Worst Mistakes To Avoid When Going Off Grid: “We Wish We’d Known”

by | Jan 8, 2016 | Emergency Preparedness, Headline News | 121 comments

Do you LOVE America?



    Want to build your own life back on the land, instead of keeping pace in this insane society headed for implosion?

    There are lots of things that you’ll have to learn the hard way in order to go off grid.

    The path is not easy, but that’s no reason not to get started, and move forward on your ultimate plan to live more independently.

    This off-grid couple, at Fouch-o-matic Off Grid, had to relearn some of the basics to figure out how to live an alternative lifestyle without losing their minds, or facing impossible, labor intensive tasks.

    Here are a few tips from those who’ve learned by trial, error and experience.

    1) Solar power is worth it

    2) Plants won’t grow without (good) soil, and you best be adding some organic material to your soil in order to enrich it.

    3) Water runs downhill… a source of water that is already elevated can feed pressured water to your dwelling – gravity can work in your favor.

    4) Carrying water is grueling and “demoralizing” work… figure out plumbing any way you can.

    5) Batteries run out, and LED lights can save a lot of energy when you need it the most; your usage will have to adapt to the available capacity.

    6) Bears, etc.  are attracted to trash and food waste. Plans must include strategies to keep away dangerous animals that could attack your family or pets.

    7) Splitting firewood requires lots of tedious work.

    8) The couple’s yurt was very well insulated in the cold winter, but was very hot during summer, and needed additional ventilation

    9) Temporary is longer than you think – so plan accordingly, and allow for the possibility of “dealing” for much longer than you anticipated or hoped.

    10) You can do things you didn’t know you could do.

    Not only did these homesteaders find that they had to humble themselves to frequently learning new things, but they discovered that many of the things they needed to learn are strikingly simple.

    So simple, it’s like they should have thought of it already. But you don’t know what you don’t know!

    So try, and persist until you’ve made it and your dream of dropping out of the modern world for a better life can succeed.

    Also Read:

    A Step-By-Step Guide To Prepare For Any Disaster

    Off Grid Antibiotics: For When There is No Medicine

    When the Lights Go Out: Tips and Tricks for Priming Off-Grid Light Sources

    What Will Be Best Form of Communication If the Grid Goes Down?


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      1. I think 2016 will be my last year in the republic of kalifornia…. looking to simplify a bit and move to the Midwest. I’m not sure if I am looking for that kind of simple, but close.

      2. speaking of mistakes

        Dear Idiots,( not you folks on here ..but a good way to start this post)

        I’m an unaccomplished and crooked lawyer from Illinois. I am married to a former popular President who has cheated on me and continues to cheat on me throughout our entire marriage with my full knowledge. I have accepted the fact that our marriage is basically a business arrangement.

        I became a US Senator because of my relationship to that President where I accomplished nothing again. I decided to run for President in 2008 based only on my experience as a tolerant wife and a token Senator where I was then beaten by an entirely unqualified African American who has the same beliefs as I, but hates the United States even more. I then served as his Secretary of State for much of his first term, where again, I accomplished less than nothing other than collecting frequent flyer miles at taxpayer expense and pressing an imaginary “reset button” that accomplished even less than the rest of my career in so-called public service.

        I am the most phony person you will ever meet. I act one way when I am in front of a camera, however, when I’m not, I make Bin Laden look like a philanthropist. I am a compulsive liar and I ran all my government emails through my own private server. If anyone else in the government had done that, they would undoubtedly be fired and/or prosecuted. Slick Willy and I have made millions and millions and millions off of speaking engagements, book deals, etc., however, we still claim to be “common folk.”

        For these reasons, I believe I am more than qualified be the next President of the United States. Just think, we made history by electing the first African American into the Oval Office. Now, let’s make history again by electing the first female because it’s all about making history and not about electing someone based on merit. Let’s do it America!!!

        Thank you,


        P.S. I will say and/or promise anything to you moron voters to get your vote.

        • Hillary baby – I just heard last night that our dear northern neighbor called Canada is suing American taxpayers 15 BILLION dollars for rejecting their tar sands oil pipeline. They are doing this under the provisions of your husbands NAFTA agreement which states foreign parties can sue US taxpayers for “lost profits”.

          WOW. NAFTA together with Glass Steagall also engineered by WILLIE have destroyed America.

          And we know that if you are elected president WILLIE WILL BE AGAIN THE REAL PRESIDENT.

          I think I’m gonna vote for Bernie………..

          • In the lawsuit, who will get the money if it is successful?

            • The corporations and their investors will get the money.
              The Trans Pacific Partnership takes the process of corporations suing sovereign governments for “lost profits” which had its origin in NAFTA, and makes it legal through the TPP. All such cases will go to a “global tribunal”.
              Al Gore pushed hard for NAFTA. As we know, Al Gore is the man largely responsible for the global warming/climate change hysteria, supposedly caused by humans expending too much CO2. For all those snowed by the climate change meme, how could Al Gore and Obama support COP21 climate change laws, should they occur, while at the same time supporting NAFTA and the TPP which gives corporations the right to sue nations or states, should those nations implement climate laws? Write or call your senators and tell them to vote NO on the TPP. Our very republic is at stake on this one.

              • Some of us tried to warn the sheeple about this, now, they pay for their stupidity.

            • The plaintiffs – Trams Canada pipeline associated corporations/companies…

              These trade agreements have very little to do with trade. They place foreign corporations/ companies in control of US affairs bases on binding decisions of non-American lawyer triumverates

          • Wow… NAFTA and Glass Steagall have destroyed America?

