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Home Forums General Discussion Want to go off-grid by May 2013

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    Pahana Tribe


    Dust obviously would be better qualified to answer the recycling questions for Earthship construction but from a Earthen builder opinion bottles can be used with rammed earth and cans for shingles and passive solar heating tubes.


    Those are components that can be easily intergrated into a Earthship design no doubt but along with that auto / truck tires are a primary component for structural walls. It is simply my opinion but from a build standpoint some areas are quite difficult to acquire tires do to disposal regulations and also can be prohibited by building codes.

    Earthbag construction is inexpensive and simple as well as haybale or rammed Earth so structurally it can get off the ground quicker, less expensive and although you may still have hurdles in zoning it is a bit easier to get green structures looked at vs. what some perceive to be trash… (Tires I Mean)

    Hobbit and Straw example.

    As you can see from the link I provided 90% of your structural build components with these designs comes from the land around you and scrap wood that can be recycled from pallets and clear cutting someones brush. The rest is straw, mud and elbow grease…

    So if your a major recycler your home can be started for very little by simply visiting the back of loading docks for pallets, farmers who have cheap or old hay to sell / barter / or trade.

    Hope that helps a little but not know where you are and what the over all plan is makes it hard to direct you on recycling needs.

    The link to my FB page has several photo albums with ideas for free and its a good place to start to form a concept you have in mind :)

    Pahana Tribe

    ‘@ Leahh

    Just some input on a UTAH level. We are relocating back to Texas after living here for 3+ years and I would recommend you take that off the list. The zoning is tough in most areas, the economy is really only good (jobs wise) in the Salt Lake area and the local click (people related, went to school together or Mormon followers) is hard to penetrate… meaning community is very hard to establish and work wise the locals favor the people they grew up with regardless of better work habits, reliability or talent.

    Just our observation but I would recommend WA if you want to stay west coast. We had been set to go there until friends / family contacted us from Texas to tell us things had improved. We did a lot of research and jobs wise, green build wise, off grid and land in the upper N.E. area is reasonable.

    Just for us E. Texas is a better fit, plus we own 3 lots in W. Texas so when they succeed we will not need passports LOL

    Hope that helps :)


    thinkoutsidethebox – thanks for the tip, ok I will drop UT…. I narrowed it down to AZ or TX. Utah land looks horrible unless you have a lot of money so I wasnt able to go there anyways. Im so tired and exhausted with all that is going on in the world, Ive got on the media train watching all the stupid things going on and my rights going down the toilet and the criminals in the white house getting away with it. Sooo draining. Anyways yes I still wanna get out of here, but unfortunately my health is not so hot either right now. Going off-grid seems to be something for strong couples and families.   I dont know what Im gonna do. I think the ideal situation is about 5 of us single moms get together and just be neighbors.


    leahh: Sorry to hear about your health issues. Question to you: WHY does it have to be “All or Nothing” in your quest for a more peaceful surroundings? And WHY does it have to be South of the Mason-Dixon Line?

    There are gorgeous, beautiful small hamlets up in Michigan/Indiana: great school systems (some of them in the top #10); state parks everywhere; clean air; good jobs; very friendly people; and a giant Lake Michigan to play in.

    You could rent a rambling 50’s Ranch House with 4 bedrooms to rent out or a Farm House on acreage and still breath clean air and watch the Milky Way from your porch. My tiny hamlet is so small, they don’t even list a population on the sign. (LOL) There are tons of homes to rent around here with plenty of land around them. Then, if you want to go more spartan, you could use these places I suggested as your launching pad to a more secluded lifestyle.

    It just seems to me that your desire to leave the rat race behind doesn’t have to be so drastic to achieve your goals. I don’t know what the fascination is with dry and dusty states with low rain fall and scorching Summer temperatures.


