How to prepare your off-grid home to survive a wildfire

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Wildfires are unpredictable and destructive beyond belief. If you live off the grid in a fire-prone area, you need to prepare your home and family to survive a wildfire. It is known that wildfires can occur anywhere, but they are most dangerous in heavily wooded areas. Once the dry period sets in and the undergrowth … Read more…

The post How to prepare your off-grid home to survive a wildfire was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Ten Ways To Use Your Socks During An Emergency

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Your bug out bag should contain all the necessary items to make survival possible. As a general rule, you should also have a change of clothes to withstand the changing weather. Carrying one or two pairs of socks can prove quite useful and there are multiple ways you can use your socks during an emergency. … Read more…

The post Ten Ways To Use Your Socks During An Emergency was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

8 Dangerous Hiking Mistakes Most People Make

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Hiking is a pastime that millions of Americans enjoy each year. They go camping across the country and they love to abandon their campsite to explore the surrounding area. However, this exploring journey may not end well for some of them. There are a few hiking mistakes that are a common occurrence for the inexperienced … Read more…

The post 8 Dangerous Hiking Mistakes Most People Make was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Simplify Your Life: Disconnect to Reconnect

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Simplify, Unplug, Disconnect, Reconnect, Social Media

Unplug from social media and take some time out

We all need to simplify our lives. We live in a world where we are constantly connected, consistently plugged in and never switched off. The demands and responsibilities of life: jobs, bills, children, insurance, medical care and social media means we are constantly occupied. Balancing and juggling a hundred tasks whilst ensuring Facebook and Twitter knows only the best version of ourselves. The version that is carefree and doesn’t have a million things racing around in our mind. Our lives are anything but simple.

In fact perhaps in this world we live in, the hardest thing to do is simplify our lives.

We are constantly surrounded by external stimulation – the text message beep, the Facebook notification, the ever growing number of rules and regulations we must live our lives by.

Do we blame technology for this? More often than not, the answer is probably yes.

Should we blame technology for this? If we think deeply enough, perhaps the answer is no. We have the power to simplify.

Technology has given us the option to be connected. But it does not force us to remain so. We have a choice, and too often we choose to remain embroiled in all of life’s demands and responsibilities. When in fact we have a responsibility to ourselves to take time out. To remove ourselves from the constant clamour and buzz of modern day life – to “chillax” as the kids would say.

Even those who live off-grid, a supposedly “simple” life, can still feel the need for a release of responsibility.

Off-grid living is far from simple! Hunting, scavenging, collecting water, the mere act of trying to survive in isolation is complicated. Whilst city dwellers are dealing with the tirade of information from the huge numbers of people around them, off-gridders are trying to control the rampages of their own thoughts and imagination.

For Christmas, I received a book titled “The Little Book of Hygge”. The word “hygge” derives from a Norwegian word meaning “well-being”. It has lead me to think that simplifying my life doesn’t have to be releasing myself from the demands of everyday life – or my responsibilities.  It is instead a state of mind.  Ensuring that every so often I indulge myself in some time out – a mental release if you will – allows me to be clear minded when it comes to coping with life’s stresses.

Everyone has their own way of unplugging and finding time for themselves. Some do yoga and meditation; others sink into a good book or wander around an art gallery lost in thought. My dad tinkers with his pride and joy, a classic car, and I take my camera and amble off into the countryside. Whatever it takes for you to take a mental release and come back refreshed, make sure you make the time to do it on a regular basis.

Whether on or off-grid, simplifying your life is really very simple – it is your state of mind.

The post Simplify Your Life: Disconnect to Reconnect appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

10 Requirements for Long-Term Food Storage

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We live in a world where a disaster is bound to hit us sooner or later. Food storage is one of the basics of emergency preparedness and it requires proper planning. No matter how you look at things, food will always become your number one priority during a long-term disaster. Having a well-equipped pantry doesn’t … Read more…

The post 10 Requirements for Long-Term Food Storage was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

World’s largest yacht an off grid paradise for billionaires

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Artists impression

A £213 million off-grid superyacht may not be quite the aesthetic that most off-gridders sign up to – but an influence-peddling organisation based in the UK is offering a few carefully selected billionaires the chance to spend the bulk of their lives touring the globe like Bond villains, completely disconnected from the system – in what is being called the “world’s largest floating private members’ club.”

Wealthy members of Quintessentially, the British concierge firm which will operate the seaborne private club, are lining up to relax in off-grid hotel suites while heading towards paradise destinations such as the Bahamas, Ibiza and Miami. The yacht will also dock at world events including the Monaco Grand Prix and the Rio carnival.

The idea of living off the grid in this way is so popular that five billionaire friends have paid €10 million (£8.5m) each towards the cost of building the yacht, in return for permanent suites on the vessel. Most of the €250m bill will be borne by Quintessentially, which has secured debt financing from Norway and Italy, where the superyacht will be built and fitted out.

The 220-meter-long yacht, to be called Quintessentially One, will be 40m longer than the world’s biggest private vessel Azzam, owned by United Arab Emirates ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and is due to make its maiden voyage in 2019-2020.

At 220m long, Quintessentially One will be so big it won’t fit into Monaco’s harbor, or many others on its global itinerary, and will have to weigh anchor out at sea, with guests ferried to land in launches.

Quintessentially’s co-founder and chairman, Aaron Simpson, said the yacht would host parties – with stars such as Elton John in attendance – and operate as a hotel, with a restaurant run by the Mayfair institution The Wolseley.

“It will travel the globe to where the wealthy want to go,” Aaron said. “We know the events where there is huge demand and not enough supply. It will be the world’s largest floating private membership club. Where the traditional cruise model is to go somewhere, dock and get off; we will dock and people will want to get on.”

The five anonymous billionaires will each own a suite, including some which span three floors. Some suites will cover 100 square meters. Other Quintessentially members can stay in on-board hotel rooms starting at £2,000 a night, which Aaron conceded was “a lot” but said price was relative.

“Try finding a room for that [during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend],” he said.

Elite membership costs £15,000 per year.

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Earthships resort planned for Indonesia

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Earthships overheat easily

Indonesia’s first of many Earthships resorts is under construction on the island of Gili Kenawa, in West Sumbawa. Like neighbouring islands in the West Nusa Tenggara region of Indonesia, it’s covered by green hills and a perfect location for the construction of Earthships – sustainable, off-grid homes built of recycled materials. A bit like pets – you have to maintain and nurture them – this one began construction late last year, marking the beginning of a planned Earthship resort on the so-called “Earthship Island”.

The pilot project is part of Eco Regions Indonesia, a sustainable development program covering more than 20,000 hectares of island forest, reefs and beaches in Lombok and Sumbawa. The ambitious plan aims to create Asia’s largest eco-region – addressing eco-tourism, environmental performance, the needs of the local community and sustainable development.

The partnership between Eco Regions and Earthship Biotecture in Gili Kenawa will jointly develop Southeast Asia’s first Earthship academy and Earthship resort. The project began in late 2016 and includes a minimum of 44 Earthships, to be built in three years.

The Earthship team comprises more than 50 people and includes a specialised construction team and a group of local workers and volunteers, who will train other local teams for future construction. Agus, a local worker from nearby Poto Tano and one of the first to be trained in Earthship construction, is proud to be involved.

“This is the first of such buildings in Indonesia,” Agus told the Jakarta Post. “There are old tires and plastic bottles everywhere, so it’s good to learn how to make strong buildings with this.”

Sustainable warrior Brooke said the heat on the beautiful island was a bit of a shock when she first arrived, but the team – which includes volunteers from across the world – was settling in to learn from eco-legend Mike Reynolds, who leads the project.

Mike, a 72-year-old architect who has been named the ‘father of the global Earthship movement’, has been living in and building these passive, off-the-grid homes for almost 40 years, adapting their design to use in various weather conditions and locations.

“I think real sustainability involves six aspects of humanity,” Mike told The Jakarta Post.

“First, humans need comfortable shelter that doesn’t use fuel. We all need electricity and water, and all societies need to do something with sewage and the garbage they produce. Last but not least, everybody needs food.”

He said that in order to live sustainably, all of humanity needs to address these six aspects of living.

“We’re trying to make a building that addresses all of these six things, all the time, all over the world. That’s what this building will be,” Mike said.

Building an Earthship

The Earthship is built using tires stuffed with compressed soil, tin, mud, plastic, and bottles for insulation and decoration. Energy is captured from the sun and wind, and rain is gathered for water. Grey water is treated to water gardens around the Earthship.

The building under construction is less than 20 degree Celsius inside, while the outdoor temperature is unbearable. The insulation system of recycled bottles circulates and cools the air as it enters and moves within the building, creating a natural airflow without the use of conventional air-conditioning or fans.

Mike said the off-grid systems are sustainable and easy to adapt to.

“I have been living in an Earthship for more than 40 years,” he said. “My office is an Earthship, my house is an Earthship. When I am hungry, I just go into the Earthships, pick bananas, grapes and I eat. I don’t have utility bills; when it rains, I am happy because I have water. But when it’s not raining I am happy too because I have the sun and sun makes electricity. I know that when I use the toilet, I am making soil for the plants. Every part of your daily life routine is contributing to your daily life routine and the Earth.”

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How to Unplug from the Digital World

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Erase yourself from the Search Engines

There is plenty of information out there about how to physically move off the grid, but what about going off the grid in the digital world? For many off-gridders, a social media or digital presence is still necessary – to remain plugged into the world around us, at least socially. But as the ease with which the government – and landlords, potential employers, even strangers – can track our movements online increases, so too seems to be the interest in disappearing from the digital world and becoming truly invisible. But how do you vanish from the internet?

Bradley Shear, a lawyer who specialises in social media and privacy, warned that it wouldn’t be easy. He said if you really want to step away from the internet and leave no digital trace, it would mean giving up using all electronic devices.

“[To go the full off-grid route] it’s cash, barters,” Bradley said. “Do not use any electronic device that can lead back to your whereabouts.”

Social media backlog

Bradley suggests deleting your social media accounts, or at least cleaning them up. Social media accounts, more or less, ensure you actively participate in letting the internet learn more about you; Facebook, in particular, is very good at tracking what you do across the rest of the web – even when you aren’t actively using it. The site stores your search information to suggest particular webpages, news of interest and advertisements.

“You have to think about the digital accounts you currently have,” Bradley said. “You have a Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, old Myspace? Anything that has your name on it. You want to either delete content from them or delete the accounts altogether.”

Although when you delete your accounts many of the companies will still keep the data you previously gave them, at least it won’t be publicly shared.

Bradley pointed out that Gmail in particular has to go – and you can’t use Google or Yahoo, because these programs all track your access location.

“Every time you access [Gmail], they have your IP address,” he said.

If you want to make sure your activity isn’t tracked across the web, Bradley said to use a virtual private network, or VPN, every time you access the internet, unless you only login from public machines (such as those at a public library or internet café). To search, Bradley suggests using sites such as DuckDuckGo instead of the traditional engines that track you.

If all that sounds too painful to deal with, at the very least consider deleting unnecessary content from your social media accounts. Twitter and Facebook let you download an archive of your data on the platform, in case you’re worried about losing any of those utterly amazing early tweets. And beyond the in-account settings for each service, third-party tools such as TweetDelete allow you to erase years of content automatically. But even that, Bradley said, doesn’t provide perfect results – the government probably already has your tweets on file.

“Using a service that deletes old tweets is helpful,” he said. “However, the Library of Congress is cataloguing every single tweet ever.”

JustDelete.Me provides a good starting point for people who want straightforward links to the deletion pages of a ton of accounts, along with a bit of guidance on how easy or hard it is to delete each one.

Misinformation

For those who can’t stand to go completely off the grid – which is probably most of us – Bradley said one of the most valuable things to do is litter the internet with misinformation about yourself.

“Never have a real birthday,” he said. “Always use a throwaway birthday when signing up for social media accounts or pretty much any other service online. Use a throwaway email. If a site or an app is asking for a bunch of information that you think it doesn’t need from you to provide you with whatever service it is promising, don’t do it. If that personal information is required to use that service, then make up some stuff. You want to provide as many alternative facts as possible.”

Of course, most of us will have already provided a lot of the information to a bunch of sites – so try to change it. On many sites, you can change your birthday, your likes and dislikes, past employment experiences, place of residence and other personal details, although some have a limit on how many times you can alter information (like Facebook).

Bradley said he knows that he’s essentially advising people to ignore the terms of service for these sites, and he’s okay with that.

“Feel free to protect your privacy and violate their terms of service,” he said.

Data leaks

Anyone who’s ever self-Googled knows that there are a ton of “people search” sites out there that promise to host valuable information about individuals. Usually, this information – phone numbers, social media profiles, addresses, anything else available from public records or through data collection on the internet – is sold for a fee (but not always). These companies are known as data brokers, businesses that collect information to sell it to other businesses. Bradley warned that trying to fully disappear from their databases is like “whack-a-mole.”

“Look at the first five to 10 pages of your Google results and see who has your name,” Bradley said. Your information will probably be on sites such as Whitepages, Spokeo and Intelius, for example, and each of these sites should have a way to opt out – but Bradley warned that sometimes the opt-out process can be a scam. If the site requires users to verify their identity before opting out by giving more information or providing a government ID, get out of there.

