Tag Archives: Off Grid Living

Guide to Off Grid Living: What Are the Best Dog Breeds for an Off Grid Property?

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The Best Dog Breeds to Make a Good Pet for an Off Grid Cabin or Home

The Best Dog Breeds to Make a Good Pet for an Off Grid Cabin or Home

 

 

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How to Raise Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles for Off the Grid Farms

Off Grid Living:  How to Raise Crickets for
Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles

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Off Grid Living - How to Raise Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles

Off Grid Living – How to Raise Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles

Raising Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles

New Mexico – Breeding crickets is surprisingly easy and a great way to have different sizes on hand for feeding an array of animals. In this blog, we’ll run down the supplies needed and the techniques we use to breed and raise crickets.

How to Get a Cricket Farm Started

First, you’ll need to order in some crickets – you’ll want to order 3/4”, as most adult crickets have already been bred before they are shipped out. This base of crickets will set you up for success and get the life cycle moving quickly.

How to Build Houses for Crickets

Your crickets housing is up to you. Some have great success with 10 and 20-gallon tanks, and others prefer plastic tote bins. Whatever you use is up to you, just make sure the sides are high enough crickets can’t jump out, or provide a well-ventilated top.

Set up the 3/4” crickets as you would any other crickets – egg crate for climbing and hiding, then a food and water source. Josh’s Frogs cricket food and Insect watering gel is the easiest way to go as these items wont spoil like fresh vegetables will.

You’ll want to maintain crickets at a temperature of 85-89 degrees Fahrenheit with low humidity. This can easily be achieved with a low-watt light suspended above your cricket housing.

How to Know If Crickets Are Laying Eggs

After crickets are mature, in generally 1-2 weeks, you’ll hear plenty of chirping. This is an indication your crickets are ready to breed and it’s time to provide them with a place to lay their eggs.

At Josh’s Frogs, we use sandwich containers containing 2 ½ cups of vermiculite and ¾ cups water. Any shallow container will work, so long as it can hold the vermiculite and water. Using a container that you can pop a top onto is ideal.

Place the egg laying container on top of a piece of egg crate in your crickets enclosure, then use a smaller piece of egg crate to make a ramp up to to the container. Leave the container in place for a couple days to give your crickets plenty of time to lay their eggs. Then remove it for incubation.

How to Incubate Cricket Eggs

Cover half of the egg container’s top with paper towel to catch condensation, then put on the top. Incubate the egg laying bin at 89F for 8-10 days. We’ve modified freezers as incubators at Josh’s Frogs, or you can purchase an Exo-Terra Incubator for easy use.

What to Do When Baby Crickets Are Hatched

After the pinhead crickets hatch, place the bin in a container the pinheads cannot escape from and provide them with a bit of egg crate to act as a ramp.

You can feed out the pinheads to your animals, or raise them up to a larger size before feeding. Younger crickets require a higher level of humidity than older crickets.

Source: http://www.joshsfrogs.com/catalog/blog/2015/03/how-to-breed-crickets/

Want to Learn More? Join our Off Grid Discussion Group on Facebook!

  1. To learn more and discuss off grid topics, please join our free Facebook group at:
    Off Grid Living: Prepping to Live Off the Grid
  2. Or, read more topics in our “Guide to Off Grid Living” at:
    https://LivingOffGrid.Home.Blog/Guide-to-Off-Grid-Living/

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#HowTo #Raise #Crickets #Pinheads #Eggs #Feed #Chicken #Ducks #Fish #Reptiles #Food #Houses #Farms #Bins #Incubator #EggCrates #Vermiculite #Plastic #Tote #OffGridLiving #LivingOffGride #Guide

The Best Gas, Battery and Electric-Powered Chainsaws for Off Grid Cabins, Sheds and Homesteads in 2020

Off Grid Living – The Best Gas, Battery and Electric-Powered Chainsaws for Off Grid Cabins, Sheds and Homesteads in 2020

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Off Grid Living - The Best Gas, Battery and Electric-Powered Chainsaws of 2020

Off Grid Living – The Best Gas, Battery and Electric-Powered Chainsaws of 2020

Picking the Best Gas, Battery and Electric-Powered Chainsaws of 2020

New York – There are three main types of chainsaw to choose from; gas-powered chainsaws are most frequently used by professionals, as they are the most powerful, and can run longer than their electric counterparts. STIHL chainsaws are perhaps the best known brands in this category, and you can get some very capable Husqvarna chainsaws in this class too, but you might not need a tool of that magnitude.

