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Guest Post: Going Off Grid - Montana Style!

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Brandon Smith from Alt-Market

Going Off Grid - Montana Style!

The concept of off-grid living is often encumbered by numerous false assumptions and associations.  Many think that to delve into the lifestyle you must be either a grizzled anti-social mountain man, a pompous starry-eyed hippie, or, a criminal on the lam.  The spectrum of characterizations range from “kooky” bunker building militia members to spoiled Al Gore worshipping vegan hipsters out to prove they are better than everyone else by reducing their “carbon footprint”.  The point is, for the average television-fed American, the idea of off-grid life automatically conjures visions of the extreme. 

I believe this reaction is due in large part to our society’s obsession with feeling “connected”.  Ever challenge a friend or family member to go without touching their cell phone for a day?  Ever ask them to shut off their TV and see if they can find other ways to occupy themselves?  Ever ask them to leave modern conveniences behind, if only for a weekend, to take part in some simple camping?  I can say that in my own experience, nine out of ten people will stare at you pale faced like you just kicked them square in the loins.  For them, leaving behind the buzz of our make-believe culture is the same as stepping outside of time, or abandoning one’s very identity.  The whole suggestion is alien.

Luckily, here in Montana, I’ve encountered far hardier souls than in most other places, and the pursuit of an existence disconnected from dependence on the system is not treated as quite so outlandish.  In fact, many here have taken the leap into self-sufficiency and gone 100% off-grid.  I was lucky enough to meet one of these pioneers recently, and take a tour of his farm, but what interested me most about him were his origins, which were rooted about as far away from his current environment as you can get…

Rich Scheben was once a highly respected sales associate in the world of big-pharma, who had spent much of his life in the urban landscape of New York.  He received accolades for his performance working within titanic companies like Merck and Glaxo, but his dream had always been to pursue a career in forestry.  Despite having a degree in the field as well as a long history participating in wilderness sports, he soon discovered that affirmative action quotas within state and federal institutions were stringent.  His applications were passed up time and again while others with little to no experience or training were hired immediately because of their politically designated victim-status.  The corporate world too was rife with people who climbed upwards on the efforts of more worthy employees, or who were given positions of prominence based on their willingness to schmooze with management, rather than work hard. 

Finally, when Rich noticed troubling health difficulties creeping up on him, a fateful doctor’s visit revealed severe damage in his spinal column.  The company immediately found out, and sidelined him.

These circumstances led Rich not only to question the structure and meaning of his efforts within the circus-like corporate framework, but to also question the structure and meaning of modern America.  Today, he is an avid supporter of the Liberty Movement, a devout Constitutionalist, decidedly anti-corporate oligarchy, and even anti-big pharma.  His day-to-day financial existence is built upon savings, sound money, and living below his means.  His health habits have taken a 180 degree turn, and he is now subsisting on largely organic and home grown diet.  Everything has changed.

Rich Scheben holding a bull trout caught in his backyard

In a beautiful corner of Northwest Montana, Mr. Scheben found a sizable plot of land to begin his off-grid adventure.  He recommends varied terrain, rather than flat.  The more rough the terrain, the more resources are generally available, and the more privacy you are usually afforded.  With hills, valleys, gorges, and even a river, Scheben has an incredible array of land types at his disposal.

The main cabin is a straightforward structure without a lot of the elaborate design often seen in average suburban McMansions.  Electricity is provided by a small solar array and a minimal battery bank.  I have always said that it does not take much in terms of solar power in order to adequately supply an off-grid retreat or farm, and Rich’s system is a perfect example.  With only four deep-cycle batteries charging on a minimal array, Rich is able to fulfill all his electricity needs.      

The cabin itself is heated by a single wood stove, which is fueled by cords of wood from timber growing on Scheben’s land.  Water is supplied by a well and pump, which is then hoisted to a large tank on the second floor.  The tank uses gravity to feed the faucets on the first floor below.  Bathroom cleaning is handled in a number of ways.  Hot showers can be had using a solar shower filled and placed near the wood stove to warm.  Water can be heated and poured into the bathtub.  Relieving one’s self is handled in a good old fashioned out-house.

Scheben's wood stove, which adequately heats his entire cabin

Though Rich still stocks bulk foods from town, his farm is completely capable of providing enough food that he would never have to leave if he so desired.  His garden area is not immense, and can easily be worked by hand.  In fact, it does not take much space at all to grow more than enough produce for a family if needed, and Scheben’s lifestyle proves that if every landowner used a corner of his yard for a garden, centralized farming and food production would disappear.  Livestock rounds out the food necessities of Schebens farm, including chickens for meat and eggs, goats for milk and cheese, turkeys, etc.  With land surrounded by Montana wilderness, wild game is abundant, and there is little to no chance of Scheben ever going hungry.

Scheben's homemade greenhouse with bathtub for summer bathing

Wild elk roaming through Scheben's property

One issue that is constantly raised when discussing Off-Grid living is that of cost.  The problem is that so many people only consider the initial expenditures involved when diving into this new life, but never take into account the extreme SAVINGS involved after they have settled in.  Scheben’s daily costs are next to nothing.  His land provides nearly every essential imaginable, and the financial drain after setting up shop is minute in comparison to the average suburbanite.  This is what preppers in the Liberty Movement need to understand when uncertain about the Off-Grid strategy.  Ultimately, it is about providing for yourself for next to nothing what you once had to pay out the nose for!

Going off-grid also does not necessarily mean abandoning technology, and I was glad to see that Scheben felt the same way.  He uses LED’s, not hurricane lanterns.  He surfs the internet and keeps up with news events, instead of isolating himself in the backwoods from the concerns of the world.  He rides ATV’s back and forth across his land, not horses (though horses are great if you can keep them).  There is a serious misconception out there that going off-grid or living through a collapse will automatically necessitate a return to a pre-industrial 18th century type of existence.  This is simply not so.  The technological advances of today should be mixed and melded with the agricultural skills of yesterday.  Neither should be hastily cast aside if we are to find balance once again in our culture.

