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The Off Grid living thread (Dropping out the rat race)

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by misteraven, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. theprotester

    theprotester Moderator Crew

    Joined: Dec 8, 2006 Messages: 10,992 Likes Received: 906
    I've moved in the opposite direction.

    Will think about maybe putting some thoughts in here.

    Great thread so far though.
    misteraven likes this.
  2. Fist 666

    Fist 666 Moderator Crew

    Joined: Jun 16, 2007 Messages: 14,154 Likes Received: 1,005
    @misteraven re: the cost of a dumptruck, imo just own a good pick up (kind of assume you already do) and get a splitter if you're looking to get a serious volume of wood. fuck paying by the cord if you own a saw. In every state I've lived in (CO and west) you can harvest fallen trees in national parks, of which your state has a shit ton of land to choose from. You can easily harvest a couple cords in a day if you're motivated (and utilizing child labor wouldn't hurt the productivity either).

    The Alaskan saw mill is what I'm looking at as well. My only concern is that with a 3/8 kerf from a chainsaw I'd end up potentially losing a full plank per log, which with hardwoods can be thousands of dollars. I also need to buy a bigger saw as my 20" bar isn't enough for most of the trees I'm eyeballing. My property is 95% wooded, so I have to really prioritize my areas that get a good amount of direct sun, but it sounds like you've got enough space that you could build a solar kiln really easily. I have a 30x40 steel building (basically a barn) that I'd like to build a full scale milling set up inside and build custom tables and such.

    Does anyone have contact with Cool Hand Luke (I think that was his SN), dude had toyotas and lived in BC, I bet he'd have a lot to add to this conversation.

    I am not a winter person, part of the reason we moved south instead of north was for that reason. Ironically, my first winter in NC has been harsher than most of my Colorado winters ever were.
  3. Mercer

    Mercer Moderator Crew

    Joined: May 2, 2007 Messages: 10,652 Likes Received: 1,072
    @Fist 666 I hear that about leaving Colorado, I lived in the front range (Downtown Denver) for 5 years and we'd consistently get 70 degree weather in winter, sometimes even in January. This year has been especially harsh in NY, my cousins up by lake placid were at 50 below fahrenheit for quite some time in December. They all swear by pellet stoves up there, as opposed to wood burning tu supplement the furnace.

    @misteraven Dope flicks, please keep them coming. If you come across seed money get a bunch of horses, or a fleet of ATV's & Snowmobiles. You could have a nice tourist destination especially being that close to a ski resort. That's kind of me projecting my own dream.

    I see Otis up there chilling, he's got to be loving it out there compared to the pissing on trash bags lifestyle in Soho. I was wondering if any of those dutch shepherds are yours? That breed is normally very expensive if you want to buy one, and super smart. I honestly think they're smarter in many ways than most of the humans I know, especially in a tactical, or situational awareness sense.

    We've got an all black dutch shepherd my soon to be wife found wild. They found him starving, severely traumatised, and roaming the woods along the westside highway up in the heights. Took a week or two to finally catch him he was so wary of humans. Best dog I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He's actually no longer scared of men anymore, doesn't flinch if anyone raises their hand, and turning into a bit of a cream puff. By nature, I don't think they're a very obedient breed. They're driven to dominate as the default and requires more of a partnership from humans they work with. That's actually helped work on my own patients, and other weaknesses more than he'll ever know. Cliche the dog rescued me type situation.
  4. Dirty_habiT

    Dirty_habiT Administrator

    Joined: Mar 8, 2001 Messages: 18,136 Likes Received: 82
    I wonder who here has a HAM radio license. I was working on mine for a little while. You reminded me of that when you said mountains block signals. With a few extra lunch monies you could probably find someone that would let you put a radio tower on one of their mountains. It's all line of site for communication and doesn't rely on any network outside of the people that are licensed with handsets using them.
  5. misteraven

    misteraven Administrator

    Joined: May 7, 1999 Messages: 8,992 Likes Received: 413
    Yeah, you can harvest here on state lands with a permit, which is $20 for 4 cords and nobody ever signs off on them so they last a while. I was referring to a dumb trailer, not dump truck. Yes, I have a fairly new F150 which piled above the bed can haul just shy of a cord to a cord. I'd like to try and haul more than that... Ideally 2 - 3 cords so I think a 8 x 14 ft dump trailer with 3 foot sides that can be expanded to 6 ft would do nicely. I dont mind splitting the rounds... In fact, its my favorite part so I doubt I'd bother with a splitter. That said, the least favorite part is emptying the wood and stacking it so thats why I'm interested in the dump trailer. Also, if I start thinking of selling cords, I'd rather just pull up and dump then spend 30 minutes manhandling it out of a trailer or truck bed.

