How to Live Off-the-Grid for Only $10K

September 23, 2016 5:00 am
Secluded Cabin
(myLoupe/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Secluded Cabin
(myLoupe/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)


With cities becoming astronomically expensive and some residents resorting to living in cubbyholes, now’s a better time than ever to tap into your adventurous side and kiss the grid goodbye. Sure, we here at RealClearLife are all about the superyachts and supercars, but there’s something very ’80s action movie-esque about living in a shack in the middle of nowhere.

So a recent article from VICE‘s Nick Jarvis caught our eye: The writer talked to a couple from Australia, who exited humanity stage-left for $20,000—and now believe it can be done for half as much. Here are a few of their recommendations:

Do Your Research 
In Australia, there’s a popular new movement forming around the “tiny house“—sort of like those Kasitas we covered awhile back, but for backcountry living. There’s a lot of advice you can seek out on the Internet for building these types of DIY homes—especially on social media. Check out this Facebook page for starters.

Plot Your Plot Wisely
So you want to leave the bustling city for greener pastures (i.e. the middle of the jungle)? Make sure you can build on it legally, or rent the spot. At least in Australia, there are nonprofits that help people settle rural communities. (There’s always squatter’s rights, too.)

Focus on the Bare-Essential Amenities
Yes, you’ll need a toilet. And running water (if you can’t get it from a nearby source like a stream or riverbed). Electricity doesn’t hurt, either. The great thing about building your own backcountry pad is that you have a clean slate to work from. Make it work for what you need. (You can buy some plots of land for under $2,000 here.)

The Cheaper the Materials, the Better
This is where the Australian couple tells VICE that they could’ve easily spent just $10,000 on the pieces of their dream tiny home. Consult websites like this one to learn how to build a composting toilet, for example. Don’t be bashful about using recycled or salvaged materials. And use online auction sites like eBay to find deals on the harder-to-build items. One of the couple’s most expensive pieces? A $3,000 solar panel system purchased from eBay. Yes, eBay.

For more tricks of the going-off-the-grid trade (and to read VICE‘s full story), click here.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.