Prepper Book Festival: Off Grid and Free My Path to the Wilderness

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: March 10, 2021
Prepper Book Festival: Off Grid and Free My Path to the Wilderness

It is not often that I become indecisive but earlier in the week, as I was deciding how to lead this latest book festival, I just couldn’t decide. There were too many good books, each delivering value to preppers in their own unique way.  Ultimately, the winner was a book by Ron Melchiore, someone many of you may recognize as a periodic guest contributor here on Backdoor Survival.  Ron and his wife, Johanna, have lived a good portion of their life together off-grid in what most of us would call the remote wilderness.

In spite of his isolation, Ron is quite sociable and remarkably witty eloquent as he shares his journey in his book Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness.  This is a book about sustainable living, starting in the seventies and come full circle to today.

Off Grid and Free My Path to the Wilderness | Backdoor Survival

As Ron says in the first few pages, this book is dedicated to “off gridders, homesteaders, and other self-reliant people worldwide who dare to be different and free”.  You will be inspired by this book.

With that introduction, I am thrilled to share an interview with Ron plus I have three copies of his book up for grabs in a giveaway.  Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Interview with Ron Melchiore, Author of “Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness”

Tell me about your book. What is it about?

Essentially, my book is about how a young man born in the city of Philadelphia ended up living on a remote lake 100 miles in the Canadian wilderness.

My life has been a series of adventures. We’ve lived off-grid for 37 years. For the first 20 years, we homesteaded off-grid in northern Maine. Currently, we live so isolated, we only see other human beings when we come out for resupply twice a year.

There are no roads or trails to get to us. Float plane is the only access. We’ve survived forest fires and bears. I was even touched by a bear once. Part of the appeal of this lifestyle is the freedom it affords. As such, I was able to winter thru hike all 2100+ miles of the Appalachian Trail, and years later, bicycle across the United States.

I take the reader on a vicarious journey as I share the diversity of my experiences in an entertaining, thoughtful, sometimes humorous, at other times frightening saga.

What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

Very little research was done since I am relating various stories and experiences I’ve personally had in life.

How long did it take to write?

I started writing some thoughts down years ago but I didn’t really get serious about it until 2015. I devoted the year to writing and refining my book.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading your book?

That’s an easy one. My message is simple. It’s OK to live a non-traditional life. Life is short and uncertain. If a person has a dream or aspiration, pursue it with vigor while he or she can.

It is my hope that my life and book serve as an example, that it offers some encouragement, inspiration and a measure of confidence to follow your dreams regardless of what they are, no matter how far fetched they may be.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’m an Outdoorsman/Pioneer, Homesteader and Remote Exploration Camp Manager who grew up as a typical youth in the suburbs. When in high school, I took courses in Industrial electronics.

I hadn’t been working very long in the electronics field when I began to question whether or not there was more to life than working it away for someone else. At the suggestion of my work supervisor, I researched what homesteading was all about. I discovered it means trying to be as self-sufficient and self-reliant as possible. That sure resonated with me and I’ve never looked back.

We’ve written articles that have been published in BackHome Magazine, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Countryside and Small Stock Journal, and we appear in Life Off Grid, a documentary film and book about people living off-grid throughout Canada. Life Off Grid aired on British Columbia’s Knowledge Network.

I currently blog for several websites including MotherEarth News.

As an author in the survival, prepping, self-sufficiency or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

There is nothing that we are specifically preparing for. Prepping is a relatively new term.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the terms homesteading and back to the land were in vogue. As part of that movement, we learned to be self-sufficient and self-reliant. To me that is the ultimate goal in prepping. If you have the ability to be self-reliant and self-sufficient, you are prepared for whatever the world throws your way and there is no need to cipher out every conceivable disaster scenario.

What would be your first prep-step if you were just getting started?

In a word—knowledge! Without some knowledge, without some hint at direction, how can one rationally make a judgment on the best way to prepare for any likely situations?

I say the following with tongue in cheek to make a point. If you live in Kansas, why prepare for the highly unlikely scenario of a tsunami if you don’t have at least basic first aid?

There’s a logical order to being self-reliant and it starts with absorbing knowledge like a vacuum cleaner. I would encourage anybody starting out to read as much as possible. Talk to those who have experience. Ask questions. There are lots of people out there who are happy to chat with others about this lifestyle.

What movie do you think gives the best portrayal of what could happen?

I confess I am not a movie buff. It is not often I get an opportunity to go to a movie theater and we don’t spend much time watching movies on TV.

Do you have plans for another book?

I have no plans for another book although I have had comments from readers who would love to read another if I cared to write it. We have also had readers who would like to hear our story from the perspective of my wife. Johanna is busy writing her side of the story.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

I’d like to express my gratitude to you Gaye for allowing me to be a part of your Book Festival. I am available for questions and comments if anyone cares to reach out to me. My book is available on Barnes & Noble in print, eBook and audio versions. I have a presence on various social media platforms and I have a website where people can visit:

My Book: Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness
Facebook: //
Pinterest: //
Webpage: //
Youtube: //

The Giveaway

Ron has reserved three copies of his book in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.

A special word about the giveaway question/comment:  Please read the question and respond accordingly, even it the answer is “I don’t know”.  This week’s question is:

What aspect of off-grid living is appealing to you?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM MST Tuesday with the winners notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winners must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  Due to customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to individuals with a mailing address in the United States.

