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Would like to learn more about living off the grid or living close to off the grid. I currently live in a city environment and would like to see if this can be accomplished.
Does this mean I win the book, Off-Grid ? :)
O.k..Back ground..I’m a hybrid as opposed to mongrel :) and we rock. Mixed race, two of which being aboriginal, Cree and Ojibwa, ( i hate those jagged red lines !! See!)
From the first spring of my birth in 1948, I have enjoyed forest living. Camping in a tent. Running near naked in bathing suits as free as a kid could be in summers. It gets into ones blood. That sense of freedom and careless abandon, blissful happiness.
As the years passed by and ageing progresses we refine our approach to camping. It all plays a part in this evolutionary journey of man to simplicity.
I’m not going to cover all the ways of living off-grid or sustainability. I expect to find that in the book you will send me. :) Time runs out. being the only poster can work for ya.:)
My trip is focused on the past 6 years. It’s not perfect nor for everyone. It works for me.
I’m disabled some what from long years of hard work, accidents, head and neck injuries, no fault :) arthritis, some days I am really ugly from the constant pain. I don’t use many analgesics.I found by accident itself, that activity heals and relieves pain, now a dictum in many therapeutic circles and I say good one.
Since my early teens, I have been interested in first, gold panning, then built a small rocker box and it actually worked ! Finding gold is another matter and requires some reading and practical experience implementing ones knowledge, which evolves over years into instinctive knowing. a source of nearly free wealth makes things possible by lowering the cost factor. Thats a natural native way of being. True, there is no free ride I know of. But nearly free is acceptable and fun.
Subsistence is no less living than occupation or employment, just different. Energy is expended just getting out of bed every day. Foods are for usually best cooked but not always. Sushi, still needs to be caught and processed, labor=energy.
Flash forward to today a moment and I’ll outline where I’m at and how I got here. Which for honesty sake I will admit is a very nice 2 bedroom apartment in a city, for a while yet. :)
The city to me is death. I hate the city life. I don’t relate well to city people. Not hostile but, seldom able to relate on many levels to the neon and nylon way. Socially, I support our safety etc. Pensions and guaranteed income supplements for seniors etc. After all I contributed to them for a life time so enjoying the benefits is a right and earned. We don’t toss used up nation builders to the wolves as some under 35 idealogogues today would have it, very nasty and mercenary approach to human relations.
Situations are often unchangeable for many of us without a great deal of money and time, work, thought, planning etc.
SO we innovate, thats what a human being does, he innovates, adapts. Survives.
Given a small pittance to live on we must get maximum bang for our .94 cent bucks.:)
Things like 40 years ago having a large family, I and my buds would go out cruising the bush roads and country roads for beer bottles and cans, pop bottles, and when we had enough to cash in and buy a couple cases of beer, a jug of wine and some pot, we’d then cruise around the bush roads getting completely smashed..go fishing, hunting, what ever our little hearts and minds desired, chasing women :) I’m talking stupid youth here :) dangerously so.
We acquire skills through our jobs, apprenticeships, personal study even hobbies like gold panning can lead to a seasonal careers in the industry later in life, we survive and grow.
My trip was resource industries, I’m guilty of clear cutting mountain sides for grub and gas etc. I’m guilty of tearing at the guts of the earth 3,650 ft below ground. I’m guilty of oil spills and fossil fuel pillaging for my bacon and my families comfort. I refined my employment routine, switching fro each resource as the seasons dictated and economies grew or faltered.
All part of the journey toward sustainability and awareness growing into a behavior changing evolution into a tree hugger and environmental activist way of being. Hold on, I smell fresh coffee brewing B.R.B.:0)
Yes, so, all things being equal, mm, great cuppa Joe, this is the path I followed becoming who I am today. Many native elders, over the years on reservations I frequented always provided good educations in sustainability. Lore, methodologies, how to gut moose etc. How to start a fire in the rain. Where to get drinking water that won’t make one sick.
What foods to eat and how to prepare them. Practical things.
Kids grow up and leave home. Demands on time and finances dwindle. The we pass through the who am now phase of reinventing the self.
the first thing I did when my angst passed and a new vigor entered my being at the prospects opening up to me, was to go directly to gold panning again..I have some experience as a paid by the hour placer miner as well, learned a few tricks of the trade, it all fits together easily.
Today I have a couple note books filled with names of creeks that pay well. :)
I bought an older travel trailer, damaged and a steal of a deal. Renovated it, repaired the outer shell damage, new ceiling, tore off the busted grew water tank. rewired a bit, paint, roof repairs, paint and it is my palace now when I’m out there hunting up some color. :)
I added 3 pv panels from Canadian Tire at 99 bucks a pop..cheap and very efficient, the batteries cost a small fortune for 6, a necessary evil :0)
Eventually over the 6 years of saving and spending wisely I have 3 generators from 6250 watts, 1500 watts, and 900 watts, it currently cooked.
I have a battery charger from CT, a metal detector from CT, G.P.S. from Pawn Shop Super Store :) tools, chain saw, couple computers I use to fly the creeks via Google files, very helpful in locating interesting geology.
I added a common medium sized wood stove and insulated piping. I then lined the stove with heat tolerating conglomerate stone.. gold bearing to.:)
In fact its loaded with all sorts of interesting little goodies from the bowels of our earth.
I have sewer pipes for running to a septic sump.
