How to Live Off the Grid: a Guide to Freedom

We live such hectic lives, filled with absolute non-sense that we forget what it is we’re actually living for. Most of us have 60 hours’ work weeks so we can pay rent, taxes and buy food. We don’t even have time for our loved ones, and we seem too busy or too tired even when we take a day off. That’s when leaving it all behind and starting a new life in the middle of nowhere starts to sound like an awesome idea.

Give it all up

The first thing is renouncing your old life and habits. That sounds pretty terrifying, but it’s liberating at the same time. Ask yourself this: if a tornado were to take you to Oz, what would you miss the most about your life now?

Giving up your life starts by prioritizing the essential things and relationships. After that, you’ll find there are plenty of things you would gladly let go of, if, in exchange, you could have peace, tranquility, and love.

Find a place

Cabin-in-the-woods

After deciding you really need to take off, you can’t simply do it without a plan. That’s why you should find somewhere to stay first. Maybe you have a cabin in the woods or a property in an isolated territory, and that could be your starting point.

But if you have to find your own place, things can get complicated. For instance, you can either buy or rent a piece of land. You should make sure the place is isolated enough so you won’t have any nosy Nellies around, but still, have some neighbors at convenient distances. You should also check that a nearby town doesn’t have future plans to extend closer to your property if you want to live a more solitary life.

After that, you can set up a camp, maybe even move in your trailer and start building your own home. If you have some money saved, you can commission the work to a professional, but you also have the option of turning this into your first DIY project.

Learn survival skills

You can’t move off in the wilderness without learning some survival skills first. The first one would be how to find water if there are limited water sources near your property. If you have very hot summer days when springs peter out, you might need to use other techniques like placing plastic bags on tree branches or digging for water.

making-fire

You should also learn how to build a fire, but that’s the easy part. After all, you can leave home equipped with 20 pounds of waterproof matches. The hardest part is to learn which trees you can cut down, how to chop them and how to store the wood properly. If you cut green trees and the wood gets too wet, you’ll have fewer chances of building a lasting fire.

Grow your own food

This can mean different things depending on where your property is. If you’ve moved off to a deep, damp forest in the mountains, your only options might be hunting, fishing and eating wild fruits. Of course, learning some hunting and fishing skills, along with buying proper equipment is useful no matter where you might end up. And you need to recognize which plants are edible, and which aren’t.

If you’re moving to a friendlier environment, you can always build a greenhouse with basic equipment. So you might need nothing more than some sturdy cellophane and a few pallets, along with plenty of water and the right seeds.

Apart from that, you can farm certain animals, depending on how large your property is. Chicken is the easiest when you take into account all the logistics, like space and food, plus they give you nutritious meat and eggs. Otherwise, you can consider raising cows for their milk, maybe buy a couple of horses if you own a bigger farmstead.

Arrange your amenities

You also need some degree of comfort, especially for keeping a clean environment. So you’ll want a toilet and some sort of washing facilities, and you have plenty of options here too. The easiest would be to buy a camp toilet and a camp shower, which can easily be transported and used no matter where you are.

Or, you can build your own bath, and improvise if you don’t have any running water. For instance, your toilet can be an outhouse, but you have to place it at some distance from your house and greenhouse.

Your shower can be a barrel of warm water with a valve attached to it and a hose with a showerhead for the warmer summer days. Or you can get a bathtub for indoor use, and that would help you relax after a long day’s work.

Earn the money you need

You might still need some money even if you’re living in a remote location for paying the rent or for buying the things you can’t produce on your own, but that doesn’t mean you should get a day job in the city.

One idea is to sell or trade the things you produce in surplus. So if you have lots of eggs or meat, you can sell that to your neighbors, or trade with them for clothes or different tools.

Another idea is to focus on a skill you already have, and sell the results of your work on the Internet. For instance, you might be into crafting and learn how to make interesting sculptures. Or decorate axes. Or make origami. The world is your oyster.

Learn to enjoy solitude

prepare-to-be-alone

This might prove to be difficult enough, especially if you’re all alone. We’re so accustomed to noise (even white noise) that eating a meal by ourselves without constantly checking our social media accounts seems impossible. But if you’ve chosen to live off the grid, you can find pleasure in loneliness.

So after all that, what seems like the most difficult to do? What plan do you have? Tell us all about that in the comments.

 

About the author: Mike is a passionate hunter and his favorite grounds are Alaska and British Columbia. He’s also an expert in hunting gear and he is one of the most reliable resources when it comes to choosing the right tools for the job. He also writes for OpitcGearLab.com

Does It Really Take $50,000 To Be A Prepper?