The second part of keeping your information out of the hands of data brokers involves plugging any digital leaks. If you’ve ever signed up for an account by linking it to a Facebook, Google or Twitter account, you have a leak, and should undo it if possible.

The other thing to think about is your phone – and what permissions you have given your apps.
“Most apps ask for way too much information,” Bradley said. “If you want to keep your phone, go ahead and delete every single app you don’t actually need.”

Of course, even doing all of these things won’t completely disappear most of us from the internet – particularly those who are older or have been using it for all our lives so have an extensive digital trail. So, the question becomes: Can you really disappear from the internet?

Bradley said it doesn’t matter if it’s futile or not – it’s important to try as much as you can, and do it properly, as if it’s going to work.

“You might not get perfect results, but it’s always worth the effort to try.”

The post How to Unplug from the Digital World appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Off grid living: Grow 25 pounds of sweet potatoes in a bucket

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Although sweet potatoes are an important staple food for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, this versatile, orange root tuber can be added to many other meals all year round. While sweet potatoes have been used for ages by many cultures around the world, until recently they weren’t a regular sight on American kitchen tables outside of the Holiday season.

In the past decade, however, the sweet potato has found its way to our hearts. According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, the root vegetable’s popularity has skyrocketed between 2000 and 2014, with its consumption increasing by nearly 80 percent. And for a good reason; sweet potatoes pack a powerful nutritional punch.

They are loaded with essential micronutrients to promote overall health and have fewer calories than ordinary potatoes. Essential nutrients found in sweet potatoes include fiber, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and many vitamins of the B-complex.

What’s more, you actually don’t need a big garden or a lot of space to grow your own supply of sweet potatoes. Read on to find out how to grow sweet potatoes at your home.

Easy steps to grow sweet potatoes in a bucket

  1. Select the right sweet potato – Rooted sweet potatoes will give you the best result since you can be sure that they are not treated with pesticides to stop the sprouting process.
  2. Create some heat – Unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes love the heat. While sweet potatoes will still grow at a minimum temperature of 50 °F (10°C), they seem to do much better at room temperature. So, if you live in a colder climate, make sure to keep them indoors.
  3. Prepare a 5-gallon bucket – Once you have selected the right sprouted potato, fill a container that has draining holes in the bottom with moist soil. Plant one potato per 5-gallon bucket, tops exposed.
  4. Waiting for “slips” to emerge – After a while, green shoots or slips will start to grow out of the sweet potato. This step will take about 90 days.
  5. Transplant the slips – Once the slips are big enough, about 6 to 12 inches, it is time to gently remove them from the sweet potato and transplant them to a larger 20-gallon container. In each 20-gallon container, you can plant six sweet potato slips.
  6. Pick the right season – As mentioned before, sweet potatoes are a heat-loving plant. If you are planning to grown them outdoors, make sure the last frost of spring has already passed. Late spring is the ideal time of the year. Also, make sure they stay well-watered.
  7. Harvest time – After about 3 to 4 months – or when the leaves and vines start to turn yellow – you can start digging up the sweet potatoes. If you grow outdoors, this is usually just after the first frost. After digging up the sweet potatoes, shake off any excess dirt, but do not wash them with water as sweet potatoes need a curing process to create their delicious, sweet taste.
  8. Cure sweet potatoes – Next to enhancing their flavor, curing allows a second skin to form over scratches and bruises you made while digging up the potatoes. This protective layer makes it possible to store sweet potatoes at room temperature for up to a year. To cure, store the harvested tubers in a warm, humid place (80°F or 27°C) for two weeks.

As reported by Off The Grid News, bucket-grown sweet potatoes will have a yield of about 25 pounds for each 20-gallon container. (RELATED: Find more information about off-the-grid living at OffGrid.news.)

Source : www.naturalnews.com

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Cordwood Building – An Old-School Building Technique

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Cordwood building – An old-school building technique The first time I found out about cordwood construction was while visiting a close friend of mine. He built a great retreat in the woods of North Carolina. He did it after researching his family history and the way his ancestors build houses. After seeing his cabin and …

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DIY Emergency Lights From Solar Yard Lights

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DIY Emergency Lights From Solar Yard Lights Being able to see when the sun is down and the power is out is usually not a big deal. Emergency lighting in most buildings and the flashlight feature on millions of smart phones around the globe is enough for the general populace. The main problem with that …

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Help Stop The Tax Hike On Solar Power. PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION.

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Government ministers are about to approve a huge tax hike on solar panels that will have a devastating impact on the industry. Sign the petition to push back.

Why will my Solar power cut-out in a brown-out?

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On-grid solar is not a fail -safe

While many solar users assume that their system will continue to power lights and electricity in the event of a hurricane, storm or blackout – or in any situation when the main grid is down – the reality is that it depends on the specific type of system owned.

In a recent blog post, Southern Current – one of the top solar installers in South Carolina – said the only way to be completely sure your solar installation will hold up in a blackout, hurricane or storm, is to be 100% off the grid – but due to the expense, this isn’t the most common option for Americans.

Blackout shutdowns

According to Southern Current, the most likely result, if and when the grid goes down, is that the solar array shuts down as well. This is due to the National Electric Code (NEC) that stipulates the system must shut down for safety reasons – specifically, to prevent workers from getting electrocuted.

“If the power source – your photovoltaic solar panels – continued to be energized when the sun was shining, it could generate and send solar electricity into the power grid and potentially electrocute persons working to restore power after a blackout,” Southern Current wrote. “So, per the NEC code, the inverter is designed to shut down during a blackout or loss of grid power. Without a functioning inverter, not a single electron will flow in to or out of the house.”

Southern Current estimates this is what happens with about 99% of the systems installed in America, which are grid-tied solar power installations. However, there are a few exceptions – systems that are designed for semi-off-grid and off-grid living.

New storage technologies

The first exception is a system that incorporates backup batteries with AC coupling systems. AC coupling allows the energy generated from solar to be stored in a battery and used independently of the grid. Enphase Energy – a well-known microinverter installation company – has developed an AC energy storage unit that can be retrofitted into existing solar installs.

AC coupling is a relatively new technology, but Southern Current predicts it will become more and more popular in the future as utilities change the way they charge their users for power, like with time of use (TOU) billing tiers being implemented in California and Hawaii. In this scenario, an AC coupled solar power system could be programmed to store solar energy when rates are low, using it to power the home when utility rates are at their highest later in the day (a term referred to as ‘peak shaving’ or ‘rate arbitration’).

The second and least common scenario is using off-grid solar power system. This setup would involve being 100% independent from the local power grid – generating 100% of electricity requirements from the solar system, and storing all of this electricity in a bank of batteries connected to the home’s electrical system. The benefit of being 100% off grid is that there is no need to adhere to NEC codes; as such, the system would not have to shut down during a disaster or blackout because it would never be sent back into the grid. However, this is the most expensive option.

“The bottom line is that a solar power system can be designed to provide you with electricity during a blackout, but it will cost extra, and at this time it’s not too popular,” Southern Current wrote. “Adding batteries to a standard solar installation can cost thousands of extra dollars. Although blackouts are a pain, they don’t happen too often and generally get resolved in under 24 hours.”

That being said, Southern Carolina runs a number of solar rebates and incentives to reduce the costs of installing and running solar systems, and the popularity of solar installation for home or business in the state is rising each year.

The post Why will my Solar power cut-out in a brown-out? appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Growing vegetables in pots – Choosing plants that thrive

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Maintaining a garden can be quite a challenge for the urban prepper. The lack of gardening space and arable land is a problem for most urban dwellers. However, you shouldn’t give up on your dream of having home-grown vegetables. There are always solutions and growing vegetables in pots can be done wherever you live. Having … Read more…

The post Growing vegetables in pots – Choosing plants that thrive was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

How To Live Self-Sufficient With These 10 Simple Tips

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How To Live Self-Sufficient With These 10 Simple Tips Have you ever wondered about what it would be like if you lived out on a farm where your neighbor was a mile away and you owned at least an acre, rather than in the middle of a bustling city with a department store just a …

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How To Make Papercrete

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How To Make Papercrete Papercrete is the ultimate building material for preppers, homesteaders, and off grid living enthusiasts. It is easy and cheap to make. It also could solve your paper and cardboard recycling problems. Literally! You make these building blocks by using old paper or cardboard. The process to make papercrete is easy and if …

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How To Restore Cast Iron Cookware

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Cooking with cast iron is an art and requires a lot of practice to master it. If not cared for properly your cast iron cookware can rust and become unusable. Here is what you need to know to restore cast iron cookware. Cast iron was created many generations ago and it’s still incredibly versatile. Cooking … Read more…

The post How To Restore Cast Iron Cookware was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

How To Build A Herb Spiral

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How To Build A Herb Spiral Spring is just around the corner and winter is starting to wind down, for some of us anyway. Build one of these beauties and have plenty herbs for the rest of the year. I found an article that shows you how to construct these simple herb gardens in a …

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Using a Wood Burning Stove to Cook Off Grid

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Using a Wood Burning Stove to Cook Off Grid Using a wood burning stove to cook off grid is not as easy as many people would think! Sure, anyone could start a fire in the stove, put food into a pot or pan and heat it up but would it taste good? Will it be …

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Cooking Alternatives Off Grid!

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Cooking Alternatives Off Grid! Host: Denob “The Prepared Canadian” Over the last couple of years, I have had the chance to try a lot of different off grid cooking options. From home made solar ovens to open fire methods and everything in between, I found out a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Actually, … Continue reading Cooking Alternatives Off Grid!

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Off grid pot growers have problems stashing the cash

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What do we do with all the Green?

Legalization of marijuana in 28 states across the US has caused off-grid pot growers to jump for joy, but ongoing issues with depositing the large amounts of cash generated from the business, (and uncertainty on Trump’s stance) has put a damper on the industry.

Pot growing requires a lot of power and is therefore an expensive off-grid venture – cannabis is something that needs regularity, 12/12 light without interruption and regular temps – it is hard to create a stable indoor environment without large solar panels and batteries to guarantee access to power. While new technologies to assist in the process are being developed by NOW Corporation, these wind turbines, called exoPower, are still in the trial stages.

Although difficult, off-gridders like Hezekiah Allen, who grew up in rural Humboldt County and tended a small medical marijuana farm in Northern California, managed to run a profitable business for years, but was forced to bury his cash in the same way many cannabis corporations did in the past.

“I had three different safes buried on a 200-acre parcel,” Hezekiah said. “Fifteen steps from the oak tree, a lot like a pirate. I had a little map. Pretty inconvenient and not the best cash management system. Bankers on the north coast talk about mildewy money. They can tell it’s been buried.”

Times have changed. Hezekiah left his growing operation to serve full time as an advocate for marijuana farmers, and now works to get their profits out of the ground and into banks as the executive director of the California Growers Association.

“We don’t want to lie anymore, we don’t want to have to hide what we are doing,” Hezekiah said. “We want to be open and transparent about what we are and want to do. [Banking] is an area where there are some really bad behaviors being reinforced.”

Although California voters approved the legalization of recreational pot, these businesses are still faced with one major unresolved issue: banking. As marijuana is still illegal under federal law, it is also illegal for banks to work with any marijuana-related businesses. This is forcing the majority of the state’s legal cannabis community to continue to operate in the shadows, despite the state legalization.

While the Obama administration in 2014 issued stringent guidelines that allow banks to pot-related businesses if they are following state laws, most banks have not been willing to risk the lingering threat of criminal prosecution or spend the resources it takes to comply with the additional rules of business.

Rob Rowe, vice president and associate chief counsel of regulatory compliance for the American Bankers Association, said it all comes down to risk assessment – and with the added uncertainty around Trump’s stance on the matter, it doesn’t seem like the outlook will improve any time in the near future.

“Bankers have said that in the current environment, with the enforcement and examiners looking at everything bankers are doing, they aren’t really predisposed to take on anything risky,” Rob said. “And banking a marijuana business is risky.”

The medical marijuana industry has grappled with this for years in California and elsewhere. Now, entrepreneurs and conglomerates going after a slice of lucrative recreational pot sales will have to confront the banking challenge.

Costs of running business

No banking access means businesses must pay employees, bills and taxes in cash. Clients are unable to pay using credit or debit cards, and there is no way to process business loans or real estate mortgages. The company effectively has no paper trail – no official records to build credit or establish a financial identity. And these businesses – whether they be licensed recreational sellers, medical marijuana farms, or trade associations – are forced to stash a lot of cash, making them a target for violent crime.

Michael Julian, CEO and president of MPS Security, which caters to marijuana-related businesses, said business owners are forced to get creative with finding places to hide their money.

“They have tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars,” Michael said. “And it’s not as secure in a vault in their establishment, in a closet at home, in their mattress, in the trunk of their car, whatever.”

A recent survey by the California Growers association found 75 percent of its members don’t have a bank account, and the ones who do have had three or more accounts closed in the course of doing business. A 2015 survey by Marijuana Business Daily of more than 400 cannabis professionals nationwide also found 70 percent of businesses that deal directly in marijuana operate without traditional banking services. As for firms that support the business but don’t handle the plant, 49 percent don’t have bank accounts.

The long-running conflict between the banks and the industry has been ongoing since 1996, when California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. The conflict ballooned when recreational pot sales started in Colorado and Washington in 2012, but with more and more states entering the recreational market, including California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, the problem will be compounded. Adding in the states that allow medical marijuana brings the total to 28 states, plus D.C., with cannabis laws on the books.

