How to Build a First Aid Kit

In our pursuit of self reliance we often overlook many of the small details that turn that dream into a reality.  One of the things that most people overlook is the possibility of dealing with medical emergencies. Yet this is an extremely important detail that must be addressed before you run for the hills.  Having a proper first aid kit on hand is a very important first step.  

A little knowledge and experience can help you keep calm during an emergency.  It can also help you to manage others and keep them from panicking. Having the ability to treat minor injuries or render basic support until you can consult a medical professional can potentially make the difference between life and death. At the very least, it may prevent an expensive visit to an emergency room.  At an absolute minimum, you should take a basic first aid class or become a certified first responder.  These skills will serve you well especially if you plan on living in a rural or...

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100 Best Homestead Tools

Living on a homestead is a life centered around frugality and self reliance. Every person that chooses this lifestyle is typically a hardy do-it-yourselfer. Additionally, many homesteaders live in homes and cabins they’ve built themselves. If this sounds like a lot of work, you are right. However, the rewards are immeasurable. The other thing you must realize is that all of this work becomes a lot easier if you have the right tools for the job. There is enough work to do on a homestead already. Why not invest in quality homestead tools that will save you time, work, and money.

That said, acquiring those necessary homestead tools is something else all together. After looking at the following list it may seem as if you will have to invest a small fortune to acquire all the necessary tools. You may be right. In fact, I’ve accumulated all of my tools over years of working on the homestead. I have a combination woodshed/toolshed, as well as a storage shed for some of the more...

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Off Grid Cookware: What are Your Options

off grid cooking recipes Nov 10, 2020

Those that are homesteaders and/or living off the grid know that this type of lifestyle is about getting back to the basics.  Life is centered around frugality and self reliance.  Everything on the homestead must have a purpose, if not several different functions, or it is in the way.  The same is true for off grid cookware.  

When you think about it, off grid cookware has to stand up to high heat and a variety of cooking methods.  At any given time you may be cooking over an open fire, on a wood stove, a grill, propane stove, rocket or backpacking stove, a camp stove, or even in a hot box. Just like anything else, having the right equipment for the job makes all the difference in the world. The same is true for cooking.  During the time I’ve lived off the grid, I’ve experimented with cooking in numerous ways. The end result is that I’ve found several types of off grid cookware that have stood the test of time. 

Cast iron cookware...

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Off Grid Internet: 5 Realistic Options

In today's world, the internet is an important part of modern life.  In fact, some people consider internet access a basic utility. But, what if you wanted to move into the “boonies” and live off the grid.  Is it possible to have off grid internet? Furthermore, what if you do not even have electricity? What then? Such topics are the focus of this article.  Here are several ways to have off grid internet even in the middle of the forest.  

1) Cell phone connection

If you live within range of cell phone reception and have a smart phone, off grid internet access is easy.  Your smart phone can also be used as a personal hot spot. Using your laptop screen is much easier than using the small screen on your phone. This is by far the least expensive option since you are already paying for your cell phone plan.  However, while you may have unlimited data on your cell phone, this may not be the case when using your phone as a personal hotspot....

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Off Grid Communication: 5 Realistic Options

With modern technology, we have become accustomed to convenient, instant, on-demand communication. We have instant access to more knowledge and information than ever before. We use our smart phones to instantly communicate with someone on the other side of the planet.  But what would you do if the communications network went down? Furthermore, what would you do if the grid went down? Is it possible to communicate without the grid? The short answer is yes. Therefore, the purpose of this post is to introduce different forms of off grid communication.  

Why off grid communication is important

There is example after example of local weather events or disasters when the entire local grid went down. (I’ve had personal experience with this more than once. ) Thousands, if not millions of people were without basic services. Additionally, they had no ability to communicate with anyone. These situations is what has spurred the development of some of the off grid communication...

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Off Grid Refrigeration: Propane versus Electric

When I started living off the grid in 1996, my technology options were limited.  However, since that time, there have been many advances that make an off grid life much easier.  This is especially true when it comes to off grid refrigeration. Not only have appliances become much more efficient but there are also many more options. Two of the most common options for off-grid refrigeration are propane and electric. But how do you choose?

The decision between these two appliances should begin with a comparison of efficiency and the long term cost of operation. For the sake of comparison, I will discuss the energy consumption of an 8 to 10 cubic foot refrigerator. Household refrigerators range in size from 8 to 30 cubic feet.  An 8 to 10 cubic foot unit is sufficient for two people. Add about one cubic foot for each additional family member. 

Now let’s get started with our choices for off grid refrigeration.

Propane refrigerator

Unlike the electric...

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Off Grid Appliances: Options for Cooking Off Grid

Living off grid is fun and challenging. If you are so motivated, you can find creative ways to take care of all of your basic necessities.  Of course, one of life’s basic necessities is cooking, food storage, and maintaining a safe and sanitary food supply.  How do you cook off grid? How do you keep fresh food easily available?  Fortunately, there are numerous high efficiency off grid appliances.  Consequently, this makes it easy to prepare meals and have reliable efficient refrigeration. 

In today’s world there are various choices for off grid appliances. This is great because it makes living off the grid that much easier.    

Off grid cook stove 

If you are living off grid, there are numerous options for cooking meals.  The most energy efficient means is using an off grid appliance that requires a solid fuel source. This is especially true if you are producing your own electricity.  

An electric stove draws a huge...

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Off Grid Shower Options

In recent years the interest in living off the grid has grown. While many people express interest, few people actually take the big step of living off grid. Perhaps one of the reasons is that so few people know how to take care of life’s basic necessities while living off grid. One of the biggest necessities is of course staying clean. Consequently, the focus of this post is off grid shower options and how to stay clean. 

I’ve lived off the grid for the last 20 years. Admittedly my initial attempts at staying clean were not very successful.  But during that time, I experimented with various options for an off grid shower. Therefore, in this post, I go through all of those options and explain from personal experience the pros and cons of each method. 

Off Grid Shower Option #1

 

A simple gravity fed off grid shower is by far the easiest and less expensive option.  Besides, all you need is a container of water in an elevated position. A...

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Off Grid Water Systems: Five Realistic Options

When it comes to living off the grid, water should be one of your major priorities. In fact, much of your off grid lifestyle will be dictated by the availability of water.  Additionally, you may find the perfect piece of property for the homestead except for access to water. Since water is such an important resource, the point of this post is to explore several options for off grid water systems.  

City Water: Not really an off grid water system

There are numerous rural properties that I’ve seen that are perfect for a homestead and those properties include access to city water.  Now I do understand that one of the biggest reasons that most of us homestead or live off the grid is that we value our personal freedom. Consequently, hooking up the local infrastructure may be the last thing on your mind. Besides, you may feel as if this is not even being off the grid at all.

However, if you choose to take advantage of this option, I strongly recommend having another...

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Having an Off Grid Home: Five Realistic Options

Over the years that I’ve lived off grid,  the general attitude about my lifestyle has changed from “Are you freakin’ crazy?” to “I really want to try that!” But, even though more people want to try the off grid life, most people are faced with not knowing  exactly where to start. Additionally, people are intimidated about what type of off grid home to build.  These concerns are typically centered around cost and functionality.

Speaking of functionality, an internet search for “alternative housing”, “mobile housing options”, or “temporary housing options”  quickly brings up with some very interesting and unique options for an off grid home. I will admit that these “unique” options are interesting and fun to learn about. However, they are not very viable as far as a long-term living situation.  

Consequently, in this post, I cover five realistic options for an off...

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