living without elecrtricity

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montana oil lamp
Solar hand crank radio
Well water pump
Kerosene
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Living Without Electricity
How to live without electricity

Living without electricity...
Could you live without electricity for a week or more? You have the power to live
without power!

Severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, deep winter snow and ice storms ~ there's a
lot of natural disasters that could wipe out the electricity for a short term. Whether
it's a full-blown EMP, tornado, hurricane or earthquake ~ or it's a simple blackout
that lasts for days, sooner or later you're going to have to live without electricity,
so you may as well learn how to live without electricity!
Living with no power is the off-grid lifestyle. Get started now. Below is how to live
without electricity...

How to Live without Electricity
Life without electricity is a daily reality for people in North Korea as well as
underdeveloped and impoverished countries. Did you know that about a quarter
of the world's population lives without electricity? That's almost 2 billion people
who live without electricity. The list below will help you prioritize your backups
and get you thinking of areas you've neglected entirely.

Considerations for how to live without electricity:

#1: Lighting the night without electricity!
The first thing you may think of in living without electricity is lighting the night.
Since the 1880s electric lighting has dominated the after dark hours, but when
the lights go out (possibly for good) how will you light the night? Don't sit in the
dark when you can light up your world with these ideas that go beyond a
flashlight:

  • Natural lighting from windows and skylights. A lighting source that
    gets overlooked is natural lighting. Consider carefully the placement of
    windows in key areas of your off-grid home if you are designing or
    redesigning your off grid location. Modern day pioneers can install
    skylights for added lighting to take advantage of natural lighting.

  • Survival candles. Candles are an obvious way to live without electricity,
    but an open flame carries with it hazard in addition to light. Wax melts and
    is also messy ~ and eventually there's no more wick left. The Survival
    Candle solves much of the problem. It's usually created in a metal tin with
    three wicks. A typcial survival candle can last 36 hours. The 115+ hour
    candle from Disaster Necessities, pictured right, promises to burn for four
    days straight. It actually works much more like an oil lamp. The fuel for
    these long-burning candles is high quality liquid paraffin, meaning they
    burn clean Candles are smokeless, odorless, and soot-free making them
    safe for outdoor and indoor use. Remember the matches or your BIC
    lighter.

  • Oil lamps. When they're not using a generator, the Amish live on oil
    lamps. Be sure to store your kerosene properly. An Aladdin Oil Lamp
    looks nothing like the Disney variety. It's pictured at the bottom of the page.
    The Aladdin Oil Lamp has an antique, Civil War era flair and are available
    with lampshades to illuminate your off-grid home beautifully. They are of
    course a fire hazard as any open flame lighting source is. They're
    expensive too ~ starting at around $200 without the lamp shade!

  • Kerosene oil lamps. Kerosene is a popular fuel from our American
    ancestory that came about in 1848 when an American medical doctor and
    geologist distilled coal to produce a clear fluid that burned with a bright
    yellow flame. He noticed that kerosene burned brigher and steadier than
    candles. This clean burning fuel, also can prevent rust, plus you can use it
    as a lubricant or as a solvent to remove oil, grease, tar! Aladdin lamps are
    kerosene lamps that use a mantle but are not pressurized. Kerosene is a
    fuel that's widely available which makes it a good option.

  • Solar lighting. Solar lighting is the safest method of lighting the night.
    There are many options in solar lighting to provide an almost endless
    supply of light. The Luci Solar Air lantern, pictured right, collapses for
    packing and use for camping. A solar air lantern is inflatable, collapsible,
    lightweight and fully waterproof. It's safe for indoor or outdoor use.


