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August 7, 2012 at 11:26 pm #37141
My propane bottle ran out yesterday so first thing this morning I went to the local dealers to replace it for a full one. Now at the counter I either get served by an elderly guy (who has integrity), or a younger man. I was dismayed to see the younger man behind the till as he asked me for £22.50, I challenged him because I now know the bottles are £20.50 and he looked to the sign, apologised, (well, made an excuse about getting confused actually), then went to get me a fresh ‘full’ bottle of propane. I type ‘full’ as last time I bought one it seemed to run empty a lot quicker than the one I bought from the older guy.
Anyway, my point is that I try to get away from the grid and away from all the trappings of the big greedy corporate rip offs through piped gas bills, electricity, telephone, direct debits.. and here I am getting conned with the off-grid bottled variety!! I know I could BUY a set of scales or something, note the weight of an empty bottle then compare this at the point of sale but it doesn’t feel much like the “utopian dream” off-gridding should be does it? Maybe I should work towards creating my own gas-making tank? Anyway, rant over.August 9, 2012 at 12:01 am #42842
I feel for you Frank. Unfortunately off-grid does not promise honesty or integrity. I wish it did!
By your own account you already know how to protect yourself against dishonest merchants. This is not something linked to off-grid or on-grid. It relates directly to human nature and moral standards. There is also a system for addressing this, but is somewhat off topic for here. Sadly despite 2000 years of practice we as a civilization have come no closer to reaching the goals of this other system. I despair of the off-grid system ever having any greater success.August 9, 2012 at 5:25 am #42846
well a couple of things to consider. pre- filed set price cylinders are filled to a value equal to cost per pound, not a full tank. as market value of the commodity changes so will the volume in the tank.
secondly, i have mentioned in several different post’s that while propane may be a short term solution for hot water or cooling food. propane appliances are more costly to buy, and fix then electric. put the money towards more renewable energy production/ conversion and in the long run you’ll win
question? where do you draw the line on being off the grid? is driving to town and buying gas still the use of multiple non-renewable resources?
in my purest attempts at being of the grid in todays modern society i question the use of propane, newspaper, lighters, store bought garden products, even the computer i am sitting at. i am slowly refining my wants and needs to build /develop my homestead in a way that is maintainable in the future with out the need for the hardware store, the grocery store, the box store. ect
at some point “the man’s” infrastructure will only serve “da man”
so, where’s the line on being off the grid? my 12″ satellite dish providing the internet? while its wireless i still pay “the man”. in a modern lease cable and internet are referred to as utilities.
sorry the purchase of propane caused you angst.August 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm #42863
Gordo wrote: in my purest attempts at being of the grid in todays modern society i question the use of propane, newspaper, lighters, store bought garden products, even the computer i am sitting at. i am slowly refining my wants and needs to build /develop my homestead in a way that is maintainable in the future with out the need for the hardware store, the grocery store, the box store.
This is the classic argument concerning off-grid. Should it be a return to pre-industrial society suitable to a world populated by one tenth of the present population or should off-grid move forward to a future utopian life more remenisceint of the long ago TV series Lost in Space where the nuclear family lived in a spaceship pod on an alien planet. They had the benefit of the latest life support technology, robotic labor and remote sensors to warn of any imminent perils from nature.
About the only common denominator between the two styles is a dislike of any authority that presumes to take your money (assets) and tell you what to do. Never mind this might be for the common good; it still represents imposing rules on society as a whole.
Taking Gordo’s argument to its logical conclusion, You cannot make use of any technology because it requires some sort of civilization with structure and thus some form of authority (the man) to organize it. Where do you get nails from? In the absence of nails how do you build a house? In fact how do you get an ax, knife, or saw unless you have mines and at least black smith technology.
Oh sure you can get flint knives and axes but unless you live where flint is found, you need traders to carry goods back and forth. Guess who controls the traders. Right! The neanderthal man. ( UGH! you pay toll or you don’t get through this road)
With the right technology I think I would prefer being Lost in Space. <smile>
Gordo, consider switching to methane instead of propane. At least then you can control production. Eat more beans.
Don’t you just love these philosophical debates? <VBG>August 18, 2012 at 9:36 pm #42864
“Don’t you just love these philosophical debates?” LOL!!!
Being off grid doesn’t mean we don’t have to pay some bills and use the products of the still existing, so far, civilization.August 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm #42867
EXACTLY! Even if you are totally off-grid and self reliant how are you going to buy forged axe heads or shovels and other hand implements used in the vegetable patch.
