If you’ve ever wanted to live off the grid, Slab City just might be the place for you. If you’re getting older and near retirement age and not sure that you’re Swiss bank account will keep you under a permanent roof, Slab City just might be the place for you.
Slab City is a decommissioned military base where retirees and others who want to live off the grid congregate. Slab City has about 150 full-time residents and a peak population of up to 5,000 in the winter when the heat is bearable.
There are even “neighborhoods” in Slab City:
Although Slabbers tend to defy easy characterization, de facto neighborhoods ("Poverty Flats," "Lows") and tribes have emerged. There are Year-Rounders who brave the 120°F summer inferno, and Snowbirds who land from as far as Canada with their souped-up RVs and pensions, soul-searching Gypsy Kids who arrive by train with little more than the ragged clothes on their back, Spaz Kids and their electro-psychedelic outdoor parties, and Scrappers who risk life and limb to collect shrapnel from the gunnery range that flanks the camp, where Navy SEAL teams train year-round (and where rumor has it they prepared for the Osama bin Laden raid). That's to say nothing of the rowdy bikers who pass through, or the meth-addled loners on the outer edges inclined to greet a trespasser with a gunshot. If the Burning Man festival were a permanent settlement instead of a weeklong escape -- remixed with a hard dose of reality -- this might be it.
Another good video, ht to Burned.
Some of the people who have moved there, do so to save money. The community also won’t allow anyone to go hungry, have entertainment on Saturday nights and a Christian monument called Monument City.
"People back home still think we're crazy for doing what we've done," he says. "It's not for everyone, but this lifestyle has grown on us, tremendously." The couple swear their relationship has also improved because they no longer fight about money. It's not hard to understand why: their living expenses have dropped from about $4,000 to $200 a month. Less than their electricity bill when they owned a house.
Is this the new retirement hot spot of the future?