Thinking of getting off of the Grid.

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by sdiver35, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. sdiver35

    sdiver35 New Member

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    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?
     
  2. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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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!
     

  3. sparky80

    sparky80 New Member

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    Come on up it's beautiful here. Definitely a good place to get off the grid.
     
  4. sdiver35

    sdiver35 New Member

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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. :)
     
  5. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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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.
     
  6. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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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)..!
     
  7. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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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. :)
     
  8. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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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)..!
     
  9. capto56

    capto56 New Member

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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.
     
  10. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  11. sparky80

    sparky80 New Member

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    I'm not real familiar with that specific area, I live in the mid-coast region. I have been to areas around Carroll and there is some pretty country out there.
     
  12. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    True that ^..! On the west coast , you've got prevailing winds on your side.!
    On the east coast , you've got the "Gulf-Stream" on your side..! That would be a fact . The air coming off the water is usually warmer than air temps..!
    + a food source.!
     
  13. shadecorp

    shadecorp Active Member Supporter

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    Sounds Good.
    Do it if you can.
    Some years ago I wanted to move out to the middle of the desert.
    Then I realised
    with my health problems,
    I must be some where near medical aid.
    Some thing to think about.
     
  14. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    I agree with your comments, but they did get me to wondering about Utopian communities. Many have attempted Utopian communities but the only ones that lasted were religious based, i.e. monasteries, Amish, Mennonites, and so on. You seem to ahead of most of us on the community side of things so I would really like to know your thoughts on why so many Utopian communities failed in the past? :confused:
     
  15. sdiver35

    sdiver35 New Member

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    I really appreciate the comments and suggestions. I was a bit hesitant to post this, and am glad there are others who share the same thoughts on life. This certainly isn't something we take lightly and will really plan things out, well as much as possible.

    You guys have given us a lot of insight! As far as health concerns I would rather take that on under my own terms. Living day-to-day with the stress relating to someone else's bottom line sounds like a lot less fun than dying cutting down a tree which directly relates to my bottom line.

    I welcome more ideas, and will somehow keep connected when we do move which will be in about three or so years, but planning starts now.

    We have a motto already...it's all about ME <--Get it? All about Maine :) I'm stoked.
     
  16. SB777

    SB777 New Member

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    I'd say go for it.
     
  17. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    Please post comments on some of the things that you learn while planning this. I'm guessing you will be doing a lot of reading up and picking up a lot of ideas? :)
     
  18. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I enjoy my life as it is right now. I don't have any desire to change it at this point. But, I do know people, like you, who are so 'held hostage' by their jobs that the stress levels are killing them. For instance, my brother. He has a very high stress job. There are lots of demands on him and he is responsible for a lot. He also travels quite a bit which puts a stress on his family life. He has a HUGE house that is killing him with mortgage payments. He is crabby most of the time because he is so stressed. He's the type of guy who has to show people he's successful but it's killing him and he's not enjoying life. I don't think the answer for him is to 'get off the grid' but I think many people can benefit from downsizing. Get rid of the house and mortgage payments that are killing you. Who needs a house that can house 2 whole families? Do you really need the most expensive vehicle to prove your successful? Do you really need the RV, the snowmobile, the jet ski, the country club membership, dining at the best restaurants, etc? Sometimes you can save your sanity by downsizing and simplifying.
     
  19. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

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    The other issue you're going to have is the growing season, it's short. You can compensate for the cold; cold boxes, several layers of plastic sheeting over the bed will both generate heat during daylight and hold it in at night, etc. But the yearly daylight is limited compared to southern latitudes.
     
  20. sdiver35

    sdiver35 New Member

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    Again, all good points. The growing season is a concern so we are looking into a root cellar design as well as canning to preserve as we go and reduce waste.

    We are really looking into the Passive House designs so thanks for that tip. There is actually a passive house website specific to Maine that my wife has dug into. They seem to be quite expensive from our initial research, but may just be worth it in the long run. I spoke with my dad last night and he wants to move with us :) He is retired and is quite skilled in wood working.