 

What Does it Cost to Prepare

Scouring the internet for information on disaster preparedness sheds an interesting light on what most people think it costs to ready themselves for the unexpected. Guides abound on how to prepare with minimal investments – but most put the focus on unreliable foodstuffs, tools, and supplies.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are the complete “how to” guides, that claim to show a family how to prepare for any emergency. These guides tend to indicate that the total cost of preparing a family of four for a natural disaster ranges from $5,000 to over $50,000.

Preparing for the Worst – Not As Expensive As Most Think

Does It Really Take $50,000 To Be A Survival Prepper?

Preparing for a disaster doesn’t mean that you and your family could survive in an underground bunker for thirty years without ever accessing the outside world. It means preparing for the inevitable and unexpected emergencies that can arise at any time.

Disaster preparedness isn’t limited to hurricanes, blizzards, and failures of the national infrastructure. It extends into the smaller disasters that we encounter while going about our everyday lives – like getting stranded in a broken down vehicle in the middle of nowhere, or finding yourself injured while on a hike.

Preparing for these situations is relatively inexpensive. With the help of products like the Bucket Survival Kits it can be incredibly simple, too.




Preparing for Different Types of Emergencies

While the ideal disaster preparedness plan includes provisions for long periods of isolation from modern amenities (such as running water and food supplies), the majority of emergencies the average person will encounter require far less extensive planning.

Breakdown / Stranded Emergencies – If your vehicle were to break down, or if you found yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, what would you do? With a ready-made kit, like the Guardian Elite (which comes prepared in a sturdy, easy-to-carry back pack) you would have food, and first aid supplies on hand. Toss in a few bottles of water before you head out, and you’ll have that covered, too.

Temporarily Unavailable Food Supplies – Whether it’s a true natural disaster or merely a predicted blizzard, when the newsman warns that rough weather is moving in, everyone rushes to the grocery store and clears the shelves. Having a one month supply of food on hand would ensure that your family doesn’t go hungry, and with kits like the 240 Serving Meal Package, is not only affordable, but incredibly easy to store.

In both of the cases described above, your total investment is going to be far less than what you might expect. Since the kits are ready made and based on government recommendations for preparedness, you can also be sure that they’re relatively complete.

Don’t put off preparing for disaster because you don’t think you can afford it – it’s far less expensive than you think.

Please share your cost saving prepper and survival ideas in the comments below.


Water Bricks For Survival

Whether you are planning on bugging in, bugging out or have some other survival shelter hidden away, you will need a good stockpile of water. Adding WaterBrick storage in a pantry, a garage or a bunker is a great idea for emergency water storage. And if needed they are more portable than 55 gallon water barrels.

Here are a few examples:

Water Storage Containers – WaterBrick – 8 Pack Blue

Water Storage Containers – WaterBrick – 8 Pack Tan

Emergency Water Storage System - Stackable Boxes, BPA-Free Bladder, Portable - Disaster Prepper Home Water Supply - With Aquamira Drinking Water Purification & Fill Hose (60 Gallon)

Emergency Water Storage System – Stackable Boxes, BPA-Free Bladder, Portable – Disaster Prepper Home Water Supply – With Aquamira Drinking Water Purification & Fill Hose

 

Water Storage Containers - WaterBrick - 32 Pack Blue

Water Storage Containers – WaterBrick Wall – 32 Pack Blue

 

These examples of water storage are practical and easy to use.

  • Stackable rectangular blocks which interlock for stability.
  • Easy to grip handle.
  • Can be used for water or foods like rice, beans, or anything you want to keep safe and dry from the elements.
  • FDA approved, and BPA free.

Save And Share This Infographic: What Is The Shelf Life Of Your Food?

Wasted food

According to a survey by the Food Marketing Institute, such confusion leads nine out of 10 Americans to needlessly throw away food. The survey found 90 percent of Americans “at least occasionally throw food away prematurely because they mistakenly interpret the date label to mean their food is unsafe” — and 25 percent say they always discard food on or before that date.

Related: Long Term Food Storage

The researchers blame “a lack of binding federal standards, and the resultant state and local variability in date labeling rules” for the inconsistency in date-labeling practices.”

In 2012, one national study estimated that 40 percent of the country’s food supply goes uneaten. The cost of that wasted food is about $165 billion, including $900 million in “expired” food.

A family of four, the study found, spends an average of $455 a year on food it doesn’t eat. The researchers recommend making “sell by” dates invisible to the consumer, and have the food industry establish a standard, uniform labeling system.

Types of FOOD dating

There are three types of dates on a food that is purchased. If the package says “Sell By,” be sure to purchase the food before the date listed. The “sell by” date tells the grocer how long to display the food. The food should remain good for a period of time once you get it home.

The “Best if Used By” is not a purchase or safety date. The date stamped after that term is the date the food should be used by for best flavor or quality. A “Use-By” date is the last date recommended for peak quality of the product.

