Nick's Profile

lessons learned on the journey toward independence



Back in the late '90s my family exited the "rat race" for a simpler lifestyle that is less dependent upon the "systems". I have been living off the grid in the mountains since 1999, and what an experience it has been! Starting out, life was fairly primitive (by American standards) with a mostly non-electric lifestyle and unfinished house, but we accepted these as part of our quest to shun debt like a plague and home is not made happier by having sheet rock on the walls. Home is where love and the Lord dwell with ones family.

Slowly but surely we made improvements and became more independent…of course a good water system, then a garden, later an alternative energy system, then solar to make it a renewable energy system, a small orchard, more solar, and the list goes on. We have not "arrived" and we don't know anyone who has completely "arrived" but we keep working away at it, improving where time and money allow.

For the last several years, we have been sharing the knowledge we learned in the school of hard knocks with others by presenting seminars around the nation, producing a number of DVDs on practical independent living topics, organizing Sustainable Preparedness Expos, and now…a blog!

I just married the most wonderful and beautiful woman in the world and we are having the time of our lives setting up shop in a little rustic cabin deep in the mountains. Our plan is to only stay here temporarily while we save to buy land and build our own little cabin. We hope you enjoy and are benefitted by us sharing the experiences we go through while setting up and living on a homestead. Hope you enjoy!

Let me preface this by saying that any off grid system can produce power that is just as "clean" if not "cleaner" than what you get from the power company--IF you choose the right inverter.  That's why I'm letting you know about this, so you don't make the mistake many others have made and end up having to repurchase equipment later on.

First, a little background for those who are new to off grid systems.  If you've never heard of an inverter before, it's a component in a renewable energy system that converts DC power (what is stored in batteries) into AC power (what you use in your home).  Most quality inverters also have a charger built in.  The charger is used when your battery bank may need to be manually charged with a fuel powered generator.  There are two main types of inverters--sine wave and modified sine wave.

A quality sine wave inverter will produce power that is just as "clean" if not cleaner than what you get from the power company right now.  Hands down, that is the first choice for any off grid system.  Then there are modified sine wave inverters, which may produce a varying "quality" of power (i.e. better models may produce decent power, while the cheapest models put out awful electricity).  For years, the only reason why someone would consider a modified sine wave inverter was because of price, which was roughly half the cost of a comparable sine wave inverter.


b2ap3_thumbnail_earth-sm.jpgOur previous installments of this series have been looking at specific things to look for in land or a homestead, but we've also been getting questions about "where?"

What is the "best" location?  If I determine that I need to move, where should I go?

There are no stock answers to these kinds of questions.  Everyone's situation is different, so we would not presume to put forth a "one-size-fits-all" solution.


Stay tuned for this ongoing series of posts, covering what to look for in land or a homestead!

b2ap3_thumbnail_GardenProduce.jpgWhen looking to purchase land or a homestead, food is something else you need to consider.

Is the general location and the specific piece of land suitable for growing food (garden, orchard, etc)?

Unlike water and topography, there are things you can do to make a less promising property productive, but it will be a matter of how much time work and money you are willing to put into it.  And some things are beyone repair.


Stay tuned for the upcoming parts of this series--on heat/wood, shelter, food, sanitation, power, and more!

It's an exciting adventure, and at the same time it's also a bit intimidating.  Let's face it, relocating is a big undertaking.

BUT, it's very feasible as long as you do your homework ahead of time.

That's where this series of posts comes in.


b2ap3_thumbnail_Combustor.jpgOkay, so I have a confession to make…

2016 was a crazy year in our lives and last fall I was so pushed for time that I was late in getting my firewood in.

So late that some of it wan’t totally cured and much of it got soaked by the rain.:-(.  Kind of a bad spot to be in with winter approaching!


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