Living off the grid is something more people are dreaming of doing. But the real question is – how much will it actually cost you to be independent from the utility services in your region?
The truth is, the costs are quite a bit more than you probably think so for most people who have limited budgets, finding a hybrid solution rather than completely going off the grid will most probably be a more feasible solution.
Think about it, if you go off the grid, the costs for upkeep and maintenance of the services will shift from the actual utility service to yourself. So, keep in mind that it is best to have a backup solution just in case your main service is interrupted and needs repair and upkeep work.
So, what is the hybrid solution?
This is a more feasible solution to use certain off the grid services as backup options to the local utility services.
Here is what you need to cover your basic needs:
It may or it may not come into use, but having a backup plan will surely help you feel safer and sleep better!
Our family gets especially excited when the summer comes, because this is what we consider our outdoor season. We love to spend time outside camping, hiking, biking, and enjoying just about any other outdoor activity. We are lucky to live in a place where we have a variety of opportunities to enjoy family time outdoors. We are creating treasured family memories on our trips, and will like to share with you several of our camping and hiking tips which can help you enjoy your time outdoors as much as us too if you live in Sacramento or you are coming to visit:
Here are a few of our family camping tips to make your trip better and more enjoyable:
So these were our suggestions for excellent camping sites for those of you who are in Sacramento or are planning to visit, there is nothing better than spending your weekend outdoors, in the nature with your favorite people!
It is essential that you pack a compass and a GPS when going on a hiking, camping or other trip outdoors. But even if you have packed them in your backpack, anything can happen outdoors, and you may lose all means of navigation. This is when one of these tips for finding the right directions without a compass or GPS can come in handy.
Some tips on basic navigation, use of GPS technology as well as survival in the wilderness
Use the sun for finding the correct directions.
Once you have determined where North is, use a topographic map to compare its feature with the actual features you are seeing on the terrain. Try to identify some specific features, roads, rivers or others to get a better idea of the direction you are heading to. Try to make a “mental map” in your head for better direction maintenance and for a safer hiking experience.
A topographic map balances the methods discussed above. Once North is determined (as discussed above) orient the map to north and compare terrain features on the map with the actual contours and features on the ground. Identify topographic handrails such as rivers, trails, and dominant land features (e.g., mountains tops.) These features will help guide the hiker’s travel during the day.
After years of hiking and travelling mainly by foot from state to state, and after I got a painful back condition, I finally did a major revision of the things I carried in my travel bag along with me at all times. It turns out, that a lot of the stuff I have literally been carrying on my shoulders for thousands and thousands of miles has been completely useless in the majority of the time.
First of all, reconsider the number of knives, multi-tools and tools you carry in your pockets, on your belt and in your backpack at all times. Also, get rid of the duplicated things, and all that gear which you have always thought could come in handy, but never actually does. Consider keeping a good, small pocket knife, and a good quality multi-tool in your pockets, especially if you are carrying a full sized knife and multi-tool in your bag. Carry a lighter, your wallet and just essential stuff.
Revise the contents of your wallet as well. Take out all old, invalid cards, business cards, etc. which you will not be needing. Carry one or more bandanas with you – they are light and yet can serve so many purposes while on the road.
Keep a good quality, strong, pocket knife with a locking blade, a medium and super small screwdriver, a toothpick and the option for attaching a lanyard. It is best that the pocket knife comfortable fits into the watch pocket of your pants. One option which fits this description is either an 84 or 85mm Swiss army knife with only two layers.
Also, revise your personal safety kit and remove all unnecessary bulky things, just a small signal mirror, a whistle, a mini photon type light, a piece of pencil, a compass and just some other essential stuff.
With the small pocket knife in your watch pocket, you should only carry folded bandanas in your back pockets. Bandanas are soft and can serve multiple purposes when you are on the road.
Make sure that you remove any unnecessary keys and stuff from your keychain as well. Leave your ID tag, a small light, a mini capsule with critical medication, a mini light, glow ring and a small lighter.
It may not seem so crucial if you just go outdoors and hike for several hours, but for people like me, who spend their life on the road and on foot, every single ounce counts. So, do some self-observation next time you are spending time hiking, and watch for the things you carry and the things you actually use. Decluttering will make one hell of a difference for your legs and back, I promise!
You aren’t a camping type of person, but your man is? Well, let me share my personal experience with this issue. I have always been a “girly” kind of girl, and I never thought that I could enjoy spending days and nights stranded in the wilderness without any showers or running water around. But fate got me together with my wonderful adventurous man, who is into hiking, camping and all kinds of outdoor activities. Since then, I have gradually learned certain skills, and a lot of very useful information on living and survival in the wilderness. Now I even know how to sharpen a machete! Not bad for a girl, right!
I have actually started to enjoy these camping and hiking trips with my fiancée, and have quite a decent bit of camping and survival equipment packed up too. I have several knives – both folding and full tang, camping equipment and gear, and have learned the most important basics: “shelter, fire, first aid, water” – these four things I have learned to priorities and take care of first, instead of panicking, getting angry and crying from despair as I admit doing the first couple of times we spent the night outdoors.
