Thinking of getting off of the Grid.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:58 AM   #1
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Default Thinking of getting off of the Grid.

My wife and I have well paying, but very stressful jobs and are really considering buying some land and getting off of the grid. We have joked about it for years, but we are getting to a point in life where our work-life balance are way off. Work calls in the evenings, bringing work home at night and some weekends in addition to me being on call two weeks a month (24hrs).

We know there are a lot of unknowns, but having served just under 10 years in the Army I know a good deal about minimalist living in the woods. We are looking at 40+ acres in Maine with a brook and close to two lakes and mountains.

Ideally a cabin would be our goal, but would be willing to settle for mobile options while building.

What do you guys think?

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Old 03-16-2013, 12:08 PM   #2
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I hope you make your life into the one you want to live, your choice.

My only reccomendation is to come up with an absolute minimum amount of money/liquid assets you feel you two will need, and then double it.

Having twice your baseline funds won't guarantee crap, but it will give you a better chance of living your dreams.

And always remember: Today is not a dress rehearsal!

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Old 03-16-2013, 12:10 PM   #3
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Come on up it's beautiful here. Definitely a good place to get off the grid.

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Old 03-16-2013, 12:56 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input and support!

Sparky - we are looking out near Carroll, ME. Are you familiar with that area? Looks really beautiful, but hell all of Maine is beautiful.

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Old 03-16-2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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Don't build a log cabin. They are impossible to keep warm unless someone is there to constantly feed them wood.

Build either a banked earth structure, SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) home, or a really well thought out passivhaus. They are all energy efficient and work well off grid.

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Old 03-16-2013, 03:49 PM   #6
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What you suggest is true freedom.! As with all freedom , it is at a price , but a well worth price.
Planning all aspects of "Off the Grid" life styles are there for the taking.

The needs are simple enough , but do take planning and time vested.!
Lay your plans , think the worst case scenarios and plan from there on..!
It is tricky , but all it is , is "Research , planning , a back-up for your back-up".

Plan well and if you both have and share the same desire , it's there for the taking..!

Good luck and plan well..! It's only the first step , but the most important..!

(MIND-SET)..!

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Old 03-16-2013, 04:11 PM   #7
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I've been thinking along similar lines and for similar reasons. I just started my new job after my last plant closed. I'm working six 12hr days. The money is great but there's a lot more to life than working 24/7. Eventually I want to be off grid, or rather close to it. I figure the first step is becoming self sufficient. Over the last couple of years I've been working towards providing my own fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meats. I do wood working when time permits and I want to get into cutting my own lumber.

Being able to provide most of my own food along with wood working and carpentry are pretty big steps in the right direction for becoming self sufficient. They are also good steps in the right direction economically, and being self sufficient and making good economic sense go pretty much hand in hand. Being self sufficient for me means not spending any money, which is what being off grid is all about. You could have enough in savings to cover expenses rather than provide for yourself, which is a really good idea, but to truly be off grid you still need to be able to provide for most of your own needs. If you can provide for your own needs then you have no need to spend money. When you have no need to spend money you have no need to make it. At that point you are off grid and no longer part of the system.

There are some things that for me aren't practical from an economic standpoint. It's not practical for me to grow my own wheat and then mill it up into flour so that I could then bake my own bread (that's from an economic standpoint and not necessarily from a prepping standpoint.). A loaf of bread is just to cheap for me to justify that. I feel the same way about power. Electricity is just too cheap for me to go solar. But there are a lot of things I can do to help limit my use of electricity. At some point in the future I want to build a passive hot water heating system for use in the evenings. That would greatly reduce my dependence on electrically heated water. It would also be very practical from an economic standpoint.

I don't plan on ever being completely off grid, but do plan on being much less dependent on the grid. That in turn would make me less dependent on our current economic structure, which would give me more control over what I do rather than someone else's business decisions determining what I do.

I think eventually many of us are going to reach a point where we are better off going off grid than staying on it? Many Americans were largely self sufficient just 100 years ago and they didn't have power tools. As technology progresses going off grid is going to result in a higher standard of living for many. I can already build nicer furniture and grow better tasting food than I can buy. In other words I can create more wealth than I can buy from working, but only in those two areas. Eventually many of us will be wealthier by not working, at least not working for someone else or for a standard business model.

So yes I think going off grid is a pretty good idea, but I would suggest you work on the self sufficient part if you haven't already started.

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Old 03-16-2013, 04:47 PM   #8
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In the pursuit of off the grid , learn as much as you can about your fellow man ,
neighbors. No man is an Island and there isn't enough time in a day for any one entity or single family to do it all . For a long extended venture , all will most likely have to team up in small groups.

The mix of abilities in my small community will make the difference in weather we flourish or parish .! I by myself am an extremists , but even I know that extended survival takes more time than I can muster.

The small group that I belong to already (11-17) peoples , do and have since the beginning know each-others strengths and weaknesses , and we all share the common goal , SURVIVAL..!

Before you commit to geography , get a feel for others directly involved with your end goal , your neighbors..!

The best of luck and (YUE CAN DOO EET)..!

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Old 03-16-2013, 04:55 PM   #9
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So no iPhone either? How the heck would you survive??!

Jk and good luck. I'd love to have that opportunity one day.

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Old 03-16-2013, 05:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jigs-n-fixture View Post
Don't build a log cabin. They are impossible to keep warm unless someone is there to constantly feed them wood.

Build either a banked earth structure, SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) home, or a really well thought out passivhaus. They are all energy efficient and work well off grid.
QFT.

Being relatively close to the ocean, it might not get as cold there as it does in the ADKs, still, I'd bet BTUs are going to be your biggest expense. You can heat a whole Passivhaus with one stove burner.

In the event you haven't already; FYI:

http://www.city-data.com/county/Penobscot_County-ME.html
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