Category Archives: Off Grid Living

8 Simple Ways To Live Off Grid On Less Watts – Off The Grid News

Here’s a few good tips to reduce your power usage. Solar power works fine, but often one has to adjust to the whims of nature, and on the cloudy days use less power.

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Here are just a few of the changes that we made to our off-grid lives that helped us use less watts:

  1. We never took a shower before the sun was up.
  2.  Also, we never took a shower when the sun was down.
  3. Made sure we only did laundry between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and only one load per day.
  4. We went to bed early and got up early (this proved to be most productive).
  5. Always used battery-operated lanterns and book lights for evening reading.
  6. Made sure we unplugged everything — the coffee pot, the toaster, etc. – when not in use.
  7. We rarely used the microwave.
  8. Never left the TV on, and we used it sparingly.

Source: 8 Simple Ways To Live Off Grid On Less Watts – Off The Grid News

Summer Squash: The Gardening Staple You Can Grow In 40 Days

For a lot of people, the thought of summer squash brings to mind just a few varieties. The entire list probably consists of little yellow crooknecks and zucchini, with no more than one or two choices of each.

There is a bonanza of summer squash taste available to home gardeners. If you like squash even a tiny bit, you will want to grow your own. Fresh summer squash in your backyard provides daily fresh young produce throughout the season, the ability to eliminate food miles, and the opportunity to try dozens of unique varieties that are not available at stores or even farmer’s markets.

Source: Summer Squash: The Gardening Staple You Can Grow In 40 Days –

Nutritious Food Plants You Can Harvest Quickly

Here’s a great list of quick vegetables that everyone should see.

We’ve grown them all!

We only need a few weeks to produce some nutritious vegetables and enjoy them for a great lunch or dinner.

Imagine having fresh spinach harvested four to six weeks after planting. Even better, a vegetable garden in your backyard will complement that verdant, green lawn and add some color and texture to your landscape.

There are many wholesome veggies you can grow, relatively quickly, a few steps away from your kitchen. Here are five vegetables to get you started.

Source: Nutritious Food Plants You Can Harvest Quickly – The Prepper Journal

Homemade Bug Spray: Natural & Effective Repellent Recipes

Here are four all-natural homemade bug sprays that can kick those pesky insects to the curb.

If you don’t like the idea of spraying too many chemicals on yourself or your children, these recipes take seconds to mix up and really work for every day sprays.

KNOW THY ENEMY

As soon as we step outside, bugs have a way of finding us. Some use the CO2 we exhale to locate us, others go by scent, body heat, vibrations, or even the colors we wear.

For example, deerflies are attracted to CO2, warmth, motion, and dark colors. One way to make yourself less attractive to insects is to avoid using fragrant soaps, lotions, perfume, hairspray, or aftershave. Instead, use scents that block their receptors, making you harder to find.

Mosquitoes hate citronella, lemon eucalyptus, cinnamon, geranium, and catnip.

Ants and flies dislike mint, basil, and bay.

Tiny gnats (such as No-See-Ums) are repelled by citronella, lemongrass, and rose geranium.

Ticks and lice avoid lemon eucalyptus and geranium.

Source: Homemade Bug Spray: Natural & Effective Repellent Recipes | The Old Farmer’s Almanac

How to Detect Air Leaks & Save Money

It doesn’t matter if your home was built in 1968 or 2018: There’s a good chance it has at least a few air leaks.

So what, you ask? Well, an increase in unwanted airflow could cut into your cash flow in the long run. “If you’re not sealing your home against air leakage, you’re significantly reducing your energy efficiency,”

Source: How to Detect Air Leaks and Stop Hemorrhaging Money | realtor.com®

When one lives off-grid, every bit of power can be used just for cooling in the summer. The generator is our friend (although an expensive one.)

Today, our temps are expected to be around 110 degrees Fahrenheit, so we like that our super insulated straw bale house is keeping us in the high 70’s inside.

Batteries & solar panels become less efficient in the extreme heat, so it’s a double blow to our power needs.

Mornings are nice. We started off the morning at 86 degrees outside, but by 9:00 am it has jumped to 98 degrees.

Stay cool!

Make Emergency Candles from Bacon Grease

…Nothing beats a flashlight or an emergency candle in case the power goes out, but what are you going to do when there’s no more juice in that lantern and the last piece of flick died out like the ambitions and desires of a crestfallen lover?

Make some more, of course, because that’s we preppers are good at. In today’s article, I’m going to show you a fast way to create 24-hour emergency candles by harnessing the raw power of your favorite dish – bacon.

Yup, you’ve read that right. Bacon’s not only great for breakfast, but can also be used to make portable and highly efficient light sources. So, enough chit chat! Let’s take a look at how bacon candles are made.

Source: How To Turn Bacon Grease Into Emergency Candles – Daily Prepper News

Save Your Seeds, Save Your Life

We are told that everything begins with seed. Everything ends with it, too. As a chef I can tell you that your meal will be incalculably more delicious if I’m cooking with good ingredients.

But until that afternoon I’d rarely considered how seed influences — determines, really — not only the beginning and the end of the food chain, but also every link in between. The tens of thousands of rows surrounding me owed their brigade-like uniformity to the operating instructions embedded in the seed.

