Home & Garden

This Man Built the Most Unique Off-the-Grid Underground Home


Joseph, Ore. sits near the Idaho border, far away from the bustle of modern-day life. It's one of the reasons why Dan Price moved up to the area to build an eco-friendly, simplified life. In fact, he decided to use the earth around him to build an off-the-grid cave home with no utility bills and no frills. Because of his thrifty skills, he only requires about $5,000 annually to live this humbly rich lifestyle.

Price moved back to Oregon in 1990, after having lived a more standard lifestyle with heating bills and mortgages. But, this enterprising self-starter wanted to avoid all those traps.

He asked a landowner if he could rent some wild meadow land at the back of the property, complete with a running spring, for $100 a month. That was just the beginning of an entirely new lifestyle.

He started with a small underground hobbit-style house, complete with a skylight and heavy-duty plastic waterproofing. Just a simple ceramic heater keeps his home warm during the winter.

He gets into his sleeping quarters by climbing through a large, tidy hole on the side of his living room. Kirsten Dirksen interviewed Price and he said of himself that he is, "sort of like a hobo, but a classy hobo, maybe."

A tiny heater keeps the outdoor shower warm enough in the winter months, despite the northern climate. He even filters his own drinking water from the spring running behind his hobbit hole.

Price left behind his job as a news photographer years ago in order to publish his shoe-company-sponsored zine, Moonlight Chronicles. He spent 20 years publishing these detailed drawings about his life and created dozens of issues. Now you can buy his books and drawings off of his website. He is an icon of enjoying the little things and living in the moment.

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This Man Built the Most Unique Off-the-Grid Underground Home