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

A Beginner’s Guide To Living Off-Grid

A Beginner’s Guide To Living Off-Grid

It used to be that the only time ‘living off-grid’ was used in everyday conversations was when someone was referencing an extremist individual or group. However, that is simply not the case anymore. As of 2013, more than 180,000 Americans were already living off the grid, and it is estimated that by 2035 that number will increase to a whopping 12 percent of the US population. If you are one of those people who dreams of an off-grid lifestyle, we at Modernize have a few pointers to help you get started.

 

A Beginner’s Guide To Living Off-Grid

Purchasing Land

If you are looking to buy land on which to build an off-grid home, there are several factors you will want to research before placing an offer on a piece of property, such as location and building regulations. Depending on your family’s age and health, determining an acceptable commute time between hospitals, school, and work will need to be thoughtfully considered in order to narrow down the radius of your search. Along the same lines, knowing exactly what the local laws are in regards to essential off-grid living components like septic tanks, wells, and wind turbines will save you many headaches when it comes time to begin construction. Most municipalities have their building codes listed on their website and are happy to answer any questions.

 

A-Beginners-Guide-To-Off-Grid-Living

Say “So Long!” To The Power Company

If you already own a home that is connected to the grid, your first step will be to have a home energy audit conducted to determine what improvements can be made in order to make your home as energy efficient as possible. The lower your energy demands, the less energy you will have to find a way to generate on a daily basis—all of which translates into saving you as much money as possible in renovation expenses. During this audit, you will want to consider replacing your current appliances with Energy- Star rated alternatives. Bear in mind that some appliances like your water heater have solar-powered options available on the market as well.

 

Once the audit has been conducted and your improvements have been made, analyze just how much power your home needs. With that information, you can then determine how many solar panels and/or wind turbines you will require and can begin making plans to have them installed. As soon as they are ready to go, it’s “so long, power company,” and “hello, free, sustainable power!”

 

Water and Waste

If you truly want to fully divorce your home from the grid, part of that process will entail finding a solution for your water and sewer obligations. Digging a well is an expensive process, and the deeper your well is, the higher the price tag is going to be. You will also want to have your water and soil tested for contaminants before you begin construction to ensure that no toxins are present that can potentially harm your family. As for your septic tank, you’ll want to purchase a tank larger than what your family actually needs. This way, if you ever have guests stay for an extended period of time, your tank will be able to keep up with these higher demands. Like with any serious renovation project, make sure to get an experienced contractor for an expert design.

 

When it comes down to it, living off-grid is not for everyone. It takes hard work and plenty of planning to build and maintain a fully independent, self-sufficient home, so design for the best fit for your lifestyle and your family’s needs. Every step taken is a step in the right direction for yourself and for the planet.


Live Off The Grid In Your Own Upcycled Shipping Container Home

Upcycled Resource Conscious Architecture that can be exported to any place in the world. It is more than architecture; It is a sustainable product. This home would be perfect for many of those that would prefer to live off the grid, be self sufficient and use recycled materials.

upcycle-house-container-home upcycle-house-container-home-1 upcycle-house-container-home-2

 

To see the entire project of this Sustainable prefab house built with shipping containers. [source]

Old shipping containers used as the structural framework for the WFH- Huse. This is not just recycling; This is upcycling!

 

In Short:

• The WFH concept is a patented modular building system, based on a design principle, using 40 feet high standard modules as

structural system.

• The structure can be adapted to local challenges such as climatic or earthquake issues.

• The first prefabricated housing system that meets the demands in the international environment-building-standard, Active House.

• The structure can be configured to meet many different purposes, multi storey, townhouses, cluster houses or individual villas.

• Top class indoor climate, low energy consumption and environmentally sound materials.

• Very short construction-period.

• Demountable for recycling or relocation.

• Online customization-tools give clients the possibility to decide their own version of the house concerning layout, size, facade, interior etc. The configuration happens within a predefined framework that will ensure high architectural value and quality of materials.

• Cost competitive in comparison with other green houses.

• Building-components are prefabricated and on site construction can be limited. The design allows for high-quality industrial production in large numbers and distribution using standard container transport.

Facts:

• 180 square meters.

•Energy class, which is 50% lower than the standard requirements for new housing constructions in Denmark.

• Photovoltaic cells are integrated – area is flexible, but to fulfill the standards above min. 20 m2 solar cells for power production are needed.

With an area of 30 m2 or above a normal household using energy efficient appliances will be self-sufficient with power on an annual basis.

