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These days it seems we’re all drawn to the peaceful, yet wild, outdoors. Given the hectic, helter-skelter of daily life it’s no surprise that so many of us have found a curious interest in living an existence of off-grid seclusion (even if it’s just for a temporary getaway).

There’s just something about a gorgeous view of pine trees from inside a wood stove-heated wilderness hideout. Add total self-sustainability to that equation, and now you see why so many are seeking to reconnect to nature through fully immersing themselves in the wild.

While it may seem daunting at first, anyone can lead a life of off-grid harmony. Here are five examples of off-grid cabins that put wildness and self-sustainability within the exciting realm of possibility.


The $2,000 DIY Homesteader

Image credit: Simple Solar Homesteading

Speaking of the “realm of possibility,” anyone can become the proud owner of a small homestead on a patch of land. Off-grid seclusion doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Built by author and homesteader LaMar Alexander, this hideaway runs on both solar and wind-powered systems. It’s only 400 square feet of space, but at $2,000 it’s something that anyone can achieve. After all, when you’re surrounded by the great, sprawling wilderness how many square feet do you really need inside your home?


The Shipping Container Holyoke Cabin

Image credit: inhabitat

While it hasn’t yet reached the level of total self-sustainability, the plans to do so are already in the works. But there’s something else that is unique about this particular off-grid cabin: it’s mostly constructed out of shipping cargo containers.

I’ve always loved cargo container homes for a few reasons:

● It allows the recycling and repurposing of materials that otherwise go straight into landfills
● Cargo containers are meant to be load-bearing and stackable
● They can be inexpensive, and provide a prefabricated, durable building component.

If done right, shipping container homes can be an extremely doable, artistically beautiful option for grounding your roots in the back country.


The Off-Grid Micro Tahoe Home

Image credit: Apartment Therapy

Meet Tim and Hannah. What is unique about this Californian duo? Well, they basically started with 20-acres and not a single blueprint. The resulting masterpiece was a gorgeous off-grid “micro” cabin near Tahoe. One of the coolest parts about the cabin itself is the fact that they built UP and not OUT.

By super-organization, hanging and stacking, their home leaves a small footprint, but can still fulfill life’s basic necessities. However, the couple says they’re happiest about the over-sized deck (which is literally propped up on stilts, cut from pines growing mere feet from the cabin.)


The Experiment

Image credit: offgridcabin

Called, “an experiment in off-grid living,” Sam began back in 2011. What is the nature of this experiment?

His aim was to construct a semi-self-sustaining existence from scratch, then chronicle his experiences on his blog. While northern Michigan isn’t exactly the warmest of places, it seems as though he’s been able to make his system work with a combo of solar panels, deep cycle batteries, onsite gas utilities and a wood burning stove (with a generator if he’s in a pinch). In addition, Sam also implements power-saving measures, such as LED lighting.


The Maine Island Self-Sustainer

Image credit: dwell

It’s both a cabin, and a luxurious retreat. It’s also an Alex Porter masterpiece of zero ecological impact. Not only is this building fully functional, but it also runs completely on solar power without ever requiring a generator.

Situated on a secluded Maine island, the cabin literally needs no connection to the grid. Simply put, it’s the getaway of getaways with a gorgeous view …and I can’t think of a better off-grid place than an island for reconnecting with nature.

And here, you can do so in style.


Where to Begin?

If you found these off-grid cabin concepts to be curiously enticing, then you might be happy to find that such a lifestyle is absolutely attainable

Starting with a prefabricated or modular design is a fantastic place to begin, especially if you only need a smaller space. This way at least, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel …and many of these designs even come with off-grid capabilities.

Who knows? Your new self-sustaining wilderness retreat could be in your near future.


Interested in building your own off-grid cabin?


Check out our favorite guidebook on the subject, “Your Cabin in the Woods

your cabin in the woods book off grid cabin we are wildness

Looking for more dreamy cabins? Check out the book “Cabin Porn” (Don’t worry…it’s just beautiful cabins… Safe for work!)

cabin porn book cover we are wildness


Kate Wilson

Kate Wilson

Kate is a writer and blogger on all things green who loves sharing her passion for nature in all its forms. She is an avid urban gardener and a leisurely hiker who is working on reconciling her desire to take on tall tree climbing with her intense vertigo.