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

Make Your Own Survival Bread

Have you ever looked at your food storage and thought “I hope I don’t ever have to eat any of this”!  I do all the time!  The fact is, survival food doesn’t always look good or taste great!  Often it’s dehydrated, canned or preserved in some way.  What if you could have normal food, like fresh baked bread even when the SHTF?  Well if you’ve ever thought like that, then here is something that will fit the bill!  It’s an age old recipe that has withstood the test of time, filling bellies and putting smiles on faces for centuries, if not longer.

 

Indian-Fry-Bread-recipe

In an emergency fresh eggs/milk may be hard to come by and you certainly won’t be able to drop by your local market to pick up a loaf of sliced bread! So what do you do? Tuck this away, practice it and use it when/if needed. We have had a lot of requests for recipes like this so I will dig out my Grandmothers old recipe book and see what I can find. If you have any you would like to share, please send them to me via message and I will post them for everyone.

Indian Fry Bread/Navajo Fry Bread

4 cups flour

2 tsp. sugar

1 ½ cups warm water

2 tsp. salt

4 tsp. yeast (some use baking powder instead of yeast)

Vegetable Oil for frying (you can use a small amount or larger amount to deep fry)

1) Mix water, sugar, salt and yeast together – let stand 5 minutes.

2) Add flour and knead until the mixture is smooth.

3) Heat the oil in a fry pan.

4) Form dough into small balls, then flatten into a tortilla shape about ½ inch thick.

5) Fry bread on both sides until golden brown.

Tip – if dough is sticky, use a small amount of flour to coat your hands while handling the dough.

Real Indian fry bread is deep fried in a fair amount of cooking oil, but this is not necessary. You should use the dough immediately without allowing it to rise first. This is not like the traditional bread recipe that is baked into a loaf and rises beforehand.

Enjoy, you now have a recipe for bread, it can be used for sandwiches, eating with meals, with honey, cinnamon, tacos (my favorite – called Navajo Tacos)!

via Survival Bread – So good you’ll want it anytime! 

The Benefits of Cattails as a Survival Food Source

This is a great article from Eat The Weeds, on the benefits of Cattails as a survival food source. It is a readily abundant wild edible in North America.

No green plant produces more edible starch per acre than the Cat O’ Nine Tails; not potatoes, rice, taros or yams. Plans were underway to feed American soldiers with that starch when WWII stopped. Lichen, not a green plant, might produce more carbs per acre. One acre of cattails can produce 6,475 pounds of flour per year on average (Harrington 1972).

It is said that if a lost person has found cattails, they have four of the five things they need to survive: Water, food, shelter and a source of fuel for heat—the dry old stalks. The one item missing is companionship.  Of course, the other thing to point out is that no matter where the water flows, down stream is civilization in North, Central and South America. 

Cattails are the supermarket of the wilds. The young cob-like tips of the plant are edible as is the white bottom of the stalk, spurs off the main roots and spaghetti like rootlets off the main roots. They have vitamins A, B,and C, potassium and phosphorus. The pollen can be used like flour.  I like their convenience as a trail nibble, or canoe nibble as it were. Just pull on one and where it pulls from the stalk there’s usually a tasty bite or two.

Cattails are the champion of starch production. The way you get the starch is to clean the exterior of the roots and then crush them in clean water and let them sit. The starch settles to the bottom then one pours off the water.  It may take several drain and settle sessions get rid of the fiber. I sampled the starch raw once and got a bit of a stomach ache.  Once you have just the starch it is excellent for cooking as you would any flour. Getting starch that way is quite labor intensive. Here are three other ways to get to the root starch:

Dry the peeled roots (peel roots while they are wet–they are difficult to peel when dry). Chop roots into small pieces, and then pound them wtih a little water. When the long fibers are removed, the resultant goup powder can be dried and used as flour.   The roots also can be boiled like potatoes then the starch chewed out (spitting away the fibers) or you can also roast the root in a fire until the outer spongy core is completely black. Then chew the starch off of the fiber.  Don’t eat the fiber. It will give you a stomach ache. I know from personal experience. The advantage of the latter method is no pots or pans are needed. If you have fire and a pond you have a nutritious meal.  You can also put the roots on the barbecue.

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Poisonous Animals You Can’t Eat

Survival manuals often mention that the livers of polar bears are toxic due to their high concentrations of vitamin A. For this reason, we mention the chance of death after eating this organ. Another toxic meat is the flesh of the hawksbill turtle. You recognize them by their down-turned bill and yellow polka dots on their neck and front flippers. They weigh more than 275 kilograms and are unlikely to be captured. 

POISONOUS ANIMALS YOU CAN'T EAT

Many fish living in reefs near shore or in lagoons and estuaries are poisonous to eat, though some are only seasonally dangerous. The majority are tropical fish; however, be wary of eating any unidentifiable fish wherever you are. Some predatory fish, such as barracuda and snapper, may become toxic if the fish they feed on in shallow waters are poisonous. The most poisonous types appear to have parrot-like beaks and hard, shell-like skins with spines and often can inflate their bodies like balloons. However, at certain times of the year, indigenous populations consider the puffer a delicacy. 

