Off-grid living is a wonderful way to experience nature more and to be prepared when disasters and calamities come. However, it is also challenging to live off-grid, especially during the winter season. This season can be a brutal time for people living off the grid if they are not well-prepared. Therefore, knowing what to keep in stock and how to survive the cold weather is important to survive and at the same time, enjoy the season, as well.
If you are planning about living off the grid during the cold weather or winter season, but don’t have any idea yet on how you will survive, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are going to give you tips and ideas to make it through the cold winter months while off-grid living.
Stock a Month’s Supply of Food for Each Person
If you are living off the grid with your whole family, one of the most important things to be prepared on is food. This is more important during the winter season because you could get snowed in, and the power might go out as well. Make sure that you stockpile a month’s supply of food for each member of your family, either in food cellars, cans, or freeze-dried foods . Choose foods that are high in vitamins and proteins to help you stay healthy and give you a boost during the cold weather. It’s also best to select easy to prepare foods such as soups, spaghetti sauces, pasta, and canned foods that you can easily store. You can also opt for freezable meals that you can simply heat and eat throughout the winter. You can also check out gas or electric water heater for more great options.
Check and Prepare Your Emergency Kit
When you live off the grid, an emergency kit is essential to have. Before the cold season, you need to check your emergency kit if it has all the things you need. It should include flashlights, batteries, candles, lighters, first-aid, and as well as canned goods. Ensure that all of your electronics are charged. And when winter is near, try to shut off unused gadgets like cellphones to save battery in case of emergencies.
Prepare Your Car
Aside from preparing things in your home, you also need to prepare your car for survival. You can stockpile essential things in it, such as blankets, flashlights, lighters, extra clothes, water, food, and a first-aid kit. These things will come in handy if ever you encounter an emergency while on the road during the winter season.
Store Enough Gasoline and Oil
Another important thing when you plan to live off the grid during the winter season is to stock up on gas for your vehicle and generators. You should also stockpile oil for lamps and for cooking as well. Just make sure that these liquids are locked away from your kids and pets, and stored at a safe distance from your home. It’s because they are fire-starters. With that, you can also use them in an emergency situation that requires instant heat.
Store Enough Wood for Extra Long Winters
It’s also a good idea to store plenty of wood that can last for at least two winters. Wood is important when it comes to off-grid living. You can use it in cooking if you have a wood stove, and as well as a method of heating. Even if you have an established method of heating in your homestead, it is still essential to have enough wood in case of power outages or unforeseen circumstances.
Prepare Appropriate Clothes for the Cold Weather
Another thing you should not forget to prepare is clothes that are appropriate for the cold weather. It’s better to opt for multiple lightweight layers of clothes because they can keep you comfortable. They will allow your body heat to travel between layers, just like an insulator. You can also have some wool socks to keep your feet in heat while drawing away moisture. You should also choose a pair of boots that can stand up to low negative temperatures. You can also have some goggles to protect your face, and a cap to keep the heat from escaping your head. When going out during the cold weather, don’t forget to wear gloves, hats, and face coverings in case you get trapped outside.
Have an Additional Storage for Water
Another issue during the winter season is that water pumps freeze. Therefore, you need to have enough space in your home for additional water storage for days, especially when pumping water is impossible. It’s also great to have an old-fashioned well because water does not freeze below ground level. You will be able to draw water from it using a bucket.
Check Your Generators
Before the winter season, you need to check your generators and make sure that things look good. Try to start your generator and change its oil. Also, having two generators might also be ideal. The other one can be a backup in case one fails during the cold weather. You also need to clean up your generator shed before it gets cold.
Aside from that, check your generator shed heater as well, especially if you live near the Arctic Circle, where it gets very cold. If you do not have a generator shed heater, you can simply install a propane wall heater on the outside of the shed. This will help keep the generator shed warm enough, allowing your generators to start even if the temperature is well below zero.
Adjust Your Solar Panels
If you are using solar panels as your alternative energy source, you need to adjust them before the winter season to maximize the sunlight. This will enable you to take advantage of every last bit of sunlight to charge your battery bank. Aside from that, it can also help reduce the required running time of your generators, at the same time, decreasing your annual diesel fuel costs.
Plan Some Activities and Projects
Once you get everything ready to keep you and your family safe when the cold weather comes, it’s also a good idea to plan some activities and projects that you can work on throughout the season. You should not let the cold keep you from doing fun things. Maybe you can go skiing and hiking. Staying active, even during the winter season, will keep you mentally sharp and more physically prepared for the tasks you plan on working on in the coming seasons.
These are some of the best tips we can give you on planning for off-grid living during the cold weather. If you are properly prepared for any situation, and if you know how to stay warm indoors and outdoors, you will certainly have an enjoyable and safe winter season, even if you are living off the grid.