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

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?

Going Off The Grid: Want to erase yourself from the web?

How to erase yourself from the web or from just specific websites?

Just Delete Me is a directory of links for deleting your accounts from a variety of websites and services, along with indications of how difficult it is to delete yourself from those places (ranging from easy to impossible). It’s a little alarming just how many sites make it impossible to delete your account.

EraseYourselfScreenshot

With recent scandals of government tracking, who isn’t thinking about how much of their own life is stored up on some data collection server somewhere.

This is a great resource if you’re trying to figure out which web technologies you are going to erase yourself from and go totally OFF THE GRID.

 

 

It’s A Trap – 6 Must Learn Traps And Snares

Whether you’re and avid outdoorsman, hiker, camper or just planning for the downfall of the modern world, these are 6 must learn traps and snares if you ever get stuck in the woods:

Its-a-Trap

Practice each one, so that when the time comes and you need to use one you’ll be ready. Small-game snares can be made from the interior strands of parachute cord, braided strands of sinew, or fishing line. [source]

 

Bear_Grylls_featured_produc

 

How Much Fuel Is Needed To Power A Light Bulb For A Year?

What-it-takes-to-power-a-light-bulb-for-a-year

What items would you add to your survival preps to give you a power source if the electrical grid goes down?

Please comment below and share your prep ideas.

Salt: A Valuable And Needed Item In Your Preps

How and Why to Store Salt

Also Known As: Sodium Chloride or Halite

Different kinds of salt and their uses:

 

Table Salt: Table salt is the refined white crystal typically found in a salt shaker. It usually comes in a cardboard can and is the cheapest salt on the shelf at the grocery store. You can buy it with or without iodine added (more on that later). It generally contains an anti-clumping agent.

Sea Salt and/or Mineral Salt: (such as Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt or Celtic Sea Salt): All salt originally came from the sea so to call something sea salt is a bit misleading. Typically when something is labeled sea salt it is not refined and still has other minerals in it, whether it was mined or was processed out of sea water. The minerals salt contains vary according to where the salt was mined. Himalayan salt contains different minerals than Celtic sea salt. Sea salt that has been collected after water has evaporated or distilled also has other minerals from the ocean. There are a lot of “gourmet” salts on the market so it’s important
to read the label.

Koshering and Pickling Salt: Koshering salt (commonly known as kosher salt) generally consists of salt without additives I say generally because there are some brands that do contain additives, so always read the label. Kosher salt has a large flat grain helpful for the koshering process, and if it does not have any additives it can be used for canning. Pickling salt is refined salt with no anti-clumping agent and is used for canning – it has a very fine grain so it will dissolve quickly in liquids. Using table salt for canning discolors the food because of the additives.

Rock Salt and other salts: Rock salt (the kind found at the grocery store) is salt typically used in ice cream makers and is not approved for human consumption; again, it’s important to read the label. There are other types of salts available such as salt used in water softeners or salt used to help melt ice on roads. These are not meant for human consumption and should not be placed in food storage.

Why Salt is Important:

Salt is an important part of a healthy diet. Salt helps to balance electrolytes and is needed for proper cell function.Without salt we will die.

Which Type of Salt to Store:

If you are eating from your food storage you may not be eating a lot of processed foods and the salt that you have stored could be your main salt intake. So it’s important to decide what kind of salt is best to store for your family. Iodine was added to salt to prevent Goitre. You can get iodine from other sources of food such as seafood, soil (if it is contained in the soil you grow your food in) or seaweed such as kelp or dulse. Also, most multi-vitamins contain iodine. The only down-side to storing salt with iodine is that it can turn yellow after time. If you’re storing salt as a trading item (see below), yellow salt might not look so appetizing. However, it’s still safe to eat and will store indefinitely. If you store table salt without iodine it will usually just contain an anti-clumping agent and will store indefinitely. Sea salt and mineral salt will also store well but not indefinitely. They would deteriorate according to the other minerals they contain. So reading the labels and doing an internet search on the minerals contained in the salt would give you an idea of the shelf life.

