Before our big move off the grid, I did a lot of research to learn everything I could about living off grid. I used the internet as my main source of information. I quickly found a great source of info at LaMar Alexander’s website. In following with my Off Grid – On The Cheap message, this is a very practical, hands on approach to how to get off the grid without having to spend lots of money.
Who is LaMar? I can tell you that LaMar is genuine, he is one of the few people talking and teaching about living off grid, who is actually living the off grid lifestyle. I’d say that LaMar knows what he is talking about. LaMar has taken all of his experiences and put it all together in an ingenious book called “Simple Solar Homesteading” This book comes as both a hard copy and in digital format. It is written in a down to earth language, complex ideas are broken down into easy to understand solutions. You don’t have to be a professional to understand and follow the directions found in this book.
The book is well laid out and easy to navigate. It covers a myriad of subjects ranging from how to build your own cabin to dehydrating food and many other great ways to live off grid and be more self sufficient.
Here are a few of the how to projects in this book:
How to build a solar cabin
How to build a solar panel and generator power station
How to build a solar composting toilet
How to build a rain water and gray water recycling system
How to build a solar oven
How to build a food dehydrator
When you open the book, the first thing you see is a picture of LaMar’s cabin. This cabin was designed and built by and for LaMar. He lives here full time, so it has to be functional, yet it is also has a simple charm and style that easy to customize to fit your own needs and tastes.
The book is full of step by step directions as well as lots of pictures. LaMar includes many tips and tricks to help you get things done quicker and cheaper. Not only does he show you how to build your cabin, he also helps you to figure out the best location and proper orientation. The price of this book is incredibly inexpensive, both the hard copy and the digital, it would be a bargain at any price though. It’s very clear that LaMar is more interested in passing on his knowledge than getting rich.
The book also contains LaMar’s history, how he became interested in living off grid, he discusses his childhood living in his grandfather’s and father’s homestead. It certainly is clear where he got his inspiration and interest in cabins and being independent.
What is my favorite project in the book? It has to be the solar composting toilet, or is it the solar oven? What, you expect me to pick just one???
I was able to talk LaMar into taking a few minutes out of his day to answer some questions, a small interview if you will. :)
Why did you decide to build your own cabin, of your own design and go off grid?
I was raised by homesteading parents so this lifestyle was in my blood. Since I was a teenager I have had a dream to build my own small solar cabin and when I quit teaching high school and moved back to my home town the timing was perfect.
When did you do this?
I started living off grid about 15 years ago in RV campers and small cabins but I built the solar cabin I live in now about 5 years ago.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My grandparent and parent who were true homesteader that lived in cabins and supplied their own food through 3 wars and the great depression.
Is your cabin complete or are you still working on it?
My cabin is always a work in progress as I add things all the time. I recently rewired my lights for fluorescents and will be building an extension next year.
What are you working on now?
I am busy getting www.homesteadernews.com up and running thru winter and in spring I plan to build a deck and room extension. Lots of stuff to do!
What is your next project?
What is the hardest thing about your off grid lifestyle?
Going out in the cold to feed and water animals. I am working on self feeders and waterers.
What surprised you the most about living off grid?
Peoples reactions to my cabin as they think it looks small from the road but once they get up close and see the inside they are amazed at how much room and all my amenities.
If you had this to do all over again, knowing what you know now, what (if anything) would you do different?
I don’t think I would do anything different as I am very happy!
Is money were no object, what would you like to do?
Money has little meaning to me and isn’t a desire but it would be nice to travel to foreign countries.
What do your friends and family think of your off grid lifestyle?
At first they thought I was crazy but after seeing my cabin they were impressed and two of my brothers want to build one for vacation homes.
How far is your property located from your nearest neighbor? Town?
I am ten miles from a small town and a mile from neighbors which are family.
Living in your cabin, space is a premium, what do you do to combat clutter?
Throw stuff away that I don’t need. I give away stuff all the time and keep my necessary items to the bare minimum.
What do you do for fun?
I play guitar and write songs, write books, hunt, fish, play pool, and spend time with Patty and the dogs.
Have you decided to go off the grid and looking to make the move?
We can help you find the ideal off-grid community and want to film you as you make the transition.
If you’re interested, submit a short video (3 minutes) .here: http://www.off-grid.net/videos/ - in the video give answers to the questions below:
Can you tell us about yourself - work, home etc?
Where you live now – city and country – and where you want to live? Why you want to make this move now?
What will be hardest to leave behind?
What you most look forward to leaving behind?
Who will be making the move – just you/ friends/ family etc?
What could you offer your off the grid community i.e. special skills/ resources?
If you are already off the grid, would you like to host a family of newbies as we film them beginning their off-grid life? Can you write up your own experiences and contact us? Or can you handle a video camera?Please send us your videos and photos - or feel free to write about yourself for the web site.
Do you rely on your own healing powers when you are ill? Or is there an unqualified nurse in your local community?
We want to hear from people who do their own doctoring - using their own herbs and remedies, setting their own broken bones, dealing with their own bodies.
Why do you do it? How do you do it? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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Can you handle a video camera? Or a cellphone camera that can upload to our youtube channel?
We are looking for people who currently live off-grid anywhere in the world, and for people who want to live off-grid and are about to do so. This might be in a community or an individual situation
Please send us your videos and photos - you can upload videos on off-grid.net/videos - or feel free to write about yourself for the web site. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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