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How long can you survive .. off the Grid?  RSS feed

 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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How many power sources do you have .. is your fuel and food stored for the winter .. could you lend a hand to several other families if you had to? What is your water situation if the power goes off?

The coldest winter in a thousand years is predicted for Europe and New Zealand just had a spring blizzard kill lambs by the hundred thousands and all sheep are iced out of their grass lands. The Gulf Stream is a dribble and will not warm Europe because of the US oil spill. What will our Kuroshio Current do?

I have a pallet of pintos sitting in my garage plus my regular routine. Ever feel like your living in a "Mad Magazine?"
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Dusty,  Can you provide some citations for your statement about the gulf current?  I found news articles about the blizzard in NZ, but the only stuff I can find about the gulf current slowing down come from sites I don't consider trustworthy (and no, "Prison Planet" is NOT a trustworthy news source) and various web sites that are recycling stories (can you spell "plagiarism"?  I knew you could) from earlier this year, with some reports being copies of articles written in 2008.
 
                          
Posts: 13
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I heard about the coldest winter scenario.  There is one Russian scientist that is saying that.  I guess it's possible.  We have solar lights and wood from our woodlot, so I think we can survive, but I'm thinking of putting doors and locks on my wood supply if it gets bad.

I don't know how bad it will get in Maine. 

With the dollar tanking the price of oil could be well over $3 a gallon by winter. 

It's going to be a tough winter for a lot of people. 
 
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Necessities are within walking distance, including the reservoir, and the climate is too mild here to ever be an existential threat.

An extreme disaster might prompt me to travel on foot to be with my family. My parents are several days' hike away, but they're set up pretty well and are likely to be less effected by such a disaster, just due to geography.

As far as sheltering in place for the long term, I guess the important thing will be surviving until the acorn harvest. Geese and turkeys are abundant here, let alone racoons and possums. I haven't looked into it deeply, but I'm pretty sure the small game situation is better a little ways inland. Any effort at hunting or keeping of food animals would have to wait for a more complete breakdown of the enforcement apparatus, or a relaxation of laws.

I expect a very gradual change, though, based on what I know of history. It's interesting to read how people deal with a partially-functioning grid: there are news stories about Iraq, but I was recently pointed to this great how-to manual from a previous war:

The Sarajevo Survival Guide
 
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Word from NZ...the lamb toll down South was in the, 10s, rather than 100's of thousands and it's long melted.
I'm only set up to survive a couple of weeks after the next earthquake, so I'd be pretty stuffed. Major water storage and learning to grow and store high-calorie, high-protein crops are at the top of my list.
 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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Muzhik ..

http://projectworldawareness.com/2010/09/life-on-this-earth-just-changed-the-north-atlantic-current-is-gone/ Find and play the YouTube section.

Take a massage whirlpool with jets of water and pour into it oil .. all action stops .. the Gulf of Mexico created the warm currents that kept Europe out of the Ice Age .. it is gone .. the top 30 feet of our oceans create our oxygen supply .. it will be harmed.





 
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
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how long I can survive depends
I know how much ammo I've got in the lockbox I don't know what the neigbors have
more to the point I have a better than average skill set for hard scrabble survival living and live far from the city but close to the river
 
                          
Posts: 34
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This isn't a judgement. I notice no one yet has talked about pulling together with neighbors. On our street many of us garden, quite actually and some of have chickens and we pull together to buy local meat. I think in an extreme situation, neighbors who have been acting like neighborhood will survive longer than people trying to do it themselves. Just my opinion but where I'll hang my hat.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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I have some very good neighbors.

I also remembered today that a creek runs through town a few blocks away, and was recently exhumed and rehabilitated. It doesn't run swiftly all year, but it could be an important resource, nonetheless.
 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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Some people are having dreams .. on the West Coast of Chinese attacking and on the East Coast of Russians attacking. If they came to pass .. would millions of people be on the move and has our Civil Defense prepared for these movements .. I think not.

I serve on a mobile canteen for disaster relief .. one grill for over two hundred people and we are swamped. We have a state of the art grain elevator up for sale in an area that I think would catch a million of dispersed war victims .. do you think I can get anyone from known billionaires to the local "clubs" interested in buying it and filling it with grain .. no.

I did purchase three rocket stoves and no one has heard of them .. I hope to cook them a meal on them and introduce the concept. One fellow runs an eighty unit orphanage in Africa and was over come with what he could do with this concept and is looking into it.

