more rain mud
February 17th, 2016 by Off The Grid

If you are living off grid the sometimes wildly changing weather such as rain, snow, and anything else associated with variables mother nature has in store for you can be a game changer. Here lately it has become increasingly clear that I need a 4WD vehicle. Yes I really appreciate the fact that my car gets 40mpg but.. let me take a deep breath for this statement.. ok.. The fact that I have been seriously stuck once (needed a tow), dug myself into the mud several times “mudding” while trying to get out, completely missed the driveway (and was ok because of the snow), spent hours placing / moving MANY twigs & branches, dragged many logs / branches / tree limbs out of the woods, and used a LOT of firewood for traction in the muddy areas should be my sign that enough is enough. Either that or I still need to learn the lesson of dealing with slippery driving conditions in order to enter or leave each day for work. So yes the weather can and will make for a serious game changer when you are trying to do anything outdoors while living off the grid.

“Enjoy the ride”

On a lighter note today’s podcast marks the beginning of a new segment for the show called Time Travel Tuesday. πŸ™‚ This is a bit long to explain by text here so I will let you simply listen to the podcast episode. Also one year ago today marks the beginning of the Off The Grid Podcast when I first began recording episodes. It all started out Valentine’s Day (February 15) as I began counting down the days to going off grid. If you are a long time listener you know that my journey has been long and um.. adventurous to say the least. It has been a lot of work simply just getting out here. The first year if you remember has been all about basic survival. Most of which has been directly related to the weather. The dead heat of an extremely hot and humid summer gave me a whole new understanding of the serous aspects of “summer fun” when you do not have AC. On the flip side this winter has presented me with an entirely new set of challenges related to staying warm when the temps drop to 10 or 12 degrees at night. If you have not given much though to the transition of living an average life on the grid to life in a camper with no power or water then I strongly encourage you to learn as much as you can before you give it a go. For me this was a leap I eagerly welcomed along with all of the ups and downs that lifes hard lessons had in store for me to learn. After all life is a gift, it is a journey, it is so many things, and should be lived to the fullest we can with all it has to offer. So whatever that means to you please do something good with your life on your terms.. and don’t forget to keep an eye out for whatever you can learn along the way.

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Weather can be a game changer when living off grid. Get a 4WD vehicle!
  • I did not get a Pic of the Mic from today’s Time Travel Tuesday segment but will upload and edit it here for tomorrow!! Please see Feb. 17, 2016!! πŸ™‚
  • Be social! Connect with me and the podcast on Facebook, like the page, and tell a friend! πŸ™‚
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please share your thought below or Contact me!

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winter wonderland in the woods
January 29th, 2016 by Off The Grid

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday proved to be one of the most eventful weekends to winter wonderland pathdate out in this little part of the world. This last weekend the weatherman was calling for some snow, sleet, and rain. At times it almost seemed like the weatherman was a DJ spinning gusts of snow storms like records.. skillfully adjusting the knobs that controlled the weather conditions along the way! Friday I had a reminder from the powers that be that as of yet I am still exploring the lesson(s) to which I am supposed to learn from. By this I am referring to two chance encounters with my ex-girlfriend on the same day at two different locations. Friday was only the beginning as the winter weather snow storm was just getting started. Moving into Saturday here in Virginia we really got hammered by a solid day long blizzard. I realize this may not mean a lot to some people living up north or in areas where you are used to a lot of snow but down here that is significant! When the weekend was all said and done it seemed like life had surprises and challenges around almost every corner. I had an issue with my Mr. Buddy Heater not turning on in the hard freezing cold of a sleet and snow filled night. Thanks to the blizzard and snow accumulations on Saturday managed to completely miss my “driveway” and almost got stuck in a ditch. Went for a super peaceful yet invigorating walk WAY of the path in the woods.. because I knew with my footprints in the snow I could not get lost!! πŸ™‚ Oh and I already mentioned the interesting angle from my personal life. Yup! This truly was an off grid Winter Wonderland out here complete with a healthy sprinkling of wildly eventful weekend moments compared to the normal peace and quiet nature has to offer. lol

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Two is one, one is none. When it comes to heat in the winter, needing to drive, or whatever you better have a backup!
  • Be social! Connect with me and the podcast on Facebook, like the page, and tell a friend! πŸ™‚
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please share your thought below or Contact me!