The Final Word

The way I see it, it takes courage and a strong belief in one’s self to abandon modern society and live in the wilderness, 100 miles away from everything. It is hard work to live off-grid and yet both Ron and his wife seem happy, fulfilled, and always on the ready for a new adventure.  How many of us on-grid types can say that?

It is easy to live a bit vicariously through Ron’s book. You will enjoy it.

For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival 14: Books to Learn, Prepare, and Be Ready for Anything.


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Spotlight:  Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness

Off Grid and Free follows Ron Melchiore’s path to the wilderness, which led him to building an off-grid, sustainable homestead with his wife Johanna. Here you will find true stories of survival, determination, and adventure. Ron’s years of experience make this book an essential guide for all audiences wanting to learn more about living off grid and surviving in the wilderness. But more than a guide, Off Grid and Free reveals Ron’s candid humor and welcoming style, which will make you feel like you’re right there with him along the way.

The book includes Ron’s hiking of the 2,100 mile Appalachian Trail in winter, bicycling from coast to coast, the terror of being surrounded by a wildfire, surprise encounters with bears, and more. For readers with an outdoor spirit, people with an off grid and self-sufficiency bent, and dreamers who want to take an adventure, Ron hopes to inspire others to “take the road less traveled.”

Published in Backhome Magazine, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Countryside and Small Stock Journal, Ron and his wife also appear in Life Off Grid, a film and book about people living off grid throughout Canada. Life Off Grid is produced by Phillip Vannini and Jonathan Taggard. See // for more information. Life Off Grid aired on British Columbia’s Knowledge Network.

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159 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival: Off Grid and Free My Path to the Wilderness”

    • Good Morning Ellen. Thank you for stopping by. You are right on the money. There is a great deal of peace and contentment knowing we have the skills, experience and knowledge. The sum of those three items is confidence.

      We are confident we will be able to cipher out a solution to any problem thrown our way. I wish you the best! Ron

  1. Several things appeal to me.
    The quietness and isolation would be the most appealing! I love being alone and keeping myself occupied with unworldly things. I live In a small mountain town and would relish beings even further out!

    • Good Morning Jo. Fortunately there are those who love the city life and need to be surrounded by people and then there are those like us who aren’t anti-social, but don’t feel the need to be surrounded by humanity.

      As I write in my book, “If everybody wanted to live in the bush… it would be called a city.”

      It’s a thrill and adventure to live out here. I wish you the best! Ron

    • Good Morning Suzanne. Thank you for your comment. When we are out here in the wilderness. we have the sense that we are the only people on the planet. Nothing but the quiet of the woods surrounding us. Peace and contentment. All the best, Ron

    • Hello Susan. That is indeed the question. “What could be better?”

      We haven’t found any better answer than embracing this lifestyle which sheds all the extraneous noise of the world and takes us about as close to our roots as possible. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • What I like most about being off grid or being prepared. Being away from two legged’s. Animals always act like what they are. People do not. So I want to have the peace and quiet that comes from living away from all the light and noise pollution.

    • Hello Joy. That is a huge factor in our peace of mind out here. There is really only one way in and out of here. Float plane. We have zero concern about our safety in regards to people.

      We have had amazing experiences with animals and I devote a chapter in my book to dealing with them. The majority of experiences were wonderful. The one grouchy bear that was bound and determined to get in through the bedroom window we could have done without though.

      But that’s what makes memories. I wish you the best. Ron

  2. Not being a subject of the “buy buy buy” world we live in. Downsizing to a manageable size dwelling would be nice, too. Learning how to do without would be a real plus for the next generation (I grew up poor although I didn’t know we were poor so we did without many times.)

    • Hello Helen. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. In all honesty, we have everything we could possibly want out here.

      But there was a lean, spartan 20 year period in Maine when we sure learned what amenities were important and we made do with what we had.

      We have been fortunate to have experienced a lot in life and we’ve learned a lot about what is and what is not important. We have picked and chosen what things we care to utilize from modern technology that will make our quality of life better. But, by the same token, it would be a simple transition for us if we had to do things the old fashioned way using methods from a bygone era. Since that’s the way we used to do. All the best, Ron

    • Hello Beckster. It is indeed a privilege to live out in the wilderness. We are so aware of how fortunate we are. Thank you for stopping by. Take care, Ron

    • Hello Kathy,

      We do take a great deal of pride in our ability to make do if we had to. We have the experience and skill set necessary if we had to deal with hard times. And to a degree, we still utilize many of those skills. I work wood with hand tools and Johanna is quite handy. For example, she spins wool and knits and utilizes an old fashioned Singer treadle sewing machine. Thank you for the comment. Take care, Ron

    • Hello Moxy. What a great point. Isn’t that really what it’s all about? Stepping out of the familiar to follow an unknown path to see where it leads. We control our own destiny to a degree. That’s true freedom. Thank you for your comment. Ron

  3. Modern life seems really noisy to me. In solitude and quiet it might be easier to plan, think, and order your life without distractions. But I also believe in community so I may find too much solitude unhealthy for me personally. Perhaps modern technology could help with staying connected with family and friends.

    • Hi Jan. When we fly out for resupply twice a year, it really has an impact on us. It is so noticeable the hustle and bustle, traffic and noise. We can’t wait to get back home to the comfort of the wilderness.

      As you note, I would tend to agree that too much solitude might take it too far. Like someone preferring to live in a cave and not deal with humanity at all.

