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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / off grid living
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# Posted: 18 Nov 2010 15:20

to me i would even care if i had tv or a computer.
i would just like to have things for heat and lite.things like a generator as we have to do some projects of building things easier.
Things i would hate to do is be all stuck inside on a beautiful day up in the mountains and we are stuck inside glued to the tv.
that would be too sad in my mind.
we go up to our woods and everyone is inside alot in the summer even.i want to be busy hanging our clothes out on the clothes line in the meadow.getting a green house built.
just want a place to store the canning and not have it get frozen and i think it is pretty simple to be off the grid.its just doing it and doing things on your own.reading and crafting and baking and hubby and i out in the woods,chopping and stacking our wood piles for winter heat.sounds all so good.

# Posted: 18 Nov 2010 20:27

But if you had no computer, how would you talk to us? (:-(

# Posted: 18 Nov 2010 20:51

I could give up a lot of things, but I couldn't give up my computer. *S* We don't have much in the way of stores near us. The closest grocery and hardware stores are 20 km away and they are really small stores. To get to a major store is 2 hours away. We order many things online and have them mailed to us. It is like Christmas when a package arrives even though we know what we have coming. *S* Just something to look forward to occasionally. *grin*

# Posted: 18 Nov 2010 23:58 - Edited by: bobrok

This is just an aside comment on the above posts and not meant to reflect on anyone but myself, but I thought it might provoke a good conversation and I beg your indulgence while I rant on.
I have noticed how 'efficient' we become when we are at our off-grid camp both in resource management and in our needs and desires. Yet when we return to our home we tend to not pay as much attention to the same things. I am of the opinion that if it is there it will be used, if it is not, then we will do without. Does that make sense? Let me explain. I am in the sales business. I have to create a need for my customer to want what I sell, whether they want it or not. If it's not available to them they won't want it, probably not even miss it. But my JOB is to create the need. That is how I make my money.
OK, translate that concept to demand for resources: same cause and effect. For example, the power companies brag of their reliability and lower rates and compete with each other for your business (at least in NY they do). So you sign up with a competing ESCO and feel you have saved money and done your part, but you are still consuming power.
When we are at our camp we have free solar power, albeit not unlimited, but yet we just automatically gear ourselves towards conservation and non-consumption, even though its free!!!
I am trying to rationalize this vs. the 'pay for power' at home. Can somebody shed some light on this inconsistent behavior?
Are there any psycologists in our ranks?

# Posted: 19 Nov 2010 01:33

I think there are very few of us who could live a self-sustaining lifestyle forever. Let's face it, we all need "stuff". We need clothing, and material to make that clothing from. We need food which can't be grown or produced where we live. If we hunt, we need guns and bullets, knives to butcher our game. At various times we need doctors and dentists. Not very many people will cut down trees without a chain saw. And if you do use a manual saw, where did you get it? Did you make it yourself? If you really, critically look around at all the everyday things you use and take for granted, you will realize you do need to buy things. Want to use kerosene lamps? Where did you get that lamp? Where did the kerosene come from? Want to can your own food? Where did you get the jars and lids from? Guess what? All that "stuff" needs energy to produce.

I personally know one man who did live a fairly self-sufficient lifestyle for about 20 years. He didn't have electricity or running water. Not even solar panels. He hunted and grew his own food. He did, however, have a vehicle and ATV to get around and those required fuel which he came into town to occasionally get. One day he suffered a heart attack on his quad. By a miracle, two people found him and they were, believe it or not, paramedics!!! They saved his life and brought him out to a hospital for medical care. He needed a pace maker installed and the doctor said, "no more living out in the bush."

I think it is a dream many of us have to be totally self-sufficient and not have to rely on government or stores or anyone else for help. Reality is quite different. Even in pioneer times people still needed to buy some of their supplies and have help from other people. The Native Indians traded with their neighbours for goods they couldn't produce themselves. Our ancestors from so long ago lived very short lives for a reason. They didn't have the things we take for granted today to keep us alive and comfortable.

In my opinion, the goal of this game is to try to leave a smaller footprint, but I don't think anyone will ever succeed in leaving no footprint at all. And, really, do you want to be all alone? How long have you lived out in the bush with absolutely no other person for miles around? It is a frightening thing to do and very, very humbling. For me, I am happy to do everything within reason, to shrink my footprint but still be safe and happy. I have come to realize what is important in life and what is just "stuff" and I try not to clutter my life with "stuff". *S* I appreciate this wonderful ball we live on and marvel at the nature around me, but I also understand my many limitations.

