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Growing Up Off Grid

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  • Growing Up Off Grid

    In 1979 I was about 9 with 3 brothers and a sister. My dad worked in a union paper mill so life was not bad. We where high tech 70's with a big screen tv and expensive VCR.

    But my dad was not happy with how life was and found cheap property in Idaho (10 acres up in the hills for about 10k). Another family (6 kids) we were friends with bought 20 acres right next to ours and they moved first.

    We joined a few months later, we would live in the cabin they built until we got ours built.

    Now it was January 1980 with snow on the ground which was the preferred time to drive up as the road would be mud once the snow melted and not usable until late June / early July. About 2 miles of very slow driving seemed to take more than an hour.

    When we arrived the cabin as about 20 by 20 no electricity or water not even an outhouse yet = use the woods. There was a small stream iced over that we'd crack the ice and fill up containers to bring to house.

    The house consisted of a small kitchen area and lots of bunk bed with 3 or 4 kids per bed.

    It sounds horrible now but suddenly instead of spending time at school or just at home waiting to go back to school this was an experience I'm glad I had.

    - I'll add more of how life went from there later

  • #2
    mattmoses Thanks for sharing your story and I look forward to hearing more! Sounds like you had a very interesting lifestyle growing up. I'm sure a lot of us here would have loved to live that way, especially as kids/teens. Your story reminds me of the show Alaskan Bush People. I can totally picture you growing up like the kids in that family. Would love to hear if you ended up with any of the modern conveniences most of us are accustomed to after getting settled into your new property? Is there anything in particular that you didn't have while living off grid that would have made life easier or better in any way? Or did you feel completely fulfilled living with what you had at the time?

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    • #3
      This is fascinating! What a lifestyle change! I'm eager to hear more of your story.

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      • #4
        What a resilient lifestyle! I am just picturing my kids face when I tell him to put down his video games and get some water from the creek, lol. I can't wait to hear more about your experience growing up off-grid.

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        • #5
          Yes Chuck watching that brings back some memories.
          The first few weeks was real fun as I liked the outdoors. But still being winter and that many people cramped in of course led to conflict.
          We got our cabin done before winter ended but it was more of a lean to with a tarp for a door and you could see light between the logs.

          We had to barrel stoves and a cook stove but we still had to fully dress for sleep.

          Once Winter ended the road turned to mud. An older couple that lived at the point where our road hit county road and they'd let us park there and then about 2 miles hike.

          The mosquitoes were horrible but after months of cold and snow it was still nice.

          We got a well in with hand pump / fill up jugs to bring home. The water was the coldest cleanest water I have tasted.

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          • #6
            Sounds like a character building adventure!

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