Living Off The Grid
Product DescriptionWorried that living off the grid means a life without comfort and convenience? Discover how to unplug without sacrificing the joys of the modern world.
Wondering if an off the grid lifestyle is right for you? Scared that it'll be too challenging for you and your family to handle? Author and speaker Gary Collins literally wrote the book on how to transition to a life off the grid. After almost a decade of walking the walk, he's sharing his successes and failures alike so you can live the simple life without missing out on creature comforts.
Living Off The Grid: What to Expect While Living the Life of Ultimate Freedom and Tranquility is a comprehensive shake-down of what this unique lifestyle looks like in practice. Told through Collins' much-loved conversational tone, you'll see complex subjects distilled into easy-to-apply lessons. Let the book calm your anxiety about taking this next step and find out how easy it can be to live a life of freedom.
In Living Off The Grid, you'll discover:
- Practical day-to-day tips to make off-grid living simple
- Strategies for running a business or telecommuting while remaining mostly unplugged
- Ways to remain socially and professionally connected in your new lifestyle
- How to make the most of your newfound freedom and decreased cost of living
- Mistakes, expensive errors, and bonehead blunders Collins made so you don't have to... and much, much more!
Buy Living Off The Grid to embark on an exciting new lifestyle today!
Top ReviewsA solid introduction to the off-grid lifestyle
by Anna Erishkigal,Top Contributor: Writing (5 out of 5 stars)
January 16, 2019
When surveying resources for the off-grid lifestyle, first it is useful to assess which category you might fall into:
1) "Average" people who hope to save money, lead a simpler life, and go back to the land as simple and independently as they possibly can (often called "homesteaders");
2) Preppers and other people who want to go off-grid completely, frequently by outfitting a primary or secondary "bug out" property;
3) Boondockers - people who reject property ownership and wish to travel around the country in an off-grid, totally self-contained RV;
Mr. Collins falls somewhere between Option 2 and Option 3, in that he has chosen to live part of the year in a self-contained RV, but maintains an off-grid home to go back to part of the year.
With that in mind (myself having dabbled in all three groups), I found Mr. Collin's advice to be solid and spot-on. "Living Off the Grid" starts out with a phase most of the prepper books don't cover ... setting aside a bit of money first and founding the kind of job which will allow you to pack up and move off the grid. Without a financial cushion and a way to earn a future living, your off-grid plans will fail.
From there the book discusses what kinds of campers and trailers you might want to purchase if you wish to either live in it while building your new off-grid house, or to travel the country and live off-grid in an RV. I found the information adequate for "live in while you build," but if you want to live an off-grid boondocking lifestyle (where you take advantage of BLM land to camp for free), you will need to look someplace else. Nothing wrong with that, the "boondocking lifestyle" just isn't covered in this book. Mr. Collins provides some real useful information about the difficulties of getting an off-grid RV onto your new, remote off-grid property that are frequently overlooked in other books.
He also has a good overview on siting a good piece of land, with definite criteria that you should be looking for.
He has good advice for dealing with contractors while building your off-grid house, and more importantly, there are several chapters which provide a very thorough overview of the different kinds of off-grid energy systems and which combination might be necessary for your off-grid house, including wind, solar, micro-hydro, and geothermal. I would have appreciated differentiation between "true" geothermal (you live near a hot spot) vs. ground source heat pump (ambient ground temperature) as the systems serve different niches, but since most people have never heard of EITHER type of system this oversight can be forgiven.
What you WON'T find in this book: tips on homesteading, food storage, root cellars, or hunting. You'd be better off looking for a book which deals more with Off-Grid Lifestyle #1 (see above).
Overall, this book contains solid advice. My only criticism is that the author comes at the off-grid lifestyle from the point of view of somebody who had access to, or the ability to earn in a short period of time, a significant amount of money to invest. If you are at the lower end of the income scale, many of the things he recommends will seem beyond your reach.
Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. I do not know the author, and this did not influence my opinion.
If you are concidering any portion of living off the grid, this book is for you.
by terry (5 out of 5 stars)
February 19, 2019
I am a senior citizen who has recently retired and I am preparing to move one more time. I won't be going completely off grid, but I want to incorporate solar and wind energy generation as well as efficient building techniques Gary Collins book has become my quick reference guide to get me headed in the right dirction.
Scant on detail
by B. T. Chenault (2 out of 5 stars)
April 30, 2019
I hated this book. It spends a lot of time promoting the author's other books, and whole chapters on truck options.
by bw (2 out of 5 stars)
April 19, 2019
A lot of redundancies when compared to second book (Going off the grid). From the perspective of being moderately informed, it quite plainly - crashed on the attention spectrum. We had purchased the set thinking it would be good referendums for our adventure. Unfortunately, we were disappointed.
