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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Why did you go off the grid?
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# Posted: 1 Dec 2017 15:06 - Edited by: creeky

Funny eh. Niagara Falls was a boondoggle in its day. Way overpriced. But the electricity from the falls kick started Ontario's manufacturing.

Btw. Off grid for starting on 8 years now. Lithium batteries rule! Solar power is king!

Just sayin'. I've saved over $3k on propane for my fridge now. How much has the sun I've used to surf, read, cook, boil, bathe, work, light, launder, listen, watch, etc been worth?

I'm off grid for the joy and happiness. But modern conveniences do help (like spell check ;).

Tree feller
# Posted: 5 Mar 2018 21:48

I guess there's just something neat about gathering from my surroundings to live, and not just to live but to do it comfortably. I visited my little place last December. I walked the woods and harvested a small dead tree for my weekend heat. I cleared the snow from my solar panel, found a full charge on the battery bank. Firing up the wood stove is like waking the cabin from a deep sleep. Once the cabin reaches 70 degrees I might turn on the tv. There's a freedom up there and that's what I like.

# Posted: 25 Apr 2018 03:03

I am also new here. I was just going through the threads.
this thread is really interesting..
For me, it was almost all the reasons you have mentioned. But if you ask me to specify one, I would say living without any neighbours is the best, also living off the grid has given me chances to meet new people who is living their life on their terms...
And yeah I am also in a bit of similar situation as you... Obligation to parents... I really miss my life....

# Posted: 9 Jul 2018 17:07

yeah, I think freedom is the main thing we hear from our customers
it's this sense that you don't have the weight of all these other people or corporations telling you what you can and cannot do but rather just getting to peaceful and worry-free experience

# Posted: 28 Mar 2019 23:25

Just to have some where to get away from it all! Hustle-bustle, traffic jams, crime, etc. A traffic jam in our cabin's neighborhood is meeting an oncoming vehicle and trying to decide who pulls off to the side!

# Posted: 30 Mar 2019 00:35

I would call myself semi-offgrid and part-time but to get away from the city mayhem is needed and resets me. I do enjoy the challenges of semi-offgrid and it has made me more handy and resourceful.

# Posted: 9 Apr 2019 16:57

Viperedpete1958 I hope you get this - did you buy your property? That's what we want to do now - buy land in an unorganized township in Ontario. Anybody have any tips to share?

# Posted: 9 Apr 2019 20:27

Been off-grid all my life at the cottage as there has never been an efficient option. Power (hydro) poles are miles away and when the power does go out, I wouldn't even know. At the house, everything is dependant on the grid with all related comforts - until the grid goes down, then it's down right inconvenient.

Scott G
# Posted: 30 May 2019 20:04

We're not far from the poles, not far at all but are choosing to go off-grid for a few reasons:

Preparedness would likely be #1. Plenty of storms that knock out the old NB grid and there's always the possibility of longer term grid failures and shtf.

A close second is that my wife really hates NB Power bills. Really hates them.

Basically we are choosing to pre-invest in electricity.

# Posted: 19 Jul 2019 14:09

My wife an I have a property in northern Minnesota only accessible by water. While some people do have power, it would cost quite a bit to run it out to our property (underwater line). We could do it, but we're really not interested in cell phones, tvs, and other distractions.

Solar will be primary but it's not the sunniest place in the world and I would like refrigeration.....

# Posted: 7 Aug 2019 20:29

Hello the cabin! I can't believe I never came across this site before. This is great stuff. I have been off grid for the last 12 years in deep snow country. I've never used a generator. I do haul my drinking water from the local fire station 23 miles away though. Before owning my own place I rented a cabin that had electricity but no indoor plumbing and I lived there for 17 years. Back then I lived in a very expensive resort town and the only way a seasonal worker could make ends meet without having 3 jobs was to live very simply. People lived in teepees and yurts in the more outlying areas. So I got used to that kind of life at an early age and grew to love it.

# Posted: 13 Aug 2019 22:38 - Edited by: comanche

My first, well, second post here.

So My entire childhood I spent in the woods with my friends building cabins and camping.
I never wanted to leave the woods...they were the only place I felt truly at home.
I grew up in Penn’s Woods (Pennsylvania), Beaver county to be exact.
Some of the best hunting and fishing anyone could want but the politics, roads, winters and the rise in crime made me want to move and give my kids a better life in North Georgia.
Same mountain range l, just steeper in Georgia.
So my wife and i just scored a four acre tract in the mountains that borders the national forest.
We got the tract for the price of the property but there are two small cabins, a large cabin and a bathroom/shower house .
It’s all in need of total repair.
The bathhouse has a septic but the plumbing is all broken from the weather and neglect.
I think we are going to convert the bath house into a bunk house and just have an outhouse.
The main cabin is pretty decent, two bedroom , bathroom, kitchen, living room and laundry room with a stand up basement although the floor in basement is dirt and the cabin flooded from a broken water pipe and was neglected for a month until the neighbor noticed water running down the hill.
The basement filled up with water and made a river.
Needless to say the big cabin can be fixed but the floor joists , subfloor are shot and are very moldy, puffy white and light brown mold.
may just tear it down and rebuild the entire cabin.
I am currently building out the smallest cabin which was a cookhouse next to the creek and pavillion at the lower part of the property.
It’s going to be our get away cabin for now and also my hunting cabin as I hunt this property for deer , rabbit, turkey, fox, raccoon, squirrels and bear.
I’m currently searching for offgrid solar systems with battery banks and need to do more research although I do t need a lot of electricity, mainly for led lights, phone charger, a ceiling fan and just very little amenities.
I don’t watch Tv so don’t need that.