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cold walk in the woods
January 29th, 2016 by Off The Grid

This was some video I took of the first snow fall a couple of weeks ago. Walking down the path I was delighted with the new landscape that seemed to emerge overnight with the recent snowfall the night before. Please keep in mind this video was taken BEFORE the last snow storm hit (mentioned in episodes 91 & 92). As always thank you for taking the time to check these out, watch, share, and listen! ~ Levi πŸ™‚

 

Video Post notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Just a little snow can change your landscape. Watch for downed trees and before unseen obstacles.
  • When its unbearable cold outside you better have a way to stay warm or your in trouble.
  • I will add a link to the video mentioned in today’s episode tomorrow. See the comments below this post to watch! πŸ™‚
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Be social & Connect on Facebook, subscribe YouTube, or send me an email through the Contact page!
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.

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logs for driving path
January 22nd, 2016 by Off The Grid

Unless you have been under a rock hibernating this winter you know that the cooler frigid temps this week seem to be a precursor to the upcoming snow storm headed up the east coast. Here in Virginia we are looking at a good bit of the snowy flakes from above to accumulate in this next week. For now I will leave that one alone and get into some of your questions, comments, cool off grid links, and feedback you ave emailed in for the show. Thursday has come once again along with listener emails and that means I get to share some of whats on your mind here on the Off The Grid Podcast. Tom (also known as Chilly Dog) from California emailed in with some really cool info and a link about building log cabins. The Log Home Builder Association web site has a ton of really great info and they also offer classes or seminars on building log homes from scratch vs putting together a log cabin kit. As you may or may not know for a while I was watching all of the videos I could find about safely cutting trees, fallowing the bark off, and building log cabins. In the end I would like to incorporate some of my long term building plans to include a partial earth sheltered structure with logs. The site has a lot of incredibly useful tips about getting started, finding the right tools, saving money along the way,Β  and is a great educational resource if you are looking to build a log cabin from scratch. It is a non-profitΒ  You can find a link to the log cabin building site below in today’s Off The Grid Podcast episode show notes. Jill from Chicago emailed in again with some helpful hints on getting organized. She sent in this last time in response to some recent podcast episodes where I mentioned that I was wanting to clean up in and around the off grid camper. Once again when it comes to de-cluttering and getting rid of stuff rather than wasting potentially years of mental energy hanging onto items just makes for good common sense. Thank you again for sharing some cool and useful ideas!

One more quick note and observation I wanted to share with you was that extra self care is needed when you push yourself and are burning more calories than normal. With temperatures being the coldest yet I found myself not feeling so well because I have not been eating enough food. After a search online I learned that the human body burns on average 210 calories in about 30 min when shoveling snow. Everyone knows that when you get cold you start to shiver. When shivering your body is doing what it can to heat back up quickly. As it turns out your body burns 100 calories in 15 min when shivering. If you have seen any good pictures of me on the site from time to time you know that I am slim.. so this means that I don’t have a lot of calories stored! lol Once again I would like to apologize for some of the technical issues for last episode and.. this episode now.

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: When you are being more active & trying to stay warm during cold winter days make sure to boost your caloric intake.
  • Here is that like to the Log Home Builders Association that Tom emailed in.
  • Be social! Connect with me and the podcast on Facebook, like the page, and tell a friend! πŸ™‚
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please share your thought below or Contact me!

