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When the subject of off-grid living comes up, the average person pictures guys with scruffy beards living in makeshift shelters in the woods. But living off-grid is simply about liberty, independence, and shunning the corporate/government machine that wants to control every facet of your life. The less you have to rely on someone else for your daily human needs (food, water, shelter, defense), the more liberty and freedom you have. That’s because you’re no longer forced to wage-slave away at some job just to provide your family the basics for survival.
The off-grid transition does not have to be abrupt. There are small adjustments you can make right now that will get the process started and teach you new life skills at the same time.
Anybody with a spare bedroom and the will to produce their own food can build a simple aquaponics system. Aquaponics is a home fish-farming system that uses the waste water to grow hydroponic plants. The initial investment can be as little as a few hundred dollars.
First you need to learn a little about aquaponics before delving into it. There are plenty of free online videos and resources to get you going in the right direction, or you could pay for an online course taught by those who with experience in aquaponics. Next, you need an aquarium for your fish, a clean water tank, and beds to grow your vegetables and fruits.
The most important decision you’ll make is the type of fish you farm. Tilapia are best for beginners. They are good eating fish and provide a lot of error margin for the aquaponics beginner. They can survive in water temperatures anywhere from 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, can endure low oxygen water longer than many species, and are highly resistant to disease. Trout, catfish, and carp are also good aquaponics fish.
Vegans and vegetarians who are only interested in eating the plants can use goldfish. They are obviously not good eating fish, but they produce a lot of waste which means nutrient-rich water for your plants.
The average American home uses bout 11,000 kWh of electricity per year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. A photovoltaic solar system that produces that kind of power costs upward of $20,000, depending on where and when you buy it. The best way to start weening off utility company power is building a small solar system to power specific items in your home.
Two 6-volt deep cycle batteries, one 100-watt solar panel, an inverter and a charge controller easily provides enough power for all the lighting in a 1,500 square foot home if done strategically. Trojan T-105 RE batteries are specifically made for renewable energy systems. But any cheap 6-volt deep cycle batteries run in series will do. Use only low-power LED lights and even consider solar rechargeable lighting systems. The latter gives you the opportunity to use your small solar system to power other things like computers, DVD players and other low power appliances and devices.
A system like this can be had for as little as $500. A year later you can add two more batteries and another panel and power even more stuff.
Now is the best time of year to either update your survival gear or begin building it up. Expensive, top-of-the-line hunting and fishing gear, along with ammunition, can be had at deep discounts from the large retailers during this time of year.
Food is obviously important for survival, but humans can only survive a few days without water. LifeStraws should be part of every survival pack. They are inexpensive, lightweight, last a long time, and turn just about any murky water into drinkable water. They could ultimately save your life in the event of complete societal breakdown.
It’s time to stop talking about going off-grid and start taking actions to get the process started. All the above will get you going in the right direction.