Four Letters Re: The Off-Grid Dream

The guys over at TSLRF just mentioned: ” There is a free service on called LandBuddy that connects you with people who are looking to live off grid, people who are currently living off grid and people who want to help others live off grid.” That sounds useful, for J.S.L.’s situation. Here is a link to the full post. – Hector R.


I’m here in your home of Pennsylvania, and wish you well. Although I wish I had some Arizona property as well, I do not. I have some property away from my home location that gives me some hope, should things become unsuitable for normal living.

I also am involved in alternative energy for a living, and would recommend that you do a full calculation of getting a standard hookup before putting any money down on the alternatives. We have not become fully de-regulated here yet, but if you follow Maryland’s de-reg, you will understand the 100% jump that may occur. At the current time, the payback is still 20 years on the equipment, based on my kwh costs and extrapolating the cost expansion. As this develops, I’m looking at the same alternatives as you.

If I were in your situation, I would be looking at all non required costs, for example television, phone, heat (if you have firewood), cooling, etc.
As always, any spousal input is sometimes a holdback on putting the tv (dish) on the not required list. I’m quite familiar with this situation.

On the garden, keep the chin up, read as much as possible online, and pray for rain. We had about two months of no rain up here, but had public water backup to keep the garden alive. The last week has drowned us in make-up rain. (I’m not overly religious, but I did pray for some rain to bring us back from the bad situation, and it appears to be provided.)

If things get too frail, come back to Pennsylvania, and give it another try. We are making it here, even with the Associated Press’s daily bad news. Take care, – W.H.


Unless you have money to burn, one should not expect to set up an off the grid home and have all the conveniences of a on the grid home.

First off, for one person a 300 to 500 square foot structure is more than adequate. 2,100 square foot home is too big for even a six person family. For initial cost savings, use a generator for surge electricity needs, otherwise use a small solar system to supply power for LED lighting and solid state electronics. Also use natural lighting (skylights) and oil lamps to keep set up costs down. You can always expand the solar and wind system as funds are available. Use a solar clothes dryer (clothes line) and a manuals washing machine (tub and ringer) and dishwasher (sink, scrub brush and hands).

I think starting off with an old motor home is a good idea and I would suggest reading Thoreau’s book “Walden; or, Life in the Woods” to get a perspective on a personal declaration of independence, simple living in natural surroundings and for self reliance.


Mr.. Rawles:
J.S.L. should be able to sell his house to other preppers stuck in New York City and its’ suburbs. His site is a lot less populated than ours. I would love a piece of property in Pennsylvania. It is all about perspective. His grass is a lot greener than our concrete jungle. He needs to place an ad in New York City area Craigslist or something similar. Also the people with money in this area have plenty to burn. Hard to believe but true. Although his home may not be an ideal site it is still a better bug out site for someone living in an apartment in New York City. Peace, – Celia