  • Hybrid fuel lamps. A word of warning about hybrid fuel lamps. The
    Coleman Dual Fuel lantern pictured right, runs on Coleman Liquid Fuel or
    unleaded gasoline. First, it's important to note that it's not an indoor lamp!
    Use in a well ventilated area. This outdoor companion is less expensive to
    run, because it uses less fuel than propane-powered lanterns. It's more
    reliable, with better dependability in the coldest conditions. One tank of
    fuel will power the lantern for up to seven hours on high. Find just the right
    light with an adjustable knob that allows you to dim the brightness level
    from its highest at 700 lumens to as low as you need it. This two-mantle
    lantern is perfect for camping, hunting, tailgating and in cases of
    emergency for outdoor use!

#2: Cooking without electricity.
Stocking shelf-stable ready-to-eat foods, like cereal, ration bars and food bars
is a good start, but inevitably you'll want some hot food. Cooking without
electricity is possible ~ just get get out your camping gear. Unfortunately,
camping gear isn't good for cooking indoors, but no worries, you're a prepper
and have the solution. You'll want to heat your food! Get out your dutch oven and
get cooking on these ideas:


  • Camp fire cooking. Get out the grill! If you have wood and charcoal you
    can barbecue or boil water for all the freeze dried foods you have stored in
    the prepper's pantry. Pictured right, the Volcano Collapsible Cook Stove,
    takes propane, charcoal, or wood! How's that for being versatile?.

  • Solar ovens. Solar ovens are fun to use, but they aren't necessarily
    practical unless you plan your meal well in advance. The Global Sun Oven,
    right, can reach temperatures of 360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which is
    more than sufficient to bake, boil, or steam your favorite foods. You can
    cook fast or slow. Cooks within 20 minutes of conventional oven or stove
    top time, or lets you slow cook all day!

  • Kerosene burning stoves. Remember that kerosene is also useful for
    lighting, so you can store this fuel with two purposes. Preppers love having
    multi-purpose items in storage. Be sure to store your fuels properly.

  • Cast Iron cooking: Consider cast iron cookware, which readily goes
    from open flame to stove top giving you indoor and outdoor options,
    enhances nutrition of your meals by providing iron, provides fast heating,
    and requires no soap in the clean up! You can put it on a campfire or a
    kitchen stove.

  • Wood-burning cook stoves. As you get more sophisticated in your off-
    grid living, you'll use a wood-burning cook stove. You can get a small wood
    burning cookstove for as little as $350 or something more sophisticated
    for as much as $2,700.They will warm your home and your appetite.

#3: Heating without electricity.
Depending on your locality, planning emergency heating sources could mean
the difference between life or death. If you're lucky enough to have a wood
burning cook stove that doubles as a heater you're set. Check out the
off grid
heating sources:

  • Heat Pal. Heat Pal, right, is a non-pressurized alcohol stove and heater
    that uses denatured alcohol, which is a bit more expensive than propane,
    but it will burn well no matter the weather. (Propane cylinders tend to
    freeze.) Not only will it help you warm food, but it provides added comfort
    to double as a heater. Efficiently fueled by denatured alcohol, it's very safe
    even as a boat or RV heater! In heater mode, it gives you ample heating
    power for a cozy get-together outside and you can use the stove for
    cooking or for keeping your food warm. A heat pal is on the expensive
    side and hard to find.

  • Mr. Heater. Mr. Heater is a prepper favorite. This indoor-safe portable
    and reliant radiant heater has been approved for indoor/outdoor use for
    spaces up to 225 square feet. It's clean-burning, nearly 100% efficient. It
    connects to a propane tank (event the small and convenient camping
    ones). This propane heater connects directly to a 1 lb. cylander and is the
    perfect solution for heating enclosed spaces like large tents up to 200
    square feet. Best of all, you can get one for as little as $77.

#4: Cooling without electricity.
When things get deathly hot in the summer months, you'll need a way to cool
down.

  • Solar fan. One way to stay cool without electricity is with a solar fan. The
    Ansee solar fan, is a small-scale fan that's under $23 and can be used as
    fan with high wind,eye-care LED table lamp and spotlight torch.