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snowing off grid on the camper
January 20th, 2016 by Off The Grid

If you have ever lived anywhere when the icy cold grip of winter winds chill you to the bone then you can probably relate to today’s episode of the Off The Grid Podcast. In the last few days it seems that winters icy cold grip has really take hold of this area. Freezing temperatures dipped down to 16 degrees. Keep in mind that when you are trying to stay warm inside of an old camper with no electricity or water then you need to use your critical thinking and common sense skills even more so. I had hoped to have my little pot belly cast iron coal / wood stove in by now but it has not happened yet. I do however have an awesome Little Buddy Heater. If you are looking to live off grid and need a little info about heating during winter’s cooler months then this episode will not disappoint. i shared some recent info and numbers with the temps both inside the camper, outside the off grid camper, and in combination with running a small portable propane heater. Yes you can learn a little bit by listening to this chilly winter episode. lol

Today’s podcast was recorded at the office after a very long and late day that turned into night. If you noticed my energy was low it was because I pulled a double shift and then recorded the podcast for this episode. As I mentioned it was very late when recording so I will keep the wording for this post short.. Sleep is important!!! πŸ™‚ The video will be posted here on the website tomorrow. Please stay “tuned” for the update! lol Until next time stay safe, please stay warm on these bitter cold days, and enjoy some of the beauty that only snow can offer. As always thank you for listening! If you have any questions, comments, or other great info to share please send me an email. I would love to hear from you! πŸ™‚

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Sometimes your path can change over night. Adapt quickly to new surroundings & enjoy the beauty of new fallen snow!
  • I will add a link to the video mentioned in today’s episode tomorrow. See the comments below this post to watch! πŸ™‚
  • Be social! Connect with me and the podcast on Facebook, like the page, and tell a friend! πŸ™‚
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please share your thought below or Contact me!

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snow flurries outside camper
January 5th, 2016 by Off The Grid

If you are living in an area that has been experiencing unusually warm temperatures then suddenly colder ones your not alone. Today’s episode of Off The Grid Podcast was a bit like the earlier days when I recorded the shows in my car. After waking up to snow flurries and temps in the mid twentys carried along a gust of cooler wind I realized that winter had arrived. As I took a few steps just outside the camper I also realized that the ground was frozen solid. It was strange because 2 days prior it was very squishy mud! lol So much for summer weather.. wait this is January right? Great Snowman Poop THAT is SNOW falling outside the camper!!! The howling winds and swaying tree tops that woke me up several times last night prove that indeed winter is here. πŸ™‚

Moving on to something new kicking the year of 2016 off right I will be adding a new segment to Tuesday shows. You can look forward to more great stories as I go through some of my stuff that I’ve collected from over the years. If you have heard me refer to most of what we accumulate over the years as simply “stuff” then please put this in a slightly different category. The new segment will be called Time Travel Tuesday. Why time travel you ask? Well think about it. If you have a small toy or something you have been hanging onto from childhood chances are that item has a special meaning or memory tied to it. The new segment for the Off The Grid Podcast will give me the opportunity to share some of my cherished memories with you and at the same time a moment of reflection to also let go. To let go of some of the emotional ties associated with the items I have collected over the last 40 years. If you have had any kind of a life worth living you have experienced many good times and many not so good times. Hopefully more good times. ..SIDE NOTE: As I type this now a song is playing (Just Like Heaven ~ The Cure) on Pandora that reminds me of the Bottle Cap I mentioned in today’s show. Time moves so fast and with the turn of the new year an invisibly tap on the shoulder reminds us that time does not stop. A favorite quote comes to mind:

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while you could miss it.

If you are reading this now please take a moment to reflect back on the last year of your life. Are you moving in a positive direction? Are you taking steps to live a better life however or whatever that means to you? Are you growing and learning as a person? Are you giving back? That last one can be taken any way you like. Giving back to your family, friends, loved ones, a charity, volunteering, or mentoring? OK I will get off my soap box for now. πŸ™‚ 2016 is a new year and with it a blank slate to your future. Yes the show motto is “Its not what you have. Its what you know” but don’t forget to learn from your life experience and when your up for some entertainment please join me for a little time traveling on Tuesdays! lol Maybe I can learn something new from the past as well. Lets make this a great year!

