Off Grid Living
Romance vs Reality
Contributed by Dakota
Off grid living implies that it’s all about no power, but that is the smallest factor to those of us that live this lifestyle. It’s a choice to live simpler, live among nature, consume less, appreciate time, and have quality time. No more tread mill, making due and living within financial means, feeling as free as possible in this hectic world. Now if you have tons of money then off grid may simply mean you substituted solar for electric power and still have the modern world at your fingertips. The reality to off grid living is perseverance, ingenuity, tenacity, and self-motivation as well self-reliance.
Now I talk about down time but the list for chores is long so I’ll be writing about each season as it arrives starting here with winter. This lifestyle is our choice, we enjoy the wood splitting, the gathering, along with all the other work and it’s a lot of work but it’s also our exercise regimen. Off grid keeps our instincts alive, the chores aren’t just choices they are necessities.
There are seasonal schedules to be kept and this year we interrupted that schedule to build a new office for gman on a spur of the moment and got surprised with an early two feet of snow. The greenhouse was not prepared, boarded and covered with a tarp so we had to shovel the early snow first. The water tower filled the previous spring by our gravity fed well must be maintained. This extra water is vital in low times of year not for just watering the garden but it also gets carried to the house in 5 gallon buckets and used for dishes and animal drinking. As colder temperatures arrive with winter the tower must be drained to prevent freezing.
We need plastic on the windows to help with heating the cedar cabin as well as burming the snow banks up on the porches and outside walls for insulation. There are some years when the 10 below weather starts in November. The wood is cut from our 10 acres, lots of red fir, tamarack, cedar and firs, cut, hauled, slash burned, wood split and stacked all before end of June. Along with the other animals we have emus, their straw for bedding gets put up before October rains. The generator has an oil change schedule, the solar has a battery check schedule, and still more that needs to be done. So I guess we live with time constraints now that I see it on paper, but seasonal is not so monotonous.
We can or freeze our garden harvest, stock pile batteries for headlamps, fill pantries with canned goods and baking supplies. The top priority of course is toilet Paper and coffee! There’s things like machine necessities, oil, antifreeze, stored gas, extra grains for birds, pet food. This is prepper mentality on self-sufficiency not preparing for the apocalypse. Living with the elements means being involved and enjoying the environment, it’s a lot of work but to us it’s also a labor of love……. except by march the shovel paths get done by trampling with snowshoes cuz it’s more fun and easier on backs than shoveling!