January 8th, 2016 by Off The Grid

Today’s episode of Off The Grid Podcast is another listener feedback show. It still strikes me as odd at times that there are more and more of you finding, listening to, and emailing in for the show. I have been recording episodes of the podcast for almost a year now yet waited until I was actually off grid to start posting them. Off The Grid Podcast began taking the internet airwaves back in early July and thanks to each and every one of you listener feedback shows now seem to be semi-regular and growing part of the podcast. It may not seem like much to someone outside looking in or reading this now but each time I get an email from one of the listeners (you) its a small light of encouragement to keep going strong. Yes I would continue doing my thing out here off the grid in the little camper, taking my mini adventurous walks in the woods, and dealing with the challenges of each new season but still it means a lot when something new pops in the inbox. lol

Recently a couple of emails came in from listeners just like you. First up I share a quick email from Jill in Chicago. She sent in an email with this AMAZING looking recipe. I got a small kick out of what she described as something good to try in that little “gizmo” I cook with. lol 🙂 The gizmo is my Rocket Stove!! Yup if you have been listening to the podcast for any length of time you know I am a huge fan of the Rocket Stove and I also love to cook. Unfortunately the ongoing refrigeration or lack of has been a major challenge. Next up was an email sent in from Carl & Maggy from Michigan. His email was a bit longer. He shared some hard earned experience from his trials building, assembling, and ultimately buying a good shelter to work under. The shelter also acts as a great cover for storing larger items like firewood or a vehicle outdoors. Carl emailed in a couple of other suggestions but I will leave that for the show. You have to have some reason to listen to Off The Grid right?! lol

If you are reading this then hopefully you have taken the time to listen as well because I also shared a few stories from my recent ongoing mini adventures out here off grid in the woods. As one might guess living out in the woods alone with all of the mild to wild surprizes mother nature has is not for those who are easily startled! Last night I pulled up down the dirt path after a long day, got out of my car with my LED headlamp on, and was greeted by the sound of a couple dozen startled crows above. They scared the CRAP out of me! This was strange because I have never seen them perch there before. The large number of birds with their fast flapping wings right by my car high up in the tree tops directly above got my heart rate going fast! It was kind of like something out of an Edgar Alen Poe poem. lol Hopefully they choose a better perch next time. If you are listening to the podcast then hopefully you will enjoy my other mini adventurers as well. 🙂 One quick note.. if you heard me mention my phone battery being low. Well what you may not know is my iPhone batter has been giving me trouble for quite a while now. It appears that the batter may now be completely DONE! Why am I taking time to write about this you might ask? As I mentioned in today’s episode of Off The Grid Podcast there was going to be a link with a video I took this morning in the woods of the odd tree / cane I found. My iPhone will no longer turn on! GRRRRrrr! So please be patient until I get a replacement to access my phone again. Once it is straight I will post a link to the video here. As for a real quick side note did you know that many products are designed by manufactures to fail after a certain lifespan? Yes it is true!! GRRrrrrr!! OK I will get off my soap box now. Thank you once again for listening to th podcast and also taking time to email. If you have something to share or have questions, comments, or feedback please send them in! I would love to hear from you! 🙂

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Be still once in a while & observe your environment. You may see something cool right in front of you!
  • I will post a link to the video as soon as I can get my phone fixed. (ASAP)!!!
  • Be social! Connect with me and the podcast on Facebook, like the page, and tell a friend! 🙂
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please share your thought below or Contact me!

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firewood space camper
November 5th, 2015 by Off The Grid

The fact that it is now November is the calender’s way of reminding us all that cold months are on the way and the time to get prepared for winter is NOW! Last episode I responded to some of your questions comments, and feedback but forgot to address one.. Tom emailed and asked about some backstory to this whole journey off the grid thing, guy living in a camper, and with no power or water. After thinking for a moment I realized that I forgot to talk about some backstory so it was added for you in today’s show. If you are new to Off The Grid Podcast then please take a listen to this one for a better idea about my journey from the suburbs to here in the woods away from utilities and civilization to an extent.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining”

The other main topic for today’s show is all about how I am getting ready for winter out here off grid in the camper. When all of this began it was super cold.. fast forward a few months and then it was crazy hot! This is where my story began with the camper and the podcast beginning a journey smack in the middle of summer months. With the turn of the month November is simply a reminder that despite the warm weather here in Va. the cold months are almost upon us. I am indeed getting ready for winter out here both inside and outside of the off grid camper. What am I doing to get ready for winter you ask?