Table salt is cheapest of all the varieties of salt therefore it is easy to obtain a year’s supply for your family, which should be between 3-5 pounds a person, in a relatively short time. If you’re on a budget, like me, table salt might be your best option. You may also want to stock-up on pickling salt if you plan to preserve things from your garden. You would have to calculate how much according to the estimated yield from your garden for a given year. Pickling salt and table salt will store indefinitely, even if moisture seeps into the container, it can be laid out and dried.

Salt Storage:

Here’s what I did:

I bought two 25 pound bags of salt from a big box store. The bags do not contain iodine and this was my only choice from this store. I have a food saver but decided that I did not want to waste my storage bags because salt will not go rancid even if it’s exposed to air.

I used heavy duty plastic bags, I thought Mylar would be overkill here.

I scooped the salt into one gallon bags. I did not fill the bags all the way because I did not want the plastic to break.  They will probably be retrieved by one of my children in our food rotation process so I wanted to make sure they were light enough to carry. I poured the salt into a pitcher because it’s very hard to pour a bag into a bag.

Food grade 5 gallon bucket.
Bags ready to go in.
I put two to three bags in 5 gallon food grade containers.
Then I labeled them and put them up.

Other Important Notes:

  • Salt should not be confused with Epsom salt (also known as magnesium sulfate) – they are completely different compounds.
  • Never store salt in metal containers. Salt leaches metals and/or elements out of the metal. You could wind up with a poisonous substance in your salt.
  • Also something to consider is using/storing salt to be used as a bartering item. A lot of preppers store canned goods and processed food, which already contain salt, so they don’t give much thought to plain salt. In our culture today salt has been associated with heart attacks and other health afflictions resulting from the over consumption, therefore, many people might not store enough salt or store it at all. At some point, processed food might become scarce and salt would once again be a valuable item as it was in ancient times.

“Soup”er Prepper Storage Idea

When I came accross this article, I immadiately thought this stoarge solution would be perfect for my canned goods prep. So easy, stackable and organized. I had to share.

“Soup”er storage idea

Ok, I’ve been known to re-purpose things before like when I made a tote bag out of business cards for a friend.  Or when I made candy dishes from gladware packaging. (I’ll show that one soon – stay tuned!) You get the idea.  Anyway, it’s just the way my mind works, I see something for what it is but then my mind switches gears and starts designing what it could be.

That’s what happened with my project for today.  It actually came out of need.  I don’t like stacking my cans.  They never stay orderly.  They always fall over.  Or they get pushed to the back of the cupboard and I forget what I have and it BUGS me.  So, I made this.

Yes, I know you can by self-rotating Can Stackers for food storage but the small ones are $32 and frankly, I’d rather make my own and so that’s what I did.  I had everything on hand except for the soda so the out-of-pocket expense was $3.50.  Here’s how I did it….

1- First, I needed an empty fridge pack of soda.  My kids were thrilled to find rootbeer in the fridge.  I  bought it specifically for the packaging – is that wrong?  Not really, just backwards, I guess.

2- On the back end of the container I cut out a space that is large enough to put a can of soup in.
3- I grabbed some decorative paper (I used about 3 sheets of 12×12 scrapbook paper)  and folded it into place to cover the box.  I put everything in place, creased my edges and cut out my opening to fit the one I had cut in step 2.  Then I just took some Mod Podge and glued all the paper into place.  I did the back end of the box first and let it completely dry.
4- Once the back end was done drying, I grabbed another piece of paper and repeated the steps until the front part is covered.  And, just to make it more decorative, I used a coordinating paper for the front.
5- Then I added a label to the front and added a coat of Mod Podge over the whole thing – this gives it a little more strength and will keep the papers from tearing.
So, that’s it.  To use it, I just always add my soups to the back and take from the front, that way they are properly rotated.  And, the best thing, I don’t have to stack my soups anymore.  Plus, each soup flavor is kept together which means no more hunting through my pantry for the flavor needed.  I can have a box for chicken noodle, cream of chicken, corn, peas, whatever… And, I can make as many as I need and my cupboard is organized.

Source: Then She Made...

 

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