Anybody live off-grid?

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the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 24, 2017 - 07:31pm PT
I appreciate all of the thoughtful responses.

The Coconino National Forest sells post and pole permits (Ponderosa Pine) during the fuelwood cutting season. Permits are sold based on tree dbh, with no height restrictions,for instance someone could harvest 99 trees at 5" dbh, 37 trees at 12" dbh, or 1 tree at 23" dbh each permit for $20. (A 24" dbh tree would cost $22.). Unfortunately there is only one unit identified on the forest, some 35 miles from home. With the overburden of trees across the West they should be paying us to harvest but that's a whole other topic.

I still plan to spend quite some time on the property observing the wind and sun before developing a more earth friendly home. It is exciting to think of harvesting timber and other materials from the local forest to build a home.

Spent most of the last 2 weeks on a river trip in the Grand Canyon. We used "Vital Water Filters", a 2 stage filter powered by a small battery. It was a decent set up and gave some good ideas for home water purifiers. Have you ever thought about where the water comes from when you turn on the tap? What energy powers the systems that move that water? It is incredibly empowering for me to feel less reliant on the machine and to design my own water harvesting systems.

Thank you for reading.

Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Mar 24, 2017 - 09:21pm PT
A big component of California water is the energy used to move it. Some of the energy is recaptured on the downhill trip. 3% of the energy consumed in California goes to pumping water over the Tehachapi Mountains. It takes about 1kwh to move 100 gallons from northern CA to southern CA.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 24, 2017 - 09:28pm PT
Here in AZ we strip mine coal on Black Mesa, ship ithe coal by electric train to the Navajo Generating Station near Page, which burns the coal to produce electricity which is wired to southern AZ to power pumps which haul Colorado River water uphill thousands of feet and several hundred miles to water crops (and golf courses and fountains) around Phoenix and Tucson. Damn that sure sounds complicated.

Looking forward to reading more ideas on personal water and solar harvesting.
Splater

climber
Grey Matter
Mar 24, 2017 - 11:01pm PT
Despite trumpism lies to magically make coal desirable, the coal power plants in your area are planned to close in a year because natural gas is cheaper.
slabbo

Trad climber
colo south
Mar 25, 2017 - 08:06am PT
A few years ago , near me was a 330,000 acre fire. The FS allows local cattle and outfitters to remove deadwood from the roads ( for free) and doesn't allow them to keep any.

Currently on a short road trip...the windfarms in kansas are very inspiring !
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Mar 25, 2017 - 02:14pm PT
When Peabody was sending coal slurry from Black Mesa to Laughlin they were pumping 3 million gallons of water a day out of the Navajo aquafier. Thankfuly that ended, but only because the corrupt agreement ran out.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2017 - 07:54pm PT
It will be interesting to see what becomes of Black Mesa coal, and coal in the Grand Staircase / Escalante National Monument. I do not believe the lies that there is "clean coal" even from these areas. There are people who are actively campaigning to take these public lands from us, the American people. The trend for energy reserves in the Southwest US should come from solar and wind, not fossil fuels. I had no idea the strip mining going on in Black Mesa, AZ until I flew over it looking out the rear of the Evergreen Skycrane around 2004. Google earth "Kayenta, AZ"


I look forward to spending much less time on the internet in the near future. Instead spending time listening to the wind and sun and rain, thinking about water collection and solar harvesting. Those kindred spirits out there that have been so kind and thoughtful in your responses are more than welcome to stay a spell if you are in the area.

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 28, 2017 - 08:05pm PT
Cool man. Thanks for the invite, but I'm doin the same shidizzle here in JT. Sure looks purdy tho.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2017 - 08:07pm PT
I hope to meet you someday Blue.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
May 3, 2017 - 09:02am PT
2 years now,there is no going back.

Only thoughts,hoping some one does not shut it all down.
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
May 3, 2017 - 09:38am PT
The trend for energy reserves in the Southwest US should come from solar and wind, not fossil fuels.

Every time we get to drive through the great American SW I think the same thing... Thousands of square miles of relatively barren land with abundant bright sunshine most of the year. How many megawatts of wasted photons fall on easily accessible sand and rock every day?
Tom Patterson

Trad climber
Seattle
May 3, 2017 - 09:46am PT
I'm not sure how I missed this thread earlier, but cool thread!

However, wouldn't it be impossible for someone truly "off the grid" to respond to your question?

Wouldn't responses be more from people "Mostly off the grid?" You know, like, "Mostly dead?" ;-)
Phred

Mountain climber
Anchorage
May 3, 2017 - 03:45pm PT
I was raised off grid. No generator - we used Coleman lanterns. No running water, we had a creek nearby that we rigged up a gravity-feed hose to our sink and used a clamp to regulate the flow. Outhouse instead of a toilet. Washtub and a plunger instead of a washing machine. Clothesline instead of a dryer. Canned and dried food instead of frozen or fresh. No phones; we had messages read to us over the AM radio from Anchorage. For heat we scavenged coal from the high-tide line. It sounds idyllic, but my youth was a lot of work and not much idle time. More power (see what I did there?) to you for trying it.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
May 3, 2017 - 04:31pm PT
I am not "trying".



Lorenzo

Trad climber
Portland Oregon
May 3, 2017 - 05:01pm PT
Wait.

You are asking on the internet if anybody is living off grid?


Have you looked up the definition of grid?

Includes :

any interconnected system of links
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
May 3, 2017 - 05:46pm PT
My understanding of the term is that one is not connected to the electrical power grid, and pulling power from that source.

Generating your own electricity and using a wifi signal, or using a set up at the local library when you go into town does not negate off-grid living.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
May 3, 2017 - 05:54pm PT
True.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
May 3, 2017 - 05:59pm PT
You should be OK in the land of pale ale.

Just Saying.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
May 3, 2017 - 09:43pm PT
Interesting post Phred, you lived the "dream"

The Biosphere project failed because there was too much work for the subjects to handle. Might have been doable 200 years ago when people worked from can-to-can't, as my father would say.

Going off-grid is also a state of mind. Internet access allows one to do certain tasks more efficiently, therefore fulfilling the off-grid objective. True total off grid living is difficult but the effort yields a far more sustainable existence.

Being connected to the electrical grid allows me to generate solar power far more efficiently and with a lower carbon footprint than an off-grid battery alternative. It would be stupid for me to try to get off the electrical grid.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Topic Author's Reply - May 5, 2017 - 04:42pm PT
Thanks for all the cool responses and ideas. I figured there would be some interested folks on this forum.

There is always going to be that dude or two that farts in the middle of the party just to be a prick. But, for me "off grid" means generating my own electricity and harvesting my own water. Yes, I still occasionally come into town for groceries and a bit of work and errands. So far so good out in the Painted Desert.

Got a primitive solar system set up and the 300 gallon cistern in place waiting for the monsoons. Have a great weekend everyone.
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