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  • in reply to: If you are reading this you are not off grid! #67133
    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    Please do yourself a favor and carry a GPS emergency beacon with you. Ya know …  just in case. Your primary concern should be the health and safety of you and your family. To sever all ties with others fails the safety aspect of your plan. Even the early trappers and miners would have rendezvous points, and they also travel together for months at a time.

    Good luck on your adventure. I don’t need to say anything about humility because nature has a way of teaching that in spades.

    Please keep us informed and try to remember there may be people on this forum who used to think just the way you do.

    Michael
    GlobalFamilySurvival.com

    <BTW Nick> Our friend Arild has done the same up in Canada. But we still keep in contact by email. He has a solar charger for his laptop and he sometimes pirates WiFi long enough to send and receive mail.

    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    Elnav is right. I live in the West slope of the Cascades in WA state. My experiences would be completely different than someone living in CA, or Utah, or Canada, or even the East slope of the Cascades.

    Living off grid, to me, means dealing with the environment you are in, with the resources you have. You might have problems with your proposed database because most off-griders I know really don’t want to be found let alone mapped. Sure, you see article written all the time by off-griders, but they usually want to share their opinions not their life.

    This may sound harsh but remember there is a reason (or two, or three) that a person is off grid, and it’s not because it’s becoming a vogue thing to do. And it’s certainly not as easy as one, two, three your off grid. It is much deeper than that. In my last post I talked about raising pigs for food, raising chickens for eggs and for food, and raising turkeys for food. These things need to be frozen or canned. Freezing is usually the best choice. So how do you power a freezer off grid?

    The other day I added 735 lbs. of beef from a Holstein heifer we raised to our food bank. Tomorrow I will add 125 lbs. of turkey (that’s six turkeys) to our reserve. We’re doing the turkeys with minimal water because our well has been having problems for three months now. How would you solve that? Elnav and I have been tossing ideas back and forth for about a month now. Tomorrow we will find out what worked.

    <BTW> If you have a 23 cu. ft. freezer pulling 800 kWh per year, what kind of battery system would you use and how would you recharge the system? How would you back up that system?

    This is the off grid that I’m talking about.

    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    Jay – The HTML code to add that image to a web page is:

    <img src="www.imagehosting.nu/images/backyardfa.jpg" alt="Backyard farming" />

    Plus any other formatting you want to add.

    But in looking at the chart, I have several issues with it.

    1. .44 acres of vegetables per person is high. I have close to a 500 sq. ft. vegetable garden (7 raised boxes 8×8) and if I wanted to feed my family of four only from our garden (we prefer a variety from the local farmer’s market too), I would plant 1500 sq. ft. at the most. That’s less than a quarter acre for a family of four. It’s actually 0.034435 of an acre. This would give you plenty of space to replant throughout the year providing you with veggies year round. If you’re vegetarians, go with 3,000 sq. ft., which would still only be 0.068870 of an acre.  I leave the corn and wheat to the people who have the equipment to economically harvest it. I will trade pork for the corn and wheat we need.

    2. Three pigs would feed two families of four. I also raise pigs and two pigs are more than enough for a year. Two pigs do better than one (social creatures). We do two for a family of four and give/sell/trade over half a pig to our less fortunate neighbors. Two pigs do fine on 100 sq. ft. indoor pen and 100 sq. ft. outdoor pen. I wouldn’t go much less than that because pigs poop plentifully. And there’s your source of fertilizer or methane.

    3. I also disagree with the chicken data. I have 14 hens in a 120 sq. ft. area. I would free range them but there are too many coyotes, raccoons, eagles, owls, and mink up here. I lost 12 chickens to a mink in one night once. The chickens lay enough eggs for my family plus I use eggs to barter with the locals for things like honey and blackberry wine. I used to give the homeless people around here eggs every week, but Arild had a better idea so I now hard boil those eggs first. The manure is also good fertilizer or can be used to produce methane.

    I wonder why the chart doesn’t mention turkeys. They are a good food source that requires relatively little room. We try to raise 12 turkeys a year (one for each month) and they take up as much room as 2 pigs need (200 sq. ft.).

    Arild – I love the block of ice analogy. BTW from calf to slaughter a beef cow takes two years to grow unless you want veal. ;-) Veal usually comes from a yearling male milk cow. You need to breed a female milk cow to bring her into milk, if her offspring is a female you keep her for milk production, if she has a male you would either keep it for a breeding bull or sell it for veal. Most dairy farmers will go the veal route because the world is already too full of BULL.

    Reboot2009

    GlobalFamilySurvival.com

    in reply to: How to make money Off the Grid #65445
    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    I would love to buy some socks from Amanda. I wouldn’t need them until the first of November, I will get you some sizes before then, for four pairs.

    in reply to: Looking to go off-grid in Utah #64647
    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    I’m sorry. This thread kinda fell through the tracks. (I dropped a stitch.)