Blowfish

Blowfish or puffer (Tetraodontidae species) are more tolerant of cold water. You find them along tropical and temperate coasts worldwide, even in some of the rivers of Southeast Asia and Africa. Stout-bodied and round, many of these fish have short spines and can inflate themselves into a ball when alarmed or agitated. Their blood, liver and gonads are so toxic that as little as 28 milligrams (1 ounce) can be fatal. These fish vary in color and size, growing up to 75 centimeters in length. 

Triggerfish

The triggerfish (Balistidae species) occur in great variety, mostly in tropical seas. They are deep-bodied and compressed, resembling a seagoing pancake up to 60 centimeters in length, with large, sharp dorsal spines. Avoid them all, as many have poisonous flesh. 

Barracuda

Although most people avoid them because of their ferocity, they occasionally eat barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda). These predators of mostly tropical seas can reach almost 1.5 meters in length and have attacked humans without provocation. They occasionally carry the poison ciguatera in their flesh, making them deadly if consumed. 

Other Dangerous Sea Creatures

The blue-ringed octopus, jellyfish, and the cone and auger shells are other dangerous sea creatures.

Blue-Ringed Octopus

Most octopi are excellent when properly prepared. However, the blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata) can inflict a deadly bite from its parrotlike beak. Fortunately, it is restricted to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and is very small. It is easily recognized by its grayish white overall color and iridescent blue rings. Authorities warn that all tropical octopus species should be treated with caution, since many have poisonous bites, although the flesh is edible. 

Jellyfish

Jellyfish-related deaths are rare, but the sting they inflict is extremely painful. The Portuguese man-of-war resembles a large pink or purple balloon floating on the sea. It has poisonous tentacles hanging up to 12 meters below its body. The huge tentacles are actually colonies of stinging cells. Most known deaths from jellyfish are attributed to the man-of-war. Other jellyfish can inflict very painful stings as well. Avoid the long tentacles of any jellyfish, even those washed up on the beach and apparently dead. 

Cone Shell

The subtropical and tropical cone shells (Conidae species) have a venomous harpoonlike barb. All are cone-shaped and have a fine netlike pattern on the shell. A membrane may possibly obscure this coloration. There are some very poisonous cone shells, even some lethal ones in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Avoid any shell shaped like an ice cream cone. 

Auger Shell

The auger shell or terebra (Terebridae species) are much longer and thinner than the cone shells but can be nearly as deadly as the cone shells. They are found in temperate and tropical seas. Those in the Indian and Pacific oceans have a more toxic venom in their stinging barb. Do not eat these snails, as their flesh may be poisonous.

 

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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

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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.

Researcher Find That Plant Has Water Purification Properties: Cilantro

A simple illustration of why we should keep trees and plants living on our soil…

Why we should keep trees and plants living on our soil…

Researcher Find That Plant Has Water Purification Properties: Cilantro

Commonly found in Mexican and Asian dishes, the leafy, bright green leaves of the cilantro plant might not only be tasty, but also help to purify polluted water. Scientist have recently discovered that, in developing countries, cilantro might actually help to absorb some heavy metals found in contaminated ground water.

Students, along with Professor Douglas Schauer of Ivy Tech Community College, were searching for a cheap and accessible way to filter ground water. They dried and crushed numerous wild plants while conducting their research, and found that cilantro was the most effective.

“And then we put that into a solution that has a known amount of lead in it,” Schauer said. “That’s the metal we used as our test metal. Shake it up for a little bit, and then we let the particles settle out, and then we test the water to see how much lead is left behind.”

The researchers found that their cilantro filters were successful in removing many of the pollutants, especially nickel and lead.

Biosorbents are used in environmental cleanups, and help to remove contaminants like lead, arsenic, and other harmful metals. According to the research, the outer wall structure that makes up the cilantro plant is what makes the plant perfect for absorbing the metals.

“The organic toxins we can take care of pretty easily with a number of different methods, but the only way to really get rid of those heavy metals is to treat them with filtering agents like activated charcoal (like what’s found in a Brita filter), but those types of materials are kind of expensive,” said Schauer to CNN. “They are a little expensive for us to use, but they are very expensive to the people living in that region.”

One method of purification using the cilantro filtering method is grinding up cilantro and passing water though it using a tube, which allows clean water to trickle out of the opposite end of the tube, ultimately leaving even cleaner water. Another method involves drying cilantro and putting it in tea bags, which are then placed in a pitcher of water, helping to take out some of the toxic metals.

Culinary Herb Garden Preparedness Seeds

Buy and Plant Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds

Schauer believes that, since cilantro is a common herb in poor countries, it could substantially and positively affect access to water in many developing nations.

“Our hope is for somebody who lives in that region to simply be able go in their back yard and grab a handful of cilantro, maybe let it dry out for a couple days sitting on a rock in the sun, and then maybe a handful of that would purify a pitcher of water,” he said.

 

 

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