By Jake Meeus-Jones

Meet the couple who quit the rat race to live off-grid in a shed and now live mortgage-free with their own supply of water, gas and electric.

Lia, 27, and Trevor, 31, left home behind in Phoenix, Arizona, US, and moved 3,680 miles to rural Alaska last year.

After buying a plot of land for $35k, they had a custom $18k shed built and a well dug for their water supply.

They get their electricity from solar panels, use a propane tank for their gas – which they only have to fill twice a year – and prepare and can food.

The couple have slashed their previous $3.5k monthly outgoings – including a mortgage and bills – by roughly 80 per cent and now spend between $400 and $700-a-month, mostly on groceries.

Trevor works as a welder in the nearest town, whilst Lia documents their off-grid lifestyle on social media.

Lia, a former office manager, said: “We both grew up camping as children and loved being in the woods.

“We looked at so many couples moving off-grid and we loved the idea of providing our own necessities.

“But then covid happened and it really just reaffirmed our desire to be in charge of that.

“We knew that if something like covid happened again we would be in a really difficult position in Phoenix.

“We don’t miss Phoenix – being off-grid gives us freedom and security.”

After making the decision to move in 2020, they began the process of finding the perfect spot for their new life.

Lia said: “We decided on Alaska and moved out there in 2022.

“We bought raw land that didn’t have a road to it and we didn’t see it until we moved – it was just trees and brush.

“It was the most cost-effective option for us.”

Although in the process of building their dream place, Lia and Trevor needed a temporary place to call home.

“We contacted a shed company and bought the biggest shed that they offer with our specs we wanted, and we put in everything else in ourselves,” Lia said.

“The electric, water, gas we did on our own and the shed came to around $18k plus an extra $4k for everything else.

“Our biggest goal is to clear more land and start building our dream house.

“This year we had to get a pole barn up and a woodshed to start clearing more land.

“We plan to have a large garden and raise sheep for the meet and wool.”

Lia says setting up their off-grid utilities was “surprisingly easy” to do.

She said: “There were some challenges trying to learn about solar but other than that it’s pretty straight forward.

“Electrics come from solar and a generator to charge the batteries.

“We had a well drilled and that well fills a tank inside the house.

“For gas we have propane tank for on demand water and for our stove, so that’s it for gas.

“We take the tank to the gas station and have them filled twice a year.

“We enjoy paying less now – we don’t have a mortgage or owe anything on the land and have no outgoings for utilities – it’s quite a relief.”

Unfortunately, the pair have not had a chance to set up their own fruit and vegetable garden but still can and prepare their food for the winter months.

Lia said: “We’re still buying everything we need from the store at the moment, but we try to buy from local farmers as much as we can.

“I try to have as much food as possible.

“We have very limited space, but I can as much as I can.

“Last December we were snowed in under 60 inches of snow for a few days, so I knew we had to have plenty of food canned up and ready to go.

“It depends on what you’re canning, but sometimes it’s a multiple-day process.

“For example, potatoes take longer as you have to get the starch out by soaking them.

“Whereas canned ham is a lot quicker – put it in jars and then pressure canner for 75 minutes.

“At this time of year, you have to plan and dedicate your time to canning.”

Lia says the best part of their new lifestyle is the ability to do what they want without having to check with anyone else.

She said: “The freedom is amazing because of the amount of space we have – we can build anything without having to get a permit.

“It’s wild to think you can own your own water source too.

“We can shoot our guns, and nobody bats an eye.

“Firewood we get exclusively from our property – our woodshed was built with 90 percent of materials from our property.

“We rely on ourselves for what we need and other off-gridders nearby – It’s a tight community for sure.”