Author Topic: Anyone interested in going off-grid ?  (Read 4796 times)

Lamar

  • Guest
Anyone interested in going off-grid ?
« on: March 20, 2010, 10:49:13 AM »
I have been an off-grid homesteader and survivalist for about 15 years.

I live in a small solar and wind powered cabin I designed and built myself for under $2000

I use propane, drilled my own well, harvest rainwater and gray water and use a solar composting toilet of my own design.

If anyone wants to learn how to go off-grid I am always happy to answer questions and share ideas.

I have videos of my survival homestead on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/solarcabin






Offline OKGranny

  • TSP Pooper-Scooper
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1624
  • Karma: 50
  • Death from the knees down
Re: Anyone interested in going off-grid ?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 02:44:33 PM »
That's really nice and I do have a few questions that I'll get to when my allergies clear up enough that I can think. Right now the first thing that comes to mind is could you still manage if SHTF and you couldn't get propane delivered?

Offline OKGranny

  • TSP Pooper-Scooper
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1624
  • Karma: 50
  • Death from the knees down
Re: Anyone interested in going off-grid ?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2010, 02:52:26 PM »
I'm very sorry, that came out sounding rude and I didn't mean it to, honestly my head is a mess. I've read other posts about propane and it's a question that's been in the back of my head for quite some time and this seemed like the perfect time to ask.

Offline johngalt

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 710
  • Karma: 28
Re: Anyone interested in going off-grid ?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 02:06:25 PM »
Do you have a family or are you solo - off grid?  Just wondering, 'cause I think it lowers the bar a little (at least in my case it would).

Offline rschoolf

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: 0
Re: Anyone interested in going off-grid ?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2010, 09:04:33 PM »
Hey, Lamar, it's really great to see your post, and your familiar cabin.  I have to admit, you are at the top of the search results when it comes to off-grid cabins, and yours looks real nice.  I really liked that one picture where your hogs are tied up at hitching post.    My hat is off to regarding building your house on such a budget.  Personally, I cannot turn around and piss without blowing a grand.

I must have read it somewhere, but I cannot remember - what area of the country do you live?  How do you get on in the summer with the summer heat?  I am assuming that you do not have an air conditioner.  Here's to you, hoping that the summers are not too hot.  What do you do for the fridge?  Propane?

I am interested in going off-grid, but like most of city dwellers, that is not a possible situation, unless the situation is thrust upon you, as it will be during a power outage.  We have been real blessed here with a minimum of power outages.  But when one occurs, I sure do have a panicky sinking feeling.

So, I am doing something about it.

I am starting a battery backup AC power supply, the idea being that if the power goes out, (and the cable service stays on), I will be able to completely power my home office (consisting of a laptop with docking station, audio, dual LCD monitors, cable modem and wireless broadband router, VOIP phone, fan, and an energy-efficient dimmable compact fluorescent desk light).  Being a programmer and working from home, this means that I will still be able to keep my job and continue working even when the power is out.



I have taken this to the next level, and I'm completely off-grid (for electricity, that is) - for just my home office. 

I bought 350 watts of solar panels, controller, and a true sine wave inverter.  I have sized it such that it is pretty efficient - I can power my home office two days straight, with no sun.

Having this system allows me to be able to constantly adjust my lifestyle to gain knowledge on how to live on as few watts as possible.   

I am learning how to comfortably and pleasingly light the home using low-voltage warm CFL light bulbs and LED flashlights.  My battery powered devices are recharged from my solar system.  I received a nice battery powered florescent lantern as a gift, and it puts out a nice warm light similar to incandescent.   

One tool I have found that is extremely handy in this regard is the ZebraLight headlamp.  These headlights are comfortable, extremely well-made, and they throw out a nice wide beam of light, with no hotspot, so it's really great for reading, or working on something in the dark.  I like these so much, I bought two, one in white and one in red.  If you have one of these and a few spare batteries, it goes a long way to providing peace of mind when it's "lights out".

http://www.zebralight.com/

I am also experimenting with eliminating some of my wall warts, for those devices that can run off of a straight 12 volts.  I am thinking that for those devices, it would be more efficient for them to run off of the 12 volts, rather than wasting energy - considering the losses of inverting 12 volts DC to 120 volts AC, and then taking that down to 12 volts in the wall wart and then rectifying that back to DC.

Now, I am off to watch your YouTube video again...

Cheers, mate.

Offline CyborgX

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 189
  • Karma: 6
  • Maps don't need batteries
Re: Anyone interested in going off-grid ?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2010, 06:30:07 PM »
Heck, I'm interested.

This is just the sort of thing my girlfriend and I are planning on doing. Gotta figure out something with the house we're stuck in now, but someday.. Someday we'll be living this sort of life. Somewhere out of this crowded, failing area of Michigan.

Great videos, by the way. My girl and I both got a lot out of them!

Offline phargolf

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 359
  • Karma: 8
Re: Anyone interested in going off-grid ?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2010, 07:31:29 PM »
great video! gave me a lot to think about. thanks, phargolf

Offline Dan

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 983
  • Karma: 42
  • MSB Founding Member
Re: Anyone interested in going off-grid ?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 12:04:12 AM »
Lamar, I just watched most of your videos and wanted to thank you for showing everyone what you have done. I have been thinking about a small cabin for some time now but hadn’t considered the possibility of  using it’s size and ability to be built as a non permanent structure as a way of working around oppressive local codes without breaking any laws. You have indeed given me much to think about and this may even work to my advantage.

For anyone considering a similar cabin design you may want to explore the possible benefits of a gambrel roof to gain some headroom in the loft space, maybe some dormers. Construction costs will be a little higher but the loft space will be more usable.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 12:06:17 AM by Dan »

Offline Grimjack

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 44
  • Karma: 4
    • Terra Del Sol Farm
Re: Anyone interested in going off-grid ?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2010, 08:51:38 AM »
Awesome videos and website! Makes me fantasize about how I can escape slavery (my mortgage) and live simply & free! Will be ordering the book.

DevilDoc

  • Guest
Re: Anyone interested in going off-grid ?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2010, 11:28:58 PM »
Awesome Stuff