• Green roof solutions that are optimized for rainwater harvesting for use for toilet flushing, washing and cleaning.

• Customized façade solutions.

Design

The design is based on Nordic values. Not only according to architecture, but also design objects. These values are defined as:

Flexibility.

• Build for people, human values. – Good daylight conditions, different types of light.

• Reliable (long term) solutions. – Healthy materials, recyclable materials, design for disassembly strategies.

• Materials that age gracefully.

• Access to nature, greenery.

• Minimalistic look.

• Playfulness.

Sustainable global housing

The WFH concept is a modular concept, based on a design principle, using 40 feet high cube standard modules as structural system. The structure can be adapted to local challenges such as climatic or earthquake issues. Online customization-tools give clients the possibility to decide their own version of the house concerning layout, size, facade, interior etc. The configuration happens within a predefined framework that will ensure high architectural value and quality of materials. Building-components are prefabricated and on site construction can be limited.

FLEX space

The FLEX space is the heart of the house. It contains the living room, kitchen and can be used for multiple purposes. Parts of the room are double height, creating perfect lighting conditions. The rest of the space is one story height, defined by the landing that creates access to the spaces on the second floor. In each end of the FLEX space there is access to the surroundings and daylight. The boundary between inside and outside disappears, when the doors open. This is a fundamental part of the design; to be able to open let nature in. It is a consequence of having varying requirements for inside temperature and definitions of what domestic functions takes place inside and outside.

Geometry

The geometry of the FLEX space is defined by the two rows of modules, and can easily be modified to specific wishes regarding size. The FLEX space has a number of possible solutions for subdivisions. Both on one plan or two plans. It can also be one big space, creating a lot of light and openness. The kitchen elements are built into the wall (into the technical module). It creates more floor space and also makes connection to water and plumbing easy. The kitchen can also be extended with at freestanding element, defining the work area of the kitchen. From the FLEX space there is access to all spaces. This eliminates square meters used for logistics. It is possible to make larger openings from the FLEX space into the rooms, again creating flexible solutions within the same system.

The work area of the kitchen

From the FLEX space there is access to all spaces. This eliminates square meters used for logistics. It is possible to make larger openings from the FLEX space into the rooms, again creating flexible solutions within the same system.

Bedrooms

The size of the bedrooms is defined by the half of a module (15m2). There are four bedrooms, and they can be used for multiple purposes: A parent’s bedroom, kid’s bedroom, workspace etc. Three of the rooms have windows on two facades, creating a mixed light. It is possible to remove the wall, or part of it, facing the FLEX space. This adds flexibility to the layout and shows the structural systems ability to adapt do different needs.

Landing

The landing creates access to the second floor, but can also be used as a space for play, relaxation or work. It gives the inhabitant the possibility to draw back, but still enjoy the company of people in the house. You are in the FLEX space, but because you are on the first floor you are drawn back from the action. It is an ideal place for a quiet retreat and still being able to observe what is going on in the house.

To see the entire project of this Sustainable prefab house built with shipping containers. [source]

Could you see yourself living in one?

Making Your Own Vegetable And Nut Oils

The operation is equally simple. I think the most complicated part was mounting the expeller on a sturdy platform which could then be clamped securely to the kitchen counter.

Nut and Seed Oil Expeller / Oil Press

Nut and Seed Oil Expeller/Press

This operation uses quite a bit of cranking force at times and needs to be very securely mounted. It’s not difficult to operate (any 10 year old boy could do it) but it does take a bit of muscle, similar to hand grinding wheat for flour. I made a funnel out of a water bottle which fits the opening of the expeller perfectly and I ran a piece of clear tubing from the oil drip down from the expeller to where I set a bottle to collect the oil. At this point I was able to begin making oil and after lighting the heating lamp and filling the funnel with canola seed I was cranking away and my oil jar was filling rapidly. I wouldn’t want to set out to make several gallons of oil in an afternoon but the first time I tried it I made a quart of oil during a half hour phone conversation so it is not a real difficult or time consuming project.

You can use the oil directly from the expeller or you can let it set in a jar in a warm place overnight so the particulates can settle to the bottom and then pour or siphon the top portion of the oil which is nice and clear. I prefer to leave the sludge in with the nut oils as it gives the oil a stronger flavor and more substance but it’s nice to have a “normal” bottle of canola oil for every day cooking use.

