Nick Fouch and Esther Emery, the YouTube channel Fouch-o-matic Off Grid couple, have been living off the grid since 2013. In the video below they discuss–with solutions–10 things they wish they knew before beginning their homestead adventure.
Actually, they already sorta knew all this, but some of the details of the actual implementation took them by surprise … sometimes.
1) Solar power is easier than you think. It does work.
2) Plants can’t grow without soil; and if you don’t have good soil, you’ve got to make it. Think organic matter.
3) Water runs downhill, so a spring “up there” means water “down here”. A water system is easier than you think.
4) Carrying water is grueling and “demoralizing” work… figure out plumbing any way you can. Especially for winter months.
5) Batteries run out. LED lights only “sip” off a battery bank, and rechargeable items (like headlamps) are more efficient than packs of AA batteries.
Unless you already live at your bug out location, you’re going to need a vehicle to get you and your family there … wherever or whatever there is.
I assume you keep the vehicle you would use for this emergency response in good repair. You follow basic car maintenance timetables, and any issues are immediately resolved. Making an appointment with your mechanic when the SHTF is not a good preparedness option.
And if you’re proficient with car repairs, you have a tool kit stashed in the vehicle.
Below we list both car prep survival gear and safe travel plans … including the always important Plan B.
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Prepping your Car – Repair Kit
… When it comes to prepping your car you should consider the following for your repair kit:
- A spare tire
- A tire repair kit
- Jack and tire iron
- Gravel, sand or kitty litter that can be used for traction on icy road spots
- A box of extra fuses
- Duct tape
- Hose clamps
- Road Flares
- A collapsible or multi-use shovel
- Snow brush and ice scraper
- Windshield washer fluid
- Oil and engine coolant (the type recommended for your vehicle)
- Jumper cables
- Fire extinguisher
- Pry bar
- Empty gas can, siphon, and funnel (you will have to scavenge for fuel at some time)
These items are a minimum for prepping your car and you should consider getting them …
Prepping your Car – Emergency Kit
Besides a repair kit, every car should have an emergency kit. The good news is that you can use your bug out bag for that. Your bug out bag should include most of the items needed for an emergency if you’ve done your homework.
Think about adding these items when prepping your car:
- Water and food depending on the number of your family members
- Energy bars
- Waterproof matches
- Hot packs
- Sunscreen and insect repellent in summer
- A small compact medi-kit
- Light sticks
- Road flares
- Collapsible stove and fuel canister
- Aluminum foil
- Water filter
- Small pan
- Unbreakable cup or mug
- Hand cranked radio
- Flashlight (a hand cranked or solar rechargeable one)
- A few heavy-duty trash bags
- Wool blankets
- A tarp
- A paracord
- Rain ponchos
- A cell phone
- A GPS system
- Baby supplies, if you have a young child (diapers, baby food, and so on)
- Pet supplies
- A few distraction items (something to keep the kids busy …)
- Make sure to add an extra set of clothing for each family member … ( … gear that can be used for all types of weather)
- One or more protection items of your choice (firearms, crossbow, stun gun, knife, etc.)
Dave, the SouthernPrepper1, gives a walkabout tour of his property in South Carolina.
Topic-wise, he covers a lot of ground, including
Like I said, all over the place. It’s a great insight into the lifestyle of dedicated prepper family.
[Update] Dave has made significant improvements since this video. It’s well worth subscribing to his channel.
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Pear Image: Francien Post
When it comes to the food preservation of your garden successes, canning is the skill to master. Edible shelf-life of properly canned food ranges from one to five years. Canned product that’s freeze dried (think canned lentils) may last up to twenty-five, maybe thirty years.
If you’re a “canning beginner”, remember to use modern canning recipes only … and to follow the recipe exactly.
There are probably 12 to 15 must-follow canning rules. Here are five of the most important:
Safety Rules Of Canning
1. Don’t use jars larger than a quart. Home canning technology cannot guarantee that larger quantities will be sufficiently heated through for enough time. Rather, the food on the outside will overcook, while that on the inside won’t get hot enough for food safety.
2. A water-bath canner may only be used for high acid foods such as tomatoes, fruits, rhubarb, sauerkraut, pickles, and jams/jellies. A pressure canner MUST be used for low acid foods including vegetables, meats, and stews.
3. [Again] Use only modern canning recipes from reliable sources (especially when first starting out).
4. Never reuse jar lids. Used lids aren’t reliable for sealing correctly. If a screw-on band is rusty or bent, it won’t work right and should be discarded and replaced. That said, you might consider purpose-designed reusable Tattler lids.
5. Don’t use antique or ‘French’ -type canning jars. They aren’t as safe as the modern, regular ‘Ball, Kerr’ type.
Source: Another excellent post by Ken Jorgustin. Read the comments after his article for additional canning insights.