There’s a large number of people across America that are looking to rent vacation homes that are off grid; it allows them to disconnect from this hugely connected world we live, they can recharged and reclaim something of themselves.
But what exactly does off the grid mean? It means the property is off the network of publicly-owned utility systems such as water, sewage, and power.
For some people, and not just green enthusiasts, off-grid housing is their chance to live in a more sustainable manner, reduce consumption, and also as a way to reduce their reliance on governments.
These properties provide all that’s needed in the way of renewable energy for power, wells, and other water collection methods, as well as various types of composting systems for waste.
In a way we’re just returning to our roots, we never used to have electric lighting or gas for heating and cooking, and people still thrived. Out in Colorado and many other hard to reach places, off-grid housing came well before the sustainability movement. People have been living this way for generations up in the mountains.
Mountain huts for hunters and skiers, hunting lodges, and simple adobe huts exist all over America and even the world.
These houses and buildings have stood the test of time and have been passed down for generations, and even though some of the owners live in more urban places, these are still loved and treasured buildings.
We’ve talked about Airbnb a number of times and it’s come onto our radar again as a way for owners of these properties to offer up their use to a wider range of people.
An example is Sarah and Jason Stillman, who operate Freehouse, a local business that owns and operates online but off-grid vacation homes. All the houses they offer have no outside infrastructure support, though some do have the internet. Within the huge vacation rental market, the Stillmans have found a niche and are still learning their customers’ particular wants and needs.
They offer properties well away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world, whether you want to detox from technology or spend time out in the backcountry with just a roof and bed available. They are hoping to expand their website so that renters can register and develop their profiles.
Knowing what customers are able to handle is important, as the property owners realize how hard it can be to get to their off-grid home. Some areas need special requirements, like renters having avalanche training or a vehicle that can handle the sometimes rugged terrain or snow.
It is a matter of striking a balance between the needs of owners and renters, and there is plenty of room for growth in this industry. It is important to grow this niche market slowly as many of the rentals are situated in delicate ecological areas and the wrong tenant could do a lot of damage.
It would be truly sad to lose the chance, through the careless actions of one person, to live, even if it is only for a week or two, surrounded by nature in all its glory, cut off from all the pressures of modern life.
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