Since the start of our posting, we have made a logical step by step analysis of the many considerations a person needs to ponder when contemplating a move to an off-grid homestead. Having done this for 37 years, it is second nature to us and has become our natural way of life. Personally, we can’t imagine any other lifestyle, but we realize that many of the aspects and concepts of off-grid life are foreign to the general population. We want you to share in the good life. It is our hope that our website and posts increase your chances of homesteading and prepping success.
To that end, I write this post as a reality check. It is a gentle prod for you to think everything through completely. It is so nice to fantasize about the simple little cabin in the woods surrounded by a lush garden with no cares in the world when you are stuck in a traffic jam or seated behind your desk at work. However, when it comes time to make your dream a reality, the path to success is often strewn with unanticipated pitfalls, any of which may seem insurmountable at the time unless you’ve thought ahead and have at least the seed of an alternative strategy in your mind. We hope we can help you achieve your goal of self-reliance by sharing our experiences with you. We encourage you to ask questions and comment.
Self-Sufficiency as a Goal
Ultimately, the prize at the end of the day is to be a little more self-sufficient. It is something we homesteaders/preppers strive for. Up until fairly recently I had never heard the term prepping. I’ve learned that some folks view preppers as people who are mentally deranged living full time in bunkers with bazookas at the ready. But if we look at preppers as being people who want to be prepared, self-reliant or self-sufficient, we come to see that anyone who homesteads is automatically a prepper. When I came to that conclusion it struck me that the back to the land crowd of the 70’s, of which I was a part, were preppers. How very enlightening that revelation was! By its very nature, homesteading and a desire to be self-reliant are the same as prepping, so I’ve been prepping for 37 years, more years than some young preppers have been alive, without realizing it!
So far, I’ve covered what to look for when searching for a piece of land and I’ve discussed the homestead water supply. But before you take the plunge and unplug from the power grid, please take the time to fully develop your off grid strategy. Formulate a game plan before you’re faced with the reality of no water, lights, refrigeration or heat. Doing so will increase your chances of success significantly.
At the very least, you’ll need to come up with an off-grid solution to the following.
2. electrical system
3. heating and cooking
4. waste disposal
5. food storage (as in frig/freezer)
Most people take these 6 things for granted never pausing to think how much the grid plays into their availability. Access to water, light, heat and so forth are at their finger tips. When they turn on the faucet, water magically flows. When they flick on a light switch, the room is miraculously illuminated. If they’re cold, crank up the thermostat. The house is always warm even when they are away from home for an extended period of time. No worries about frozen water pipes, no waking up to a cold house because no one got up during the night to shove wood in the wood stove. The toilet is always one flush away.
Think It All Through
Many factors need to be considered before taking the plunge and severing the cord that’s tying you to the grid. How spartan a lifestyle are you willing to lead? Do you expect to continue with your current lifestyle, giving up as few conveniences as possible? How complex do you want your energy system to be? ( a hybrid system of sun, wind or water or a single generating source) What is your budget? Contrary to popular belief, free energy from sun, wind or water is a fantasy. You’ll quickly learn any alternative energy system isn’t cheap. The more complex the system or the bigger it is, the more upfront expense there is. Granted the bigger your setup the more energy you generate and the more things you can run. But are all those gizmos really necessary? That is why determining what you want to power and what you can do without is so important.
Unless you think about how you’ll meet these basic needs listed above and come up with a viable plan to implement, you’ll decrease your chance of success when you unplug from the grid. Stumbling around in the dark, hauling drinking water from a nearby town or making a daily food run for perishables gets old in a hurry.
Without a doubt, there are as many solutions to each of these 6 issues as there are people who have unplugged and are living the dream. In my next post we’ll start to actually plan the lay out of the homestead and begin to take all the pieces of the off-grid jigsaw puzzle and fit them together into a viable entity. .
Until next time, keep the dream alive! We wish you a great day.
Ron and Johanna
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