Going off grid

One thing to look at is lighting, be it gas lamps led lights or hurricane(oil) lamps…..

Gas is cheaper when you go big bottles, although small colemans or primus can beat fitted mantles.

Not every led light is friendly, like fluorescent bulbs they can be eye sensitive

Hurricane can be broken down to paraffin or meths depending on type
 
Fair enough. I just plucked it out as its cheap, reliable and easy to fly with safe handling characteristics.
I guess it will all depend on which aircraft she qualifies on. TBH I don't know much about it but she has set her sights on learning to fly and knowing her it's going to happen.
 
I've thought about this. I even looked into it with regards to Hungary, where £15-20k (or less) will buy you a remotely located house and enough land to be self-sustaining.
The issue I couldn't get away from was medical care - or access thereto. Something as simple as toothache, or as complex as heart issues/sight issues. You're in the middle of no-where - what do you do?
If anyone is thinking of it, Hungary would be an affordable option. Not Romania - judging by Rightmove.
I fancied moving to Australia or New Zealand nd get a small block of land until I looked at two key issues: affordability and medical care.

Until about 2 1/2 years ago I was healthy and fit as a fiddle. I then developed skin cancer and was invalided out of the RAF last summer. I too have had immunotherapy on the NHS; neither country provides this treatment under public health care and at £300-500k it is patently unaffordable. (And that's presuming I would be allowed to settle there - especially Australia which has very strict health requirements for immigrants)

Cost of living in both countries is eye-watering, as are land and housing costs.

There was a third issue: ageing parents and PinL in the UK. With the best will in the world, it will take about 48 hours to get back when the inevitable happens.
 

Ravers

LE
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I have a semi tame gypsy who does a bit of work for us on the farm.

I met him some years back, in the pub, at about 2am. About an hour later, we‘re in a field, drinking moonshine, with my Patterdale Terrier and his Lurcher laying waste to the local fox population.

Then I watched him catch a trout out of the river with his bare hands.

Anyway, I digress.

He is the good kind of gypsy with a bow top horse drawn caravan. He doesn’t appear to do money and seems to get by doing jobs in return for a place to pitch his caravan and horse for the night.

He’s a solid grafter and I quite like having the bloke around to be honest. We never have any trouble during Appleby fair week because all the pikeys know this is his patch.

Anyway, in return for doing 3 or 4 days work a week for us on the farm, I’ve given him a shed and about half an acre to graze his horses on. Between the shed and the bow top, he’s got quite a comfortable set up. No electricity, no running water, but he’s doing alright. He’s got a few ducks and chickens, he catches fish out the river and throughout the shooting season I give him more than enough pheasants to keep him well fed.

Occasionally he just disappears for a few weeks having hit the open road, but he always comes back and gets straight back to work on the farm.

Not a bad life. I’ve gotta say when I’m dealing with reams of bullshit paperwork like renewing car insurance or sorting out the tax return, I feel somewhat envious of his simple and chilled out existence.

He also appears to have no end of fit women who want to share his caravan for the night.

Must be the horses.
 

ACAB

LE
I was struck years ago with the story of a couple who flogged their house and bought a canal boat. Mobile minimalism of a sort. Im not quite sure Id survive undivorced if I took that approach . I was just struck by how much we clutter ourselves with and how to live comfortably on less.
Yep, when I was working in the Middle East I had an 8' x 10' cabin to live in . I managed pretty well.
 
Define cheap?
35k US$ - bear in mind its a four seater, and its dependent on what avionics come with it, time to next overhaul/inspection etc
 
I fancied moving to Australia or New Zealand nd get a small block of land until I looked at two key issues: affordability and medical care.

Until about 2 1/2 years ago I was healthy and fit as a fiddle. I then developed skin cancer and was invalided out of the RAF last summer. I too have had immunotherapy on the NHS; neither country provides this treatment under public health care and at £300-500k it is patently unaffordable. (And that's presuming I would be allowed to settle there - especially Australia which has very strict health requirements for immigrants)

Cost of living in both countries is eye-watering, as are land and housing costs.

