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Jimmy
Senior Member
Username: chippyo

Post Number: 1557
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 9:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

I'd recommend this book for those considering the many varitions and lifestyles for those interested in living off the grid, becoming grid ready,looking for a 'bug-out' home or downsizing their life.

"Off the Grid" Inside the Movement for more space, less governmnet, and true independence in modern america. By Nick Rosen

This book explores many lifestyles & areas in America. It is by a British journalist. It is NOT a book about canning & well digging, but it covers every person from Darayl Hannah's unconnected million dollar mountain resort off the grid home to folks living in Teepees.

ISBN 978-0-14-311738-4
Penguin Books

My favorite insight gleened from this book Is from Eustance Conway's "Last American Man" and his community near Boone NC.
Dig:

"It's not about self sufficiency but community sufficiency." p 209

This was alwasy troubled me about living way out in the boondocks in an off the grid home.
"Don't take life to seriously;no one gets out alive."

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anna
Senior Member
Username: anna

Post Number: 3373
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 5:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

The Storey's books on "how to" are excellent also- from small animals to building out buildings, etc...
http://www.cartville.com/app/?af=1287624

Energy-Creations.com
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anna
Senior Member
Username: anna

Post Number: 3374
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 5:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Jimmy, that's funny- the home on the cover of his book is for sale, in N.M. I recognized it on one of my home searches! I guess they didn't like the off the grid life?
http://www.cartville.com/app/?af=1287624

Energy-Creations.com
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Jimmy
Senior Member
Username: chippyo

Post Number: 1585
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Monday, June 13, 2011 - 1:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

It's tougher than most folks think...i'd rather take a 1/2 step..I'm not Amish & I like my creature comforts.
"Don't take life to seriously;no one gets out alive."

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anna
Senior Member
Username: anna

Post Number: 3395
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2011 - 8:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Yes, I hear you. My dishwasher's going, but we only run it every couple of days. However, I could live without some of that stuff in exchange for a bit more land, and room. 1/2 an hour to a small, rural city would work for me...
http://www.cartville.com/app/?af=1287624

Energy-Creations.com
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Tex Arcana
Advanced Member
Username: tex_arcana

Post Number: 326
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Friday, November 04, 2011 - 8:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

I've been living barely on the grid most of my life in various rural locales in Texas. There were long stretches when I was completely off the grid(no electicity, no running water) and it was no picnic. Well, actually it was like an extended very miserable picnic. I would not voluntarily go off the grid, but at least I know I can survive if forced to. Those who choose to do so and have made adequate preparations and adjustments may find a return to the 19th century rewarding. It's like an a neverending camping trip. I never cared much for camping out or pointless deprivation. Country life is much more pleasant with lights and warm running water.
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Jimmy
Senior Member
Username: chippyo

Post Number: 1657
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2011 - 9:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

tex can u use solar or wind to create electricity?
"Don't take life to seriously;no one gets out alive."

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Tex Arcana
Advanced Member
Username: tex_arcana

Post Number: 328
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 9:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Hi, Jimmy,
Sure you can use wind power and solar but for a system that supports long time usage and or running major appliances the setup cost is fairly steep. Growing up we still had an old wind generator hooked up to the windmill but it was no longer in use. The rural electrification program of the 30's seduced most Texas country folk into abandoning their independence by providing cheap powerful sources of electricity to all but the most remote residents.

In the '70's it was still possible to salvage those old wind generators from abandoned farms and windmills but they are collector item/museum pieces now for the most part. When I got my own place here in North Texas in the mid-80's I was extremely interested in getting a wind generator even while I was camping out in a travel trailor which was powered by a small butane tank. The old wind generators were powered by highly inefficient windmill propellors which are designed to slow themselves down to prevent running over the cattle troughs and elevated tanks they are designed to fill. Electricity generated from them was pretty intermittant too. I don't recall what the storage system was but I assume it was a bank of tractor batteries. Anyway this makes for a pretty weak source of juice good only for running a few light bulbs. That's why the old telephones had to be cranked by hand.

I had a book back then called "Five Acres and Independence" which had the plans for building your own wind generator from car and bicycle parts. However for the style of living most of us enjoy (washing machines, refrigerators, heaters etc.) you need an efficient aircraft generator and propellor along with a 30 foot (for this area) metal tower of the type used for radio and tv antennas along with a few big forklift batteries for storage. Back then a professional unit made in Australia was about $2,000 uninstalled; today it's about ten times that installed. The only people around here who have them, with a few exceptions, are well to do suburbanites who are either hobbyists or making a statement.

A couple of people I know with retreats in the Kiamichi Mountains have cobbled together old style washing machines with lawnmower engines. They also run a few light bulbs in their shack with a similar setup and car batteries. However, since they use their places as a deer hunting camp a few weeks out of the year, I don't know how long they would continue after gasoline runs out. My son says you can run a diesel generator off cooking fat but I don't have a diesel generator and only a couple of gallons of left over cooking grease which I periodically burn off in the trash barrel.

The only solar I've tried are a few yard lights but I've heard the solar panels have come a long way with the Japanese invention of a new kind of battery for storage. Storebought solar panels are kind of pricey but way ahead of the fluorescent light tube contraptions you can cobble up on your own for supplemental water heating.

Like I said, melting snow for coffee water on a burned out bbq grill fueled by newspapers in the yard is not an experience I care to repeat. But if that's your bag I wish you all the best. I can do it if I want to; I just don't want to.

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