♫Intro Music♫ My biggest reward and desire to live off
the grid is to have a closer connection with the things I need to survive this
life. ♫Music Playing♫ We live in a society it’s so easy to have something and toss it when you run out. And I’m still doing that, you know, it’s hard just to avoid it. But life in balance with nature, that’s
really what I’m after by living off the grid. ♫Music Playing♫ Some like passage. I’m up here on Donner
Summit, up in the snow, 7,100 feet. ♫Music Playing♫ Since I was a kid, I always wanted to live
off the grid. Around when I was 33, I decided to tackle that idea.
I found 40 acres up here on Donner Summit. I bought it with snow, I didn’t know what the property looked like. I purchased it, lived here in a teepee, just
to get a feeling for what it was like. Donner Summit’s pretty harsh weather
pattern so I got to know where the wind blew and how the snow built up here. I
started in the next year in October. 80% of the property is granite so I have a
lot of rocks. I decided to build out of that, which I’d never built out of rock
before. The same process I built this under the golden ratio. I just made a
floor plan based on my own measurements of my own golden ratio. The floor plan
was kind of it, everything else kind of just came as I started building it, which
was a really fun process and that’s how I usually tackle a lot of things is get
enough to start and then let everything else kinda just naturally happen as you
go. It tests your instincts a little bit, your trust, bravery, just going out and failing or succeeding. You’re gonna experience both.
Being up here in the snow, with the rock, mixing cement was probably my hardest
battle. I don’t have a well so that’s all creek water. Doing it in the winter is hard cause it’s freezing. Took me about five years to build this 225 square foot cabin.
Now I’m getting to enjoy it. ♫Music Playing♫ So here we are. This is the front door. The exterior rock actually does not touch the inside rock. There is a thin layer of bubble
wrap in between each wall. They are anchored together with rebar, with hooks
on them, every so often. This year the house has been completely buried. All the
rocks are from here. This I milled the year I started building it, but I didn’t
put this in until three years later cause I had to wait for it to dry. *Door Creaks Open* So this is the inside. ♫Music Playing♫ Got the kitchen built into the wall here. ♫Music Playing♫ Little cabinet, some sandblasting I did in memory of my dog. The house is actually wired DC 12-volt, reason is just to save energy
because your solar panels are normally DC and if you go to AC you’d lose at
least 10 percent. I have inverters if I need it, they’re like, this is my plugs
here. Those things are 12-volt. The
camera that’s filming is 12 volt, cell phones, computers, 12 volt anyway so. I
have a fuse box, but it’s a DC car fuse box. There’s a 200 down water tank
underneath. That’s for the winter because it doesn’t freeze down there and that’s
on a 12-volt pump. This is granite and then it goes into soapstone. ♫Music Playing♫ I use this for a hotplate, which is nice.
Cook on the fire, heat my water as well. Over here is an oven which you can bake
pizza, bread. I can get it up about 375-400 degrees. Smokestack from the fireplace
just goes right underneath that and behind it so it’s all actually boxed in
by soapstone, and I just bought a slab of this off somebody and cut it up myself.
You can actually cut this with a skill saw. It’s amazing, really easy stuff to work
with. When this part’s not here with firewood
this is actually a shower. I shower here, but also some time I’ll just take a bath
outside. I have a wood fire bathtub that, with the winters, it’s been crazy
maintaining it, but it’s buried right now. This is the south-facing, which I used a
lot of the sun to heat the place on sunny days. The sun will rise and hit all
these rocks, heat up the rocks, which is really helpful to contain the heat when
the sun goes down. My couch is built into the rock, which kind of makes this 225
square feet feel pretty big, especially with the glass too. This door right here
opens so this whole thing can open and my house becomes twice as big with the
deck. Windows are framed by angled iron and a small $300 welder on a generator
up here; that’s how I did all the welding up here, off a 3,000 watt generator.
Really helpful to have a loft in a small space in the snow. Reason is that’s where
it’s warmest and that’s where the last heats gonna be. In the morning it’s a
little chilly down here, but one thing I’ve learned living off the grid is you
are so much more in tune with the weather. When the sun comes up, it’s time
to get up. When it goes down, time to go to bed. And the reason you get somewhat
forced to do this is that all that means is is less work, less investment. If I go
to bed when the sun goes down I don’t need to run my lights, means my battery
bank, my whole solar panel setup is down to 500 bucks. You know instead of 10 grand you know. That’s kind of what this place is about
being in tune with nature. It’s a harsh environment up here, which I think, you
know, life is not exactly designed to be easy and I hope everyone understands
that in some form. That hardship can actually be a really fun and rewarding
thing to feel. This table is a tree I milled from a buddy’s house. It’s a oak
tree that grew apart. There’s an interesting rotted part in
the middle so I sunk the marble here and then this part right here was
rotted out that I routed out to fit this petrified wood. This one’s a petrified
mammoth bone. The beauty of this is from the fire I can be cooking something and
I could place anything hot on these. They’re your built in hot plates.
The couch is black walnut that I milled. When you build on the golden
ratio you get a little in tune with nature and so the golden ratio, you know,
it’s like, I did my own measurements so my hands are actually the far corners of
the windows. That’s self, which is kind of like you’re always reaching to the sun. That’s what the human is drawn to so. The doors where my feet are where, you know, your
feet, you walk into the house. This floor plan is a Pentagon. This Pentagon, on my birthday, I made this star that shines a shadow that meets all the points on
the Pentagon. And so this stretched out star actually becomes a perfect star
when the sun’s in its place on my birthday. So that was something I learned again just going into this building process of learning how the earth works, which for
my main learning experience with this is motion. That is actually what makes up
our life. Movement. We are energy making matter and I wanted to celebrate my day I was born with that idea, so that’s, that’s what this is. I’ve
picked being up on this rock because of the view. I could have easily built down
by the creek, in the woods, but it was important for me
to be the feeling of being out. Because being in the trees you get
hugged a little too much by the trees, from my perspective, forget about the
rest of the world. It’s actually a lot extra work to be up on this little rock
compared to down the hill here. ♫Music Playing♫ I’ve been snowboarding professionally
for 30 years now. I did the whole competition scene, got burnt out on that. You know love the mountain so much that I wanted to live my snowboarding and that.
After competition I learned how to shoot self portraits so I did that for 15
years. I just made a book of my whole 15 years of work called The Frozen Chase.
Kind of combine all my passions together, which is the mountains; living off the
grid, my snowboarding, so I’m up here living with a chairlift out my front
door. So now I get to walk out in my snowshoes and do whatever I want to do
and don’t even need to get in a car to go do my thing. ♫Music Playing♫ Here we are with my latest project. This
is a Mitsubishi 2012 Fuso. It’s my dream car. Four-wheel drive. It’s 19 feet long so I can fit in a parking spot anywhere. We’ve got the fold-out clam deck here.
The other side’s a slide-out. The inside’s not finished, but that will be the
kitchen so that will slide out. We got the bed, got a wood fireplace, furnace as
well. I’m gonna put a 40 gallon water tank in. The back I need to put in, I’m
putting in a Tommy gate, which is another deck like this on hydraulics so it will be
able to hold my snowmobile on the back. The fireplace swings out so there’ll be
a whole other deck that way. That’s actually the front door there and I can
still haul a piece of plywood in here. That is a goal in all my rigs is to
be able to haul plywood or at least four big sheets of anything that you’re gonna
build with. Oh yeah, I also got this thing. Need to check the back porch, see what’s
going on out here.