  • Swamp cooler. GoCool is a swamp cooler that keeps a small space cool
    using ice and water. The GoCool portable air conditioner is made for
    cooling small, enclosed spaces using ice and water. The caveat is that you
    have to have ice to use it, so this really isn't an option for long-term off grid
    living.

  • Geo-thermal cooling. Geo-thermal cooling is the ultimate answer to
    cooling without electricity, but it's a sophisticated system that requires
    planning. The good news is that you can make cheap air conditioning with
    earth tubes! Earth tubes are underground tubes that use geothermal
    energy to cool or heat-temper the air for your home. It works like cheap air
    conditioning because you can build it yourself for several hundred dollars
    and the best part is that once you set it up it's totally free to run with no
    electricity needed. Being completely passive, this is a sustainable
    technology based on designs that are 3,000 years old and still used today
    around the world to cool homes. This Do-It -Yourself homemade air
    conditioner can keep you cool off-grid. Sharon Buydens shows you how to
    make this non-electric and sustainable design using geothermal energy.

#5: Refrigerating without electricity.
Keeping your food or diabetic supplies chilled in an off-grid scenario is much
easier than in years past. We've come a long way with gas, solar and hybrid
generators to fuel them. As well, preppers can take advantage of refrigeration
methods of developing countries and from our ancestors.

  • Natural refrigeration options include:

  • Alipicool. Suitable for Car and home using work on 12/24V DC and 110V
    to 240V AC and run great with your solar system. Alpicool freezes without
    ice. It's about $249.

  • Dometic cooler/freezer. Suitable for solar operation, the Dometic
    Electric Powered Portable Cooler has a 3-Stage battery protection.
    Memory maintains preset temperatures even if systems is turned off.
    Cooling compartment has removable wire basket. Great for adding
    refrigerator or freezer space to any RV, car, truck, or boat. Use multiple
    power sources to take your refrigerator deep freezer with you on any
    adventure.

  • Kerosene refrigerators. Unfortunately kerosene refrigerators aren't
    readily available ~ unless you live near an Amish community.

  • Solar refrigerator. Sundanzer solar refrigerator provides exceptionally
    low energy consumption, requiring less expensive power systems and
    providing lower operating costs. Can run on a solar panel, battery and 15
    Amp charge controller  

  • Solar freezer - power generated.

#6: Water without electricity.
One of the most basic things you must have in an off-grid life is a well or water
source. Life without running water isn't going to be easy, but if you have a water
source you can manage living an off-grid life the way your ancestors did.

Obtaining potable water without electricity.
To ensure potable water, have a gravity fed water filter, like the Big Berkey
pictured right, an
AlexaPure, or a LifeStraw water filter.


  • Rainwater. Many Amish collect rainwater directly from their roofs! They
    store water in a cistern and while it's not used for drinking water, the water
    does provide for their other water needs. For more, read harvesting
    rainwater.

  • Windmills. A windmill can pump water into a storage tank. The water then
    flows by gravity into the home, making plumbing possible without a
    pressurized system. Outdoor Water Solutions offers a 12-Foot Galvanized
    Backyard Windmill for around $259, unfortunately its ornamental, but they
    have 20-feet wind driven aeration system, which is a great way to clean up
    your pond100-percent electricity-free system can be located up to 1,000-
    feet away from your pond or lake and is designed to aerate ponds from
    the bottom up, reducing algae, bacteria and odor.

    Companies that still make windmills are:
  1. Aermotor windmills - San Angelo, Texas
    Unforunately, Dempster of Beatrice, Nebraska is no longer in business
    Fiasa company - Argentina

#7: Cleaning dishes without running water.
Doing the dishes without running water is accomplished with a few scouting
survival skills.Living without running water isn't easy, but you can do it with a little
ingenuity, like using an Aquatainer water jug, pictured right to deliver water.