            Here I thought it was the unfunded wars and nation propping and Halliburton sucking up our money and all the do-nothings in congress that obstruct without offering any alternatives and greedy money grubbing banks and stock market thieves and corporations escaping paying taxes by moving to other countries and laying off thousands and those abusers suckling at the teat of entitlements when they should/could be working and… and… and…
            The list goes on…
            and on…
            and on…

            • I thought it was ALL OF THE ABOVE.

        • I know some folks living in a wildlife refuge that will be off-grid soon. Mac could interview them and see how well it goes for them and probably extrapolate some great insights.

          • I think those guys will be too busy soon……

            I was off grid for 10 years and when I was offered power I jumped at it. Im still prepared just in case it goes out thou. Solar power is great but there are problems. I have a lot of bad weather and that is very problematic for solar. Ever try to climb up on a iced roof with 12″ of snow on it and scrape the ice off of many panels? Not fun or safe.
            It is a lot of work to keep everything going. I live in a place where it can get very cold and winter is about 5 months out of the year. It takes my most of my free time all summer just to chop wood. I need about 20 cords.
            Water is a issue all in itself. It will be a lot easier when no one will be around to bother you. Many of my neighbors have had their houses red tagged because they were using catchment water and talked about it. Neither the Feds or the State like it and once they find out you are using it they will come out and inspect and it all goes downhill from there. Drill a well, even if it dosent work. Keeps the vultures off your back. Get a few of the 6 gallon buckets of pool shock chlorine too with the 1″ tablets. Comes in handy today and if SHTF it will be indispensable. There are lots of things that will make you sick in the countryside.

            • 20 cords! Put in a rocket stove mass heater and cut that down to 1 cord. I lived off grid for a year in Texas. Never admit anything to anyone, you will rue the day you opened your big mouth. I am lucky this property is on grid, nothing obvious to attract attention.. I am shifting to off grid in a quiet way. When SHTF I hope to be ready… either way I have lived without the modern amenities. One note I have from living off grid: it is less time consuming than a full time job with commute. Ditto gardening. If you add in the hours you work to pay for someone else to raise your food, the hours you spend I the grocery store, the hours to pat to transport it home, and the mountain of trash you have to dispose off… store bought just ain’t so cheap. Never mind the tax subsidies you are paying to keep it running. Shudder.

              • I don’t particularly want to go completely off the grid, but I’m prepared to survive without much of a problem if one day, the grid isn’t there.

            • Why does it take 20 cords to heat your home? Are you using wet pine? heating a 5,000 sq ft home? Is it not insulated? I use 3 cords of seasoned oak/ash a heating a 1200 sq ft home (6″ walls and insulated ceiling)where the heating season is 8 months long and gets 40 below.

              I know the problem with roof mounted solar, it is easier to have them raised off the ground and adjustable- angled lower in the sky for the winter sun so snow doesn’t build up or stick so bad.

              I paid $380 for 3 cords of hardwood already split in large chunks, load them up 6 times to take home because I can only transport 1/2 cord every time. Takes me about a week. I do split a few of the larger quarters for smaller pieces for kindling when I burn them, but I grant this 5 minute daily exercise helps keeps me in shape. And I ain’t no spring chicken either. There is smart off grid living, and then there’s not.

              • I have 12″ thick walls and 2 separate roofs each with r-60 insulation. The problem is with wind. I have a shop too that needs to be heated.
                We only have pine around here and for the most part no one will cut it for you. I down the trees one year then cut and split the next year..

                Your 3 cords of oak for 8 months comes out to only about an average of 15,000 btu per hour of heat loss over 8 months with average oak. That is pretty good. I wish I could get that but with the wind and the almost 0 sun exposure on the house during the day in the winter it is tough to heat.
                But Like you said. Im an old fart too and cutting the wood keeps me in shape.

            • Ed,
              You live far too close to other morons. Move your solar panels to the ground or some other more convenient location for snow removal. If you use 20 cords of wood, get a “wood stove”, designed and manufactured to use less fuel. You might consider moving into the city. That way, “red tags” won’t be a surprise.

              • I live in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming. When I say neighbors it means the guy a mile or 2 away. The morons come to me. Usually from the State or Federal level. These days it seems that they like to search google earth looking for people in the middle of nowhere that they can go out and bother.
                The sun dosent shine on the ground. Too many trees.
                I have a very nice high efficiency stove. EPA approved and all.

            • An alternative to going off grid is to go off IRS taxes. I will be going Galt this year or paying zero taxes. Screw the federal government.

        • Hilarious! Heil Hitlery!

      3. have a good morning folks
        i’ll leave you with this

        If MSNBC’s Chris Matthews manages to make you look like a fool, you’ve messed up. At the least, Hillary Clinton should be chewing out her campaign staff.

        Matthews this week merely asked Clinton to explain what separates a Democrat from a Socialist. She dodged three times:

        Matthews: “You’re a Democrat, [rival Bernie Sanders is] a Socialist. Would you like someone to call you a socialist? I wouldn’t like someone calling me a socialist.”

        Clinton: “Well, but I’m not one.”

        M: “OK, well, what’s the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?”

        C: “I can tell you what I am. I am a progressive Democrat . . .”

        M: “How’s that different than a socialist?”

        C: “. . . who likes to get things done and who believes we are better off in this country when we are trying to solve problems together; get people to work together.”

        OK, we get why she’d rather not say she’d go a lot easier on Goldman Sachs than a President Sanders.

        But Clinton really should have had some answer ready — because Democratic Party chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz fumbled the same question from Matthews back in July. That exchange won smirks all across the Web

        • What a f*cking joke it has all become???

        • I read Atlas Shrugged,
          These people in government now and trying to get elected
          Are the same shit that were the villains in that whole scenario.
          Yea call them whatever you want, it doesnt matter because it WILLEMD BADLY NO MATTER WHAT!
          We are headed to ruin plain and simple.