I split my batteries into one system but on separate switching so always have 3 fully charged batteries for lights and any 12 volt appliances.
Also heavily insulated the ceiling too.
My stone lind hearth uses about 2 board feet of wood every 4 hours, a small burning chamber well controlled combustion. The rock heats quite quickly, for perspective 6 large candles will heat the place in mid winter in about 2 hours. Once the stone is hot I can crash early, about 930 pm and it is still toasty at 5 am.. so gettin gup is not a screaming ordeal. warm floor, hot water for the wash up, tea, porridge etc. Generator for hot plate when in a hurry. Space heater too. TV :) OK OK get over it… not always able to pick up anything but one sided cell phone calls under the right conditions.. we pass the time.:)
I load on grub, enough for months, gas, oils, treat river water from mountains with vinegar and have yet to get sickened by it.
I don’t drive due to my injuries, momentary black out twice while driving, ran a red light and luckily no traffic or pedestrians. That did it. Shoulder checks are out driving is finished for me. Which means another necessary evil, having my trailer towed to my chosen sites. beerocracies make sure I move every 14 days.. but I’m kinda cagey and have vays of dealing vis zem. :)
So, I’m getting to it :)
After I outfitted myself for comfort..toilet where i sit and shit giggling..:) sorry, decades of crapping behind a tree have warped my sense of humor :) a tub and shower, cabinets mirrors wow.. luxury.!
I still have to vet my water system and do a complete electrical check once I am ..here it comes..able to go off-grid.
That will be around March 2012. After a few years of searching out cheap lands in Canada, saving my dough, I found the perfect opportunity, I thought. It wasn’t. Red tape by the rolls dealing with alterations of wet lands. Permits and costs and intimidating fines told me to swap properties, a part of the long distance purchase plan, vendor finances, and is a top notch human being to deal with.
I swapped the offending property for a smaller but much more usable and easily developed home place. Has a creek, lots of trees, berries, and gold :) moose pass by and come when they are called like bad tempered big dogs. Deer too. Fowl. Wild life not found in downtown scenes until quite recently due to man’s encroaching ways.. and I’m guilty there too.. but not a hunter any more, very quiet, disturb as little as possible.
I’m about 629 ft above sea level. Previously the swamp is ina flood plain. I had hopes of craberry farming or blue berries, also wanted to buy and set up a solar concentration array to sell power back to the local power authority. Forget that. red tape. no indemnity for their damage to your sytem and ta kill ya demands for damage to theirs, low payouts, extreme costs and hardware on top of solar arrays costing about 800 bucks a square meter x 1400 meters.. call Bill Gates on that one.
Ill build my own roof top system and just enjoy the convenience of hot water heat and nearly free power.:)
There are smaller tube type solar collectors from a W.S.E. Saskatoon for about 400 bucks that will heat a work shop sized building, like my travel trailer and others a bit larger for a quonset building with fans at greater costs but viable for farmers so its a good deal at minus 60 degrees the temp is 68 indoors.:)
So..stay simple and keep costs down and efficiency high folks, its out there.
In 2 years I will have paid the mortgage off and will move my camp to the site., there a rough road I can fix by hand in a few hours, good sites for solar, continental weather and 40 minutes to an ocean.If the planet rolls over ad the big wave comes then I will be happy to be dyin there. :0) paradise.
You have guessed I’m not saying where I am. :) Nothing personal, I just want it that way for now.
I bought gold and silver and diamonds too for easily converted assets and barter if the hyper inflation hits or depression worsens.. yes depression.. we in it now.. govt/corporate or corporate/govt, political jargon is designed to deceive.
Add a compound bow and bleeders for pest control or hunting if the economy collapses. Also a few propeller wind driven generators to supplement the p.v., small type..low wattage/amperage..my power use is minimal.
I can say I’m so comfy in my palace in the trees that I am agonizing over the next 2 years just layin low and payin down the small mortgage, 14 acres for under 18 grand, breath taking views, great like minded neighbors, close to several centers providing all one needs.
Add a quad for transport, I’m home.
No gas bills, minimal gasiline expenses offset byt he no gas and power and water etc..taxes 50 to 100 buck a year..close to other geological areas of great interest to me. Great resource sites of govt., its a blast. :)
I will build a log home, ranch style. A root cellar. Dig a well, put up fencing for a milker and a fatted steer, bring in a horse or 2 for company :) smarter than most people.:0) Have my Tom Cat Mr Boots too. Ol Maw may join me, she’s ok here in our seniors apartment with home care available so I can get away summers. Do my thing.
Mother Earth News is online and great source of cost effective way to get off-grid..check out soil block homes, methane stills for fuel. Home built roof top solar arrays for hot water heat.. 160 * in winter/ summer..;)
Log homes have surplus R values and can’t be beat.. naturally fire resistant..strong..last a century. Poplar is best for that. Hardens up like iron and has nice coloration, finding straight ones takes keen eye.
can be adapted using chain saw techniques. :)
I think thats about it in a nut shell..no not my trailer :)
Go for it. Be happy. Be free-ish..live the dream. Screw the energy giants. Get crafty. Produce and consume your own good, sell or barter the excess. Move to th country, eat a lot of peaches, try’m find Jesus on yer own.. go John. I’m spiritual not religious..:)
Ok look forward to readin that book :)
peace out.. Will
“Green” Mobile Kitchen. A self sustaining food vending vehicle. Soon to be in your city.Fall of 2011.