.

    So, where do I begin What are some good resources for people who know NOTHING but are very willing to learn?


    I started with two books from the library, “The Solar Living Source Book” and “Earthship”. Then I bought “The Independent Home”. That was in 1993-4. I had my solar home by 1998, addition the next year and Earthship by spring of 2001. Mortgage paid off late 2006.

    More recent ones may be at your own library, and has them used and new.


    I recommend many books usually at the bottom of my articles. Let me know what you think about the articles.


    Along with reading the books you can begin with reducing your energy consumption.

    Hints are scattered among nearly every article on the subject. Even if you rent and the electric utility bill is included; you can at least get in the habit. Inexpensive power meters like the Kill-a-Watt costing around $20 from Amazon among other places will enable you to actually measure how much energy you use.

    By identifying the energy hogs you can change your lifestyle now in preparation for going off grid later.


    Hi, Guys

    I am full of a new enthusiasm to join this type of site and i want to say also a lot of Thanks for accepting my registration. I am new member for your site and i hope you might be very happy to accepting registration.


    With a handle like that, it sounds like you are a sales profiteer. I avoided profiteers like the plague when I went off grid and recommend others do the same.


    John Seymours book on self sufficiency is a good place to start. I think the best idea is to start somewhere in the extreme – like a 100% self sufficient smallholding or something (“where even the dustman should never have to call”) then develop the idea depending on what you want, what your prioroties are, how much you can afford etc. Two years is a good length of time to get a really solid plan together. I personally found a book called “Do It Yourself 12 Volt Solar Power by Michel Daniek” very beneficial in explaining the fundamentals of battery technology, solar panels, regulators in an easy-to-understand way. I basically read that book and had the confidence to setup an entire solar system (which is working really well too).


    I am reminded that most if not all the pioneers who settled this area did not have books to read and guide them when they set up off grid homesteads. How did they ever manage it???


    I did wwoofing in Australia ( for Canada) for a guy that was living off the grid. It was tough work but the experience was amazing.

    I also lived in my van for 6 months travelling around Australia. I guess I should consider that “off the grid” too because in most of the places there was just me, my travel companions and my van. The majority of our expenses were petrol and food.

    This two experiences taught me a lot about living independently without or little electricity, and the importance of the art of DIY.

    I didn’t read any book but I will read what other posters suggested.


    Hi NextGenRector, do what you have been doing, get out of debt and do your very best not to go into more debt. What are your skills? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Learn as much as you can about the life you are about to embark upon, the more you can do for yourself, the better off you will be, not only for doing the things you need to get done, these skills can be used for barter and pay. Just off the top of my head I think you would need to have some skills in carpentry, plumbing, electrical (AC and DC), small engine repair, welding… learn about gardening, livestock, wildcraft, cooking (from scratch), alternative medicine… you can learn from books, but nothing compares to hands on, experience far outweighs theory.

    When looking for property, be sure you physically walk any land you are interested in before making any offer, NEVER purchase land sight unseen, even if it means potentially losing a great property, I can’t tell you how many people I talk to online who buy property without seeing it, then when they go there, it isn’t what they thought it would be, or even worse, it turns out to be a different place all together. When walking the land, look around at any neighbors you may have, if possible, go talk to them, be low key, don’t go in with a gung-ho attitude bragging about what you are planning on doing, be polite, ask questions but listen more than you talk, you need to gauge your potential neighbors, if would be no fun if you found the perfect property only to find out 6 months later that you have the neighbor from hell.

    I’m sure there is lots more advice out there, but that’s my 2 cents.



    i find while you are “in the box” is what i like to call it, I find myself using the internet to do alot of research on how to go about using different free energy ideas i find on utube. hands on is yes by far better then theory yet when acually watching video’s give’s some insight to how to go about doing practical when the time comes. By watching video’s one gets to see the trial and errors others have when experimenting in different climates and terrain. another good idea is to download viewed projects to dvd’s or  hard drives for that time you do get of the grid and need to view once again what project you seek to try.

    There may be others that may disagree with me but the biggest things i look at when looking for a location to set up in is it’s security and water supply. and can i filter water if need be not only by using man made products but how could i use mother earth if my man made products fail. next i look for food supply, at the same time look to know the hazards around me, both man and mother nature. then from there i study the plant and animal life that i could become benifical for both food and medicine for future endeavors to become totally self reliant.

    hopefully that give’s some insite to become a off grider lol….


    Hi NextGen: Wretha encapsulated 99% of what I’d suggest and did so, handsomely. :)

    I’d also say, “press some flesh” in your research stage by actually doing Meet & Greets at workshops that interest you. Have you heard of “Tiny House Talk” by Alex Pino? I’m a regular contributor to his posts, under the same name. Although I could never in a million years restrict myself to living in an 80-100 sq.ft. home, there are also “larger” examples that he features, up to 500 sq.ft. BUT…why I mainly subscribe to his newsletter, is to see and re-use the utterly brilliant designs for “saving space” that is a must for tiny homes. I’m a builder/contractor with a landscape degree, too, so I glean incredible examples of Green Living and Space Saving from his newsletters.

    They also have a great many workshops with experts and hand’s on time, so you can begin to network with folks of like mind. I highly recommend his newletters! Just type in the usual www (dot) tinyhousetalk (dot) com and it should go to his home page. VERY active membership!

    Best of luck to you!


    Thank you Cahow! :)

    And NextGenRector, the things I listed are by no means an exhaustive list, they are suggestions of what I think would be important to learn/know… depending on where you wish to live and how you wish to live, I’m sure there are many other skills to have… gun and knife use-safety-care, hunting, butchering, fishing, safely using a chainsaw and/or manual saws to get firewood, making and working with cob, soilcrete (that’s one of the materials we built with), food-growing, cooking, preserving, it’s always a good idea to learn the local plant life so that you will know what you can use for what purposes and what to avoid, for food, medicine and building…



    quil04: How can anyone disagree with your comment about security and water? I joke with friend’s that I’ve never, for a day in my life, lived more than 1 mile away from a major body of water: Pacific Ocean, Mississippi River, Lake Superior and now Lake Michigan. If a Zombie attack comes, I’m hightailing it down to the Lake (1/4 mile away) and getting my water from that inexhaustible supply, ax in hand to dispatch any wayward Walkers. ;)

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