If your significant other is a newbie in camping and is doubtful about joining you at the next camping trip, maybe some of the things I have learned along the line may be able to help you or convince him or her to at least try:
You may enjoy cooking, but dealing with all of the cleaning and other chores in the kitchen can take away a lot of your time and the joy of cooking at some point. Thankfully there are some tips for kitchen maintenance which will make prepping and cooking easier and simpler, and will allow you to have time for other things as well.
If you know some other clever kitchen tips to make our lives easier – please share it with me.
High quality knives can cost quite a lot of money, but anyway professionals invest a lot in purchasing the best ones for their needs. The high quality knives can definitely turn out to be an excellent long term investment which pays itself back, but it is essential that proper care is taken of the knives so that they last longer and serve you properly and safely.
Here are several tips on how to ensure that your knives are taken care of correctly:
Ensure that your knives are stored properly, so that they stay sharp and at the same time are safely put away when not in use. There is a wide variety of excellent knife storage options available on the market, including: canvas wallets, different knife racks as well as blade guards, which you can choose from.
Remember to wash your knife immediately after use to prevent staining by acidic foods. Remove the grease with a good quality dishwashing solution and never leave them to dry naturally. Use a towel or dry cloth to dry the blade and handle in order to prevent corrosion.
Naturally after using your knife for some time, its blade will get dulled and the slicing ability of your knife will decrease and it will become harder regular honing with steel can realign the blade and keep the knives in excellent form. Sharpening should be performed at least twice a year. You can leave the sharpening to professionals or you can get your own sharpener, steel or whetstone. There are various good quality brands to pick from, such as: Hygiplas, Buffalo, Dick and Vogue.
It may seem non-essential, but the truth is that using the appropriate chopping board is of great importance for the proper maintenance and care for your knife. Glass, ceramic and stone boards will damage the blade of your knife, so stay away from these no matter how cool they look. Stick to the wooden or plastic chopping boards instead. They will cause less dulling and present no risk to the blade of your precious knife. You can get a set of chopping boards which are of different colours for the different type of food products you use them for, which will help prevent cross contamination in the kitchen. One excellent set is the Hygiplas standard low density chopping board set of 6 various cutting boards.
If you carry your knife around and use it in a commercial kitchen, it is a good idea to engrave it, so it doesn’t get misplaced. There are various knife engraving services you can rely to get the engraving done safely and professionally.
The question about the one single item you will bring if you are dropped on a deserted island without clothes or anything else is as old as the world. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that the single item which could be of the most use for you in such a situation is a knife. With a knife you have protection, you can make shelter, cut food and make yourselves some sort of clothing too.
Of course it is highly unlikely that you will be put into such an extreme situation, but in other more common cases, like when you go out camping or hiking, it is essential to bring a knife with you. You can use it for cutting food, cutting cords, making a shelter, hunting, for fixing your gear, or for a wide variety of tasks which you may need to perform while outdoors in the wilderness. But what is the best type of knife to take to your hiking or camping trip? Here are some of the pros and cons of the different types of knives you can choose from.
Fixed blade knives
Since it isn’t foldable, a fixed blade knife is not the most common choice among campers and hikers. This type of knife needs to be carried in a sheath or other case, which makes it bulky and heavy. On the other hand, it is a very strong knife, because of the full tang construction (the metal from the blade continues into the handle of the knife. So, you choose whether to carry a heavier and bulkier full blade knife with you when you are going on an outdoor camping or hiking trip. It could be a choice between strength and dependability vs weight and bulkiness. You decide!
Single folding blade knife
This type of knife is much more compact and easy to carry around in your pocket. Yes, it is compact, but its hinge makes it weaker than a full blade knife. These types of knives are usually quite affordable and can come in different sizes and varieties.
They can be used for tasks such as cutting food, gutting fish, cutting small branches and other everyday tasks. As far as survival goes, this is not the most reliable knife to have on you if you are hurt or lost in the wilderness.
The most famous multitools carry the brand name Leatherman. These instruments have a wide array of different types and sizes of blades, wire cutters, plyers, screwdrivers and various different tools fitted in 1 body. Usually with multitools, the blades are rather narrow and small, and the other tools are very unlikely to be needed for survival in the wilderness. The multitool is handy for repair jobs and fixing mechanical faults, rather than for hiking or camping.
Swiss army knife
There are so many different types of Swiss army knives which feature amazing different tools. The problem is, the more tools it contains the heavier and bulkier the knife gets. The best type of Swiss Army knife to take on a camping or hiking trip is the classic small model with 1 main blade and a smaller one, a saw to cut branches, as well as an awl for punching holes and repairing gear and packs. The corkscrew and the can opener could be of help on your trip too. Although the blades can easily blunt, Swiss army knives tend to be the most popular kind of knives for camping and hunting because of their compact size and the variety of options for tools they have.