All three terms are guides to help a purchaser determine the quality of the food. The food can be safe and of good quality after any of the three above open-dating terms are used.

This Infographic below explains a bit more:

FoodShelfLife-InfoGraphic3

[source]

100 Items That Will Disappear First In The U. S. When The SHTF

We saw it with Sandy, and now you are seeing it with the severe winter storms this year, the un-prepared hoards of people buying anything and everything off of the store shelves.

Natural disasters happen. It’s Mother Nature. Do you think you could last a few days, weeks, or even months without the basics of food, water, gas and electricity? What is your plan? Do you have food insurance built up? Water? Fuel? Etc…

100 Items That Will Disappear First In The US When Disaster Strikes.

You can start small and build up your supplies over time. You may even have many of theses items already.

Below is a list of the 100 items most likely to disappear in a disaster scenario:

1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 – 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice – Beans – Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY – note – food grade if for drinking.
14. Mini Heater head (Propane) (Without this item, propane won’t heat a room.)
15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric)
16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.
17. Survival Guide Book.
18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)
19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
22. Vitamins
23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)
24. Feminine Hygiene/Hair-care/Skin products.
25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).
30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels
31. Milk – Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)
33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
34. Coleman’s Pump Repair Kit
35. Tuna Fish (in oil)
36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)
37. First aid kits
38. Batteries (all sizes…buy furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies
40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)
41. Flour, yeast & salt
42. Matches. {“Strike Anywhere” preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first
43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators
44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)
45. Work-boots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, “No. 76 Dietz” Lanterns
47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times)
48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting – if with wheels)
49. Men’s Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc
50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
51. Fishing supplies/tools
52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
53. Duct Tape
54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
55. Candles
56. Laundry Detergent (liquid)
57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
58. Garden tools & supplies
59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
64. Bicycles…Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
75. Soy sauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soup-base
76. Reading glasses
77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
78. “Survival-in-a-Can
79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog
81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
85. Lumber (all types)
86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
87. Cots & Inflatable mattress’s
88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
89. Lantern Hangers
90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts
91. Teas
92. Coffee
93. Cigarettes
94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)
95. Paraffin wax
96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
97. Chewing gum/Candy/Chocolate
98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
99. Hats & Bandanas, cotton neckerchiefs
100. Goats/Chickens/Rabbits

Some Thoughts From a Sarajevo War Survivor:

Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war – death of parents and
friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

1. Stockpiling helps. But you never no how long trouble will last, so locate
near renewable food sources.
2. Living near a water well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.
3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war
quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold‘s.
4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity – it’s the easiest to
do without (unless you’re in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)
5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without
heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy – it makes a lot of
the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs
enough heat to “warm”, not to cook. It’s cheap too, especially if you buy it in
bulk.
6. Bring some books – escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more
valuable as the war continues. Sure, it’s great to have a lot of survival
guides, but you’ll figure most of that out on your own anyway – trust me, you’ll
have a lot of time on your hands.
7. The feeling that you’re human can fade pretty fast. I can’t tell you how many
people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of
toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to
lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.
8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches

How Much Is Too Much?

Long term food supplies is one of the 37 critical things you should hoard as a doomsday prepper

What do you use your Stockpile for?

I honestly use my stockpile every day! I use it for meal planning, everyday cooking, and keep enough on hand for a rainy day. No one wants to have to go to the store several times a week. It is nice to be prepared with grocery store staples right in the comfort of your own home, in addition to being prepared for any potential natural disasters. You can buy a little at a time or take advantage of stockpile sales like the one on right now at Year Zero Survival.

Order a bucket or two today!

Top Tip: Rotate your stockpile, so that you are using a ‘First in, First used’ format.

Survival on the Cheap: Preparing for an Emergency without Losing your Savings

By Guest Blogger –  Survival Life

Being prepared for any eventuality is one of the keystones of being a survivalist. However, if you’re just starting out, it can be a little overwhelming thinking of all of the supplies you need to be ready for three days, a week, a month or even more living on your own. Being prepared doesn’t have to cost a fortune though. In fact, re-using items and finding alternative (and affordable) sources for food, clothing and other essentials goes hand-in-hand with being a prepper. It’s a more modern variation of “living off of the land.”

How to stretch your prepping dollars

If you’re looking to start building your survival stockpile, below are a few hints to help you gather everything you need without breaking the budget. (And, remember: you don’t have to buy everything at once; a better plan is to build your stockpile gradually and thoughtfully. Your ideas about what you need will evolve over time.)