For many domestic users, who mostly need chainsaws for home purposes, such as cutting branches off trees and chopping down smaller trees, battery-powered electric chainsaws can often do the job nicely. If you’re on a budget, have a small garden, or only need to call on your chainsaw-wielding abilities every now and then, a corded chainsaw might be enough for you.

Do keep in mind, of course, that chainsaws are incredibly dangerous power tools, so make sure you use protective equipment at all times, and thoroughly read the manual for whatever chainsaw you end up choosing, treating it with care at all times.

Also, frequent use will wear down the chain, making its jagged teeth blunt. If you don’t want to keep forking out for new chains, get yourself a chainsaw sharpener and follow our chainsaw maintenance tips at the bottom of this guide.

Source: https://bestofmachinery.com/best-chainsaw/

Do chainsaw Chains Stretch?

Chainsaw Chains can wear out over time and will begin to “stretch” out. If your saw is not getting enough oil, the friction of the chain rubbing against the guide can heat the chain and will wear it down more quickly. It is important to make sure that you are adjusting to let enough oil onto your blade in order to prolong the life of your chain. Remember that larger guides and chains will require more oil and that you will also have to up the output if you are cutting particularly dry wood or dirty bark.

Another problem that can cause a chain to “stretch” is a worn out sprocket. If your chain is no longer gripping to the sprocket as it should, this can make for a lose fit along the guide. Check out the manufacturer’s instructions for help with changing your chain or sprocket and for more tips on avoiding unnecessary wear.

Do Chainsaws Overheat?

Yes, chainsaws can overheat. Chainsaws, like many power tools, have powerful engines that can run at very high temperatures and can overheat, particularly during the summer months. Regular maintenance and cleaning of your saw can help to prevent overheating as air intake areas on saws can become clogged with dust, debris, or oil buildup.

The engine, guide-bar and chain should also be kept clean, (fueled with a non-ethanol fuel mixture, for gas-powered saws) and lubricated in order to reduce friction that can overheat the saw.

Does Chainsaw need Oil?

Yes, yes, and yes. Proper lubrication of your chainsaw will keep it running smoothly and efficiently, and reduce overheating and wear over time. Most saws come with auto-lubrication systems, so, as long as you make sure you have plenty of oil in the tank, and are regularly cleaning your equipment, you should be able to maximize your chainsaw’s lifespan.

How to use a Chainsaw?

Every chainsaw works differently, as startup, stopping, and operational features and procedures can vary greatly between models. It is imperative that you carefully read the operating instructions that come with your specific machine in order to ensure safe operation of your new chainsaw. Also, before you go out and buy your chainsaw you need to find the right size and weight of chainsaw you feel comfortable using.

Are Stihl chainsaws the best?

STIHL certainly makes a good case for being one of the best brand of chainsaws. If you’re willing to put out the cash for a fine chainsaw, it’s worth a trip to the hardware store to look at a STIHL.

By most accounts, you can expect these saws to be powerful, durable, reliable and long lasting. The STIHL MS170 performed well in our tests, but missed out on being our best overall pick due to its price and entry-level nature. We found it to be smooth, fast and agile, making clean, straight cuts every time we used it.

One other thing to note about STIHL chainsaws is that it’s almost impossible to purchase them online. You’ll have to go to a local STIHL dealer, which you’ll be able to find through the company’s dealer locator on their website.

Source: https://www.toptenreviews.com/best-chainsaws

Want to Learn More? Join our Off Grid Discussion Group on Facebook!

  1. To learn more and discuss off grid topics, please join our free Facebook group at:
    Off Grid Living: Prepping to Live Off the Grid
  2. Or, read more topics in our “Guide to Off Grid Living” at:
    https://LivingOffGrid.Home.Blog/Guide-to-Off-Grid-Living/

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#Chainsaws #Gas #Battery #Electric #Stihl #Echo #Worx #Kobalt #Craftsman #Sharpener #DeWALT #Husqvarna #Black+Decker #OffGridLiving #LivingOffGrid #Guide

How to Plant Nut Trees for a Sustainable Food Crop and Make Extra Money

Off Grid Living – How to Plant Nut Trees to
Grow a Sustainable Food Crop and Make Extra Money

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Off Grid Living - How to Plant Nut Trees to Grow a Sustainable Food Crop and Make Extra Money

Off Grid Living – How to Plant Nut Trees to Grow a Sustainable Food Crop and Make Extra Money

Planting Nut Trees to Grow a Sustainable Food Crop and Make Extra Money

California – Planting nut trees can certainly be very rewarding, in fact, it can also be very lucrative and a good way for off gridder to earn extra revenue by selling organically raised nuts at local farmers markets.

