9 Steps to get you on your way to self-sufficient living
Self-Sufficient living has tremendous benefits. However, getting started may be a bit of a daunting task. With so many considerations in off grid living to take in, it is easy to see how some would get discouraged.
We offer you the following steps to help relieve that burden and get you on your way.
1) Plant a Garden
One of the simplest ways that you can start off grid living is to plant a garden.
By having your own food costs, you are not dependent upon the produce of grocery stores, eliminate a great deal of chemicals from your daily consumption (as most produce is preserved using chemicals and elements which are not natural to vegetation), and increase your finances (as most produce is marked up 70% or more).
When you start your garden, it is recommended that you start with planter boxes or with small plants. Do not use hybrid plants as these will not yield any plantable seed.
You need to ensure that your plant selection is organic and that the plants will have seed in order to maintain a self-sufficient lifestyle.
2) Plant fruit trees
Fruit trees provide you with an array of produce and minimal (in most cases) maintenance.
You will need to prune and ensure that there is an ample amount of water going to the tree, but the tree will provide you with fruit for a number of years if you do so.
For the best results, plant 2 trees of the same variety no more than 20 feet apart.
You will need to have at least 2 of the same type of fruit tree in order to have a bountiful result.
Trees which are planted outside of the proximity of similar plants typically have less fruit or die.
3) Raise barnyard animals
You do not have to have large livestock in order to have sustainable food. Chickens and goats are an excellent way to have a year round supply of meat.
Chickens can be bought in several varieties including those which lay fertilized eggs, those which are intended for meat, and those which lay unfertile eggs.
Keep in mind that you do not want too many roosters as this may cause alpha male issues.
Goats can be used as a source of meat, soap, and as a natural way to keep grass and growth maintained on your property.
4) Cook your own food
Preppers will tell you that one of the best ways to ensure your survival is to be able to fend for yourself. The best way to do this is to be able to provide and cook your own food.
Food should be prepared from your garden or your barnyard animals. When needed, you can trade goods for elements such as grain and cheese. The point is to stay away from the fast food and from the mass market products.
5) Collect and Use Rainwater
Rainwater can have a number of applications. You can collect rainwater in a large metal container and use it for an outdoor shower, you can use the rainwater to feed your barnyard animals, wash clothes, or any number of tasks.
On average one inch of rainwater will give you .6 gallons of water per square foot. The more containers you have for gathering rainwater, the less you will have to rely upon a linked-in water source.
If you really want to hone in on your survivalist skills, you can also use and filter your grey water.
6) Learn to Hunt and Fish
You do want to learn methods which do not rely upon commercial products or if they do involve commercial products, you need to ensure you can replace them with homemade parts if needed.
There are several resources (both online and printed) which can train you on natural hunting and fishing strategies as well as in tracking and trapping game.
Keep in mind that you may still have to acquire the proper licensing from the local gaming commission, so you will need to check the rules and regulations concerning what you can and cannot hunt at any given time of the year.
7) Invest in Alternative Energy
The best way to start off grid living is to invest in alternative energy sources. Solar panels, wind turbines, and wells are a great place to start.
Where it is true that the initial investments on these systems can go into the thousands, you need to consider that the savings will quickly pay for the investment and that you will be off the grid.
Alternative Energy goes beyond the financial self-sufficiency benefits as well. Those which use such systems find that they do not have to work long hours to pay bills as the bills are eliminated. The time saved can be used for family and other projects.
8) Clear up your debts
If you want to live without the control of the government, you need to clear up any debts that you may have.
Allocate funds to the lowest owed amount and build up to the highest debt.
Try not to accumulate any additional debt while paying off your bills. Those debts which have the highest interest should be a priority.
9) Get inventive
Many products can be reused for another purpose. You may be able to build smokers out of old containers, feeding troughs, planters, clotheslines, rainwater containers, and such out of items which you would normally discard.
Try seeing products as tools and not trash.
Becoming self-sufficient does require that steps be taken. However, these are simple steps and can be done gradually.
By ensuring that you have the survival skills needed to go off the grid, the motivation to grow, track, and maintain your own food, and the financial freedom to break away from the linked-in living, you are sure to be successful at off grid living.