          • Yuup,
            I went ‘Galt’ in 1991, and left the ‘cubicle world’ far behind after management asked me to lie to my employees because they were running a stock option scam during the companies IPO. I refused and my nice corner office was given to a ‘team player’, I became the red headed stepchild forced out into the north forty in a literal closet next to the sewage treatment plant. The company showed its colors, and those colors were black with a skull and crossbones. They lost the company after the board found out what happened, so they sold the company out from under the bastards. They are now part of the top fortune 100 big pharma company named; Glaxo.

            Since then, my life in ‘the real world, has been harder, but much more satisfying to the soul. When I go outside I step into the woods, I hear the voice of God. You could too, but, not while you are surrounded by tech.

            Prepping, is a spiritual experience, and a spiritual activity, that brings you closer to the Land and yourself. Instead of hi tech, I am now becoming a blacksmith. A true joy to take an old axle, and turn it into a knife. To literally “pound their swords into plowshares…”

            This is something that Ayn Rand missed, but then, she was a drug eating atheist, and she, is the ‘Prophetess of Capitalism’, for this countries real god; Mammon. Yes, we pay lip service to ‘God’, and there are good folks who believe the ‘left-right paradigm’, but those ‘good’ apples now inhabit a rotten barrel because they are too nice, passive, apathetic and complacent, and will accept any line of BS simply because it plays into their likes and fears. Emotions have now conquered the Mind, it does this with ‘sweet words on the tongue, like honey, that grows bitter in the belly’, a perfect spiritual explanation of political correctness, a lesson I learned in 1991…

            Now you know why capitalism is failing, and will eventually fail, on the altar of ‘Greed is good’. But without everybody being both producers and consumers, all you have left is the Head of Gold telling you what to do, what to think, what to feel, and if you disagree, you are labeled as a koolaide drinking nut-job. Especially because ‘my preacher’ said so…

            We will only recover white culture, when our minds and hearts are joined together so that absolute truth becomes important, again. Which can only happen when you disconnect from the ‘Hive mind’ of technology and use that technology against ‘them’, by leaving Babylon(‘the system’) and ‘going into the wilderness’..

            ‘The Spirituality of Prepping’…

            • I went Galt 12 years ago. Quite my job as a skilled trades group leader at an auto manufacturer. Got tired of dealing with complaints of racism, sexism and any other ism the company or union could come up with.The factory is now closed. Had some money stashed so that’s not much of a problem although we’ve had to be leaner. My only regret is I hadn’t done it sooner. I live 10 miles from the nearest town, so I no longer have to deal with stupid sheeple. Not for the majority but I would live no other way.

              in solidarity

            • I too started out in pursuit of a hi-tech career. I ended up being a carpenter and general artisan. I can still speak the language of technology, but in addition I can speak the language of nature. It calls to me, and I can answer. To me, it makes me feel – whole.

            • God is in the woods. I moved to the mountain 3 years ago and love being outdoors. I have a ways to go with it all, and wish I were farther out and away from so many people. I have some equity and consider it sometimes. Still, this is a good place and when I am up the hill it is like being with God. The peace is unbelievable. One thing about going more primitive is the quiet. I love music but much of the time I am just quiet. I get quieter every year. Of course I live by myself and haven’t started talking to me yet.

              • It is FINE to talk to yourself. It is worrysome when you start answering yourself. 😉

              • I envy you to have a place away from it all.
                I have no one to even talk about what is coming.
                My grown family think I am nuts so I stopped talking to them about finding a bug out retreat or moving to a safer place.
                Going it alone takes a lot of guts for a woman and it is
                bad that Obama is bringing in the Muslims to finish us off.

                • Dorothy
                  Hang in there, when I bought here a few years ago, my son and daughterinlaw thought it was crazy. Now they are prepping too. I used to prep for me and them! Now they are looking for acreage for a family compound. I know it is unusual for a woman to be out on acreage alone, but it can be done. I get good ideas on this site and another one I like too. I break chores down into smaller increments and take it slower than men do. Be safe and take care.

          • I read atlas shrugged many years ago. The protagonist was not an executive as many pretend… he was a line engineer from back in the day before engineers went to college. He was a creative guy who worked with his hands. The executives he recruited were entrepreneurs who built hands on… the ones who later sell out to the bean counters and corporate executives who do not know their field. The entire premise no longer exists in any powerful way. John Galt is a small town guy solving real problems with intelligence and creativity and never saw the inside of a university and sure isn’t a CEO of any global megacorporation.

            • To jog your memory, the other main protagonist, Dagny Taggart, was an executive. And John Galt, the engineer, did major in physics and philosophy… in a university.

              • Dabny was a hands on type that does not exist today. As I recall… the educated one was her boyfriend with the copper mines who also flaked out. John Galt was an old style engineer before the job had cachet and big pay… he built the engine that Dabny searched for. I guess I will have to read it again. I spent my whole career working with execs and engineers on patent inventions. Interesting guys, the creative ones.

        • Progressiveness isnt necessarily a bad thing. Even a Dictatorship can have its merits. But it entirely depends on the people in charge the the level of development of the country and if the form of leadership is benevolent or malevolent.
          Unfortunately most politicians these days are neither. They are just followers of popularity and not of reason. The people whom they follow are self serving only for their own good.

          • Just a little history here:

            When America woke up to the Communists here, the Commies changed their name to Liberals, America is awakening to the fact that Liberals are just Commies under a different moniker, so now we have the same bunch of bastards renaming themselves Progressives.

            The Socialists like Bernie Sanders don’t try to hide behind a “new” moniker when the truth begins to shine, they know what their end goal is…..Communism and they are proud of it.

            And please name me one of your benevolent dictators!

            • Please name me one benevolent Oligarch. We have Oligarchy right now this minute.