This is going to be a bear bones set up although I’d like to hear it also and saw the cubic mini cub and grizzly cook stoves and thought that would be perfect for my small 120 square foot cabin that In currently fixing.
I will end up doing similar set ups in all my cabins as I plan to have them all offgrid but I need good resources to learn about solid solar set ups with battery banks.
My wife and I are empty nesters and our kids are grown now and the youngest just graduated college.
We plan on setting up the property to eventually live on and will be offgrid for the most part although for work my wife will need computer and wifi amenities.
I’m a mechanic by trade and work part time as a carpenter in a cabinet shop and build showrooms for vendors.
I love doing everything I can possibly do on my own and hate to pay people for things I can do myself although I have my limits and I recognize them.

I have a feeling this is going to be a cool forum to learn new things and share some of my own projects and talents.

There’s much more detail about this property and amenities but I don’t want to go into such detail at the moment.

# Posted: 3 Sep 2019 09:32

I’ve decided to go off grid here, in da UP, for numerous reasons. First, I was a Professor at a small college in the Intermountain West. I’ve seen first hand the ugly side of downhill ski/post mining “culture”, inequity, poverty, untreated mental illness, drug/alcohol abuse. As a scientist who follows climate projections, I saw that this region, devoid of water yet promoting growth at all cost, is headed for a cliff.
I held on to this almost 100 yo farm throughout as I’d always wanted to return somewhere lush, green, with plenty of clean water. While I lived on acreage, I still had to deal with problem neighbors, and constantly keep motorized vehicles from tearing up land I was trying to restore. Noise and more noise, living in a fishbowl.
I have had experience living without plumbing or running water and had gone without power for long periods. Even in the West, I had few electric appliances and burned wood for heat. I have no need to be “entertained” by television, etc. My part of the UP is not really suitable for solar, hydro, or wind so really the only option is no power. Until the out west house sells, my funds are limited.
This place hasn’t been lived in for most of the past decade and most of the wiring is early 50s so is iffy anyway. Already removed the power line to the back cabin where I’m living for now. Have a good hand pump and wood fired sauna, composting toilet. I figure the power lines going to the front house give the impression of legality. Have a lot of work to do on both places and am doing it solo (no real choice).

# Posted: 3 Oct 2019 12:09

I live 100ft from freight train that goes by about fifty times a day. Does not bother me. For me, it is escaping talking to people and society expectations. Also, i found the internet and TV too addictive. Watched all night. Cheaper living was one big reason. Property tax really low. I thought I'd be forced to exercise more but chopping wood etc is not much exercise.
Mcd is still too close, unfortunately. Life though is the same wherever you live. Land value went up 500percent in past few years. That's irony.

Mountain high
# Posted: 28 Nov 2019 09:21

Wow lots of cool stories here , mine is little different i was actually born off grid but like most youngsters i hated it and everything my parents said & did ... ha... kids right ... so i flew the coop in seek of a way better life one with unlimited hot showers & air conditioning & microwaves & cars & bars & well i think you get what im saying , got a brand new job & started my beautiful new life in a really nice apartment , FYI i will die before i ever do that again , few years later bought myself a house in a so so decent neighborhood & didn't have people on top of me and surrounding all sides anymore super sweet right ... NOPE... years of neighbor disputes cause you're listening to your favorite music in you're garage minding your own business but you're neighbor dosen't like the same kind of music , next thing you know is cops are at you're door so life moves on sold that place moved a little further away from town and a little further away from town and then a little further away from town & then it seems like all of the sudden like a brick hit me the head ... mmmm ... mom & dad wasn't really all that dumb ... i got married sometime in this timeline but damned if can remember what part of the timeline that was ... dont tell my wife i said that.. ha.. she hated town & people i think more than i did so between me arguing about my music with cops & keeping enough bail money on hand to keep my wife out of jail we talked & we decided only one thing left to do sell it all every single last little piece of it & return home to 40 acres no power no water & a 900 sq ft cabin , i have since put in solar power & water & built a 30 x 40 shop so i can crank music how ever loud i want to , my closest neighbor is 2 miles away & he likes music too so we're good , going on 6 years off grid , so happiness & freedom are my reasons , only 1 regret not doing it years ago and not being so defiant with mom & dad for trying to raise me this way .... okay 2 regrets

# Posted: 1 Dec 2019 11:01

I bought a small piece of property in Ontario last year and decided to take the steps to go off grid. There are many reasons for this decision:

1. No Morgage
2. Fewer bills
3. Less property tax
4. The ability to retire in 10 years (55)

I cannot stand the thought of working until I'm 70 because I can't afford to retire.

# Posted: 29 Nov 2022 07:01

Hey all, I live in central Ontario I bought an 800sq ft off grid fishing camp (cottage) on a beautiful lake 5km from my home.

It was built in the 30's and the previous owner wired the cottage, bunkie and outhouse with 120v AC.

The solar system is made up of 4 small panels, component charger inverter system and 8 6volt FLA golf cart batts.

Water is pumped from the lake to a water tower and fed to each building by gravity and heat is by woodstove.

My plan over the next few years is to re build the solar system, new batts, newer components and a larger array. All lights are led and there is a propane stove/oven, 3 way mini fridge and small ac fridge.

My power requirement is approximatly 4.4kw per day and I'm really looking forward to getting this project under way.

Ominous Ann
# Posted: 7 Jan 2023 13:30 - Edited by: Ominous Ann

It's cheaper

Lots cheaper
An air source heat exchanger is my preferred poison
$3000 ~ $5000 and done, no fuel ever
It'll run off a solar/wind system

Wind is also cheap, solar not so much but a half dozen to a dozen panels is all a small cabin needs. Add a VAWT wind turbine or two and never pay another electric bill again.

Working on some prints for a small place now and adding in the cost of renewables isn't much more than paying out tap fees and buying standard appliances.

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