Consider nut trees such as almonds, hazel nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.

A single nut tree can produce enough nuts to sell at a local Farmer’s market or roadside stand to make between $250 to $1,000 a year. One black walnut tree can bring about $20,000 in timber alone.

And if it’s well-managed, a five-acre plot of nut trees is enough to produce a full-time income. According to Bruce Thompson, author of Black Walnut for Profit, a mature stand of black walnut trees can bring about $100,000 per acre in timber alone.

If you have the patience and perseverance, planting nut trees can offer not only a great income and food for your family, but a legacy for years to come.

Source: https://www.offthegridnews.com/survival-gardening-2/nut-trees-off-grid-food-supply-and-money-maker/

Want to Learn More? Join our Off Grid Discussion Group on Facebook!

  1. To learn more and discuss off grid topics, please join our free Facebook group at:
    Off Grid Living: Prepping to Live Off the Grid
  2. Or, read more topics in our “Guide to Off Grid Living” at:
    https://LivingOffGrid.Home.Blog/Guide-to-Off-Grid-Living/

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#OffGridLiving #LivingOffGrid #HowTo #Plant #Grow #Almonds #HazelNuts #Pecans #Pistachios #Walnuts #Nuts #Trees #Sustainable #Food #Crops #Organic

How to Build and Insulate a Wooden Floor for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Off Grid Living: How to Build and Insulate
a Wooden Floor for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

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Off Grid Living - How to Build and Insulate a Wooden Floor for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Off Grid Living – How to Build and Insulate a Wooden Floor for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Building and Insulating a Wooden Floor for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Colorado – One of the important areas that many people skip on insulating are shed and cabin floors due to limited access to the underside of floors because of small crawl spaces or budget problems. One of the main problems, especially in very cold environments is the combination of using propane to heat, cold furniture, and lots of humidity inside a shed, cabin or home.

Propane releases a lot of moisture when it burns and then cold furniture such as metal bed frames, claw feat on a bathtub and even the legs of a wood stove where the metal is cooler than the room or cold because the floor is not insulated causes water to condense, drip down and then saturate the wood underneath.  This will cause the wood to rot and black mold to spread underneath the floor and into the home’s walls. By the time you discover the problem, it will be a giant mess and very expensive to clean up properly. It is much better to insulate as much as your budget will allow.

The best way to protect against moisture build up during winter months is to insulate underneath the floors and all of the walls. Filling the spaces between the floor joists under the cottage with insulation batts is the simplest and most cost-effective method to prevent air leaks and cold air from seeping int. To get the highest R-value, completely fill the cavities between the joists and then seal with plastic sheets or tape all seams.

If you only use the cottage a couple of weekends each winter, adding minimal insulation would be enough to keep your tootsies from freezing solid when you step out of bed in the morning. But if you’re crawling under the cottage to insulate anyway, then make dodging the spiderwebs worthwhile by spending a little extra money and time and getting the most R-value for your efforts.

Cover your insulation with 1/4 “hardware cloth” also called #welded wire.” The size of metal screen should be small enough to keep out nuisance animals, such as mice. Place the insulation batts against the underside of the floor, then cover with the hardware cloth, securing it to the joists with a staple gun. Make sure you haven’t overfilled the space—squishing the batts a little bit is okay, but too much compression will reduce their insulating properties.

It would also be worth your while to either install welded wire all the way around the perimeter of the house and/or run soffit all the way to the ground.  And like the perimeter of a chicken coop also bury the welded wire flat going out 2 ft from the home’s edge. Then bury it and stack heavy rocks all the way around. This will keep skunks, coons, opossums, foxes, rabbits, rats, mice and all kinds of varmints from making a home underneath your cabin.

Source: https://cottagelife.com/design-diy/insulating-the-floor-of-a-cottage/

Want to Learn More? Join our Off Grid Discussion Group on Facebook!