                • Was supposed to be ‘Clapping hands’.

              • Didnt say here or now.
                Unfortunately civilization would never exist without force.
                Benevolent depends of course on who you ask.

            • Your exactly right. I’m just glad I never got rid of my “kill a commie for mommie” bumper sticker.

            • There are many differences between a “Progressive Democrat” and a “Socialist”. See below:

              Progressive Democrat is spelled P R O G R E S S I V E D E M O C R A T but socialist is spelled S O C I A L I S T.

              HUGE difference. Jeez. Don’t you people know nothin’ ?


              • Yes, there are differences between communists and progressives, just like there’s differences between commies and commie pinkos like the Hildebeest.

              • now THAT was funny NetRanger. And unfortunately, very true.

      4. Always have a fall back position. Should some event devastate part or all of the prepared survival area, have a backup shelter in a defensive position to live in until a recovery can be made.

        • My bug out location is wherever I’m at at that moment. I don’t speak much about my military experience but staying mobile, to me, is the key. It worked then it’ll work again. Stay away from crowds if you can but whatever happens, DONT PANIC. It stops your thinking process.

        • To add to the list:
          Have a cistern in the ground with a submersible pump (no check valve) to keep a supply of water in winter.

          Use a 12 volt on demand RV pump to pressurize the water in your house and have a 30 gallon or so tank in the upper part of your house to feed the pump and keep it from freezing.

          Put your solar panels on a rack that you can turn to get the most sun and about 6 feet off the ground so it is easy to clean the snow off with a pushbroom and a ladder.

          Make sure you have fine mesh fencing around gardens and plants to keep critters out, birds and mice will eat all your berries and other things.

          If you have to haul water get a 210 gallon back of truck tank (any 1/2 ton truck will haul it)If you don’t have a truck, you have no business being off grid.

          When you cut wood cut pieces that will fit in your stove and save them for use then save the larger logs in a pile and borrow or rent a log splitter when you have a large pile.

          For bear proofing your house get some 3/4 plywood and pound 16 penny nails every 3 inches through 1 side then flip it over and put it under windows and doors (like a big welcome mat of spikes).

          Use a rope and pulley system to hoist your trash container up a tall tree.

          Have a lot of spare auto parts and tires and flat repair and oil etc.

          Have a spare power inverter (doesn’t have to be an expensive one) and spare charge controller.

          Don’t buy a yurt. They are mouse houses and cost more than it would to build a stick house. I know a guy with one and I just shake my head lol…

          • Also SCREW your siding on (nails will work out and fook the whole thing up). I just have to shake my head at the people around me who nailed their siding on and a few years later it’s all warped out. Unless it’s something you need a lot of sheer strength for use screws for everything.

            • Genius, you forgot. Keep a good supply of corn, yeast, sugar and clean water too.

              • Ha ha yep, How could I forget THAT!

                • Better be sure to purchase the value size of O’keeffe’s working hands too.

            • Something I am building right now is a long distance remote wireless camera setup. I will set it up on a nearby hill and it will transmit video of my entire area.

              The parts list: 20 watt solar panel, charge controller, 18ah sealed battery, voltage regulator, 3 watt video transmitter (2.4G), 30X zoom camera, baofeng uv5r radio, sound activated switch, plastic ammo can.

              The switch and the radio will be on constantly, when I send a transmission on an unused frequency it will activate the sound switch and turn on the camera and transmitter. I then recieve the video on the reciever connected to my monitors. I will have full coverage of my area that I can view from any compatible reciever. The baofeng has a long range and should operate the switch reliably at 5+ miles away. I just resend another transmission to turn the cam and transmitter off again. This solves the long range switching issue and is totally self sufficient.

              • Im pretty sure that those 3 watt transmitters require a license. Not that I care. But just to let you know.
                Most video like this is almost useless. Ditch the video and go to high resolution stills. You can still snap them off as fast as you can clear your buffer but you can actually see something on them too and use zoom.

                • The video transmitters are like wifi and no license. They work great I have used them for years. I want live feed not still pictures and all I need is a monitor or tv to watch. Why do you say useless?? The 2 watt video transmitters I have work 1/2 mile away just fine. How do you do stills remote controlled with live feed 1/2 mile away?

                  • Where do you get the transmitters?

                    • mad, they are on ebay. Tx and Rx set is about 85 bux. Just search video transmitter.

                  • At 3 watts of power they will way, way, exceed the 5,000 μV/m@ 3 m maximum. Just saying.
                    A better choice would be a 900 mhz radio something like a ubiquity loco m900. You can also use these with a yagi antenna and make it directional instead of sending your video feed out to everyone.
                    If you are technical, you can make your own with Xbee radios.
                    Look at your camera software. You should be able to take stills. But the important thing is the camera itself. You need High definition. Most cheap cameras have no definition these days. But you can get them at 2k and even 4k these days. The good thing about stills is that you can process the images and generate tracking profiles for detecting movement and generating alarms. movement and if you are devious enough you can generate targeting tables also due to the fixed reference point.

