My Time Off-Grid
Hi, guys, welcome back to episode three of a Simple Home City Life podcast, I am Ann, and today we’re going to talk about emergency off grid living and no one just a recap of what we went through for the past six days and what I learned through this whole ordeal.
This m4a audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.
I mean, I try to create a post on social media about it, and it didn’t work because there is so much to talk about. So we’re going to talk about the past six days, and we’re also going to talk about the things that I could live without if we were to permanently go off-grid and the things that I could not live without. Because, believe it or not, there are a handful of them. But we’re going to talk about the top three and the reasons why they played such an important part in our off-grid of an emergency power outage that we had a couple of days ago.
Unexpectedly Living Off-Grid
On the evening of Monday, January 11th, we got hit with a horrific windstorm when a rainstorm here on the coastal side of the Pacific Northwest, right off of Puget Sound. So we’re in Washington, so right off of the Seattle metro area and it was so bad that it came in so fast, it was really extremely eerie. The winds were howling and you could hear trees and limbs and branches and everything dropping all at one time. And this started at about 12:15 in the morning.
During the Storm
So that would have actually been Tuesday morning at that point. And I was it was a nervous wreck because we could just hear it just dropping so close to us that we weren’t sure what was going on, especially since we have three trees that are right above the house that we plan on dropping this year.
And that was enough to send me off on a tailspin because I was more concerned about those three trees falling on top of the house at this point in time than anything else. It was about 1:20 in the morning when all of a sudden we saw a big flash of light, a couple of flashes and I had thought someone was walking around on the property and I immediately woke up Justin and he jumps up.
But it wasn’t someone walking on the property, and it was the flashes were actually seen on the other side of the house as well, too, and my daughter’s bedroom. Justin told me it was a transformer and I half-jokingly thought, you know, no, it’s got to be a UFO. But just joking halfway, kind of in a sense.
But anyways, so he goes out there, he can’t see anything. It’s pitch black outside. We don’t have street lights anyways, but he decided to wait out the storm and at about five 30 in the morning, the forcefulness of the winds died down. However, it was still pretty windy by seven 30 in the morning when we went out to assess the property and see what was going on.
Assessing the Storm Damage
I was pleasantly surprised that nothing had damaged any of the structures where the livestock were staying, and there was nothing really that was going on on the back half of the property or on the lower light. However, it was the front of the property where a hemlock was actually growing out of an old growth cedar that fell and took out a section of the power line.
And it came down pretty hard and it snapped the wires right out of the pole and from there, pull the pull so hard that it broke a pole going up to the mountainside, so there was no more standing pole at all. And like I said, the transformer at that point had popped at about one 15. But because the pole snapped in half, the transformer ended up in our pond further up the mountain.
Just a little bit up more is patent Linda, and there are older couple up there. They had to hemlocks come down on their property and one of them took out the well pump. And the house where the well pump goes in the well is actually on our place. But the pump house is up on patent Linda’s place. And so it took out not only electric at this point, but all of our running water as well too. So we were both locked in patent. Linda were locked in up at their house.
We were locked in from being able to go down any further. There was three locks basically between our house and their house that needed to be removed, but the electric company stated to not touch it just in case it was still alive. Good thing we didn’t listen to them because we would have been stuck here for seven days versus just three days of being able to leave the mountainside. So, yes, Justin did take things into his own hands and so did Pat.
After a couple of days on basically day three, they were like, We can’t do this anymore. There’s no sparks coming out of the Transformer, so let’s just split up these rounds so we can at least leave if emergency states that we need to or whatever the case is. So Justin rounded up the hemlock, got it off of the drive. It’s only a one way drive up and down, and Pat did the same for his place, but that’s still left us without power and without running water, so we were pretty much in a predicament at this point.
My First True Off-Grid Experience
Before I get into the off-grid experience that we had here on our property, I want to tell you a little bit about my first off-grid experience. I was 14 years old. We were stationed in Korea at that time. My family still lives in Thailand, so we went on a four, basically four-week, one-month vacation to Thailand from Korea.
