Given the state of the country and the world today people are beginning to wonder if they can survive when municipalities can no longer provide for their citizens. Antiquated infrastructure that has been patched together for years because of financial woes is weakening by the day.
The question now becomes can you live without municipalities supplying you with all the things you have become accustomed to. In some ways, you cannot break the bonds completely because there are things that you cannot provide for yourself but this has been the case for thousands of years. Therefore if you think you can escape to the backcountry and never see another human being again maybe you better rethink certain things, but there are things you can do to lessen your dependency on others and on municipalities.
The questions you must ask yourself include what happens when the power goes out, do you have a backup plan.
Solar panels are expensive but you can start out small by getting just a few panels to operate just a few appliances, in particular heating and cooling appliances, water pumps, refrigeration and hot water tanks. Solar system using single panels to operate certain appliances but are not adequate for the entire household.
In many cases, any surplus generated is sold back to the power company to be used, as a credit for power at night and on days there is limited sunlight. Any source that generates electricity and supplies electricity to the grid must be approved by the power provider and in some cases, they will have to inspect your system and put safeguards in place to prevent high voltage feed back along their lines that may cause harm to anyone servicing the lines.
You can off course purchase or build a structure that is not connected to the grid giving you free rein to develop whatever system works best for you. Once you are no longer connected to the local power grid and the sun is absence for a few days your battery bank will be depleted. Wind power is another alternative and if you plan to go completely off grid, you would probably need a wind turbine(s) along with a solar panel array. You first have to determine how much electricity you need generated and then position your turbine at a height sufficient to generate the desired amount.
Turbo power is another option, which harnesses the power of water to operate an electrical generator. You may have a source on your property but the source originates miles upstream in areas you have no control over. You need electrical generating sources that you have complete control over and fast running rivers while you may control a portion of one you do not control the entire river or stream. Before you decide to run off and start building that cabin miles up in the hills you not only need to worry about power you need to also consider food sources that you will need. Unless you want to be digging latrines every few months and moving the outhouse over the new pit because the old one is full then you will need to install a septic system if you want to go off grid or now live in an area that does not provide a sewer system. You may think right now the nearest bush or tree will do but this is impractical and unsanitary. Septic systems are not complicated but to do it yourself you will need certain skill sets, lots of energy and time especially if you plan to do all the digging by hand.
You have to make sure the soil can accept the waste by conducting a perk test to rate the absorption and retention level of the soil.
Whatever you choose can be accomplished, but it will take time, effort on your part and money.
However, you need to begin before disaster strikes and have a plan in mind before building that cabin high in the mountains because it will not take long for you to realize just how dependent you really are on your local municipality. SubscribeEnter your email address below to receive updates each time we publish new content. Correspondent Patty Kim meets some of the estimated 180,000 families across North America using clean energy technology to become self-sufficient and enjoy all the comforts of modern life, off the grid.
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You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. If you live in the city, there are many luxuries to enjoy—power with the flick of a switch, grocery stores or shopping malls less than five minutes away, constant communication with everyone via cell phone, internet, or radio.
After 20 years on Capitol Hill, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has taken himself completely off the grid, retreating to a secluded property in West Virginia.