There was a third issue: ageing parents and PinL in the UK. With the best will in the world, it will take about 48 hours to get back when the inevitable happens.
It's a real issue (health).
I appreciate you didn't mention your issue to evoke sympathy but, all the same, I hope you are doing OK.
I reckon Eastern Europe is the best bet in terms of balancing the amount you need to invest, with reasonable access to basic healthcare. The language barrier would be significant, initially.
It's probably something I would have needed to start 15 years ago - in my early thirties - to get everything set up; learn the language, etc.
I looked seriously into canal life too (narrow boating) but luckily found an honest blogger who revealed it's hard work and expensive enough [plus dealing with theft, vandalism, ASB, etc] to make having a house a decent alternative.
 
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I have a semi tame gypsy who does a bit of work for us on the farm.

I met him some years back, in the pub, at about 2am. About an hour later, we‘re in a field, drinking moonshine, with my Patterdale Terrier and his Lurcher laying waste to the local fox population.

Then I watched him catch a trout out of the river with his bare hands.

Anyway, I digress.

He is the good kind of gypsy with a bow top horse drawn caravan. He doesn’t appear to do money and seems to get by doing jobs in return for a place to pitch his caravan and horse for the night.

He’s a solid grafter and I quite like having the bloke around to be honest. We never have any trouble during Appleby fair week because all the pikeys know this is his patch.

Anyway, in return for doing 3 or 4 days work a week for us on the farm, I’ve given him a shed and about half an acre to graze his horses on. Between the shed and the bow top, he’s got quite a comfortable set up. No electricity, no running water, but he’s doing alright. He’s got a few ducks and chickens, he catches fish out the river and throughout the shooting season I give him more than enough pheasants to keep him well fed.

Occasionally he just disappears for a few weeks having hit the open road, but he always comes back and gets straight back to work on the farm.

Not a bad life. I’ve gotta say when I’m dealing with reams of bullshit paperwork like renewing car insurance or sorting out the tax return, I feel somewhat envious of his simple and chilled out existence.

He also appears to have no end of fit women who want to share his caravan for the night.

Must be the horses.
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We’re somewhat off grid. Our only utility is electric. We have a generator, but it’s not man enough to run the house. The gas is like @Sam The Bam, a large underground tank. So next stop is a propane-powered generator.

Internet is wireless, no home phone. Well and septic for water.

Got a mortgage and decent jobs, so we’re not off-grid from that perspective, but I work from home, and very happy with our lifestyle. At this point, anyway. Might change, for better or worse, but it’s alright right now.
 
So next stop is a propane-powered generator.
If you are going to go down the propane route then I'd say go for the biggest tank you can get. We have a 1000 gallon below ground tank, as an experiment (though a rather costly one financially) we ran the genny continuously to see how long it would last. The thousand gallon tank of propane lasted just over two weeks.

As I said, a costly experiment but we wanted to see just how long exactly the 1000 gallons would last.
 
Not so much going off grid re food etc.

The game is not to leave enough electronic dots for the blighters to join them up and make a picture. Use non-propriety systems, Linux, Firefox, VPNs, Cookie killers. Frightening what's happening. Lightbeam will show you what trail you are leaving. I've visited 439 sites but I've been connected to 1577 sites. Social media is a no-go area for me. I like to think I'm still in control but I'm probably kidding myself.
For anyone thinking this guy is kidding, download firefox and its addon NoScript.

You'll be amazed as to how many fecking trackers and social media links have to load when visiting sites. No wonder the web seems slower these days, even in the age of fibre

It was so easy back in the early days

 
If you are going to go down the propane route then I'd say go for the biggest tank you can get. We have a 1000 gallon below ground tank, as an experiment (though a rather costly one financially) we ran the genny continuously to see how long it would last. The thousand gallon tank of propane lasted just over two weeks.

