Simon: I have a host of articles at https://blog.larrydgray.net dedicated to off-grid living topics. Home water production and processing, Home Energy Production, Home Sewage treatment, Home fuel production. etc. I also have some articles related to owner building style cheaper and green building stuff. Including Green design, Earth construction, Timber Frame, Log Cabin, Yurt, Small Metal structures. These articles might give you some perspective and insight into the modern difficulties in off-grid or pioneer lifestyle. I don’t claim to be an expert though, these are written from my point of view from my own personal research. I also point out some books that might have info which would give you some pieces of insight into past pioneer life. Be sure to check out the comments in each article as I sometimes post links and info there myself.