Tips for preparing for an emergency on a budget

1. Learn from the couponers. Although you may be buying different items (they’re buying baby food; you’re buying beans), there’s a lot to be learned from the extreme couponing crowd. Combining coupons with store specials can net you regular savings of 30 percent or more on non-perishable food items and toiletries. Take it a step further and join the grocery and drug store reward programs and you can find things like hand sanitizer, toothpaste and a host of other items for free that you can use in your survival kit. To learn more about couponing, check out sites like the KrazyCouponLady.com.

Surplus stores, stores that sell dented cans or half lots of boxed items, can also be good places to find non-perishable food items.  Learn how to create a price binder.

2. Be a regular at estate and garage sales. Estate and garage sales are other good places to find gear and supplies. Estate sales are especially good hunting grounds, since they feature an entire house full of goods. Some sales may require that you dig around in the attic a little bit, but there are often treasures to be found at cents on the dollar. Good things to look for at such sales are water containers, camping equipment and kitchen items. Some people also find good bargains on food at such sales. (I prefer to buy food directly from the grocery or market.) If you do look at food items, be sure to check the sell-by dates.

3. Shop off-season sales. Off-season sales are another good place to find seasonal gear like camping equipment and gardening supplies at prices that are 50 percent or even 75 percent off of their original price.

4. Host your own swap meet. If you know others that are interested in the survival life, you can combine preparing your stockpile with a social night by hosting a swap meet. Have everyone bring something extra from their stockpile and let the trading begin.

Review these 70+ survival items that cost less than $5!

Being prepared for any emergency or situation doesn’t have to be expensive or all consuming. Like other aspects of life, it’s all about smart shopping and always keeping an eye out for a bargain.
About the Author
At Survival Life our mission is to provide vast array of knowledge, tactics, and skills in the survival and preparedness fields, to any and all who wish to become more prepared for whatever may come. We strive to maintain a truthful and unbiased compendium of knowledge, both in original content, product reviews and survival tips, as well as curated articles from other top survival websites. Click here to visit our site and learn more.

6 Tips To Prepare For A Hurricane

Learn how planning ahead can help you protect your family, your home and your belongings in a dangerous storm.

Content provided by Allstate

NASA / NOAA GOES-13 satellite image showing Hurricane Irene on August 25, 2011. (Photo:NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr)

When the weatherman tells you to take cover because a hurricane is on the way, the last thing you want to do is worry about whether you are prepared. A little effort now—before catastrophe strikes—can yield big savings (and peace of mind) in the future.
These 6 tips can help you plan ahead so you never have to face a storm unprepared.

1. Check your insurance coverage to make sure it reflects the current state of your home. Consider adding flood insurance and coverage for additional living expenses in case your home is uninhabitable after a storm.

2. Doing a home inventory can save you time and make filing a claim easier, ensuring you don’t forget anything. Document the contents of your home with a video camera or other home inventory tool. Keep receipts for valuable items and consider separate coverage for these things.

3. Protect your property by installing the following items in your home:

  • Hurricane shutters or keep ¾ inch outdoor plywood boards for each window. If using boards, be sure to install anchors and pre-drill holes so you can put them up quickly.
  • Head and foot bolts on doors for extra protection.
  • Hurricane straps or clips to help hold the roof to the walls of your home.
  • A safe room that can withstand high winds and flying debris.
Also, be sure to keep up with your landscaping; diseased and damaged tree limbs can become serious hazards in high-speed storm winds.

4. Stock your emergency supply kit with basic survival items. You’ll want to have a 2-week supply of water and ready-to-eat, non-perishable food for every family member and pet. If you evacuate, you’ll want a 3-day supply of the same. Other items to add to your supply kit include:

  • Manual can opener
  • Essential medicines including eyeglasses and contact lenses
  • Personal hygiene items such as toilet paper, toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Change of clothing
  • Paper towels, hand sanitizer, and eating utensils
  • First-aid kit
  • Battery-powered flashlight and radio with extra batteries
  • Blankets, pillows and sleeping bags
  • Mosquito repellant and citronella candles
  • 2 coolers—one for food, one for ice
  • Plastic tarp for roof/window repairs and tools
  • Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
5. Have an established evacuation plan to help reduce stress. If you don’t have transportation of your own, make arrangements now with friends or family members and don’t forget about the pets!
You want to make sure the whole family is covered, so identify an out-of-state contact that everyone will call if separated and establish a meeting location at least 50 miles inland.
Lastly, gather important papers to take with you:

  • Driver’s license or personal ID
  • Social security card
  • Proof of residence (deed, lease or utility bills)
  • Insurance policies (home, auto, flood, wind)
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Stocks, bond and other negotiable certificates
  • Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns
  • Personal checkbook and any unpaid bills
6. Don’t take silly risks like running back into a home that’s been destroyed or refuse to evacuate when you’ve been ordered to, just to salvage material possessions. Things can be replaced, but people cannot.
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