According to experts, the only real solution is for Congress to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics, putting the drug on par with an FDA-regulated medicine rather than heroin or cocaine. Until that happens, state-legal marijuana-related businesses are treated under the letter of the law the same as cartels trafficking methamphetamine.

Banking on marijuana

In 2013, the Obama administration released a document called the ‘Cole Memo’, which stated it would generally not prosecute marijuana businesses that were following state law and didn’t engage in certain activities, such as selling to children, crossing state lines or funding criminal organizations. In a separate memo, months later, the administration modified the way banks conducted business with state-legal operations, making it easier under new guidelines from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the federal agency that monitors banks for fraudulent activity, such as money laundering. But banks were also reminded that marijuana remains illegal under federal law and is subject to prosecution.

Under the guidelines, banks serving marijuana-related businesses must file suspicious activity reports, or SARs, so the transactions are transparent and can be tracked by the government. Three kinds of reports dictate the level of suspicion against the businesses: ‘Marijuana limited’ SARs indicate the business is following state law and no red flags suggest it is breaking any other laws; ‘marijuana priority’ suggests the business may not be following other laws and may be involved in suspicious activity; and ‘marijuana termination’ alerts to a bank account that has been shut down for suspicious activity.

The SARs must be filed when an account is opened and then quarterly after that, listing every transaction that has been made. Banks are also told to investigate and track marijuana businesses they are serving, making sure they are not violating any guidelines.

The American Bankers Association stated on its website that the level of scrutiny was “far beyond” that expected of any normal banking relationship.

“Because of the standards in place, if we do this we have to have someone almost embedded in the customer 24/7, and we’re not 100 percent certain we saw everything we need to see,” Rob said. “We’ve got to have such close tabs and use so much resources to closely monitor everything with these businesses, it’s just not economical.”

However, according to data from FinCEN, some banks have taken on the risk of working with marijuana-related businesses; in the first six months that the new guidelines were in effect, banks across America filed 502 SARs marked as ‘marijuana limited,’ according to Dynamic Securities Analytics statistics. During the same period, FinCEN received 123 ‘marijuana priority’ SARs and 475 ‘marijuana termination’.

Rob said banks generally keep quiet about it due to the perceived consequences of doing business with the volatile industry.

“Bankers will say that we know someone who is (serving a marijuana business), but it is the exception to a general policy, a one-off thing,” Rob said. “I’ve heard from dispensaries that say we don’t want to call attention to it because we had trouble getting an account and don’t want to lose what we’ve got.”

Mike Cindrich, an attorney who represents marijuana-related businesses and is executive director of the local chapter of NORML, a marijuana advocacy group, said there are ways around the banking ban on marijuana-related businesses – but he wouldn’t recommend them. One such way would be to set up limited liability corporations that are management companies providing a list of services, from payroll to accounting to bookkeeping to property management. The money from the marijuana business flows to the company – usually with a nondescript name that doesn’t disclose its ties to marijuana – and is deposited in the company’s bank account. This is technically money laundering, and illegal, but some companies have found success with the tactics. Others have been busted by banks and their accounts closed.

“When you start doing something that looks like money laundering, funneling cash from a non-profit to something that looks like an LLC, now someone is looking at felony charges,” Mike said. While he “sternly advises against it,” Mike said he could see how marijuana operators feel like they are being backed into a corner by the government.

“They’re not leaving the cannabis community with many options here,” he said. “It’s a complete nightmare for these businesses. People who don’t want to be legitimate, it’s very easy for them to not report this cash. If we want legitimacy and for these businesses to come out into the light, then we should allow full banking because it allows this money to be accounted for, taxed, tracked, traced. If this is something the feds really want to keep an eye on they’d change the banking laws altogether and make this happen.”

Trump stance

The cannabis industry has been suspicious of President Trump’s election, waiting to see if the new administration will address the growing legal marijuana market and how it conflicts with banking laws.

Trump voiced support for legalization but brought up some concerns about the drug during his campaign. He did not make it a major issue, and the industry believes Trump will focus on his bigger priorities – terrorism, immigration, the border wall.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the former Republican senator from Alabama who once said “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” is a bigger worry. As head of the U.S. Department of Justice, Jeff has control over how the government enforces federal law and could reverse the Obama administration’s willingness to look the other way as long as dispensaries followed state law.

The Attorney General said he would review the Cole Memo and commit to “enforcing federal law with respect to marijuana, although the exact balance of enforcement priorities is an ever-changing determination based on the circumstances and the resources available at the time.”

The post Off grid pot growers have problems stashing the cash appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Going Off The Grid With Gary Collins Best How To Book | episode 138

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Going Off The Grid By Gary Collins First Thoughts
Going Off The Grid By Gary Collins First Thoughts

 

Going Off The Grid With Gary Collins Best How To Book | episode 138

http://www.survivalpunk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Going-Off-The-Grid-With-Gary-Collins-138.mp3

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This week I chat with Gary Collins about his new book Going Off The Grid (Amazon Link). 

Gary and I ramble a bit as we usually do. We talk about Why you would want to go off the grid. 

We dig into some troubles with finding a contractor. Some are great but many would rob their own mothers to make a buck.

Gary talks about why he hates tiny houses. And I get him to see my side of the argument and how it does work. 

The way to go is Travel trailer over a tiny house on wheels. Tiny houses are best when not on wheels. We both agree that custom fitting a shed into a tiny house is a fast and affordable method. 

Gary talks about his progress so far on building his going off grid project. 

We go off on a tangent about tools. We both love tools. And there are few ways to go about it. 

I talk about not having to own all the tools you need to build. Renting expensive tools is a viable option when building a home. 

Especially if you don’t have space to store them long term. 

Gary brings up the topic of buying new electric tools. When you buy new you have a warranty and a guarantee of quality. Buying used can be a crap shoot. 

I want to get Gary Back on to talk about much tougher questions about Going off the grid. 

  • Why did you choose to go off the grid
  • So you wrote the book on going off the grid
  • Tell us about your progress so far
  • Hardest part of the construction 
  • Tiny house hatred
 

 

Links

Going Off The Grid (From Gary) (Amazon)
 
 
 

The post Going Off The Grid With Gary Collins Best How To Book | episode 138 appeared first on Survival Punk.

Solar Gadgets for the Homestead

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Written by Alexis Griffee on Survival at Home.

Often times solar power is viewed as a highly desired, yet unaffordable option to the farmer and homesteader. While a full solar system may not be in the budget for everyone, there are still numerous ways that solar can be an asset to your farm, without breaking a budget! Due to the huge interest in […]

The post Solar Gadgets for the Homestead appeared first on Survival at Home.

Changing regulations could cause off-grid “avalanche”

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Why should African solar owners suffer brownouts?

Solar panel suppliers in South Africa are predicting an “avalanche” going semi-off-grid or off-grid in response to new regulations that increase the costs of operating solar panels while attached to the grid.

According to the new regulations, 78-year-old Andrew Louwrens has an illegal solar electricity installation in his garden – despite having used solar panels since 2012.

Andrew, a retired SA Rugby administrator, received a letter from the City of Cape Town late last year ordering him to replace his illegal small-sale generation system – at his own expense – because it did not comply with regulations introduced after it was installed. Things got worse when, on Christmas eve, the council threatened to cut off his electricity if he didn’t comply.

“I installed the system in good faith in 2012. I was doing my bit for society,” Andrew said. “I also didn’t want big electricity bills when I retired, [and I have been] happily exporting excess electricity into the grid.”

Michel Malengret, an associate professor at the University of Cape Town, which owns the company that installed Andrew’s system, said the inverter he installed for Andrew had been approved globally, and at the time of installation there had been no local regulations.

“Using solar energy was very expensive then and government’s impression was that it would never happen,” Michel said.

Power utility Eskom said it viewed “the embedded generation connections, made without the required approval and permission, as illegal” and would not consider “retrospective applications”.

Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for energy, Xanthea Limberg, said residents had to ensure installations complied with standards and to replace non-compliant inverters with acceptable ones. But Michel argued that customers’ hands were tied by the expense of such replacements.

“Council only adopted regulations two years ago, so now those like Andrew who installed solar beforehand must fork out another R7000 for a new inverter. They must then pay a fixed charge of R13 a day for the ‘privilege’ of exporting excess energy into the grid,” he said.

Andrew and Michel suggest people in the same situation go partially on and off the grid, and stock up on batteries to store electricity.

Michel said that although Eskom had made it “virtually impossible” for “solar guys to work with the grid” he predicted there would be “an avalanche” of people going off the grid as the price of batteries came down.

The post Changing regulations could cause off-grid “avalanche” appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Gman “Off Grid” Grumpy with a smile!

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“Off Grid” Grumpy with a smile! Host: Glen aka “Gman” For the first time in over 5 years Gman picks up the mic. With a lot to unload on this show, topics include what is it truly like to live “off grid”? Rants and raves on several prepper related topics will be on the agenda. The … Continue reading Gman “Off Grid” Grumpy with a smile!

The post Gman “Off Grid” Grumpy with a smile! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Going Off The Grid By Gary Collins First Thoughts Video

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Going Off The Grid By Gary Collins First Thoughts

 

 

This week I got my hands on my friend Gary Collings New book, Going Off The Grid. Unlike most of my u

Unlike most of my unboxing videos, I wasn’t sent this book. You always want to support your friends so I bought this copy as soon as It was available. 

Like many of us, Gary got the bug to live a simpler life. And luckily for us, he has documented the whole process. 

In Going Off The Grid: The How-To Book Of Simply Living and Happiness, he provides a step-by-step guide for how to find a private piece of land and build a self-sustaining home. 

This doesn’t come from research alone but from experience. Gary has been building an off-grid home in northeast Washington state. 

You can watch some of the trials and tribulations on his Youtube channel.

Learning from others troubles can save you time and money. And from honest upfront people. 

If you watch many of the DIY tv shows you will have an unrealistic view of the process. Building an off grid home takes a lot of time and effort.

The reward is worth it, though. 

So if you are thinking about living a simpler less hectic lifestyle this is the book for you. Pick it up now before you need the info in here. 

Are you off the Grid? Wanting To Be? Let me know about your plans in the comments!

 

 

 

 
 

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The post Going Off The Grid By Gary Collins First Thoughts Video appeared first on Survival Punk.

Making Cordage in the Wilderness

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When you find yourself in a dire situation in the wild, a piece of string can become an important survival item. Making cordage from plants you can find all around you is a good skill to master. It will help you in the construction of almost anything you need.  Making cordage from common plants is … Read more…

The post Making Cordage in the Wilderness was written by Dan Mowinski and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Catch me if you Spam

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Well hidden – but not well enough

Con man James Hogue, famous for impersonating a Princeton student in the 1990s, has been found living in an illegally built cabin on Aspen Mountain in Colorado and running a social media business selling stolen goods via Ebay.

Police speculated that James, 57, had been living in the off-grid cabin on Shadow Mountain – a rather good address for a fugitive, on the westernmost peak of Aspen Mountain – for up to two years before an officer knocked on his door in September 2016. James ducked out the window and disappeared into the woods. The shack, which was allegedly built with materials and tools stolen from local construction sites, was (sadly) torn down by city parks department employees.

The fully enclosed, insulated cabin was built on a foundation and featured a window in the corner and a front door with two locks and a two-by-four across the door for security. The entrance, near one of the mountain lifts, was well camouflaged in the thick bush. The cabin was covered with black spray-paint designs on its plywood siding.

James, a latter day version of  Frank Abagnale Jr, portrayed in the movie Catch me if you Can starring Leonardo di Caprio, was arrested two months later when Aspen Skiing Co. employees saw him trying to build another cabin in the same area – he had dug out a 6-foot hole nearby for a new foundation and had started rebuilding near the remains of his old cabin. The work was in early stages and not easily hidden by its surroundings.

Aspen police officer Dan Davis took James into custody in a public library.
“[James] saw the officer’s uniform and it was like an ‘Oh crap’ moment for him,” Dan told the Aspen Times.
“He said his name was David Bee … from Ontario [Canada]. But I knew it was him. I said, ‘We’ll figure it out at the jail. If it’s not you, we’ll apologize and let you go on your way.’”

Police found James’ Nissan Xterra SUV nearby, where he had stashed $17,000 in cash as well as stolen ski jackets, ski pants and ledgers detailing an online eBay business. James faces between one and three years in prison after pleading guilty to felony theft between $2,000 and $5000, felony possession of burglary tools and misdemeanor obstructing police officers.

A gifted runner, James posed at the age of 26 as a 16-year-old high school student Jay Huntsman in Palo Alto, California in the 1980s, and as a college student on track scholarship at Princeton when he was in his 30s. The elaborate Princeton hoax, which fooled the Princeton university board and several newspapers wanting to report on James’ track successes, was captured in a New Yorker profile and a documentary.

Named one of America’s Top 10 Impostors by Time Magazine, James was also arrested for stealing $50,000 worth of jewels from a Harvard museum in the early 1990s, and then served time in a Colorado prison after pleading guilty to stealing items in the Telluride area.

The post Catch me if you Spam appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Off grid goes to Hollywood

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Hurwitz books are lessons in evading Big Brother

Living off grid isn’t just popular – it’s going mainstream.

