My husband and I recently bought a piece of property with some family members in the hope of transitioning to off-grid living. For those who might not be familiar with the concept, going off-grid means creating a lifestyle that does not rely on public utilities (water, electricity, et cetera).
There are many different reasons people choose to go off-grid. Some of the most popular reasons are:
- to decrease environmental impact,
- to prepare for disaster, or
- a desire to be independent and self-sustained.
We jumped into our endeavor with almost no knowledge or experience. We have had to learn some things the hard way. While I would not trade the experience for anything, there are some things that I wish we had known from the start. Here is a list of tips I can offer to help make the transition to off-grid living a bit easier.
After our move across the country and decision to purchase rather than build our new country property, we had some work ahead of us. Our home was more than 30 years old and needed considerable work. In this section of the article, we continue to review the improvements made and plans for the future.
Year 3 Property Improvements (cont.)
New Flooring and Wall Storage
The floor was updated and unused space appropriated. The original lino floors were replaced with new tile floors. The back wall of the kitchen had not been used. I installed four open shelves with the bottom shelf just above the height of my bulk food storage buckets. These shelves now hold all of the food that had once been stored in the linen closet and a basement storage room.
Remodel Efficiency On A Budget
All of the kitchen remodel was completed in just eight days. (The … Continue reading
We left the Peoples Republic of Kommiefornia in 2013 for the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains with a list of the minimum requirements for our new county property. After making this journey of more than 2,300 miles to start the second half of our lives, we opted to purchase a home rather than build one. Our decision was mainly due to time issues and the discovery of a house within one mile and on the same country road that my aging father and step-mother lived on.
What we left:
- 3 bedrooms
- 2 baths
- 1400 sq. ft.
- California city lot
- over $4,000.00 per year in property taxes
- 3 car garage
- over $500.00 per year car registration on a 2010 car
- over $200.00 per year car registration on a 2001 truck
- no mineral rights
- Town population of 130,000
- County population of 360,000
What we wanted:
Our journey towards prepping began approximately five years ago when my husband handed me a book called Patriots. Needless to say, he had been collecting all kinds of of things prior to my reading the book.
Husband a Firearms Instructor, Competitive Shooter, and Woodworker
My husband participated in many shooting competitions over the years and was a primary firearms instructor while in the military. He developed his skills and won many competitions. Then, he began reloading even to the point of making his own lead bullets from old wheel weights. He also had a full woodworking shop in our basement.
It seems “Enough!”
was the primary income provider and at times was not pleased with some of his purchases, as they seemed excessive. This did cause problems, because I began to complain, saying “Enough!”.
The mainstream media has recently featured many articles about multi-millionaires buying opulent shelter spaces marketed by companies like The Survival Condo Project and Terra Vivos Reportedly, these swank leased shelter spaces are being gobbled up by the rich and famous. (Important Caveat: Those are just two well-publicized examples among many similar ventures, and I’m not criticizing them, per se. I have serious doubts about the efficacy of all such leased retreat space ventures, if and when things fall apart.)
Survival preparations are not like buying a service, such as car detailing or house painting. You can’t just “have it done” by someone else and expect to actually survive a major disaster to see full restoration of normal day-to-day life. You need to learn these skills for yourself. You need to construct things for yourself, tailor them to your own family’s particular needs, and then maintain them … Continue reading
The Australian press reports: People are flocking to a region of America so they can survive the end of the world.
JWR’s Comments: Although I spent nearly an hour on the phone with Australian journalist Matt Young fully describing the American Redoubt concept and the various threats to modern society, he put together a scattered article with a mish-mash of old and new quotes from me (some of them out of context) and a video link to what was one of the most poorly-prepared and antagonistic interviews that I’ve ever endured, with the late liberal American journalist Alan Colmes. (Colmes, known for his satirical wit, passed away from cancer on February 23, 2017.) In that interview Colmes didn’t even get my given name right—though he had my book right on his desk. And then he plunged into an interrogation on the comma in my name. By the way, … Continue reading
I just did some link checking, and I found that several of the web URLs that I had listed for our recommended churches in the American Redoubt region were out of date. I’ve now updated our church listings at our Redoubt static page, with these links:
- Mountain View Baptist Church, Pierce, Idaho
- Grangeville Christian Reformed Church, Grangeville
- Three Lakes Community Bible Church, Troy, Montana
- Yaak Community Church, Yaak, Montana
- Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church, Bend, Oregon
- Grace Bible Church, LaGrande, Oregon
- Reformation Community Church, Spokane, Washington
- Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA), Lander, Wyoming
If you are new to the American Redoubt region or if you just want to get back into fellowship, then please visit these churches, and they will surely make you welcome! – JWR
o o … Continue reading
I heard about a company in Boise, Idaho that makes some innovative AR family rifle parts: 2A Armament. – JWR
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Idaho company approved to fly with night vision goggles
JWR’s Comment: If this goes well, this may become a trend for use in landings at other remote airfields. Later generation NVGs that use two light amplification tubes can overcome the depth perception problems that are inherent with single tube designs.
