For the first few months living off the grid, Nick Fouch and Esther Emery used their ingenuity to get by. They built their own bicycle-powered washing machine that uses no electricity or running water, and they built their own shower that uses gravity fed water from a nearby stream.
However, as they embarked on their first winter in the woods, certain realities of living without electricity began to settle in. Esther wasn't totally prepared for how dark it gets in the winter months. The yurt began to feel much smaller as well, since it was often too cold for the kids to play outside. She describes more about that difficult experience on her blog.
As Esther and the children struggled to deal with their surroundings, they were also confronted with a new challenge; a black bear lurking on their property. With no communication and no way to call for help, Esther had to take things into her own hands. After that experience, Nick and Esther had mixed feelings about living off the grid and considered giving it up.
Instead, they restrategized and took a more realistic approach to their timeline and goals. Although Nick and Esther initially rushed into an off-grid lifestyle, instead of letting the disappointments discourage them, they became more resourceful.
The Fouch family isn't without their doubts about this life they've built, but they are always reminded in some way that they're doing the right thing. Living off the grid isn't just an experiment for the Fouch family anymore. This homestead in Idaho that they've built with their own hands is everything they have.
For more on living off the grid, watch Part I of Nick and Esther's story:
Could You Handle Living Off the Grid?