Unless you regress to a hunter gather society you need some form of technical development. Even my native friends who keep us well supplied with salmon, moose, mushrooms and wild berries travel there in their 4X4, use nylon nets and GPS to find the good locations. ?? off grid?? Oh yeah!August 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm #42870
It would be good to stock up on items like good knives, axes, shovels, files, saws, guns and ammo, oil, grease, and other things made by a civilization that will probably collapse by mid century(or well before). In remote off grid areas, these items, if well maintained, could last hundreds of years before having to resort to chipped rock tools, and finding saltpeter and sulfur deposits for gunpowder.August 20, 2012 at 1:43 am #42871
My neighbor at the last place we lived was teaching himself how to make gun power (black) for use with his muzzle loader rifle. As a backup he was also learning how to use a cross bow.
He used to work as a blacksmith and knew how to hammer weld two pieces of iron together.
The trouble with stock piling stuff being it will deterioatee, corrode, or get stolen. But if you know how to make it from scratch, so much the better.August 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm #42874
“items, if well maintained, could last hundreds of years”. Keep ’em out of corrosion environments, remove rust when it happens, stockpiled metal should be greased and put in a dry place, while always protected from theft with lethal force, and good hiding.August 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm #42875
Corrosion is oxidation, meaning oxygen from the air interacts with whatever is in contact with the air. Water certainly accelerates corrosion but is by no means the only agent. This could spawn a whole new off grid technology- hermetically sealed airless storage. < smile>
Sailors have been seeking these solutions for centuries. While getting closer they still haven’t found the right solution.August 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm #42878
Hey Frank A good alternative is to use a wood burning stove that have hot plates on top. this can also be connected to a hot water cylinder and used to heat water for cleaning/washing dishes and heating radiators.August 20, 2012 at 11:40 pm #42879
Definitely Jay, I’m building plans in my head for the best setup.. gonna do it once but do it right. At the moment I am in a caravan but hopefully will convert a brick building into a full wood burning system in a couple of years or so.
I’m trying to save money so the whole rip-off thing really gets at me and this post was largely just me blowing off some steam over it. Someone suggested a cheaper local supplier for propane so will try there next time.
As for technology, it can be both good and bad. Take cars, modern cars are expensive and complicated to fix whereas old cars may break down more but are easy to maintain and repair… my view is weigh out the pros and cons and get whats best. My ideal is to invest in a set up that is reliable and cheap to maintain or repair when/if it does go wrong. Time will repay any original outlay if it lasts a lifetime with little or no extra work. Complication is a big hinderance and I think that’s why the simplicity of dropping everything and living without ‘the man’ is so attractive to so many people… its a bit unrealistic though.. I don’t fancy living in a cave rubbing sticks together and eating squirrels for the rest of my life whilst someone just down the road is sitting in a heated house watching TV documentaries about some lunatic living in a cave wearing nothing but a rabbit-skin to cover his modesty! Freedom from the system kind of turns around back at you as slavery when you take it too farAugust 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm #42881
enlav thanks for the thoughts. i think that there is a ray area between hardware stores and making tools from stones and lashing thrum to rocks. for decades our society has been disposing perfectly good, working materials , tools and machines. When i see something that is a usefully tool , material or fixable machine i grab them.
as for storage and corrosion there are bottom plows out in the field that haven’t been pulled in decades, their rusty but their trusty…
so, as for the original post. i have the ability to make electricity, and do so with minimal infrustructure. i can not make gas, i can make bio fuels. however, this requires the waste oil to begin with, not great to depend on.
electric motors only need to be mounted and to spin. gas/diesel engines need all sorts of various parts to make them function.
when making a choice i’ll allways take electric over gas. and the biggest inverters. even inverters are becoming discarded as inferior. keep up with the jones mentality.
or try the local small engine repair. ill bet there is a stack of old genets with bad motors and good electronics, (free).
hunter and gather. yup. all the stuff that people see no value to because it doesn’t operate via an i app.
cheers gAugust 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm #42886
One thing I have learned in 15 years of off grid life, is to have backups to backups, in everything. The more, the better, and can be used in bartering when TSHTF.August 31, 2012 at 6:56 pm #42913
LOL!!! atleast you haven’t lost your sense of humor!! you all are soooo funny!! I’m just trying to start out-and already~I’m having 2nd thoughts! LOL I will NOT be detured~I will forge on!! seriously though~I admire people like you~and hope, some day, my family will come on board~because I have 4 kids-and 15 grandkids!! and I am afraid- if we don’t get out now~we won’t be able too!!
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