My Off Grid Lifestyle
As I sit at my kitchen table looking through the window at the snow falling and covering the land with white, I can hear a man on my radio talking about rolling black-outs in different parts of the country, and how they are reducing the pressure in the natural gas lines in some cities, and I feel very fortunate that and I have chosen this off grid lifestyle that I chose several years ago.
I am unaffected by electrical blackouts, or low pressure in the gas lines, or most anything else. I usually am not even aware of such things unless I happen to have the radio on. My power and heat are not controlled by some outside source. This is only one of the benefits of living offgrid.
My heart goes out to those folks that are affected. I know that many have electric heat and are living in a cold house, hoping the food in their refrigerator doesn’t spoil, and trying to keep themselves and their children warm, healthy, and fed.
It was just such a concern that led me to make the decision to provide for myself, knowing that anything I provide for myself is not subject to outages or shortages that are beyond my control, or rising prices with which my fixed income can not keep up.
When I first decided that I wanted to live in the wooded mountains, I realized that I wanted to be far enough away from roads that I wouldn’t be bothered by people driving around site-seeing. This also meant that I would be far from easy access to public utilities. Off grid was the only way I could go. I started planning and seeking out alternatives to the conveniences provided by the public utilities.
What I discovered was that many of the things provided by the public utilities could be provided (with a little bit of ingenuity) by inexpensive sources.
I am not purist about it, so I wanted to have emergency back ups in place in case the sun didn’t shine for several days (a common occurrence in wintertime Oklahoma), or my system had a malfunction. For this reason, I have a back up generator and also propane for convenience.
At this time, I have two separate solar systems, propane refrigerators and kitchen cook stove. I have clear creek water in a gravity flow system which I use for household water (showers, washing, & etc.) and a well for drinking water which I draw with a well bucket and rope. I heat my home with wood (of which I have a plentiful supply).
All of the equipment I use to support my off grid lifestyle can be acquired inexpensively with the exception of the well which was a major cash expense, and the buildings which I purchased pre-fab and had delivered on site. I will be writing more about the equipment I’ve had to purchase, make myself, or scrounge as time allows.
I will also write some reviews of the equipment I’ve used and the pro’s and con’s that led to my choices, some of which were not the best choices I could have made. Perhaps you can profit from my mistakes, some of which were expensive. Going off grid is something anyone can do and you will discover it is in the long run much more satisfying and cheaper than a grid-tied existence.