How's living off the grid?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Caelma, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,338
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    In my search for places in Ak I have come across a few off the grid
    that actually sound wonderful.
    One has propane lights, stove and refride. Wood heat and
    a well with generator powered well and several water holding tanks.

    If any of you use any of the above items could you tell me how they're working out for you and the set backs to using such items?
    Thank you all for your time
     
  2. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    960
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2002
    We are not living off the grid but do heat with wood. We bought a mobile home stove from the local lumber yard and had it installed by a neighbor and my DH. It works great and wood is cheap here (pecan wood from the growers for $75/cord). Solar is very expensive so if you can be on the grid go for that. If you are young enough and make lots of money at your job, solar might be worthwhile. Some state and federal tax credits beginning next year. As we are on SS and don't make much, the credits won't help us. Good luck.
     

  3. Jeff54321

    Jeff54321 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,094
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Living without grid power, running water and sewer can be a full time job in itself.

    Forget the romance of a cozy little cabin in the frozen north with warm flickering lights inside by the wood stove. Think more of a building at minus 30 degrees that takes a lot of wood to heat (and a lot more wood if it poorly insulated and it probably IS poorly insulated), frozen water pipes, (so you haul water) frozen drains, and an outhouse that is colder than your imagination can picture. So cold as to endanger the flesh of your buns !!!!!!!!!

    On the other hand..............some people seem to do just fine with these conditions and it all works smoothly and efficiently but it is very definitely not for everyone. You simply need to be absolutely realistic about what you can handle. Only you can tell whether or not this lifestyle is for you.
     
  4. mtnmom208

    mtnmom208 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    North Idaho
    3 and a half years and still loving it, even with kids!
    We have gravity fed faucets. The plumbing freezes sometimes, but we have found many ways to adapt and overcome when it does.
    The propane appliances are great (range, water heater). The fridges suck down the propane and put out weird fumes, we prefer coolers in the summer (easy access to ice) and mother nature in the winter.
    We use kerosene lanterns for light and wood for heat. Our home is small and decently insulated.
    Generators are great but I highly suggest a newer model and a mechanic in the family! We actually use ours often. We have a small, economical one for lights, TV, and computer. We use a large gas guzzler for the washer and vacumm.
    Invest in a small/simple solar system if you can afford it and learn everything you can about alternative power. We would like to generate our own, without using fuel in the future.
    Living off the grid may seem shocking and impossible to most, but with some creativity and the ability to adapt you can't go wrong. After you get use to it, you'll never go back and you'll feel sorry for the millions of people who would suffer if their power went out for a few days.
    There is a great deal of info out there, do your research.