And part of it was spent in Bangkok and traveling around Pattaya and sections of Thailand and whatnot. But two weeks of it was actually designed to- Almost two and a half weeks was designed to stay in the country in Thailand, where my mother’s family owned property. Now, this is back in the mid-eighties, so there was no like toilet in that moment of time. So basically you had a big ceramic tub that caught rainwater and that’s how you showered. There was no hot water to shower.
The toilet was basically a little hole in the ground and you know, it was with a porcelain pot in the ground. But you still have to scoop out the water, flush the toilet with that, and that’s how you went to the bathroom. No running electricity into the house. No TV, no nothing. There was one phone in the whole village and you had to go down to the local market to use their phone. So it was an experience of a lifetime.
I loved it back in those days, but I wasn’t cooking. All I had to do was just show up, eat and do what I needed to do, run around and play with the neighborhood, the village kids. And that was it. But I remember that experience and I will tell you, I loved it. I loved it. My sisters didn’t really care for it quite as much, but I loved it. Maybe that should have been a stamp for knowing who I was as an individual back then at 14.
But, you know, did things change and life change? And I did a lot between 14 to where I’m at right now. So that was my first experience of two and a half weeks living off the grid in this little village in Thailand. No running water, no electricity, and no plumbing in any way, shape, or form.
We did haul buckets from the well to do the cooking and whatnot. And if we really wanted to shower by swimming, we went down to the river and showered that we had to be careful of leeches. But that’s a different story. So that was my very first experience of living off-grid, and I loved it.
My Recent Unexpected Off-Grid Experience
So let me now tell you. Flash forward to the experience that we just recently had and what I would change and what I wouldn’t change about it. Let me preface this with this was a great experience for Justin and I. I mean, we actually enjoyed this time off-grid and it did a lot for us emotionally and just labor intensive to see what we needed to do for this. Mine was only six days, but it was six days that I learned so much. It was. Exhausting. It was pre-calculated thinking at all times, and it was something that was just worth the experience and would I do it again? Absolutely what I wish to go a little bit longer. Most definitely, however, it was not enjoyable to my children in any way, shape, or form.
Kids in an Off-Grid Situation
We are raising children in a very tech, technology-based world, and it was very difficult for them. The first twenty-four hours was very novel and they loved it. They were having a great time. It was cool, it was fun. And then all of a sudden when they could not see and they wanted to play a game or they wanted to be on their phones or whatever the case was, it was gone. It was gone for them.
So yes, Justin and I enjoyed the experience immensely. And like I said, we took a lot from it and the next time around, because there will always be a next time, the next time around, we will be a lot more prepared for it than we were this time.
Hauling Water While Off-Grid
So throughout the whole process, we had to haul water, we hauled water three times a day in the morning, in the middle of the afternoon, and then again in the evening and the water was hauled to not only give provide water for the livestock, but it was to also flush toilets, wipe up spills, rinse dishes.
You know, we boiled water to wash them, but rinsing dishes was a factor of it as well, too. And that was pretty exhausting because if Justin wasn’t here, I had to lug it in. We were lugging for basically 20 gallons of water at a time, and then I would put some into jugs, the gallon water jugs, just in case I needed it for some other reason or another.
So the water hauling was the most labor-intensive aspect of the whole entire thing. But it was the emotional aspect that was more draining than hauling water, and the emotional aspect of it all was you had to stay ahead of the game.
Living off-grid means that you couldn’t quickly thaw something out and then plan for it, you had to really be calculated in your every movement. What was going to be available for breakfast, what was thought of the night before? What was going to be for lunch, what was going to be for dinner?
And the wood stove had to be going the whole entire time and it had to have some good maple in it to keep it hot in order to keep the soup going or the stew going or to make the biscuits or the eggs or whatever the case was and or to make coffee, for example.
We did not have propane at that moment in time. We had basically empty tanks, and normally we are filled with at least two tanks this time of year. But I guess it kind of escaped us that we didn’t have propane, so we had to wait until the trees were removed from the drive going down before we can even go get propane. So you had to think about it and you had to be on top of it or else lunch was late, dinner was late, breakfast was late, and coffee wasn’t made on time.
