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September 1, 2017 at 9:32 pm #59680
Hey, I’m Leah and I was born and raised in Tulsa Oklahoma. I always loved camping as a kid and now at 36 years old, I’ve tired of being in the city. I’ve been longing to move to a small town for most of my adult life but about 6 years ago I started thinking about going off grid. I’m not super healthy, I have had Optic Nerve Hypoplasia *bad vision* since I was born and due to my stagnant lifestyle I’m out of shape and have back pain. Reason being, I had to take care of my sick mother for 15 years. My point is, I’ve decided to do something about my boring and hopeless life. For years I figured I could never go off grid. Not in a million years. I can’t see to do carpentry and I don’t have a lot of skills.
A few days ago I finished filling out paperwork to move to an apartment in Kansas. Once in Kansas *its a super small town* I can practice my skills, attain new skills, and generally prepare physically and mentally for the off grid lifestyle. I believe I have a pretty good plan. This plan also considers my limitations.
I’ll never be able to build my own house. I’ll have to buy one instead. Luckily there are a few good and affordable options out there. I’ve even seen a house made of hay bales and stucco. I could definitely do most of that.
I also know that I’m not in the best of health, which is why I will be making and attempting to keep a routine once in Kansas. Exercise and taking my thyroid medication like I’m supposed to.
I HAVE already started some things here as well. I’ve been working out and I’m already feeling a little better. I have also been trying to find a way to use my other senses to help me. My sense of smell, touch and hearing are my strongest senses after all. I learned a lot about growing a garden, cooking, canning and drying foods too.
My question here is, can I do it? Any tips? What would make things easier for me?
Thanks for reading and thanks for your input!September 1, 2017 at 9:37 pm #59683
If I don’t respond, don’t worry. I’m off to camp till Monday. <3September 12, 2017 at 4:46 am #59708
I am of the opinion that we can generally do what we set our minds to do, that being said, is there any chance of having someone partner up with you to help you do the things that might be more of a challenge for you?
I’m really happy to see that you are making the attempt, I see so many people who say they would like to live more like I do, but when it comes right down to it, they aren’t willing to take the steps necessary to do it, kudos to you for stepping out there!September 13, 2017 at 4:42 pm #59718
Just wanting to say hello, In response to your question, I was raised believing that “where there is a will, there is a way”, Being almost sightless does,though, limit your capabilities drastically, sorry to put it that bluntly, but the dangers to yourself under such circumstances are far greater than most would be willing to face..Not impossible…just much more difficult. As was suggested by the previous poster, I would strongly suggest finding a partner in your venture. I myself, having moderate COPD face similar, yet not as constricting limitations. Luckily I am still very active…work 5 days a week on construction sites,(installing metal shelving…not glamorous…but it is a living LOL), so obstacles can be overcome with initiative and desire.
Depending on the type of life that you are actually looking for, tiny houses can be built very cheaply…and sometimes practically free depending on the environment that you choose. My first shelter I built for nothing and furnished,(bed, table fireplace and woodstove) for just about nothing.
My worries about your particular situation are the inherent dangers that come with the off grid lifestyle such as fire, woodcutting, continual maintenance and winter prep…Not to mention predators.
Many folks think that such a lifestyle is “lazy”, when it could not be any further from the truth. Off grid means, many times, that there are no such things as “days off”…Those days may happen, but they will be few and far between. Most of the warmer months are spent preparing for winter…growing\harvesting and hunting food to get you through the winter…preparing your firewood cache and maintaining the safety and security of your domicile. The winter months are just about as close to “off time” as you will ever get.
Hopefully you will not give up though, the solitude and serenity of off grid living can be beat by nothing that I have encountered… Best of luck and take care of yourself.
Ed Meyer.September 28, 2017 at 4:17 pm #59748
First off, sorry for the extremely long wait. I injured my right leg pretty bad so everything is sort of on the back burner but I still definitely want to do this. Also no, I don’t have anyone to help me at all. Everyone I know is far too happy living in the city. I figure I’ll have to find a half way point between off grid living and on grid living.September 28, 2017 at 4:32 pm #59749
Hello. You make a lot of great points in your post. *once again I’m very sorry for the delay in my response*
I know I’ll have to grow a lot both in skill and in strength to give my dream a shot but I’m going to try. I am somewhat skilled at fishing and there are a ton of lakes down here in Oklahoma/Kansas. Also our winters are very mild so winter prep wouldn’t be nearly as bad as say, Montana. I know very little about hunting but I do know a bit about gutting and cleaning. With my eyesight I figure It would be best to learn how to trap anyhow.
