A Survival Guide to Living off the Grid

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A Survival Guide to Living off the Grid

Photo by Missy & the Universe


If you’re a city girl (like me) and moving to a rural setting where you’ll be living in a tent (like me) because you’re still waiting for your home to be built, here’s some advice that might make your transition easier:

1. Get a mosquito net for your bedroom and hang it up around the bed (or wherever you happen to sleep). You can also arm yourself with mosquito coils or mosquito/insect repellent. I learnt this the hard way and now I look like I’m recovering from a nasty bout of Chicken Pox.

2. Get a shovel and start digging. When nature calls and you have to go to the toilet, not to pee, but to, well, you know… you’ll be prepared and you’ll thank me later.

3. Buy a pair of knee high gum boots. By far the smartest thing I have done since moving from the city. Not only do they prevent mosquitos from attacking your shins, but they are a good guard against snakes and creepy crawlies and a godsend when it rains.

4. Water supply. If you don’t already have your water tanks in place then get a barrel, put some netting over it to prevent insects and bugs from diving in, put a tarp above and angle the tarp so that all the rain water it collects pours straight into the barrel. This works so successfully that the barrel can, and will, overflow. Best to organise this setup away from your living quarters.

5. If you don’t live near a creek and water supply is low, then get the wash cloth out if you need to bathe. It’s not convenient but it does the trick.

6. Start digging again. This time you’ll need a source of food and there will be times when the only food you eat is the food you’ve grown yourself. In our veggie patch, we planted tomatoes, lettuce, silverbeet, cucumbers, zucchini, capsicum, bok choy, jalapenos and herbs. When the floods hit and we were cut off from the outside world, we still had our food supply growing out the back. Since that time, let’s just say if I never saw a silverbeet or zucchini I’d be okay with it 🙂

7. Get some candles. My friend, Michelle from Earth Wear Eco Fashions makes them herself with local bees wax, but for someone not as resourceful (me included) just buy them. Candles always come in handy so ensure you keep a stockpile.

8. Collect fire wood. A bon fire is the best source of light when the sun goes down and you’re not ready to turn in with it. Bon fires and a starry night have often been the backdrop for many of our deep and meaningful conversations as well as our sexual escapades. Just being honest 🙂

9. Desperate times calls for desperate measures and when you run out of body soap, you can substitute it with shampoo. Or in my case, when I ran out of both, I reached out for dishwashing detergent. Don’t try this at home kids!

10. Slip Slop Slap. Remember that there is no faster way to getting wrinkles and sunburn than being out in the sun unprotected. So get some SPF 15+ and wear a wide brimmed hat.  And if you’re anything like me, and don’t have any hangups, you can get an all over, even tan walking around in the nude. But remember the insect repellant and to slip slop slap!

If you’ve ever lived in a tent (a total of 4 months for me!) or another form of alternative lifestyle, please feel free to share your experience by leaving a comment below.

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