In light of our current chaotic economic situation, as well as the potential for social breakdown, energy crisis, hyperinflation, freight disruption, and global war, the off-grid life is not just a hobby, but a valuable form of insurance.  There may come a day when, whether we like it or not, we will all be forced to survive off-grid.  Some will be prepared with the expertise required to make it work.  Some will have at least a practical understanding of the methods and philosophies that drive decentralized and independent living.  Others will not. 

Frankly, if a former New York big-pharma salesman like Rich Scheben is able to wake up to the social catastrophe looming in our country’s future, and the extraordinary significance inherent in off-grid knowledge, then anyone can, and the dismissive excuses I hear so often from those who can’t wrap their heads around the importance of this step in the realm of survival, now tend to ring lazy and hollow…

 

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Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:14 | 2159426 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

Oh yeah, one other thing: I have four kids and a job in the city and I have a net worth around a million bucks, so I'm not rich or independent enough to get off the grid. Been dreaming about it for years.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:19 | 2159452 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

I really don't know what "net worth" means anymore.

 

You can live high off the hog in a more democratic country, like Nicaragua, for $1,000-$1,500/month.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:44 | 2159567 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

hedgeless_horseman's wealth index:

Net Worth / Average # of Hours Worked per Week

I am right around 30,000.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:26 | 2159920 Matt
Matt's picture

Sweet, by this measure, I currently have infinite wealth! Or imaginary wealth. or undefined wealth. something like that.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:33 | 2159950 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

With one dollar and no work, I'm wealthier it would seem.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:37 | 2160297 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

A net worth of $1.00 is higher than many Americans'.  Alas, there is no division by zero.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:03 | 2159592 Rubbish
Rubbish's picture

I lived in the ozarks on a lake, 6 acres in an rv for a year, had it all, elect., phone, internet, truck, fuel, propane, insurance and taxes. Brought in my own water in 55gal. jugs and used a porta potty company to pump me out twice a month. $600 a month.

I'll be going back soon. You can't even imagine what it does to health and stress levels, its like a moon base with booze and babes.

Property taxes are $75 a year, and this is commercial C-3

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 23:45 | 2160513 delacroix
delacroix's picture

 why not purify the lake water, and put in a septic system?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:52 | 2159602 blu
blu's picture

I'm worth about $100K (at best) and I can take my family of 4 off the grid in a New York minute.

It's not about the money. It's not about getting away for it all. It's about the willingness to do with less.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:51 | 2159797 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

Define less!  I have less stress, fewer interruptions, less "drama", less pollution, less health trouble, much much less bills...is that what you mean?

Or do you mean less drooling in front of some artificial entertainment because you lack an imaginaition with which to entertain yourself? 

I mean, I have plenty of booze, broads, and blow, if I want them, usually I don't - had enough already and it's a distraction from more lasting kinds of fun.

 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:11 | 2159862 blu
blu's picture

Less fun, since you define it that way. A whole lot less, in fact. In fact, virtually none fun at all.

All the other less will show up in their own appointed time. We only need survive long enough to greet them.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:18 | 2160235 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Can I come over ???

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:13 | 2159682 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

You are worth a million bucks and you can't find an RV and park it in the desert?  Or better yet, buy two RV's and a plot of land and charge someone else to live in the other RV?  People do this type of thing all the time, on far less.  People I went to high school with (who never graduated and have never worked anything other than min. wage jobs) are off-grid and loving it.

In fact, it is often the people with nothing left to lose who make the choice to go for it, and then they wish they had done it sooner.  Those with money who have become dependent on a lifestyle they refuse to give up, on the other hand, just continue to dream about it.

You, sir, are just full of excuses.  

You are rich AND independent enough to get off the grid.  You just don't have the balls. IMHO.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:19 | 2159704 DionysusDevotee
DionysusDevotee's picture

You should meet my neighbors who live off grid in california.  They're doing it on a hell of a lot less than that.

 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:24 | 2159914 oddjob
Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:31 | 2159945 Matt
Matt's picture

only $700K! wow! and the seller is motivated! That means he'll probably take $650K! Too bad this'll start a bidding war and go $1 million plus. Or else no one will buy it and it will sit on the market for quite some time, one or the other, there is no room for mediocre in the EXTREME West Coast Real Estate market.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:15 | 2159427 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Sadly we can never truly be off the grid because we have to property taxes, which makes us at best feudal slaves.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:18 | 2159446 monoloco
monoloco's picture

We're living off the grid in Mexico, property taxes are only $50 a year and we don't have to worry about heating the house.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:53 | 2159607 tmosley
tmosley's picture

How's life in Mexico?  My mother is intersted in retiring somewhere abroad, and it is on her list for research.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:23 | 2159907 trav7777
trav7777's picture

be a good son and go scout properties for her in juarez

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:33 | 2159952 tmosley
tmosley's picture

"One area is violent, therefore all areas are violent."

So sayth the mighty Trav.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 21:50 | 2160154 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

IIRC, Gringos are not allowed to own land in Mexico.  But the Mexicans will happily sell you the land before legally stealing it back from you.  In other countries, the developer sends squatters to occupy the land.  He will be very apologetic and offer to buy back the occupied land for a fraction of your purchase price.  Then he will pay the local cops a small fee to go beat up the squatters, and presto!  He can resell the land to another wealthy American at full price.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:18 | 2160233 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Good point.  I had forgotten about that rule.

