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Old 08-03-2016, 02:58 PM   #1
ElSapo
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AMA living off the grid

Hi OOT!

Long time. Some of you may remember me as the guy who went on this road trip. Then I was thinking about moving to the Pacific Northwest. I didn't do that.

I was back in D.C., working a pretty good job, good apartment, and I realized nothing had changed. So I quit, and now I live on six acres in upstate New York, in a tiny cabin (220 sq feet), with a cat.

The usual q/a: Two generators, two small solar panels, 1.2 kW battery system, propane stove, wood heat, six miles from town, work full time, cell phone provides decent internet, composting toilet and no trouble getting dates.

Biggest surprise: How fast it felt normal.

Ask away.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: AMA living off the grid

What do you do in your free time?
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:10 PM   #3
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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What do you do in your free time?
I do some fiction writing and photography. I work on the land a lot - cut trails, it was scrub when I bought it. Cut wood. I go into town and drink and hang out. Garden a little, but not well. Hike. Kayak. Read. Talk to the cat.

I'm not really a hermit, just no one lives around me.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:17 PM   #4
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Cool. As a big introvert this sounds really nice. Do you have any pictures?
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:27 PM   #5
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Re: AMA living off the grid

If you're "off the grid" how does you cell phone work?
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:30 PM   #6
ElSapo
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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If you're "off the grid" how does you cell phone work?
Magic!

I'm defining "off the grid" as no physical connection back - running water and power, typically. Cable.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:31 PM   #7
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Re: AMA living off the grid

What town in NY?
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:33 PM   #8
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Yes definitely pictures..why did you decide to get away like this? How have you adjusted to not having certain luxuries? Tv..microwave..etc..
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:33 PM   #9
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Off the grid but working full time. Are you not paying taxes? I always thought taxes = govt knows about you = on the grid, but a quick google search doesn't make it clear whether that is part of the definition.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:33 PM   #10
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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What town in NY?
Trumansburg, about 20 min from Ithaca.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:34 PM   #11
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Re: AMA living off the grid

what is your "full time work"?
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:36 PM   #12
ElSapo
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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Yes definitely pictures..why did you decide to get away like this? How have you adjusted to not having certain luxuries? Tv..microwave..etc..
I've never been a microwave guy, and gave up cable a while back. I guess I've totally adjusted - it all seems really normal at this point. I keep working on stuff and improving it, but at this point the life seems like my life. Completely different though. I try and build as much as I can, so that means I can fix it.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:36 PM   #13
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Sapo,

Fascinating.

Order-of-magnitude-wise, how much money do you have in the bank?

How long have you been doing this?

How much $ does your work bring in on an average month?

How much do you typically spend in a month?

There was a girl in DC, right? How long was that for / how did that relationship go?

How much did it cost for the land and whatever you needed to get set up to live there?
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:36 PM   #14
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Re: AMA living off the grid

What would you say is the moral of your story?
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:37 PM   #15
ElSapo
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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what is your "full time work"?
Reading meaning into unnecessary punctuation. Also, I'm a reporter.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:37 PM   #16
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Sapo,

How long is the average stretch before you go into town / see people?

What's the longest period you've gone just staying in the cabin / area and not seeing any other people?
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:38 PM   #17
ElSapo
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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What would you say is the moral of your story?
You can always make a change in your life.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:47 PM   #18
ElSapo
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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Originally Posted by El Diablo View Post
Sapo,

Fascinating.

Order-of-magnitude-wise, how much money do you have in the bank?
In cash? Doesn't matter, I have debt to pay down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Diablo View Post
How long have you been doing this?
Passed the one year anniversary about six weeks back


Quote:
Originally Posted by El Diablo View Post
How much $ does your work bring in on an average month?
It's a salaried middle-class job, typical as you'd expect in any mid-sized city place. I telework.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Diablo View Post
How much do you typically spend in a month?
Like I said, a lot goes to pay off this place. But not much, I guess. Living is cheap.


Quote:
Originally Posted by El Diablo View Post
There was a girl in DC, right? How long was that for / how did that relationship go?
It ended. We lived together a while but then it became clear she wanted to make her next move alone. At the time, that sucked.

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How much did it cost for the land and whatever you needed to get set up to live there?
$17k for the land
$8k for the cabin frame

More for building supplies and tools and so on that followed.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:49 PM   #19
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Re: AMA living off the grid

There've gotta be tons of cheap places in the area that have basic utilities. Or even just cabins that aren't tiny. Why take it to such an extreme? Were you planning on doing some kind of survival blog?
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:52 PM   #20
ElSapo
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Diablo View Post
Sapo,

How long is the average stretch before you go into town / see people?

What's the longest period you've gone just staying in the cabin / area and not seeing any other people?
I shouldn't have called myself a hermit. I'm probably in town once a day.

My neighbors are a 1/4 mile away. I've spoken with them twice. Once was so he could tell me he'd electrified the fence. It's farmland.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:53 PM   #21
ElSapo
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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Originally Posted by Abbaddabba View Post
There've gotta be tons of cheap places in the area that have basic utilities. Or even just cabins that aren't tiny. Why take it to such an extreme? Were you planning on doing some kind of survival blog?
Like an apartment, you mean?
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:05 PM   #22
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Re: AMA living off the grid

What's the bathing situation and how will that work out for you in February.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:06 PM   #23
ElSapo
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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What's the bathing situation and how will that work out for you in February.
I use the gym in town. I don't bathe too often, but not too many people seem to mind. I don't know if they're polite or that's my superpower.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:11 PM   #24
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:20 PM   #25
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Re: AMA living off the grid

When will the bombs start being sent in the mail and when can we expect to see your manifesto published online?
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