                    • Ed, for the price and simplicity it does what I want. I just want to see if people or vehicles are in the area. I can also record the video to dvr if I want. The whole setup is under 300 bux. I have several 2.4g yagis which will extend the range a lot. Im not worried about anyone else seeing it as there is no one else around lol. As far as license goes it doesn’t say anything about it and in the middle of nowhere I’m not gonna worry 🙂

              • Those Baofeng tranceivers are something, aren’t they? They’re so cheap ($35) that you’d think they’d be junk, but, they’re not. I’ve had $200 and $300 handhelds that you’d never think of using that much of an asset for something as simple as a sound switch, but, with the UV5Rs (I have a pair and a pair of UV3Rs) they really work great. I punched in all the FRS/GMRS and some sneak freqs in and use them all the time. Low power lasts forever if you turn on the battery saver and even on low power (500 mw) they will easily talk through 1/2 mile of woods on flat gound. I carry one with me when I’m out. Use it as a scanner, etc. I’m considering setting up a data link with one on packet. True to form, you are. Craps not hitting the fan yet but they seem to be anxious to pile it up so they can just give it a little shove. I’m finalizing fuel preps. I’d love to go off grid, but I’ve yet to invest in solar. Don’t know if I’ll make it before the crash. Guess if you guys do, that will leave a little more gasoline for me. 😉

                • Bouncing off the repeater you can get out 100 miles or more. I have an UV8R with a mag mount antenna for the truck. It will get 75 miles line of sight.

                  • You do know that line of sight is only 3 miles.. 😀
                    Of course if you are higher or they are higher it gets longer.
                    But the problem these days is loss of packets due to decreasing signal stregth. In the old analog days you could send out a signal and it could bounce around the world a few times before a receiver picked it up.
                    But most radios these days are digital. Both radios must be active. When you send out a transmission, it is divided into many packets. Each packet is sent out one at a time and the receiver has to respond that it got them after each transmission until all of the packets arrive. If then receiver dosent reply within a time frame the transmitter will resend the packet a few times until it times out then just send the next one or cutout completely.Many radios have algorithms that make up for lost packets and just leave silence there. That is why you miss parts of words sometimes even with good connections.
                    Im not really sure what my point was… 😀

                    • I think your point was that analog is better lol. I agree. The baofeng radios have a simplex repeater you can buy for about 60 bux and works great.

                • Net, I have had a couple bad ones but out of 8 or so not bad and the company replaced them. I have talked 20 miles to a uhf mobile unit using the long antenna. I use the 3600Mah battery packs for more talk time. They have 4500 Mah batts to now. A ton of accesories and it will operate my switch for a loooong ways. I just ordered a pair of the 8 watt units and a couple 4500Mah batteries and long antennas, should be a killer setup!Ebay also sells a mobile 20/25 watt unit vhf/uhf programmable just like the baofeng for 88.00 I use one as a base and one in the truck. I talk to my friend 30 miles away and with a mountain in between us. 7 element yagi on the base and 3db gain mag mount on the truck. I have set up many of my neighbors with radios and it is great (nearest one is 2 miles furthest is 13 miles). God I love ebay lol 🙂

                  • I got much better reception when I found the right adapter and hooked my UV5R hand held up to my magnetic mobile antenna. I put it out my window and stick it to the metal gutter nails above my window.

                • I have a brand new UV5R, and I’ve only managed to program in 1 channel. The software didn’t work for me, I punched in the 1 channel by hand, by accident. The FM/AM radio works as does the NOAA. I’d like to get it programmed right because it out-performs my midland.

              • Genius,
                You know I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.
                My UV5R requires a FCC license. I’ll get a license
                some day, soon, I just haven’t bothered to take the test
                there are only a few guys around here that can proctor it.
                Ed has suggested an ubiquity product. Good choice.
                I run a 2.4 gHz locoM5 WDS on my 5 acres. Internet only,
                but video is easy. If you have line of sight you can
                get 11 km out of Ed’s set up.
                Ed’s system needs AC, but a cheap inverter will fit his bill. Sounds like your system is all DC.
                The fun you can have with these toys, a RaspberryPi and PIR detectors. It makes me all warm inside.

                Prep on!

                • You dont need A/C. The POE adapter is just a 24v dc power supply. I usually run 2 12 v batteries wired in series for the power and parallel for the charging.
                  No problems.

                • I know it requires a license but nobody is in range to catch me lol. Besides for regular comms I use the gmrs frequencies as to avoid any hassles. I use off bands for private stuff but like I say, when the nearest town is 70 miles away I don’t really worry 🙂

                • My remote radio system is dc of course but my retreat is both ac/dc. You MUST use a voltage regulator with sattelite dc solar because it charges to 14.2 volts and can damage some electronics. I use regulators on all my dc outlets. The house solar will go to 15 volts in cold weather so ya know…

          • I guess that welcome mat would work for that mountain lion that walked up to my bedroom window bold as brass last week. I wanna climb the hill to see if I have a cave (common in this area) but brer bear and brer lion got me too scared until I get a 3030. Better hurry up before they outlaw hunting rifles.

          • A few years back, I put “bird proof” nylon mesh around one of my biggest wild blueberry bushes and literally within TWO MINUTES very small sparrow-type birds were through the mesh with no problem, gorging on berries.

            Took off the mesh and the situation resumed to zero birds eating berries. I believe that the mesh protected the small birds from the jays and such in the area. With the mesh off, the berries stayed largely untouched. Sometimes less really is more….

      5. What do you think
        Hope for a quick death ?

        • Hope for a quick death for them. Not me.

      6. Learn some of the old skills,have backup tools that aren’t electric and stock up as much as you can. Good luck with being 100% off the grid,Uncle Sam won’t allow it. Do as much as your income will allow

      7. I watched this lady’s YouTube channel and she makes some very good points for people who think “going off grid” is going to be painless and seamless.

        One thing that isn’t discussed is the necessity of building an alternative supportive network/community of people who help fill in the skill gaps you lack. This implies that you have a skillset to offer in return. Isolationism is a security risk as well as an emotional/well being beating.

        • That is a good point,
          I want to play devils advocate here though and ask,,,
          What if you live rural and farm, you are pretty well set up, not starving, have water etc,,,
          Then ALLLLLL your liberal neighbors decide you need to just hand over whatever they need because you have and they dont????
          Stuff to ponder.

