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Home Forums General Discussion Truly Off Grid? Re: Truly Off Grid?


Its nice to see some posts from off-grid people who are not living in huts, yurts, hovels or like a homeless person camping in a car or Van.

Here in central and northern BC of Canada, we have few roads and even fewer utility power lines outside urban centers. Many people still live off grid of necessity. My wife comes from a third generation logging family and the old homestead is still off-grid due to distance from a utility line. My wife was 14 years old before she saw an electric light bulb inside the house. Two of her uncles still live off grid. They chuckle at this new interest in ‘off-grid’ because to them it is a normal lifestyle. Yes it does means doing some things differently but it does not mean you have to abstain from enjoying some of the benefits of modern technology. Up here in high latitudes it is a bit more of a challenge to use solar due to 16 hours or more of daytime darkness and / or clouds during winter months. But there are plenty of alternatives for power generation without going hog wild burning fossil fuels. Just to name three alternatives; waste vegetable (or other) oil, ethanol production from bio mass, and wood heat. If you are a farmer raising live stock you also have a natural supply of methane gas.

Modern house construction with solar wells in the roof and thermal mass, (passive solar) heating means a home can be every bit as comfortable, roomy and cozy as anything you find in the cities or suburbs. Admittedly, jobs are not as handy to home in areas where people live off grid but in this area resource extraction is the principa source of employmentit is not uncommon to go to a job site 500 miles away for a month at a time then come home for an extended R&R period. The advent of telecommunications and sat links for internet access has allowed a large number of people to move to off-grid locations while telecommuting to work daily. These people live normal lives in normal homes even if they are living off grid.