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How to go off-the-grid (but stay in the cloud)

Ever felt the urge to escape? Quit the job, sell the house, and head into the wild to live off of the land? Of course you have: most of us have fantasized about giving civilization the kiss-off, and living in a much more self-sufficient, sustainable manner. For most of us, though, that’s as far as we get.

If you’ve really dug into the possibility of going off the grid, both practically and psychologically, you may well have spent some time at Nick Rosen’s Off-Grid.net website. This online community combines practical information (such as ads for available land) with stories of people actually living off the grid. The whole range of the off-grid community is represented here: from idealists founding ecovillages to “preppers” getting away from civilization to prepare for Armageddon. Rosen’s 2010 book Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America (which I reviewed) dug further into the American off-grid community as Rosen traveled the country and visited with a wide range of people living outside of conventional society.

Rosen’s back at work on another media project focused on off-grid living: a video series titled OFF THE GRID AND ON THE CLOUD. Rather than visiting and reporting (sometime snarkily, as he did in the book), the twelve-part series will focus on creating a “user’s guide” for getting out of the rat race by looking at the technology various off-gridders use to stay safe, comfortable, and connected. He’ll stay away from the fringes of the community, and focus on the “ordinary people” who’ve decided to live a more minimal lifestyle.

While Rosen’s worked for traditional media companies – he’s made documentaries for the BBC and PBS’ Frontline, for instance – he’s decided to forego “working for a TV exec,” and use crowdfunding to bypass the “establishment.” He’s created a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $40,000 needed to make the series. Take a look at his pitch video above; if you like the idea, consider tossing a few bucks into the hat.

Lived (or live) off grid? Still dreaming about it? Share your thoughts with us.

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