I found the oil quality to be far better than anything I had ever tried before, which was not a surprise because anything made fresh seems to be better than what you get at the store. The oil is quite a bit darker than the oil from the store, but I found this is because it hasn’t been bleached or chemically treated – one more reason in my opinion to make it myself.

I was really interested in finding out what other types of oil I could make with this since the manufacturer says it can be used to make just about any oil you can think of. I’ve tested every oil producing seed and nut I could get my hands on and so far have had nothing but smashing success.

Some of my favorites are:

  • Walnut oil – The leftover walnut meal is wonderful in bread
  • Sunflower oil
  • Almond oil
  • Flax (linseed) oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Canola oil

Each oil has unique expelling needs as well as looks and tastes different, but all are wonderful. All leave you with an abundance of leftover seed meal which can be used as a high quality animal feed protein supplement or are excellent used in the kitchen in breads or on oatmeal.

Canola meal, which I tend to have a lot of, is not very tasty so I use it as a protein supplement for my animals. It’s around 40% protein and chickens, goats and pigs all seem to love it. It can also be used as a high quality natural fertilizer for the garden.

The manufacturer of the expeller can be found at www.piteba.com. The website has a lot of information on different oilseeds and detailed instructions for using the expeller.

[source]

20 Easy Post-Apocalypse Life Hacks Any Survivor Can Do

You should probably print this post out before the Internet is gone forever.

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Clever ideas for surviving on or off the grid in any situation.

1. Only make one trip back from the community well.

Use a hockey stick (or an old-fashioned regular stick) to loop sanitized milk jugs through. Sling over shoulders and you’ve enough drinking water to last your hut over a week!

Source: reddit.com

2. For when the economy recovers, hide money in a phone case.

Most likely a desperate and futile gesture, but pop the back of your cell phone case off and hide a twenty spot in there, just in case.

Source: reddit.com

3. Turn lemons into lemonade or electricity. Your choice.

Just because the world ended doesn’t mean you have to stop playing Candy Crush. Get detailed instructions here.

4. Before braving the bee hive for wax, try this.

Once you exhaust Grandma’s supply of scented candles, try your nephew’s crayons before cobbling together a beekeeper suit.

Source: imgur.com

5. Okay, NOW cobble together a homemade bee suit.

Troy used an old A/C casing, duct tape, and gardening gloves, but feel free to get creative!

Source: reddit.com

6. THEN brave the bees to keep water (or blood) off your shoes.

Shoes are a precious commodity in the wasteland of America so keep them in good condition with these step-by-step instructions.

Source: brit.co

7. Convert a rake handle to organize farm implements and weapons.

Just because the world is in chaos, doesn’t mean your tools have to be.

Source: reddit.com

8. Finally, a use for Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos.

Because no matter how hungry you are, they’ll never taste as good as Cool Ranch.

Source: reddit.com

9. Make a fashionably functional bracelet out of paracord.

Created with 10 feet of the versatile rope using this cobra stitch, the colors can also serve to show which gang you owe allegiance too.

10. Then store the remainder on an old pizza box because no one likes tangled cords.

A few cuts with a pair of scissors (or a knife if society has degraded far enough that scissors are a precious luxury) and you’ve got an Earth friendly rope holder.

Source: reddit.com

11. Set broken bones with toilet paper and duct tape.

Once you’ve set the bone, use these instructions to hold it in place until it heals.

12. Or open that pesky jar, rusted shut after a decade.

Forget bottle caps! With its infinite uses, duct tape is the new currency.

Source: reddit.com

13. Kill time, and mutant cockroaches, with a toothpick gun.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Then it’s a power play making you dictator for life.

Source: reddit.com

14. Slather up with baby oil to delay inevitable frostbite.

While not as good as gloves or just staying inside until spring, baby oil adds a thin layer of protection from the elements to keep you from chafing while foraging for supplies.

15. Keep West Nile and the plague at bay with a homemade mosquito trap.

Speaking of spring, use brown sugar, yeast, hot water, and an empty two-liter to make a tempting mosquito deathtrap. Instructions here!

16. Lasso those pesky ticks with an old pen and thread.

Mosquitos aren’t the only summer threat. An old mechanical pencil and some fishing line or thick thread can safely remove them. Not today, Lyme disease!

17. Convert keys into arrowheads, a far more effective home deterrent.

Requiring more finesse than the toothpick canon but tremendously more effective. Follow the tutorial here and then make some dowel rod arrows to attach them too.