#8: Having potable water without Electricity.
Water is not only essential for drinking, but also for cooking and cleaning dishes,
pots and pans; washing the laundry; washing hands and bathing; and dealing
with sanitation issues.

Gravity-fed water filtration:

#9: Doing the laundry without electricity.
Laundry happens. Surely you can survive a week without your laundry, but
eventually you're going to run out of clean clothes and you'll have to start
handwashing. Make your off-grid life easier with the proper tools to both wash
and dry your clothes.

Get cranking! The WonderWash, pictured right, is one of the easiest ways to get
started doing the laundry without electricty. I will help you wash a 5-lbs.-load
super clean in just a couple of minutes. WonderWash uses far less water than
even hand washing. The WonderWash is ideal for one person, but of you have a
large family, you'll want to do laundry the way the Amish do with a generator or
by hand using the old fashioned techniques below:

  • How to wash clothes without power.
  1. A galvanized metal bucket to soak clothes.
  2. A washboard to get out the main dirt.
  3. Handwash wringer.
  4. Clothes line, rope or a clothes rack.
  5. Clothes pins!

  • How to dry clothes without power:
    Living without electricity, it is possible to dry clothes the old fashioned way
    (just hang them out to dry); however to dry clothes without power at the
    most basic level in modern times you'll need:

#10: Plumbing without electricity.
If you want water to flow in your home, you'll need to discover methods to pump,
heat and circulate water in you home.

  • Will toilets flush without electricity? The simple is answer is yes, but
    your toilet will work for a limited time only. The reason your toilets will work
    temporarily without electricity is because most of the work already has
    been done to get the water to your toilet and to build the pressure to
    enable it to flush away the waste. It's important to put a simple toilet system
    together for an emergency to deal with a quarantine, a sewage problem or
    a long-term emergency. If you're living off-grid you'll need to get

  • Taking a shower without electricity. A simple camp shower will do the
    trick, but it might be cold unless you find a way to warm your water at just
    the right temperature.

  • Pitcher pump.  Hand pumps are bow the Amish deliver water to their
    homes mounted on a modern sink. While heavy duty pitcher pumps are
    available on Amazon for twice the price, the red one pictured left is highly
    rated and is only around $60. This classic pump is designed for rugged
    long life service. All bolt lugs are reinforced for maximum strength and all
    parts are made from close grain cast iron for optimum strength.

  • Toilets: Can toilets work without electricity? The simple is answer is yes,
    but your toilet will work for a limited time only. The reason your toilets will
    work temporarily without electricity is because most of the work already
    has been done to get the water to your toilet and to build the pressure to
    enable it to flush away the waste.Flushing the toilet with greywater (or
    water from the rain) will work for a while, but eventually the sewage will
    back up if there's a widespread power outage, such as with an EMP.

#11:  Staying in touch without Electricity.
When disconnecting from the grid may, you'll be cut off from many of the modern
conveniences like a television, but when it comes to communications you can
rest assured the technology is there for you if the cell towers are.

Here's how to communicate without electricity:

#12: Making clothes without electricity.
Sew with a treadle powered sewing machine! A treadle-powered sewing
machine gives you foot-powered control that your Great, Great Grandmother had
to start sewing without ever relying on electricity.

Happy endings...
When the power fails, know what to do! Being self sufficient is rewarding.
Whether your goal is to live off the grid entirely or just to spend a weekend being
self-sufficient, being able to live without electricity will give you confidence in your
survival skills. It may not be as comfortable as you'd have it with full utility power,
but you'll find new comforts in entertainment, such as family game night, musical
pursuits, or books!

Life certainly would be more comforting with air conditioning, fresh running
water, gasoline and refrigeration, but would it be more interesting? The Amish
people say that electricity provides a distraction to life. One things for sure,
without electricity you'll probably spend more time with family, and who doesn't
love that?

Orient yourself toward a self-sufficient life without electricity by reading up on
these ideas for an off-grid life:


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