New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz is achieving worldwide sales with his Orphan X series, which follows a spy living off the grid – and he’s currently writing the screen play for a film adaptation featuring Bradley Cooper, star of comedy franchise The Hangover.

Gregg, who has had 17 books on the New York Times bestseller list, is promoting his new one – The Nowhere Man, the second featuring the character Evan Smoak.

The first book in the series, Orphan X, introduces Smoak as a killer who was taken from an orphanage as a child and trained under secret government orders. He breaks free from the programme and vanishes off the grid to use his skills to help those unable to protect themselves.

The only way Smoak can be reached is through a technologically-protected phone number, each victim asked to pass the number along to one person in trouble. Lying low in a home base hidden behind layers of false internet connections and using sophisticated technology to insulate outside access, he creates his own rogue GSM site by using a yagi directional antenna, coaxial cable and omni stubble antenna mounted on a tripod – literally taking his devices off the grid by dodging all authentication between the base station and the cell tower. Smoak lives outside the boundaries of society with the freedom to travel at a moment’s notice.

In The Nowhere Man – Buy it on Amazon, released on February 1, Smoak goes from being the one who helps people, to needing help himself.

This is only the second time Gregg has stuck with a character for more than one book, and he said Smoak would be sticking around for a lot longer yet – he has signed with his publisher for at least five books about Smoak.

Gregg said when writing he always thought about the character’s point of view, and to get into the characters’ worlds he put himself in similar situations. This has seen him blow up cars and shoot weapons with navy seals.

“I spend more waking hours with my fictional characters then my wife and my kids,” he said.
“I’ve gone under cover in a mind-control cult. I will do whatever it is to be able to write about it effectively. If I don’t do it, I can’t write about it in a way that’s up close and personal.”

The post Off grid goes to Hollywood appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Transportation During a Grid-Down Disaster

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Transportation During a Grid-Down Disaster Although many feel that it may be unlikely for the entire electrical grid to shut down – after numerous warnings from government agencies regarding recent attacks to this system, it’s safe to say that the possibility is real and out there. Some of us might be considering how awful it …

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Most common seedlings problems and how to fix them

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Seed starting is the most anticipated task of every gardener. However, it is also the most critical one. If you fail to grow your seedlings and nurture them, you can lose your entire crop. There are a few common seedlings problems and we all need to know how to handle them. If you are self-sufficient, … Read more…

The post Most common seedlings problems and how to fix them was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Ultimate Off Grid Survival Trailer For Full Time Living

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Ultimate Off Grid Survival Trailer For Full Time Living

Whether you’re looking to return to paradise or escape the collapse of society, more and more people are looking to get away from it all and rediscover their inner-rugged individual self.

The off-grid, self-sustaining bug-out lifestyle has a growing appeal and is an important part of most preppers’ strategy… in some ways it is the ultimate security investment, especially if it is set up for power, water and raising your own food.

Living unconventionally calls for unconventional solutions. It is geared towards the DIY prepper, and often involves making good use of re-purposed items. The suburban home mortgage is neither secure, nor affordable, nor resilient in a crisis.

But the modified shipping container, or tiny home or cabin structure, along with many other options, offers many aspects that are. They can be built debt free, and depending upon your environment, can be made to withstand the elements – and perhaps more importantly, maintain lights, water and shelter regardless of whether or not bills are paid, or the grid remains up and running.

Planning for the rest is up to you.

Check out this custom-built off-grid home – double trailer design that has afforded freedom for this bold couple in Australia:

Here’s what Kirsten Dirksen wrote about it on her great off-grid YT channel:

Paul Chambers had began building a home out of two shipping containers as a project, but when his wife got tired of suburbia and put their four-bedroom home on the market, his project became the couple’s full-time home (Paul’s ebook: www.buildshippingcontainerhous­e.com)

Paul and Sarah Chambers were living in rural Scotland when Paul received a job offer in Australia. They packed their belongings and moved to a large home with a pool in an Australian suburb. After only a few months, they began to tire of spending so much of their income on their home. They also felt they’d lost touch with nature and a more active lifestyle (“there weren’t even any trails for walking”, explains Sarah).

 

So they sold their home and moved with Paul’s “project”: two shipping containers he’d been transforming into a kitchen/bathroom + bedroom/living room. They found someone willing to let them park their new home on their rural property in exchange for making improvements to the land.When the couple first moved onto the property, the home was a very simple shelter and over the following three years, they built the containers into a proper home.

Their home is completely off the electric and water grids. When they first moved to the bush they used a 3kw Honda generator, but they’ve since installed 2Kw of photovoltaic panels and a bank of batteries and phased out the generator. They have enough energy to power their home with all its conventional appliances, including a standard fridge/freezer. For heating, they rely on firewood (collected from fallen trees on the property; they have “not cut down a single tree”). For air conditioning, they use fans and AC “during really hot days”.

In the beginning they had to rely on water deliveries, but Paul has since installed an extensive rainwater capture setup- both on the roof and gutters beneath the home- which provides for all their water needs: 65 square metres of rain water collection in 10,000 liters of storage. The indoor bathroom includes a shower, but Paul built an outdoor, open air bathtub which they heat with solar in the summertime.

They’ve also created an extensive vegetable garden inside a netted garden cage (after the animals and hot sun destroyed their first attempts). For eggs, they have two hen houses.

To be sure, this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but the important thing is that it is possible.

Discover how to survive: Most complete survival tactics, tips, skills and ideas like how to make pemmican, snow shoes, knives, soap, beer, smoke houses, bullets, survival bread, water wheels, herbal poultices, Indian round houses, root cellars, primitive navigation, and much more at: The Lost Ways

The Lost Ways is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread-like people did when there was no food-to building a traditional backyard smokehouse… and many, many, many more!

If you liked our video tutorial on how to make Pemmican, then you’ll love this: I will show you how to make another superfood that our troops were using in the Independence war, and even George Washington ate on several occasions. This food never goes bad. And I’m not talking about honey or vinegar. I’m talking about real food! The awesome part is that you can make this food in just 10 minutes and I’m pretty sure that you already have the ingredients in your house right now.

 

Source : www.activistpost.com

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12 Ways To Be More Self Sufficient Without Having a Homestead

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12 Ways To Be More Self-Sufficient Without Having a Homestead There are many things you can do even on a small piece of land. It doesn’t take 20 acres to be more self-sufficient. Most can be done with minimal effort and offer long term benefits. Start today.. I did it and now I am loving …

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Building a snow cave to survive the night

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Nomad shelters helped man survive in the wilderness for generations. As long as you had the proper knowledge and resources, you could build a shelter in a few hours. Making a snow cave to keep you warm at night is not complicated, but there are some tricks to it. During this time of year, a … Read more…

The post Building a snow cave to survive the night was written by David Andrew Brown and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Cooking with mud like in the old days

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In my youth, I was extremely fortunate to be raised by my great-grandmother. She lived to be 96 years old and she managed to share some of her survival knowledge with us. Cooking with mud was her way of remembering the struggles she faced while settling down.   She and her family came to America … Read more…

The post Cooking with mud like in the old days was written by Dan Mowinski and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

50 Percent Of Silicon Valley Billionaires Are Prepping For ‘The Apocalypse’

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50 Percent Of Silicon Valley Billionaires Are Prepping For ‘The Apocalypse’

There is a new fad in Silicon Valley and Wall Street: Some of America’s richest and smartest people have become survivalists.

“Anyone who’s in this community knows people who are worried that America is heading toward something like the Russian Revolution,” hedge fund investor Robert H. Dugger told The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos.

Osnos profiled a wide variety of wealthy people who believe American civilization is about to crack up.

“When society loses a healthy founding myth, it descends into chaos,” Facebook Executive Antonio García Martínez said. Martínez put his money where his mouth is: He bought five acres on an island in the Pacific Northwest for a survival retreat, stockpiled thousands of rounds of ammo and installed generators and solar panels.

“All these dudes think that one guy alone could somehow withstand the roving mob,” he said. “No, you’re going to need to form a local militia. You just need so many things to actually ride out the apocalypse.”

Crazy Survival Gadget Makes Every Window A Powerful Solar Charger

Martínez was surprised by how many of his colleagues shared his fears and interest in prepping.

50 Percent Of Silicon Valley Billionaires Are Prepping For ‘The Apocalypse’

Image source: Pixabay.com

“It runs the gamut, from a lot of people stocking up on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, to figuring out how to get second passports if they need it, to having vacation homes in other countries that could be escape havens,” Venture capitalist Tim Chang said of Silicon Valley survivalists.

One unnamed investment executive told Osnos, “I keep a helicopter gassed up all the time, and I have an underground bunker with an air-filtration system. A lot of my friends do the guns and the motorcycles and the gold coins. That’s not too rare anymore.”

Marvin Liao, a former Yahoo executive, admitted to stockpiling food and water and studying archery for self-defense. Reddit CEO and cofounder Steve Huffman got laser eye surgery to eliminate the need for glasses during survival.

“If the world ends—and not even if the world ends, but if we have trouble—getting contacts or glasses is going to be a huge pain in the a–,” Huffman said.

Former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong told Osnos that “most people just assume improbable events don’t happen,” but “technical people tend to view risk very mathematically.”

“The tech preppers do not necessarily think a collapse is likely,” Wong said “They consider it a remote event, but one with a very severe downside, so, given how much money they have, spending a fraction of their net worth to hedge against this . . . is a logical thing to do.”

Apocalypse Insurance

Around 50 percent of Silicon Valley billionaires have some sort of “apocalypse insurance,” LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman said. The insurance can range from an elaborate bunker to a farm in New Zealand.

“I’ve heard this theme from a bunch of people,” Hoffman said. “Is the country going to turn against the wealthy? Is it going to turn against technological innovation? Is it going to turn into civil disorder?”

Like everyday preppers, wealthy survivalists face the stigma of being labeled crazy. Yet more and more of them are going public.

“They don’t put tinfoil on your head if you’re the President and you go to Camp David,” Tyler Allen, a Florida real-estate developer, said. “But they do put tinfoil on your head if you have the means and you take steps to protect your family should a problem occur.”

Allen recently paid $3 million for a “survival condo” in a hardened missile silo in Kansas.

Some of America’s best-informed people have become survivalists. Everyone else needs to ask: What do they know?

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

Are You Prepared For A Downed Grid? Read More Here.

Living Off the Grid with Solar!

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The moment you go off-grid, you rely entirely on a system that generates electrical energy and utilizes the same to support all your electrical appliances, either at home or on a business premise. For your system to be exclusively off-grid, it must have absolutely no link to the utility grid.

Going off-grid is possible, practical and beneficial to you in many ways. You will not have to pay utility bills and in the long run, you will save money! Other motivations include: environmental concerns and endeavoring to only use renewable energy; energy independence, you won’t have to rely on the blackout-prone utility; social values, which mean taking responsibility for your energy consumption effects; costs, when the distance to the grid is too big, your decision to go off grid becomes a lot cheaper.

So, if you either live far from the grid or in places with no electric connection, you have no choice except to go off-grid. Ultimately, you must find out the cost of making the connection as well as what the cost will cover, before making an informed decision whether to go off-grid or not.

Considerations Before Going Off-Grid

1. What’s the cost?

Price plays a crucial role in your decision to go off-grid. Could you afford the cost of installing an off-grid system? If you’re planning to live in the location long enough, going off-grid is reasonable because you will adequately recover the costs you incur setting up your power system.

2. How much electric energy can you obtain from the available surface?

Do you intend to go off-grid and still maintain your current energy consumption rate? If your answer is yes, you’ll have to purchase sufficient energy harnessing and storage capacity. For homes occupying a quarter acre plot, the rooftop does not offer enough space to install sufficient PV panels. If you don’t have enough roof space either; buy high-efficiency PV panels, or you can reduce your power consumption, so that the power you can obtain from your roof space is adequate.

3. Will you have an increase in electric power needs in the future?

In any household; power consumption varies from time to time. Every time you add high-energy consuming appliances, the power consumption spikes. Put such factors into consideration while planning to go off-grid.

4. Battery security requirements.

Install, operate and maintain your batteries using expertly recommended procedures to eliminate risks. So, find out your battery safety requirements from the manufacturers. Also, avoid shortcuts while installing and maintaining your storage system, for your safety.

5. Care and maintenance

Consider the cost of maintaining your off-grid system.  Solar panels can come with a 25-year maintenance warranty. You will need to replace batteries and inverters somewhere between five and ten years.

System Sizing

1. PV Panels

The larger the size of the PV panel you are using, the higher the amount of electricity it generates. Weather conditions of your locality also play a role. So, you need to factor in Photovoltaic Generation Factor (PGF), which considers both the panel size and prevailing climatic conditions (refer to the attached map for PGF of your particular state). Use your area’s PGF to size your PV panels as follows:

Calculate daily wattage-Hour (WH) needed from PV panels by multiplying the sum of daily devices (WH) by 1.3 to obtain the total WH you require daily.  1.3 takes care of the energy you will lose while converting energy from one form to another as well as any copper losses.
Divide the result by PGF to get WH ratings of the solar panels required to support all your devices.

Divide the result by rated Watt-Peak output your PV panels can generate. Raise any decimal number to the next higher full number (for instance 4.23 to 5). The figure you obtain gives the number of panels you should use.