So, you know, that was the emotional aspect of the whole thing. The other emotional aspect of it was trying to keep some teens from bickering and fighting with each other nonstop by keeping them entertained in a way. And because we were home-schooling at that time, you know, they couldn’t attend school. So it was a big mess.
It was a big mess in that sense, cooking, On the other hand, was very therapeutic. I mean, extremely therapeutic to me. So with cooking, it forced me to plan my meals. Sometimes I’m like that day up, I’ll take it out because this is what’s for dinner. This is what we’re having for lunch. This is what’s for breakfast kind of thing. But I had to do it the night before because soup would take six hours over the wood stove.
So by the time I got the wood stove going and got the soup on, basically breakfast was done, lunch was done and I immediately had to roll into the dinner aspect of it. And that would be exactly at about one o’clock. So we would eat between one and seven, depending on how long it took to cook. That was fine. I loved it. I loved the challenge of getting over the wood stove and learning how to make biscuits without burning them and learning how to make soup and how long it was going to take to get it done.
The first night was a little difficult because I started late and then after that, the next five days. It was an easy rolling for that. By the time we got out and were able to get propane, I was able to make coffee over the camp chef stove. We grabbed some lump coal and went ahead and got the smoker going and we smoked a chicken, so we were able to shift a little bit after that. But if we didn’t get the lump coal and we didn’t get the propane, there was no hesitation to know that at this point by day three, I was able to go ahead and cook efficiently over the stove.
It wasn’t seamless because there were things that I was missing, but they were still hearty meals. I mean, I made a beautiful Spanish lamb stew. At one point we had beef stew. You know, there was a whole bunch of soups that were made over the wood stove, some eggs every morning. And like I said, the biscuits and the bacon and the pastured bacon. Whatever it was, it was incredibly easy to do. Once I got into the swing of it. So I mean, I guess my best advice to give anybody would be if you have a wood stove in your house, I would practice cooking on it because the last thing you want is to throw yourself in at the last minute with a bunch of kids that are hungry and very impatient to wait.
I mean, we don’t have ready-made meals here and we don’t even have a microwave. So there was nothing that needed more. There was nothing that could be instant for them. We had some leftover chicken. We had some canned chicken that I made into chicken salad sandwiches. So there were things like that. I had some corned beef and potatoes that I ended up making into a hash with eggs on top of it.
Mistakes While Living Off-Grid
So there were things, but with this lifestyle of being off-grid, you really got to be premeditated in your thought process to know how to cook efficiently. So what did I mess up on? Ok, let’s see. So normally by November is our maintenance time for the winter months, normally we get the propane tank filled, and normally we make sure we have lump coal on hand. Normally I fill all the lanterns in November knowing that we’re going to have power outages, maybe a day or two, but not this long. We had none of that prepared. None of it. I am such a bad homesteader to not have done this.
The worst part of it is we. The carburetor was completely cleaned out. The fuel line was changed out of the carburetor, but somewhere along the process, a switch broke on our generator. The seven thousand watt one that would run the refrigerators, a refrigerator, and the freezers.
But it didn’t work, so we had to run out and buy a generator the second we were able to get out, that’s what we did. We ended up running down to harbor freight. Thank you to harbor freight who has generators available, and we end up grabbing a smaller one in two thousand one and powered it from there. We ended up having to ship in the part from England to fix our existing generator, and luckily that was done and we were back up in business.
So I would say in November, you guys need to and maybe you’re better at this than I am, but you need to make sure that you’re prepared for the winter months. Check the propane tanks and have them ready on hand. Make sure you have one coal if you’re running a smoker or chips or whatever you’re going to use.
And then on top of that, make sure your lanterns are filled so you’re not scrambling to find the oil, to find the oil for the lanterns and then turning around, adding the wicks to them and things like that. It was just the bloody mess. I’m not even going to lie. It was a mess that first day. Luckily, I did have everything the extra wicks and the oil on hand and whatnot, and then I had to dig out the emergency candles and stuff like that. That was fine, but I wasn’t prepared like I should have known better.
And that is one of the things that I’m going to tell you to make sure that you always, always have on hand are those things. If you’re running through the generator, make sure your gas cans are filled if you can’t get out. Luckily, we did have gas and that was easy enough for us. And luckily the meat stayed frozen because we didn’t have to get into those freezers on that until that third day when we bought home the smaller generator.