Thanks.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 23:21 | 2160416 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

When doing a foreign bug-out for a global Mad Max clusterfuck, it is best to choose a country where corruption is low and the locals don't have too many reasons to hate Americans.  These criteria narrow the list considerably.  Narrow it further by wanting a country that has a food surplus and is in the southern hemisphere (in case WWIII goes nuclear).  I'm in New Zealand.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 23:27 | 2160459 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture

You can't buy coastal property, it has to be more than 50 miles from coast. I have a house in Mexico (small town) and I feel very safe there never any problems.

Stay away from the coast and border towns and you'll be fine.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 23:52 | 2160532 delacroix
delacroix's picture

that's only within 100 kilometers from a border     www.blueroadrunner.com/ownprop.htm

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 11:14 | 2161726 monoloco
monoloco's picture

We are in Southern Baja, economy's good, very little violence , perfect weather, good fishing, cheap farmland.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:27 | 2159929 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

I  appreciate you don't have to worry about heating the house, but don't you worry about the occasional downpour of hot lead? I hear it comes fast & furious on occasion.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:25 | 2160259 Matt
Matt's picture

What is a reasonably safe area to be in Mexico? Puebla?

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 03:33 | 2160841 azusgm
azusgm's picture

Oaxaca. A little more expensive, but a wonderful place.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:28 | 2159483 Rubbish
Rubbish's picture

Thats why you do this but with an RV, it doesn't raise your taxes. Land only tax is minimal. You can retro any RV on your plot to get the same same.

 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:20 | 2159706 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

There are still many places you can park an RV for free. 

Also, OTHER people who are stuck with property taxes are often willing to rent you a section of their land at a low cost.  Often, for free, if they want someone to keep an eye on things for them when they are away.

We can never be truly off-grid because there are other people on this planet and we will be forced at some point, to interact with them.  And, ultimately, the U.S. gov't can come to Northwest Montana and round up anyone they like for indefinite detention.  You are only off-grid as long as they allow it.

In the meantime, there are realistic options available for ANYONE who is willing to make the change in lifestyle.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:24 | 2159722 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

"“In Passing” by Sterling Hayden, who lived 1916-1986.


 

To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea- ‘cruising’ it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.”I’ve always wanted to go to the South Seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is NOT to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous disciplines of “security.” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine-and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need–really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat, and shelter, six feet to lie down in–and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all in the material sense. And we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.The years thunder by. The dreams of  youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

by Sterling Hayden, sailor extraordinaire."

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:23 | 2159912 trav7777
trav7777's picture

then who feeds my fuckin kids?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:34 | 2159954 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Your ex's new husband?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:13 | 2160219 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

da QUAN?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 23:03 | 2160375 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

It is odd how many of these writer/philosophers, such as Rand, ignore the responsibilities of parenthood.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 23:05 | 2160385 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

I have met many kids who grew up in off-grid situations, or on the road, or at sea.  They are often well-adjusted, very well-educated (often home-schooled, so have not been exposed to our gov't schools), and self-sufficient/independent.

You can be off-grid and still work from home, btw.  As in the article above, you can still opt into some services like internet and still live a mostly off-grid lifestyle.  

Also, you can live off-grid on a farm and the FARM feeds your fucking kids.  That actually is the point.  Re-read the part in the above article about the low cost of food that can be obtained from off-grid living.

 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:27 | 2159728 Pumpkin
Pumpkin's picture

You can answer those property tax bills with references to legal and lawful and the fact that the land was granted by the federal government to hiers and assigns.  They will back off a lot!  Also, tell them they are not your government.  Your government cannot make anything a payment of debt other than gold or silver coin.  Go look at the last time any property was bought in gold or silver coin.  Comps will become a HUGE problem for them.  Property taxes are not lawful in any way shape or form.  And they know it!

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:05 | 2159841 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Why don't you tell us how this strategy works out for you.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:00 | 2160193 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

Laws mean nothing to this gaggle of criminals.  TSA violates the 4th amendment thousands of times per day. 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:41 | 2159765 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

If ur zoned agricultural taxes are much cheaper at least where I live. 

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 03:33 | 2160840 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

You got zoning?

What's that?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:15 | 2159431 gwar5
gwar5's picture

People lived off grid for thousands of years. Now we have better technology and materials to do it again. Easy Peasy.

 

 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 21:07 | 2159953 DosZap
DosZap's picture

He's not off ANY grid.

He is living well now.(And good for him, I am happy for him).

When the SHTF, someone will come along and relieve him of his life, or his property.

Individuals, or whats left of the regime will have him for breakfast, when he least expects it.

Bank it.

For NOW,if he does not have a few guineas, he needs to get some, best watch dogs on the planet.

Nothing sneaks up on a guinea.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:27 | 2160270 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You must lead a fear-filled life.

Just waiting to die, I guess.  Sad.

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 03:54 | 2160853 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Self-fullfulling projections.  They say Louis XVI [1793] was obsessed with accounts of the Charles I's beheading in England [1649].

Lot's of snakes moving around between those ears.

Here's another guy with similar issues.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqgkKje29zo

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:56 | 2160353 akak
akak's picture

For NOW,if he does not have a few guineas, he needs to get some, best watch dogs on the planet.

What do wops have to do with this conversation?

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 01:04 | 2160684 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

LMAO akak!!

I was going with guinea fowl, but still,   0.o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Helmeted_guineafowl_kruger00.jpg

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:17 | 2159438 LongBalls
LongBalls's picture

When I lay my head down at night I dream of a refuge simular to this. I'm done looking for the cheese. I just want peace for the rest of my days.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:17 | 2159440 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture

Awesome, the way it should be and what is natural.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:20 | 2159454 bobola
bobola's picture

Does he ride a bike to town..??