For example, The sum of daily devices WH is 2000kWh, the PGF of your state is 4, the total WH you require daily will be 2000*1,3/4 = 650 Watt-Peak. If your PV watt-peak is 200, then you will need: 650/200 = 3.25 or 4 PV Panels.

2. Inverter

Since power factor is practically less than 1 (varies from 0.85 to 0.99), take 1.18 VA to be equal to 1 W. If your total Watt-Hours is, for example, 1000, multiply the figure 1000 by 1.18 to obtain 1180 VA (or 1.18 kVA) as your inverter size. Make a habit of adding some extra to be on the safe side. As a result, acquire an inverter whose rating is slightly higher than the figure you obtained.

3. Battery

Size Your Battery As Follows

  • Divide your Watt-Hour by 0.85 to take care of battery losses
  • Divide the answer by 0.6 for the depth of charge
  • Divide your answer by minimum battery voltage
  • Multiply your answer by days of autonomy (the days you will use your system, yet PV panels aren’t generating energy) to obtain the AH (Ampere-Hour) of your deep-cycle battery.

4. Controller

Multiply the PV panels you require by WH (Watts-Hour) to get the total power your system will generate. Divide what you get by your battery bank’s voltage to get the current flow at any given time. Raise this current value by 25 percent to account for low temperatures before rounding it up to the next whole number. What you end up with is the controller size suitable for your system.

Reality Check

If you are planning to use an off-grid system, note that it’ll solely rely on the energy it generates. However, the fact that the sun rays vary from time to time, present you with a significant challenge. To design such a system in such a way that it overcomes the variations, you must spend a lot of money because you will have to use high electricity generating capacity coupled with a massive storage capacity. Your resulting system will, however, be efficient and more environmentally friendly.

To maintain your batteries, add water whenever the level of the electrolyte decreases below the electrodes, clean the terminals (using distilled water) and check connections as often as possible. Also, set up a proper charging routine for your batteries to last longer. Never leave your batteries in the uncharged state for an extended period.

If you live in an area that experiences unbalanced resources, you will require a fuel-powered quiet generator for home backup purposes. Nonetheless, you still need to invest in a modest home backup unit; to support crucial appliances during periods of emergencies.

Which is the best option: hiring a professional to design your off-grid system or installing it yourself? The former requires first establishing if the professional you are considering has ever installed an off-grid system. The latter requires attending classes so as to acquire the necessary skills and purchasing components from a reliable vendor (preferably local). Provided you are sure an off-grid system is best for you, do not take chances. Make sure your system is installed correctly and enjoy the independence of using renewable energy.

About the author: Victor Hill, an expert in generators who writes for and owns Trustworthy Power. He has a degree in Mechatronics, reviews the various types of generators, provides users with guidelines on how to choose, care for and use generators. He is a Quality Assurance Engineer at DENSO but spends his free time researching about generators and coming up with helpful information for users.

 

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Grid Down Weekend: How To Find The Holes In Your Off Grid Preps

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off grid, grid down weekend

Preparation for disaster can be a difficult exercise. Frequently, we think we have it all worked out if we are going to be off grid. The right food stored, plenty of water and water treatment supplies, light, heat, and so on. But how many of us have really put it to the test? How many of us have actually relied on that little gadget to do what we think it will? Eaten our storage food? Used our communication setup?

A great bunch of off grid preparedness folks I know have started a yearly tradition known as the Grid Down Weekend.

At an appointed time (usually 5:00pm on a Friday night), we all go to the breaker panel in our homes and shut off the main circuit breaker. It will stay off for 48 hours, and we live on and test out our disaster preparations for life off grid.  We have held the Grid Down Weekend in the winter, and here in Wisconsin, cold weather both solves and causes problems.

We usually integrate our Emergency Contact Protocol during this off grid drill, as well. Most families and individuals have amateur radio setups. At pre-arranged times or pre-arranged frequencies we attempt to make contact with one another. Diverse occupations are represented in the families, from a physician to a sheet metal worker, an auto mechanic to a soldier and couple Marines. Being able to communicate to help solve problems is a valuable survival skill.

The experience of going off grid for 48 hours is very revealing. As an outdoorsman, and backpacker, I have lived outdoors for weeks at a time. Trying to maintain your family in a home without power -even for just 48 hours- presents a different sort of challenge. In this article, I’ll examine some of the challenges encountered and the lessons learned by our family during these drills.

First Problem: Retooling Heat Sources To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

Heating your home and ensuring your pipes do not freeze and burst is one of the obvious problems when the temperatures dip below freezing. Three families that participate in the Grid Down Weekend have wood burning stoves installed in their homes, so maintaining a comfortable temperature was fairly simple, provided you had wood put up for the winter.

off grid, grid down weekend

Accessing stored fuel for generator use.

Our family also has an indoor-rated blue flame heater that we connected to the gas line inside our home. We had multiple CO and smoke detectors to make sure the “Indoor rated” heater did not misbehave. As an experiment, we ran the blue flame heater instead of the woodstove for half a day.

We quickly discovered that one brand of smoke detector started going off. No, not a CO detector. The CO detectors remained silent, but a smoke detector. I can only surmise that it was the water vapor produced by the blue flame heater that triggered the smoke detector.  That was something that could only have been discovered by actually doing it.

Second Problem: Water Conservation

Our rural home relies on a well for its water. Our well relies on electricity. Thus, no power equals no water. As part of our preparedness plan, we store 110 gallons of water in two barrels. I devised a means to backfeed the water from the barrels into the house water system using an 12 volt RV water pump. It really worked very well, but because the system worked so well it did not really encourage water conservation.

off grid, grid down weekend

Connecting the battery to the RV water pump which moved stored water through existing house plumbing.

Third Problem: Food Storage

The old maxim of “eat what you store, and store what you eat” comes in to play here. Although we had leftovers and such in the refrigerator, we elected to eat some of the storage food. We had bean soup with freeze-dried ham simmered all day on the woodstove, with cornbread made in a camping oven, and other storage food standby meals.

Our kitchen stove burns LP gas. Unfortunately, it uses electricity to run the temperature sensors for the oven, and to light the burners. When the knobs are turned, gas still comes to the burners. It was a simple task to light them using a flame.

off grid, grid down weekend

Although the propane kitchen stove still worked, the electric igniters did not. An “aim-n-flame” did the trick.

Fourth Problem: Lighting

We chose to light the living room with lanterns, and a small LED array. I had an “Aladdin” kerosene mantle lamp. I tried to use it, but I had left it with fuel in it (you know, just in case) and when I tried to raise the wick, it wouldn’t budge. Apparently the kerosene had somehow gummed up the mechanism. I could not get it operational for anything. My propane lanterns worked well, were relatively quiet, and produced a lot of light.

The heat they produced was a bonus on a winter’s night. I have since looked into the small adapters to refill the small one-pound cylinders from a 20 pound tank. Outside of the lighted areas, headlamps were the undisputed kings of light. To have both hands free and light wherever you were looking was a blessing.

off grid, grid down weekend

These two lanterns provided plenty of light and not a little heat

Fifth Problem: Refrigeration

Remember my comment that winter weather was a blessing and a curse? In the case of refrigeration, the cold weather is a blessing. The food from the freezer was OK for the 48 hours, but we were careful to keep the door closed, unless it was to check to make sure it was all still frozen. I had purchased several small “aquarium thermometers” for <$5/piece at Deal Extreme, which let me monitor the refrigerator and freezer temps without opening the door.

In the chest freezer, I normally keep the unused space occupied with water-filled 2 liter bottles . This provides thermal mass in the case of a power outage. I swiped three of the bottles from the freezer and put them in the refrigerator to act like ice in an cooler. When they were close to melted, I swapped in frozen ones, and put the thawed ones outside to re-freeze.

off grid, grid down weekend

A $4 aquarium thermometer helped to monitor refrigerator and freezer temperatures.

Sixth Problem: Having A Generator To Power Your Home

I have an interlock on my circuit breaker box. It allows me to safely feed power from my generator into my breaker box. I shut off all breakers, power up the generator, then turned on the loads I wanted to power one at a time, pausing after each one to allow the generator to address any start-up surge. I ran the generator for an hour in the morning and an hour at night, running the refrigerator and freezer, and some overhead lights.

I also ran the well pump, so we could take showers, do dishes and refill the water storage barrels. Thankfully, our water heater didn’t use any electricity, just LP. We also had the opportunity to rotate some fuel from our fuel storage.

off grid, grid down weekend

Connecting the generator to our home.

 

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Seventh Problem: Defense

Among our group, we traded unopened envelopes with “complications” in them that we had thought up for one another. These complications would be opened at prearranged times .  One complication was a broken finger (I actually went through the first Grid Down Weekend with a splint on my finger. Everything was more difficult to do!), one was a fire in the kitchen, etc. One complication was a broken window and subsequent concern that there was an intruder in my house.

What do we do first? How do I “clear” my house? Is the battery in my weapon-mounted light still good? Even though I knew this was a make-believe scenario and there was no one in my house, it was an adrenaline and thought provoking exercise.

Eighth Problem: Communication

All of our ham radio setups use a deep-cycle battery to power them. We were able to communicate initially with our standard, 100 watt radios. But after a few minutes, a couple of hams with 1500 watt amplifiers got on our frequency, and the Grid Down Weekend participants weren’t able to find each other again. I take solace in the fact that there will probably be a lot fewer 1500 watt stations on the air after a SHTF event.

We did break out an AM/FM radio, and I thumb tacked up a 20 foot length of wire for an antenna. To our delight a local radio station ran “Old Time Radio Shows” on weekend evenings. It was pretty cool to have the kids entertained by a 1930’s “Lone Ranger” radio serial rather than a video game.

off grid, grid down weekend

Using ham radio and an Emergency Contact Protocol to connect to other families also participating in the Grid Down Weekend.

 

Summation:

The Grid Down Weekend is a great way to test your preparedness level for life off grid. In fact, it is my conjecture that you are missing out on a great opportunity to actually see what really works and what you THINK works if you do not run a similar off grid drill yourself. I am not sure you can consider yourself prepared unless you have put your plan to the test. So grab your calendar, find a weekend, and shut your breaker off and live off grid for 48 hours. See where the holes in your plan are. I guarantee you’ll find at least one.

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How to make antibiotic garlic tincture

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In the old days, the home medicine chest of the pioneers was comprised of locally grown herbs and plants. Garlic has been proven to be a powerful natural remedy for many generations and antibiotic garlic tincture is highly appreciated even today. The pioneers knew how important self-healing is when you live miles away from civilization … Read more…

The post How to make antibiotic garlic tincture was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

The importance of water to survival

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In the wilderness people do die after becoming lost or having their vehicle break down in remote and unknown areas. Many of these deaths occurred due to excessive heat, thirst and exposure to elements. Causalities also occur because the individuals have poor survival knowledge and they lack basic supplies such as water and food. The … Read more…

The post The importance of water to survival was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Brass Shells for my Black Powder DB Shotgun.

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My youngest son bought me two boxes of brass shells for my black powder 12 gauge, so I have some hand loading to do.
Bring on the Zombies 😊 

No loader required, I can load these brass shells in just the same way as I load my muzzle-loading guns. The only difference is that I also need primers for the shells. More on this when I start reloading.
Keith.
 

How To Build A Gypsy Wagon Trailer

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How To Build A Gypsy Wagon Trailer If you are looking to build a nice camper or off the grid tiny house, I think this how to build a gypsy wagon trailer is for you. It combines the old-school look of a gypsy trailer with the modern amenities of a new camper. Best of all, you …

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The Most Isolated, Amazing, Off-Grid House In The World?

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The Most Isolated, Amazing, Off-Grid Home In The World?

The ultimate off-grid home also might be the world’s most isolated. It is a hunting lodge located on the island of Elliðaey, which is in the North Atlantic off the southern coast of Iceland.

The house has a 110-acre island to itself, with the only things being a few trees, grass, puffin birds, and a rocky coast that belongs on a postcard.

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Despite its’ remoteness, the house on Elliðaey is sort of famous as the center of a couple of urban legends. The strangest of those stores is that the island is the home or retreat of Iceland’s most famous resident — the eccentric alternative punk and rock singer, Björk.

The Most Isolated, Amazing, Off-Grid Home In The World?

A popular online legend is that the Icelandic government gave Elliðaey to Björk for her service to the nation. That is not true, though. Björk did once own an isolated home in Selfoss, which is on the southern tip of Iceland.

Also false is a story that the lodge belongs to an eccentric billionaire. Instead, the lodge belongs to a local hunting club. The club’s members use it to hunt puffin. The home even has a sauna.

The Most Isolated, Amazing, Off-Grid Home In The World?

 

Although no one lives in the home permanently, that was not always the case. Descendants of the Vikings actually lived on the island for around 300 years, settling there sometime in the 17th century. They left by the 1930s.

Despite its remote location, Elliðaey is not a practical survival location. Except for puffins, there is little food on the island.

Be Prepared! Store An ‘Emergency Seed Bank’ For A Crisis Garden

Elliðaey is part of the Vestmannaeyjar or Westman archipelago.

The Most Isolated, Amazing, Off-Grid Home In The World?