We as Permaculture'ists need to do a better job of advertising .. there are a million "dumb b---s" out there that need our input. We are talking couch potatoes with grease on their lips and use to a government hand out. In Germany, and you will not find anything written down about it after WWII .. mass panic the first week with thousands killing each other .. then calm. My neighbor moved to Germany from the US two weeks prior to the start of the war .. saw it and told me about it.
 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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Eric ..

In France and other villages they have a village spring or fountain and a brick oven for baking that the whole town drops by and uses instead of everyone having to build and bake their own.

We could go to that and .. use small animals not huge cows .. a goat or sheep can be not wasted even if you do not have electricity. Break out the spinning wheels, card your wool, tan your hides, knit your socks etc. A straw mattress or cotton .. a huge balloon at first will "sleep down" to a pretty nice mattress in a pinch.

If the power goes off in my "hood" .. there will be perhaps a half million dairy cows needing a family to take them in .. a lot of free stuff but with few that have hay and a barn or the savvy to milk and care for them .. when I was a kid in Ft. Worth .. every week an article about a gentle Jersey having a calf and killing the owner. We forget about stuff like that.
 
pollinator
Posts: 10109
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I can survive for the rest of my life! 
 
                          
Posts: 34
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From the replies, it stands to reason, community building has to start now as well as local sharing of knowledge.
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Ludi wrote:
I can survive for the rest of my life!   



For however long that is...    Bwaahahaha!
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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Well sure things would get rough if we lost all of our power sources..however, the Indians didn't have electricity and they did fine here in Michigan before we were here, so likely I could survive a lifetime.

We have plenty of food on hand and we know how to find more in the wild if we need it..lots of ammo and we have a large tank or propane and about 30 cord of wood plus gas for the chainsaw and machines on hand.

We heat entirely of wood both our and our son's house with an outside wood boiler and pex buried underground..we do require a pump to pump it so we have a generator and propane to run it should the power go out.

evenetually we might run out of propane but we have a fireplace in the house that can heat the house in a pinch should that happen.

we have a few solar things but not enough I'll admit, just don't have the $ to buy them right now.

I probably have enough food and fuel right now to last at least 1/2 of the winter without having to buy more..but then i would be hunting or scrounging or changing my  habits..

there are flowing water wells all over our neighborhood so no one would be without water
 
Posts: 258
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Honestly , I would be so hooped fast .  I have maybe enough wood to heat for two weeks and I live in Canada so heating  in winter is essential.  I have eating maybe 5 days strictly out of my garden but 360 days of the year , I'd say I am dependant on outside food supplies of which I have about a two month stock.
I have water to last maybe two weeks with catchment for winter when we have a fair amount of rain but in summer we had four months without rain.  A good well but no way to pump once the grid goes so I would be hiking to nearby pond. The problem is , too many horses, they drink huge volumes of water .  So I have a LOT of work to do to be better situated  .
 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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WE can expect some sort of power outage several times a winter. THe longest was 2 weeks with 4 feet of snow on the ground. Personally I actually like it. WE have wood heat, and melting snow for water was no hassle(well, as long is one has big pots, a wood stove and knows how to do it).

Long term, we have stuff, tarps and barrels to rig up a rainwater catch system. More barrels would be cool for summer, but we do have a pond and nearby streams. I have a cracked wood kitchen cookstove that I have been wanting to build a covered outdoor kitchen, and there is always the dutch oven on the fire pit. For the power outages I have been using the propane BBQ with a burner. I'm up on my foraging, and while there is a lot of wildlife here(deer, elk, turkey, pheasant, salmon, steelhead, trout), I'm afraid a lot of it will be decimated unless people collectively take it easy--there are lots of people around that can and do hunt and fish. On the other hand, in some thing truly terrible(pandemic, anarchy), a lot of people will perish before a place can get hunted out.

PS, we get winter storms with hurricane speed winds. Usually the power goes out for some amount of time. I always prep by washing all clothes and dishes, making sure the barrels and water jugs are topped off. When the power is out everyone goes out into the woods to pee.
 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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Synergy

Know what I've discovered .. too late? When I put my two hundred feet of 2" down to the horse pens .. I should have used 6" or some sections of huge volume. When the electricity goes off I have water in the middle of the summer for six horses for about thirty minutes and they are pawing the automatic water'ers. The pens are down hill from the pump.

