Ever wondered if you live close to a potential nuclear target?Even if you live in a small town or rural area... don't think you are safe. Not all strategic targets are in heavily populated areas. Find out if your county is close to ground zero.
There are numerous disadvantages to having your life tied to the grid. Firstly, it means that you have to adhere to all the set rules created by whoever is in charge of the grid. The people in charge of the grid are not really concerned about taking care of the environment. Thus, by living on the grid, you are contributing to the slow death of the Earth.
Living off the grid means that you are insulated when disaster strikes. For instance, if war breaks out, your survival will not depend on the ability of those in charge to keep things running. The grid is derived from the ‘electric grid.’ However, it refers to various utilities such as food, water, and other amenities you need to survive.
Recently, there has been a lot of misleading information spreading, claiming that living off the grid is illegal. However, these articles are not wholly wrong. Government regulation has made it more difficult for people to live off the grid. After all, the government would lose the most if everyone suddenly went off the grid.
In some places in America, regulation has made it illegal to collect huge quantities of water or to have solar power, which is not tied to the grid. In some places, you may even be prevented from living in a travel trailer or to camp on your land. In other places, they have created regulation that makes it hard for you to build an off grid home. It is done by creating strict building codes.
Additionally, the banks are not very willing to lend on off-grid homes. Thus, it would seem that off-grid living is becoming quite difficult in America.
Some people tend to intertwine these two terms. However, being self-sufficient does not always mean living off the grid. Living free of public utilities does not always make you self-sufficient.
By being self-sufficient, it means that you do not rely on others for food, power, defense, shelter, and many others. However, getting off the grid is a first step to being self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency is a long and complex journey that will require a lot of commitment to the course.
If you are going to be living off the grid, you will probably need some electricity. Some of the best methods for getting power off the grid are solar power and wind turbines. The choice of electricity source that you use will depend on your locality.
In some places, it could make a lot of sense for you to use solar power because you receive plenty of sunshine. In other places, it would make more sense for you to use wind energy, especially if you live on a slope that receives high amounts of wind. In some places, it would make more sense to use both solar and wind.
However, in all cases, you will need some kind of storage component for off the grid electricity. Wind and solar are intermittent sources of electricity. It means that they only work when there is wind or the sunshine respectively. Ensure that you choose a storage battery that has a long life and a huge capacity. Besides that, you will have to combine it with other technologies such as cloth lines and LEDs. They use less electricity, which allows you to conserve the limited power produced by solar and wind sources.
If you are going to live off the grid, micro hydro power is probably your best bet. This type of electricity source only requires a source of running water and some elevation. The force of gravity will do the rest. The water will move to the bottom from the top, and the momentum will be used to turn the turbines.
The good thing about micro hydro power is that it is constant. Unless the river dries up, you will always have power in your home. It is thus important that you choose the source of you micro hydropower carefully. You should ensure that it does not dry up seasonally.
Otherwise, you will need to have an alternative for when it does dry up. If you do not have a stream running through your land, micro hydro is not a viable option.
One of the most time and resource consuming activities of living off the grid will be trying to find your own food. For instance, you will need to learn how to track wildlife for protein and how to grow food sustainably.
Creating food systems is not easy. Depending on how big your family is, it could take you up to ten years to get the system implemented. It is important that you plan for every aspect of your food production system without being in a rush.
Once you are done implementing the system, you will now need to focus on harvesting and storage. After you have managed to implement a system, you can expect to spend a significant amount of your time maintaining your system. You should also be prepared to do quite a lot of studying. You will have to read various books written by experts on how to create a sustainable food system.
If you are living off the grid, you can do without most things, but water is not one of them. You will require water for keeping clean, cooking, and drinking. Otherwise, your attempt to live off the grid will fail.
One of the most common methods used is to drill for water.
However, that may not be possible in some areas because of fracking. You will be forced to use other methods to access your water. To pump the water from the ground, you can use wind or an electric pump.
