Living Off the Grid

If you’re looking at some of the more out of the way lots that we offer, you may be one of the increasing number of individuals who enjoy camping or living in rural settings, away from the hustle and bustle of urban areas and inquisitive neighbors and you’re not alone.

More and more people are choosing to live Off The Grid in smaller spaces in more out of the way places, the kinds of lots that are offered here at stakethisland.com

As you ponder rural life, you’ll need to consider 4 things:

If you haven’t started thinking about these yet, you have a bit of homework ahead of you.

Let’s look at each of these topics and explore the options you can consider.

HOUSING

When you first consider a rural area, camping there either with a tent or a small pop-up or hard shell trailer would be prudent. Spend a weekend there and experience the place from sunrise to sunset and at nights.

If the place passes muster and you decide to buy, you now will have to consider longer term housing options. Here your budget and life style play a large role in your options and there are many to chose from.

If you’re budget is limited you may have to plan things out in phases to get to the type of housing you want.

The cheapest and quickest way to move onto your undeveloped property is with a trailer. The size of the trailer will depend on how many will be living there and the space required for each to have their own private space.

No matter what type of housing you chose, remember there’s lot be said for everyone having their own private space where they can retreat to, during times of stress, or just to veg out. The mental health of everyone will be greatly improved by everyone having their own private space.

For some a trailer will be fine as permanent housing, for others the more traditional layout of a house is more appealing. Here your budget plays a significant role.

If money is no object, by all means go ahead and build an envious log cabin, or an energy efficient straw house that provides the space and comfort you desire.

However often moving to more out of the way places also implies a bit of downsizing living in a smaller and less maintenance demanding place.

Some common options are: a site built home, a  modular home, a Katrina Cottage or a Tiny House.

Each of these fall into a different range of affordability and comfort. Pick what your eventual housing goal is and figure out the most practical way to get there based on your situation.

As you ponder your housing strategy, remember it ties in with your, water, sewage and electricity strategy which we’ll cover next.

WATER

When you buy undeveloped land buy at least an acre, as that is the minimum required in many counties to be allowed to dig a well. Without nearby city water, you’re going to be relying on your own sources of water and digging a well is one of your primary options.

Wells are not cheap and their depth depends on the ground water levels and underground aquifers in your area. You might want to check with locals early on, to see what is known about water sources in the area where you property is located.

An option other than digging a well is to get a large water storage tank. But first check that there are water delivery services, that can deliver 1,000 gallons of water at a time. Often these services will charge a minimum fee, which is the delivery of $1,000 gallons, whether you use the full 1,000 gallons or not.

Thus a 2,000 gallon tank costing a bit over $1,000 would be your best bet. Your initial fill could be 2,000 gallons to fill the tank, but subsequent fills would only be scheduled when thee tank is less than half full you’re drawing down the second 1,000 gallons. Thus you would always be able to accept a full 1,000 gallon refill.

Paste:     plastic outdoor 2000 gallon water tank      into www.google.com to see the latest tank models and prices.

If harvesting and conserving water in the wilds is a hobby of yours by all means explore other options that may interest you and that are appropriate for the area that you live in.

WASTE/SEWAGE

A byproduct of living is the creation of waste and sewage.

Toilet effluents are referred to as black water, water from cleaning primarily from kitchen and bathroom sinks and baths are considered grey water, food wastes with some exceptions are suitable for composting and miscellaneous trash are categorized as recyclable and non-recyclable waste.

Luckily there are now various options for composting toilets.

These can simplify your dealing with black-water.

Other options are holding tanks that need to be pumped periodically or a leach field. The later is somewhat unlikely as a leach field requires an ample water supply to flush effluents into a leach field which dissipates the waste water.

Creating a composter is not difficult but training yourself to use it and maintain it on a regular basis will take some getting used to.

As for recyclable and non-recyclable trash, get ready to make runs to the dump.  You wouldn’t want to dump it in your own backyard.

Dealing with waste/sewage will be a challenging aspect of your rural life style, so plan on spending a considerable amount of time and effort in developing and implementing a viable plan.

ELECTRICITY

We titled this article “Living off the Grid”, when in fact “Living Away from Modern Infrastructure” would have been equally suitable.

Unless you are determined to live a primitive life style, access to electricity is a must. From seeing and working at night, to staying in touch and getting things done, electricity plays a key role in all of these.

Your options here are: solar power, wind power, geo-thermal powerfuel cells and various other less common methods.

Generators and batteries are a required back-up and short time option when your normal electric supply is down.  But don’t consider these as your primary sources of electricity.

If electricity goes down during the night consider going sleep early, if it happens during the day plan on spending your waking hours coming up with a fix for the problem.

SUMMARY

This article was intended to make you aware of the challenges you face in living off the beaten path. In most cases we’ve given you enough insight to get you started thinking, along with some pointers to more information.

By no means are we trying to dissuade you from pursuing your dreams, but on the other hand we want to make you fully aware of the challenges that your dreams may represent.

-Pete