    ‘@Cahow….Hat off to you in regard to your comments for Leahh


    personally …after talking with many people, it seems the desire (dream) to live off grid is not as important as making sure they have a certain location and lifestyle.  I do believe that any location or state can be sustainable based on its own resources and the ingenuity of the people who desire to live there.  (Personal opinion) just seems to me that the “DREAM” or the “WANT” to live off grid, or Homestead, or live a more self sustainable life for many people, is not as strong with them as them having a long list of prerequites that don’t have much to do with living a more self sustaining lifestyle.   In short…dreamers and not doers.  I don’t mean that as a slam against anyone, as dreams are important..but “viable” action is also important.


    Well, “Thank You”, LivingitNow, for your kind words.

    Yes, Dreaming is critical to our well being as Homo Sapiens, but just laying about, day-dreaming about stuff, that spells L.O.S.E.R. and I’m not ashamed to call those folks out! Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, etc., not only dreamed about concepts and ideas but they put those dreams into action. They weren’t the idiots that we personally know that say, “I had the idea for….” while they’re sitting in their Lazy Boy recliner, doing absolutely NOTHING about persuing that dream. And I only named famous people because if I referenced “Jill Smith” as a successful dreamer, unless you could google her, there’d be no relevance.

    I find it some of the posts here so tragically sad, (especially the ones that  never come back) who want to find some place “without rules, free or super cheap fertile PRIME land, tropical climate, fruit dropping off the trees into baskets, and someone with vast experience and money to help me along the way.”  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE???? If there are TWO people in a room, there’s gonna be rules! When to eat, to fart or not fart, what time to wake up, who does what…rules are to humans what air is to humans unless you are into a Dominant/Submissive relationship.

    Allow me to paraphrase a common theme, but in a slightly different vein, to highlight the silliness (poor grammer intentional) of some of these dreamers: “Hi, I’m a Gen X/Y’er who is still living at home with my parents but have a boy/girlfriend. We want to run away together to Paris to open up a winery and sell Eco-Friendly wine. Ever since I was a kid and saw “American In Paris” and Pixar’s “Ratatouille”, I’ve been in love with  the idea of living in paris.  I’ve also tried to read “”Les Misérables”  in high school but dropped out when I got preggers and now my parents and me are raising her together. I don’t know how to speak any french and don’t know anything about france or wine (besides drinking it!!!! lol) but that shouldn’t stop me from dreaming, should it? lol Are there any other fellow dreamers out there that want to get together to move to paris and open up a place and grwo organic grapes and live the good life? I hate the rat race and pollution and all the peple on the planet and just want to go somewhere where ppl are chill and cool and know how to have a good life and from the movies it seems like Paris is the place to be. So, can someoone here teach me how to speak french and also how to set up a wine orchard and how to brew wine? And if there’s any retired billionaire that wants to be a good person of the planet and wants to fund my dreams, I’d be really greatful. I mean, I googled wine places and I only need just a million dollars to do this so I figure if a bunch of us get some money together and get someone kind and rich to give us the rest of the money, we could be off the grid and away from rules and the man! I don’t have any money right now but I figure that if I get a job or two that in a couple of years I can contribute some money. Feel free to email me at”

    See my point? Honestly, I get more laughs from some of these posts than I do from The Big Bang Theory or Prairie Home Companion.


    Oh, forgot to add, LivingitNow: if 1/2 of the folks who want to live off the grid would move UP NORTH, they’d find their Paradise. I receive daily listings for Tiny Houses/Off Grid Houses and there are offers for sale that include a small winterized home, out-buildings, on a lake, 6 acres, forest surrounding you and they sell complete for $25,000.!!!!! But, there’s so many pansies who are anti-snow and anti-cold that they’re all fighin’ and scrappin’ over the same barren land in Az. or Tx. to start from scratch. Give me a sweater and a couple of cords of wood and I’m good to go in a Winter Wonderland.


    texas and arizona because im in southern california and would like a similar weather. Arizona and texas are more conservative and better with gun rights. Arizona is also accepting gold and silver as legal tender. Where I am now it never snows, I dont know how to deal with snow.If I had a friend who can show me, maybe I would be able to do that.  Im trying to network with single moms in the same situation. seriously, if you are not a single parent, I dont think you would understand my situation. I can’t just go and leave and buy a 4 bedroom house someplace.  Im willing to live in a self-sustaining way but Im not going by myself.