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:28 | 2159499 Marco
Marco's picture

I see a mention of ATV so he is off the electric grid ... but still on the Saudi Arabian oil/ponzi grid.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:27 | 2159927 trav7777
trav7777's picture

the electric grid is pretty wasteful; decentralized power production would save tons of quads.  I'm a huge fan of that.  Hey, if you can get chinese solars produced in a smog city and shipped here by a big polluting boat and then trucked nearby and installed along with a lot of other toxic waste producing electronic shit then BY ALL MEANS call yourself an off grid in tune with nature renaissance man.  Just don't expect someone like me to take you seriously.

Having more solar panels is a good idea so long as the chinks are dying of cancer for it.  And there's not one person willing to acknowledge that this "cost effectiveness" comes at a human price.  Nobody wants to have an adult discussion; they all want to play pretend.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:40 | 2159967 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Yeah, sure, Trav wants to have an adult conversation.

Your idea of an adult conversation is preaching at everyone and calling them names when they disagree with you.  

New solar panels have a payback of five years.  Hard to beat that.  The "chinks" are going to pollute themselves one way or the other.  Better that they do it creating longlasting productive capital than junk that is throw away after a few months.

But you probably don't understand what "productive capital" is.

Let's have a nice responce filled with ad hominem and logical fallacies now.  Maybe you can CAPITALIZE random WORDS as well.  

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:41 | 2160295 Matt
Matt's picture

New solar panels have a payback of five years.*

* - under some conditions. let's see, at $0.50 per watt, that's $500 per Kw.

for most of North America, you get ~4 hours of direct sunlight average for the year. thats 4 KwH per day. Electricity, lets say $0.10 / KwH average? so 5000 KwH for the panels to pay for themselves, divided by 4 per day. That's 1250 days, excluding the cost of batteries, inverter, etc, and assuming you solder up the junction boxes and everything yourself.

For turn-key setup, around $2/ watt grid-tie, $3/ watt off-grid. $4.50/ watt grid-tie with backup. More like 16+ years payoff. Priced from www.sunelec.com let me know if you have somewhere with even lower prices.

On a Carribean Island, at $0.50 per KwH (assuming no increase in oil prices, as the power is all from diesel generators) and around 8 hours of direct sunlight per day, you'd be looking at 4 years to pay off for professionally installed full setup, maybe two years if you do it yourself.

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 00:40 | 2160644 Matt
Matt's picture

Link is to same site I was linking to?

$1 per watt for the panels, buying individual panels. You have to add in the rest of the hardware costs too; they sell complete kits with batteries, grid-ties, etc.

Every once in a while they have a shipment of laminates for around $0.50 per watt, but that is with nothing attached, you have to wire and solder everything up, build your own frames, etc.

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 00:54 | 2160670 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Lets use ACTUAL numbers, shall we?

$1.00 per watt, $1000 per Kw.

Most of the USA (not Canada, you goon) gets 8 hours per day, so 1 Kw gets you 8Kwh.  I'll use your assumption of $0.10 per Kwh, though that is probably quite low for most people.  So that yeilds you $0.80 per day, so a payoff of 1250 days, which is 3.4 years.  Add a 1000 watt inverter, a charge controller, and some battaries, and you are still under 5 year payoff.

Note that their systems contain more expensive modules.  Calculate the cost yourself using the cheaper modules and the price comes down considerably.  And don't waste money on a grid-tie inverter/charger.  Have a grid tie inverter and a switch to charge your batteries.

Good job cherry-picking the most expensive system priced with outdated modules to draw your dumb conclusion from.

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 14:23 | 2162570 Matt
Matt's picture

ORLY? 8 hours of sunlight average year round? Here is a map:

http://www.solarpanelsplus.com/solar-panels/large-insolation-map.html

Really about 4.5 hours for most of USA except Southwest, which is more like 6 hours. Slightly better than the 4 I stated.

EDIT: And I priced using the LEAST EXPENSIVE SYSTEM PER WATT, not the most expensive, and I specifically mentioned pricing as being for the whole kit. Here is the least expensive Grid-Tie kit at around $2 per watt: http://www.sunelec.com/index.php?main_page=pv_systems&id=1530&type=GT note that it shows $1.64 but the combiner box is not included. that is with $0.98 per watt panels.

Yes, your original statement that solar panels can pay for themselves within 5 years is correct; however, using just the price of the panels without pricing in all of the rest of the hardware is kind of disingenous.

Yes, as I mentioned, if you are in an area with more expensive electricity, the system will pay for itself much faster than at $0.10 per watt. According to the US Energy Information Administration, AVERAGE price throughout America is $9.83 per KwH http://205.254.135.7/electricity/

Looks like if you live in Hawaii, going solar is a no-brainer with $0.25 KwH electricity and tons of sunshine.

 

RE_EDIT: Also, if you live in an area with government incentives that pay you more money for surplus electricity than the market rate, obviously you can take advantage, build a system larger than you need for yourself, and have it pay itself off much more quickly, provided there isn't ridiculous requirements that X percent of the components must be made locally, must be professionally installed, and must be inspected by Government Agency Y.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 21:13 | 2160068 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Negative.  Thumbs down on solar.  Breaks.

Thumbs up on rigging car alternators in micro hydro config at the base of moutain streams that get lots of snowfall or lots of rain.  

Don't worry about malfunction.  There will be lots of alternators sitting around.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:19 | 2160239 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Yeah... Why don't you build us a fucking RUBE GOLDBERG machine out of alternators just to show us all how efficient you are?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:45 | 2160319 Matt
Matt's picture

That is a really brilliant plan for the handful of the population who can get land with the right conditions. Far better pay off, especially if you either have a year-round stream, or make your own pond and have a decent hill to run it off, runs 24/7 compared to 4 hours per day. Unfortunately, not so widely available.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 23:00 | 2160370 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Matt's probably right... Good idea... But extremely propriatary (depending on terrain)

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 00:59 | 2160676 tmosley
tmosley's picture

What breaks?  The panels?  A broken panel still produces charge so long as you resoder any broken connections.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:20 | 2159457 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

too many bears.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:25 | 2159475 a growing concern
a growing concern's picture

Bears = bearskin rugs = awesome.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:22 | 2159465 Mugatu
Mugatu's picture

Goats for milk and cheese - and for those cold lonely nights too!