      That’s the beauty of living in the bush but at the same time, taking advantage of technology to stay in touch with family and friends. We even have satellite TV to stay in tune with the world if we choose.

      Here I am, 100 miles in the wilderness, connected by satellite and I’m able to have some nice banter with you. Amazing! Take good care, Ron

    • Hello Ann. Knowledge is power. We are all continually learning. None of us know it all. The more a person knows, the better chance he/she has to deal with problems that inevitably will show up. The ultimate goal is to be more self-reliant and self-sufficient. I wish you the best! Ron

    • Good Morning Elizabeth. This lifestyle has brought the ultimate in freedom to us. I’ve had the opportunity to winter thru hike the Appalachian Trail, bicycle across the United States, live and thrive in the Canadian wilderness and we march to our own beat. That’s pretty free. 🙂 Take care, Ron

    • Good Morning Jacqueline. Thank you for following me on Facebook. I try to give people a better sense of our life out here with my occasional posts. Enjoy your day! Ron

  4. As I get older my dreams change. I now live 11 miles from town and I have my critters. Pigs, chickens, and rabbits. I use to have goats, but I just cant keep them in. I built my own home with only hiring the blocks laid. I had very few neighbors.
    Now more and more people are coming out here to build and I am not now far enough away . My closest neighbor now complains about my critters coming to her house. My chickens poop on her walk.
    I have been in this house for 40 years and I want to move further away, but with my age now, I cant imagine living without being able to go to the sink and turning a handle and getting water. Refrigeration I think would be a big problem with me. I am just going to lay back and let the world pass me by with dreams of being able to “live off grid”.

    • Hello John. Thank you for your comments. I understand the frustration of your situation having lived so long in your location but with more neighbors showing up in the area. That was a criteria in our search years ago. How close are the neighbors? Is there public land surrounding us that would guarantee a buffer to us?

      There’s one thing though that I’d really like to comment on. Going off grid doesn’t have to mean going without running water, refrigeration or any other amenity you choose to have.

      Here we are, 100 miles from the nearest supply point, accessible only by float plane and yet we have hot and cold running water, color satellite TV, satellite internet, super energy efficient refrigerator in the kitchen and 2 super efficient chest freezers outside.

      If you were to visit us, you would never know you are 100 miles in the wilderness. We have all the modern conveniences we care to have. Off-grid merely means we have the ability to provide our own power from wind and solar. We are disconnected from the grid and we are completely independent for our power needs. We rely on no one for our power.

      It is about -30F now, blue sky and total sun. What a great feeling it is to see the system produce all the energy we need with some to spare.

      Off-grid does not mean a life filled with hardship or spartan living. It can be as comfortable and fulfilling as a person cares to make it. I wish you all the best! Ron

    • Ron. Now I want to rush right out and shoot myself. I am so jealous. I have know what you said was possible, but I never tried to go that far. Providing that much power off grid will have to be very expensive. I could have never afforded that.
      I guess I will have to purchase you book and set back and dream. I suppose your book will tell how you take care of medical emergencies. That would be a big worry to me.
      Tank yo so much for taking the time to share with my your thoughts.
      John R

    • Now John, don’t do anything rash. There’s still hope. 🙂

      An electrical system can be as simple or complicated as one cares to make it. I sure had a simple, almost useless system for 20 years in Maine. Our current home here in the wilderness is a huge advancement over the Maine days.

      Roughly 17 years ago when I designed and installed this system, solar panels cost about $5/watt. That price is now well under $1.00/watt. It’s not important whether you are familiar with electrical terms like a watt. The important thing is there have been major advancements in the solar technology so it is very affordable these days.

      My book does discuss our solar system in Maine and the criteria I evaluated when I designed the new system.

      As well, I discuss in the book many things we have to take into account out here to insure our safety. Medical is certainly high in our priorities.

      We both have basic first aid and before I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1990, i took a full EMT course. A couple years ago, I took the full EMR (First Responders) course as a brush up.

      We also inventory lots of various over the counter as well as prescription medicines. If you buy my book, I hope it answers all your questions. Thanks John for the nice banter. Take care. Ron

    • Thanks for the come back Ron. I have contacted numerous solar electric contractors and no one seems to want to install for me. I think it is because they are so busy, or I live to far from them. I’m still going to try, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
      When I built my house 40 years ago I positioned the back of my house facing the south with hopes of building a passive greenhouse attached to the rear. I never got that but I did build a greenhouse in which I get to eat tomatoes and peppers all winter.
      I do have the back of my house facing south if I could ever get the solar installed.

    • That’s a good start John. At least if you get some prices from installers you won’t be guessing and you’ll have firm numbers in which to base a decision.

      The great thing about solar is you can start small and then expand as you get money. I would suggest making sure any charge controller you buy is able to handle the added solar panels in the future if you care to add them.

      Good luck! Ron

  5. I love the feeling of peace that comes over me when I am alone in the woods or in the mountains. Just the feeling that God put me there for a reason. I want to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city.

    • Hello Donna. Thank you for stopping by. I would strongly encourage you to pursue your dreams. Pursue them with vigor. Life is short and uncertain. I hope you are able to attain your goals and I wish you the best of luck! Take care, Ron

  6. I put this down as a Christmas present wish list and didn’t receive. Will have to order if don’t win this contest. Incredibly interesting journey

    • Thank you so much for the kind comment Terry. I must have a word with Santa about why you didn’t get your copy for Christmas. He lives a little North of us. 🙂

      I hope you win a copy and I thank you for your support. Please don’t hesitate to drop me an email if you have any questions in regards to our lifestyle. I wish you the best! Ron

  7. Just the thought of being completely self-sufficient and not depending on having to pay all these companies for the pleasure of living in my home is what appeals to me.