Bartlett lives without a phone, without a link to outside power, and without municipal plumbing. For the past few decades, Bartlett spent his free time up at this property, prepping it for the day he’d go off the grid. Living completely off the grid, he rises at dawn six days a week in order to maintain his power sources, food, and way of life.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged off the grid, emergency preparedness, Survival, skills, solar power, emergency power on January 31, 2014 by beprepared. Hey Clint, It definitely is amazing that Congressman Bartlett has been able to make such a drastic change to his lifestyle and to be succeeding at it at this point in his life. Well with a cushy retirment from government, he has all the money he needs and it arrives every two weeks.
Hey we all had a chance to take political science and work to get elected, reelected by our constituents. KIRK DAVIS and JAMES W, you both are right on your comment, an old man like him or his profession will not be able to BUILD 5 CABIN and do all the plumber and stuff himself, with money you can do everything easily and buy others help. You're living the "dry cabin" lifestyle, just like several thousand others in Fairbanks, an Alaska town known for its extreme climate and endless winters. Dry cabin communities in Fairbanks are partially a product of geology – yes, you read that right. Storms that at one time would have hardly been felt are now causing untold damage because of the weakened nature of power grids and other infrastructure.
Garbage removal, sewers and sewage treatment plants, plowed roads, sturdy bridges, electrical service, treated water piped to the home and gas for cooking and heating are just some of the things that are provide by your local municipality. In any village or town throughout the ages there have been engineers, carpenters, medical practitioners, and farmers that others have turned to for needs that families and individuals could not meet on their own. What happens when the transportation hubs breakdown, do you have a plan to supply food, water and other necessities to your family.
Power is the key because without it you will find life much harder and once simple tasks will become complicated ones.
Illumination is down on the list of priorities because you can make candles, lantern oils and use the daytime hours to accomplish tasks. This system does require the home be connected to the local power grid to absorb any surplus electricity generated. Today most homes are connected to the power grid but this does not mean you have to use that power. Some people have homes in areas that simply do not have any infrastructure in place at all, so solar wind and water is an ideal way to generate electricity. The solar panels would generally be installed on the roof for the greatest access to direct sunlight.
However, whenever the sun is shining the panels are generating power and recharging the battery backup system.
Once again, you will need a battery bank to absorb any surplus electricity, but when used with solar panels you are assured of a constant supply of electricity. Many areas of the country have zoning laws and ordinances that may restrict height, position or outright prohibit the use of wind turbines.
In the event of a disaster, the water source can be interrupted from natural causes or from someone or even a town damming up the river for their own water and power needs. Windmills do not generate electricity but they can be used to pump water from deep underground into holding tanks and then gravity fed to your home, to irrigate crops and to holding tanks for livestock. Land is a finite commodity in other words you cannot make it and it does not appear one day off the assembly line. Many homes in the country have their own septic systems but if you live within certain areas, they are regulated by the city or state. Eventually uncontrolled waste would find its way into your water source by leaching into the soil or from runoff caused by rains. Your biggest concern is contamination of any wells you have on the property so make sure you plan carefully. Do you want to be completely free and independent of power companies and water treatment plants?
To reduce the economic burden you can acquire the skills and knowledge needed and do much of what has to be done by yourself and start small and build up gradually so you do not have to spend so much money at one time. We believe that being prepared is important for any family and we want to see preparedness become a mainstream conversation.


That place, out beyond the hectic turmoil of the fast-paced metropolis, to that haven in the country, peaceful and serene.
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We came across Politico Magazine’s article via Instapundit and, whether or not you agree with Bartlett’s political views, we think there are some interesting things he’s done as a prepper that make this article worth reading.
He built five cabins by himself, then wired solar panels and ran pipes from freshwater springs to each cabin. He spends about 10 hours a day cutting logs, gardening, and doing other tasks around the land.
As to the John Deere … I’m not entirely sure, but based on his wife’s comment in the article, they might use the John Deere to get around easily on their property and to check up on their land and surrounding property line to make sure everything’s in order.
I congratulate him for choosing this healthy lifestyle but I do not give him credit because it don't impress me. Dishes done, you carefully pick up the bucket-full of rancid waste water and inch outside, mindful not to slop any on the floor. These modern amenities are replaced by outhouses, five-gallon water jugs and trips to the laundromat. Patches of ground remain frozen year-round in the Interior; that permafrost presents builders with a lot of problems. What happens when energy is no longer affordable or available do you have a plan for, transportation, cooking and heating your home?
It may be exciting or even romantic to think of you sequestered in a nice warm cabin all winter living off the land and being independent. Once the sun goes down or on cloudy days, the battery banks would provide the needed electricity. Drilled wells are ideal because of their reliability but deep wells require large pumps, which require electrical power to operate, so consider a shallow hand dug well that you have control over as a backup when power is unable for a few days for whatever reason.
That does not mean that land cannot be repurposed for the sake of growing foods and raising livestock and in the event of major catastrophe you will likely see buildings come down and crops being planted in their place. Human waste piled up and lying about will harbor bacteria and create a rodent and insect infestation. This is usually accomplished by the use of lateral lines that collect the waste as it rises in the septic tank. On the other hand, you may simply want a backup system in place for when there is a crisis and you are left to fend for yourself. Millions of hardworking people around the world strive and struggle toward this dream each and every day, each with their own idea of perfection.
Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Been working on it and i hope to be there and yes it is hard having to work, commute and raise a family, but money to the side, but i think we can do it, just got to have that willingness.
You can’t dig into frozen ground, so installing septic and water systems becomes difficult if not impossible. However, a few trips to the outhouse when it is raining, below zero or you have to shovel a path because it snowed last night and things may not look as exciting. If you do not believe, you would be on your own during a crisis research some of the more recent events. I'm currently taking a class learning how to can my own food, they say it's easy, no opinion on it at this time. Today a few acres of hardwoods could literally be gone in a matter of years if it was the only source of fuel. In the event of a power failure, you would have the means to keep your foods chilled, heat water and operate heating and cooling devices.
Wood is considered a renewable and sustainable energy source but it takes decades for hardwood forests to renew themselves.
You pour boiling water on the dishes, and rinse carefully with water from a five-gallon jug balancing on the sink lip.



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