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Woman Living Fully Off-Grid for 2 Years in a Tiny Yurt

Beige has been living fully off-grid in this tiny Mongolian yurt from Groovy Yurts for over 2 years now.

She doesn’t have electricity so she uses candles for light, she has a woodstove for heating and cooking, and she hauls in water from a nearby spring.

The only item that needs electricity is her phone, which she can charge in her car on her way to and from work.

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She’s been living off-the-grid for 2+ years in a Yurt

She's been living off-the-grid for 2+ years in a Yurt - Exploring Alternatives

Image © Exploring Alternatives

She set up the yurt in a pocket of forest on a friends farm and she helps out on the farm in exchange for being allowed to stay there.

To earn money, she works as a nature mentor for small groups of kids a few days each week.

She's been living off-the-grid for 2+ years in a Yurt - Exploring Alternatives

Image © Exploring Alternatives

Beige grows some of her own food and makes a lot of her own tinctures from wild and cultivated plants.

She also spends a lot of her time reading, making music, playing with her dog, and tending the fire.

She's been living off-the-grid for 2+ years in a Yurt - Exploring Alternatives

Image © Exploring Alternatives

Living off the grid can be quite difficult, and Beige admits that having other neighbours nearby would help alleviate some of the challenges, such as keeping the fire going when she’s away from home for example.

She also thinks she may invest in solar panels in the future.

To learn more about Beige’s story, watch the Exploring Alternatives video below!

VIDEO: Woman Living Fully Off-Grid for 2 Years in a Tiny Yurt

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Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.
{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Jerry Dycus
    February 19, 2019, 7:48 am

    Using candles for light pollutes badly and far more costly that a small solar panel, battery powering LED lights that produce far higher quality light.
    Or buy a solar lantern you leave in the sun during the day for use at night, also costs much less than candles.
    And run a pipe from the spring costs little, greatly improves life.

    • Michael L
      February 19, 2019, 5:25 pm

      And Jerry, share with everyone how you are living off-grid and leaving little or no footprint?

      • michael carman
        February 19, 2019, 5:57 pm

        please. jerry.

      • Jerry Dycus
        February 19, 2019, 6:12 pm

        So many ways. And I just said one in my post that for less cost and better health, fire danger.
        Myself I’ve lived with just a 12vdc system for 30+ yrs anchored offshore charged by wind or tidal power on sailboats and offgrid.
        And the difference between having that and no power is big, hot and sweaty with lantern of candle
        fumes is huge.
        But I’m just talking candle, lantern fumes for health reasons.
        Such can for under $200 my in solar give not just light but as important, a fan and fridge and of course electronics.
        The difference between the 19th and 21st century. If you want to wear hair shirts, be my guest.

        • James D.
          February 20, 2019, 1:18 am

          Let me play devils advocate and point out all the reasons new isn’t always better…

          For example, Candles are EMP proof, can be used to boil/sterilize water or do some limited cooking in a pinch and with thermal electric generators you can still charge your devices…

          There’s even LED lamps you can get that run on candle power and unlike solar it would never be impaired by bad weather, too many trees blocking the light, or simply needing to use it in the middle of the night and not worry if it has a charge left…

          Btw, there are candles that aren’t made of materials that would give off any harmful fumes and can be combined with essential oils for enhancing the natural stress reduction of watching a candle with aromatherapy…

          Besides, you can make them yourself and never have to worry about it working or contributing to landfills and leeching toxins into the environment when you do eventually throw them away…

          While wool is much healthier to have against your skin than most modern fabrics that are full of chemicals and synthetic fibers have been linked to a multitude of health issues…

          Considering the modern clothing industry makes use of over 8000 chemicals, not counting the multitude of synthetic fibers, there’s arguably much more health concerns over modern products…

          Mind you, I’m not discounting any of the advantages of modern technology. Just pointing out it’s not all one sided and a mix of old and new can often be the better option than going to either extreme…

        • Jeffery A Silvia
          February 20, 2019, 6:47 am

          Living in a boat is not off-grid . a cheap solar panel about 40.00 and a used car battery another 20.00 this will supply enough power for led light ,fans,12vlt. Cooler and phone charging. After the starting cost of sixty dollars its price less and portable and easily bought at auto parts chain stores. I have 45 years living off-grid before we even knew what off-grid was….

    • Eric
      February 20, 2019, 12:52 am

      And what if her water source is downstream from her Yurt? How does she get the water to flow up? Shift the Yurt? Then you run the risk of flooding should the stream overflow. Pluses and minuses in everything in life.

      Yes, candles do pollute. Especially in a confined space. Soot is very toxic to the lungs. But, as she said, “She also thinks she may invest in solar panels in the future”

      Lets be real here. If you ain’t got the money, you ain’t got the money. End of Story.

      @Sharee Thornberry… to you it looks like clutter. To her, it looks like home. Do you have to live in it? She does and while not to my taste I’m sure she loves it. Its sort of like ice cream… not everybody likes chocolate flavour.

