Choosing The Best Location For Your Off-Grid Cabin
When you're taking the plunge to go off-grid in a remote area, the location of your cabin or tiny house makes all the difference to your success at off-grid living. Here are some things to consider when making the switch to a simplified lifestyle.
1. Solar power potential.
When you go off-grid, the biggest changes will be in how you source your power. The best setups allow for constant gathering of solar energy. Make sure you choose to build your home in a spot that has constant exposure to sunlight. A large hill, ridge, or group of trees that shades your home—especially your roof—for a good portion of the afternoon will cut into your power supply. Try looking for an elevated place or a clearing for the best use of your solar system. When you buy cabin solar energy kits, you can install them yourself in order to save money. For information on cabin solar kits, check out websites like www.renogy.com.
2. Road quality.
The joy of living off-grid is the solitude you have away from the hustle and bustle of more urbanized areas. However, you don't want to be so remote that you have trouble accessing the area when bad weather hits. You also want emergency vehicles, fuel deliveries, and visitors to be able to make it to your home with limited trouble. Therefore, you should be sure to choose a place where roads are maintained and passable—if not for cars, than at least for modest SUVs.
3. Water location.
Some off-grid cabins are "dry," meaning they don't have running water, and they bring in needed water for washing, cleaning, and drinking using a tank or clean stream. This can be a fine option for you, but you should always consider that in the future you'll have the need, time, and money and install running water. Before building your cabin, have the land surveyed to make sure that digging a well near your home is possible. If you build on a dry spot, you have to stick with hauling water, or spend money moving your cabin to a more fortuitous spot on your land. If your land does not have optimal well possibilities, consider adding a large water tank to your home design. A water truck will come every few months to fill the cistern with potable water for your needs.
4. Sustainability of resources.
Finally, the full benefits of off-grid living come from living off the land. You can eat what you grow, raise, or hunt. You can get heat from your own wood and enjoy your own natural paradise. When choosing land and a spot to build on, keep both feet on the ground and really assess what that parcel can give back to you and how much work it will take. For example, a fully treed lot will give you plenty of firewood, but it will be tough to clear if you're hoping for a large garden or grazing for livestock. If the soil is thin or rocky, you'll have trouble growing the grain for your animals or producing enough vegetables to can and store for the winter. Think of the land as a job: what benefits will it give, how many hours of work a day will you put in, and what will the workplace environment be like? If any of these questions have negative answers, the location may not be what you are looking for.
Going off the grid can have plenty of benefits. Starting up is a lot of hard work and takes some investment. With the right location choices and DIY energy solutions like solar panels, you'll be on your way to creating a truly modern homestead.