frugal off grid geothermal and water tower

Three and a half years, off grid and alone in the high desert of Arizona.

I am comfortably sitting in my camper van this morning, drinking a cup of black coffee as I do every morning. The curtains are open and I can see the sun coming up over the distant mountains.

southwest sunrise off grid homestead

Right this moment I can say I have everything I need and I don't really want for much but three and a half years ago, when I moved off grid, I parked in this exact spot my first night on my property and I was really rolling the dice.

frugal off grid camper van build

At the time I only had my camper van, a cheap trailer and a one year supply of canned food. 

frugal off grid first month


By the time I built my shop, I had no money left and I was betting on people being interested enough in what I was doing to support my homestead through my website. And slowly but surely people bought my eBooks, Courses and tuned in to my YouTube channel which all helped me build my modest homestead. 

frugal off grid books

frugal off grid products

Before long I built small structures to help me live as sustainably as possible. I built a geothermal greenhouse and learned that it can snow pretty hard in the high desert of Arizona. 

Arizona high desert snow

I built a root cellar although many told me it would never work here and I began to learn that there would be many nay sayers but more often than not, what I tried, worked. 

high desert root cellar build in arizona

An abandoned dog wondered onto my homestead for food and water, I looked for the owner but no one could accurately Identify her and I've had her for years now. I named her Helga and fed her. She's currently sleeping at my feet. 

abandoned dog in arizona desert

The first time I saw a tarantula was pretty wild. I thought they would be scarier but they move so slow they're almost cute. 

arizona tarantula

As more people began to support what I was doing, I was able to build more infrastructure. I built an area for my tea business in my shop and I expanded my rain harvesting system. 

 frugal off grid tea shop

rain harvesting system

I harvested my own meat, and grew much of my own food. 

skinning a boer goat

I tanned a goat skin to later make moccasins and I made sausage with the meat. 

tanning goat skin

frugal off grid goat sausage

frugal off grid moccasins

frugal off grid beets

frugal off grid greenhouse

Over time my homestead became a home. 

frugal off grid

I successfully built a pond which filled naturally from monsoons, I cut native grass and bailed my own hay and my homestead became more and more comfortable. 

frugal off grid hay

frugal off grid van build

After you finish reading this blog, you can join my mailing list and get my first eBook FREE! It's an Amazon best seller in multiple categories. Thousands of copies have been downloaded and read. But I'm giving you one for free. 

frugal off grid pond

I created my own tire shop on the homestead, since I'm so far from town. I expanded my rain harvesting system to harvest and store nearly 20,000 gallons of rainwater and I build a water tower to provide gravity powered automatic water to my entire homestead. And my homestead just continues to become more like a home. 

frugal off grid water cistern

frugal off grid tire shop

frugal off grid

Most recently I've grown enough livestock to keep 400lbs of meat on the homestead. I can usually harvest enough vegetables or a salad every day and I added a round pen and stable for a couple beautiful horses that I will do my best to train so they can pull a wagon, work around the homestead and be good transportation. 

frugal off grid water tower

frugal off grid pigglet

frugal off grid horses

Gambling on my homestead success has been the best decision of my life and sharing it with you all has been both challenging and rewarding and I'm grateful for every one of you. 

I have uploaded over 500 videos on YouTube documenting the process if you'd like to see them you can click here

If you'd like to support my homestead you can visit my website here

If you'd like up to 25% off of my website or you would like to be notified of my YouTube videos you can join my mailing list here

Thank you all so much for your support. Please leave a comment below and I'll try to respond to all of them. 

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I came across 1 of your videos at the beginning of the year, all other homestead videos are in “green” places. Although my desert is much harsher than yours (I’m still sleeping outside on my picnic table in a tank top) & I’m disabled, 2x your age & without your skills lol, you gave me the confidence to follow a lifelong dream. I got chickens immediately. I’ve been in a small travel trailer for almost 4 years completely off grid; no running water, toilet & until recently I had to build a fire to cook. I’m looking for property of my own so I can start building my homestead. I didn’t know how Helga found you! I haven’t had a dog since moving here & her big smile & the way she wags her whole body just makes my day! Thank you for all you do!!!

Shelly Thie

Thank you Trisha, I have learned a couple lessons in my life, the acronym KISS Keep it simple stupid has done a lot of good for me. Often times people over complicate things, especially those who have never done it.

Frugal Off Grid

Love LoVe LOVE all that you have done. You are my go-to guy for how to keep things simple, how you absolutely can live and thrive in the desert. We’re following in your footsteps!!

Trisha Barnes

Chris, Helga caught me off guard about 1am one night and I shewed her off. The next morning I realized how far out she was and decided to put out food water and a trap so I could help her out. Glad you stopped by my blog. Thank you.

Frugal Off Grid

Thank you Mark, I’m happy that you’re following along. I find that if I just get a bit done each day, I continue to make progress.

Frugal Off Grid

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