Off Grid Living: How to Get Land and Build an Inexpensive Home or Cabin

Prepping and off grid cabins are a popular topic for many in the modern day. Have what it takes to go from just talking to actually making it happen?

Imagine, your own “survival cabin”… Here’s how to make it happen.


What if that cabin one day saved your life?

Maybe a national crisis has lead to an all out economic collapse; city poverty spins out of control; hunger is a way of life and results in an enormous wave of crime. Maybe that’s about the time you say enough is enough, pack your vehicle, and then head off for that cabin you built, knowing it has everything you needed to survive the next several months or even years.

How to Get Land and Build an Inexpensive Off Grid Cabin

Planning, financing and building your own cabin-refuge-shelter

Today the Government is urging everyone to have an emergency plan. Being ready to move to safety from natural, manmade or other disasters is a fact of life in today’s unstable world.

But responsible preppers and survivors are ahead of the curve and making plans and preparations to escape and outlast any future civil unrest, war or natural disaster. Having a cabin or shelter that ensures basic needs is at the top of their list. Building one that satisfies the criteria of heat, water and security is a serious decision.

The Plan

There are several options for building a retreat.
A pre-planned relocation for a permanent move is an intentional off-grid lifestyle choice. Researching land, planning the retreat/cabin and moving there is a serious project. The other is a refuge-shelter option. This is where the cabin-shelter is within a safe drive from the permanent home site and can be reached in times of confusion such as can result in an attack on the homeland or time of civil unrest.

This option requires serious thought since it will need to be far enough away from large cities where law and order will be disintegrating and travel could be dangerous, and still have the necessary resources for lasting out the emergency and recovery.


So Many Choices for Property …

Researching and selecting a region where to place the shelter is the first step. The place needs to be remote enough from hostile groups, environmental dangers such as dams that may come down and flood the area below, seismic areas where earthquakes and volcanic forces can be a factor, and areas where the current weather conditions can be a serious issue such as wildfire history, droughts, severe storms and potential for weather changes due to wind shifts.

Despite the extreme claims of some that manmade climate change is the greatest danger to life on earth, the reality is that weather is solar in origin. The sun is now entering a cyclic low period and this has effects on wind currents, temperatures, even earthquakes. Many scientists have noted as well that the earth’s magnetosphere has decreased severely and a polar reversal is quite possible with possible disastrous effects due to all regions. The area selected should take these into consideration and extremes avoided.

Funding: land and construction for your off (or on) grid cabin

The USDA has numerous funding programs for rural communities.
No down payment loans are available in areas selected for the USDA program. These satisfy the need to be within a reasonable travel distance of a settlement for community and resource-sharing in a survival situation. Finding a compatible community through research, contact making and networking is the best way to make a decision. Some rural communities also offer free land to those who would settle there. The options are many and a Google search is the quickest way to investigate the application process for each.

Building the refuge

Finding land to buy that fits these criteria will require research and contact work. There are real estate companies that deal specifically with off-grid property and land such as You can also Google for off-grid real estate for other businesses that can assist. Some accessibility by road is a necessity for moving building materials onto the site.

Choices include builders who deal in remote cabins, Log cabin kits, DIY with recycled materials and buying a site and planning your own custom refuge. Henry Thoreau built his cabin on Walden Pond from recycled materials.

He was close to a water source, sheltered by trees and close enough to Concord, MA to walk to town to his sister’s house for evening dinner. Water accessibility is an absolute necessity.

Consider properties with water rights and stream access

Properties near rivers or streams may have riparian rights to channel water for personal usage and this should be verified. Other properties may come under “water rights” in the title, especially in agricultural communities.

The DIY cabin may hold the most possibilities since it can not only fit the individual needs of family groups but provide a learning experience in self-reliance, re: fixing things.

The floor plan

The floor plan will need to emphasize using light and heat the best way and some privacy must be sacrificed at the cost of fuel efficiency. Strong doors with a bar across them and interior shutters will provide security and safety since the home must now also be a castle. A site needs to have a number of elements for successful survival. Nearby and accessible clean water, wood and usable timber for fuel and building, stone or other solid materials for construction, a way to shield the structure from view ( nets and foliage camouflage), and a place to grow subsistence and hardy crops, a place for domestic animals and shelter and forage for them. Domestic animals also provide manure. This can be used for fertilizer and burned as fuel as well. An escape route for vehicles, horses or on foot is also a survival reality as well as means to generate power through solar, wind or water power. There are several options for construction of a survival cabin/shelter.

Local lumber or cabin kits

Do-it-yourself log cabins from local lumber or kits are one possibility. Getting expert assistance and actual physical help is important since logs are heavy and safety must come first. Having a modular home is another. These can be delivered and installed on a foundation. Shipping containers are a new way to construct sturdy and affordable shelters. These can be altered and outfitted to provide livable and expandable shelters. “Tiny houses” are still another option and are moveable.

Whether you preplan your survival relocation or have a nearby but safe retreat, cabin/shelter life will be vastly different from what is normal today. You will have to be totally involved in developing sustainable food, fuel and other resources on a daily basis.

Shelter that stands up to four seasons

Your shelter will have to have the means nearby to provide the materials for daily life and for winter and seasonal weather changes.

The cabin will have to reflect the new necessities of conserving heat, food and re-using all materials such a scans, storage containers, even items usually discarded in the trash such as food wrappers. Growing hardy and nutritious crops such as potatoes, corn and pumpkins will develop food sources that actually supply their own seed.

Running water sources can even create electricity

Water sources will supply water, fish and even some water power for energy with a battery storage system. Adapting to a new environment will be a challenge but having a cabin/shelter that supports that new life will make the transition easier and keep hope alive in a world gone mad.



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