Building up
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 31, 2014 - 0 Comments in COMMUNITY, PEOPLE, SPIRIT, WRETHA

PreFabStackHome

This young family lives in Portland Oregon on a half lot, their home is very small by most standards, preferring to build UP instead of spreading around. They took a 407 square foot-print, made it 3 levels, they combine some living areas and omitted others.
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Tree house vacation
by OAYA on AUGUST 31, 2014 - 1 Comment in COMMUNITY, WATER

Edisto river canoe and tree house experienceBook a tree house on the Edisto River.

These tree houses have no electricity or running water, but are considered one of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s most unique getaways. Canoe down a dozen miles to the secluded site, then canoe farther down to check out the river the next day.

Each treehouse is tucked in the woods out of view of any other, nestled in the trees on the river’s edge and privately accessed by canoe. (more…)

Cheap portable solar power setup
by SHANNON on AUGUST 31, 2014 - 0 Comments in ENERGY, OFF-GRID 101

$700 energy gather and storage

Take your power anywhere

The chatter about solar power and energy storage over the last few years, might make you come to the wrong conclusion that such systems are neither portable nor affordable.

But testing out an off-road, off-grid solar power setup, we recently came to some interesting conclusions. Like many who read this, we like the outdoors but our kids tend to destroy the calm with their demands for the comforts of home. To tell you the truth, I believe that every single camping trip I’ve ever been on has been in the rain, so I can understand why bringing along some of the comforts of home can be attractive. Unfortunately, those “comforts” might include things like the laptop, a television, or a refrigerator. Going beyond this, what happens when the comforts of home are taken away by power outage, whether by storm or blackout?

This tends to happen regularly at my place in the highlands of Majorca’s Tramuntana mountains, such as last night when we lost power for a few hours. Candles only go so far, and do nothing for the refrigerator, laptops for work, cell phones for communication (the local cell tower has backup power) or the electric shower. A cheap Chinese 800W generator is a little over $150, not to mention fuel costs. On the other hand, depending on how much power you need, a small solar power system and energy storage could be all that is required. (more…)

Yes, Texas has mountains…
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 30, 2014 - 0 Comments in COMMUNITY, SPIRIT, WORK, WRETHA

DSC00970small

…and other random thoughts. :) One of the questions I get asked when I tell people where I live (on a mountain side, in the high desert, of far western Texas), they ask “Texas has mountains?” or “I didn’t know there were mountains in Texas…”. Well I’m here to tell you that Texas DOES have mountains, I live a mile high, in the Davis Mountains, which used to be called the Apache Mountains, fitting for me because I am part Apache (as well as Comanche), not enough to claim any benefits, but enough to give me some physical features and a wonderful heritage.

I can say that I feel so much at home here, like I have come home, I always wanted to live in the mountains and in the desert, I get to do both. (more…)

Harvesting Excess Man Made Energy
by TECHSTAR on AUGUST 27, 2014 - 1 Comment in ENERGY

Albany NY designer, Manoocher Zarif is piloting a device that converts vibrations found in urban traffic into electricity.

The industrial design graduate came across the idea while he was experimenting with a Piezo device that converts pressure and movement into electricity, lighting up an LED lamp. He is in line for a JAmes Dyson award for his idea. (more…)

Trout Pout – off-gridders ticked off with obscure fish
by TECHSTAR on AUGUST 25, 2014 - 0 Comments in WATER

Off-Grid Cabins in Holy Joe are victimised by trout-lovers

Fire chief says human needs trump trout

ORANGE COUNTY, Aug 24th – Mike Milligan trudges up the canyon, gesturing at bone-dry trees, streams that have turned to trickles and thick carpets of tinder- ready, dead leaves. A cigarette dangles from his lips, slowly becoming ash.
Milligan, the volunteer fire chief for Holy Jim Canyon and longtime cabin owner in the area, frets about fire. His firsthand experience tells him that the driest year on record – 2013 – has only grown worse. The first seven months of 2014 were the hottest ever in Orange County.
“I’ve been coming up here 50-plus years, and I’ve never seen it this bad,” Milligan said.
One problem? The canyon’s alder trees are dying. In healthy times, the alders shade fishing holes. During this drought, the tall, dead alders serve as potential torches. The desiccated trees also shed duff – dead branches and leaves – that in some spots is a foot deep.
The last time the entire forest burned was in 1908, though the smaller Indian Fire took out great patches of forest in 1980. (more…)

Get to know your property before you build
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 23, 2014 - 2 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, WRETHA

wind and rock

OK, you have purchased your land, you are all excited about getting your off grid homestead going, but before you set your first post, before you lay your first board, there are some things you should do first, taking these steps will help to insure your place will be the best place it can be.

The first thing you should do is walk your land, especially if there is acreage concerned, you need to get to know your land as best you can, pick out more than one potential spot, then camp out on your land, as often as you can, for as many seasons as you can. Try to be there during rain, wind and such. The reason this is important is you NEED to know where the winds blow, the direction, you need to know how the drainage works, you don’t want to build where it’s going to flood. (more…)

It’s time for a prepper reality check
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 20, 2014 - 1 Comment in URBAN, WRETHA

reality-check

You may have enough weapons and ammo stashed away to fight the next World War all by yourself…

You may have fortified your home and have 3 different routes mapped out to get to your bug-out retreat…

You may have a food stockpile that will see you, your family, heck, the whole darned neighborhood, through until the Second Coming…

You may tirelessly watch militant YouTube videos that show you how to take down your opponent in 3 easy maneuvers…

But..

If you aren’t realistic about your skills and your physical abilities, you are likely to be just as dead as the guy down the road who considers the two extra bags of Doritos in his pantry to be a food stockpile.

You need to know enough to realize just how much you don’t know.

It’s time for a prepper reality check. Be warned. You may not like it. And if you’re offended by this article, that could mean that you are one of the people I’m talking about. (more…)

Living and building off grid on the cheap
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 16, 2014 - 3 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, WRETHA
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Dimensional lumber, nearly stacked and ready for their second life….

Going off grid on the cheap, it’s possible to do, but you should be creative and flexible, the property was the biggest expense, buying a property with “issues” made that expense much less than it could have been.

Our property’s issue was the access, it has a seasonal creek that runs across the front/bottom of the property, so driving up on the property is tricky if not impossible. We didn’t mind, the rest of the property was great.

One of the things we do to build cheap (sometimes free) is to constantly be on the lookout for free materials to recycle or re-purpose. It’s not the same as going to the lumber store and buying what we need, we often are gifted with material that would normally go to the dump at odd times, this material has its issues, the lumber is rough, has nails, screws and other hardware, sometimes ends of lumber are rotten, damaged or cut off, as I said, you need to be creative. (more…)


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