  8. Hello Christina. Thank you for your comments. It’s nice not having a monthly utility bill or water bill. Instead, we paid upfront for the solar panels, wind turbine and electronics. But now, we have a great deal of flexibility and independence. It allows us to live in a remote location and still enjoy the same amenities many people have. Take care, Ron

    • Hello Jan. Technology can be great if used properly. But there’s also a nefarious side to all this when it gets in the hands of those trying to gain control. Take good care! Ron

  9. I love the outdoors and living off the land as in farming and homesteading…My farm is calling! I got to go!

    • Hi DJ. A large garden, an herb garden and lots of various wild and cultivated fruit plants goes a long ways towards our independence.

      Although we do rely on electronics by choice, if they all crashed and burned, we’d survive. Thank you for the visit. Ron

  10. It’s the solitude and the-go at your own pace-style of living without having people all over the place . Being a litlte less tracked by Corporations and Gov’t.(Gov’t is also a corporation.) I like the-Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone- type of lifestyle.

    • Hello Dennis, That’s a great way to phrase it. The “go at your own pace” type of lifestyle. That nails it. Very rarely is there ever a sense of real urgency out here.

      I have a chapter devoted to forest fires and that’s one instance I can think of when it was a frantic, giddy up and go pace. But otherwise, it’s pretty laid back. Thank you for your comment. Take care! Ron

  11. Nature was designed to take care of itself without outside intervention. I like the idea of living with nature rather than opposed to it.

    • For sure Jeff, one can’t fight nature, the smartest thing we can do is to try to be in harmony with it as much as possible. Thanks for the comment! Ron

  12. I am becoming more and more interested in living far from the cities, off the grid, but intimidated by taking such a huge step into the unfamiliar. I find it interesting how this lifestyle is calling to me. I know that I will make the move soon. I just need to truly learn how.

    • Hello Nicole,

      It can be a huge step if you take it in one big leap. My advice would be to start in small steps. You’ll have a much better chance of success if you master one thing at a time before attempting something a bit more involved. There are lots of great books and websites out there. Gaye has a wonderful diversity of information and topics and there is much you can pick up from her.

      You are welcome to browse my site as well to pick up some knowledge. I encourage my readers to ask questions so if you are stumped, feel free to ask. That applies to many of the knowledge based websites. Talk to those with some experience. Read as many books as you can on a topic and then give it a shot. Try raising a small garden. Increase the size the next year and learn how to blanch and freeze food. Then master canning. All in a logical order.

      It’s easy for me to give you this advice because it’s sort of the way I started out myself. I read multiple books, sought the advice of those more wiser and ultimately built upon the previous successes while learning from my mistakes.

      I wish you the best of luck! Ron

  13. I enjoy learning and the more knowledge I have the better prepared I will be. There are so many facets to off grid living but to me the basis is learning how to live off grid in a economical and self sustaining fashion. I learn from my mistakes as well as my successes so the more experience both good and bad means the more knowledge I now have for the future.

    • That’s it in a nutshell Robert. Book smarts is nice but there’s nothing like the practical experience of actually doing. That combination of book smarts and experience will be a game changer. You now have the confidence to attempt the next challenge. You are on your way to self-sufficiency. Thanks for stopping in. All the best! Ron

    • Hi Harold. It certainly has been appealing to us. We sure worked hard to get to this position in life and it’s so nice to have that freedom and independence to shed the hustle and bustle of society and have some fun in life. Thanks for commenting. Take care, Ron

  14. I wrote that the ability to use what I learn from this book, to be creative, inventive and to lose the junk of living on the grid appeals. That didn’t show. Not sure why/what

  15. One thing that would appeal to me would be living with the beauty of nature and not have to deal with some of the issues of waste, littering, and crowds.

    • Hi Noreen. We never take for granted the privilege of living out here in the wilderness. We live out here trying to make as minimal a footprint as possible. Thank you for the comment! Ron

  16. Please I need more books, to help me think more outside the box. Thanks for all the information you share with us.

    • Hello Russ. I’m not sure who you are directing your comment to, but I’m sure I speak for Gaye as well as myself that you are more than welcome and we thank you for the nice comment. I/Gaye are pleased that you find the information of value.

      If you get a chance to read my book, I’m sure you will find lots of good information in it and I welcome questions and comments. We’ve certainly had to think outside the box to deal with problems living this remote.

      In the weeks to come, Gaye will have many more books she will be featuring and I have no doubt they will be worthwhile checking out. Good luck! Ron

  17. I am not to sure. Sometimes the thought takes my breath away and other times what an adventure. I am considering doing this with foster teens who are in need of rebuilding their lives.

    • Hello Marilee. That would be an adventure in itself to tackle something like off-grid/homesteading life with any teens. And yet, you would have lots of youthful vigor to help out and as long as they are engaged, I can’t think of a better way to build character, endow responsibility and give them a sense of pride at accomplishing steps towards self-reliance. I hope it all works out for you! Best of luck, Ron

  18. What would appeal the most to me in living off grid would be the idea of going to town twice a year and otherwise not have to deal with the current ugly attitude our nation is developing. It would be wonderful to have all systems in place to garden, store food, provide your own energy other needs.