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Even if its unusually warm outside continue to prepare for winter and the future!
  • Be social! Connect with me and the podcast on Facebook, like the page, and tell a friend! πŸ™‚
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please share your thought below or Contact me!

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christmas presents
December 30th, 2015 by Off The Grid

Today’s episode of the Off The Grid Podcast is coming to you once again fromluggable loo the camper after a very fast Christmas weekend. As we round the final days here in December New Years Eve is next up on the years list of holidays. If you tuned into last episode you heard the bell ringing and saw the little Christmas tree I decorated in the middle of the woods. That was the extent of decorating for me this year. lol Once again it was a great enjoying some wonderful food and quality time this Christmas with family and friends. After we all ate gifts were exchanged. As usual I have a couple of funny stories to share but I will leave them for you to listen to on the podcast because it is late.. late at night as I type this now! πŸ™‚ After racking my brain as to what to give some friends and family this year I decided to give a few practical items that were already on hand. Again there are a couple of funny stories firewood 1 small treeto go along with a couple of gifts that I gave for Christmas.

Later that afternoon my cousin came over to hang out. Despite the extremely wild temperatures of about 80 degrees here on the Christmas day we made a bonfire. The thing is my cousin lives on the grid and being out here is a bit of fresh air so to speak. If you were to make a bonfire out where he lives you would soon hear the sound of big red firetrucks roaring down the road as your neighbor freaks out! The next day we ventured out exploring a little looking for a couple of walking sticks. So needless to say any chance to do outdoor stuff is a good time. Living off the grid does have its advantages! lol πŸ™‚

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: If you want to have everything ready for Christmas you better start early!
  • Be social! Connect with me and the podcast on Facebook, like the page, and tell a friend! πŸ™‚
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please share your thought below or Contact me!

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seeing camper first time
December 30th, 2015 by Off The Grid

The video says it all. Today’s video post was recorded back at the end of February after a long ride through some beautiful country scenery. This was the very first time that I saw my future off grid camper. As you can see there is a lot of space in these old campers but along with the age comes a great deal of work too. Man I had no idea what I was getting into. LOL Enjoy!! πŸ™‚

Video Post notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Sometimes the journey of a lifetime begins with a long drive and an old camper!
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Be social & Connect on Facebook, subscribe YouTube, or send me an email through the Contact page!
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.

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off grid fire pit
December 1st, 2015 by Off The Grid

In case you missed it today is December 1st which brings up a good question with thoughts of making best use of what time is left of 2015. What to do with the rest of this year? For me out here in the off grid camper some of the obvious comes to mind. I still need to get the wood stove in the camper. Firewood as fuel will also be needed for the wood stove. If you remember a few weeks back my neighbor was a huge help when he dropped off a bunch of firewood we collected from downed tree limbs and branches. This last weekend with the sky clear I was able to get out there and cut the wood. I cannibalized an old jumper box by connecting the jumper cables from the power inverter to my car battery. Quickly assembling a mini mobile power supply and turning on my car I went to work with the electric chainsaw. Yes you can use power tools off the grid if you have a power inverter, old set of jumper cables, 120v extension cord, and working vehicle with some gas in the tank. Being ably to use power tools is a huge time saver and force multiplier when you need to make short work of an otherwise time consuming job. While most of the weekend was spent gathering (bonfire wood), cutting, chopping, and stacking firewood I get a little work done on the solar heating project too. I only added a small piece of plywood to the main front part and put up some more tar paper but I was satisfied with some progress.

Looking back at the past 11 months and forward to this last month of 2015 I made a quick list of things I would like to accomplish in the next 30 days. The list below includes both a few personal goals, a few things for Off The Grid Podcast, and arguably necessities for out here in the off grid camper.