          • Well then you have to decide what you can live with either waist alot of time burying the bodies or just pile them up down wind and save your self some hard work and leavw it up to nature

          • Kula, keep your backhoe up and running. Let them have a small rectangle piece of property they can call home.

          • kula , devils advocate again .
            Why does a good farmer have libtard nieghbors ? hmmm
            Because he is a good guy and dont shoot em !

          • Say sure, come into the barn, all must stuff is in there….

          • Most all my neighbors are a mix. I’m the poorest of the lot. Most all of them are VERY well off, Have solar systems, gardens, cattle, fowl, etc, etc. about everything this site talks about, even a retired Doctor. I’m the engineer and I have skills and tools. They are all very liberal. I’m the only military Vet, and all I was taught was how to kill targets, no CQB tactics( I do read Sun Tzu). We have it all as a group. We watch out for each other, but nothing like “tribal”.
            I suppose it is where you live that makes your plans.
            Keep prepping!

      8. My bug out location is wherever I’m at at that moment. I don’t speak much about my military experience but staying mobile, to me, is the key. It worked then it’ll work again. Stay away from crowds if you can but whatever happens, DONT PANIC. It stops your thinking process.

      9. If you do not already understand these things you should probably just stay inside

      10. For going off Grid?

        When TSHTF we will all be off grid.

        The things that they told us in their 10 things, where enlightening, but I’ll bet most you already new it.

        I like the article because it had a little humor in it. Today we can use all we can get.

        At 0900hrs the market can’t get over 75 points. Soros said it is the beginning of the end, He should know he is doing it along with his friends. BOL/off grid living might be soon than we think!


        • That is precisely right Sgt. Dale –

          Eventually in due time, we will all be living off the grid whether we want to or not.

          The article itself is good, but it is technically a moot point in this day an age – we won’t have a choice, we will be forced into it.

          • I think when Soros is making his move, he won’t be telegraphing it.

        • We have been off grid between 3 and 4 years. The very best advice I can give is…Do not depend on one solar power source. You are likely to lose your mind if you do. Everything is out at once. We have 2 systems on the roof and 2 near the ground, all running different things. The psychology of just being able to run the washing machine during the flu season is tremendous. Please listen to me.

      11. Bears, etc. are attracted to trash and food waste. Plans must include strategies to keep away dangerous animals that could attack your family or pets.

        Why not let the bears and other critters come in to the homestead area so they can be killed and used for food stores?

        If you ever watch the videos of Heimo in the Artic Wildlife Refuge, he has meat hanging from trees right next to the cabin. He even kills a bear that comes into camp while the VICE crew is on scene.


      12. OT sorta
        Good piece about the OR sitch by MV over on his site
        Add the usual prefix,
        He makes some good observations and points and got my brain grinding,
        IMHO at the very least this situation should be a wakeup call and should prompt some reflection and such.
        I think people are reaching their limits. And, i think people are justified in being concerned. I am just as guilty as many of being all gung ho for this to kick off, but still have considerable doubts or fears. Thats pretty normal, and healthy, unless you are a total psychopath, nobody wants to live in a war zone.
        Anywho, just a heads up

        • KULA

          You speak the truth here and that is why we all love ya!

          If we aren’t afraid of what is to come we wouldn’t be prepping. If some one said he/she isn’t afraid they are NUTS!!!!


          • Thanks Sarge,,
            Hope your staying warm and dry!

          • …and lying.

      13. I posted about some of my experiences and perspectives on this topic a couple of years ago, but I’ll reiterate one of the most important.

        If you are off the grid in a Northern climate, FIREWOOD is a critically important consideration. Within reason, one can’t have too much of it stored up. Assuming one doesn’t have thousands of dollars falling out of their butt, and can’t afford to buy it wholesale by the log-truck load, you should be prepared to get out in the woods and get busy.

        Yes, it is hard, back-breaking work, although you will likely lose some weight and get into shape, so it is gratifying labor. Watching your winter supply of firewood grow during the year can also be a good feeling.

        On a side note, any neighbors that you might associate with will possibly grow increasingly jealous of your woodpile if they don’t share your work ethic WRT harvesting firewood.

        I was constantly amazed at how some long-term locals would screw off from April until October with their firewood harvest, and then wonder why they aren’t prepared for the winter months.

        I also witnessed numerous firewood thefts occurring, usually in the later months of the year, so if your property doesn’t have a sturdy gate, you might want to invest in some “game cameras” to watch over your firewood stack when you’re not around.

        No BS here. Firewood is more important that you might realize, and you don’t want to run out in the middle of January when it’s minus 15 degrees out with three feet of snow on the ground.

        • I grew up in the northern boreal forests, and the lumber industry is king. I get mine now through a buyer of semi-truckloads who does all the heavy work for me with an automatic system that moves the logs, cuts to length, splits 4 or 6 ways, and puts them on a conveyer for loading. It cost him $10,000 for this system that I don’t have to buy, being close to my home. Worth the cost of buying the wood and not the factory.

          Before that, I cut downed trees, cut up into sections, loaded them to my home, split and stacked them. One summer I was too hot and tired and left the cut wood piled next to my long driveway overnight. The next morning the pile was stolen. You hit that nail on the head and I live remote with no trespassing signs. I’ll never do that again and since some people drive illegally on my posted property, I will be installing fences and gates this spring.

        • Right on AJ…..everything you said.

          We burn firewood as a heating source for the house, shop, and a small greenhouse if the weather gets too cold too early (we shut down most growing Jan-Feb except lettuce/spinach, and simply throw frost blanket over it when the nights get cold…we’ve found lack of daylight hours is as much a limiting factor as temperature when it comes to winter growing, so we don’t expend the effort to grow much, and live off stored food from the previous 9 months)

          We use 4-6 cords/yr seasoned hardwood (oak, hickory, ash, locust) depending on weather conditions and would probably use another cord or two if using wood cook stove full time + wood fired water heater (propane on both now, keep 3-4 years of propane at any given time).