Stephen Childs


  1. My friend u have the best design i ever seen in a house of that style congratulations

  2. Hardship is good for you… bang on. It's the comforts that are killing us slowly…

  3. 247 TWO FOR ONE
    Perfection, who are you

    perfection, in one

    Very few will understand, the secret has always been in front of you the whole time, Great Hoodie

  4. Everyone: Lets celebrate Quaint Micro Homes!!
    Truckers Everywhere: Are you fucking serious?

  5. Who else is reminded on Bricktop from the movie Snatch by this guy talking?

  6. Inspiring, moving. Thank you for taking the time to share this story.

    edit: Chairlift?!? Mind Blown.

  7. Yeah but what if something goes wrong where he needs to call emergency for assistance? Then what?

  8. Right off the thumbnail, looks nice, just feels cluttered, feels clusterphobic in absence (no I’m not)

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice place, I could never make a place like that, I don’t have the skills for it, but, it has too much going on, it’s too chaotic, maybe some people like that.

  9. You're house are " home " DOPE. 🤟🏼🤫🤙🏼. 💯💯💯

  10. This is killer,I would love to leave the craziness of life in the suburbs behind and live off the grid like this.Man this is the life I dream of some day before I'm to old and broken down.

  11. Wake up when sun comes up and go to sleep when sun goes down

    Me: Lives in norther Finland where its polar night from mid november to mid january which means sun wont come up at all during that time… Im ok with that!

  12. One of the greatest things I managed to watch on Youtube. Amazing, lovely house.
    He might add some curtains for the nighttime to that huge glass front, it might keep the warmth a little longer. I wonder if you're actually allowed to build a house right there?

  13. This guy is so humble and honest, I love him! "Live isn't designed to be easy, I hope everyone understands that in some form." I honestly feel like because of all the wealth in western countries we do forget this sometimes, and heartship can actually be very rewarding, like you said! Fantastic video.

  14. Omg in love with this guy. ❤️ @Living Big in a Tiny House should see this. #livingbiginatinyhouse

  15. I am in love with everything about this 😍🙌 huemans doing what huemans are SUPPOSED to do…REALLY LIVE!

  16. This is utterly magnificent. If I could one day produce half an impressive creation, I would be content with life.

  17. I love these types of videos and tiny houses. You can see so much of the persons' look out on life and what makes them truly happy. I hope to one day make my own tiny house

  18. I love these types of videos and tiny houses. You can see so much of the persons' look out on life and what makes them truly happy. I hope to one day make my own tiny house

  19. Off grid reality of this build….
    Property cost – $500k + yearly taxes
    Equipment costs buy/rent whatever – $100k
    House materials – $200k
    Required equipment for year round living, snowmobile, trucks, fuel – $100k
    Continuous upkeep of working water & waste
    Time – 5 years
    Total – a cool Million.

    Me – FML

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