If you have wind power, it is the best option since it consumes the least amount of energy. One way of getting an alternative source of water is by using rainwater collection. If you live in an area that receives good rainfall, ensure that you collect every drop you can. However, you will need to install a system to treat the water. That way you avoid drinking water that has been contaminated by bird droppings.
You will also need to have a major storage tank. The water level sometimes gets too low for you well during the dry months. Have a storage vessel that can hold at least 1000 gallons of water. If your water pumping equipment fails, you will still have a source of water before you can do repairs. Set the water collection tank in such a way that it collects water and delivers it to you by gravity.
Besides having enough water, you will need to reduce your usage. In America, everyone uses about 100 gallons of water daily per person. In comparison, people in Africa use about 5 gallons daily per person. That is clearly and an indication that you may need to make a few adjustments to how you live.
You will need to purchase appliances that are water-efficient such as dishwashers and laundry machines. That way, you will reduce the risk of running out of water while living off the grid.
If you are going to live off the grid, you will want to come up with a house that is not hooked up to the grid.
Additionally, you do not want to use conventional materials to come up with a house since that would go against your desire to be independent of the grid.
Check out more on building off grid here.
Also, you see read this article on How to Build an Off Grid Home Easily and Essentially for Free.
Cement production is one of the most environmentally polluting activities on earth. Besides that, it requires huge amounts of energy to produce just one bag of cement. The waste produced by cement factories is also not recycled. If you use natural materials, you will be reducing the impact you have on the earth, which one of the reasons for off grid living.
Some of the most common materials used in off grid living are straw bales, sawdust, wood chips, sticks, and earthy materials. The most common earthy materials used are earthbags, adobe, rammed earth, cob, sand, stones, and rock. Other materials often used for off-grid house construction are coconut, sisal, cork, and bamboo. These are all fast-growing plants that can be renewed with ease. You can learn more about that here.
The best way to determine what material you will use is by looking at your area. If you find that there is sand, clay, rocks, or lime, that may be what you should use. The main reason for using materials in your environment is that you will not have to transport them over long distances. The energy used to transport materials over a long distance usually contributes to environmental pollution.
Most people are familiar with the use of old tires, used bottles, and even soda cans for home construction. Constructing a house with tires usually entails packing tires full of cement or earth and stacking them on top of each other.
However, a less common but effective source of construction material is debris from construction sites. If you know of an old structure that is being brought down, you can opt to acquire the existing materials to construct your house.
For instance, old doors, the roof tiles, and the kitchen counter tops may be re-used for your project. Many companies out there buy debris from demolition sites and use it to construct new homes. Consider using one of these companies to construct your off grid home.
The average size of homes in America today is double what it was about 50 years ago. A big home uses a lot of energy and resources to construct. If you are living off the grid, you do not want a structure that will cost you a lot just to live in.
Consider coming up with a home that only has as much space as you need. You may also opt to purchase a modular home that comes with everything you need.
You can learn more about how to live off the grid in a tiny house here.
You will require a waste disposal system if you plan to live off the grid. If you have already installed a septic system, you are already living off-grid. That means that your waste does not go to the waste treatment plant. However, if you do not have a septic system, it is still possible to live off-grid.
You home will generate two kinds of wastewater when you live off the grid. The first is black water and the other is gray water. The gray water does not have to be wasted. It can be used to flush the toilet or for purposes of watering the garden. By using it in this manner, you will have reduced your water usage footprint a great deal.
You now have the black water to deal with. This water results from the attempt to get rid of human waste from the home. The best way to get rid of this water is to use a composting toilet. The system captures it and puts it in the same compost bin as kitchen waste, grass cuttings, and kitchen scraps. Consequently, the wastewater is converted into fertilizer for use in your garden.
While living off the grid is a huge effort, it can be done. An average person with basic knowledge on home construction and mechanics can turn this into a reality.
If you are going to go off grid, you will also need to think about efficiency. Otherwise, you may have to expend excessive amounts of energy just to survive.
If you are efficient, it also means that you will not need to use as much money. It is a great way of making your dream of one day being wholly self-sufficient a reality. Many people are already doing it and you can too if you are committed enough.
