Could you live "off the grid"?

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6,987
Location
Michigan
Thread starter
I often watch shows where people want to live off the grid in the boonies. I like the use of solar and wind power to do it. Not so keen on some water systems and sanitation solutions. As long as I could have Satellite TV and Internet it sounds intriguing. But would that be like cheating? How about you guys?
 
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6,201
Location
New England
I’d be fine but would have to live like tons of people who live in third world in close to off grid in terms of little/no electricity and easy water supply BUT own a smartphone. No interest in TV. As kid my grandparents summer place in NH mountains had a attached privy for toilet and due to elevation a nearby uphill spring fed into small water tank which in turn we ran a waterline directly to house and got decent pressure. No electricity but propane for cooking. My version of off grid!
 
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4,881
Location
NJ
I think any of us could. It's a matter of would we want to. I love electricity and running water. The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization. R.W.E.
 

Bud

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2,801
Location
Texas
Originally Posted By: Leo99
I think any of us could. It's a matter of would we want to. I love electricity and running water. The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization. R.W.E.
This
 
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10,597
Location
Nokesville, VA
Originally Posted By: ZZman
I often watch shows where people want to live off the grid in the boonies. I like the use of solar and wind power to do it. Not so keen on some water systems and sanitation solutions.
I could run both my well pump and my septic system off of solar power(I've run the well pump off a 1500W inverter already). If I cleaned up the hard water stains and you never looked outside to see the septic tank risers and the wellhead, you wouldn't know my house wasn't on public water/sewer.
 
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4,108
Location
IL/GA ,USA
I did... Not interested anymore. The most important are: clean water, some water (cleaning, occasional bath) food/preserving close to some road safety access to emergency services. Now my 2 experiences: 1. Granma's (my dad side) house: -clay built house -no electricity (too poor for that); no fridge -water from 50+ meters deep well; manual wheel chain drive... -outhouse in the "garden"; about 50 meters from the house; a joy for a 5 years old boy during the dark night; newspapers where rare so all kind of leaves for... -every meal cooked on top of cast iron oven; plenty of smoke... -some thicks from raising animals.. 2. 2 summer guarding and caring 2ha. of watermelon: -makeshift tent/cube -carry clean water from 7 km, 20 L at a time; me fit -sleep on the ground -other water was in the groove, "next door". -mices galore (former wheat culture) -no power, so no fridge/tv/radio; battery powered radio, well had to save the batteries -no gas; cook with makeshift grill -only eat what you can carry; extra bonus only when watermelons ripe -potty was away from the "tent" or a whole dig in the groove "next door" -windy/humid/cold -chasing away at night the many guys wanting a free watermelon (talk about looking over your shoulder while passing trough that village during the day) -plenty of blisters, sometime with blood, couple heat exhaustion, sun burned (cause no shirt no hat to "toughen up") , no water 'till I finished whatever task to "toughen up" Instead I would just go minimal in a quiet neighborhood/suburb close to a big town with good hospital/other services. Do the "grumpy neighbor" routine couple times and nobody would want to be close to you...
 
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2,140
Location
Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: brianl703
Originally Posted By: ZZman
I often watch shows where people want to live off the grid in the boonies. I like the use of solar and wind power to do it. Not so keen on some water systems and sanitation solutions.
I could run both my well pump and my septic system off of solar power(I've run the well pump off a 1500W inverter already). If I cleaned up the hard water stains and you never looked outside to see the septic tank risers and the wellhead, you wouldn't know my house wasn't on public water/sewer.
Exactly, with the right setup and initial investment, you could easily live day to day as you do on the grid (also assuming you live in an appropriate locale). Off the grid just means disconnected electrical utility, and arguably disconnected from all public utilities. It doesn't mean that you disconnect from society/news/internet.
 
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1,895
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Somewhere in time
Originally Posted By: ZZman
As long as I could have Satellite TV and Internet it sounds intriguing. But would that be like cheating? How about you guys?
Isn't this kinda like saying 'As long as I can have apple pie and marshmallows, I can absolutely live sugar free!'.
 