    • Good Morning Deb. It is wonderful to have all systems in place to be able to shop twice a year. The only down side to shopping twice a year is it requires extreme organization. As soon as we know an item is needed, it goes on a list. Nothing is left to memory lest we head off to shop and return home without some needed trinket. Next shopping trip is half a year away. That’s a long time to do without. Fortunately, we are both highly organized so it has not been a problem for us. Thank you for the comment. All the best. Ron

    • Hello Tony. That is certainly the case here. Nothing but the silence of the woods and no neighbors. Well, at least the two legged upright kind. 🙂 We have many animal neighbors who also live off grid. Thanks for your comment. Ron

    • How true Janette. It has been wonderful to be able to live out here without the bother and sometimes hassle of modern society’s rules. Sadly, sometimes the regulatory bodies are so short sighted and fixed in their views that they don’t use common sense or use the rules as a framework rather than a decree it must be done this way.

      As in life, there are many ways to do things and some of the regulators and inspectors have zero flexibility. They do make things harder than it need be sometimes. But by the same token, I am aware of some regulators and inspectors who are willing to consider alternative options and we need to support them as much as possible. Take care and thanks for stopping by. Ron

  19. Part the peace and quiet, I hate noise and crowds. Also see it as a challenge, do I have what it takes to live off grid?

    • Hello Sarah. That’s part of the excitement of this adventure. It is a challenge and there certainly are a lot of obstacles we had to overcome. If you’ve seen a picture of our homestead, keep in mind, every item was loaded on a plane and flown out. The logistics alone for flying in the materials for a 2 story home were enormous.

      Yeah, we aren’t big on the noise and crowds either. We prefer the wilderness. I wish you the best! Ron

    • Good Morning Teresa. That’s it in a nutshell. One simple word. “Independence” That’s what we should all be striving for. Self-reliance. Not having to depend on anybody else to provide basic needs. Good luck and thank you for the comment. Ron

  20. Living in the second largest city in the U.S., it would be awesome to get away from the crowds, noise, and pollution. I live near a bus route, an airport, and a freeway, with sirens from the nearby police station blaring night and day. I could get used to the peace and quiet of living off-grid.

    • Hello Deb. When we come out for resupply twice a year, we generally do most of our shopping in a small city about 250 miles away from us. The sirens are one of the most noticeable things that sticks out to us. I guess most people just get used to the fast pace, noise , sirens, traffic etc. We would go nuts. We can take it in a small dose and then we want OUT! I wish you the best with your life’s endeavors. Thanks for your comment. Ron

  21. While being completely isolated is NOT appealing to me, being “off grid” is. I would far prefer my home to not be tied into the electrical grid, of being spied on through every technological aspect of modern life. We have a mini farm where we raise milk goats & chickens. My husband could probably be happy in a remote setting.

    • Good Morning Sharon. No question, this isolated lifestyle is not for everyone. We all seek our own comfort level and there are varying degrees of off-grid/homesteading/prepping lifestyles. We just happen to be 2 people who are not anti-social but are quite content to be out on our own and do not feel the need to be surrounded or close to others. If we could have found an isolated lake to call home that was much closer to society, we would have taken it. We could not find a lake that didn’t have camps or homes lined up like ducks in a row and government policy had restrictions on a certain latitude we had to be above in order to be granted a lease. It’s just the way it all worked out. Thanks for stopping by. I wish you the best. Ron

  22. Veering away from corruptness, consumerism, and getting back to the land as you put it is what drives our family towards our homesteading/self sufficiency goals. I’m not sure that life will ever be “simple” as people like to say, but the empowerment that comes from providing for yourself and working for yourself is what is most appealing.

  23. Hello Mrs. Daisy. I agree, there’s no such thing as a simple life. We can strive to shed some of the extraneous noise and clutter but it is far from simple. Life is complicated. To become self sufficient requires real work and effort.

    So many people have that dreamy vision of a little cabin in the woods but they don’t realize the work that’s involved in setting things up, providing food, water and heat etc etc. But as you state, for those who take the leap and heads towards self sufficiency, it is empowering and it sort of feeds on itself. The tendency is to want to learn and continually do more for oneself. Thanks for stopping by. Take care. Ron

  24. The most appealing thing to me would be being away from all the “drama” that inhabits our world today.

    • Hello Karen. True, we have left the drama of the world behind but we have our own drama to deal with. Like the night I spent in the lake surrounded by a forest fire or the night Yogi decided he wanted to come in through the bedroom window. We’ll take this kind of drama though. No complaints. Thanks for the comment. Ron

  25. What appeals to me is the joy of nature, waking up to the birds singing and the sun peeking in my windows. I love having my little garden and small orchard and a few animals. It would be great to be able to live without electricity and we are making small strides in that direction. Replacing flashlights and radios etc with rechargeable or solar as we can…

    • Good job Mary! It sounds like you are well on your way to self- sufficiency by taking it one step at a time. That’s the way to do it. I wish you the best, Ron

  26. The thought of being independent and not relying on anyone is what is most appealing about being off grid.

    • Hello Janella. It is a wonderful feeling to be independent and we can’t imagine any other lifestyle. It suits us perfectly. Thank you for stopping by. Take care, Ron

  27. Not having to depend on anybody else to provide my basic needs appeals to me. I love the peace and quiet of where I live and can’t stand the fast pace, lack of privacy, noise, sirens, traffic, etc., of even a small town but also realize that being self-sufficient requires hard work. Due to my age and health, I’m not able to be as self-sufficient as I used to be. Limited finances also are a problem. Going off grid is more expensive than my finances can handle. Being off grid once that is accomplished may not be as bad, but it is the getting there that seems like too much of a hurdle.