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:38 | 2159761 11b40
11b40's picture

Ever drink goat milk?  Now that is an "acquired" taste if there ever was.  I requested milk one morning for breakfast when visiting a German family.  About 10 minutes later, a nice big glass of warm, freshly squeezed goat's milk appeared.....try some with your corn flakes sometime.

As for those cold nights....never been that lonely.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:42 | 2159767 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Makes the best homemade soap though.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:23 | 2159468 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

Yes, there are a lot of people going off the grid or reducing the dependence on the grid.  Just check out Youtube.  Lots of people reducing their dependance. 

Wood Stoves, Solar Panels, Growing their own food, Canning.  May be the only way to survive in the future with inflation.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:30 | 2159510 blu
blu's picture

It's called a solar-based economy and it served humankind for eons before oil and gas came along. It will serve us again for eons of eons after oil and gas are forgotten.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 21:17 | 2160078 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

You are 100% correct.  It will.  It will serve the 500 million people remaining.  That's the maximum number it can support without oil.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:03 | 2160201 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

As usual, this issue devolves into economics. For thousands of years, mankind has become more technically advanced, and individuals have become more specialized, as Adam Smith observed, because it's in our economic interest to do so. (Yes, there've been backsliding eras, like the Dark Ages; I'm generalizing here.) As we specialize, production overall increases, and society as a whole becomes more wealthy.

Until the last 60 years or so. The growing encroachment of government in every area, coupled with the growing cost of them doing so (i.e. taxes) has reached a point where people are independently reaching the conclusion that trading with others is no longer the most cost-effective way to do many things. The taxes - both visible and invisible - levied by all levels of government act as a type of "friction" in the gears of trade. With very little effort, I can raise tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions, spuds, etc. in my Toronto backyard. There's a little work up front, but during harvest, it's a lot quicker to walk the 40 feet to the garden than it is to drive the 2 miles to the grocery. For what I pay for a pound of tomatoes, I can buy a plant that will yield for 3 months at least, and then I can jar the rest for winter, and I'm not paying tax on any of it. (Toronto council is now debating whether people will be able to raise chickens in their backyards.) Ontario's screwed up energy policy is set to double home prices per kW/h over the next five years, making  solar w/ battery banks a cost effective way to remove  a big chunk of the electricity bill, Trav's rants notwithstanding. Riding a bike to grocery is both good for my health and free. When electricity was $0.05 kW/h and gas $1.20/gal, I never thought about such things. But power is $0.10 kW/h and rising, and gas is already $5 Cdn/US gal, so now I do, and almost all those rises are due to government, not actual input costs. The more friction the government throws into trade, the more people are going to go "off grid" for food, power, gas, etc.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:24 | 2159471 hairball48
hairball48's picture

I don't live off the grid, but I do live in Montana. And I'm not alone in preparing for TSHF day. There will be punks here who try to take my "stuff", but I won't make it easy :)

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:25 | 2159474 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Right, now let''s see 7 billion people find pieces of property and live as such.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:25 | 2159476 non_anon
non_anon's picture

too bad drones in the US skies ruin it

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:31 | 2159513 in4mayshun
in4mayshun's picture

My thoughts exactly. The first thing I thought about after seeing the pic of the cabin was , "wow, that would make an excellent drone target..."

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:17 | 2159696 DionysusDevotee
DionysusDevotee's picture

What kinda fantasy world do people live in where the government, in the midst of whatever crisis is imagined, is going to have the time resources or inclination to go around bombing irrelevant little redneck cabins all over the countryside.  Bigger. Fish To Fry.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:25 | 2159724 non_anon
non_anon's picture

oh yeah,

Meet the North Dakota family of anti-government separatists busted by cops using a Predator drone... after 'stealing six cows'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2073248/Local-cops-used-Predator-drone-arrest-North-Dakota-farm-family-stealing-6-cows.html

Congress passes bill to put Drones in US Air Space for Policing & spying on citizens, estimate 20,000 drones by 2020

http://www.dailypaul.com/212266/congress-passes-bill-to-put-drones-in-us-air-space-for-policing-spying-on-citizens-estimate-20000-drones-by-2020

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:57 | 2159816 DionysusDevotee
DionysusDevotee's picture

Are we in some sort of country wide disaster?  UH. No.  Tell me wise one, how is where you live less exposed to drones?  (Since thats the big concern, lol).  You imagine that the cabins are "more exposed" because the way they look for people to pick on is by flying around drones looking for houses until they find one that "Stands out"?  ROFLMAO

IF you think that the gvt (and industry) is putting those drones up to go pick on homesteaders that sit out in the middle of nowhere and mind thier own business, you go right on living in the city.  I'm so Frickin sure you'll be safe from the police state THERE.  Derp.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:37 | 2159961 non_anon
non_anon's picture

Do so remember Ruby Ridge.

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 13:43 | 2162499 DionysusDevotee
DionysusDevotee's picture

Compare the 2 or 3 examples you can find over the last 20 years with the 10,000's of day-to-day occurences of this sort of thing that happen in the cities.  Gee, I wonder which is safer?  The arguement that living in the middle of nowhere, and minding your own business FURTHER EXPOSES you to a tyrannical police state than living in the belly of the beast is, on its face, absurd.