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Rural Idaho: Population Decline to Reduce Available Labor Source in Next Decade
JWR’s Comment: The good news for Idaho-bound preppers is that this demographic shift means there will be less demand for rural real estate, keeping it affordable for retirees and folks who are self employed. I still strongly recommend developing a home-based business or working your way into a telecommute position before moving to The American Redoubt.
… Continue reading
What do you think would happen to you if the government found out that you’d booby-trapped your property with a lethal device and your neighbor’s 14 year old boy and his dog happened upon the device, killing the dog and injuring the boy? You would be crazy to think there would be no jail time there, wouldn’t you? What if it were the government that had planted the boobytrap on public land and didn’t notify anyone? – HJL (Link sent in by reader P.M.)
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Bonner Co. declares state of emergency after flooding, road washouts. (Warning: Auto-start video.) JWR’s Comment: The only thing worse than a near-record snowpack is when it all melts at once.
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Veradale Boy Scout among the survivalists featured on Fox’s ‘Kicking and Screaming’JWR’s Comment: Watching television shows like this can yield a few very useful … Continue reading
Anyone living anywhere near Hermiston, Oregon, should check out Eastern Oregon Tactical (EOT). They carry a broad inventory of guns and accessories, and also offer training including an online Oregon CCW permit training course.
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Magpul up and running in Cheyenne, Wyoming. (They recently got a big USMC sole-source contract for Gen 3 PMAGs—a favorite item for both soldiers and preppers.)
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Montana leads nation in gun companies per capita.
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Big snow portends flooding in major Wyoming river basins
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Idaho lawmakers to discuss mandatory minimums bill
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Video: How This Idaho Oldtimer Constructed An Ideal Underground Home for Less Than $50
Anyone who wants to convert a cargo van for camping or Get Out Of Dodge purposes should check out End of the Earth Vans, in Missoula, Montana. The proprietor is pro-gun and has amazing skills.
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SurvivalBlog reader E.W. highly recommended Sourdo.com as a source of sourdough cultures and highly recommends the Russian culture as a fast riser and heavy lifter that works well with whole fours. Activating the starter mid-evening makes fresh, whole spelt bread by the next afternoon possible. The South African culture is also advertised as working well with whole grain flours.
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Looking for a quick, easy solution to an outhouse? Reader C.N. found an ad for Privy Ranch: Custom Made Outhouses in a local paper that sounds kind of nice.
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Idaho politics from Redoubt News: Swamp Master Bedke Meets … Continue reading
GOP advancing bills to expand concealed-carry of handguns in Montana
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I suppose it was inevitable: Now there is an American Redoubt song.
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After taking a brief break, Enola Gay (one of our favorite bloggers) is back to regular posting at her Paratus Familia blog. This righteous family been living off grid and cooking on a wood stove for many years. There is a huge difference between studying self-sufficiency and actually living self-sufficiently. Learn from those who truly live the life.
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Some interesting terrain analysis: Northern Islands of Refuge (in The American Redoubt)
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Is the American Redoubt giving squirrels tactical training? Trusty pet squirrel foils burglary!
Idaho: Dozens of dead owls showing up along I-84: ‘It’s like they fell from the sky’
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A 51st state, called Liberty, would have political clout and an ag-based economy
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An acquaintance who lives near Sandpoint, Idaho is selling an amazingly versatile Bug Out vehicle, based on a U.S. Army 5-Ton M934A1 6×6 multi-fuel truck with an expanding shop van on the back. It even has a snowplow blade. It has been painted charcoal gray.
Description of the truck:
- Extended Cab-Seats (2)
- 2 Upgraded Air Ride Seats
- Cab Entry to Expandable Box
- Expanded Range Dual Fuel Tanks
- 10’ width detachable snowplow blade
- 18,000 lb Waterproof 24VDC Forward Facing Winch
- Roof Hatch (with Ladder)
- 2 Forward Facing LED Light Bars
- Engine Block Heater
- Roof Mount Tire, Crane and Winch
- Upgraded Batteries
- Hitch for Standard Trailers
- Cummins Diesel Engine (Multi-fuel)
… Continue reading
Many folks living in North Idaho and Northwestern Montana are probably already familiar with a great old-fashioned military surplus store in Sandpoint, Idaho called Army Surplus 1. It was probably the inspiration for the fictional “Grogan’s War Surplus”, in the humorous books written by Patrick McManus. Their motto is: “We probably have it.” And in my experience, that is true. A great store with a 40 year history of fine customer service and a great selection. Stop by and check it out. – JWR
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We note with interest that Primary Weapons Systems (of Boise, Idaho) has greatly expanded their product line. Their fully ambidextrous AR-15 upper and lower receiver sets are a left-hander’s dream come true. And their PicMod rail system (A Picatinny rail that also accepts Key Mod attachments) is a great solution.
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Idaho custom knife maker … Continue reading