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As preppers, we should always be looking into ways to better our chances in case of a big disaster. Living off the grid will save money, but also give you more control over your life.
What Is Living Off The Grid
Living off the grid basically means living without the supply of gas, electricity and even water provided by local authorities. This way of living is one of the more popular long-term lifestyles people embrace.
In the survival community, most are more concerned with short-term ways to live off the grid in cases where essential supplies like electricity and water would be unavailable for a short period of time, such as EMP, natural disasters, etc.
Some of the important things you have to look into are:
- disconnection from the electrical and communication grid
- handling your own water need without relying on municipal water supply
- dealing with your own waste
- handling extreme temperatures without depending on external resources
- and most importantly, dealing with your local legal issues.
By having that initial capital and using your creativity to innovate power generation methods, you can basically live with nearly zero expense. The only drawback is that you need to have sufficient knowledge on operating and repairing the items which you use in your off-grid paradise.
Some even go to the extent of self-sustenance whereby you produce your own food supply through plantation and breeding live stocks. In the meat of the article below, we will talk about some of the basic fundamentals as to how living off the grid works.
Living Off The Grid 101
Understanding the law
There might be certain laws in your country which you may go against when living off the grid.
For example, it was a crime to collect rainwater in Colorado which is one of the many parts in the United States. For Florida, living off the grid is violating the International Property Maintenance Code.
Please check your local laws or seek legal advice regarding living off the grid, we do not want you to get in trouble with the local authorities.
Initial investment (time, money and effort)
I would not lie that living off the grid requires quite a bit of money in the beginning. Thankfully, the initial costs to set up an off the grid life would be temporary.
You can reduce costs by acquiring knowledge. This is because, with sufficient knowledge, you can build your own low-cost machines to produce a sufficient amount of electricity and provide enough nutrients to your body.
Living off the grid is a lot of work too where you can feel really uncomfortable in the initial stages. But if you know the inside outs of living with nature, it can be a really enjoyable thing where you have all the time in the world doing what you want.
First things first: you need to learn how to live by yourself without depending on getting electricity from your local power company. You have to know how to operate solar cells and wind turbines to get the most out of your investment.
A great way to approach this is to use sun or wind power as a means to make electricity to power-up your house. If you want to harvest solar power, you need photovoltaic (PV) solar panels which are usually located on the roof of the house. As for wind power, you can either use windmills (archaic version) or wind turbines (modern version).
A great population of off-gridders are replacing their reliance on electricity by using natural gas and burning coal. Coal is one of the cheapest sources of energy available and it is also a stable source of energy.
The only drawback is the resources can be depleted. As a result, I would suggest the use of coals only in real emergencies.
Please do not think that water is only required for drinking: it is also a necessity for proper sanitation. After you start generating your own supply of electricity, it would be time you learn to have your own drinking water and proper sanitation without municipal water supply. Water should be one of your main criteria while looking for an off-grid location.
One thing about nature is that water will be present almost anywhere. You have to locate where it is and know how to get that abundant resource. Basically, you need to tap into these water sources to live off the grid.
Talking about inspiration, there are currently about 17 million homes in the United States that are getting their water from private wells. Basically, they dig a hole deep enough and install a pump to draw the water out.
But beware, it is possible that harmful contaminants will leak into your well if it is not installed with care. A rule of thumb is the deeper the well, the likelier you will find clean water but the cost incurred will also be greater.
Besides looking into the ground, water can also fall from the sky as rain. You can learn how to filter water collected from the sky and drink it safely.
Other methods such as boiling can be considered as well. You should learn how to use a water filter too to get better-tasting water.
Brita Small 5 Cup Water Filter Pitcher with 1 Standard Filter, BPA Free – Metro, TurquoiseFrizzlife Under Sink Water Filter System-High Capacity Direct Connect Under Counter Drinking Water Filtration System-0.5 Micron Quick Change Removes 99.99% Lead, Chlorine, Bad Taste & Odor.Sawyer Products SP2103 MINI Water Filtration System, 2 Pack, Blue and Orange
Planting your own survival garden would be a great way for having a continuous supply of food. Permaculture gardening is designing an edible habitat where you can take advantage of nature providing you with the maximum amount of food. Aquaponics can also be implemented to save space while still providing food for consumption.
Knowing which plant is edible in the wilderness can also be vital. When SHTF, you may need to rely on external food sources Mother Nature has to offer.
You would want to make sure that the plants you harvest are highly nutritious to the body. This is because without proper nutrition, your body will get easily infected with all kinds of debilitating diseases and your mind will be less sharp.
Additionally, you can learn recipes like Hardtack which is a type of biscuit that can last a very long time. This bread is basically made with small amounts of water and no yeast. You can even cook plantain which is a kind of survival weed.
Having a first aid kit
After getting your food and water intact, you may want to build a first aid kit for an emergency. Out in the wild, you will not know what unprecedented thing might happen. A venomous snake might bite you or even a grizzly bear may attack you out of the blue.
For the purpose of medicating yourself, you can learn the properties of different plants and what diseases they can cure.
A general rule of thumb is to follow the Universal Edibility Test where you have to segregate the plants into parts and test them one by one. You start by smelling the plant and then put the piece of plant in your inner elbow to test for poison. If your skin itches or even burns, the plant is not edible.
Sustaining your survival supplies using the nature around you
You would want to make sure that when an EMP goes off in your area, you need to have sufficient supplies or better yet, no fluctuations in energy supply, food, water, and even fabric.
When a disaster strikes, you totally cannot depend on the people around you. All of the stores providing food will immediately close down to save their own butts!
If you have made it this far in the article, after slowly implementing the steps above you will be more accustomed to an off the grid lifestyle.
Now you have to face the real challenge: How can you live by yourself when the world goes through a SHTF situation?
You can only live by integrating the above steps for your survival. Food, water, shelter, and medication will be necessary for your survival.
Living off the grid is not easy. However, it provides us a sense of freedom and independence.
Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food
Invented by the natives of North America pemmican was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.
Native Americans spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.
Pemmican is a portable, long-lasting, high-energy food. It's made of lean, dried meat that's crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. This makes it one of the ultimate foods to have stockpiled for when SHTF or disaster strikes.
People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at how folks 150 years ago did it.
These guys were the last generation to practice basic things, for a living, that we call "survival skills" now.