I also don’t mind working hard if I have the ability. I also know that it is very hard work and I’d work hard nearly every day. If I had to pick being comfy in this apartment or working myself to the bone in nature, I’d pick the latter. I’m sure it’s easy to say now, that is why I’m going to just jump right in once I move and see what I can handle.
My grandparents lived this lifestyle and I want to at least *partially* live it too. Maybe I will have to stay partially on grid but I would like to find a happy balance at least.
Thanks again for the tips and thoughts!September 28, 2017 at 5:39 pm #59750
Nice to hear that you have not given up on your dream, sorry to hear about your misfortune and hope you heal quickly.
A simple search on Google will produce a number of off grid COMMUNITIES in Kansas which you may find helpful, Many of these communities welcome new (and serious) members to join in their little “towns” . I just did a search for you using the terms “off grid community Kansas” and saw a number of pages that may interest you.
In your situation a “community” sounds like it could be a perfect solution…You have skills and apparently the will to work to offer.
The term “off grid” means many different things to many different people. It does not, however, mean the same as “primitive” living. Most off gridders still maintain much of the “comforts” of societal living, such as internet, cellphone, etc as well as entertainment from television radio etc.
These things are simply powered by solar\wind or water turbine generated power sources(If location makes a water turbine feasible).
My last excursion, which lasted 9 months on the southern Canada border was more of a “primitive” experiment, simply to see how well I could fare as well as withstand the harshness of winter in such a clime.
I did, however have minimal solar power, just enough to provide power for charging my cellphone,(for watching recorded TV series and movies), batteries for my radio and lights etc.
Hunting and trapping was excellent at my location, so putting meat on the table was not a problem…Though many might not want to eat some of the animals which fed me…even had fox once,LOL. Depending where you choose, there are many plants which provide food as well. I was able to find a number of plants which, through experimentation I found to be quite helpful both in my food supply as well as medicinally.
Anyway, sorry for rambling,(I tend to do that when speaking on a subject that I am passionate about).
Any questions, please feel free to ask,I will answer if I can.
I am still figuring out the site here, so once I do I will upload some photos of my border experiment.
Have a great evening and keep looking to the future.
Ed MeyerOctober 2, 2017 at 8:00 am #59768
A community might be nice but I’m getting older and I worry that those communities may either fall apart making the land you bought from/near them either lost or isolated. If I were to go into a community, I’d need some kind of guarantee that I’m not going to get my land ripped away from me in the future. Maybe living near a community would work. Not having to deal with that possibility but still being part of one.
And yes, My grandparents lived on wind power. Electric bills are a waste of money when you could be generating your own power. I don’t need all the comforts really. Air conditioning and occasional internet would be nice but I don’t need television or anything.
And wow, that sounds difficult but also really fulfilling. Fulfillment is one of the main reasons I want to go through with this. Living in the city there isn’t much of that. Everything is done for you and you’ve aught to do but sit around and kill time.
I’m not really super carnivorous to be honest. I prefer a plant heavy diet with meat on the side. I think living in the city is also the reason for that. Grocery store meat is enough to make me gag. Once you try fresh you’ll never go back. xD Fox? Sounds interesting. I’d love to hear that tale.
Oh for sure! I’m VERY fond of herbs and that is one of the main focuses I want to have when I’ve got my own garden. From peppermint to cloves, everything has a purpose.
And don’t worry. I like to hear a story or two. Ramble all you want. :)
Have a great day, Thanks for your responsiveness and helpful nature.October 5, 2017 at 4:32 pm #59778
My apologies for taking a few days to respond, Have had a very hard week of work this week, Makes a nice paycheck, but sometimes I would prefer a smaller one without having to work what little arse off that I have.
The fox was one of those “one off” things, I had just about no other choice than dispose of him, he robbed me of a number of beaver and rabbit pelts…and had to go. I am a true believer that if you kill an animal, you should at least respect it enough not to just leave it to rot…so he made some stew and jerky…the rest was feed for the scavengers.
I have always had a tendency to “taste” different plants and if I find one that seems appealing I will often try cooking with it, This is how I discovered the leafy plant that tasted like black tea…went a long way to extending my tea as well as coffee supplies.( also, since I am still a tobacco user, I used it to extend my pipe tobacco without any loss of flavor).
There was an old apple tree, (very tiny but sweet apples), that I used the fruit from in making syrup for my daily morning pancakes, After simmering the crushed fruit, then straining the liquid off for syrup making, I dried out the pulp for something similar to the “fruit rollups” that you buy in the stores…made a nice treat while reading at night.
My experience was in fact very enlightening, People raised in cities will never quite understand the feeling that you can get while looking at the stars and distant aurora from a vantage point far and away from any streetlights.