    ‘@Cahow….you are welcome….but you are WAY TOO FUNNY…your Paris analogy was great. (LMAO)

    We have advertised our Homestead (even here on off-the-grid) and we have heard so many of the things you mentioned  We even offered a 15 year long term lease for FREE use of 1/2 to 1 acre of land for a living site and free use and access to the rest of the 18 acres in regards to the animal pens and garden area so people wouldn’t have to duplicate their efforts.  We only required physical labor to support the goals of the Homestead.  The complaints so far: 1.  “you mean I have to work there just to use the land?”    2.  “Do I have to get up early to work?; I like to sleep in”   3.   I don’t want to live somewhere where there are rules; that is what I trying to get away from.  4.  How come I can’t do drugs there;? is my land to use, right?”  5.  I want to live off grid but I don’t want to use a sawdust toilet.  6.  I will need a ride to town to work; is that a problem?  7.  What do you mean I can’t bring my 5-7 dogs; only 3 are Pitbulls. 8.  I won’t have to share what I have with anyone else; right?  9.  Well, I want to come but my spouse doesn’t want to; can I come and try it out while you put me up with food and shelter?  10.  You do have adequate living quarters for my wife and 3 kids …right?  11.  I just want a Hobbit Hole to hide in; I don’t want to interact with anybody.  11.  “You have too many rules”  12.  “Well, let me know when your Homestead is fully up and running and then maybe I will consider coming.  13.  I don’t have money for food; will you be able to feed me/us?  14. Does it snow there? I don’t like the cold or snow.

    That is a sampling of some of the responses.  In view of the fact they say they are looking for either off the grid or self sustaining, many of the responses are just funny. Many do not respond after being sent our INFO sheet on our Homestead.

    We don’t care though as when we started our Homestead,  we always planned to do it alone.  We are realistic enough to realize that it will be hard to find a person/family that would match how we live and who we are.  It is hard enough to do that after getting married and living in a normal life style. (LOL)

    I would argue one small point you made about rules in your post.  You implied that there are no rules in a Dom/Sub relationship; I would say that from a Sub’s point of view, there are many many rules and from the Dom’s point of view, he/she have rules to follow to make it safe and successful. (lol).  I couldn’t find anything else wrong with your logic so I took a stab at that. (LOL)

    But you are correct; there are always rules around; even when we are alone, the rules of science and physics are there (lol). I can imagine some of these dreamers trying to defy the rule of gravity. (lol)

    Although we moved from up north to Missouri, we didn’t do it because of the cold.  But, it is interesting that so many people want an off the grid lifestyle with hardly any large temperature changes.

    What we have come up with is that most “lookers” don’t have their major priority as living off the grid and be self sustaining.  If they did, the location of where they want would not be the major driving force.  I agree with you; many are day-dreamers not just dreamers.  That is a big diference. I wonder how our West would have been won if the families leaving St Louis in their wagon trains asked many of the same questions asked by the “dreamers” of today? (smile)  I guess the Native Americans would have been happier.




    What a bummer, I cant see the response I made about an hour ago.  I will respond later if it doesnt show up. But basically what Im saying is I would like to network with other like-minded single parents who want to go off-grid. If they have other places they like, I would love to hear about it but I would rather take advice from single moms who are off-grid than couples or young guys without kids. Not that you dont know better but it is a whole different situation than I think people can see. Perhaps I should start a new forum topic. Thank you all for your wonderful advice.


