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Thread: Off the grid

  1. #1

    Default Off the grid

    I am about to start travelling around California and Oregon meeting people who live off the grid - that will take me off the beaten path in a big way. I will be driviing my hire car into remote areas and small townships.

    I plan to stay in the car sometimes, as it would take too long to drive to a motel.

    Does anyone have suggestions for good places to go - initially in CA and OR, but later in other States as well?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default an interesting challenge

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    I think your challenge might be much more difficult than you suspect. There just aren't many people who live "off the grid" in this day and age. Realistically, the people who do live that way generally do so because they want to be away, and might not be all that interested in entertaining a traveler.

    When I hear plans for this type of trip, it usually seems like it is based on a unrealistic view of American and Americans and a goal to find things that match preconcieved sterotypes, whether they actually exist or not.

    I guess my question is what are you hoping to achieve with this trip, and where do you plan to start to find these "off the grid" people that you speak of.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default That IS an interesting idea for a challenge roadtrip

    But I gotta agree with Michael in that many of these people don't want visitors or to be found. I'm sure there are still some communal-style living arrangements out there and some of them might be more open to visitors so maybe you'll have some luck with that.

    I live in a rural area of Washington state, on the coast. And I can tell ya that most people around here who are living "off the grid" are doing so because they are hermits/reclusive, have shady lifestyles, or are partaking in questionable if not downright illegal activities on their property. They don't want to be found and don't take kindly to uninvited visitors.

    If you're talking about people who have built innovative homes, utilizing green-building techniques and create their own power source allowing living without hook-up to public utilities, that's another story. I'm not sure how you'd find them. Possibly some kind of alternative energy website?

    Best wishes on putting this trip together. We always like roadtrip reports and,, if you can pull this off and meet your challenge, I'd really love to hear about it when you get back. Is there anything else we can help you with?

  4. #4

    Default Every kind of off-gridder

    Judy - thanks for your encouragement What I am hoping to do is meet both kinds -t he environmentalist, but also the living on the edge kind of people, and that second group will be hard to meet and I will rely on help from people like you Judy, in case you know of one or two people who might be interested.

    Anyways, have a look at my web site , if you want and perhaps we could talk off-line

    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 10-10-2008 at 02:07 AM. Reason: preferred link format.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default LOVE your website!

    I yearn to build an energy efficient, earth-bermed house which utilizes solar power, heat retaining floors at southern windows, recycles brown water for things like watering a garden/washing cars, and has a retention system to collect our ample rain for water use as well. Wind-power would be good if a location is found that also has enough wind to make this a viable option. I have spent a lot of time playing with floorplans that would allow for multi-use rooms and furniture styles that would allow for a smaller footprint without feeling too cramped, in about the 1000-1100 sq. ft. range.

    Maybe it'll happen someday. Fingers crossed.

    Anyway, love your website. Lots of great information there. I've got it bookmarked.

    I'm not sure what help I can give you finding these people. I'm unaware of anyone who has built for off-grid living in my area. I'm sure some exist but I think they're the hermit-types that don't want to be found. And I have my doubts that most in my area are doing it for environmental reasons. Supposedly we have a rather large population of homeless who live in the more wilderness areas in my area, some of who have banded together in makeshift living quarters consisting of derelict camping trailers, etc. akin to tent cities in urban areas or the old-style Hoovervilles. Since their living arrangements are technically illegal due to trespassing issues, I know they don't want to be found. And I think they're forced to move around quite a bit. It's sad but I think their reasons are economic and, quite often, due to either anti-social tendencies or mental health issues. But I wish you luck in your endeavor.

    I hope that any further discussions on this topic can be kept here so, if anybody does have information helpful to you, it's something that can be kept here to help future roadtrippers that might have similar goals.

    Best wishes...and let us know how we can help you with other aspects of your planning.
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 10-10-2008 at 11:08 AM. Reason: fixed some odd formatting issues

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