But please, live in the city, where the cops go around looking for people to pull over, fuck with, tase, etc, if you wish.  The more of you guys there are in easy reach to pick on, the less of them will come out here to fill their quotas.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 23:17 | 2160423 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

That's what the 30,000 drones are for.

 

 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:44 | 2159572 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Drones will be easy pickin'.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 23:01 | 2160363 Matt
Matt's picture

You must have some pretty BAD ASS shit if an object at 50,000 feet traveling 300 miles per hour is considered "easy pickin" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Atomics_MQ-9_Reaper

Mon, 02/20/2012 - 16:02 | 2178335 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Drones will be easy pickin'.

Not at 2 miles up......................some will ,  some won't.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:26 | 2159481 battlestargalactica
battlestargalactica's picture

Cheers. Good for you.

Always love to see someone else 'farther down the road' on this trajectory than I am... Especially when the soul-searching, hands-on hardwork, investment and commitment pay off.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:28 | 2159482 blu
blu's picture

You can go off-grid in the middle of the city. In fact it makes a lot of sense if you suspect the city is going to fall apart at some point. I'm noodling over how best to take my garage off the grid right now, where I have my metal and wood shops and run a small arc welder (so this is no small task). After that I might take the main house off grid. I have an electric bike that I ride everywhere (hundreds of miles a week sometimes) and I want to charge it off-grid from the garage -- more for bragging rights than anything else.

Our local utility -- Pacific Gaas & E1ectric -- are murderous (fact) Visigoths. They lie about everything they do, and do not give a fuck about anybody or anything. I don't want them to get one thin dime of my money if I can help it. I'll spend the time and money to get away from them right in the center of civilization.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:27 | 2159484 HamyWanger
HamyWanger's picture

So, finally. 

Exposed for all to see: the real end goal behind libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism: the restoration of a Paleolithic style of living, i.e., the law of the jungle, i.e, social Darwinism. 

I'm glad someone finally admitted it in broad daylight.

Personnally, I prefer my "sheeple" style of living, which is much more comfortable, much more secure and much more altruist.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:38 | 2159546 margaris
margaris's picture

Altruism doesn't exist. Sustainability must be made profitable.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:07 | 2159664 akak
akak's picture

I can barely be bothered to even give you the obligatory red arrow anymore.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 23:19 | 2160428 Matt
Matt's picture

There is this movie, called "Fight Club"; at least seeing it, if not reading the book, is definitly worth the time.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/

The guy is all about hunting deer in the post-collapse ruins of the city.

Have you ever read the Unibomber manifesto? All objectives fit into three catagories: effortless, can be attained with effort, extremely difficult. Man is wired to exert effort to attain; food, shelter, etc.

Industrializaton moves more and more things into the "effortless" and "extremely difficult" catagories, so it becomes more and more difficult to feel fulfilled, harder to find goals that fit within the "only acquired through hard work" catagory so the biological need can be satisfied.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:28 | 2159491 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

If he is living where bull trout live he is WAAAAY off the grid, friends.

Going 100% off the grid is not realistic for most of us.  There aren't enough valleys in Montana and Idaho anyway.  I think the key here is to figure out ways to reduce your dependence on distant sources, build your local food and other commodity connections, and dispense with the non-necessities like AAPL iPads. 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:28 | 2159495 Savonarola
Savonarola's picture

Tell it to the Marines.

The Amish live off the grid. What is so special about that?

This story is about another ex New Yorker,  helping to trash another state.

There are so many 212s moving to MT, that Mike Bloomberg could run for office, just to screw it up. 

Damn New Yorkers!

 

 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:41 | 2159764 machineh
machineh's picture

Too many 212ers?

Man, don't we miss the 'good old days' of Californication!

p.s. Actually a lot of them '212ers' are prolly 718ers.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:28 | 2159496 in4mayshun
in4mayshun's picture

Off the grid...thats funny. I hope that every cabin comes with its own swat force, cause when all of those "on the grid" people start looking for places to escape to...well, lets just say you'll have lots of eager new friends that want to say hello.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:35 | 2159529 HamyWanger
HamyWanger's picture

You are right, but unfortunately one can't reason with insanity.

Because most of these self-styled "adventurers", "sovereign men", "anti-government activists" and "rebels" do have some form of mild mental illness, which can sometimes evolve into something much more serious (i.e. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Kaczynski). 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:07 | 2159665 in4mayshun
in4mayshun's picture

I have no problem with someone who wants to prepare for the worst. But these "preppers" are not looking at the big picture. Even if you managed to survive into some post-apocolyptic world, who wants to live there? Life would be great if every person you meet wants to kill you, steal your stuff, and cook your liver. Welcome to Mad Max road warrior life. No thanks

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:14 | 2159691 DionysusDevotee
DionysusDevotee's picture

Most preppers aren't actually prepping for a mad max world.  Do some research on how well the country dwellers did (compared to living in the cities) during Weimar Germany, WW2 and any disease outbreak.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 21:27 | 2160117 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

The Great Depression.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 23:12 | 2160405 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

Any degree of off-grid self-sufficiency is really just a partial reversal of industrialization that happened only 130 years ago. As noted above, the Amish never made the transition, so it's not that whacked out to conceive of moving toward that lifestyle.

Before 1900, the average person had a wide variety of life skills. They would farm, bale, ferment, cure, mill, churn, fix, birth, drill, butcher, prune, fence, hunt, clean, darn, teach, wetnurse, burry, dig, drill, shingle, paint, etc.

Specialization allowed one person to learn a smaller set of skills and sell their specialty to others. The problem is that you then need to be useful to someone else before you can be useful to yourself. As in the article, all it takes is for the middleman (employer) to have a changed impression of your utility, increased health cost in this case, and the path to your livlihood can be broken.

The government has developed as the backstop in these instances, but that just puts more pressure on the group with specialized skills to provide for everyone else. 