Think volume and storage when installing water pipes that will run down hill to a house or pens.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1467
Location: Vancouver Island
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Hmm, I am probably worse off than most as far as stuff on hand. I have no wood heat in the house though the chimney is still there (the last owners put a gas fire place in to replace the wood burner... it doesn't shed much heat even with the fan). The river, two blocks away is safe to drink from and we often walk downtown... not that there would be anything to buy... or to work at. We live in a small city with lots of farmland nearby.... not sure what I would trade for food. We are next to forest land and so would have to learn more about foraging right away. I have a son who can't eat most of the easy stuff to store (dry goods have a lot of starch). We would do what we had to do to survive though. There is a lot of wild life here even in the winter... the trumpeter swans may not do so well. Chickens would be available too.

One of the important things though, is that we live on an island. This is both good and bad. Our outside supplies may disappear faster than other places, but also the chances of hordes from more populated places across the water who would be more likely to head inland in search of food.

Honestly, lack of heat is my least worry. Our food supply would be the hardest hit. Foraging would keep us warm and mostly "out of the house" anyway. we might go back to the old way of using a "night cap" and all sleeping in the same room or even same bed, but mankind survived in surprisingly cold climates long before fire showed up. My main use for fire would be cooking, not heating. We as a family have built small cabins on the beach of driftwood and even full of holes they are warm in the rain and with 20 knot plus winds. Our house is much better than that. Food would be our main concern and without power, refrigeration would be our main problem... cold outside would be a Godsend.

My comments apply to our situation. We live on Vancouver Island (49.5 degrees north on the wet coast.. or is that west) and winter temperatures are not as low as some of you, ten below freezing is really cold and unusual, We had maybe five days of snow last year. I am still working outside in my shorts and often short sleeved shirt, I am a letter carrier. We are in a valley with about 70000 people, 20000 in the city and the rest in nearby towns and farms. I walk past deer almost everyday. There is lots of forest right on our doorstep.  Clay is abundant too.

I will have to see what dry stock my son can eat and put some away.
 
                            
Posts: 271
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Here are some thoughts (not that I have or do all of these)

Heating -- woodstove and great clothing!
Cooking--by virtue of the wood heating stove OR Solar cookers
Cooling --Zeer pots
Preserve what can't be safely cooled in zeer's
Storage--root cellars, metal garbage cans, 5 gallon buckets
Water-- haul it by hand (pitcher pump?), melt snow, collect roof water
Hygiene/sanitation--composting toilet

re: freezing lambs... anyone ever tried an "underground" (sorry Paul!) barn, built on a design similar to Mike Oehlers or Sepp's?

What solutions can we think of right now that help with survivability? What can we do right now that may help us prepare for any disaster/crisis?

Feral
 
Lisa Paulson
Posts: 258
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Dusty Trails, unfortunately storage in piping is not much of an option , no gravity feed and piping is in place underground already, this farm is small and suburban 4 acres, so roof water catchment is a great option here 3/4 of the year and storage may be possible in the future in a ditching /swale system in addition to tanks.
 
Posts: 190
Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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30+ Years - at least that's how long we've lived Off Grid so far    So as long as we keep waking up each day we'll continue to add on to that sum. 

Things do appear to be going downhill at a faster rate lately, although the planet's been heading in this direction for decades.  But more people are starting to take action, which is a good thing.  Working on building your skill set is extremely important for your self and neighbors, as someone will need to know how to do stuff people currently take for granted.

Although we got involved with off grid, sustainable living in the 1970's, "survivalism" was not the motivating factor.  We've always enjoyed the simple pleasures of homesteading and doing our own thing.  This is just our daily lifestyle and we are unarmed and peaceful by nature.  If you don't like hard work and challenges, and are in this for survival only, I'm afraid that there won't be much joy in the future scenario for you.

I'm hoping that the future will bring us a planet with a LOT LESS people, wanting a LOT LESS stuff, and getting along a LOT MORE cooperatively than now.
 
Len Ovens
pollinator
Posts: 1467
Location: Vancouver Island
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Walk wrote:

Although we got involved with off grid, sustainable living in the 1970's, "survivalism" was not the motivating factor.  We've always enjoyed the simple pleasures of homesteading and doing our own thing.  This is just our daily lifestyle and we are unarmed and peaceful by nature.  If you don't like hard work and challenges, and are in this for survival only, I'm afraid that there won't be much joy in the future scenario for you.