    As far as the mill, sounds like you're in a different situation. If you really plan to turn it into a gig, then yeah I'd be looking at an old time belt driven mill setup. Something that you can look at and understand, even if some of the parts might be hard to come by. Figure it could cost that much for something like that.
  6. misteraven

    misteraven Administrator

    Joined: May 7, 1999 Messages: 8,992 Likes Received: 413
    Yeah, I might Air B&B the guest house we have. There's actually a true B&B up my private road thats for sale. For my daughters birthday we went to a really cool guest ranch to ride horses that sort of had me thinking in the direction you describe, but not sure thats for me.

    Otis was looking super trim for the first 6 months. He'd never seen a deer so he spent a good while chasing them before realizing he'd never in a million years actually catch one. Now he's back to his usual schedule of sleeping 18 hours a day. Those pups belong to a K9 breeder / trailer friend. He's a top tier protection / work dog trainer and a lot of his dogs end up with special operations teams. Rest go to law enforcement or high end private security. None of those are mine, but I'm hoping to talk him into one sometime. They moved pretty close by and do a lot of their training out here. Supposed to do bunch of man tracking with them but this litter is a bit young still. I'll share some picture in another post of his dogs at work. Pretty insane how smart and well trained those dogs can be. He breeds for genetics and traits so his are actually a mix of dutch shepherd and belgian malinois.

    In regards to training those breeds... Its definitely not easy as they're extremely intelligent and capable. They require very large amounts of mental and physical stimulation and yes, they are smart enough that you don't just teach them parlor tricks. They need to have a capable handler and indeed, its more of a mutual respect than ownership. You can't dominate a dog like that and if forced, you're break the dog. On the flip side, the dog understands that humans are smarter but less capable in most demanding physical situations and the ones I've seen work as a team with their handlers looking for them for cognitive ability and command and recognizing their own role in physical capability. Its an interesting dynamic when its a good good and good handler as the dog is super loyal and loves to work. They love challenges so its really about managing all that drive the dog has.

    I saw a training exercise where they deployed multiple dogs against multiple armed gun men and it was amazing to see how these dogs are smart enough to actually have strategy and tactics. For example, they're smart enough to recognize the differences in lethality between a stick, knife, pistol and long gun. They'll actually flank an assailant with a firearm by putting the assailant with a stick or knife between then and the firearm. These aren't like typical police dogs that bite and hold, but rather dogs that once deployed are expecting to kill their target. They go for the hands first, starting with the hand holding the weapon and ravage it over and over with deep bites. Unless pulled out, it'll continue until the threat is dead. I'd been told that the more capable among the breed have the cognitive ability of an 8 - 10 year old human. They can string together a dozen commands and are capable of understanding a couple hundred words once they've been properly trained.

    Super nuts.
  7. misteraven

    misteraven Administrator

    Joined: May 7, 1999 Messages: 8,992 Likes Received: 413
    @Mercer Here's a few of the K9's I was mentioning in the previous post.




  8. misteraven

    misteraven Administrator

    Joined: May 7, 1999 Messages: 8,992 Likes Received: 413

    Don't have one yet, but planning on it. Its a very interesting subculture but also a great way of communication.
  9. misteraven

    misteraven Administrator

    Joined: May 7, 1999 Messages: 8,992 Likes Received: 413
    Two iPhone shots from this weekend...


    LUGR likes this.
  10. Mercer

    Mercer Moderator Crew

    Joined: May 2, 2007 Messages: 10,652 Likes Received: 1,072
    Holy shit it would be amazing to see those dogs at work, and in training. If I were an operator myself, I'd hard time dealing with losing one in combat, almost as much as losing one of my brothers in arms. I've worked with secret service at NBC and had to remind myself not to try and pet their dog, that looks so much like my own cream puff at home. After becoming familiar with the dutch shepherd breed, I recognize their intellectual advantages, and intense work ethic compared to most other dogs.