  1. Firewood – I have a small woodpile going with plans to selectively cull, chop, and collect more wood from the surrounding land.
  2. Pallets – Now that I have a reliable source for pallets I have been recycling those incredibly useful wood things. Why pallets you ask? They are primarily being used for kindling firewood. Pallets are also a great source for building materials Check out episode 67 & watch video of my solar heater project. I also used some of them to complete a small spplace for firewood camperace in the camper to hold reserve firewood. (see today’s featured image) No need to go outside when its crazy cold & let all the heat out!
  3. Insulation – I still need to fill in every single crack, crevice, and hole that might zap my heating efforts with a steady cold draft. Also I am going to try my hand at building a basic frame with either plastic or recycled windows around each of the camper windows. That last idea came from a listener just like you! Thanks for the email Carl!
  4. Painting – I have seriously been thinking about painting the camper. Painting a slightly darker color would allow for collecting more solar heat from the sun, look a lot better, and could be camouflage as a bonus! I will also be putting another 5 gallon bucket of printable rubber on the roof. This would also give me more solar gain because it being rubber.. is black in color so it should heat the camper roof quite nicely.
  5. Solar Heating – I already mentioned the solar heater project that I’ve already started. Yes it is a big one. At about a 45 degree angle with an 8 foot by 8 foot solar collector made mostly from recycled materials. It should provide a majority of my heat needs during the day when the sun is out. The solar heater project will have 2 thermal batteries (55 gallon rain barrels), hold 2 large solar panels providing electricity, and several glass windows collecting solar heat into an air circulating system for the off grid camper.
  6. Wood stove – I recently acquired a small pot belly stove that is technically a coal stove but should work fine for small pieces of wood as well. While not the best way of heating a small camper it should take the edge off the cold for about 3 or 4 hours at a time.
  7. Propane Heater – I forgot to mention this one in today’s show. Brian emailed with great info on the Buddy propane heaters. Yet another great suggestion from a listener just like you that I will be purchasing soon because on their low oxygen sensor cut off feature. Living off grid in a small space like a camper, tiny house, or log cabin means never forgetting Safety First!

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Even if its nice outside in November winter is still on its way so get ready now!
  • As a quick reminder to new listeners. Episodes are posted twice a week: Tuesday and Thursdays
  • Be social! Connect with me and the podcast on Facebook, like the page, and tell a friend! 🙂
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please share your thought below or Contact me!

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off the grid podcast
June 4th, 2015 by Off The Grid

If anyone reading this knows the first thing about going off the grid or living an off grid lifestyle then you know its a lot of hard work just getting there! This seems to be lesson one as my journey from the suburbs to out a ways into the country has proven to be a long one. Patience. It is now 4 months and counting from my original goal of being “off the grid” was set for March 1st. Being only one person I have been diligently been working like the steady ant in the story doing my best this last year to actually be off grid. Yes its amazing just how much you learn along the way and as is with everything in life.. nothing is simple! Quality time is always needed for anything worthwhile in life that you want to learn or attain. Moving from the average American lifestyle to something completely foreign and new requires among many things.. patience.

Slowly but steadily the days turned into weeks. The weeks quickly turned into months. On the bright side things have been moving a lot faster now that the camper is here where I can work on it. It was only a couple of weeks ago that the camper was hours away so going to work on it was a well planned all day affair. Either way I am now filled with a new sense of urgency coupled with a solid motivation because I actually have something to work with! Patience has given way in part to um.. staying busy while being patient!

Lets back up a bit so all of you reading this now aren’t lost. Long story short / “shortish” the journey to off grid living goes a little something like this.. I have been wanting to live in one of those cool off the grid partial earth sheltered homes with all the convenience that the videos on YouTube showed for years now. The people always looked happy and the homes always look so extraordinarily decorated with everything cool! The unique earthy nature appealed to the creative artist in me. The fact that all of the homes were very sustainable was another big plus. So all around I was impressed and wanted to live some for of that off grid lifestyle.

I spent countless hours researching info, watching videos for ideas, and surfing the net for anything in this circle that was off the grid living. I researched everything solar panels, rain water collection, alternative energy, earth cooling tubes, cutting edge gardening ideas, alternative building techniques and more. There were earth sheltered houses, straw bale houses, yurts, earthships, cobb buildings, tiny houses, and several other variations.. they all looked so cool!! There were also people living in campers, RVs, and trailers. Living in a camper wasn’t my first choice but it seemed to be one option to the quickest way to go off grid and learn along the way. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.. yeah sure the videos were all cool but they left out a few important details. All of the ups and more importantly the stumbling blocks that life throws your way. What do you do with stumbling blocks? Turn them into stepping stones of course!! You learn a lot along the way too! 😛

Life happens and you learn something new every single day! So I decided to document my journey off the grid with this podcast, a website (www.offthegrid.tips), and yes an off grid documentary about the whole experience. Again its now been over four months and I have been recording audio for the Off Grid Podcast, taking pictures for the blog, and also taking lots of video along the way! So I have a lot of material for podcast episodes and shows.. none of which are up yet.. I strongly emphasize YET! I have been podcasting for a few years now so the whole concept of an Off The Grid Podcast is on the way!

On a side note while going through this whole shift in life along the journey off grid I found many people in my life either coming or going with surprising haste! My family stayed constant but I did get a lot of funny looks (your crazy!!!) when they found out I was going to live off the grid. Long time friends and acquaintances surprised me the most but it was for the best I guess. With everything else going on the universe threw one more good curve ball my way.. my now ex-girlfriend. I became single :/…don’t you just love the modern singles market? lol OK not to get too off track I created a dating website (I’m a web designer as well) for people wanting to live this “off grid” lifestyle because I realized if I was going through all of this crap then others were as well! Off grid singles or those wanting to go off the grid needed a place to meet, greet, and hopefully fall in love. I created www.offgrid.singles because average dating sites were full of everyone else but it was all “white picket fence” keep up with the Jones’s kind of people. There is nothing wrong with that its just now for those wanting an off grid lifestyle. lol

Why did I choose the domain name with “.tips” instead of “.com”? Because the dot com was taken and after thinking for a while on what it was I was looking to create I decided if people were hopefully going to learn from my successes and failures then the new dot tips domain extension was best.  If you like this kind of thing then please share this with a friend. Do you have an idea or valuable life lesson about off grid living that I could learn from? Please comment so we can all learn! The site is about learning you know!!

 

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