What skills do we need in order to live off the grid?
What changes can we make now, living in a rural suberb to prepare us for living in the woods?
Is it possible to change a conventional plumbing system to grey water?
*How can I cut down my dependency on electricty?
(We use propane heat and a gasstove for cooking)
Any othe suggestions? Thanks so much
The greatest skill I learned when we first moved off the grid....how to put oil and gas int he generator... how to re string the pull cord to it... and how to recognize when it was running out of oil and gas so I could switch the electric water pump over to manuel...
One night I was taking a hot shower.. the generator was humming along... we live about 10 miles in the middle of no where.. and I decided to color my hair...It was maybe 10:00 on a Friday evening... hubby and the boys had gone to a livestock auction... I knew I had plenty of gas in the generator...well here I am with hair dye matted to my head and the generator stops from lack of oil...~ sigh~ me and my matted head self had to drive the way to the country store ( yes the sign says THE COUNTRY STORE)... and mustard up all the pride I could walking past the local deer hunters ready for a night in the fields all dressed in their blaze orange with the start of their budweiser six packs going....I simply smiled ...nodded bought the oil and headed back to rinse out my extremly red hair at that point...Lesson learned.. ALWAYS keep a reserve of oil...LOL
Probably the best thing would be to gather as much info as possible. I also think a great thing might be to start a small garden and/or keep a few chickens. Also having some experience with living a little "rough" seems to help the transition, i.e. limited showers, hauling in water, etc. I think also having a few books or magazines around to keep things in perspective helps. When my newest ds was born, I found the reality of diapers and basic newborn care really daunting with no washer and dryer, hand pumped water, etc., so keeping in mind that plently of other people have done this and are doing it seemed to help.
(warning: this is a pagan, activist focused 2 week training)
learning to live within nature:
excellent place to get training:
"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Oliver
Can you feed yourself from what is in the pantry for a month? Making things from scratch? Have you figured out how to store your goods? Do you know how to preserve foods for later in the year when the garden is done? Do you know how to make/mend clothes? Do you know how to light a propane/gas stove? Do you know how to build a fire?
Some of these things may sound like they are no brainers but start asking yourself what you would need if there was not a store down the street. After Hurricane Rita, people in our area were running out of food after two days because they did not know how to buy and cook at home. I have taught a friend how to bake bread because she wants to live on the land, sustainable, siimply but was not even cooking at home.
Start with simple things and grow your skill set. Some of these skills will actually help you save money and allow you to go sooner.
I do agree with ladywolf about doing what you can now, start learning to do basic things before you make the move.
I wanted to add, you ask about switching a conventional plumbing system to graywater...for things like that it might be tough to do in the suburbs as most are zoned now and the health dept usually isn't too accomodating : I know because even our country land is zoned so there are compromises we're having to make already and I don't like it.
But when you move, things like that are possible. I really liked the book Create a Graywater Oasis by Art Ludwig...he knows his stuff about graywater systems!! I think reading a lot and learning from others experiences and mistakes is highly valuable.
C ~ mama to (16), (13), (9) (5)
Visit www.evolutiontosimplicity.blogspot.com to follow my epic saga of single mummahood....
Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013. If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!