    • Hello Pam. We do love the serenity of the forest, the contentment of being able to provide much of what we need to live. And as you mention, it is indeed hard work. Off-grid is only one of multiple facets of living a self-reliant life. It sounds like you have done much to be self reliant. You are an asset, a treasure to others regardless of age. If times get hard, the accumulated knowledge and experience you’ve had over the years will be worth its weight in gold. Thanks for sharing. I wish you the best! Ron

    • Hi Dewey. It sure is nice not to have that electric bill but keep in mind, the electrical system is all paid up front so there is a cost per year that one needs to factor in. But how do you put a price on an electrical system that allows us to live 100 miles in the bush? I’d say Priceless! Or the fact no one can turn our power off. Or the joy of seeing the wind turbine turning or seeing the solar array charging the batteries. Or knowing that we are doing our part to try to reduce the carbon footprint over time. Off grid is sure important to us. Thank you for your comment.

  28. What aspect of off-grid living is appealing to you?
    As a Space Professional, I am keenly aware of the possibility/probability of an EMP event. (We get Space Weather and Geomag reports every day at changeover.) I desire to survive such an event. Having whole and complete reliance on the grid infrastructure is a recipe for not surviving. Having an off grid backup is simply the smart thing to do.

    • Hello James. We certainly agree. Not if but when again will it happen. Although we rely on our electronic trinkets and toys, if they get wiped out, we’ll survive. I worry about the rest of the population though that relies so heavily on the grid for everything. Take good care and thanks for the feedback! Ron

  29. Being able to raise our children without the distraction of the “world”. Learning more skills and teaching them to our children. We’re trying to do those things, even on grid. It can seem more difficult, as there is always that draw from our “devices”. We just need more self-control. =) I guess that’s the first step to anything: self-control.

    • Sounds to me as if you are doing just fine Mrs. D. One doesn’t need to be off grid to start on the path of self-reliance. The fact that that you are trying to pass knowledge down to the next generation is fantastic. Everything in small steps and before long, you have a leap. Thank you for visiting! Ron

    • Hello Willow. Although we live off-grid, we don’t live without energy. The fact that we have solar and wind which powers our computer and satellite connection gives me the ability to respond back to you.

      For 20 years, we lived with a bare bones minimalist electrical system using kerosene lanterns etc. so I know how hard it is to live on barely any input for energy to the homestead.

      But it was also a great learning experience. I wish you the best. Ron

    • Thanks for your thoughtful answer, Ron. We lived ‘at the end of the world’ in a third world country–no electricity or running water. Kerosene or wood stove and kerosene frig. We weren’t homesteading, but the experience gave me a great respect for off gridders and a great love of the quietness and solitude and I suppose in the end a great desire for self sufficiency.

    • You are welcome Willow. Your past experience was a valuable learning experience. You learned what’s important, you learned new techniques to cope and you have a great deal of confidence you will do just fine if some of the modern convenience fail and you had to make do again. Outstanding! Thank you for your comment back. Take care! Ron

    • Hi Karl. If you have this dream, I encourage you to take steps to make it come to fruition. Life is short and uncertain. Take the opportunity if at all possible. Good luck! Ron

    • Hello Dave. Those are certainly two important aspects but there are so many more as well. I try to describe our life in the bush in my book and one passage comes to mind. It describes coming home after our fall resupply run and while we watch from the dock, the float plane takes off from the lake and disappears over the horizon. Our last link to humanity just flew away and we are left with a deafening silence. Exciting! Thanks for your visit. Ron

    • Hello Amy. No question the independence this lifestyle provides is empowering. That independence and flexibility is what gave me the time in my younger days to winter thru-hike the Appalachian Trail and bicycle across the country. Neither would have been possible if I had a standard 9 to 5 job. Thanks for stopping in. Ron

  30. What appeals to me is the peace and quiet, but also the fact that no one can control my family’s life… at least that’s my hope. 🙂
    By the way… it’s awesome that you took the time to comment on so many posts. I certainly would not have expected that. You went above and beyond, Ron. Thanks!

    • Hello Julie. I want to first thank you for recognizing the effort I’ve made to answer everybody’s comments. I feel it only right and proper to respond to each person. That was really very nice of you to write that and it means the world to me. Thanks for making my night!

      It’s really hard for me to describe the quiet of the woods. For those who have never gone on a hike or been exposed to a noise free environment, I would think it’s hard for someone to grasp. It needs to be experienced.