    Mine is almost 11 years old now, and if I'd let him he'd harness up and pull me on my skateboard all the way to downtown brooklyn and back like he used to. The best thing I found to help ease his anxiety and make hime a little more tolerant of humans was giving him training for work tasks he could accomplish on his own with minimal encouragement. Kind of like a human, they just want to be an important member of a team somehow.
  11. Dirty_habiT

    Dirty_habiT Administrator

    Joined: Mar 8, 2001 Messages: 18,136 Likes Received: 82
    The muscles on the dogs while they're in kill mode make them look pretty scary. Very impressive story about how smart those dogs are.
  12. misteraven

    misteraven Administrator

    Joined: May 7, 1999 Messages: 8,992 Likes Received: 413
    Definitely have to see them in action. Hopefully not a receiving end of it.
  13. Dirty_habiT

    Dirty_habiT Administrator

    Joined: Mar 8, 2001 Messages: 18,136 Likes Received: 82
    Where do you draw the line between "off the grid living" and being a full on "prepper"? Nuke bunkers? Solar panels? Storage full of Soylent?
  14. James Cagney

    James Cagney Member

    Joined: Sep 8, 2010 Messages: 947 Likes Received: 75
    Cue up Merle Haggard's - "Big City."

    First time checking the forum in quite some time, was instantly attracted to this thread. Recently made the solo move from a small city in the northeast, to a major city in the west, and i'm reaffirming old notions that I hate cities. The most at peace I've felt since I've been here was when i took the train as far out of the city as possible and walked along this river for a couple hours. It was great. For years i wanted to move more off the grid, or into the country i suppose. Not as far as to not have running water/electricity, but far enough that i can't see someone else's house from my yard. Being single, if i went that far into no mans land I'd for sure go looney tunes. Recently it's been popping back into my head to save as much as possible while i'm here, and start trying to make these old dreams a reality. I've never been one to care for shiny things, so giving up stuff like that wouldn't be an issue, and as long as i make money to acquire what i need to live, and maybe travel here and there, i'll be good. I've also recently been getting into archery. I've shot a few times in the past and recently decided to take a quick little lesson to learn "proper form," and plan on buying a compound bow in the future. The idea of hunting my own meat has been steadily growing on me for a while now. Hopefully I can make good on this within the next year or so.

    Having your own chickens for eggs is incredible, and elk meat is some glorious stuff. I like to make bbq elk meatballs from time to time, y'all should give it a try if you can. (I've read that the more you handle elk meat the tougher it can get, fyi.)

    The photos, stories, and information here is rad. I've wanted to get back to Montana ever since I drove straight through it from Sioux Falls to Seattle many years ago. I haven't gone through it but i saw KIR's thread is still kicking, that was also great material

    Lastly, splitting the firewood is definitely the best part Raven, I agree. Growing up it was one of my favorite things to do while camping. I even used to like watching log chopping competitions and shit like that, haha. (fucking neeerd.)
    misteraven likes this.
  15. misteraven

    misteraven Administrator

    Joined: May 7, 1999 Messages: 8,992 Likes Received: 413
    Not sure that matters. I have a chest freezer and racks in my basement. I can probably not food shop for 6 months and still eat okay. I don't do this because I'm expecting the zombie apocalypse but because I live in a place where my front yard has 4 - 9ft of snow. I food shop minimally to buy fresh ingredients for an upcoming meal, but have enough inventory on hand that I buy most my food at super sale prices, often saving 1/3 - 1/2 on it. I can totally avoid the fluctuations in high prices because come Thanksgiving, for example, I don't have to fight through a crowd to buy a turkey because I already have 5 of them in deep freeze from when the last huge sale was. I'm not beginning to do the same with common products like soap, toothpaste and shampoo mainly because I'm very particular about the stuff I like and often can't find it locally, especially at a reasonable price. So I keep tabs on a few sources, wait until I see those black friday or whatever sales and then by a case of them. Then when I suddenly realize that someone used all my shampoo I dont get mad or spend more running out... I go to my basement (which is starting to look like a bodega) and grab a new bottle out of a case on the shelf.

    Obviously its a lot to setup, but once its there you'd be amazed at how easy it ti maintain. Besides being a hedge on inflation and retail increases, it's saved my ass a couple times when times got lean for some unforeseen reason allowing me to continue living pretty well (or at least as I've been), even when income was stalled for a few weeks or longer.

    All that doomsday shit is just TV drama crap like everything else. Featuring a rational person that can give a compelling reason on why it might benefit some to not live day to day doesnt produce big rating. Maybe there's even an agenda at play considering DHS issued a memorandum during the second Obama administration that profiled domestic terrorists as people that hoarded food. LOL! Not sure where that came from or how one thing relates to another, but often to hold power over another, you need leverage. The more self sufficient and independent a person is, the harder it is to exert that leverage. Maybe its a conspiracy or maybe I have my ballcap on too tight, but all's I know is that when I need a new bar of Lemon Bliss Soap, I got a grip of them on hand.