As I said, a costly experiment but we wanted to see just how long exactly the 1000 gallons would last.
Holy shite; ours is a 500 gallon one, which is considered “outsize” for our area. They only fill it to 80%, and daren’t go below 10% or so, so a 70%/340 gal margin. I think we pay $2.75/gal, so that would be something like $255 to fill the tank for that much usage - ie one week given your tank is twice as big as ours. That’s $1000/Month. Our electric bill is never more than $200/month, even in the summer with three AC systems.
 
Holy shite; ours is a 500 gallon one, which is considered “outsize” for our area. They only fill it to 80%, and daren’t go below 10% or so, so a 70%/340 gal margin. I think we pay $2.75/gal, so that would be something like $255 to fill the tank for that much usage - ie one week given your tank is twice as big as ours. That’s $1000/Month. Our electric bill is never more than $200/month, even in the summer with three AC systems.
Just checked our last top up bill and propane up here is $1.89 a gallon. As I said that was an experiment we ran to see how long it would last. We don't use a great deal of propane as we have a log fire upstairs and a wood burning stove down in the basement and together they really heat the house up.

About the only time we used the forced air heating is during the winter months when it's programmed to come on at around 3 am then we shut it off when SWMBO gets the fire going.
 
It's a real issue (health).
I appreciate you didn't mention your issue to evoke sympathy but, all the same, I hope you are doing OK.
I reckon Eastern Europe is the best bet in terms of balancing the amount you need to invest, with reasonable access to basic healthcare. The language barrier would be significant, initially.
It's probably something I would have needed to start 15 years ago - in my early thirties - to get everything set up; learn the language, etc.
I looked seriously into canal life too (narrow boating) but luckily found an honest blogger who revealed it's hard work and expensive enough [plus dealing with theft, vandalism, ASB, etc] to make having a house a decent alternative.
I've hired canals boats and done a fair amount of cruising on yachts, and living on a boat sounds attractive. However, I visited with a mate a friend of his who lived on a barge. Everything on board was damp and mouldy. He explained that in summer it was OK but in winter the bulkheads were riverlets of condensation and he needed to have a dehumidifier running all the time. The second problem was theft/vandalism: anything ropsides that wasn't chained down was fair game: hoses, buckets, tarpaulin etc and his barge had been cut adrift s number of times, with the lines and springs being undone or cut allowing the barge to gently drift away.



Thanks re health. Some of you will recall the former Arrser Crash , who has been rather ill over the last while. I've known him for years and keep in touch on a regular basis. He would love to return to his native New Zealand and spend time with family in Australia. Firstly. it's almost impossible for him to get travel insurance and secondly, he would have limited access to cancer care in NZ and none for a rare genetic condition he has (he has shared these concerns before on the site).

That seems to be the LIMFAC for living Off The Grid. Fine if you are fit and healthy, but if you get sick, and I mean cardiac or cancer or break a limb, you can't heal yourself.
 
I've hired canals boats and done a fair amount of cruising on yachts, and living on a boat sounds attractive. However, I visited with a mate a friend of his who lived on a barge. Everything on board was damp and mouldy. He explained that in summer it was OK but in winter the bulkheads were riverlets of condensation and he needed to have a dehumidifier running all the time. The second problem was theft/vandalism: anything ropsides that wasn't chained down was fair game: hoses, buckets, tarpaulin etc and his barge had been cut adrift s number of times, with the lines and springs being undone or cut allowing the barge to gently drift away.



Thanks re health. Some of you will recall the former Arrser Crash , who has been rather ill over the last while. I've known him for years and keep in touch on a regular basis. He would love to return to his native New Zealand and spend time with family in Australia. Firstly. it's almost impossible for him to get travel insurance and secondly, he would have limited access to cancer care in NZ and none for a rare genetic condition he has (he has shared these concerns before on the site).

That seems to be the LIMFAC for living Off The Grid. Fine if you are fit and healthy, but if you get sick, and I mean cardiac or cancer or break a limb, you can't heal yourself.
I didn't realise Crash was now an ex-Arrser, though I haven't seen him post for a while. V interesting poster.
I hadn't thought of the condensation issue, on a barge. All these things come with hidden or slow to reveal issues or costs. However, reflect too much on the potential issues and people would end up not doing much.
 