Every sound is a puzzle to figure out…even the ones that are easily recognizable such as wolves and coyotes are a song unlike anything that you will hear on the radio. Chipmonks are feisty little critters who will, it seems, spend hours at a time dropping little presents on the roof of your home, just to chitter and seemingly laugh when you have had enough and go outside to scold them.
Had a weasel that came and visited me almost daily, little guy was not shy either, I actually have a photo of him after he had turned white for the winter where he was just staring up at me with his feet planted on the tips of my shoes… He always managed to con me out of something to eat when I was making a stew. He would not eat from my hand, but would wait patiently until I finally threw a scrap of meat on the ground…which he would immediately scurry away with for hiding. I once found one of my socks filled with about 8 dead field mice…guess he was saving them for winter..the stink was so bad that the sock became his….but he had to retrieve it from outside. LOL.
Ran into quite a few bear and wolf tracks near camp, but never had them come close enough to become a threat. Those animals I NEVER fed…when I could hear them close enough to make me wonder, I would waste a few rounds of ammo and scare them off…THOSE are the visitors that you always want to keep wary and at a very safe distance.
I do have some photos of my experience…sunsets, snowstorms, my fireplace and oven,(both of which I was very proud), and of course my little weasel friend…Maybe one day I will go through the hassle of figuring out how to upload them here….But don’t hold your breath on that one LOL.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I did not intentionally ignore your prior post…
Have a great evening.
Ed Meyer.October 12, 2017 at 11:12 pm #59803
I agree. I’m part Cherokee and I definitely like how they used every part of the animal and were very grateful to it for it’s meat and all the other uses for various parts. People aren’t thankful anymore. They don’t think twice about where their meat comes from or the fact that a life was sacrificed so they might eat.
This is another reason why I’d like to raise a few chickens. I can raise them right and when the time comes, I know where it comes from and I can show my gratitude for the animal by wasting nothing and giving it a good life. The same with fish. I’m always grateful for every tiny morsel. Our family was always a hunting and fishing family so our dad taught us the value of animals and the proper way to kill and use it.
Also I don’t blame you for eating that fox. Still, I wonder how it tasted.
Nice to hear you like experimenting with herbs too. I also like to eat flowers from time to time. In salads or on top of other foods. Sometimes even by themselves depending. Nature is so full of delicious things, you really shouldn’t say no to something till you’ve tried it huh? :) Unless it’s dangerous of course. xD
Fruit rollups! My mom is going to teach me how to make some of those out of crushed blueberries. ^_^ I love blueberries but I hate the texture. I can only eat fruits dried or made into another non-squishy consistency. Thus I eat a lot of low sugar blueberry muffins. <3
I agree. I always loved camping. Lake Tenkiller is so high up that the stars are huge! And everything sounds so different like you said. Its more vivid and alive. It’s odd. I’m scared of the dark here but when camping, it doesn’t bother me. Strange thing huh?
I remember once a family of raccoons decided to visit our tent one night. The little one kept pawing at the tent and every time I’d poke the tent lightly, it would run around in circles trying to figure out what was going on. xD Being out in nature is such a life changing experience. One day I promise myself I’ll go to Alaska for a few months. Cold, yes, but the one place that nature has the upper hand.
hehe, You seem to have had some interesting little visitors of your own. Chipmunks are definitely feisty little things. A weasel? Cute! Hahaha, wow he pretty well moved in huh? Poor field mice. xD I bet he was happy he found them again though.
Bears are pretty scary yea. Wolves too. Luckily we don’t really have them here. I think about the worst we’ve got is coyotes and mountain lions, though those are mostly only in the hills. The worst I’ve ever come across was a skunk. Hahaha, We all stood on top of our picnic table while it strolled through camp. He was just having a lovely midnight stroll and our camp was in his way. :P
I would LOVE to see some of your photos. Do you post them anywhere? It’s hard to find people into this sort of thing really. I wish more people my age were as interested as I am. :)
Oh, and no worries! Take all the time you need. I’m slow to respond too. :)
Thanks again for the lovely talk!October 20, 2017 at 9:31 pm #59849
Do not know if this will work…first attempt to link photos/video of my 9 month Canada experience.
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What a beautiful place you were in. The bed you put together actually looked pretty reasonable too. Was it comfortable to any extent? OMG! Is that the weasel?! So cute! Even if it wasn’t still better than the ground. The snow is gorgeous. Thanks so much for showing me the pictures! I love the one of the sunrise the most. *guessing it’s sunrise because here sunrises are purple in color. Our sunsets are more orange and yellow. I appreciate you showing me those. Thanks for being so kind. :)
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