Iceland is an island nation in the North Atlantic that is home to the world’s oldest parliament, a fishing fleet and a number of Internet data centers for processing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The data centers are powered by Iceland’s most abundant resource: electricity generated by geothermal steam.

Iceland is perhaps best known as the location of several volcanoes. One of them, Eyjafjallajokull, disrupted air travel in the Atlantic with a huge dust cloud in 2010. The British tabloid The Sun reported that Eyjafjallajokull is rumbling again and might erupt this summer.

Would you want to visit or live in the lodge on Elliðaey? Share your thoughts in the section below:

6 wild healing plants you should use

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Nature provides us with everything we need in order to survive and there are a few wild plants that are commonly used as first aid. These wild healing plants are well-known for their healing properties and those living off the grid have been using them for years. If you get stranded in the wild or … Read more…

The post 6 wild healing plants you should use was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Tactical Life, Part 1: Boots, Gloves, and Packs

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Tactical Life, Part 1: Boots, Gloves, and Packs What you wear and the gear you use can be much more than just a preference on how you look. Using quality gear has been a hallmark of the military and law enforcement for a long time. It is easy to see why, since gear reliability can be …

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How to make soap with fat and ashes

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Sanitation is an important aspect of everyday life and it will become a critical one during a crisis when common resources are low. No matter how you look at it, you will need to find ways to stay clean and maintain a good hygiene. When commercial detergents will no longer be available you will have … Read more…

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Staying Off Grid When “Nearly Everything Is Chipped, Almost Everything Is Tracked”

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grid-vulnerable

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

If you weren’t paranoid before, it may be time to start paying attention.

“They” are spying on everything you do, and are collecting information about every purchase, appliance, vehicle or place you make, do or interact with. For the first time in history, we have arrived at a time when nearly everything is chipped, and almost everything is tracked.

It really is true, and it’s no longer a conspiracy theory.

They are spying on everyone, collecting all the available data and tracking you, your family and everyone you know. All the time.

And worst of all, it does matter, it will be used against you – for revenue collection, social control, fines, fees and evidence if necessary – even if you haven’t done anything wrong. Is it any wonder why many states have made living off the grid illegal, and have attempted to get everyone on the grid?

If you don’t conform to the habits of most Americans – and harvest alternative stores of power, fuel, food, water and supplies, then your energy use and digital footprint (or lack thereof) will cast you as a suspicious anomaly, worth of investigation, seizure of goods, subject to violations and codes, and NOT off the radar.

Meanwhile, your interaction with other people will intercept data about you and your activities even if you don’t carry a smart phone or wearables.

The extremes are already here. The murder case where police have sought data from an Alexa smart device is just the beginning of what is to come:

In what may ultimately lead to a precedent setting case and/or landmark court ruling, police in Arkansas have demanded that Amazon provide them with recordings made by an Amazon Echo device that was located in the home of murder suspect… (source)

Many other attempts have been made to microchip people, while the cashless grid has already found widespread acceptance.

Former CIA director David Petraeus admitted to the tech community that the Internet of Things (IoT) was about to become one of the greatest assets in the spy community – as an endless pool of data could turn the tables on any ‘persons of interest.’

In other words, maybe you. As Wired reported in 2012:

More and more personal and household devices are connecting to the internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through them.

Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an “Internet of Things” — that is, wired devices — at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. […]

All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you’re a “person of interest” to the spy community. Once upon a time, spies had to place a bug in your chandelier to hear your conversation. With the rise of the “smart home,” you’d be sending tagged, geolocated data that a spy agency can intercept in real time

“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,” Petraeus said.

More and more of these smart chips are being integrated into absolutely every imaginable device.

Unless you are investing in vintage equipment, you will be buying into this system, even with basic appliances

An alarming report in 2013 highlighted concerns over some Chinese-made irons and tea kettles that included wireless spy chips… for purposes unknown, since these devices are not “smart” gadgets with computer interfaces and high-dollar functionality.

via AndroidHeadlines.com:

To this date, Qualcomm has shipped over a billion of Internet of Things (IoT) chipsets, the San Diego-based semiconductor manufacturer revealed on Tuesday. While speaking at the CES Unveiled press event yesterday, the company’s Senior Vice President of Product Management Raj Talluri said that the firm is already serving all segments of the IoT industry, from smart TVs and thermostats to connected speakers, wearables, and home assistants. Talluri specifically pointed out that smartphones and tablets aren’t included in the one billion figure.

Qualcomm’s impressive shipment numbers are mostly driven by the company’s presence in the wearable industry… numerous consumer electronics manufacturers are already implementing the cutting edge Snapdragon 835 chipset into their products…

As this chart demonstrates, the Internet of Things (IoT) will literally incorporate devices throughout consumer & home, retail, security and surveillance, IT and networking, transportation and industry, healthcare, energy

iot-chart-beechamresearch
Click for larger image, via Beecham Research

Notice that “Elderly and Children” are considered “things” in these digital tracking grid which otherwise incorporates refrigerators, stoves and smart appliances to share data and “spy” on individuals in their own homes.

And people are just another track and traceable part of the system.

It is absolute confirmation that “mark of the beast” technology is coming into full force – whether or not they will succeed in implanting microchips into people remains to be seen, but a major attempt is in the works.

In the meantime, there is now information about every move you, or any piece of “inventory” makes inside the system.

This isn’t just hypothetical talk.

This is the society that has been built.

Good luck avoiding it. You won’t avoid these devices by accident, it will take a lot of work to remain anonymous, off the grid, and out of their grasp.

As Sargent Survival at BeSurvival.com explains, getting out of the system is no easy task. Any serious attempt to “delete” yourself from the system actually go undetected would involve some very methodical footwork.

Not impossible, but not the default by any means:

  • There are 30 million plus surveillance cameras on the US, one camera for every ten Americans.
  • The average American is in 200 databases.
  • Putting a plan in motion to keep you from being tracked is a good idea if you want to devise a new life for yourself
  • Right before you leave, change your appearance significantly
  • Before you leave, terminate all of your accounts (email, bank accounts, credit cards, etc).
  • Don’t terminate your social network sites as you can use these sites to provide disinformation.
  • Before you leave, delete all of your computer files and get rid of your computer’s hard drive  – boil; smash; run a Degausser/ electromagnetic wand
  • Get rid of your cell phone or tablet as these can be easily used to track your location
  • Break your normal patterns (what you eat, where you frequent, how you shop, the kind of work you do, etc).
  • Completely change your lifestyle [and employment]
  • Pay for everything with cash.
  • Ditch your car and find a substitute; get rid of the toll pass which can track your movements
  • To change your identity … petition the court to change your name legally to a new–and common–name.
  • Apply for a driver’s license under your new name.
  • Buy a basic pre-paid cell phone (not a smart phone). Replace the pre-paid phone frequently, about every 2 weeks.
  • To get back online use a new laptop. Stay away from libraries!
  • Always use a hard wire to your laptop and turn off the wi-fi; reroute your ip address so your location can’t be determined
  • Be aware of the NSA spying and the ECHELON program in the US which monitors phone and computer transmissions for keywords and messages.
  • There are 70+ FUSION centers in the US which coordinate surveillance and other information.
  • Technology is now available to identify you by the way you walk, your facial measurements and biometrics
  • It will be 7 to 10 years before your old identity drops off of databases, if ever.
  • The less you interface with technology, the better off you will be.

Living off grid is a great dream, and a good principle to live by. Preparing to deal with emergencies and escape the danger zones in modern cities is essential. Using technology in this world comes with many advantages, but also some serious disadvantages.

Make sure that your use of technology is serving your purposes, and not giving you away during good times or bad.

This article first appeared at SHTFplan.comStaying Off Grid When “Nearly Everything Is Chipped, Almost Everything Is Tracked”

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Prepping

5 Recipes to make your own survival protein bars

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Survival protein bars are becoming more and more popular among preppers and survivalist, but you can also find a few of them in any type of survival kit you can think of. These small snacks are ideal for emergency kits because they help you control hunger, they provide proteins and fats, but they also keep … Read more…

The post 5 Recipes to make your own survival protein bars was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Staying outside longer during the winter months

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Most people prefer to go out camping during the good, warm season and they do not appreciate the winter months due to the “issues” they have to face. Staying outside longer during the winter months requires some preparations and a good knowledge of the environment you live in. Winter weather conditions should not discourage you … Read more…

The post Staying outside longer during the winter months was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Our New Three Sisters Garden. Hugelkultur.

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This season we are trying a slightly new garden method, just to see if it works. This will be our three sisters garden, corn, beans & squash. This method of making a garden bed is known as Hugelkultur .

I will be making a video of this later when the crops are up, but right now this is as far as I have got. I dug a trench first & filled it with garden refuge, cut grass & weeds, heavier tree trimmings on top of that, some old garden edging logs that we have replaced, then the soil on top. I did add some chook manure before adding the soil to help break down the refuse.
When I started mounding the earth, I soon realised that I was not going to have enough soil to cover the highest logs. I did not want to bring more soil from elsewhere or use our compost that we needed for our other garden beds, so I removed two of the top logs.

The two pumpkins are volunteers from last year.

Off Grid and Preppers Beware. It is coming here!

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The government is set on making Australian citizens totally dependent on their services. In some places they are trying to charge land owners for the use of their own dam water, in some towns rainwater collection is banned. This in a country as dry as ours! We live off grid, & yet we have to pay rates/taxes for services that they do not supply, nor do we want or need their services. We are even charged a fee for our use of our own compost toilets!!! Meanwhile the government still has disarmament of all civilians high on its list of restrictions. We have already lost so many of our rights & freedoms in the name of safety from terrorism!!! 
There may come a time when we will have to go silent on the net. The local councils are corrupt & already know of people like us who are off grid, but we can at least do our best to lower our profile.

Keith.

My thanks to Stephen M.C. for bringing this news video to my attention.

Radio Communications

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Radio Communications Ever feel overwhelmed with trying to understand how to communicate off-grid. Ok you got CB’s, hams, high and low frequency, pricey and cheap antenna’s? Well on this episode of “Preparing For Life’s Storms” we talk about setting up our communications and communications network. Old Geezer Prepper from YouTube helped us to understand the … Continue reading Radio Communications

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Off The Grid Limitations That No One Tells You About

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Off The Grid Limitations That No One Tells You About Living off grid is the ideal type of living for many Americans, but only few manage to fulfill this dream and adjust to what it all implies. Living off the grid is not as easy as seen in movies and it requires a certain mindset …

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8 Military Bug Out Vehicles YOU Can Own

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8 Military Bug Out Vehicles YOU Can Own Modern society has over 80% of the population in urban areas. That means that most of us reading are probably within the vicinity of a metropolitan area. Being a prepper you know you may not survive in such a densely populated area. Many of us have begun …

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6 Pioneer Dessert Recipes you should try today

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Being able to procure your own meat, to grow your own vegetables, to organize a pantry with all the essentials and to work with your hands are all activities worth knowing and mastering. But how about your own comfort, how about satisfying your sweet tooth when times are harsh? The following pioneer dessert recipes stood … Read more…

The post 6 Pioneer Dessert Recipes you should try today was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

12 Survival Hacks Using Just Leaves

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12 Survival Hacks Using Just Leaves When in a survival situation pretty much anything and everything can be upcycled into something that can aide you in surviving. Over at willowhavenoutdoor.com Creek shows us 12 survival hacks that we can use just by using leaves. Obviously in winter this will be a little harder to achieve but …

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10 Ice Fishing Fundamentals

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As the winter season grows stronger a lot of people will try their luck with a session or two of ice fishing. Although ice fishing is quite a popular activity, it also poses some risks for the fisherman and no one should venture out onto the ice without knowing these 10 ice fishing fundamentals. If … Read more…

The post 10 Ice Fishing Fundamentals was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

How to Build a Debris Hut Survival Shelter

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From years of refining my survival skills in the wilderness I have picked up many different shelter building techniques. I have practiced and toyed around with the various different shelter styles and building a debris hut is by far the most useful type for me. Learning how to make a debris hut is an essential … Read more…

The post How to Build a Debris Hut Survival Shelter was written by Dan Mowinski and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

What Would It Take To Go Completely Off Grid?