As some have noted, the off-grid movement is really a partial off-grid movement for most. It may begin with in-town energy efficiency, gardening, and high-mileage cars long before it goes rural.

I don't understand the super-anti-tax posters who seem to be very angry about paying reasonably low rural property tax. For my rural area, that's maybe $400 per year, or 3-to-4 days of labor or X bushels of produce. That's a reasonable price for a clear road into town, police, schools, and hospitals, even if you've only used the roads.

Off-gridders are a relief valve that urban dwellers and authorities should welcome. They are not likely to be fighting off intruders during an emergency, but rather taking in their friends and relatives who find themselves a little short on skills when specialization isn't getting the job done. They are already some of the ones that appear with 4x4s and chainsaws after bad storms. As this thread indicates, they are very willing to share knowledge, and their bias toward action makes them just as available during times of stress.

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 15:59 | 2163130 Archduke
Archduke's picture

that's the most reasonable and humble post I've read in a while.

 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:26 | 2159727 css1971
css1971's picture

Maybe he's the sane one.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:48 | 2159789 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

You mean like Mendelbrot?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:13 | 2159683 DionysusDevotee
DionysusDevotee's picture

Yep.  It does.  You think all the neighbors have are guns?   You know how many people it takes to guard a single lane road thats 30 miles long?   LOL  Besides whos going to drive 30+ miles out into the middle of nowhere to rob a house that doesn't have anything worth stealing that is full of nothing but Rednecks that have spent their whole lives waiting for the soft city folks to come out and play.  Rotsa Ruck.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:29 | 2159507 roccman
roccman's picture

how is water drawn out of the ground - and what happens when the pump takes a crap?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:34 | 2159534 blu
blu's picture

Rainwater is still free. And you can use a bucket on a rope to draw water out of a well. It's alittle bit of work. Oh no not that...

Think on it harder. Modern humans have managed for 20,000 years before any of this technological crap showed up.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:51 | 2159596 Argonaught
Argonaught's picture

Well, technically, for the first 19,300 of those years, people died often of food and water-borne illnesses.  I want to go off the grid, too, but not because I feel like it be better or easier.  Just a little safer...at least from the govvies...

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:00 | 2159631 roccman
roccman's picture

yep got two of these myself - installed the first one last year in a well 128 feet deep.

 

they are $1500 and well worth it.

 

the question remains - when the parts wear out (gaskets, sucker rods, whatever) THEN WHAT?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:12 | 2159679 trav7777
trav7777's picture

easy, you go back ON the grid and pick up new parts from the rest of society.  And you do so with a smug look of derision at all the other people in walmart with you.

Unless you are etching your own solar panels, STFU about being off the grid.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:03 | 2159837 roccman
roccman's picture

relax bro - we are speaking the same language...i agree with you.

 

this ain't living off grid -

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:21 | 2159710 css1971
css1971's picture

Holy shit, they're €40 here, course the water's only 5m down.

When parts wear out you dig a hole and use a bucket. Having said that, the first engines humans created were to move water. I recommend power.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:23 | 2159718 The4thStooge
The4thStooge's picture

Looks like there's a river in the back yard.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:11 | 2159854 General Decline
General Decline's picture

"the question remains - when the parts wear out (gaskets, sucker rods, whatever) THEN WHAT?"

Buy spare parts ahead of time and fix it yourself. Its not that difficult to put together a maintenance plan. If you are going to live off grid you had better be handy. If your back ground is in law, finance, psychology etc and you never bothered to learn about mechanical and electrical concepts then I guess you would be rather screwed.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:59 | 2159632 blu
blu's picture

No people did not die of illnesses associated with food and water. They had ways around poor sanitation; in the Middle Ages filthy Europeans drank low-alcohol meads and ales. The ate what they could grow and had little reliance on complex distribution networks. It was not a lot, but they did okay.

But peoples in all times died of war. Or else of systematic abuse by the wealthy, nearly the same thing. They also died of imported illness to which their bodies had no/little resistance, but that was rare. Horrific at times, but mercifully rare. And in the end it was still human-created disaster.

Do not be so afraid of the natural world. The world is not out to kill you. Some people will be out to kill you -- but then again they already are.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:11 | 2159677 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

They only lived to 40yo because of man made peril.

Keep up the good work!

 

 

 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 21:56 | 2160183 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

264,000,000 of the world's population died at the hands of their governments in the last century.  We all know where the real threat to our existence can be found!

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:56 | 2159613 HamyWanger
HamyWanger's picture

Except that rain water is very polluted. 

So you'll need some filters, the best being an UV one. And for that you need electricity. Good luck generating power with wind or solar in Montana. 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:04 | 2159649 blu
blu's picture

<sigh> There is nothing wrong with rain water. Certainly, once the modern world is reduced to a smoldering crater (give it a few years) the air and water both will be as clean as a baby's smile.

The world is not out to kill us. We are out to kill us. We are doing a fairly good job of killing us, so far. But we will shortly get over killing us and get back to the serious and consuming business of securing the basics of life.

Took a few hundred years, but we are coming back around.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:09 | 2159671 DionysusDevotee
DionysusDevotee's picture

Maybe where you live it is.  I promise you that "out there" its cleaner than whatever comes out of your tap.  Or the plastic bottles that are perpetually offgassing cancer causing chemicals.

Did you miss that the guy lives off of solar?  Just curious.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:14 | 2159875 General Decline
General Decline's picture

Build a water distiller. All you need is some basic hardware store stuff and firewood.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:57 | 2159619 roccman
roccman's picture

look - this is not living off grid.

 

takes 1 acre per person per year to feed one self.