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6,237
Location
Kalifornia Kollective
I think the ideal is to spread out enough that each of us could have 1~2 acres within 1 hour of a town or small city ... Rural electric if available, or solar/batteries/inverter/generator and good well. Septic system laid out well away from the home. Good perc. That would make it a mostly "semi-closed" loop. Water up and through the system and back into the ground. Some lost to irrigation, etc. Heat from the "system" captured as much as possible (heat exchanger on the genny, etc.) for cold foul days w/o enough sunlight ... Food bought in and collected locally, neighbor sharing. TV/I'Net via satellite or cable. In the ideal world we'd all have fiber optic to the door. Emergency services in the town with a decent Hosp within the one hours radius. Live as you want. Mind your pollution. Don't build and fire cannons at your neighbors. Share big resources like a bull-dozer, etc. Share your kitchen garden with neighbors, etc. Not "off the grid", just on the fringe - oh, that's how we live now ... smile
 
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14,740
Location
Illinois
I the mid to late 50s my family lived off the grid for 2 years. We lived in southern Missouri near Summersville. We lived in the country and had electricy but no running water. Just a 20 ft cistern. We had a wood stove for heat, and no AC, but a very nice outhouse.
 
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3,235
Location
Phoenix, Arizona - USA
I don't need water or power. Just this ashtray... And this paddle game. - The ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need... And this remote control. - The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need... And these matches. - The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control, and the paddle ball... And this lamp.
 

4WD

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13,531
Location
Texas
Originally Posted By: ZZman
I often watch shows where people want to live off the grid in the boonies. I like the use of solar and wind power to do it. Not so keen on some water systems and sanitation solutions. As long as I could have Satellite TV and Internet it sounds intriguing. But would that be like cheating? How about you guys?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iJISjgdiB2o
 

Al

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18,974
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Depends on the restraints. If there were no outside food source I have food for several months. I am independent as far as heat and water (I have a pool). But if there were no grocery stores.....we are all done..gangs of looters and people willing to kill to take your stuff. Other than that I could go longer than 90% of folks.
 
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Al

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18,974
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Depends on the restraints. If there were no outside food source I am independent as far as heat and water (I have a pool). But if there were no grocery stores.....we are all done..gangs of looters and people willing to kill to take your stuff. Other than that I could go longer than 90% of folks.
 
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4,838
Location
Central Texas
Find someone down here, in this age & times, living in hot & humid Tx, very close to the Gulf, with no air conditioning. No doubt people used to do it, but then gas was 15 cents/gallon. I guarantee very, very few would put up without it today. I have solar hot water. Works great in an all electric neighborhood. Makes sense here. Neither solar nor wind is dense enough though to run A/C day & night given the load & start-up current required to be both practical and cost effective. You could easily do it living on a sailboat, even have A/C, however. Even in the Gulf. Living at elevation, up North, in the mountains is far different than the flat, hot, humid South close to the Gulf.
Quote:
As long as I could have Satellite TV and Internet it sounds intriguing
???? LOL....
 
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17,302
Location
OH
Anyone could live off the grid and just a hundred years back many did. The question is whether anyone would really want to. Running water, mains electricity and even trash pickup are just too nice to abandon without good reason. Some live off the grid because they can't pay their bills due to job loss and impoverishment. They survive without the niceties that most of us depend upon. I've seen some people in that situation and they got by even in our long and cold winters. For me and my wife, no thanks.
 
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28,129
Location
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
For a time, as a kid, we had no power or anything at the farm, though I was far too young to be participating much in the gathering of water the hard way, or any such thing. We went without a phone until around the mid 1980s. But, we also had the house in the city, which certainly wasn't off the grid. In pockets of this province, there are a number of people doing it still, with no telephone, electricity, or natural gas. I even knew one fellow who ran a small sawmill without electricity.
 
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