Cleaning Up After the Storm
The property where the hemlock fell is just a mess, we split the rounds, but they’re still down there. We’re going to have to run a load them up onto a trailer in the back of the Quad and just pull them up that way. But Justin seems to think that he could just put them on a dolly and just bring them up one by one.
It’s going to be easier for him than having to worry about all the other stuff, so the lower lot still needs to be cleaned. All the branches need to be chipped down. We do have a chipper, but it’s not a big one. So we’re thinking about possibly just renting a chipper and just getting it all chipped out. I was able to stay busy between managing the stovetop for the wood stove and whatnot by the goats, and I went out and cleared a huge area of the lower lot, and that’s where I spent most of my time.
The Emotions of Going Off-Grid
We did not have anything, so there was no work for me to do. There was nothing like that, but there was the sense of just stepping back into a time that was really oddly unexpected. I think the hardest part for me to explain to some people is that. Stepping back into a traditional way of living does something to the soul. It really does. I mean, granted, it’s not a natural disaster where a hurricane came in and just, you know, just took out my home or anything like that.
We didn’t lose our home. So it’s a lot different of a case. It’s almost as if it was a voluntary experiment of living off the grid to see if I could handle it. And even though it was a natural case of what got us there. But let me just tell you the emotions behind it. I mean, to step back, it’s almost as if you’re you’re like stepping back to Little House on the Prairie or Anne with an E! Or whatever it is, whatever episode that you like in that moment in time, it was like stepping back into that where you found things to be entertained or you got bored, and I wasn’t born in any way, shape or form. It was humbling. It was simple and it was work. And let me just tell you, those are the things that I thrive on in life. Like, I thrive on those three factors of life immensely.
I got up, you know, before the Sun to make sure the stove was going and we got up in the middle of the night a couple of times and kept it going normally. If it goes out in the middle of the night and the wood stove is our only source of heat if it goes out in the middle of the night and it’s not, you know, below 30, we just let it go out and we just light it in the morning.
But because we needed it for cooking, we got up a couple of times in the middle night to continue to feed it. So we had it active in the morning to be able to, you know, between cooking and preparing for the next meal, to be able to go out onto the property and truly work it for hours on end. Because I didn’t have a phone, I didn’t have a computer, I couldn’t work. I worked my land. It was so intensely humbling. It was incredible. It was an incredible, incredible experience.
Would I do it again in a heartbeat? Oh my gosh, in a heartbeat would I live off-grid and we don’t have solar panels just so you know that what? Would I live off-grid full-time? I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s something that I can handle, but I’m going to tell you now what I know that I can live without, and I know that I cannot live without going forward, you know? If this happened to us again this time and it went on for two weeks, I’d be ecstatic.
I’m not going to lie. I did miss communicating with my closest friends. I did miss working. I’m very behind in my work right now, but something else took place of it that warms my heart, and I think that was the most important factor of it humbling to Hollywood. You know, more than we ever have during the week, humbling to haul water in. It’s humbling to use that water to flush toilets, and it’s humbling to not shower.
By the time we were able to get out, I sent the kids down to a friend’s house to shower, but I probably only showered every other day, if not every two days at that point. So it’s all humbling. It truly is humbling to, you know, we packed as much as the fridge into coolers as possible, but we still lost some things. And you know that that was kind of hard. But it is with the fact of the matter. But thousands of dollars worth of meat were preserved and saved because of the generators. And for that, I’m extremely thankful.
So before I tell you what I can live without and what I can’t live without, I’m going to create a blog post just so you guys know. Make sure you check back in with me or check on my website or my newsletter if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet.
Go ahead and do so. I’m going to give you a list, a detailed list of things that you need to have on hand at all times. And this should be your November end of October November checklist that you have for reasons like this lesson learned. But so when I have that out, I’ll share it with you guys and I’ll actually come back and link it in this podcast as well, too. But we’re going to recap this in November one more time just to make sure because there are a lot of things that we should have done differently.
