Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Questions and Answers...

10:42 am - 43 degrees - foggy...

We get a few comments and questions posted on our blog but for whatever reason we get way more that are emailed to us.  So here are a few of the questions and comments that we have received lately...

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I recently found your blog through your Facebook page. 
I officially LOVE your blog and what your family is doing! 
I think it’s amazing that you’re building your home yourselves! 
I just find your blog fascinating! 
 
You have never really mentioned the Prepper movement
or whether or not you are part of it.  I was wondering if
 you consider yourselves “Preppers”?  If so, I would
love to see you do more posts about it.

Thank you very much!!!  For those of you who don’t know what a “Prepper” is here’s the web definition:  a movement of individuals or groups who are actively preparing for emergencies, including possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales from local to international.

“Prepping” is all the rage right now.  There are websites, articles and even television shows about something called “the preppers movement”.  Personally I think that you could ask a half-dozen people “what is a prepper?” and get as many different ideas or views.

We believe that it simply means people are preparing for emergencies.  Prepping doesn’t have to be related to the end of the world.  Instead, I think it’s about people thinking about how to help themselves, their friends and their neighbors in case of emergencies – real world emergencies that are happening today like natural disasters, or even things like losing your job, or getting a pay cut to where you can’t make ends meet, even preparing to be cut off from society for a little while.

I don’t think we have ever really considered ourselves to be “Preppers” but I guess we do fit into that category.  Living up on a mountain we do have to be prepared for whatever comes our way.  We’ve had our driveway washout during a rainstorm {click here}.  We’ve been snowed in for three days before Tony was able to get us out.  The county has even forewarned us that during heavy snow it could be 7-10 days before they can clear our road and get us out.  So yes, I guess we are Preppers.  We have to be, it’s just plain common sense.
 
Feb 2008 - we had 10+ feet of snow that winter

For those of you who haven’t seen our Facebook page {click here}.

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I so very much long to live the kind of life you’re living
right now.  Maybe someday if God allows, we’ll be doing
what you are doing!  I’m completely inspired by you. 
My question is: did you know a great deal about
off-the-grid living before you moved off-the-grid?

No we didn’t.  Tony knew what “off-grid” was but I had never even heard of the term until we came across this property.  You don’t have to know everything up front to be able to successfully make the move to off-grid living.  What you do need to have is a real appetite for learning.  There are many things you can learn best by doing.  Experience is often the best teacher.  We have learned a lot along the way with a lot of shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’s.  Although our home is still not finished, we are still having fun and enjoying this phase of our off-grid adventure, even though we do hit the occasional speed bump.

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What do you think is holding back off-grid
living from mass acceptance?

I am sure there are several reasons for this, but the cost of land, the lack of self-confidence, and the need for peer approval seem to be the most apparent obstacles.  I know that off-grid living isn’t for everyone.  But I think there are a lot of people who haven’t ever even considered it.  I know we didn’t until we just happened to run across this property 8 years ago.  They think that they couldn’t possibly live like that, so primitive, so reclusive.  The fact is that this life is not primitive, and if anything, it is technologically advanced compared to a city apartment life.  Once we get our power system all hooked up, we’ll be using technologies on a daily basis that most people have never heard of. 

I also think that most people assume that living off-grid is a fringe lifestyle, like being a hippie.  That may be true for some people, but not for everyone.  I think some people have a problem with being different, standing out, and doing what they want because it goes against “society’s norm”.

Some people imagine our lives as something detached, like out of a movie or a book, not real and not doable by their standards.  But what they don’t realize is that it is actually very doable, and very real, but only if they make it so.  They have to take the step forward, just like we did, and make something happen for themselves.  And one day, they might just be able to sit back on the porch they built, sipping a drink from the fruit of their gardens, enjoying a breathtaking view, and wondering, just why would anyone want to live any other way.

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Have you ever had any negative experiences with wildlife? 
Bears breaking into the shed or the garbage or cougars
threatening the pets, anything like that?  Your blog is
amazing.  I look forward to every update.

Our first year living here, we had problems with raccoons getting into the trash cans.  That didn’t last very long.  We haven’t had any problems with them since and our trash cans are still kept outside.

We haven’t had any problems with cougars.  Our first winter we had cougar tracks all over the place, but we never actually saw one (we didn’t have pets at that time either).  We haven’t had any sign of them around the house since then.  About two and a half months ago one of the nearby loggers saw a mom and her cub on the ridge over from us – so we know there are at least three in the area, and they are currently keeping their distance from us.

We occasionally see black bears here and there but they seem to be more scared of us than we are of them.  Same goes for the bob cats.
 

Coyotes on the other had are a bit annoying and have been coming closer to the house these last few months – thankfully our cats are still all accounted for.  They howl, yip, yelp and bark at all hours of the day and night.  They show up and hang around the mountain ridge several days at a time, then disappear for several days.

We did have one incident with a young buck who we think saw his reflection in the truck window and head butted it, shattering the window.  The only other issue we have with the deer is that they eat all the bird food.
 
"Mom, he's watching me!"

 Since we are living in their space, we have been really lucky and have had very little problems with the wildlife.

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Keep the questions and comments coming, we love hearing from you!  To view the first Q&A post {click here}.

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