18. Then make a bow from an old bicycle.

Using this guide to turn bicycle parts, a rubber hose, and a few odds and ends into a safeguard for your turf.

19. Or upcycle empty milk jugs to start a new life

Get the hell out of Dodge, literally. Using PVC pipe, wooden rods, and empty milk cartons, sail off into the wild blue yonder using these step-by-step instructions.

20. Pop a top and catch a fish while you’re on the water.

While you float west, where surely everything is better and not a toxic wasteland (right?), snap off the end of a pop top and loop some thread through the hook for a fast fishing lure.

Article source: click here

What’s The Difference Between Freeze Dried & Dehydrated Foods?

Freeze dried foods are flash frozen and then dried.
Freeze drying removes the water, not the flavor. So freeze dried foods retain virtually all their fresh food taste, vitamins and nutritional content.  Weighs less than fresh. Freeze dried foods have 98% of their water removed. This significantly reduces the food’s weight, making it easier to handle and less costly to transport. For example, 3kg of chicken weighs only 1kg after freeze drying, and rapidly rehydrates back to its original weight. Freeze drying is generally more expensive then dehydrating. To create freeze dried food, the food item is first flash frozen and then low level heat is applied inside a vacuum chamber. Doing this dehydrates the food item and results in a dried product. After that the food item is packed for long-term storage. Freeze drying retains the color, texture, shape, flavor, and nutrition of the food item.
Dehydrated Foods are top-quality foods, that have been picked at their ripeness, cleansed and trimmed to leave only the best parts.These choice foods are then dehydrated, where 98% of their moisture is removed. This is done by a highly sophisticated drying process. They are then packed in heavy-duty enameled cans, and sealed with a special inert atmosphere to ensure the longest possible storage life.

Because their bulk and weight have been greatly reduced, dehydrated foods are more compact and convenient for storing and require very little space. They offer quick mobility in the event of an evacuation alert. For example, one case of regular canned food weighs approximately 24 pounds. The same item of dehydrated foods would weigh from 36 to 45 ounces, and would be packed in just one #10 can. Dehydrated foods have approximately double the yield of regular canned foods even though their cost is much lower.

Most of us already eat dehydrated foods daily. Foods like pasta, cereal, beans, cake and baking mixes, as well as many fast foods. In dehydrating foods, water is slowly removed by cooking it out of the food item, without cooking the food itself.


You can see how the Freeze drying process works:

Freeze drying is a process which is suitable for a wide variety of industrial products. These include agrochemicals, pharmaceutical intermediates, biological products, foods and flavorings.

The purpose of freeze drying is to remove a solvent (usually water) from dissolved or dispersed solids. It is an excellent method for preserving materials that are unstable in the presence of water. In addition, freeze drying can be used to separate and recover volatile substances and to purify materials.

The freeze drying process is particularly suitable for products which are sensitive to heat, subject to oxidation, or shear sensitive.

Freeze Drying Process” title=
Once freeze dried,food products have the following benefits:

  • Appearance – Freeze dried foods maintain their original shape and texture, unlike air dried foods which shrink and shrivel due to high temperature processing. Just add water and in minutes the food rehydrates to its original form.
  • Taste – Tastes as good as fresh. Freeze drying removes the water, not the flavour. So freeze dried foods retain virtually all their fresh food taste, vitamins and nutritional content.
  • Weight – Weighs less than fresh. Freeze dried foods have 98% of their water removed. This significantly reduces the food’s weight, making it easier to handle and less costly to transport. For example, 3kg of chicken weighs only 1kg after freeze drying, and rapidly rehydrates back to its original weight.
  • Long Shelf Life – Freeze dried foods can be stored for months or years at room temperature without deterioration or spoilage.
  • Low Storage Costs – Because it can be stored at room temperature, freeze dried food does not require costly cold or chilled storage facilities, making it much cheaper to store.

More long term food storage…

 

Three R’s of Survival

These three R’s are just as important to survival as they are in everyday life.

#Recycle #Reuse #Repurpose

The 3 R's of Survival

In times of emergency and survival, you will have to be creative with your supplies and make do with whatever you can find and use to live and survive.

We will not be given the option to change our wasteful ways and find the most suitable ‘green’ way of living in a survival crisis. Every day items we take for granted will be unavailable and we need to ask ourselves what can be use to replace them. Thinking outside thebox will be a must.

So remember these 3 R’s of survival, Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle. Be prepared.

 

Be Ready when disaster strikes, prep for the unknown at Year Zero Survival

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