I'm hoping that the future will bring us a planet with a LOT LESS people, wanting a LOT LESS stuff, and getting along a LOT MORE cooperatively than now.



I would like a less connected life. Not too worried about arms, anything I have would be for food, and I don't think I really have anything worth bullying me for (wood or food stores). I understand mechanics reasonably well... but so do a lot of other people around here. My yf is learning nursing which is bound to be worth something too.

"a LOT LESS people"? As much as 80% less is what I hear, but I don't have the heart to wish that kind of harm to anyone. But, " wanting a LOT LESS stuff" might have the same effect (I dream ). As would "getting along a LOT MORE cooperatively than now" (an even bigger dream) although cooperation does tend to come with a lot more government intervention and enforcement than I really want to put up with. Perhaps with "less people" the government power base would be diminished to a small enough degree it would be livable.

My peaceful nature might change of course, if I felt my family was threatened. I am, after all, still a people...
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 10109
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Muzhik wrote:
For however long that is...    Bwaahahaha!



That's kind of the joke, right? 

I could "survive" awhile, but I depend on pharmaceuticals for quality of life so things would get tough after they run out.  I have some herbs which might help somewhat, but probably not solve the problems entirely.  My life would probably be shortened.  But as far as surviving in a sort of "camping in the house" situation we are pretty well set up. Not for modern comfort, though.  That just seems pretty unaffordable at this point.
 
Len Ovens
pollinator
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Location: Vancouver Island
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Ludi wrote:
I could "survive" awhile, but I depend on pharmaceuticals for quality of life so things would get tough after they run out.  I have some herbs which might help somewhat, but probably not solve the problems entirely.  My life would probably be shortened.  But as far as surviving in a sort of "camping in the house" situation we are pretty well set up. Not for modern comfort, though.  That just seems pretty unaffordable at this point.



I also rely on meds (thyroid) which I can only get a three month supply at a time for. In the short term I would cut them in half or take them every other day, but even 60 days is not much. I don't know if animal thyroid juice would help, or how I would figure out dose (too much could kill).

I would like to think even camping in the house, I would do better than "survive". I work outside and have had people comment in "inclement" weather that I would be glad to see the end of it, but the truth is, that when I go out on a windy rainy day, I feel alive. I worked inside for 22 years before I moved here 4 years ago and I wouldn't go back. In many ways I think I would have a better life, even without meds, enough to eat and maybe a shorter life span. Even no computer might be nice
 
                            
Posts: 271
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Many of my friends feel that I live in "extreme poverty" conditions. That may be, I certainly wouldn't complain if the bank account suddenly swelled, however, the old saying that "less is more" is certainly true. There is a richness in poverty that I never would have believed. Appreciation is greater as is satisfaction. I have little "art" (paintings, etc) decorating my walls, but I have the most glorious and ever changing view from my windows. Manmade art simply doesn't compare. I get up when the sun does, I go to bed when the sun goes down. Makes for some long nights and good reading during the winter (lantern light). I feel more at peace, less anxious, removed from the rat race, my priorities have totally changed.

Everyone who's alive is surviving--it's the attitude and spirit with which one does it that gives life meaning. I truly believe that the most essential thing one can have for survival is attitude.

Feral
 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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plus 1000 on that! ^^^^
 
Len Ovens
pollinator
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Location: Vancouver Island
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Feral wrote:

Everyone who's alive is surviving--it's the attitude and spirit with which one does it that gives life meaning. I truly believe that the most essential thing one can have for survival is attitude.



Be like a child... everything just is how it is.... have fun.
 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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I had my water storage tank cleaned out .. I thought it was about 1,800 gal. but it is 3,500 .. new but needed steamed out. I don't know how I'll use it during the winter except to dip out of the top. If I pipe it they would freeze or require heat tape .. still thinking on that one.

I cleaned my 150 year old gated skillet out and have been cooking with it for two days. Says 10 on the back but it is pre-griswold and Erie and smoke ring but thin with one pour spout for a right handed person to pour. It had been on display .. but good skillets need to be used and I cooked a batch of oil, peppers and chili powder to disinfect it and get it safe to use. LOVE IT!

Have you heard of "Breath of the Wok"?

My wife says I need to build a "lean to" just for my skillets, dutch ovens, volcano charcoal heaters etc. We use to go to cutting training for the grand daughter in 4-H .. every weekend .. summers, it was a cooking contest among the parents for meats and pies in dutch ovens .. do I miss those days.