Links for more information:
Diversify your all-purpose flour to make it truly all purpose
If you are a prepper then the odds are you have a supply of grain somewhere in your food storage. You may have all-purpose flour stored up and even some self-rising flour. Still, you need to know how to create your own various flours and backing ingredients from scratch. Produce and baking ingredients may not be available in a survivalist situation. Where many overlook ingredient preparation skills, it is a vital part in being able to make and cook your own food. As bread is one of the cheapest foods to make (and yes I now there is little nutritional value in it), understanding how to make self-rising flour is important. Here is a step by step guide on how to make your own self-rising flour.
Step One: Get some grain seed
If you do not have wheat or nuts, you can generally find a supply at an orchard or a farmer’s market. As grain grows in an abundance (as of now) the seeds are relatively cheap. Wheat seeds have a light brown texture or a somewhat white appearance. You do not want to get dark or roasted seeds. If you do not want to use wheat you can substitute barley, oats, nuts, rye, corn, and such to make your flour. Keep in mind that for the best results wheat should be used as you are going to prepare the ingredients for a chemical reaction. ENSURE YOUR SEEDS ARE DRY. If you need to use a dehydrator to ensure that all the moisture is out of the seeds. It is better that you have a dry seed then to have anything wet. If using nuts, you will want to shell the nut. Keep in mind that certain nuts have a low shelf life and do not make good flour (such as walnuts) where other nuts are great for flour (such as almonds). Do a bit of research to see which choice is best for you.
Step Two: Grind it to a powder
The next step is to grind the seeds to a powder. You want to ensure that there are no big chunks of seed within the mixture. Personally, I use a food processor and put the setting to pulp. The flour should be nice and fluffy. If it looks like blue cheese or has a sandy feel to it you need to grind it more. As there is no liquid in the seed you should not have a paste. If your seeds do form a paste then you will need to remove the moisture from your remaining seeds and start over. Of course, you can always cheat and go to a health food store and they will usually grind it for you.
Step Three: Add Backing Powder
Backing powder is going to be the main substance that causes the flour to rise. However, you do not want to overdo it. The ratio is 1 and ½ teaspoon for every cup of flour that you have made. One pound of unground wheat will make about 4 cups of flour when ground. This would be the easiest way to add the baking soda as it would be a full 6 teaspoons.
Mix the contents in thoroughly. It is recommended that you put the flour and the baking powder into the food processor and hit the pulse button a few times. If you are making the flour in a wilderness situation then you will want to mix the flour until there are no visible signs of the powder in the flour.
Step Four: Add Salt
¼ of a teaspoon of salt is added to every cup. Again, it is better that you add salt on a pound (4 cups) as it makes the math a bit easier. You do not want to use salt that has thick grains such as rock salt, sea salt, kosher salt, or Epson (as that should never be used in cooking). Salts should consist of iodized table salt. Mix
Ensure that you package the flour in an area that cannot get moist. Air tight containers are best. Also, label the flour so that you do not get it mixed up with your all-purpose flour.
While your bread may consist of fruits and nuts, it is not advised that you add anything to your flour except that which is needed to convert it to self-rising flour. As you are setting up the flour to create a chemical reaction, you should not add spices and other ingredients to the mixture which could compromise the process. Save your dehydrated fruits, nuts, and spices for when you are ready to bake your bread and then follow the recipe.
Why should you make self-rising flour?
From a prepper’s perspective, it may be more beneficial to stock up on bags of self-rising flour than to make it. Yet, this is not necessarily true. You will need to use all-purpose flour for many occasions and will rarely need to have the self-rising flour. Salt and Baking Powder should already be a part of your food storage. Therefore, you should already have everything that you need in order to make the flour. Why buy something extra that will take up additional space on your shelves?
An additional benefit to making your own self-rising flour (or purchasing it) is that you will eliminate the need to store up on yeast. Granted, if you are planning on making wine you will need yeast, but for baking and other standard uses, the self-rising flour will work out just fine.
