The ‘grid’ has come to be known as the energy flow that surrounds the majority of the planet that powers, or provides power to, our transportation, technology, and routine essentials for day to day living. Whether it be an electric toothbrush, the fuel in a vehicle, or even checking the time on a wristwatch all of these routine essentials come to fall under the ‘grid’. However, what if that grid were to one day fail? How would mankind react? How would mankind survive?
The answer is simple. For thousands of years our ancestors provided for themselves their food, their clothing, and even their entertainment all by their own ingenuity. They farmed, they sowed, and they played very much like today. The only difference is that they did not go to work in order to create an income so that they may ‘purchase’ these goods, they made them themselves. This concept is still possible today.
Providing for oneself is known as sustainable living. It is an ideology that either an individual or a family can provide for themselves not to just reduce their own living costs but to rid waste and pollution as much as possible in order to achieve what is becoming known as sustainable development. Sustainable development is a goal of perfect harmonic balance of all human needs in tune with the environment. For many years however, this process of change has come to be popularized as living off the grid. Living off the grid does not mean reverting back to the same lifestyle as our ancestors but instead to bring their way of life forward in time to today. But to begin this goal the knowledge of our ancestors must become second nature to the knowledge of today. There are five basic tips that should help assist with the change to begin living off the grid:
Foraging for Food and Water
In a worst case scenario such as a natural disaster it is important to know that food is everywhere. Not store bought food but edible and digestible food such as bugs, plants, and small animals. However, much time will have to be spent researching specifically what plants are edible in your area as some may very well be poisonous. As for bugs, it is important to research what types of bugs primarily live in your region and which seasons they’re likely to be found in abundance. The same rule of thumb applies to small animals. If hunting, it is important to know which areas animals will be most likely found in as well as the seasonal habits of each type of animal in that region. Water may not always be found in a fresh supply so natural and organic forms of filtration can be constructed in order to clean dirty or stagnant water.
Creating Shelter and Warmth
Not everybody can build a house single-handedly from bottom up but everyone can build at least a temporary shelter to protect against harsh weather as well as fire to provide warmth. Depending upon the scenario shelter may need to be constructed if no other shelter is around. Branches, leaves, sticks, and even mud set out to dry can create a decent shelter alongside some creativity to help temporarily stand against stormy weather. There are many different fires that can be built that serve different purposes. For example, coal bed fires provide warmth throughout the night while cut logged fires are used for cooking with a skillet. Take some to research the different types of fires that can be built in order to have in mind each one for each scenario.
Preparing for Long-Term Food
Living off the grid means sustainable living and sustainable development. In retrospect this also means no more grocery stores. Backyard gardens are becoming much more popular especially as families are realizing the cost benefits. To get properly started on a long-term backyard garden be sure to thoroughly research what different types of fruits and vegetables are going to be planted and how they will be planted as well as what types of livestock, if any, will be bred. Keep in mind which types of fruits and vegetables provide the human body with enough essential nutrients to provide for a full course meal such as “The Three Sisters” which is made up of beans, corn, and squash and of course how to make homemade nutrients and pesticides.
Protecting and Guarding Against Theft from Predators and Pests
Living off the grid also means becoming a sort of ‘home-security-monitor’. Not against criminals but against all sorts of pests! This is because backyard gardens attract all sorts of critters from raccoons to rats especially if a compost pile is regularly used. Fortunately though there are several different methods to deter all sorts of critters away from the garden from setting harmless traps to using scarecrows to ward away the birds. Keep in mind however that this is a trial and error phase so not every method may work and some methods may need to be altered in order to achieve its intended goal. This is where ingenuity will take over.
Maintaining Cleanliness and Hygiene
One of the most important elements to living off the grid and also one of the most commonly forgotten is maintaining proper cleanliness and hygiene. Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene is also a key step to most preventative medicine techniques. The first step is to collect the majority of the ingredients to begin making homemade hygiene products. These ingredients mostly consist of baking powder and plants such as lavender and rosemary which means most ingredients can be grown from home. The first products that should be researched and made are toothpaste, body soap, shampoo and conditioner, and various ointments for burns, cuts, and rashes. As more experienced is gained and a new sustainable living routine is developed than more and more areas of expertise can be explored in order to gain further understanding of what may need to be done next.
“How Living Off the Grid Works.” By Charles W. Bryant
“Living Off the Grid (And Without Propane).” By William Kemp
“Is Living Off the Grid now a Crime?” By Rob Richardson