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Old 04-10-2012, 09:09 PM
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Default Could you live in a 12'x12' cabin with no water or electricity?

This story is a little bit tree-hugger, but it's worth the read. If you haven't ever lived off the grid, you don't realize that it really is a beautiful and blessed lifestyle, and -- after a while -- you don't miss the conveniences you gave up.
~ grower


Could You Live in a 12' x 12' Cabin With No Water or Electricity?

Returning to the U.S. after a decade of aid work, William Powers finds himself in the heart of the world's richest nation, but living a subsistence life.
May 24, 2010 |



Editor’s Note: Why would a successful American physician choose to live in a twelve-foot-by-twelve-foot cabin without running water or electricity? To find out, writer and activist William Powers visited Dr. Jackie Benton in rural North Carolina. No Name Creek gurgled through Benton’s permaculture farm, and she stroked honeybees’ wings as she shared her wildcrafter philosophy of living on a planet in crisis. Powers, just back from a decade of international aid work, then accepted Benton’s offer to stay at the cabin for a season while she traveled. There, he befriended her eclectic neighbors — organic farmers, biofuel brewers, eco-developers — and discovered a sustainable but imperiled way of life. In this excerpt from Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream, Powers first arrives at the cabin in the cold of early spring.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/...ricity/?page=1
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:24 PM
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That a good book--I've read it.

By priority here is what I would like to have to be happy. If you notice, running water is 5th on the list and electricity is 6th. I made this list when I first moved to the backwoods so I could figure out what I really needed and what I could live without.

1. Wood Stove, Chain saw and Truck--We heat only with wood with no backup. Being cold is no fun. With a wood stove, you can cook on it, warm water for showers and washing dishes, melt snow for water and dry your clothes on racks by it.

2. Drains--Hauling out dirty water or bailing out a bathtub sucks.

3. Propane--For lighting, cooking in summer and refrigeration.

4. Pitcher pump--If you can pump water right by the sink, it makes your life a lot easier. Buckets get heavy!!

5. Running water--We installed a 12 volt, RV pump when my second child came along and I was using cloth diapers. Pumping 50 gallons, heating and carrying it twice per week to use the wringer washer was hard on the body. I ain't getting any younger.

6. Electricity--for computer, internet, movies and music.

Every once in a while our water line will freeze or our cisterns will run out of water during the winter while we are snowed in and we go back to melting snow and filling a 55 gallon barrel with water. It really isn't a big deal if you are set up for it.

I definitely consider everything past #1 a luxury and not a need. Number 2-6 are nice to have but I have and can live without them.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:36 PM
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I like hot showers and not having to do laundry by hand.

I don't mind living that way for a week or so at a time -- especially in the summer -- but after that, it gets old, fast.

Add farm chores to the mix and having to do everything by hand, and it can make for a long, tedious day. These writers manage to make it sound a lot better than it is.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:25 PM
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Could I, of course. But I would go into internet withdrawal and I hate washing clothes by hand.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:53 PM
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I did it over the fall, winter, spring of 07-08. My shack was actually 8x16 with 8x12 enclosed, and 4x8 porch/firewood storage. It was 2 miles from a paved road, at least 1000 ft higher in elevation than the surrounding area, on a ridge.

No water, but had a creek nearby. No electricity. Had a wood stove, and plenty of insulation.















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Old 04-11-2012, 12:20 AM
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chicom, what kind of oven do you use for the bread in the third picture?

Looks good but I think I would want a little larger foot print for a cabin.. Stairs and ladders are less desirable as my knees age.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:42 AM
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Back in the mid-1970 my wife, my first born daughter and I lived in a 15' x 8' travel trailer for about three years. When my wife became pregnent with our second child, we upgraded to a 28' bunk-house style travel trailer.

Over the past 39 years, we have lived in several trailers. In fact, in the 1990s, after my wife returned from the first Persian Gulf war, she, my four children and myself, we all lived in a 28 foot bunk-house trailer.

When the kids got older, we had a 35 foot travel trailer that my wife and I liven in for about two years, until after the kids all went into the service.

The plan is that, one day soon, we will fall back to living in that 35' travel trailer. And if we have too, we will live in a tent.

Hot showers, machine washing clothes, big-screen TVs and continuously available Internet, the loss of all these things will be an adjustment that the majority of us will have long struggles with. Withdrawal from modern convieniences will be devistating to those who have made these things the main-stay of their everyday lives.

Enjoy these things while you still can. But you'd better be prepared to learn to do without them...
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:58 AM
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we built by hand a authentic 10x12 log cabin from scratch and lived in it for 2 years.. so yes,, been there, done that..
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microcarl View Post
Hot showers, machine washing clothes, big-screen TVs and continuously available Internet, the loss of all these things will be an adjustment that the majority of us will have long struggles with. Withdrawal from modern convieniences will be devistating to those who have made these things the main-stay of their everyday lives.
As I age, I don't like being without hot showers. I'm working on alternatives.

I understand that I'll need to make do with a lot less, but I know something about solar and wind power, and I scrounge materials and fabricate systems fairly well when it's necessary.

I can't think of a good reason that I have to live like a 3rd worlder, unless they dump me in a desert with zero tools and no metal to scrounge.

As long as I don't have to go head-to-head with code enforcement busy bodies, all will be well.

And back to the OP I would not like to be living in a hut with no power in the winter and have my back go out. There's a reason a number of seniors moved to warmer climates (and still do).

Chi, you're getting married and moving to FL . . . (congrats, again).
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
Chi, you're getting married and moving to FL . . . (congrats, again).

Say what?? Is this TRUE?
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