      • Jerry Dycus
        February 20, 2019, 6:29 am

        How silly. If the spring is below there is this thing called a pump, again inexpensive powered by the water or from the solar panel.
        Since everything I’ve mentioned will run for 5-10 days from a single RV house battery, doubtful one won’t have sun that long.
        Again it costs more to buy candles than a small solar system. And she even said she’d like to get one so the reaction to my post is amazing for trying to help others with information.
        James, EMP pulse? Really! I mean really! And there is no such thing as a candle not making pollution, because of the way it burns.

        • James D.
          February 21, 2019, 1:44 am

          Jerry, no, there’s always byproducts to combustion but what it gives off depends on what you use to make the candle and how hot the flame gets.

          Beeswax candles, for example, are much more clean burning than most modern candles, producing virtually no smoke or soot. When made with 100% pure, unbleached, all-natural beeswax, they are naturally hypoallergenic, emit no toxins or soot, and are long lasting… and there’s other examples of more healthy types of candles that are known to burn more cleanly.

          There’s just a lot of candles made from paraffin wax, a product of petroleum refining and a lot of commercially made candles have wicks that are often infused with a variety of chemicals to modify their burning characteristics but those aren’t the only types of candles you can get or make yourself.

          Most people also don’t know how to properly use and maintain candles… Like you’re supposed to periodically trim the wick to keep the flame optimal for the most efficient combustion, which most people never do… and how hot the flame gets factors into the efficiency of the combustion, the more efficient then the less emissions you get…

          So not everything that burns does so equally…

          While I was playing devils advocate but you might want to look up the Carrington event of 1859 and imagine what that will do today… We had a near miss in 2012 but it’s only a matter of time… Besides, there’s many other ways electronics can get damaged.

          The point there was reliability, there’s simply lots of ways technology can fail and when you’re living off-grid and are miles from anything you could use to fix or replace the electronics once they fail then you leave yourself nothing to fall back on.

          While, candles don’t have to cost much if you make them yourself and that can be done with very limited resources, even if you’re living off grid, and you can recycle what’s left to make more candles… and there’s a wide range of things you can use wax for that makes it a handy material to keep around even if you don’t need it for lighting… But it’s always good to have a backup…

    • e.a.f.
      March 2, 2020, 1:07 pm

      it depends upon what the candles are made of. Soya candles don’t have a lot of smoke and neither do candles made in the U.S.A. or Germany and Poland. Beeswax candles are wonderful. Candles provided light before we had electricity and were frequently made with things which might have been thrown away. Having used candles during power outages, there wasn’t a lot of extra pollution, not like running a generator. Candles not only provide light, but a bit of heat.

      The other methods of lighting, may not be polluting while being used. However, in their production they pollute, as does the bringing to market process. Solar panels are mainly built in China. A few years ago, the city in which most solar panels were being built, was the post polluted city in China. there is then the issue of transferring the solar panels and/or laterns to North America. Again many of these older freighters are not that environmental. If you purchase locally made bees wax candles, you’re doing the all over environment a favour.

      When we see articles on the blog about people trying something different, it would be more supportive of all of us to see the positives in this and not “load down” what we may believe is not meeting a “standard”.

      Thank you to this woman and the blog for sharing. Its inspiring.

      • jerry dycus
        March 3, 2020, 3:56 am

        Then I suggest for all you who like candles so much to use them for all your home lighting needs for a month and get back to us with costs, how well it worked and how your house smells.
        And I suggest you look up P2.5 all candles make.

  • LaMar
    February 19, 2019, 1:26 pm

    Yurt’s are cool and they can be used and moved and if designed right can withstand temperature extremes.

    The Mongolians use wool to insulate the yurts for their extreme winters but makes them smell like a wet sheep.

    If you need any help setting up a small off grid system contact me through my website Beige and I would be happy to help.


  • michael carman
    February 19, 2019, 5:58 pm

    she is my hero, dream lady.

  • Michael L
    February 19, 2019, 5:59 pm

    Beige… I love how you have learned to repurpose so much stuff! You’re a real inspiration! I hope you get your legal issues resolved. Good luck and thank you for sharing!

  • Sheila Plourde
    February 19, 2019, 9:03 pm

    I think this is cute. Looks cozy inside. She is a hard working lady. I admire her. Wish you all the best.

  • Nina Olsen
    February 22, 2019, 9:17 pm

    I really admire what she is doing. I would like to live like her someday but in a tiny house. I don’t know how to go about doing that however. Any help would be welcomed.

  • June 12, 2019, 4:07 am

    Awesome way of living and awesome voice and talented music and lyrics as well.

  • Robin
    November 17, 2022, 11:02 am

    That it’s all about living primitively or that you can’t have running water. You can actually have all the comforts of home and live a sustainable life. You can still have a fridge, a wood stove, and a washing machine. You just have to get a little creative with power sources and water. Thank you for beneficial blog

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