Off The Grid

Living off the grid is something that many of us have thought about and for many a reason as well.  Many individuals love the freedom of going off the grid and the privacy and independent feeling that it fosters. So then, the question becomes “how to live off the grid?”  What is involved in going off the grid?  How involved do I have to get to be “off grid“?  Can I just build a simple shack or cabin with no power or amenities whatsoever?  Yes, you can.  Or, you can build yourself quite the “off grid home” as well – complete with wind and solar power and running water.  As they say, “different strokes for different folks”.


How To Build The Perfect Off-Grid Home

One book that I have read on off-grid living that is very in-depth and very detailed about building an off-grid home is very aptly titled “How to Build the Perfect Off-Grid Home“.  Whether you want to build a simple cabin or shed out in the woods or an all-involved off the grid home, then this book is a good read.  The author Roxyann Spanfelner spares nothing in the building of her off-grid home.  She covers everything from the designing of her home to home maintenance once the home is built. Paladin Press is the publisher of this book and their description is:

If you’re looking at this book, you probably already have off-grid aspirations. So how can you solidify those abstract ideas into concrete form? In How to Build the Perfect Off-Grid Home, Roxyanne Spanfelner, who built a remote off-grid home four years ago, offers practical advice to navigate the often complex and perplexing process. Before you dismiss this book because you think it is only for those who wish (and can afford) to build a new home from scratch with all the newest technology, please don’t be misled. While it does deliver a detailed, ground-up, start-to-finish guide for the new generation of off-gridders, it has something for everyone. If you’re not quite ready to cut the power cords, you’ll find a vast range of highly energy-efficient options to make retrofitting your existing home easier and more affordable. Inside these pages, you’ll find out how to: Determine whether it is better for you to go gridless or modify your energy grid-based system Design a floor plan utilizing the best passive and active energy options Find the right contractors to oversee your project Select the right building materials, appliances, and lighting to maximize energy savings Assess the pros and cons of wind and energy alternative-power systems Create and operate your own “private utility company” for power generation, water collection, and waste disposal Set up a reliable and affordable maintenance schedule Spanfelner explains why building off grid was the right choice for her family, as it has been for about a million others across America. Maybe it is for you too. This book shows you how to declare your independence from the utility companies, reduce your carbon footprint, and reap the financial and psychological rewards of a more self-sufficient lifestyle.


How to Build The Perfect Off-Grid Home

The table of contents of “How to Build the Perfect Off-Grid Home” will give you an idea of what’s covered in the book.

Table of Contents:

  1. Taking the Leap
  2. Designing Our Home and Choosing the Our Contractors
  3. Construction: Beginning to End
  4. Choosing Appliances and Lighting
  5. The Pros and Cons of Solar and Wind
  6. Specifics of Our Alternative-Power System
  7. Traveling on Down the Road: Maintenance Guidelines

Conclusion: How to Maintain a Sunny Outlook Off-Grid

I found this book to be a very detailed book on how to build an “off the grid home“.  Even though it’s more involved than I want to get in building my own off-grid hideaway, it’s still better to get too much information than not enough.  The book discusses various alternative-energy options and goes into detail about each one.  There is a good section on solar power and one on wind power as well and also a discussion on generators and the installation of generators in their off-grid home. They also install a water system as well discussing the digging of an irrigation ditch as well as the installation of a water pump and water tanks as well.  And what would an off-grid home be without heat – or more specifically a wood stove.  There is a section on circulating warmth through the off-grid home as well where they discuss installing fireplaces and a wood stove.  Plenty of building information as well, such as putting up sheetrock, installing lighting, insulation and much more.  If you want to live off the grid, then this book is a must – even if you want something a little more simple.


Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat

If you want a more simple approach to going off the grid, then may I suggest the book “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat“. This book is filled with information for living off the grid in a simpler way.  This book by M.D. Creekmore goesn into ways of acquiring land to put your off-grid home on and then going out and looking for that “off-grid” home, which in the case of this book is a trailer.  Great ideas on finding a trailer and setting it up and how one can go about living in their trailer year-round.  And once again, what would your “off-grid” home be without alternative ways to power things.  There is a great chapter in this book called “Solar and Generator Power Systems” which goes into detail about setting up solar panels with a power controller and a battery bank, and some tips on safety and how to connect the batteries as well.  Creekmore also goes into waste removal and supplying your off-grid home with water with ideas on how to be most efficient with waste and water.  There is also information on heating your off-grid home and also basic but really good ideas on security as well.  The final chapter deals with stockpiling food, water, guns and other supplies for your off grid living.


Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat


The Survival Retreat – A Total Plan For Retreat Defense

Another great “living off the grid” book is by Ragnar Benson.  This book is called “The Survival Retreat – A Total Plan for Retreat Defense“.  Granted, this is more of an apocolyptic “end of days” scenario type of book, but it is filled with great ideas for defending or at least securing your “off grid home“.  It goes into what is a retreat and the design and planning of a retreat.  Many of those wanting to know “how to live off the grid” will find this information in this book helpful.  There is one chapter just dealing with the proper “retreat location” and many who want to enjoy “off the grid living” would be interested in this chapter because if your going off-the-grid, wouldn’t you also want to be a little more secluded in your location?  Some will, some won’t.  Some who are going off the grid may want to live closer to town, shopping or other modern conveniences.  This book is more about “going off the grid” in more of a Rambo type mode.  Most of the book deals with defending your retreat and making it more difficult for others to find your “off-grid” hide-away.  It’s a great book with practical advice for our modern times.


The Survival Retreat


Hope you liked this review on “off-grid” living books.  Follow this link (off-grid living) for more books on survival and off-the-grid living.


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