      How do I describe laying on the dock face down looking into the water and watching the subtle movements of aquatic life on a calm day or an evening sitting in the porch swing with the silence broken by the call of a loon. We have been so fortunate! Thanks again for taking time to write and comment Julie. I wish you all the best! Ron

  31. I would like to get out from under the fees of utilities and the self satisfaction of knowing that I did it myself.

    • Hi John, That’s a good point. It is immensely satisfying to take steps to do things ourselves. At the end of the day, a person might be dog tired but it is quite satisfying climbing into bed knowing a great deal was accomplished for the day’s toil. All with our own efforts. Good luck and thanks for the visit. Ron

  32. Well done Rebecca! you mention an important component of living self-sufficiently. The ability to make and mend clothes. Johanna does it all. From spinning yarn, knitting, mending, quilting and sewing. All invaluable skills. And she does my hair too. She takes a bowl and… 🙂

    Thanks for visiting. Take good care! Ron

    • Hi Johnny. Thank you for your comment. I am especially fond of going out on a dead calm night in the summer in the boat. No need to fish every time I go out and just sit there in the middle of the lake and take it all in. Awesome! Take care! Ron

    • Hello Steven. I know the feeling. We couldn’t imagine living in a populated area. It’s OK to visit family and friends but I’d rather gargle fish hooks than live in a congested city. To each his/her own. Thanks for stopping by. Ron

  33. I love living out in the country but the people are closing in on me now. Was nice for quite a while though.

    • That’s a bummer Jerry. Sorry to hear your space is dwindling. But the good news is there are still lots of large parcels in both the US and Canada depending on the type of land you are looking for. If it ever requires a move to another location, I wish you the best of luck finding that next perfect spot.

      If I was looking, one thing I would look for is an economically depressed area where population numbers are in decline. Land prices are likely depressed as well. Take care, Ron

  34. What is appealing about living off grid to me is the fact that I am not dependent upon the electric company, the water company etc. for my utilities. Being self sufficient is the way to go. Also, I would look for a remote area as I am more of a loner and don’t need the company of thousands of people competing to get to somewhere.

    • Hi Nancy. You sound like a kindred spirit. You can relate to the satisfaction we feel supplying our water, heat, electricity and much of our food and being able to do it successfully in this remote location.

      I sense you haven’t made the transition yet and at this point it is a dream but I encourage you to start out slow and give it a try. I wish you all the best! Ron

  35. What appeals to me the most is getting back to a simpler lifestyle. Over the past 5 years I’ve moved to the country, live a much simpler life along the lines of what my grandparents did, grow my gardens, have my chickens, & am much happier for the changes I’ve made.

    • Good job Dave! Congratulations on the move to a more self-reliant lifestyle. It takes a little courage at first to make a life altering change like that but as you’ve found out, it’s a change for the better in the long run. Thanks for your good comment. Ron

  36. I would love to read your book. I like to be alone in the woods. I hunt but my wife thinks I must not be good at it. People like me know sometimes it’s just watching the sun rise or watching the wildlife. I bring home meat when I want but more often some very nice pictures of the sunrise or wildlife to far away or maybe doe & triplet fawns as they walked by.

  37. Good Morning Bob. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I know exactly what you mean. Earlier this winter I “shot” two Caribou on the lake. They heard the camera click and trotted back up the lake but that was a pretty cool experience.

    I hope you get an opportunity to read my book. I think you’d like it. Especially the chapter dealing with all the wildlife encounters I’ve had in my life. They’ve been extraordinary.

    Like the Raven in Maine that came out of nowhere and followed me around like a puppy dog for a number of days before disappearing. Or being able to sit outside in a chair and have a flock of birds at my feet and in my lap feeding out of my hand.

    I wish you well. Ron

  38. Years ago when I was in my 30’s I tried to get the rest of my family to seriously consider living off grid. My kids were little and they thought it would be the coolest thing ever. Unfortunately the rest of them thought I was nuts. They still bring it up now and then and have a big laugh. Well, I’m 63 now and fortunately relatively healthy and I would still like to give it a go but probably to a lesser degree. They still think I’m nuts. I probably won’t ever be able to do it, however, a book written by someone who has fully lived that life would be invaluable I believe to anyone who is prepping for whatever may come. Ron has probably encountered countless scenarios that all of us should at least consider how to deal with. Thank you Ron for actually writing a full book and not just a short article about living this life.

    • I am humbled Mick and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comments. In all honesty, I have never thought of my life as special or extraordinary in any way and still don’t. Everybody has a life and accomplishments and this just happened to be what I did with my life. No big deal.

      Over many, many years, countless friends and strangers would hear some of my stories of homesteading, life in the bush, forest fires, bears etc. and pipe in that I really should write a book. I resisted all those years. Who in the world would be interested in my stories? But I ultimately did write some stories down and quickly had 18 chapters.

      I recently made contact with my old work supervisor after roughly 40 years. He is the one who suggested homesteading so many years ago. He had no idea the impact his simple suggestion had on my life and how it changed the course of my existence. I know it was a big deal for him to find out and he was deeply touched that I reached out to him.

      I would be equally touched if years from now, someone reached out to me and told me my story and book had a life altering impact on their life. I hope my book changes one life for the better. Any more than that would be bonus points.

      Thanks for stopping by. You have made my day! All the best, Ron

  39. It’s hard to narrow it down to one appealing thing. I love being out in God’s beautiful country and to say I did this with my own hands and teach my children the same!

    • Good Morning Desiree. We have the same problem. There’s really no way to narrow down the list of positives this lifestyle affords. There’s immense satisfaction we take knowing much of what we’ve accomplished has been done by the efforts of our own two hands. Thanks for your visit. Take care! Ron

  40. The most appealing to me would being able to be completely self sufficient like our fore fathers and not being dependent on the utility infrastructure which we know is not in the best of shape in most places around the country today.