Financially making your own flour saves a ton of money. The average bag of all-purpose organic flour costs between $7 (for Gold Medal) to $54 (King Arthur Flour). Making your own all-purpose flour costs you about $2. Plus, making your own self-rising flour eliminates the dyes and the bleach used in commercial brands. Bottom line, you get a better product that last longer for cheaper.
Self-sufficiency is not a financially dependent lifestyle
I once heard a man say that reasons are excuses which are packed full of lies. And when it comes to prepping there is not such a bigger excuse than that of financial obligations. Many would be preppers and survivalists do not start because they reason that the financial obligation for prepping is too much. However, if one were to understand that the money spent on groceries and produce is far more than that of the self-sufficient individual, then they would be more apt to build their food storage. Here is how you can build your food storage if you are poor.
Understand and re-allocate your funding
Produce is marked up 70% or more to account for the loss and damage of the products in shipping. The average American spends nearly $151 on food. Out of this a person spends $23 a week on junk food and fast food. Now, the average small garden startup is $70. It does not take a great deal of math to calculate that re-allocating your fast food funds into a 3 week savings to start a garden is a wise choice. This is the first method of securing and building your food storage. You have to have your own way of providing your own food in order to sustain life in a catastrophic event.
Buy in Bulk
There is a misconception that bulk items are more expensive than single serve items. On the contrary, many of the bulk items that you can find are cheaper per serving. When you are building your food supply take some of the bulk and put it aside for your food storage. Where this is not a quick building method, you will gain some storage on your food and you will do so as you shop for your everyday needs.
Become a coupon King/Queen
There are a TON (and by this I mean thousands upon thousands) of coupon sites out there. Some stores still provide cut or print coupons for products. The odds are that if you have a particular food that you like, a coupon is available to get that food for a discounted price or for a buy one get one free. All you have to do is dedicate a bit of your time into finding the coupon. Do not go crazy with the coupon collecting. You have other needs which will need to be addressed such as water storage, survival skills, and your disaster preparedness plan. However, if you keep a coupon book of items you want and look for locations that offer multiple coupons and discounts, you can get your food items for a very low cost and build up your food storage.
For some reason the word barter has been associated with cheap in today’s society. Bartering was long established before our monetary system and it will be again if the financial system collapses. If you have a marketable skill then you have a skill that can be bartered. Where bush crafts and such do provide a self-sufficient way to do so, you can barter your services out even if you are a dentist, doctor, graphic artist, or stay at home mom. Unless you are a vegetable (and I do sympathize with those people) you can get up and do something that someone wants. The best part is, it will not cost you anything but your time.
Trade your skills for dehydrated meats and fresh produce that can be canned. Where that pie or cake may look good, it really has no place in the food storage plan.
Use the government to fund your aquaponics system
This is one of those situations where you can use the government to your advantage. I am not talking about going on food stamps or any other government reliance program. I am talking about your taxes. If you are poor then the odds are that you fall below the bracket of paying into your taxes and you get something back, this is especially true if you have dependents. In this scenario, if you get money back from filing your taxes spend that money on setting up an aquaponics system instead of going on that yearly vacation or getting that new car. Where the startup costs is a bit high, the food is pretty much never ending.
Granted, you will need to have a survival bag with at least 3 days of food and water in order to survive. And if you have the survival skills to hunt and fish, then you should be good to keep yourself alive. Adding seeds to your food storage is a cheap method of storing up food. While you may not consider seeds to be food now, they will yield a crop later. Ensure that you have organic seeds (not hybrids) which can be planted in various seasons for the best results.
Eat less and store more
Those living on a very tight budget can store food with one simple concept. Cut your portion size down. It is a proven fact that the majority of Americans over consume. The obesity level is through the roof. Cut your portion sizes down and you will not have to consume as much food. This will open up the door for you to either store the food which is not used or to use the funds from the savings to buy food to store.