How many of you can pick up a 300 gallon fuel tank and stand from a farm sale .. fill it with gasoline and have or get a Honda type generator and have an electrician build you a box that will not feed your home power back out on the grid and kill a lineman but power up your freezer, well or what ever you want on a regular basis if the power goes off for six months. Look into it if you don't have a set up like this.
 
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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Feral wrote:
Many of my friends feel that I live in "extreme poverty" conditions. That may be, I certainly wouldn't complain if the bank account suddenly swelled, however, the old saying that "less is more" is certainly true. There is a richness in poverty that I never would have believed. Appreciation is greater as is satisfaction. I have little "art" (paintings, etc) decorating my walls, but I have the most glorious and ever changing view from my windows. Manmade art simply doesn't compare. I get up when the sun does, I go to bed when the sun goes down. Makes for some long nights and good reading during the winter (lantern light). I feel more at peace, less anxious, removed from the rat race, my priorities have totally changed.

Everyone who's alive is surviving--it's the attitude and spirit with which one does it that gives life meaning. I truly believe that the most essential thing one can have for survival is attitude.

Feral



I couldn't agree more.
 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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I live just South of "Billionaire Land" .. and I went up there to study a certain language that was throwing me fits. My old car stuck out like a shopping cart dates someone walking down the street.

But, inside their building, my world rocked. They wanted to know all about me as much as I wanted to know about them.

Who had more fun .. me with little or they that "had it all" .. we were all mostly retired .. very obvious .. when it came to "telling sea stories" .. they had few and of little interest .. nothing thrilling .. angels were not constantly pulling them out of some wild scrape or calling them into a fight .. none of them had a student become a Fulbright Scholar.

My poverty bred the success of others. Because I had learned things the hard way.
 
                              
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DustyTrails wrote:
How many power sources do you have .. is your fuel and food stored for the winter .. could you lend a hand to several other families if you had to? What is your water situation if the power goes off?

The coldest winter in a thousand years is predicted for Europe and New Zealand just had a spring blizzard kill lambs by the hundred thousands and all sheep are iced out of their grass lands. The Gulf Stream is a dribble and will not warm Europe because of the US oil spill. What will our Kuroshio Current do?

I have a pallet of pintos sitting in my garage plus my regular routine. Ever feel like your living in a "Mad Magazine?"

      Check out the link below...lol..

http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/gs/
 
                          
Posts: 43
Location: Ozarks
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How long would I survive off the grid? Well, I might be OK, I'd be tempted to shoot myself perhaps. The computer wouldn't be much a problem, but not having the fridge and freezers and air conditioner would be really tough.
 
                          
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HeritageFarm wrote:
How long would I survive off the grid? Well, I might be OK, I'd be tempted to shoot myself perhaps. The computer wouldn't be much a problem, but not having the fridge and freezers and air conditioner would be really tough.


I could even hack it without AC if needs be, but if I'm going completely off-grid, I'd need to find an old Servel gas fridge! 
No deep freeze, though??  That dramatically changes our diet, I'm thinking.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1109
Location: Green County, Kentucky
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I could live off the grid indefinitely.  I've already spent fifteen years of my life in off-grid cabins (and we didn't have solar or wind power, either, although part of that time we did have a small generator, and part of the time we also had propane lights and a propane cook stove). 

The difficult part would be if everyone else was off the grid, too, i.e., the grid is shut down.  Because even when we lived off the grid, we were to some degree dependent on it -- we weren't growing (hunting and fishing) all of our food, just most of it.  There were still things we needed to buy.  We were making some of our clothes, but from purchased fabric.  We had manufactured windows in our cabins; the stove may have been home-made out of an old barrel, but the barrel was manufactured, as was the chimney pipe.  And so on.  Yes, we could make our own things to replace all the manufactured things we used, but it would be time-consuming, there would be a lot of new skills to learn, and the quality would often be lower at least until our skill levels got up there. 

Kathleen
 
Len Ovens
pollinator
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Location: Vancouver Island
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
The difficult part would be if everyone else was off the grid, too, i.e., the grid is shut down.  Because even when we lived off the grid, we were to some degree dependent on it -- we weren't growing (hunting and fishing) all of our food, just most of it.  There were still things we needed to buy.



Good post and good thoughts. I think most people who are off grid forget how much they still depend on grid tied stuff. The cost of junk would really go up....
 