Okay, so who is next to step up onto the soapbox? *grin*

Gary O
# Posted: 19 Nov 2010 20:12

For me, the draw to live out, is the lure of a simpler life.
To have a little control of a given situation.
To get out from underneath the growing big brother presence.
To remove myself from the insulation of debilitating comfort.
To remove the middle guy.
For example, to make sure we have enough heat for winter, I'd need to chop 3-4 cords of wood in lieu of stressing at a desk, staring at a screen, earning a wage to pay a utility so I can flick a switch.

Like bobrok, and I'd assume islandguy, I'm consumed in the driving force of the business world. Once immersed in that stream, it's all encompassing. I'd imagine bob and island are the impellers of their businesses, whereas I'm of the many that respond to the urgency, and make it happen. I used to get all knotted up inside, have nightmares, go to work super early, and do everthing possible to get the impossible done (within the 'marketing window'), turning the gray areas to tangible black and white, and turning philosophy to reality. I was a business owner's dream fantasy come true.
Now I'm the guru, the guy that shows the errors of others ways, a director. The thing that gets my juices going now is to nurture the ones that are to take over where I leave off. It's still fun.
However, it's telling on the soul, and one can loose perspective quite easily.
It's a wonder there aren't more people seeking the solace of nature.
In town you need a permit to build a simple deck, or for that matter even to move an electical outlet, for god's sake.
In the bush, if it needs to be done, you just do it.
There's nobody to call.
I'm not caring about the psychology, or politics, or religious slant of it all, I just have a need in my soul for a simpler life.
And I have the bonus of having a woman that feels the same.

# Posted: 19 Nov 2010 20:56

We play both sides of the fence. We live in the downtown core of a major urban city, Vancouver. We love dining and wine, theater, golf, sailing and the bustle of downtown living. (Remember the theme song from "Green acres?) However, we both love the peace and quiet of the cabin, the simpler lifestyle, the fresh air, ect.
Discussion here on this site, and among our friends seems to assume we need to make a choice between one or the other, but we LOVE TO HAVE BOTH. We dont have to make the choice, and we enjoy the best of both worlds.
BTW, here are the words, as best as I remember: (;-)

He: "Green acres is the place to be,
farm living is the life for me,
land, spreading out so far and wide,
keep Manhatten, just gimme the countryside."

Her: New York is where Id rather stay,
I get allergic smelling hay,
I just adore a penthouse view,
darling, I love you but give me Park Avenue."

He "you are my wife"
Her "goodbye city life"
Both: Green Acres here we come."

# Posted: 19 Nov 2010 21:33 - Edited by: MtnDon

off grid... partly it was an economic necessity. It was spend $8800 for a nice PV system or $55000 for a grid connection. No contest there. Plus as it turns out we have totally reliable, tho' limited, power.

We love our acres in the mountains; we call it Pine Ridge. However, I also like and appreciate the modern things we choose to use.
TV: broadcast over the air at home and at the cabin.
Internet: what a wonderful reference library
Shopping: many things that are easier to get online and if you patronize amazon their prime customer plan is well worth the annual cost
Medicine: As many things as there are that I do not like about our modern system, I'd be dead three times over if it was not for it.
Electric light: Much better than candles, kerosene, etc, as far as being able to breath cleaner indoor air and to be able to have brighter light when needed.

I could go on and on, but the idea is to selectively use the technology that permits one to have more free time to do the things that are fun or fulfilling. I don't mind cutting wood to keep the cabin warm, but I also appreciate the propane water heater that permits us to enjoy a quick shower when desired.

# Posted: 19 Nov 2010 22:23

It's pioneer living with modern perks....I totally agree with you MtnDon.

# Posted: 20 Nov 2010 02:31

i would sure suggest using a chain saw to cut down a tree.
i would want to use as many modern things as i could-say with a generator.i love our jenny.
i just do not want to loose the love of nature i have in me by sitting inside all day being mesmerized by the we do in the city cause there is no land to walk on,to do alot on.
to have clothes dried on the line.
they smell so fresh.i do this in town too in the summer even though the rules say no.
it would be nice to have a wood stove.the only time i ever have gotten warm in oregon is when we had a wood stove.all that wood out there waiting to be heat.compared to in town and cranking up the power and paying out the nose for heating.
wil be nice.get warmed up many times over by cutting wood,stacking it and hauling it in.

# Posted: 15 Feb 2011 18:38

That's the beauty of this whole concept.We live in a time and age where we have the resources now more than ever.I will still have digital TV,wireless internet,stereo,lighting,refrigeration.Nothing is going to change.Life will still be comfortable.

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