    Hey, leahh, out of respect for your beginning this topic, this post addresses your needs. START SMALL!!!!! and NETWORK!!!!! Do your kids belong to a child care centre? Ask other single parents if they are interested in your dream. There must be Community Gardens in your area; heck, they’re everywhere in Chicago, from poor to wealthy neighborhoods. Learn to grow crops and solict those people to come along on your desire to live off grid. Can you do it in steps? Find a large house to rent for 3-4 single parents in the city/suburbs, see how you get along, move further out and then finally be off grid. Initially, I thought you had restricted your search to single moms but I see you’ve now added single parents, which means either male or female. What happens if some of your single parents decide to “hook up” and cause fights, pettiness, or go their own way, taking 2 or more single parents with them? Will their be a security deposit they forfeit? What’s the back up plan?

    I have three grown children and 6 grandchildren. In one day, they can be laughing and tumbling for joy, only to be in Children’s Hospital by 2:00 p.m. with a 101 degree temperature! What happens to those precious babies of everyone’s if you’re really OFF the grid? Will their always be a car available? How far will the hospital be located where you still feel that you’re off grid enough?

    These are some of the realistic tough questions that must be asked and answered before one foot is stepped onto off grid living.


    ” I dont know how to deal with snow.”

    1) It snows.

    2) Kids play in snow and love it! Build forts. Build snowman. Get tuckered out. Bring in wet clothes. Sleep well.

    3) Shovel + salt/calcium chloride to melt snow. Put shovel to sidewalk. Lift up one shovelful of snow. Toss to side. Repeat.

    There you have it. That’s how to deal with snow. ;)


    And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

    Hi, LivingitNow: BAM!!! Well, you caught my inexperience in the S & M community! ~snort~ Of course there’s rules. I’m such a nob. ~ blush~

    Oh, how I feel for you with your list of what you’ve encountered!!! Honestly, doesn’t it feel good to share that? My best friend, who is my crewforeman and male, we have 2-3 time per day chats where we pour our feelings out about crap; then go home to our spouses, all the healthier for it! I’m a licensed contractor and landscape architect and over half of what you wrote, I’ve heard. Sad to say, I have a strict policy about hiring: NO WHITE PEOPLE!!!! Now, I’m as “white” as you can get: Swedish/Finnish. But, it seems that the vast majority of white people can’t/won’t do physical labor any longer!!! It’s what MADE America what it is but boy, those days are long gone, except for the tiny community of true off gridders who know what a good day’s work feels like. I get the following: 1) Why do I have to start at 7:00 a.m.? (Because it’s going to be 101 degrees today, fool!) 2) Is that sh!t? Seriously? You use THAT in gardens!? (It’s called ‘manure’, and yes!, we use it in our gardens 3) I didn’t realize that I’d get this dirty/sweaty/smelly. (Let’s see: your working in soil, mulch and manure, planting and weeding in the sun, and you didn’t think you’d get ‘dirty’???) 4) I don’t work in a) the rain; b) in the cold; c) when it’s cloudy; d) after 4:00 p.m. (Okay, see ya!)

    All year long, when the temps are 72 degrees and it’s a balmy breezy day, I get fools coming up to me: “Oh how I’ve always wanted to do your job! Do you have any openings?” I smile and tell them, “Gee, sorry, I have no openings right now…for WHITE folks!” My 17 man crew is legal Hispanic, some have been with me for over 20 years and they are the kindest, hardest working, nicest guys to spend my day with. NEVER complain. Work harder than they have to! I force them to take breaks, as they think they’re “weak” if they take too many. What happened to the Swedes, Poles, Germans, Irish, Finns, Italians, etc., that cleared the forest, built the bridges, farmed the fields, built the towns, built the rail roads, mined the orrs….what the heck happened to us? Everyone wants to be a Day Trader or a Code Builder for Games, that’s what. Clean hands, flabby bodies that they take to the gym, and bored stiff.

    If I were 40 years younger and newly married, I’d come join your way of life, LivingitNow. I’d have to had married a different man, however, as my current honey is Scottish and a townie, for sure. He can deal with rural grid living but wouldn’t live a second, off grid. ;) Missouri is a gorgeous state! I have many friends who hail from there and go back several times a year to visit ‘the folks’.

    I’ve enjoyed today’s conversations with you. You’re a nice break inbetween the batches of cookies I’m baking for church tomorrow.

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