Great book with good tips for those headed off the grid!
by D Barlow (5 out of 5 stars)
April 9, 2019
I appreciate the down to earth & practical approach the author took. This was a very imformative book & I am glad he shares his mistakes & successes, so we don't have to learn everything the hard way. I just wish his other books on this subject were all combined in one as "The Ultimate Guide for Going off the Grid". Or something like that. I am planning and taking steps toward this & will probably buy more of his books. I think this was a good place to start.
Can't say I learned much
by Some Dude25 (2 out of 5 stars)
June 3, 2019
I hate to pan this book this way but I just don't think there was anything in here that was truly enlightening, the author refers to author books they wrote for more details and those books might be great but I'm not sure what you gain here. Maybe if this book was free or very cheap as a teaser book it would make more sense to then read the others...
by Kindle Customer (4 out of 5 stars)
March 14, 2019
Honestly is not what I was expecting. I had more of a "romantic" idea about off the grid living and the book is on the "practical" side.
I did learn a lot.
And it was well written.
Good information but presumptuous
by rasputin (3 out of 5 stars)
July 26, 2019
There is a lot of good information in Mr. Collins' book. Some points are basic and can be found in other off-the-grid books but a lot of his experience is useful and to the point. I even thougt of purchasing another of his books.
Then, as I was nearing the end of the book, I came across chapter 14. In discussion of "your finances" Mr. Collins' implies that all Americans have "not a revenue problem but a spending issue". He adds "why does the average American have less than $1,000 in the bank or saved for retirement? Because we're not living within our financial means...".
There are many Americans that make way less than $15 and enjoy very little comforts or niceties. Instead they work very hard to make ends meet. Even spending money on a book like this could be seen as frivolity. He mentions many times about being raised poor. Perhaps he has forgotten. This could make people working hard to get off the grid with less money lose hope.
Good information but condescending.
I won't be buying any more of his books.
Off the Grid
by Andrea E Menzies (4 out of 5 stars)
September 23, 2019
Review: Living Off The Grid
I just finished the book Living Off the Grid What to Expect While Living the Life of Ultimate Freedom and Tranquility by Gary Collins. It is a great book on many levels, and I do recommend reading the information in it. However, far too few people understand what "The Grid" is, and why people long to off of it. This book helps people understand the urge to live off grid, and how to do it in a thrifty but not unreasonable way.
Every "normal" house or apartment is "On a Grid" due to all the electric wires, water, and sewage pipes that are controlled by the city. People pay an electric bill, a water bill, and a sewage bill for every property connected to the grid. We don't think of this much until something goes "wrong" with our electric or water due to a lightning strike or other disaster forces it to stop working. Yet many people argue even when it is "Working Well" it is not really working long term due to how much pollution gets into our "normal" water supply. Have you asked the people of Flint Michigan how "well" a "normal" system is operating? Many would say not great due to pollution making the water undrinkable. In addition most cities have electric plants that run off of fossil fuel 70% of the time. This is contributing to global warming gasses in the air at a massive rate. If you protest at the plants you may be tossed in jail due to trespassing on private property. What options do you have if you do not want to pay into a system that does not care about the environment? You can try to make choices as much as you can that fund alternative energy consumption. One of these is making a solar house that does not use city powered water and electric, and Gary Collins describes doing this in his book.
I like RV Van (recreational vehicle) travel, and also solar power which gave this book a strong appeal to my interests. Due to their small size RVs are automatically thrifty in energy use while often being sold with solar panels connected to them. Large houses with many rooms often waste electricity in rooms not often used. Collins lives in a large RV as he makes his self-built off-grid house. He describes types of RVs on the market, and their uses. In addition he describes towing vehicles appropriate for many types of RVs. He has worked in building and construction at jobs, and so his tips on how to build and manage sheds for solar batteries are very insightful. He is realistic about mistakes you can make on your journey to owning and suppling an RV or off grid house. It will take money and effort often NOT being the "cheap" way to go.
I cannot say I agree with ALL of the things Collins writes. He is giving information on a very liberal topic yet he is a former military man who is very right-wing conservative in voting views. At one point on page 134 he goes on a bit of a rant about public health. He says people will fail in life owning homes and RVs because all disability comes from the fact that all sick people are sugar addicts, and not taking care of their health with fitness. I teach many children at public schools. Some are legally disabled from birth. This offended me because sugar addiction and gym fitness is NOT the ONE source of all disability, and people need to stop the very common practice of victim-blaming people with health issues! Some problems exist due to birth and genetics not food! A shaming and blaming of disabled people for things they cannot control is torture. This mistake made me dislike the ending of the book. It was an attempt to be helpful that should be far more carefully worded to avoid offense.
However the RV and housing information is sound. If you have been curious about RVs and off grid living this book gives very good starter information. At only 146 pages it is a quick read, and it is told with personal stories in a conversational tone making it entertaining.
Very, very, short book.
by Books n' music fan (3 out of 5 stars)
June 30, 2019
Its's not like anything the author says isn't true or isn't useful. However, I didn't find much insight or information beyond the obvious. And, for $8.99, I'm afraid its much too thin of an ebook.
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