There is no reason why anyone cannot build up a food storage. Regardless of whether you are rich or poor it comes down to your own willpower and motivation. Finances have nothing to do with it. If you want to be a prepper than you will find a way to become one, anything else are just excuses packed full of lies. Remember, you are the only one that can ensure your survival.
 According to gallup.com and thepeacefulmom.com
 Based upon statistics of a $1200 a year consumption
If you’ve ever prepared for an extreme expedition — scaling one of the Seven Summits or traipsing the wilds of the Amazon — then you know that things will go wrong all of the time.
A courageous adventure into the wild means that you have to be prepared to face the challenges and the obstacles that come from being in a remote part of the world without the conveniences of the modern world.
That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead as much as you can and to anticipate the mishaps that could occur.
I’ve been through enough situations out in the wilderness to know that if something is going to wrong, it probably will.
Sometimes you can’t change the fact that danger or extreme conditions are ahead.
What you can do is prepare for the worst and be happy you can survive with the very best of them when the situation presents itself.
If you are ready to prepare for your adventure of a lifetime, then follow my guide listing the “Top 10 Survival Gear Mistakes To Avoid.”
When you find yourself lost in the Arctic tundra, you’ll be happy you packed the right gear to get you through the night and into the next day of trekking.
This guide will get you there, so let’s get started with these tips to avoid disaster with your gear!
The first mistake many novice trekkers make when they are planning their first expedition is to not fully think through their emergency plan.
You can mitigate disaster simply by having the right gear to get you out of a terrible situation.
That means purchasing a Personal Beacon Locator (PBL), a small battery-operate device that you can activate with the push of a button.
It communicates with global satellites, and let’s emergency responders know where to find you. Hopefully nothing will go wrong.
But if it does, your PBL will get you out of a hairy situation.
Don’t skimp on the rain gear. It’s going to rain most locales you go — at some point.
It’s better to have a weather-resistant outer layer, a rain jacket, rain pants and weather-resistant boots packed in your backpack for the times when the thunderstorms wreak havoc on your campsite.
You don’t want to be wet and cold.
You can get hypothermia, and at the very least, you’ll be miserable.
It takes a long time for drenched camping clothes to dry out — especially if it is damp for several days.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is fail to pack too little food. You need food to keep up your energy.
There are resourceful ways you can pack high-energy food that does not take up a lot of room and that is lightweight.
For example, pack a mix of energy bars, trail mix, dried fruit, vitamins and dehydrated food that comes alive when boiled.
If you are going to overpack anything, then overpacking lightweight food that is high in energy and protein is always Okay.
Invest in water bottles and water filtration systems. You can’t rely on just one water bottle.
Pack at least two traditional water bottles — some have built-in purification systems. Also consider a water pack that you can wear on your back.
It has tubes that you can use to drink water as you walk.
Finally, have a backup supply of water purification tablets or a water purification wand that literally can turn dirty freshwater into clean drinking water.
Another big mistake you can make with your gear is to fail to pack the clothing and gear that will keep you warm.
That means everything from a sub-zero sleeping bag that helps to regulate your body temperature, to warm wool socks, to hand and toe warmers for emergency situations.
Always prepare for the onslaught of a chilly night.
You don’t want to risk hypothermia or frostbite — especially if you are out on the trail all alone.
Prepare ahead to stay warm.
Don’t leave home with without several gadgets and tools that can give you light in the midst of darkness.
For example, consider packing a headlamp, a solar-powered lantern, a batch of strike-anywhere matches, a lighter, and a battery-operated heater.
You’ll want to be able to light a fire and see what you are doing no matter what the conditions are.
Sometimes you will find yourself at a rainy campsite and you won’t be able to start a blazing fire.
That’s where your mini, battery-operated heater will come in handy.
You’ll also be loving your situation when you can just flip on your handy headlamp to read, prepare dinner in the darkness, set up your tent, and do a myriad other activities that require more hands than you have to spare.
It’s likely that at some point you will get lost.
Two of the most economical and important gear items you can pack is a compass and a set up maps.
Compasses are lightweight and crucial. They can always get you back on the right track. Paper maps are easy to pack and to pull out — just make sure you are protecting them.