What I Cannot Do Without During a Power-Outage
Ok, so here it is. First of all, I’m going to give you a list of the things that I cannot do without during a power outage. Here is my short list of the things that I could not do without throughout this first thing is a generator. First and foremost, if you are a serious homestead and you are raising your own meat for consumption purposes, you need to make sure that you have a working generator available at all times.
No one, you could be financially strapped and you can’t go out and buy one if your other one craps out on you. Number two, you need to make sure that it’s been maintained in November, so it’s ready to roll in case the winter months are harsh and you have trees dropping everywhere onto the power lines or whatever the case is.
Have a working generator. They range anywhere from four hundred and something dollars up to about, you know, three thousand, depending on what you’re trying to get and more if you’re trying to generate your whole house.
For us, it was just the freezers. Lesson learned. We didn’t close out our generator properly, and we should have known that the valve switch was broken back in November. So generator generator generator, if you can have a backup generator and run off with two, that’s even better for you.
The second thing is a percolator. So I was boiling water and using a French press. Let me just tell you, if I had a percolator, I would have had warm coffee all day long and would have been happy, especially when it’s cold. So a percolator versus a press is actually a better option for you. You could get a big old camp chef, you know a big old Colman’s one, or you could just get a small one, whatever the case is.
3. Cast Iron
Grab a percolator, especially if you are a coffee drinker and the percolator can be used to boil water. So if you’re a tea drinker, it could be used for that as well too. Definitely must have a percolator again. I don’t have one. I got rid of it, and now I’m going to be going to buy a new one. The third thing it’s still part of the kitchen thing is to make sure that you have the appropriate pieces of cast iron.
If you do not, you could still be done. However, cooking can still be done over the wood stove. But what I came to find out was I had skillets, but I didn’t have the lids to the skillets. So if I had had skillets with the lid, there have been so many more different types of versatile dishes that I could have done a lot easier. I’m not saying go out and buy the whole large collection of cast iron.
What I’m saying is that at least have a lid to one of your skillets and make sure your skillet is the size for your family. So if it’s just a family of three or four, you don’t need a huge skillet. But if you have a bigger family, you definitely want a bigger skillet with a lid on it.
So on top of having like a Dutch oven for stewing and making soup. If you have a skillet without a lid, you could use aluminum foil, but you should have a lid. So I did not have a lid to my larger skillet and I need to go and buy one now.
So that was the other thing that I did not have. A couple of cast iron pieces were great to have various sizes. We do have multiple sizes here on the home stand, but not various-sized lids. So keep that in mind when you’re looking for cast iron and you’re having to cook over the wood stove.
4. Cooking Plates
But we didn’t have to go outdoors and cook. We just cooked over the wood stove. The second thing was, in addition to the cast iron pieces, you need plates, so you need a plate that’s going to separate the wood stove top to your cast iron piece to allow airflow underneath it for some reason. Don’t ask me why I used to have two plates and I only have one now. So these are preparation things that should have been checked out in November, and again, I’m kicking myself for it, but now I need to find where that second plate is.
5. Compostable Dishes
And then if I don’t have one to have one for next time, the other thing that I’m going to talk to you about is is that if you are not for lugging water and you’re not for boiling water and what not that you need to have an emergency supply of paper plates and plastics that were on hand and paper cups. We did not. We did not have that. I continue to wash dishes and it was a pain in the neck, so it was camping times too. And so, you know, we were rinsing out the dishes and the food with the water from the creek, its natural spring water from the creek. And so we were doing that and then I was boiling water to wash and then I was boiling water a second time to go ahead and rinse.
6. Hardwood for Cooking
So it was a lot of work, but I have to develop a better system and routine. So if you guys have tips on how to do that, let me know. But I do need to develop a better system machine going forward for next time. Those are the items in the kitchen where as I guess I would say for you for doing something like that now, for cooking itself, make sure you have extremely hardwood on hand, oak maple, for example, our great ones.
So when you need that temperature to rise up on your wood stove that you can actually use that and you know, it’s the same thing on hand for canning as well, too. You can’t can with soft wood, you know what I mean? You can can with hardwood, but there’s certain types of hardware that heat a lot hotter than something like Alder Alder the hardwood for us. But it doesn’t heat as well as maple does.
