June 8th, 2017: In today’s show I share with you one of the top concerns and questions we get from our audience, “Are We Too Old To Live Off-Grid?” This is a concern for many wishing to take on homesteading or off-grid living! Listen in and see what is shared…
For those of you that are unable to stream podcasts or would rather have the opportunity to read, below you will find the transcription of today’s podcast:
You’re listening to the Mountain Woman radio show which can be found on our website at trayerwilderness.com and also on iTunes.
Welcome to the Mountain Woman radio, show where we’re homesteading traditionally 100% off grid today and offering preparedness and survival tips for tomorrow, here’s your host Tammy Trayer.
Tammy: Hey guys, Tammy Trayer-trayerwilderness.com. Hoping you guys are doing good today and enjoying this beautiful day, it’s always a beautiful day regardless what the weather is. It’s all what you make it. Today we’re going to talk about–this is before I stir the pot here-this is one of the most common questions we get on our website and on our social media and so forth is, “Am I too old to live off-grid? And my answer to that right off the bat is absolutely not. Never are you too old to embrace a dream or live a self sustaining lifestyle and there’s nothing stopping you from living off grid based on your age. So let’s cover that because in my book “How To Embrace an Off-Grid Lifestyle”- you can find that on Amazon and you can also find my other books by going to trayerwilderness.com/Tammy Trayer . So you can go on there check out the other books I have-but my “How To Embrace an Off-Grid Lifestyle” went live in January of this year 2017 on my birthday actually which was a goal and a met goal, so was excited about that. But in Chapter five is where I really talk about this subject and really, really try to cover things because there’s such a misconception of off grid living and this applies to people that want a homestead to, you’re never too old to homestead it’s all about how you wish to embrace it. You could be 75 and get a couple chickens and live in a on a small little piece of acreage and enjoy your life and live self sufficiently and be very content, It’s all how you go about it. Let me explain; I see living off the grid what that means, is that you are not connected to the power grid. You are either pulling in power from another source typically alternative energy or you don’t have any power at all which would ultimately be our goal just because-just because we can. But right now we are powering our home with solar power. So the sun provides the energy in the sun on our panels, our panels come into the house and they go through a charge controller and that way if the batteries are already full, It protects the batteries and diverts the energy and once it’s in the batteries it goes from the batteries to an inverter which inverts your D.C. power-your battery power is D.C. into A.C. current and goes into your breaker box which is no different than what the grid does. The grid provides AC power to your breaker box as well into your home.
So the next question many people have is, “How do you–what happens when the sun goes down?” Well, when the sun’s out it’s power my batteries so at night we live off of battery power and we’re frugal we choose to be frugal because if your batteries go low you either need Sunder recharge or a generator and if there’s no sun you need the generator and the generator takes fuel we just try to be very frugal and eliminate expenses for ourselves and that it’s all up to you how you wish to live. If you want to live like you do now on the grid be prepared that you’ll probably have to run the generator more often and then we do. But we don’t have a lot of the modern day power appliances and at night we’re very simplistic-one light, everybody in the same room, maybe two lights two different rooms but that’s max and we don’t really do anything that requires power in the evening. So we read books, YouTube, play games, sleep because we’re exhausted from all the work we do but the thing is there’s a couple things that would deter somebody from living off the grid the way we do. We’re out pretty far, I mean we are–we chose to live very traditionally. So we can, we ferment, we harvest our meat, we butcher our meat and we do everything ourselves so depending on your age and what the tasks are, that can get a little cumbersome and a little difficult. But the other thing that is something to consider, is that you can still live the life and maybe just get people to help you. Like for example my son-we have our wood heat and my son cuts up firewood and sells it in the winter months and you know so he delivers the wood and he just unloads it or he can deliver the wood and stack it you know, so there’s opportunities out there for you to do some things yourself and others you could pay somebody to do as you age. Now for example living off the grid means that you aren’t on the power grid, you’re using other power sources. So suppose you work the nine to five job but you would love to try to be a little bit more green and you go today work, you come home-your house is powered by solar and you live a little more frivolously and you know don’t mind paying extra for the generator if you want to come home and do a load of wash but you’re off the grid and you can say that you’re off the grid and that’s one way of living an off-grid lifestyle-you don’t have to step back in time and change anything necessarily. That’s where the big misconception comes in as people think that off-grid people are dirty uneducated and have less because we don’t have the power but we really do, seven years we’ve been without power twice and we still had power-we just didn’t have Sun Power because a cable got snapped by a deer and a breaker went and we were down two days till we got replacements but we still had generator and battery power, so we were still never without power for seven years and that’s not something that most people can say on the grid. So it’s definitely a nice way to go.