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Most people have no idea how much their lifestyles depend on the rest of society. As Leonard Read explained in his famous essay, I Pencil, even the construction of a single pencil requires the cooperation of countless people. If a single pencil is that complicated, then how complicated would it be to leave behind the […]

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Wilderness safety rules to acknowledge

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I spend a great deal of time in the wilderness and I have come to realize that most people have no idea what safety in the wilderness implies. I’m not talking here about not having a well-equipped survival bag or the proper gear. I’m referring to the fact that people are unaware of how to … Read more…

The post Wilderness safety rules to acknowledge was written by Dan Mowinski and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

How To Build a Solar-Powered Water Heater

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How To Build a Solar-Powered Water Heater That Works All Year Round If the power goes out there is very little chance that you can produce enough hot water to fill your needs through wood fire alone. There are many methods of warming water with no power. The easiest and most simple is to just …

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How To Live Without Electricity

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How To Live Without Electricity Electricity is the blood of our modern world and without it we cannot function. We believe that, no matter how many times the power goes off, it will come back on, sooner or later. We take electricity for granted and we are unaware how fragile our power grid is. Anything …

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Easy DIY Solar Charger and PSU [updated]

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Easy DIY Solar Charger and PSU Now this is a little more advanced than taking an old garden solar light and quickly turning it into a phone charger. This is the king of solar garden hacks! Solar power is not as expensive as you may think. Small scale anyway. With other solar projects I have …

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20 Herbal Remedies for the Winter Season

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While the winter season brings joy to both the young and the old as families come together, it also brings some health problems we shouldn’t ignore.  We are all familiar with the common cold and the flu and we know they can strike when we are stressed or run down. The following herbal remedies will … Read more…

The post 20 Herbal Remedies for the Winter Season was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

14 Off-Grid Projects to Cut Your Energy and Water Usage

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14 Off-Grid Projects to Cut Your Energy and Water Usage Living off-grid is pretty much every preppers dream. I know it has been my dream for ever and having the ability to not rely on the government or big corporations for power, food and water is just around the corner for everyone if they put …

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Eight Survival Myths That Will Get You Killed

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Eight Survival Myths That Will Get You Killed Survival TV shows are gaining more and more popularity with each airing episode. We see people wear survival gear and we often hear our coworkers debating the things they see on TV. Although there is a huge amount of information transmitted by the media, a real survival …

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How To Live Off the Grid

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How To Live Off the Grid Living off the grid basically means living without the supply of gas, electricity and even water provided by local authorities. Living off the grid is becoming one of the popular long-term lifestyles that people embrace. In the survival community, most are more concern with short-term ways to live off …

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Tent maintenance tips for a long lasting tent

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Most people own a tent as an emergency shelter solution and they would depend on it when nothing else is available. If you want your tent to last many years even with hard use, you should learn a thing or two about tent maintenance. A quality tent will last for many years if properly cared … Read more…

The post Tent maintenance tips for a long lasting tent was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

The Smokeless & Easy-To-Build Off-Grid Cooking Stove

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The Smokeless & Easy-To-Build Off-Grid Cooking Stove

Outdoor cooking is a major part of my off-grid experience, and so a reliable outdoor stove was a must-have. And with many options of wood-burning stoves out there, fuel-efficiency and minimal smoke were at the top of my list.

After much research, the rocket stove because our outdoor stove of choice. In this article, I will share with you the concept of the rocket stove, how we built two of them, and its advantages and disadvantages.

oven-1A wood-burning smokeless stove sounds impossible, right? Let me explain it this way. Smoke is un-burned fuel. The rocket stove makes use of all the fuel. Everything gets burned in the combustion chamber before leaving the chimney. This concept is also seen in the Dakota fire pit.

The rocket stove, when fired up, sounds similar to that of a rocket taking off – hence, its name.

Here’s how we built our concrete rocket stove:

  1. My husband made a wooden mold for shaping the inner cavity — a 6-inch-by-6-inch hollow plywood “L”. He added 2 parallel sticks, ½ inch by ½ inch, on the lower front of the “L,” 1 inch from the floor, to create a groove for the shelf.
  2. Then he built a 10-inch-by-10-inch hollow “L” around the first one, creating a 2-inch cavity for pouring the concrete.
  3. The steel was then put in place. We left 1 inch of steel exposed at the top to be used as the pot support.
  4. He poured the concrete in the 2-inch gap, making the walls of the rocket stove 2 inches thick.

Our rocket stove has a footprint of 10 inches by 15 inches. From the floor to the top of the chimney is 22 inches. From the floor to the top of the fuel chamber is 10 inches. The combustion chamber or chimney is 6 inches by 6 inches.

New Solar Oven Is So Fast It’s Been Dubbed “Mother Nature’s Microwave”

We allowed it to cure for four weeks indoors, wetting every day during the first week to prevent the concrete from drying too quickly and cracking. We fired up the rocket stove to burn out the mold.

oven-2In our family, clay is play. So when it came to making the clay rocket stove measurements, looks took a backseat. Our material list was simple:

  • Two metal plates. One about 10 inches by 10 inches for the shelf, and the second 19 inches by 12 inches for the top of the fuel chamber.
  • Two round pipes 10 inches long and about 1 inches thick
  • Five big stones
  • Clay

Advantages of a Rocket Stove

  • It is easy to maintain. Push the wood inside, add more when it’s done, and pull the shelf out to remove the ash build-up after you’re done.
  • It is well-insulated. The fire is contained, making it safe to work around. I can touch the rocket stove while it’s fired up.
  • It is smokeless. This was the main advantage for me because I can do all of my prep work right next to it and not be chased away by smoke.
  • It cooks food quickly. The rocket stove can reach very high temperatures. We use dry coconut shells to increase the temperature. To lower the temperature, we pull out some of wood.
  • It is efficient. The rocket stove uses less fuel than every open flame outdoor cooking fires. It is great for getting rid of scrap wood and sticks around your homestead.

oven-3Disadvantages of a Rocket Stove

  • It makes pans black. This is usually the case with outdoor cooking, so we have separate pans for our indoor and outdoor cooking.
  • It needs monitored. The L-shape rocket stove design means that wood can burn out and fall off the fuel chamber. This can be a hazard. The J-shaped design solves this, as the wood slides into the fuel chamber on its own.
  • It might have smoke at first. I recommend starting the fire on the shelf outside the rocket stove, and then sliding the tray in when you have a flame.

Of the many outdoor cooking options we’ve explored — we’ve gone through a lot — the rocket stove meets and surpasses our off-grid cooking needs. From cooking to grilling to roasting, the rocket stove does it all.

What advice would you add on building and using a rocket stove? Share your tips in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

Starting your off-grid living with solar power

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Harnessing the sun’s power has become a popular trend in the last ten years and we now have a large array of options for powering our homes using solar power. Living off the grid requires a lot of work and innovation in order to reach a certain level of self-sufficiency. Things get easier if you … Read more…

The post Starting your off-grid living with solar power was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

6 Surprising Luxuries You Didn’t Know You Could Run Off-Grid

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6 Surprising Luxuries You Didn’t Know You Could Run Off-Grid

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Before moving off-grid, I had a lot of preconceived notions about what “off-grid living” meant. Say goodbye to grandma’s antique 1000-watt waffle iron, put away the power tools and don’t even think about a dishwasher … right? Well, not really.

While “off-grid” can mean living without electricity and hauling water and all of your meals on a wood stove, it doesn’t necessarily have to.

To my surprise, with a small rooftop array on an off-grid cabin in rural Vermont, we’re able to enjoy more luxuries than the average suburban home has available. Even in a cold northern climate, there’s more than enough free solar energy at least 8 to 9 months of the year to power things you might not consider owning with the expense of grid-purchased electricity. Add in a wind turbine to collect energy from winter storms, and you may be set up for quite the life of luxury.

1. Whirlpool bath tub

For off-grid homes, a whirlpool bathtub can be a great way to relax after a long day working in the woods. While it may not be an option most of the winter except on the sunniest days, March through October is whirlpool bath season. Imagine relaxing comfortably, submerged up to your neck with jets flowing all around you after an eight-hour session hauling logs and splitting wood. Some of that wood, once dried, went into your wood-fired boiler to heat the water for your tub, and the surplus electricity generated throughout the day while you were outdoors is powering your evening tub.

2. Dishwasher

Believe it or not, a dishwasher can be a great way to utilize solar electricity during peak hours. Unless you happen to live where a gravity well is an option, a water pump uses a significant amount of electricity.

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6 Surprising Luxuries You Didn’t Know You Could Run Off-Grid

Image source: Pixabay.com

If doing dishes by hand, the best time to run water is mid-day when production is at its peak. The question is: Do you want to spend the most beautiful part of the day trapped indoors with your hands in a sink, or do you want to be outside enjoying the fruits of your off-grid life? By wiping off your dishes and loading the dishwasher in the evening, all it takes is a second to turn on the dishwasher mid-day when you come in for a lunch-time break.

3. Internet

While a complete off-grid lifestyle is practical for a tradesman, what about those of us who were raised in a city and still need to make a living through a more “on-grid” line of work? While wired broadband is becoming more available in rural areas, the more remote areas still do not have those options. If you happen to be in an area covered by cell service, there are options for cellular-powered wireless adapters for computer use. In a slightly more remote area, there may be radio Internet options that still allow high-speed connection by routing the signal through a series or mountaintop towers, as is commonly available in rural parts of the northeast. For those in true wilderness, satellite Internet is remarkably dependable in all but the stormiest of weather.

4. Radiant floor heat

While an indoor wood stove is an exceptionally practical and dependable way to heat a home without electricity, it requires quality hardwood to burn to avoid chimney fires from softwood creosote buildup. For those living in conifer or hemlock forests, an outdoor boiler might be a better way to use your available resources. Fortunately, with the super-efficient models on the market today, they only require minor retrofits to run directly off battery power. A small inverter placed within your boiler shed to power the boiler fan, and the use of DC electric (directly battery powered) pumps to circulate your water or antifreeze, and you have a low-energy solution and warm radiant floors to boot. Still, make sure you have an electricity-free form of heat to get you through the worst storms, but most days your boiler will keep you toasty on just a small amount of softwood.

5. Dehumidifier or air conditioner

6 Surprising Luxuries You Didn’t Know You Could Run Off-Grid

Image source: Pixabay.com

Really? A compressor on solar power? Yes! Peak summer heat and humidity often coincide with peak solar output. Around the summer solstice, our battery bank will be full by mid-day, meaning that a whole afternoon’s production will be wasted without an outlet.

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Once you’ve done all your electricity-using chores, go ahead and switch on the dehumidifier or air conditioner with your free electricity. Obviously you need to monitor closely to make sure it doesn’t stay on past peak solar output, but that’s a small consideration for a free burst of comfort during the heat of the day.

6. Electric cooking appliances

While many homesteaders are building summer kitchens to keep the heat out of the house during hot months, solar-powered homesteaders have the option of setting up an electric-powered kitchen either indoors or outdoors for the summer months. Single burner induction ranges can bring a large canning pot to a boil in no time, and will barely dent our mid-day production at high summer. A small countertop electric oven, like an oversized toaster oven, is great for baking summer pies or a quick meal using free electricity. Just as wood stove cooking accomplishes two tasks, heat and food, a separate set of solar-powered summer appliances means lower bills and quick meals.

What luxuries would you add to our list? Share your off-grid advice in the section below:

Are You Prepared For Extended Blackouts? Read More Here.

Post collapse professions essential for long-term survival

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In a world where every aspect of life has been stripped down to its core because of a national or global event, survival becomes almost impossible. Only those who have the proper skills and abilities will be able to make it and become part of the survival communities. If you have one of these post … Read more…

The post Post collapse professions essential for long-term survival was written by Dan Mowinski and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

30 Survival Skills Everyone Had 50 Years Ago

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As we get engulfed more and more by this modern world, I wanted to review 30 survival skills that might have been lost in the last 50 years and what they meant for survival. Only a few individuals are still holding onto such skills and passing them on becomes difficult. Although we live in a … Read more…

The post 30 Survival Skills Everyone Had 50 Years Ago was written by Dan Mowinski and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

How to Field Treat an Injury

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It doesn’t matter what activity you are involved in or how the injury is incurred, most injuries can be treated immediately in the field. Sudden overstretching a muscle can result in acute muscle injury in the field or at home. Minor injuries, however, do not require a doctor’s help in treating. They can be treated … Read more…

The post How to Field Treat an Injury was written by Jack Neely and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

15 Functional And Useful Off Grid Gadgets

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15 Functional And Useful Off Grid Gadgets When it comes to gadgets, I am your man. I love them, in fact, my wife calls me the “gadget prepper man”. It may seems strange that a prepper and survivalist like myself would be so reliant on gadgets when I prepare for a total grid down emergency. …

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8 Exit Plans Every Serious Prepper Should Have In Place

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exit plans preppersMatt Drudge created a bit of a stir a couple of years ago with this Tweet:

drudge-exit-plan

I’ve been a Drudge Report reader for over 20 years and have often said a prayer of thanks for Matt’s consistent dedication to exposing corruption. That Tweet, though, that has been stuck in my head ever since I saw it. “Have an exit plan…”

As a prepper, I suppose I have a number of exit plans. Some are quite thorough and have become reality with marked up maps and a few bug out bags. However, Matt’s warning has recently caused me to think twice about my preparedness. Is there only one type of “exit” — one that involves hitting the road, or should I be considering other types of exit plans for preppers?

After giving this some thought, I’ve come up with 7 exit plans that every serious prepper needs. Ultimately, the plan is to get out of the matrix by as large a margin as possible.

8 Exit Plans for Preppers

Physical location

This is the type of exit we preppers know all about — bug out locations, bug out vehicles, bug out bags, etc. Here you can read some best tips for selecting a bug out location.

There’s nothing wrong with planning for this type of exit, and hopefully, you have this fairly well covered, even if it’s just simply getting out of an unsafe neighborhood, an apartment complex that is going downhill, or moving from one area of a city to one further out along the edges of that city. They are are all examples of exit strategies. That remote cabin in Montana isn’t your only choice and for many, not advisable.

Your job

I’m not suggesting that everyone quit their job, but you definitely need to have an exit plan in place — other ways of earning an income. A economic collapse, EMP, massive civil unrest, war, and other devastating events could make it impossible for you to continue with your job. For most of us, no job equals no money. Earlier this year I made the effort to get a license so I could legally work, using skills from a previous trade. I believe everyone should have a backup when it comes to earning money, so get at least one in place (preferably more than one) should everything hit the fan and your job disappears.

