Off-Grid Living

There are so many people, today, who cannot understand what it is like to live off the grid in a little cabin in the woods.

They ask, “how do you do this and that and what do you do about this and that,” and the questions to them seem hard to answer. But to someone who has lived that way for many years, the answers come easy because it is part of life.

More than once, I have been asked how I do some of life’s everyday activities. Well the short answer to all is, “I do it as best I can and I don’t do it much different than how it was done for centuries, not to long ago.” So here are my answers to five popular questions I am often asked.

Q: How do you take a shower with no running water?

A: We “sponge bath.” Fill a large pot with water, heat it up in the winter and enjoy its coolness in the summer!

Q: How do you see at night?

A: We use oil lamps. Sometimes we use candles and battery-powered lights. But we do most of what we need done before sundown.

Q: How do you keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer?

A: In the summer we spend a lot of time under shade trees. We take it easy on very hot days and drink a lot of water. Since there is a nearby river we jump in the river from time to time to cool off. When we have a charged 12-volt battery we can run a window fan in our cabin. In the winter we use a wood-burning stove.

Q: Don’t you get bored with no TV?

A: No. One thing about living on a forest homestead is that there is always something to do. There is always a project to work on. We can always gather, cut or split wood. There is the garden and animals to tend to. We can always walk through the trees and find something to entertain us in nature. We can always go for a walk down a country road or play games with family or maybe have a good chat around a peaceful fire. You get used to no electronics. And when you do, it feels so good.

Q: Aren’t you afraid of wild animals?

A: No. We have good guard dogs that will not allow anything to come near our land boundaries. You get used to living so close to nature and you stay away if you are smart and they will not bother you either, usually. Most wild animals are afraid of humans, in fact. Being afraid of the forest animals is actually a learned disability, learned through myth and false information readily available in modern day society. But people have always lived hand in hand with them.

And we love the howl of the coyotes at night. 

Texas County resident Merlyn Seeley (a.k.a. Spirit Walker) is a natural living expert, herbalist, Cherokee medicine man and author of numerous books. His blog address is https://freelancermerlyn.wordpress.com/. Email dogwoodhollow15@yahoo.com.

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