Nov 20

Cabin Off Gridding

Here’s a short article I wrote recently for my book “Getting Started Living Off the Grid over at http://www.gridlesssolutions.com, where I talk about some of the first things a person with a new mountain cabin might want to look at, if they want to take it off grid someday (or it doesn’t even have grid yet). So you’ve got a cabin, a summer hideout and fall hunting man-cave, that you’re interested in outfitting with all the electrical amenities of home, but it’s either too far from grid power, or you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of a second utility or power bill. Do you know how to take this to off-grid status? Do you know what some of the special considerations are for this project? Let’s explore some of them! I’m going to make an assumption here, right off the bat, that this cabin is probably located somewhere in the mountains. So let’s do a very quick site survey. -is there a creek or stream on the property? -if there is flowing water on the property, how many gallons per minute does it flow, and what is the altitude drop from the water’s highest point to the lowest point on your property? -is there a ridge-line on the property? -does the property have a clear view of the southern sky? -is the cabin on flat ground or on a hillside? -can you build an outbuilding (like a battery room) there? -does the cabin get much rainfall? -does it have wood heat (fireplace or wood-stove, etc)? -is it built right on the ground, or does it have a crawlspace? -is the ground diggable, or is it solid granite? -does it have a well and/or septic system or do I need a self-composter? -is there space for edible plants to grow, and is there a way to automatically water them? These are some of the first things I would look at when evaluating a summer cabin for off-grid potential. How can I generate power, can I keep it warm/cool, can I cook and eat there, can I drink the local water, and what are bathroom facilities like? With the answers from these questions, you are prepared to actually start planning some options.
Cabin Off Gridding by