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March 26, 2012 at 4:12 am #37054
Hello everyone, I’m a 22 year old youngin that is very much interested in off-grid living. Mainly because i don’t trust the way the country is headed and i don’t want to be anywhere urban. I’m not completely new to woodland survival although i live in a city. My dad’s side are the very sterotype of southerners and throughout childhood i have picked up fishing, hunting, skinning, and basic woodland survival skills. I also have spent a decent amount of time learning about alternate energy use (i plan on having internet at least) and basics about other resources. I’m just new and inexperienced in setting up. I understand this whole process and lifestyle change is not instantanious and will be a long process, I’m just hoping for advice on a few things such as locations (still hoping to stay in Colorado, this is my home) and how to acieve such a lifestyle on such a low budget. I’m not in school, but i plan to eventually, so as of now my experience is in cooking and as been since i was 18. So any and all advice would be much appreciated. Guess i’m just looking for a place to start, all the research in the world and i can never decide where to start at.
Thank you.March 26, 2012 at 5:13 am #42499
The way you start is by raising some money, then finding a cheap piece of property that fits your needs and living on it.
I’m in step 2 of the process right now.
Your set up seems like it might be similar to mine, because I also just want the very basics (including internet access).
So in our case we only need minimal electrical systems and a way to get a good internet connection. I’m thinking that an old sat dish will make a great long range WiFi antenna. Then you’ll either have to make a connection in town, or make a deal with a friend to use their wireless router.
The biggest factor in what you should do will always be what it is that you want out of life. If you are not 100% sure of what you want out of life, I’d say don’t waste your time and money until you are 100% sure. Once you are sure what you want out of life, it makes it pretty clear what it is that you should be doingMarch 26, 2012 at 6:01 am #42500
I want peace of mind. I’m tired of working day in and day out with nothing to show for it. I’m not in any sort of debt as of yet, ive managed to stay away from that. I’m a pretty simple person. I like my solitude, but i also want to be close enough by for friends and family to come visit whenever. I highly believe in building something for yourself and self effiency. Pretty much what i’m looking for ha. If i can have a place that i built with my own hands that’s out of the way, a place where i can step onto my porch with a rifle and shoot a target without law enforcement coming to arrest me, something like that. I just want to live a simple life, a place where i can raise a family one day and keep them away from the hustle and bustle of a city. I have always wanted to go off grid, i just never really had the finances to do so. Cooks don’t make very much and most of my income disappears with either rent or gas for my jeep. ha. i Barely have an income that i can save.March 26, 2012 at 6:11 am #42501
Well, it seems that we have a lot in common. I have the same basic situation that you do, except one difference.
I did what I had to do to get a higher paying I.T. job. It was a gigantic sacrifice, and has cost me my entire life for the last 2.5 years. But I think that it was worth it.
If you don’t want to go that route, find ways to reduce your cost of living. If you pay rent, consider buying some cheap land instead. Yeah, you might have to live in a tent for a while, but at least you’ll be building equity.
Another thing that I did that helped a lot (not always possible, but it was for me) was that I got rid of my car and drove a moped instead. There isn’t much fun about it, but the bottom line is that it is almost free transportation.
These are a few of the types of things that you can do to leverage what little income you do have, so that you can use it to make your dreams come true in the future. Always be on the look out for new ways to live below your means.March 26, 2012 at 6:22 am #42502
Well i actually got screwed financially recently and now that my lease is up i will be moving into my mother’s house for a lil bit. As sad as that is to say, it gives me a chance to save up for a lil bit. As for transportation, i have also thought of getting a moped, mainly for gas mileage. Also, ive been planning on going to school and getting at least a nursing degree to help bump up income. Just as of right now, i got to start from scratch. No saved income (recent legal matters) so its a matter of planning for me. As for cheap land, does such a thing exsist? ha.March 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm #42504
Cheap land does exist, if you are willing to live in rough circumstances.
I saw 20 acres in Elko, NV a while back for $8k. Even working at McDonald’s… you could save up and buy that in 6 months or so.
I see land up in Utah, Wyoming, Montana all the time that is dirt cheap (which is fitting, because it is nothing but dirt)!
If you are serious about going off grid, I wouldn’t waste this opportunity on Nursing school. Go get 2 or 3 jobs. Sacrifice the next 6 months / year of your life to be able to buy complete freedom.
Once you own your own land you will be financially free. Then you can do things like go to nursing school with no worries. You’ll always have a home to come back to and you’ll never have to pay rent ever again.