So I needed to make sure that Justin brought forward some maple for us when we’re cooking. So for next year, I am going to have him create an emergency stash section of maple that we could just pull for cooking purposes if this should ever happen again for us. The next thing, of course, is making sure you have propane available. And if you are going to use like a smoker or anything like that that you have the correct, you know, lump coal or whatever you’re going to use, we use lump coal in our smoker.
So to have on hand and those are the things that I cannot do without that is the bare minimum of it. But it’s important that your cooking situation is under control immensely because anything else can play. You know, anything else you could do whatever you want. But if you don’t have the right pots that cook over a wood stove with, and if you don’t have the ability to cook with propane or lump coal for a smoke or whatever the case is, it just becomes really difficult and it could be very, very frustrating for you.
Luckily, I thrive on moments like this, so I was able to adapt to what it was, so we ate eggs for a day. Big deal. I learned how to make rice over the wood stove. You know, things like that. Biscuits, you know, things like that. So those are the things I could not live without. Basically, whatever it took to cook with, you need to make sure you are 100 percent ready and prepared at all times, regardless of it’s one day or four days.
What Can I Do Without During a Long-Term Power Outage?
What can I live without? Oh my gosh. Technology, there wasn’t really much that I had on my list, but it was technology was one of them, one of them as a matter of fact that, you know, when I could check my phone, I had messages from my best friends asking me, Where are where am I? You know, they missed me and I missed them too, because we talk every day.
But. It was one of those, you know, cases that it was like I wasn’t glued to my phone. Normally I’m not glued to my phone anyways, but it was one of those, you know, I didn’t have to text anybody. I didn’t have to call anybody. I didn’t have to Marco Polo anybody. I couldn’t work. So technology? Oh my gosh. Definitely something which is really weird for the lifestyle that I live. But technology would be one of those things.
The other thing that I could live without, and I am so thankful we got rid of them much earlier. We actually got rid of them in the summertime. We got rid of our toaster and we got rid of our microwave. So we were working on a toaster oven because it had a very large air fryer on it. We learned how to reheat food over the wood stove, you know, things like and just, you know, if we had red meat, it was sliced thinly and just basically fry it again, kind of thing like that.
So, you know, those little plug-in appliances, you really have to learn how to let those go and to go ahead and learn how to reheat over a wood stove like, you know, reheating in a toaster oven completely different than reheating over a wood stove. So it was really. And the other thing I didn’t have was a popcorn maker, like, I guess there’s a manual popcorn maker that you can put over your wood stove.
I need to find one of those. Popcorn is essential to me. So I didn’t have one of those, so a popcorn maker, and it would have entertained the children immensely. They were excited to know that they could still make toast in a cast iron pot skillet. So that was a win. But it was one of those things that I was able to completely say. Thank God, we got rid of it early so we can just learn how to do it.
Additionally, in a different fashion over the wood stove, the last thing that I would get rid of that I would be actually OK to get rid of is the refrigerator. I’m not going to lie. Is the refrigerator having a large enough cooler, you know, to store things like, you know, I don’t know, leftovers for the night forces you to eat them the next day, like we did forces you to. If you are milking to use the milk that you have on hand to make cheese or, you know, to store cheese, or if you wanted to make a cultured cheese or a cultured yogurt or whatever the case is that you’re forced to use it.
But a cooler with pack of ice allows you to go. I mean, long term it doesn’t work, but there’s got to be a way to make it work because if you don’t have solar panels, you’ve got to be able to figure out something right.
So solar panels are something that I’ll look into at our next property when we sell this one. There’s no point in putting solar panels here because we don’t get enough sunlight. So solar panels will resolve a lot of the problems with refrigeration. But I discovered that I don’t really need a refrigerator as long as I’m. Believe it or not, we consumed more. Leftovers and we minimize things that we bought because of the cooler, so when we’re able to go into town, for example, it was like, do we really need to buy milk because we still have a half gallon there and do I need it for meal planning purposes? Do you see what’s going on here? So I only bought what I needed to cook with in that moment in time and which would keep well packed in a cooler?