          I have four “4cord sheds” (6.5 x 12×6-8’high)on skids I move around (empty of course) to various locations of the farm depending on where wood is being thinned or logged at the time. Wood lot is 70ac

          I down, skid out long lengths with 4×4 tractor to the shed, then cut/split/stack in shed. Take me about 30hrs work to fill each shed once the logs are at the shed area.

          Sheds are always full going into winter, and we move one shed worth into the basement in the fall, then immediately begin to work on filling it for 2-3 winters down the road. Tapping the next shed comes during the winter for shop/greenhouse, (no way to store a lot in either) and the remainder goes in the basement to start off the next year…then that shed is filled back. That leaves 2 sheds for the next winter, cut 2 winters before.

          So the absolute bare minimum we would have at any one time is 8 cords in two sheds, seasoned at least one year, generally two…..and by fall, will have all four filled, but the last two seasoned less than a year. Going into winter, we’d have 16 cords, plus like a cord or two in the basement from last year.

          Right now, all sheds are full, and we still have a cord in the basement from 2014-15 season…..so we’re in January with 17 cords of wood…..a 3 year supply.

          Given a cord of dry hardwood is equal to about 250 gallons of oil, at, say $1.70/gal (being conservative), the dollar value of those 4 shed for heating is something like $7,000 ! Yeah….people would steal that IF they could (our place is gated and monitored)

          • WOW, I got exhausted just reading about cutting that much wood. I plan a rocket stove in the kitchen that will heat my small house and that vents through the greenhouse as a mass heater. Wood use is small. I could cook on it as well, especially winter doups, but I cook outside in the summer… more often eat raw vegetables in summer. With baked bread.

            • A coal mine will fill the back of your truck fairly cheap . Then put it in reverse get up to 15 miles per hour and slam the brakes and its unloaded. Doesn’t matter if it gets wet. You can pile up years of fuel . It’s very compact.

              • Yep….if you live in coal country….and don’t mind smelling the stinky stuff burning. 🙂

      14. I have lived off the grid in the high country of northern Arizona for going on 4 years, and I can say that this article IS correct!
        The only real downside to this adventurous lifestyle is getting out when the weather is bad!!Even owning four 4WD vehicles is not adequate when the 10 mile long access road is sporting 8 inch deep mud!
        Consequently, like right now, we are home bound and cannot get out to check the mail or do some shopping. There is 6 inches of snow on top of the mud now, and it’s not quite cold enough to freeze it all in place to drive over.

        Thankfully we have enough supplies to last many months if necessary. I would NOT go back to living in town or “civilization”, I am staying, and will continue to live out here back of beyond!

        • I so identify! I have a half mile to get out and it’s snowed nearly every day for a couple weeks. My truck is stuck at the bottom of my driveway on water over ice. We won’t drown in mud for a week or two but got the half mile well graveled last year so it shouldn’t be too bad. The life is awesome.

      15. Wrote this a couple of days ago. I grew up in the Florida Everglades, fished there very often. When the Sheep convert to Islam in 10-15 years, me and mine will just blend into the sawgrass and live on swamp cabbage, hogs, snake, frogs, turtles, fish, and gator tail.

        • Unlike many areas of the U.S., most people won’t go into the “glades”, unless they are in a Tourist Trap airboat.

          “Oh no, the gators are going to eat my baby!”.

      16. You’re going to go off grid when SHTF anyway, why not just get the gear and location now, and continue to live with electrical power until then?

        If you want to live in sackcloth and ashes, fine, but it’s not necessary until the EMP goes off.

      17. If things go south and there isn’t any electric power. Im more worried about the sheeple who did not prepare. Many are of the mindset that others have more than their fair share. They will demand that your preps be redistributed to them. Many of them are also creepy superstitious holy roller bible thumper religious nuts. That is what I am most fearful of. not the government or the NWO or having to survive a primitive lifestyle.

        • I agree with the redistrabution of wealth, so I will split my lead up with any nonprepared, stealing, ebt toting, starving wannabeees.

          By the way, you can install your own surface water wells ( if your surface water is 30′ or less ), in an hour or so. Blow in the ground a 30′ – 35′ piece of 2″ pvc. Drop in your 1 1/4″ pvc with a sand point on it. Pull the 2″ up. Attach pump. ready to go.

      18. If things go south and there isn’t any electric power. Im more worried about the sheeple who did not prepare. Many are of the mindset that others have more than their fair share. They will demand that your preps be redistributed to them. Many of them are also creepy superstitious holy roller bible thumper religious nuts. That is what I am most fearful of. not the government or the NWO or having to survive a primitive lifestyle.

        • Amen Old guy:

          What I call the “Bubba” factor. Lives down the road from you, him, wife, several kids….never put anything away, but does have an old 30-30 rifle and a half box of shells left from a deer hunting trip years ago. First time, he will come asking. The next time, it will be after dark, and taking.

          Have a plan to handle your local Bubba….and his cousins.

      19. Still connected to the grid, but when and if the SHTF, I will not be worrying about solar. I have a small grid-tie, but in this area and latitude I would need overkill to have a system to power much of anything. I will get up and go to bed with the chickens and use rechargeable batteries for emergency. Spring water will be my fridge.

        We have a gravity flow water system and “deeded” water rights (lol) as if anyone would care in TEOTWAWKI.

        As for those who wish to steal firewood, I have learned to keep the winter wood stored indoors and the stockpile in the form of logs piled up outside the back shed. Dog says come and get it. Backup says your ass will sting.

