Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Video: Man Goes Beyond Off Grid, Going Under It

Happy Friday! Sit back, relax, grab a bowl of cereal and watch this Fair Companies video of Dan Price and his Hobbit hole home. Be prepared to feel like your life is a wasteful, complicated mess. It’s fairly tough to get much lower impact than Dan. He lives in a tiny subterranean Shire-like structure that is almost wholly constructed of reclaimed materials. He pays $200 a year for the land his house sits on (or, rather, under) and his annual expenses total $5K. He gets most of his water from a spring. His feces are composted in a toilet he made 25 years ago. He uses the tiniest bit of electricity. His diet consists mostly of raw fruits and veggies and cereal. He has very few possessions. Almost everything in his life has been edited–a word Price, once a professional photographer, uses liberally–down to the most essential. Despite his radical level of editing, Price sees himself as a pretty normal guy, albeit one who has and consumes very little stuff.

The video is really worth the full 34 minute viewing time. It’s the chronicle of a man who has consistently chosen to live according to his own rules (His lifestyle is no flash in the pan. Before the Hobbit hole, he lived in a tent, teepee and tiny house). And while he considers himself a normal guy, he alludes to how his lifestyle is partly the function of being a bit of a hermit–that more human contact would put him under more scrutiny, making it more difficult to do his own thing, which he seems to enjoy quite a bit.

Even if you don’t want to live like Price, to know this level of minimalism is not only possible, but being carried out, might help inspire whatever bit of modest editing you might be having difficulty incorporating into your life.

  • TDHIll

    Wow, this man is so inspirational! At first, I was thinking that he must be a little off, but the more I learned, the more what he said was rational, thoughtful, ingenious. His ability to build and then let go through the burning of it, his openness to change (relishing the rebuilding of things like the dock), and his focus on returning to the kid-like fun and wonder of life seemed far more focused and sane than my own life. Loved the Hand Pan music too- have never seen that before. What a fascinating, intelligent, and interesting example of simple living!

  • coffeewitholiver

    I am in awe and a little infatuated 🙂 I ardently admire his lifestyle and only wish more people would pursue their dreams, even when those veer away from the norm. I have land that I might be able to do something similar on one day, although I wish to have someone else be there for help and safety ~ it’s an extremely remote 20 acres nearly surrounded by national and federal forests.
    For now, I’ll continue working on my little house truck, and move into it full time when it’s finished.
    Thanks for sharing his story!

    • David Friedlander

      drop us a line when you want to show off more. thanks, david

  • WithheldName

    This was wonderful…but like all good presentations…it was somewhat misleading.

    1. Based on everything he said, my impression is that he has rarely spent more than 25% of his time there. So this is essentially a little vacation retreat for him. He has spent most of his life traveling around the world for business. It’s easy for him to extol the virtues of bathing in a river when he showers in a hotel 300 days a year. It’s easy for him to talk about munching on mint when he eats in restaurants 300 days a year. It’s easy for him to talk about “living a life away from society” when he’s in airports and taxis 300 days a year. No clothes washer, dryer, refrigerator, or dishwasher in his little hovel? Where’s his computer and phone to make all those work and travel arrangements? A lot of stuff doesn’t add up until you realize that this is mostly a weekend playground for him.

    2. The financial sustainability of this is also distorted. How much money did he make from his magazine while living in the meadow? I doubt it was much. He earned most of his money as a traveling photojournalist – not as a homesteader. And $100/year for 25 years for 2 acres in Oregon without commuting distance of a major airport and commercial center where he can publish and distribute his magazine? There’s no deal like that today. He most likely would have had to pay 10 times that amount today for any market transaction.

    • The Dentist

      HE never claimed to do any of those things that you accuse him of misrepresenting… He never claimed to be off grid, the title did but he didn’t that I remember. He never claimed to live in a “tiny house”, he just said he lives in a space that is the size that he likes. Maybe he did say it was tiny, but I think he was referring to the size, not what we have come to know as a **tiny house**. He has a car and a cell phone… I’m assuming he’s intelligent enough to get work and travel organized with those two items and a local library. I don’t know where you’re getting this 300 days a year figure… He published 70 something magazines over 20 yrs… that’s 3.5 per year and you think he spent and average of 6 days per week on the road to get that much material? And it looks like many of those trips were backpacking trips with tents, not spent in hotels, restaurants and entrenched in society. Finally, I realize that this would be impossible to do today but guess what, he wasn’t asking you to. He was simply telling what he has done and he even mentioned that he is grandfathered in on most of those laws and building codes etc.

      Don’t go bursting bubbles because it just makes it sounds like you’re jealous.:)

      • WithheldName

        His compound is awesome. I just like to inject a little skepticism. A lot of what he did should be doable by most of the rest of us. But he paints an idyllic picture, one that should be taken with a grain of salt. Am I jealous? Hell yes! 🙂