If you go to nursing school now, here is what will likely happen:
You’ll get a higher paying job as a nurse. You’ll make more money, then you’ll be expected to get your own place to live. Now you are talking about an apartment eating up all of that extra money that you are now making in rent. All in all you won’t really be any better off… you’ll just look better on paper.
However, consider how awesome it would be if you were a nurse living on your own land with almost no expense. You’d get to keep every dime, and live like a king
Property = Freedom
I’d recommend not wasting this opportunity to get some.March 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm #42505
Hakachukai, that makes a lot of a sense. I wouldn’t mind taking on a couple of jobs (have done that before). How rough of circumstances are we talking about? I was hoping to find a place here in Colorado that was decently wooded and near one of the rivers or lakes in the Rockies, Wyoming might be do-able though, that’s not too far North from where i’m at. I was just hoping for some sort of woodland/ waterfront place that i can have a boat/fish in. That I know isn’t going to be too cheap.
Also, ive been doing a little bit of researching and was thinking of starting with one of the plans from http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/plans/
And possible building a greenhouse next to it to sustain me for the time being. I just need to find some resources on home building as my knowledge in that department is quite limited. Figure its time to take a trip to the library. Ha.
Also, as for finding land, do you know of any good sources? I’ve been looking all over google and i cant seem to find a decent land selling site. Any ideas would be much appreciated.March 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm #42506
http://www.landwatch.com is what I use. I’ve found several nice properties using that site.
This is my current plan for housing:
10x10x40ft shipping container set on level ground.
Then I’ll bury it with a mountain to dirt to insulate it, get the Geo thermal advantage, protect it from the elements, and also make it less ugly.
Then I’ll plant grass and stuff in the mountain so that nature will hold it all together.
They call that a hobbit house (usually).
The reason I’m doing a hobbit house is because you run into all kind of problems with ground water if you bury it in the ground.
So this is the absolute cheapest way that I can figure out to build a house that has everything that you need (indestructible, and warm). It will be dark inside, but hey… you can deal with it for a while.
Bottom line is that this house can be put on your property and give you a reliable warm place to live for about $2k.
The things that you’ll run into that far north that will be harsh are the winters. Weather so cold that it will literally kill you, lots of snow and ice.
Snow covers solar panels, so don’t forget to plan for that.
Make sure that you have a good wood stove,and plenty of firewood.
If things go bad, all you need is that wood stove, and food to survive pretty comfortably (yeah you’ll be bored with no electricity, but you’ll be warm and fed). It’ll be freezing cold outside… so there is your natural refrigerator.
I absolutely hate cold weather, so I’m looking to go as far South as possible.March 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm #42507
I wouldn’t even consider looking into one of those houses that you mentioned above. The plans alone for some of them cost in the range of $500!
I’ve seen these things on tv documentaries before and here that they cost around $50k to build! That is straight insanity!
You can build a shipping container house for around $2k.
There are also hay bail houses, log cabins, geo-domes, and all kind of other alternatives that you can build on the cheap using stuff that is already around you anyway.
I’ve even considered getting an old school bus, and turning it into a mobile home.March 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm #42510
your choice of possible houses are good except for the school bus. Too many problems for energy conservation and structural.March 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm #42511
Yeah, I was never that big on the school bus idea. I’d only do that if I lived in a warm climate and needed to be highly mobile for some reason. Otherwise it just wouldn’t make any sense.March 27, 2012 at 1:31 am #42512
I didn’t even think of that! That’s a splendid idea. Although where does one get a cargo container?March 27, 2012 at 3:41 am #42513
Just look around. I saw them here in NC literally on the side of the interstate. $2k delivered.March 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm #42514
I know i sound like i want you to give me all the answers, in a way kinda do, ha, but i am looking through things. Havent located any realy around my area, but yeah i saw some for delivery for around 2500$. That’s such a wonderful idea, a hobbit home. I figure you just cut some holes out for say, windows, and the chimney for your wood burning appliances? Such as stove and fireplace? Also i assume you can decorate the interior pretty nicely that no one would suspect it of being a cargo container simply by walking in. Figure you’d have to build an out house of some sort, unless you can manage to get a septic going with it correct? Also, as for burying it, would it be wiser to just dig up the dirt on your land, or rent a dumb truck and pick it up from somewhere else so you dont have huge gouges on your land from where you dug it up.
And i just though of it, but, hypathetically when it rains and it seeps through the ground and hits the buried container, its not going to rust away and fall apart on me over time is it? or will there be some serious maintenance involved? Thanks.
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