        I have lived here 27 years and gone through a couple women and 3 dogs, but the homegrown food and mountain beef still taste just as good and the homebrew still gives me a good buzz.

        • Nice. Sounds you got the corner on it.

        • Dang, JRS. Sounds good. You got all you need. Good luck to you. I guess you never found a woman good enough to stay around. Maybe the next one.

        • Sounds awesome. Give me a couple years maybe my place will be as good. I want to slide off the grid. I lived off grid in Texas and found it relaxing so long as I adapted to it instead of fighting for it to be equivalent to on grid life.

      20. I am sitting here in the Valley of the Dogs listening to every hound around here woof and bark their heads off. Somebody must be doing some work on the fenceline. They are a wonderful off grid alarm. I don’t have one, but I don’t need one… since most folks around here have multiples.

        Just got back from a Dr.’s appointment. It was time for a cortisone shot and it takes about an hour to get to my orthopedist’s office from here. We drove through a town called Cut and Shoot on the way- I have to say that there are still plenty of places for bug outs and setting up off the grid out here in the Piney Woods of Texas. And the climate is friendly in the winter if you can take the summer heat. The perfect way to build is the old way with high ceilings, wide porches, metal roofs on breeze cathing sites. We’re up on a slope off a lake so our breezes are water cooled in the summer.

        About the water/gravity point she made. Recently, a spec house builder built two new houses in the 250K range in our neighborhood. They are not selling because
        after they disturbed the lots, the street in front of them now is always wet. Well, they are sitting on a natural spring. Whenever I pass by this thing, I think about how to a prepper, that would be a BIG plus. That water is crystal clear.

      21. We are not ‘off grid’ as such, because I had power run here back in the 80’s when we started the place. The did it for free then if you simply signed an agreement to buy power for 3 years. Hey….sign me up ! Grid power is a bargain when you look at alternatives.

        But we started with solar in 2007, and have added to it now several times to have an 11kw system, working our way up so that on average, it supplies what we use (Key word there being “on average”…..to build a system that would supply our typical use ALL the time….including peak demands/crappy weather…. is an expensive deal…which is again why grid power is such a bargain)

        It is grid tied, but has battery backup, so to go ‘off grid’ is simply a matter of shutting off the grid tie breakers, flipping a transfer switch, and using solar only. Not near the capacity as the grid tie, but more than enough to run refrigeration (a biggie in my book), lighting, and some tools. Meanwhile, the grid tie produces a credit on our electric bill (right now, they owe us $900 for the year.

        Heating is wood, with propane/mini-split heat pumps (2) for backup (only use them in milder weather when don’t want to fire up the wood stove)

        Cooking/water heating is propane, have wood cook stove as backup, and a wood fired water heater if I wish to place that in service. Going to install solar water heater this year to preheat the water going into the propane WH tank. Keep about 3 years of propane on hand at any one time.

        Water is gravity fed spring, with 3,000gal storage at the spring.

        Sewage is septic system.

        FOOD is probably the biggest issue of self sufficiency (or the rest of society, they simply don’t know it), and the one area that gets most of our time….both the producing and preserving.

        We grow most of our food….two 1/4ac gardens we built up the soil using tons of manures/sand, cover crops, etc. Have 2 small greenhouses, the bigger of which (20×36)grows an amazing amount of food yearly….just amazing.

        Raise a few cattle on pasture, couple feeder pigs/yr, could dozen layer hens and usually 25 broilers/yr (min hatchery order), couple ponds stocked with catfish. All processing done on the farm….built ‘meat room” with small walking cooler (AC with CoolBot controller) to hang beef/pigs, and process them.

        We have 7 freezers, including one kept as a spare, in the 7-9cuft range, and as we eat them out, shut one down at a time. Least we ever get down to is 2-3 running at any one time. Inlaws saw our freezers once and said “WHY so many ?”…..I replied “we all have about the same amount of freezer space…in our case, we have it right here and control it. In your case, it’s located at the store/distributor/food processor/trucking company, and YOU DON’T CONTROL IT” Gave him food for thought….ahahahaa.

        We also can extensively (several pressure canners, over 1,000 jars + lids), and root cellar, freezing alone is less than half of our storage.

        • I know you are in heaven! Enjoy.

        • I wish I could find one pressure cooker that I could afford…damned things are going all digital now. I don’t want one that takes commands and reports results to my cell phone — I don’t even have a cell phone!

          • Buy a used one….thrift shops and second hand stores often have them cheap.

            Buying new?…..Get one of the All American brands, no gasket to go bad, lifetime canner. Google: Red Hill Hardware Store

      22. Tn, damn man yer doing good! What kind of solar preheating are you doing for the water? Electric element or circulating glycol? If your planning on glycol STOP! I can set you up with a mega less expensive and hella more efficient and waaayyyy cheaper system. With NO plumbing and no bullshit just PV panels right to an electric heater.

        • Yeah, I’ve considered that…especially since panels have gone down in price so much. If there was a way to email or PM you, I wouldn’t mind a discussion, for sure.

      23. two more things to consider…#1 salt… buy a bunch and put it some place dry.. #2, get an old hand powered water pump. Sure its a lot of work, but it requires nothing more than a well bore to work, and you can quickly move it to another location if needed. Another idea is a fuel transfer pump. The old kind with a hand crank. Get a clean new one and only use it for water. A long length of reinforced rubber hose dropped down any well bore tied into this pump will get you all the water you could need to fill a tank fast. Sure, electric or gravity for piping water is great, but if you have to move, bug out or relocate, a pump like these make it possible for you to colonize any abandoned property you find that has its own well, weather there is power or not.. It also allows you to refill your tanks and move on from any well you find..

      24. I don’t know much about the plumbing in your house, the there is an enhanced bucket sink that would work great for you. See it at DeluxeCamping.com.

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