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living off grid

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  • living off grid

    Recently, I've been fairly curious about how one might implement a fairly anonymous lifestyle off the grids (utilities, postal, financial, etc). But trying to find good ideas/suggestions/personal experience is proving fruitless.

    The idea is to live a fairly transient lifestyle (or have the capacity to be transient), either in the US or Europe and be relatively anonymous. I figure I'd at least have to get a passport (so travel/ID isn't a pain in the ass). But otherwise, I'm thinking that'd be my only neccessary piece of ID. Living, food, transportation, etc can all be paid with cash. And with wifi ever more present, there's no need to be tied to the net grid.

    The biggest hurdle I can think of would be making money, and some way of storing it. Odd jobs would probably be sufficient for food & water - especially if I saved up before the journey. But keeping a large amount of cash on my person just doesn't appeal to me. There's the obligatory swiss-bank idea, but how to get the money out once its in??

    In any case, if anyone has some experience with this, or can point me to someone who does, or any other good source of info - I'm all ears. I've heard of John and Jane Does successfully living anonymously for several years. But how do they do it?

  • #2
    Originally posted by CuRoi
    Recently, I've been fairly curious about how one might implement a fairly anonymous lifestyle off the grids (utilities, postal, financial, etc). But trying to find good ideas/suggestions/personal experience is proving fruitless.
    I guess it depends upon how anonymous you want to be...
    If you know people who are renting out rooms in their house, or find some off CL or other source, you can certainly pay cash directly to the owner who keeps the utilities (trash, water, gas, electricity) and affords you the opportunity to live a non-transient lifestyle with opportunity for steady work. This can also work with a transient lifestyle if you can make enough money in the form of cash (under the table) or through barter/trade and move every few months or with seasonal employment. (You can find home owners who need help with their yard, why not residents who need help with their computers?)

    At one time you could use a post office to receive mail under general delivery, but I am not sure if this works anymore.

    Youth Hostels are also possible in many parts of the U.S. and Europe and Europe has "pensions" (sp: pen see owns) where you can stay cheaply compared to hotels, but many in Europe require Photo ID and keep your passport until you leave.

    A library can offer you Internet Access, and free newspapers/magazines to keep up on news and look for jobs and some Universitiy libraries purposefully allow service to the public even if you can't check out books or have restrictions on where you can use the Internet. You may even be able to run a business from a public library where you advertise on cards that do not even have a phone number-- only e-mail address. Photocopiers are there and you may be able to do research too.

    Saving cash is a real issue. Once people know you are carrying lots of cash, you become at risk for being a target. Then what? Are you going to file a police report?

    I think you have a good topic, and I'd like to see other people's ideas on this-- especially how to deal with the secure storage of money that is also highly available and reliable without being on "the grid."


    • #3
      i've put a decent amout of thought into this topic, and in the end, you're really making your life harder than it should be for when you get older. the only reason i see this as being an effective way to live would be if you were doing something illegal, and were extremely good at it. hopefully, the illegal activity would cover your living expenses, along with give reason for this proposed lifestyle. one of my ideas was to use those gift/same as cash/credit cards. just get a bunch of them. i dont think you yourself need any id to do so, and a fake one would do just fine to a mall clerk or something similar. though, i dont know how easy it would be to trace if they all weren't purchased by the same person. and thats if they even require id to purchase in the first place.

      your main problem is funding. there's numerous ways to store it.


      • #4
        ou2mame -> I don't agree with this. Some people legitimatly want to live like Hermits


        Phone number-There are plenty of "anonymous" cell phones out there now, with boost mobile being the first to come to mind. While they are marketed towards low/no income urban youth, they would still fit your needs.

        Credit- To get ANYWHERE in life, you need credit. It took me 5 years of resistance to finally give in to this. So you either have to have a unique talent, or be very smart in a topic, to be able to aquire *nice* big ticket items (TVs, home, auto, etc.).

        US/Canada vs. Europe- Europeans step in if I'm wrong, but I belive it's easier to live in the US then Europe "Under the radar". There are a higher % of americans that don't have Passports then Europeans, your countries are smaller (geographically) so it's normal to "go on holiday" to other countries frequently.

        Immigration- The US is much more laxed about "non-existant" member's of socitey, and they seem to find ways to stay alive and even get ahead in life without green cards/visa's. Take Califorina and Miami, FL for example.

        Taxes- Funnel your money though business EIN numbers. Your a "contractor" in which money goes to a company you setup that is not attached to you directly. This will open you up to checking accounts, stock investments, etc. And your free and clear of direct libility (if you do it right). Lot's of people setup business in Nevada because it's business laws are lazy and you don't have to live here!

        Hope this helps!!
        "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"