Now the other way you could do off grid living is you could embrace living with solar power, wind power and do a little bit more yourself. You know the first example I gave-they have firewood delivered, they buy their meat at the butcher shop, they use all today’s resources and didn’t do a whole lot. Example number two, you live off grid on a homestead have a couple chickens, husband still works off site and he is providing and mom stay at home with the kids and they’re trying to do a little bit more themselves to cut corners and save money and that’s a great way to go so you’re not fully traditional but you’re still tapping into it. And then you have people like us who dive in and go into the whole nine yards, we really prefer to live it as extremely traditionally as we can and I guess that at some point we’d really like to cut our ties with electrical power and just live back in the woods somewhere. So you know everybody has their own desires but you’re never too old to embrace this. A solar system requires that you add distilled water to the batteries every month and just check the battery levels that’s pretty much it. You can run an equalization which equals out your batteries but that’s something your system does, it’s not something you personally have to do. So all you have to do is monitor your batteries and take care of them, is not complicated and how you embrace that is up to you, you don’t have to live a full all out little house on the prairie lifestyle if you don’t want to and if you’re already up there in age and you want to embrace this but you’re concerned, you know the things to consider in my opinion are where you’re located and also your health needs and they kind of can go hand in hand. If you’re too far out and you have health concerns you certainly don’t want to stay real far out as you age because things get really complicated in getting you the help you need if you need help. So there’s no reason why you can’t off grid somewhere closer to town, you know you’re not necessarily–you don’t have to go out into the middle of nowhere into the wilderness to live an off grid lifestyle. You can live it from anywhere, keep that in mind. Health issues are a big thing, we had two major health situations last year. My husband stopped breathing eight times before the ambulance came which was very scary and we’re up pretty far and most people don’t know where we live, thankfully the people that were driving the ambulance and the Deputy that was leading the way on the how to get here and our son was able to open the gate but the E.M.T. was having a hard time getting an I.V. in my husband when they did get here. So even with good health and just freaky situations, bad things can go so it’s up to you-it’s up to you how you want to live, it’s up to you how you decide to live, it’s up to you if you want to risk those things. We’re willing to risk this things because we love being out and you know we can live in a town it’s just not our makeup. You know to us that’s a risk we’re willing to take you have to weigh that. Now if you need close access to doctors to be honest in our location we’re at least an hour if not two hours to specialists and so forth so that’s a pretty substantial distance. We’re 45 minutes from regular doctors and Community Hospital. We prefer to go to the further hospitals but these are things to consider. So if you’ve got health issues then you need medical attention often you’re not going to want to live real far away from those things unless that’s something you are willing to risk and to deal with. But when people ask if they’re too old, absolutely not, absolutely not and I know a woman who lives up in between here and Banners Berry and she and her husband purchased the piece of property and shortly after they purchased that property he passed on and she’s been running that place by herself ever since and she’s in her 70’s and certainly a slowdown but you don’t–that doesn’t mean you have to keep doing the exhaustive work either, you can change how you start out. If you start out gangbusters like we are, doing everything traditionally and as you age step it back, there’s a lot of different ways you can do this and embracing a self-sufficient life, homesteading or off grid life so rewarding. And if it’s a dream and you don’t ever take the chance to accomplish it you live with regret. So there’s lots of unique ways that you can embrace such a lifestyle and a lot of people get really concerned with the cost of alternative energy and I will say that the cost has definitely gone down since we have purchased our equipment seven years ago and five years ago our equipment was paid for-in calculating what we were paying in electric prior to living this way everything was paid for on our fifth year here. So I said that back previously-but it was our fifth year here. So we’ve been having no electric bill or payment any kind for two years. The upfront costs can be costly but there’s also credits available for your taxes and you just had to be very careful with the-you know and checking with your states and your Municipalities. You know example Florida has some heavy laws on off grid living and solar and alternative energy living which is crazy to me because you know it’s cleaner and it’s part of our freedom and our choice but it’s government control wanting to control and that they can gain something off of our electric. But our ancestors live with no power at all and I want to live that way, this is my desire and I really feel we should fight for it; because it doesn’t make two cents for the day.
But I really encourage you to really think about it then if you have questions we do consulting on the side as well at trayerwilderness—[chuckles], I don’t know if you can hear but there’s an owl two of them, some owls talking right now. Anyway I’m sorry, I’m walking with my dogs today-this is my time for me. Anyway I really encourage you to consider-we do have consulting available to you where you can get unlimited e-mail conversations for a month definitely check that out on our website there’s a consulting tab, would love to help you further and help you to set things up and just to put more thought into it because embracing dreams is huge and being able to live the life you desire and you want to live it’s so important. I just want to encourage you to give that some thought today but you’re never too old never ever, ever, ever, ever to old in my eyes. Those are my thoughts for today, I’m really glad you took the time to join me and you can find a new blog post on our website at trayerwilderness.com every Monday new video on our YouTube channel every Wednesday and you can find me every Friday on iTunes Sticher on our website with my podcast. So thank you so much for joining me and I look forward to catching up with you next Friday. You guys take care, have a great day and God bless.
You are listening to the Mountain Woman radio show where you will learn something new every week we hope you enjoyed the show and encourage you to join us at trayerwilderness.com and be sure to connect with us on iTunes, remember your reviews on iTunes are very important to us and help us reach more people just like you.