    Revinger – At that time (1975) GPS satellites were strictly government access (until 1983). God, you make me want another “Geritol cocktail”. Where did I put that walker…? :-) Maybe we had to try a drift or two, I cant remember. But with a known point, or benchmark (mile maker xx) and a compass you should be able to get very close. And with a landmark orientation, you should be “on it”. Nowadays, it’s popular to play in GPS treasure hunts. In the 70’s and 80’s there was “compass reading” treasure hunts. :-}

    LizzyQ – You live in a beautiful area (my old fishing grounds). When I talk to people in UT that have never been in the Pacific Northwest and they ask me what it’s like, I tell them it’s similar to Logan without as much snow. If I was in UT, it would probably be around Logan. I _love_ Cache Valley Swiss cheese! BTW My uncle is a geology prof. at the university in Logan.

    Reboot2009

    http://www.GlobalFamilySurvival.com

    in reply to: DC powered lights and fans #64614
    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    Basserben. AC can travel further with less electricity loss than DC. I have seen homes powered by DC because they can satisfy their lighting needs at a truck stop.

    elnav is right – “Therefor you will likely end up spending far more money on bigger copper wires than if you went with standard 120V appliances.

    If you do end up with a DC device such as an LED light you can uses a step down transformer to get 12V or 6V from the 120V ac. In fact you could probably fish such power supplies out of the garbage because so many people toss out the old charger for a cell phone when they get a new one. Garage sales and good will stores typically charge 50 cents to a buck apiece for such power cubes.”

    An inverter is what you need. Google it. There are a lot to choose from.

    If you are concerned about working with AC, you can usually disconnect the power before working with fixtures and plugs. This way you will not be in danger when you switch on the power, your new circuits might be in danger if they weren’t done right. :-/

    Hey, we’ve all fried a few circuits … really!

    AC is a better choice.

    Reboot2009

    GlobalFamilySurvival.com

    in reply to: Central Ontario #64615
    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    Trm- Hang on. I just heard from a friend of mine who has a successful aqua farming operation. He would enjoy talking with you. When I locate his website I will post it.

    Reboot2009

    GlobalFamilySurvival.com

    in reply to: Steps to relocate to Canada #64617
    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    Omek – Welcome

    I’m not in Canada, I’m an hour and a half from the border. I just wanted to point out there are places like you are looking for in the lower 48 close to the Canadian border.

    On your road trip try to look at the Pacific Northwest, or Montana, or Idaho. I don’t know much about the East, but I’ve been told upstate NY and the great lakes area can also be what you described you are looking for.

    Cheers, Reboot2009

    GlobalFamilySurvival.com

    in reply to: Off Grid Living with Kids #64618
    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    We moved from San Diego to a very rural area in the Cascade mnts about 6 yrs ago with two middle school children. We started them in the closest Public Middle school before I realized 1- 50% of the kids were being home schooled and 2- The quality of teachers seems to lessen, the further away you are from a big city.

    My advise is do it and plan on home schooling. Find out if you will be able to get high speed Internet. That will help schooling the kids. The experiences you and the kids will have living off grid will be a huge education in itself.

    Just remember that your daughters may want to return to city living and will need to compete with others for jobs. I find it sad when I see bright kids held back from their potential because they lack the resources to learn and grow. Off grid living can provide the resources for a good education.

    Good luck-

    Reboot2009

    GlobalFamilySurvival.com

    in reply to: Looking to go off-grid in Utah #64554
    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    Well, as one who has done a lot of hunting and fishing through Utah (born in SLC), I would first ask Northern Utah with the Uinta and Wasatch mountain ranges? Or Southern Utah with it’s sand dunes and rocks?

    The easiest location for living off grid is Southern Utah. There used to be a few communities around Moab and the Green River area. Many off griders in the South are polygamist families staying off the FBI radar.

    Northern Utah can be pretty nasty in the winter. We used to park a 14 foot trailer in the Wasatch mountains in the fall so we could snowshoe in and dig through the snow to find it in the winter when the snow was a couple feet over the top of the trailer. Sure was peaceful.

    Rgrds

    in reply to: Solar panel effectiveness #64538
    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    Yes. Positioning is important to solar panels, but that’s not the only factor. The sun’s azimuth (as elnav pointed out) is an often overlooked factor. I live at latitude 47 degrees 88 minutes north. That’s pretty far North for solar collectors. PV and solar collectors will always do better the closer to the equator.

    Tracking panels are available, but cost big bucks. The successful solar panel installations that I have seen up here have either been on the bank of a lake, or in the middle of a field/pasture (about 3/4 acre), and I know one installation that uses a reflector setup to direct sunlight light into the collectors.

    Reboot2009

    http://www.GlobalFamilySurvival.com

    in reply to: How to get started in going off grid #64540
    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    Agreed! Way too many people buy the solar panels first, then try to figure out what to do with them. This is “ass-backwards”! I recommend that you first calculate your current energy usage. Then you start to figure out how to drop that current number as low as you can. This is critical. Sustainable living is about reducing energy dependence, then figuring out how to generate the power you need, NOT the power you want. The geography has a lot to do with your planning. For example: Where I live we depend more on wind and hydro kinetic generation than solar. Yet I see people (too often) who move up here and invest several thousand dollars on solar collectors just to find their investment is largely wasted. They usually don’t admit it but we know how often we here their gasoline generator fired up.

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