Either buy foldable plastic ones that cannot get damaged by water, or pack your paper maps in a plastic baggie.
You may not think of it at first, but packing some simple items like duct tape, rope, a hunting knife and a small toolkit with a hammer, nails and fish hooks will be helpful to you when your gear ruptures or breaks.
There is nothing worse than to get to your campsite only to find a raccoon ate through part of your sleeping bag.
Patch up that hole with duct tape! Find that your tent is swaying in a gusty wind? Secure it with a length of rope.
You may think it’s trivial at first, but it’s really important to make sure a personal memento is on your gear list.
When you get lonely out in the woods or when you face a real disaster that forces you to consider whether you are willing to fight for your life, your personal memento (photos of loved ones, a sentimental item, a love letter) will motivate you to continue working hard to get out of your current situation.
Many people have endured extreme conditions by the sheer motivation of a photo that reminds them that love is worth fighting for — so don’t forget the memento.
It may have more power than you think in the long run.
Now that I’ve given you a list of gear mistakes to avoid and told you the top things you need to pack, I want to remind you that there is something as packing too much.
One novice mistake is to overpack your gear.
Sometimes it takes more than one go-around to get the right mix of gear and to get your pack to feel manageable. Remember that it is going to be on your back and you have to carry it for hours at a time for many days. So choose your gear wisely.
As you have probably noticed, the number of people choosing to live “off the grid” these days has been increasing at a rapid rate. Everyone has different reasons for why they choose to move off the grid and we came across something we thought would be a great share for you.
An island approximately one hour off of the coast of Vancouver is a great example of what it possible.
It’s called Lasqueti, and it sits between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. It has a population of about 400 people, and again, it’s completely off grid. It’s not connected to British Colombia’s hydro power infrastructure, and residents are responsible for using alternative methods of generating electricity, like solar power.
As a reader of our site here, you’re probably familiar with the concept of living off the grid, but it you aren’t 100% sure it means that you are totally independent, living without reliance on utility corporations or anything else.
“It does not mean living in the stone age, it’s not about bush craft. It’s about generating your own power, your own water, dealing with your own waste. Probably as part of a community, not living on your own like a hermit. It’s also about being more self-reliant and being less dependent on the system. Perhaps realizing that the system isn’t really protecting us anymore and we have to look after ourselves.” – George Noory From Coast To Coast Am
Here’s something that you should keep in mind…
When most people think about living “off the grid” it brings up the image of a stone-aged type lifestyle and not really enjoying life like you have become accustomed to. That is not the truth as you saw in the video above.
The beauty of how technology has been evolving is that we have the opportunity to have and use the items we currently do in our normal life, but do it independent of corporate influence.
There is an enormous potential for the entire human race to live completely “off the grid” and still keep their current lifestyle.
The biggest issue currently is generating power and we have some information on how you can do that if you’d like in the resources below.
The world’s largest private bank, UBS, is urging investors to join the clean, renewable energy movement. Analysts at the bank say that power plants in Europe might be extinct within the next 10 to 20 years.
“Most of the plants retiring in the future will not be replaced, large scale power plants could be on the path to extinction.”(source)
There are many ways we could go off grid and provide power to the entire planet. While we don’t have time to list them all in this article, we will share with you a few general ideas. (More info is available here on our blog if you’re really curious, we know many of you are)
We could populate the world’s deserts with solar panels and we could also use wind turbines, or vortex induced vibrations (ocean currents) or a combination of them all.
Here’s another quote that will get you asking “why haven’t we done this yet?”
“If we could harness 0.1 percent of the energy in the ocean, we could support the energy needs of 15 billion people. In the English Channel, for example, there is a very strong current, so you produce a lot of power.”– Michael Bernitsas, Professor of Naval Architecture at the University of Michigan
You can read more about the research that’s come from Professor Bernitsas here.
The point we’re sharing here is that there are many viable and affordable solutions. If we really wanted to, it would be possible and it has been proven to be possible like in the video above.
Leave a comment below!