 

batteries - ummmm - ok THAT's 19,000 year old technology (actually maybe it is LOL)

 

naw - this is a vacation home that is very much fossil fuel driven.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:13 | 2159873 aphlaque_duck
aphlaque_duck's picture

1 acre/person/year? Bullshit... not if you include feed for your animals. And you'll need a few acres for firewood too.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:26 | 2160265 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

WRONG...

& what do you think? All the hardwood trees have to be ON YOUR ACRE? Where TF do you live? Georgetown?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:58 | 2159624 VelvetHog
VelvetHog's picture

Rain water is free, but at least in Colorado you can't have it.  Its illegal to collect rainwater because it belongs to someone else who has water rights.  No kidding.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 21:51 | 2160170 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

All part of the U. N.'s agenda 21 meant to control all the world's natural resources under the guise of environmentalism.  These are a pack of demons and they mean business!

 

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message878048/pg1

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:27 | 2160271 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

No doubt the law exists... but who is there to enforce it?

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 01:33 | 2160713 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

Arizona folk might be able to answer your question - they DO prosecute there.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:07 | 2159662 DionysusDevotee
DionysusDevotee's picture

Mine comes from a gravity fed spring.  No pump, no tank no chemicals...Endless clean water. 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:50 | 2159792 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

You replace the pump & have backup storage for rainwater as my grandmother did. 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:11 | 2159865 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

There's this thing called a "hand pump" - and if you're really high-rent, you can even get a "wind-powered water pump" that can fill a device called a "water tower" that will provide you with water under pressure.

 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:22 | 2160248 Hulk
Hulk's picture

You forgot about springs...

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 23:19 | 2160430 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

Handpump, most likely.

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 04:02 | 2160859 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Re. water.  Source is uphill.  Gravity does the rest.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:31 | 2159514 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Does Rich Scheben have a wife there or a girlfriend or something human besides himself?    I found the article lacking in social details here.  Otherwise, this guy has the dream life many of us aspire to. 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:31 | 2159517 QuietCorday
QuietCorday's picture

My parents live kinda off-grid (well, they are still connected, because their electricity production feeds back into the system and they get paid for it, but anyway ...)

The one thing I wanted to mention is how little you actually need to consume when you live like this, particuarly in terms of food. Once you start eating a traditional diet with animal fats and using a lot of stock, you really don't need to eat very much at all. It is quite remarkable really. When I stay with them, I will have a couple of eggs cooked in drip for breakfast and maybe some chicken livers and leaves in the evening, and I am fine -- and I wouldn't say I lose a lot of weight either (and I am not particularly skinny).

The other thing is that you don't get horrible "urban stinky", you just get dirt dirty, so you don't really need to shower everyday. And if you have a decent solid fuel set up and you sleep in your main room in winter, you barely use any energy.  

 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:33 | 2159522 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

How depressing it must be to live in a place like that.

 

No Chicks or Strippers

No Monster Energy or Red Bull

No Lady Gaga or Adele

No Ocean or Beach

No Internet terminal to F12-punch your way to riches dip buying IBD Top 50 Mo-Mo stocks

 

LOL....

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:34 | 2159536 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

I fucking hate Lady Gaga and Adele.  

I fucking hate IBD Top 50 Mo-Mo stocks.

I fucking hate Robot Trader.  

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:42 | 2159557 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

I would be really angry too, if:

 

1) I was long the inverse Triple Whammy screamer ETF's and was getting blowtorched

2) If I had all my savings eggs in one basket (gold and silver) and watched stocks like AAPL go crazy

3) If I had believed in all the "Endgame" stories and hunkered down in a bunker for no reason while the rest of the world enjoyed the fruits of a booming economy and world record consumer spending

4) If I had built a bomb shelter for no reason

5) If I was like Gerald Celente, and got cleaned out and wiped out by the PigMen like Jon Corzine

 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:02 | 2159600 whstlblwr
whstlblwr's picture

Hey Obama, Bernanke, here is the example of the person who profits with your politics and money printing. The slimeball ego who hates women, plays with stock market and doesn't create shit.

Instead you punish the savers. the fiscally conservative, the ones who don't spend more than thay earn. This is why we want Ron Paul to win and take back the country from these scum.

No one but Paul MONEY BOMB

https://secure.ronpaul2012.com/

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 18:59 | 2159633 in4mayshun
in4mayshun's picture

...booming economy. Riiiiiiiiiiiiight. (see earlier zerohedge article re: retail spending takes its biggest plunge ever...)

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:14 | 2159687 trav7777
trav7777's picture

ROTFL, it's troll central in here.  Log in now as MDB and give us some more

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:30 | 2160276 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

That's the first thing you said 2nite that made any sense...

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:05 | 2159652 DionysusDevotee
DionysusDevotee's picture

Hello from off the grid.  Were stocked up just fine on chicks here, nice healthy ones.  Gee it sure is rough being around the house all day.  What to do.....?  Santa Cruz is a great place to live in the forest, just a bit a way from the ocean, and damn I love spending my free time reading the comments section on ZH while I look out over the mountains.

Have a great day!

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:15 | 2159692 trav7777
trav7777's picture

w.o.w.

You made the laptop out of what....it grew on laptop trees you planted in your garden?  I won't even ask about the wifi.

You retards expect the rest of us to provide all this shit so you can have your "off grid" life?  What a bunch of selfish nitwits.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 19:51 | 2159796 DionysusDevotee
DionysusDevotee's picture

Uh WHAT?  Nope, Bought the lap top.  Earned the money.  Wasn't provided for me or made or me?  You got a point?  OR just more failtrollin?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:30 | 2159942 trav7777
trav7777's picture

BOUGHT?  WTF IS THIS BOUGHT?

That's ON THE GRID...I am so disillusioned with you and that you are able to respond OFF THE GRID.

How do you get these posts to ZH?  Are they carried by unicorns???

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!