I didn't realise Crash was now an ex-Arrser, though I haven't seen him post for a while. V interesting poster.
I hadn't thought of the condensation issue, on a barge. All these things come with hidden or slow to reveal issues or costs. However, reflect too much on the potential issues and people would end up not doing much.
You make a very interesting point, requiring people to be bold. But with a mortgage and kids in education, going off the grid is risky. Certainly when we are no longer directly funding the kids I can see us changing our lifestyle considerably. We have thought if getting a smallholding; not off the grid but a slower pace of life.
 
I did an Open Uni project many years ago where I had to design an off grid system. I could choose my location. I chose a cliff top property in Cornwall with a nice south facing roof. Also was a cliff nearby where I could site a wave power generator. In the project I was only able to use two sources. I would of added a wind turbine and ground source heat pumps as well.
Reasons for my choices wee that the Lizard in Cornwall is optimal in UK for solar and the waves are normally pretty good. A wave power generator was also outside of the usual systems to be used. I would super insulate the property and run deep cycle batteries to provide back up at night or calm cloudy days.

Since I did the project technology has moved on with even car manufacturers getting into providing home electrical storage systems; Tesla being the most well known, but Mercedes are also in the game. The batteries from electric vehicles or hybrids when they are no longer suitable for car use can have a second lease of live in domestic properties where the load won’t be so great. Reuse in the hierarchy of waste.

if building my own property I’d build it with hay bales, insulation and structure in one natural product. Wool insulation where required. Triple glazed large windows on the South side to benefit from solar heating and small windows on North to reduce heat loss. I’d also fit the sort of white shutters you see on the continent, to reduce heat loss at night and also keep the property cool in summer. I believe these shutters these can be left slightly open to allow air through in combination with inward opening windows.

Best be off to do some hippy shit now. These lentils wont knit themselves you know. I’ll have to dig out what I wrote.

RP.

edit. looks like I was just going off grid for power, not as in hidden from everybody electronically.
We must have done the same course, 'Designing for a sustainable future' I think?

Mine was a Outdoor Education Centre in the Lakes, solar PV wind turbines with a battery to store the electricity, ground source heat pumps along with wood pellet burner/back boiler and thermal store arrangement (I'd designed and fitted similar in my house at the time so heating was free) and the building was based around the Bauhaus (??) German zero emissions thingy. Nearby river provided drinking water with reedbed filtration and grey water collection systems.
Ultimately it wasn't cheap due to the building costs and no doubt the savings made would take a few 100 years to justify the total cost, but it was very green and totally off grid.
 
I did an Open Uni project many years ago where I had to design an off grid system. I could choose my location. I chose a cliff top property in Cornwall with a nice south facing roof. Also was a cliff nearby where I could site a wave power generator. In the project I was only able to use two sources. I would of added a wind turbine and ground source heat pumps as well.
Reasons for my choices wee that the Lizard in Cornwall is optimal in UK for solar and the waves are normally pretty good. A wave power generator was also outside of the usual systems to be used. I would super insulate the property and run deep cycle batteries to provide back up at night or calm cloudy days.

Since I did the project technology has moved on with even car manufacturers getting into providing home electrical storage systems; Tesla being the most well known, but Mercedes are also in the game. The batteries from electric vehicles or hybrids when they are no longer suitable for car use can have a second lease of live in domestic properties where the load won’t be so great. Reuse in the hierarchy of waste.

if building my own property I’d build it with hay bales, insulation and structure in one natural product. Wool insulation where required. Triple glazed large windows on the South side to benefit from solar heating and small windows on North to reduce heat loss. I’d also fit the sort of white shutters you see on the continent, to reduce heat loss at night and also keep the property cool in summer. I believe these shutters these can be left slightly open to allow air through in combination with inward opening windows.

Best be off to do some hippy shit now. These lentils wont knit themselves you know. I’ll have to dig out what I wrote.

RP.

edit. looks like I was just going off grid for power, not as in hidden from everybody electronically.

Straw, not hay.
 

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