That uniformity allows for large-scale monoculture, which in turn determines the size and model of the combine tractor needed to efficiently harvest such a load. (“Six hundred horsepower — needs a half-mile just to turn her around,” joked the farmer sitting next to me.)

Satellite information, beamed into the tractor’s computer, makes it possible to farm such an expanse with scientific precision.

The type of seed also dictates the fertilizer, pesticide and fungicide regimen, sold by the same company as part of the package, requiring a particular planter and sprayer (40 feet and 140 feet wide, respectively) and producing a per-acre yield that is startling, and startlingly easy to predict.

It is as if the seed is a toy that comes with a mile-long list of component parts you’re required to purchase to make it function properly.

We think that the behemoths of agribusiness known as Big Food control the food system from up high — distribution, processing and the marketplace muscling everything into position. But really it is the seed that determines the system, not the other way around.

The seeds in my palm optimized the farm for large-scale machinery and chemical regimens; they reduced the need for labor; they elbowed out the competition (formally known as biodiversity). In other words, seeds are a blueprint for how we eat.

We should be alarmed by the current architects. Just 50 years ago, some 1,000 small and family-owned seed companies were producing and distributing seeds in the United States; by 2009, there were fewer than 100. Thanks to a series of mergers and acquisitions over the last few years, four multinational agrochemical firms — Corteva, ChemChina, Bayer and BASF — now control over 60 percent of global seed sales.

Source: Opinion | Save Our Food. Free the Seed. – The New York Times

Best Long Term Storage Foods

When you live out in a very rural area, you quickly learn to have supplies on hand in case you can’t or don’t want to go into town. (Fifty miles away.)

Beyond that, one knows that if things got dicey in the cities, we would be on our own here for a while for sure.

It’s always good to have food on hand. Here’s a great article on things that can just last and last. Be sure to click the link, it’s a good one.

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Best Survival Foods: Non-Perishables That Can Outlive You

Whether you’re sick of throwing out food that’s long past its expiry date, or are working on preparing a food stockpile in case of an emergency, consumables that practically never spoil can be a huge asset to your household.

This article lists non-perishable food items that not only have long shelf lives, but if taken care of properly, these foods stand a chance of never going bad within your lifetime.These ideal survival foods will of course need to be stored the right way in order to retain their practically never-ending shelf life.

The absolute best place to keep a food stockpile is in a dark, cool, and dry spot, free of humidity, moisture, direct sunlight, and extreme temperatures.

Keeping consumables in an air-tight container, or better yet, vacuum packed, is also very important to increasing shelf life.

Although many non-perishable survival foods may change flavor and/or texture over the years, they remain edible and perfectly safe for consumption over indefinite periods of time. Use your senses to judge whether or not food with long shelf life has expired. If it smells off, has become too soft, or has developed mold, it’s better not to eat the item.

Source: Best Survival Foods: Non-Perishables That Can Outlive You

Tips for Tiny Houses (or any off grid living)

There are plenty of benefits that come with living the tiny lifestyle. Flexibility,  freedom, and ease are the advantages that usually come to mind, but reducing your environmental footprint is another big bonus. Reducing living quarters doesn’t automatically make your lifestyle more eco-friendly, though. There is plenty more to it. That’s why it’s important to develop some of these green habits while living life on the tiny side.

Source: Sustainability Tips and FAQs for Living Tiny – 84 Tiny Houses

Click the link for some common sense tips for off grid living

It’s especially important if one is to be off grid to learn to think in terms of power usage.  Solar power enables us to live far from the city, but one is now the power plant manager.

While using energy efficient appliances and lights is very important, it’s vital to pay good attention to which appliance use the most electricity. For example, one should generally stay away from anything electrical that produces heat. Those electric space heaters are death in an off grid system. Likewise, pumps, microwave ovens, toasters, electric coffee makers etc. will draw a lot of power and need to be used sparingly. Replace with propane whenever possible.

At home we have a propane/electric refrigerator. It’s not terribly efficient when on electric, so it will always stay on gas, unless we have power to spare. It’s a Godsend on those cloudy days though.

 

 

25 Most Popular Survival Books: Survivalist & Prepper Best Sellers

Knowledge is the most powerful survival tool you could ever possibly possess. A knife and a fire steel will do wonders in the wilderness, and a hefty stockpile will be a huge asset in case of an emergency situation, but nothing will ever come close to helping you survive like the knowledge and skills you possess.While we all already know this, we also simultaneously realize how difficult attaining knowledge can be. The learning curve can be steep, mastering skills often happens slowly, and the material we need to learn can feel broad and overwhelming. Sometimes, too, it can be hard to determine whether a source of information is even reliable enough to help us on our quest for valuable knowledge.That’s where this list comes in handy. The survival books below are some of the most read, rated, and reviewed on the web. These books are written by some of the most well respected and knowledgeable industry leaders. It’s vitally important to get your information from trustworthy sources – after all, you never want your facts wrong when your life is on the line.

Source: 25 Most Popular Survival Books: Survivalist & Prepper Best Sellers