                        
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Although there is much to be said for being prepared for any eventuality as far as is practical...rumour has it  the Mormons are supposed to have supplies for 6 months or a year stockpiled at all times.. the article re the gulfstream is perhaps a bit more stridently extravagant than first appears.  The Gulf Stream is a highly variable system which has been extensively studied and I'm not sure that "experts" being interviewed on the "nutrihealth" radio programs are the best source of information about it.
This article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shutdown_of_thermohaline_circulation#Measurements_in_2004.2C_2005.2C_2008_and_2010 suggests that variables  such as affect the Gulf Stream were observed and worried about at least as far back as 2005. One remark might be worth noting however:  "Meltwater events aside, the climate deterioration into the last ice age appears to have taken about 5,000 years"

Whatever attempt to imply impartial science in the linked article from a previous poster was somewhat blurred by a rather clumsy shot at blaming Obama for it.  Whatever you think of him as a president, he wasn't the one who gave BP permission to drill there in the first place, and if the best experts in the industry couldn't come up with a good solution, it's a bit bizarre to expect him to do so.

You might also consider that we were already told this winter was going  to be a difficult one because of the predicted current change  on the PACIFIC side. El nino?

Being prepared as much as possible for eventualities, including considering various possiblities is a good thing but fearmongering isn't. People used to go around swearing that the world as we know it was going to end in May 5 2005 because the planets aligned, which would  affect the tides, which would in turn cause  the ice shelf in the Antarctic to break off. That was supposedly going to make the earth swap ends north to south (which we are told  has happened before in the earth's billion plus year  history). Some of the ice shelf DID break off, though not on that day, and we are all still here. Nonetheless I personally knew a smart, educated hardworking man who sold his place  which he had spent his lifetime building  into a very nice almost self sufficient farm, and went off to find a cave or some such high in the mountains from which to start all over  "above the high tide mark of the tsunamis" he told me. Instead of enjoying the results of his labour over the years, he is starting all over in an area with much less possibility of ever giving him a comfortable or in any way secure old age.

It doesn't have to be anything as dramatic as the gulf stream changing direction or disappearing to give rise to a disaster scenario. Economic breakdown, which we are seemingly quite close to; could also be a truly scary reason. One novel which looks at how this might play out is "Wolf and Iron" by Gordon R Dickson. He is a bit shaky on some details but I believe him to be spot on on how people would behave in such a scenario, and it's sobering to think about.

Aside from encouraging people to look to the future and prepare as much as possible for various eventualities, it seems to me  folk have enough to worry about without raising disaster scenarios  and supporting them with dramatic semi science worthy of a headline in the scandal mags.
 
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I think community is the key to long-term success without a wider economic/logistical structure. During the Spanish Civil War, people in the countryside in Catalunya and Aragon voluntarily collectivised their property, drove out large landowners and clergy (who were mostly fascist supporters), turned large buildings such as churches into storehouses and workshops, shared labour, formed networks with other communities, and did a great job of fighting Franco's forces along with it all, despite being poorly equipped. In the cities, much the same went on, although obviously with differing situations and resources. The fascists won the war in the end, supported by Italy and Germany, but the structures people built of their own accord looked like they had the potential to continue indefinitely.
 
                            
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re: Len/Grid ties....  right on target!

When striving for off Grid survival capabilities.... most people never give thought to "permanence" or length of time off grid.

Need heat? Go cut some firewood (using a chainsaw? Where's the gas/oil?)
Wanna run that generator for a few? (where's the gas?)
Quick trip to town? (gas!)

One of the issues with petroleum products is that it isn't as stable as it used to be. Now try not emptying that chain saw out in the fall... and take a look at the varnish in it when it won't start in the spring.

I've seen diesel gel in cold temps. 

Stored batteries can die....

I run into all sorts of little bumps in the road which I hadn't anticipated.
 
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I'm a bit late to the party but ...

Of the oil spilled there is approximately 2 gallons per square kilometer. less than a gallon per cubic kilometer. The oil certainly killed a huge patch of sea life, and did a number on the coasts, but that's because it floated up and the waves skimmed it off. The oil that is diluted in the ocean bottom currents actually gets eaten pretty quickly by a number of oil eating microorganisms. Oil is constantly leaking out of the ocean floor and has been for several million years, it just needs to come slowly rather than all at once. However, unless you are adding a gallon of neutron star to the water there is no way you could have a measurable effect on the density or viscosity of that much volume with that little to add.
 
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