Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Temporary off-grid living  (Read 994 times)


  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: 5th UK nation folk think is a little bit of England
Temporary off-grid living
« on: July 08, 2019, 09:34:14 pm »
I'm considering some sort of temporary off-grid existence while I get intrusive structural repairs done to my house.  I expect family would variously put up with me for quite a few weeks, but I think I prefer to go off-grid (or find a cheap, dog-friendly camp site) instead.
I am, of course, constrained by the "28-day rule" although I reckon I can legitimately extend that to 56 days by also using land adjacent, over which I have legal access for "all purposes". 

Key thing, I reckon, is to talk to neighbours so they know what I am up to!  Otherwise ...
I can do compost toilet, 500w of elec' power (I was v impressed by very old gifted Honda gen' performance last w/end), brewing/cooking on gas stoves or charcoal BBQ. 

I'm having to think about how to keep laptop charged so I can keep up with TAS posts, but I can keep web access by upping my mob' data provision and using mobile as hot-spot.
Is there some other fundamental thing I have not considered above that might turn my off-grid experience into a disaster ?


  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: 5th UK nation folk think is a little bit of England
Re: Temporary off-grid living
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2019, 11:43:22 pm »
In the absence of any reply/comment to my starter post, I guess this topic is effectively closed.  Before I actually close/delete it though, someone else might benefit from my experience of choosing a wholly mobile network service for all comm's.
I've now cancelled my land-line rental (my last 12 mth up-front land-line rental was equiv' to 16.49 p.m);  I've also cancelled my associated discounted broadband (2.99 p.m.) as well as my discounted SIM-only mob' monthly contract (10.50):  they amounted to 29.98 monthly. 
 Frantic efforts by Plusnet to keep me on-board would have produced a new 12 month land-line and b/b cost of 18 p.m. (!!!), but still with 10.50 p.m. to add for my mobile phone w 4GB of mobile data:  total of 28.49 p.m. 
For reference:  the non-discounted rates for contract renewals (all contracts were coming to their end) would have been some 19 p.m for monthly line-rental landline, some 10.00 for b/band and the continuing 10.50 for unlimited voice/text with 4GB data = ~ 39.50.
I have cancelled all of above and now have a 15 p.m. inclusive (12 mth) mobile contract with Virgin Mobile that covers everything I need:  5,000 mins talk (well more than I need), unlimited texts (they obviously don't cost the provider much in terms of network usage) &, most importantly, 25GB data with roll-over of last month's unused data and a few other minor data perks. 
 [I'm not a major streamer of films/music/youtube etc so 25GB data allowance is good for me.  Major data users , e.g. movie downloaders, would need much more data allowance - I have noted that the 50GB data combo package with Virgin would cost 25.]

Having checked my area coverage for mobile data etc, I looked for a provider using the EE network (cheapest deal was Virgin for me): other networks might be better for other areas obviously.   
No, it's not quite as good as having a land-line/cable broadband connection where I presently live, BUT I'm definitely not grumbling about connectivity for just 15 p.m. for voice/text/internet.  On an iPhone-generated hot-spot on my lower-ground floor (1 bar/4G reception) it is really very useable 99% of the time. If I crave something slightly snappier, I place phone in conservatory where it gets 2 bars/4G, which provides really quite responsive web data transfers for general web browsing. 
(To note that some recent Youtube and Spotify streaming happened without any stutter what so ever!)

However, updating my iPhone's IOS has proved to be a pain: easiest to do while connected to a friend's WiFi connection to the web !!


I have no financial connection with Virgin Mobile (other than paying them 15 p.m.)  Reliance on a mobile network connection for internet purposes might not suit everyone:  I'm happy though (where I live & for my web usage) and I am now saving min' of some 13.50 p.m compared to my previous discounted deals or, if you wish to consider a lazy person's saving, it would be a 24.50 p.m. saving on non-discounted rates!  Either way, I'm smiling presently. 


« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 01:44:14 am by arobwk »


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Temporary off-grid living
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2019, 08:37:57 am »
We have abandoned the expensive Orange France landline here and opted for a MiFi (mobile WiFi) with 10Gb data per month for 16. At the moment 4G is only available in towns, but 3G is sufficient for us anyway. We have a separate mobile phone at 1 per month, which is rarely used. Pay-as-you-go mobiles here are not free.

You will find running a generator both expensive and noisy Arobwk. I'd suggest charging a leisure battery when the generator is running for other equipment and then using an inverter off that battery for the small stuff. You may be able to charge it from your car lighter as well?


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Temporary off-grid living
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2019, 01:13:08 pm »
Hi Arobwk.  I didn't see your first post, but it's interesting so I don't know why no-one replied.  Sometimes posts do get missed on here.
Have you started your offgrid experience yet?  My thoughts went immediately to showering/washing facilities.
We are just starting a major kitchen rebuild and fit, which means we are camping out in our own house.  We do have access to the shower at night which makes life bearable, but cooking requires innovation, everywhere is cramped, there's nowhere to escape the workies and the dogs are puzzled and getting in everyone's way poor old things.
I have no comment on the mobile stuff as it's way over my head  :D
Good luck with the work
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.


  • Joined Nov 2018
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Temporary off-grid living
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2019, 02:11:51 pm »
We moved in here in January and still haven't got around to getting broadband installed as we both have mobile wifi with EE and that work fine and cheaper than the usual land line scam + broadband.

It's interesting that you got a Virgin deal over the EE network - is that via your phone or do they provide a mobile dongle thingy?


  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: 5th UK nation folk think is a little bit of England
Re: Temporary off-grid living
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2019, 08:24:44 pm »
Nice to know others are living with mobile WiFi (or MiFi) happily enough already.

@Fleecewife : No, I have not gone off-grid yet and, in the event, I might not need to.  Unfortunately my erstwhile mum-in-law has just suffered a stroke (still presently in hospital) and it has been suggested that I might consider "minding her house" while she is in recuperative care elsewhere.  How the world turns ! 
Hope you get your kitchen sorted v soon.  Under similar circumstances, I once cooked a full Christmas turkey dinner out of a large multi-oven (a microwave with all bells and whistles):  I recall the cooking was a bit stressed with calculated swapping of meal elements, but I also seem to recall the meal was really quite nice!
And thanks - I had not actually thought about personal hygiene to any great degree:  I think family facilities will have to come to the fore in that regard!

Despite the house-minding proposal, I'm still planning for a No Deal Brexit (sorry - mental lapse) ... still planning for an off-grid existence, just in case, and comments have been much appreciated.  (Also useful for any wild camping trips.)

@chrismahon - ta, and I'll look into leisure battery/inverter.  I have looked at lith' ion power packs on the web, but they are a bit expensive:  I suspect an arrangement based on a leisure battery would be more cost effective.  I'll investigate. 

@Zyg - Virgin Mobile hitchhike on the EE network so it's via my phone.  As you say, wire + broadband is starting to look like a scam price-wise.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 08:33:11 pm by arobwk »


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