Ok, so I discovered that a refrigerator is overrated. Pretty much overrated. And then if I really need to, I could have taken a cooler and put it in the pond. Well, not this time, because the pond is a mess, but that’s the point of it. So believe it or not, a refrigerator I could go without. I really learned that I can go without, and I started thinking about that, about my family in Thailand because they didn’t have a refrigerator either. So I could not for the life of me.
Remember how we kept food and if and if I remember correctly, I think it was enough was prepared for us to eat in that moment in time and that if it was anything left over, usually there was a second meal like right before bed for just light eating after that. So yeah, what can I do without cell phone and technology? A toaster and a microwave easily and a refrigerator, believe it or not.
I don’t wish living off the grid on an emergency basis upon anyone at all. There’s nothing worse than wondering if you’re going to have enough to supply yourself and your family, especially if you don’t live a sustainable life. Luckily, this is what I meant to do, and I realize that this is what I meant to do. I meant to live this life.
And if you are meant to live this life and you’re listening to this podcast, I would really take seriously into making sure that you are prepared effective November, October and you’re ready to go for the next year. I will never make that mistake again. I will go ahead and add to my list of the things that I need, and we always have emergency power on hand. But I’m going to break down and I’m going to get a Berky water filter. And the reason why is because that would have saved me from having to buy water for emergency reasons. We always have cases of water here in the gallon containers, but I think I need to take it one step further and have a backup filter on hand for me.
So that would be one more thing that I cannot live without. I’m going to add a Berky water filter. So, you know, not wishing it upon anybody, but I do wish that everybody would have the opportunity to experience it for a spell like a spell to me is like six days. A spell to me is two weeks, you know?
I won’t lie when I say it like this, I did not figure out the personal hygiene bit of it all gets. Because by the time you got to that point, we were going to a friend’s house who lived on the other side of the freeway from us to shower, and I was sending the kids over there. But I think that that’s something I need to figure out, like the basics of washing your body when you cannot fully shower, you know, things like that, like, I had to go by the time we can get out, I bought like wipes and whatnot and just kind of like used, this is getting too deep.
I’m sorry, but we use wipes for the personal hygiene aspect of it. But that is something that I’m going to need to figure out, like what to do when there is no water flow. So excuse me, while I think that out, but I’ll figure it out, I’ll figure it out.
We’ll figure it out for next time. So, you know, such such such a time, such a time to live simply and to know that this was even in the summer when the preserving season has started in the garden needs to be watered or anything like that. Yet this was just in the dead of winter, and luckily our wood stove is a beast. It’s a fully encased cast iron, and it has allowed us to truly remain warm and to cook with, and we had food that was canned. I mean, even if anything, I have canned meat in there and can fish in there, and I know how to make bread over the wood stove and I can make rice over the wood stove.
I can cook an intricate soup and stew and red meat and whatever I want over my wood stove. So we were prepared other than the minor hiccups, but I will never allow that to happen to us again, and it’s something that you learn readily. So with that said, watch out for the blog post. It is going to give you detailed list of things that you should always have on hand for emergency off-grid living, of course. And what you should be doing is preparing this in October, so you’re not stuck in a lurch when you really need to be prepared. I forgot to mention two more things that you need to have that I could not live without would be a bucket, five-gallon buckets, three-gallon buckets, whatever you have.
Make sure you have enough on hand to haul water. We did have buckets on hand. Justin uses them all the time with whatever he’s doing, and I had some that I was using to get ready to use for planners. So we had buckets. So if you do not have buckets on hand, make sure you actually do grab a couple of five-gallon buckets and just to be able to haul water back and forth. If you could do that, if you are hauling from a distance, make sure that they actually have a lid on them as well, too.
The other thing was feed. Every winter you need to make sure you have feed on hand for your animals for at least two weeks. I did not. What a lesson this has been for me. I did not. If we could not get out in three days, I would have not have had enough feed to take care of the chickens and the goats, grass and things like that. So we you need to make sure two weeks on hand for feed at all times. I mean, most of you guys are probably prepared for this because some of you guys live in the snowy weather. We’re just in case you have it. I didn’t think this was going to happen to us. Lesson learned two weeks of feed on hand at all times.