    • It is nice Robert to be independent of the power grid. I catch the occasional news report of grid vulnerabilities and there will come a day when a section of grid will go down. Not if but when. If not completely, there will be more brown outs because demand exceeds generation. Especially during summer with the weird weather taking hold. But at least you and others are aware of the potential and that’s the first step to preparing for a grid glitch. Thanks for commenting! Ron

    • Hello Mary Anne. That’s a very important aspect of this lifestyle. We of course know where the majority of our fruit and vegetables are coming from. And although we don’t raise our meat anymore, we still buy a side of beef and whole pig and cut and wrap all our meat. We make our own sausages, cure and smoke our hams and bacon and even make soap from the fat. We never use nitrates and nitrites when we cure. Simple sugar, salt and spices.

      The added benefit is all this hard work out in the fresh air also keeps us in tip top shape. Thank you for the visit! Ron

  41. I really want be “off-grid” living so I am not dependent on the electric and gas companies and what I fear will be dangerous foods. Gaye, I am probably being paranoid but I believe that we will be in danger of contaminated products in the coming years if safety standards are loosened or even destroyed. the more I can do and learn will be better for my family in the long run
    Thank you

    • Hi Kathy. I wanted to thank you for the visit and wish you well in your off-grid quest.

      I’ll let Gaye comment if she wishes on your concerns for food safety. We don’t deal with too much in the way of store bought, processed food stuffs other than staples. But for sure, any contamination in any food supply would be bad news.

      All the best! Ron

  42. There is a lot that appeals to me. The ability to live in the present moment and to be close to nature. The satisfaction of knowing that you are able to take care or yourself and live life the way you want to live it. I am a very social person but love the solitude of home, peace and privacy. Oh, the list could go on and on.

    • Hi Michele. You’ve made a good start to the list but as you note, that list can and does go on and on. There’s a lot of good stuff associated with this lifestyle. Thanks for stopping in. Ron

  43. Freedom to do what you want without being tracked in every way, and having to depend on others for what you need.

    • Hello Lisa. That is a real problem these days. Being tracked or at the least the potential to be tracked. There’s a good side to this technology such as being able to ping cell towers to locate a kidnap victim for example.

      But unfortunately, in the hands of people lacking any moral code, it can be an intrusive way to monitor and ultimately control facets of our lives.

      Living out here does give us the independence and freedom from much of that technology. I wish you the best. Ron

  44. We live in a small village on the outskirts of a major city. Over the past 10 years, we have watched that city expand closer and closer. We desire to be further out in the country. I don’t know that I could handle the isolation that Ron and his wife endure. But just to be further out, and more independent would be fantastic.

    • Hello Grammyprepper. For sure, this level of isolation isn’t for everybody. We each have a comfort zone. Sometimes though, as you’ve found out, that buffer starts dwindling as more and more people head out to the suburbs and pretty soon, a move further out is needed.

      If I was to evaluate another homestead location, it would be in an economically depressed area with an outflow of population. I feel that would give us the best chance of cheap property with the least potential for population expansion. Of course a large property is a natural buffer as well. Thank you for writing! Ron

  45. As mentioned by others, the quiet is the biggest appeal; the isolation the biggest worry. I suppose what matters most is the company you keep.

  46. Hello David. Yes, the company one keeps definitely has a bearing on things.

    Mine keeps me fed with chocolate desserts which keeps me in a cocoa induced stupor, so I don’t generally notice the isolation.

    But seriously, the isolation doesn’t bother us a bit. It’s all in what one becomes accustomed to. Thank you for your comment! Ron

  47. Good Morning Bob. Taxes, lease fee which is very reasonable and the satellite bills (Satellite TV, internet, SAT phone), are the main monthly bills. Encroachment will never happen. We are now grandfathered into a large wilderness preserve. No more leases, exploration etc. Pure wilderness forever.

    No problem on the -30 temps. When it gets that cold, we just break out the arctic flip flops when we go outdoors. 🙂 Beats -57 which was the coldest we’ve ever experienced here.

    Thank you very much for your kind comment Bob. I wish you the very best as well! Ron

  48. Amen!

    Good Morning Hujonwi. That’s the shortest response yet. 3 words. Yet it also says it all. I think my one word response back says it well too. Short and sweet. 🙂 But you nailed it!

    Thanks for stopping by. Ron

  49. Being out away from the rest of the craziness in the world. I find that the older I get the less I want to be around a whole bunch of people, so being out far enough to necessitate living off-grid really appeals to me.

    • Hello Chuck. We understand completely. The world seemed simpler when we were growing up. We do feel more comfortable being out on our own. Thanks for the visit. Ron

  50. The idea of being self-sufficient and relatively independent appeals to me. I agree that gaining knowledge of what/how to do what is necessary to survive is a crucial step. I would be concerned about what to do for significant life critical health events like a heart attack or a traumatic accidental injury.

    • Hi Vern. Knowledge is a good thing as you point out and that applies to the medical as well. We have first aid,EMT/EMR first responder training.

      Medical emergencies and safety are paramount. But we figure it’s no different than the first pioneers heading out across the country or an astronaut in space or someone out in a sailboat or …

      We all have to make intelligent decisions, mitigate risks as much as possible and then go for the gusto. No point sweating out the what ifs at the expense of missing out on an adventure. When it’s time to hit the checkout counter we’ll have lived life to its fullest.

      Thank you for your good comment! Ron

  51. Our raffle has ended and there are 3 lucky winners! Thank you to all who entered and a big thank you to Gaye for hosting the big event! There was some great banter we had via comments which was much appreciated.

    I do have one request. For the book winners and any others who get a chance to read my book, would you please consider giving an Amazon rating/review? I treasure every rating and it’s a good way to give others a measure of confidence that the book is worthy of their time. Thank you folks! Ron

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