  1. Christmas Decorations – To decorate or not to decorate that is the question. Absolutely! Even if it looks like a redneck Christmas off grid in the camper straight of a scene out from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! lol
  2. Christmas Gifts – Yes this is the time for giving the gift of cheer but I against dropping a lot of money on “stuff” so I am trying to think of some cool gifts that I could make for loved ones this Christmas.
  3. Firewood – Continue to gather and chop firewood for the wood stove (even though its not installed in the camper.. yet.
  4. Winterizing the Camper – Continue to winterize the off grid camper.
  5. Food Preparation – Stock back up on extra food and water out here in the camper in case I get a couple of hard weeks at the least out here between the weather or other factors.
  6. Make Natural Seasonal Cold & Flu RemediesΒ  – “Medieval Medicine” to help kick any viruses out of my system at the first sign of possibly coming down with either a cold. Natural Throat lozenges to help in the event that I do get sic.
  7. Road Ready – Buy and keep a couple bags of kitty litter in the trunk of my car in case I get stuck on an icy road.
  8. Smooth the Path – I still need to smooth out some of the good sized dips along the path from the road out to my off grid camper.
  9. Find a Date – Find a date for New Years Eve! This one should be self explanatory lol.
  10. Zello Anyone? – I am thinking of setting up a Zello channel.. A Zello channel has been created! It is an app available for iPhone, Android, & Windows phone users. If you are already on Zello search for “Off The Grid Podcast” channel and say HI!

Well if you are quickly glancing at the list above and then reflecting back at your own life then you have plenty to to as well I would guess. For me I scratched one off of the above by creating the Zello channel. One down and only nine to go in 30 days! lol I can do it πŸ™‚

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Almost every project takes more time than you think so allow for extra time while planing.
  • Be social! Connect with me and the podcast on Facebook, like the page, and tell a friend! πŸ™‚
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please share your thought below or Contact me!

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buddy heater vs wood stove
November 24th, 2015 by Off The Grid

If you have ever had to go without heat for any length of time during winter or an icy cold spell then you can identify with what I was facing this last weekend. With Thanksgiving fast approaching and the colder months now upon us life here in the off grid camper just got a bit colder. I have been making slow progress with installing the pot belly stove. Saturday was really nice outside but they were calling for the temps to plummet down into the 20s on Sunday so I was getting concerned about having no heat yet. On Saturday I went head on taking the cabinets out of the kitchen making room for my wood stove in the off grid camper. With a new space cleared for the pot belly stove I hit the road in search of the vent pipe and needed attachments for the installation. Surprisingly the big box stores did not have what I needed. While I was in the area I visited some friends and picked up some free ceramic tiles so it was still a good trip. I spent the rest of the day and night insulating several key trouble spots on the camper’s exterior that were drafty. With my LED headlamp on I was diligently working until just after 2AM considering a backup plan just in case I could not get the wood stove in on Sunday.

Sunday morning I woke to a stark drop in temperatures, the scattered patter sound of cold rain drops dancing across the ceiling above, and the shifting winds curling the tarp off the roof. Waking up to a day like that was not one I was looking forward to because the icy cold rain made most of the day a bit uncomfortable knowing I had no heat inside the camper. After calling around and realizing my hopes of enjoying a nice warm night next to the wood stove this weekend inside the camper were fading i went to plan “B”. It was time to get serious about buying a heater for the camper. Thanks to some of you guys I decided to get a Mr. Heater Buddy 4,000 – 9,000 BTUs because of its reputation and safety features. The Buddy Propane Heaters have (2) key selling points for safety features.. 1. They have an automatic cutoff if the heater tips over and 2. they also have a low oxygen cutoff built in as well. If you know anything about heating small spaces carbon monoxide poisoning is one main thing to keep in mind. They say CO2 can be the silent killer because you can not smell it. So needless to say when I figured out that I the wood stove was not going to be a go this weekend I went with plan B and bought on of these little propane heaters. It really made my night as sat in front of the warm glowing Buddy Heater reflecting back at the weekend’s challenging moments. So the next time you find yourself face to face with what ever difficult times life has in store try to make sure you are prepared with a backup plan “B”.

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Always have a plan “B” Life’s more challenging seasons and times can be tough.
  • Be social! Connect with me and the podcast on Facebook, like the page, and tell a friend! πŸ™‚
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please share your thought below or Contact me!

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