Here’s a good combination of streams of income:

  1. A blue collar trade, such as plumbing, home construction, laying tile, carpet repair, electrical work, etc.
  2. Learn technical skills, such as coding, website or app design. Sites such as UpWork make it possible for freelancers in computer related skills to work for people all over the world.
  3. Working the land skills. By raising chickens, goats, and/or bees, you can earn an income selling eggs, milk, honey, and homemade cheese. If you have a growing garden, you can sell it at farmers markets. One urban homesteader we know raises goats and chickens and has a super-productive garden growing on her small city lot. She earns money by delivering what she grows to upper income families who want organic, locally grown produce.
  4. Whatever job you’re doing now.

If you maintain your current job and income and begin adding other skills, such as the ones I’ve listed, gradually, you may be able to wean yourself off that full-time job, if you want. If you stay with that job, at least you’re developing other income sources — that all-important exit plan.

Besides setting up another income source or two (more is always better), your exit plan could also involve saving money like crazy and having that as a safety net. Funds from retirement and investments and the sale of property might also allow you to exit a job.

Public schools

In a post-TEOTWAWKI world, your kids won’t be heading out the door to school every day. It will be up to you to homeschool them or join with other families and create a 21st century one room schoolhouse. It might be smart to stock up on school supplies when they’re really cheap (sales in August and September), textbooks (you can find them at used bookstores), books on Kindle (we have hundreds), and maybe even download instructional videos to teach advanced concepts in algebra, chemistry, and writing. The exit plan is either getting your kids out of the public school system now or having the supples to continue with their education if everything collapses. Just one more exit plans for preppers that makes sense.

Financial institutions

As I mentioned earlier, savings, retirement money, and investments can all allow you the option of exiting your job, but they also rely entirely on an electronic financial system. The safest way to exit this particular system is to simply not need it anymore.

This exit plan is the trickiest for nearly everyone. Since most of us now do banking online, receive our paychecks via direct deposit, pay our bills online, purchase just about everything with a debit/credit card, then how do you get out of this financial matrix?

It won’t be east, but do whatever is possible. If your employer only pays by direct deposit, then withdraw cash to pay bills and pay them in person. Go back to paying cash for as much as you can. You might want to cash out insurance policies, 501(k) accounts, and investments — taking the tax hit now and figuring that at least you have what’s left of the money. Use that money to buy tangibles, such as property for farming, developing a homestead, food storage, a water catchment system, etc. Not only will this step help you step away from the financial system, but you’ll be developing a more self-reliant lifestyle at the same time.

A severe financial crisis here in the U.S. could usher in capital controls, the government skimming money directly from your account, or certain accounts being frozen. In an economic collapse, your money will disappear overnight, anyway, so you might as well be thinking of what you can do now to preserve the wealth you have.

I’m not a financial advisor — I’m just mentioning this as a possible way to exit financial institutions.

The power grid

I’m convinced that sooner or later, our power grid will falter and fail. Hopefully, that outage wil last for just a few weeks, but between frequent occurrences of sabotage, the ability of multiple nations able to take out our grid via hacking and cyberterrorism, and coronal mass ejections, I’m kind of surprised that we still have a grid!

What ties you to the power grid? Keep track of things like how often you wash dishes, do the laundry, watch TV, listen to music, charge batteries — everything both large and small that requires electricity. Then, take steps to reduce that dependence. You won’t be able to disconnect entirely, but if/when the grid goes down and you have less reliance on it, the better you’ll be able to survive. It’s just one more exit strategy and can be done no matter where you live.

Electronics that can snoop on you

A few weeks ago on one of my job sites, I noticed that the high-tech programmers all had pieces of masking tape over the webcams on their laptop computers. What do they know that you and I don’t? They know how easy it is for some outside entity to watch YOU via the very convenient spyglass you have on your laptop computer. If you have a webcam connected to your desktop computer, it’s vulnerable, too.

I rely on my iPhone for work and, as part of my job, I have no choice but to use it, but I’ve been thinking of how I can exit the electronic matrix and take steps to protect my privacy and that of my family. On Facebook, I’m not even there, except to occasionally post an article on the Preparedness Advice page. I avoid all social media otherwise. I’m careful about my email addresses and my wife recently set up a secure email account for our family at Unseen.is.

I’m not sure it’s possible to disappear from the internet altogether, but you could always try these extreme ideas if you’re interested. At the very least, you’ll make it more difficult for anyone to track you down or harass you via the internet. This is one exit you should begin putting into place now.

Food supply

Government agencies regularly make decisions based on money and politics, not what is truly in the best interest of American citizens. This often happens with food. You’ve probably heard of the USDA’s insane decision to allow American-raised chickens to be shipped to China and then back here to sell to consumers. Then there was the time the FDA ruled that walnut producers couldn’t make the true and verified claim that their product has certain health benefits.

These same government people look the other way, though, when food producing corporations deceive the public. For example, high fructose corn syrup is now labeled by some companies as “isolated fructose,” in a blatant attempt to fool health conscious consumers — but God forbid that a suburban mom in Colorado purchases a gallon of raw milk. The purchase of marijuana — no problem, but raw milk? Nope. (You can check out your state’s raw milk laws here.)

Most grocery store foods are loaded with dozens of unhealthy ingredients, our population is fatter than ever, in spite of the half-hearted efforts by our government to guilt us into losing weight. It’s almost as if the government WANTS us fat and unehealthy. After all, that same government has, over the years, issued all manner of food “information” that has done absolutely nothing to make us healthier and in many ways, made us fatter and far less healthy than our grandparents.

Fortunately, we can begin to exit this particular matrix by growing as much food as we can, buying meat, eggs, and produce from local farmers, and stocking up on food storage items that are healthy, such as those sold by Thrive Life. Read the labels of the foods that are sitting on your kitchen shelves, and you’ll see what I mean. This is one exit you MUST make for your kid’s and grandkid’s sakes.

Exit the healthcare matrix

Do you have health issues? What can you do to exit our country’s healthcare mess? It’s become too expensive for most of us to afford the “insurance”, much less high deductibles, and cover fees we still have to pay for copays and drugs.

Learn about herbal healthcare. Sam Coffman in San Antonio runs an excellent herbalism course. Learn from someone like him and begin to minimize your dependence on our healthcare system.

Essential oils aren’t just for the ladies. When we diffuse lavender oil at night, I sleep more soundly than I would with an Ambien, and one oil blend, Raven, helps my breathing during allergy season. When my daughter burned her wrist with hot cooking oil, it was lavender oil that helped it heal quickly and with only the tiniest scar. Many essential oils have been proven in lab tests to be effective. There are dozens of brands out there, but we ususually buy Young Living, Sparks Naturals, and I just learned about Rocky Mountain Oils, which we’ll be trying.

Increase your own medical knowledge. Take a first aid class, know CPR, take wilderness first aid. Sign up for an EMT class at a community college. The more training you have in this area, the better off you and your loved ones will be. I have a handful of medical books written for preppers and rely on them — The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook, is extremely helpful and written for the non-medical layperson.

Even more exit plans for preppers

Think about the bills you pay each month and which ones can be eliminated or greatly decreased. This isn’t just about saving money but by becoming more independent. The water bill you pay each month represents total dependence on another entity for your water. Instead, can you set up a rain catchment system and bury a couple of large water tanks in your backyard? Less reliance in a single step.

What about gift-giving season? Rather than pour money into “the system”, get out of the retail matrix and begin crafting your own gifts — handmade knives, homemade soap, honey from your own bees, jars of canned produce, homeade jams, jellies and your homemade hot sauce, metal work, etc. The retail world is designed to suck you in and then drain you of your money. It’s a pretty easy world to exit, though, if you avoid malls.

What other exit strategies can you think of?

Thanks to Lisa Bedford, The Survival Mom, for her assistance in writing this article.

 

The post 8 Exit Plans Every Serious Prepper Should Have In Place appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Canada project launched by ATCO

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ATCO Electric are set to launch a solar project

ATCO Electric say they are looking to reduce carbon footprint

 

 

A new off-grid system is capable of generating 75 kilowatts and storing 250 kilowatts hours of energy. Now that’s impressive!

Last week, ATCO announced their groundbreaking solar project in Western Canada. The Grande Prairie POD Transmission at the Saddle Hills Telecommunications Site is needed to meet increased power demand in the area.

“Through this project, we have gained valuable insight into the application of off-grid solar solutions, directly transferable and scalable for our customers in other sectors,” said Paul Goguen, Senior Vice President & General Manager, ATCO Electric Transmission Division.

“This is just one example of how ATCO is finding opportunities to economically reduce our carbon footprint while exploring innovative clean energy solutions for our customers.”

This is great news, but why didn’t it happen any sooner if ATCO is seriously trying to cut down on their carbon footprint?

Propane thermal electric generators previously powered the site where the system is being built. As the generators neared the end of their life cycles and the need for power at the location grew, ATCO had a vision for a cleaner and less expensive way to keep the site up and running – solar energy.capstone project,

They didn’t make the transition alone though, to make sure that the switch was technically viable and cost-effective, they joined forces with the Alternative Energy Capstone Project and outlined the technical challenges of building and maintaining solar panels in a remote location (e.g. cooler climate, fewer hours of daylight etc.)

The project is one of many that ATCO is undertaking; a full list can be viewed here. The timeline for the scheme so far is as follows:

  • November 2015: Notification to landholders, agencies, and other interested parties
  • April 2016: Submit facilities application to the AUC
  • July 2017: If AUC approves the facilities application – construction begins

 

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20 Wilderness Uses for Aluminum Foil

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Many hikers and survivalists carry aluminum foil in their backpacks as they’ve learned how useful this item can become in the wilderness. Over the years, I’ve discovered ways you can use aluminum foil while exploring the great outdoors and the versatility of this item never ceases to amaze me. In every household you can find … Read more…

The post 20 Wilderness Uses for Aluminum Foil was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Why the phrase “off the grid” has Hollywood gripped

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The new Jason Bourne films encompasses off-grid living for a more thrilling feel

New Jason Bourne film brings in off-grid living for thrills 

 

The theme of off-grid living is sweeping through Hollywood as it takes a center stage role in upcoming blockbusters.

The newest Bourne movie hits the big screen this week, and lead character Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) immerses himself into off-grid living as he tried to shake loose those who are tracking him. He makes a career for himself on the bare-knuckle fight circuit somewhere in southern and central Europe as old associates reappear throughout the movie. This film is not out yet but it is pretty safe to say that when they refer to Bourne as being off-grid they don’t mean he’s living on a farm using hydropower to decode top CIA Intel. But rather ‘off the radar’; one can guess burner phones and such will be used. His romantic interest Nicky Parsons is back and has downloaded confidential files about Bourne’s former life as David Webb. The film is said to keep you on the edge of your seat once is gets going and definitely is on our list to watch.

 

Another sequel is soon on it’s way out, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is another part two thriller. Tom Cruise who plays Reacher stumbles upon a grand conspiracy and goes, guess where?  Off the grid, according to the press releases. Surfing from motel to motel and covering his back, he tries his hardest not to  be tracked as he unwraps this mystery.

 

Films such as Captain Fantastic, Life of Pi, 127 Hours, Wild have all used the OG word in their PR packs. But what exactly is it about the theme of going ‘off-grid’ that really goes down a treat with audiences? Granted, there’s not much of actual off-grid living in the terms of living a sustained life, living off the food that you grow, using solar power instead of the grid. No, it’s more the mysterious and independent side of living off-grid that really gets the movie audiences going. In times like this, globalization and the rise of technology has interlinked people from across the world. Perhaps it’s the idea that once you go off-grid, you’re technically unknown. These days most people have a phone and on that phone, there is some sort of geo-location software or a software that allows you to be tracked. So maybe it’s the idea of not being tracked that is endearing to people, which is why Hollywood has integrated off-grid living into so many of its film narratives.

Both films are being released this week so keep your eyes peeled if you’re interested in watching them in full.

 

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DIY Temporary, Affordable, All-Season, Comfortable Dwelling

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DIY Temporary, Affordable, All-Season, Comfortable Dwelling I am sure you can tell by the picture what this article is all about. I read it and at first I thought , meh, screw that, but then I read further and read the comments and people were loving this idea so I researched it further and yeah, …

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How To Build A Cold Room In Your Home Basement

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How To Build A Cold Room In Your Home Basement A cold room is a new term for a root cellar. Cold rooms / root cellars are for keeping food supplies at a low temperature and steady humidity. They keep food from freezing during the winter and keep food cool during the summer months to …

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Alternative Healing Aids For Your Bug Out Bag

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Having a vast knowledge of first aid and being able to properly use available medication is a vital skill during an emergency situation. But sometimes, the medicine you need is not available. This is where alternative healing aids and methods can replace commercial products and save the day. Every serious prepper or survivalist knows that … Read more…

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Off Grid Self-Sufficient Home Inside a Mountain

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Off Grid Self-Sufficient Home Inside a Mountain I came across this amazing self-sufficient property in Utah that shows you really cool ideas when it comes to living off the grid. Try building your home in a mountain! This is a 2100 square foot, 3 bedroom home that was literally built inside the cliffs of Montezuma …

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