  1. To learn more and discuss off grid topics, please join our free Facebook group at:
    Off Grid Living: Prepping to Live Off the Grid
  2. Or, read more topics in our “Guide to Off Grid Living” at:
    https://LivingOffGrid.Home.Blog/Guide-to-Off-Grid-Living/

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#OffGridLiving #LivingOffGrid #Wood #Floor #Insulation #Batts #Sheds #Cabins #Homes #Pier #Footers #HardwareCloth #WeldedWire #Moisture #Mold #Rot #Joists #Tempered #WaterProof #Plywood

How to Size a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

Off Grid Living – How to Size a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

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Off Grid Living - How to Size a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

Off Grid Living – How to Size a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

Sizing a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

California – When searching for a generator to support your off-grid solar system, keep a few things in mind:

  • Generator output should be 2x your inverter’s output
  • Match generator voltage to inverter voltage
  • Generator must be warrantied for off-grid use
  • 2-wire start is mandatory to work automatically with solar system
  • 3600 RPM generators are more cost-effective, while 1800 RPM generators cost more up front but last longer and are more efficient

Generator Sizing

As a general rule, the generator should be around 2 times the size of the inverter’s continuous output. For example, a 4,000-watt inverter should be paired with an 8,000-watt generator.

This is because the generator needs to charge batteries while still powering the loads (appliances using energy). If the loads total 4,000 watts, and the charger is 60 amps at 48 volts, that totals around 7kW of continuous power:

60a x 48v = 2,880 watts + 4,000 watts = 6,880 watts

8kW would make sense as a minimum generator size to power the loads and have enough power to charge the battery bank as well.

It’s a good idea to round up slightly to give some headroom for the generator, especially at higher elevations where your generator is going to lose some of its power. Engines can lose around 3% of their power for every 1,000’ increase in altitude. Make sure you account for this if your system will be installed at a high elevation.

Can I Use a Larger Generator?

A larger generator can be beneficial if you have large loads like an air conditioner or a welder that will only be used when the generator is running.

We frequently sell 12kW and 14kW Kohler generators with our off-grid systems using a 4000w inverter. A larger generator is going to burn more fuel, but otherwise will work fine.

Can I Use a Smaller Generator?

Smaller generators will still work, but it typically requires adjusting the settings to limit the battery charger’s output. Most battery chargers allow you to adjust the AC input amperage and charge rate.

You will need to match the generator’s voltage with the inverter. For example, 120Vac generators should be paired with 120Vac inverter/chargers, while 120/240Vac generators need an inverter that outputs 120/240Vac.

In the rare case that you are using a three-phase generator or inverter, the same rules apply: the generator’s voltage would need to match the inverter.

There is one exception we are aware of. Magnum PAE inverters are 120/240Vac but can handle a 120Vac input, provided you turn down the charge rate to 50% or lower, and adjust the AC input amps to match the size of the generator. This is useful if you need an inverter that can output 120/240Vac but are working with a smaller generator.

Generator Fuel Type (Natural Gas, Propane, Diesel)

Most standby home generators work on natural gas, propane or diesel. Diesel generators tend to be much more fuel efficient and longer lasting, but the initial cost can be 2-3 times more than a natural gas or propane alternative.

The Kohler 12kW & 14kW generators we sell can work with either natural gas or propane. Off-grid customers typically use propane instead of natural gas, but these models can be configured to work with either fuel type.

Warranty

Most generators don’t have a warranty that covers off-grid or prime power applications. Check the generator warranty closely to be sure it can be used off the grid.

Kohler’s 12RES and 14RESA generators are both warrantied for 18 months / 1000 hours of off-grid use (whichever comes first).

If you need more power, dual 14RESA generators can be combined in parallel with the Kohler Powersync module for 28 kW of output.

2-Wire Start

Off-grid generators paired with solar power systems need 2-wire start capability to allow the automatic generator start (AGS) function to work. When your batteries drop below a certain voltage, the AGS kicks in to turn on the generator and recharge your battery bank.

Note that 2-wire start is different than electric start. Some generators will have a button for electric start/stop, but they can’t be controlled by a 2-wire signal, which means the inverter can’t communicate with the generator to trigger the AGS mechanism.

The Kohler 12RES and 14RESA are both capable of two-wire start.

1800 RPM vs. 3600 RPM

Most generators operate at one of two engine speeds: 1800 or 3600 RPM.

The difference is based on engine design and the alternator being used. 1800 RPM generators are generally considered superior because they are more fuel-efficient, but they cost quite a bit more up front. 3600 RPM generators tend to be cheaper but less efficient.

The Kohler 12kW and 14kW generators we sell are 3600 RPM. They are very durable, reliable and more cost-effective for typical off-grid applications. Kohler doesn’t make any 1800 RPM generators smaller than 24kW, although there may be options from other manufacturers. Be sure to do your research and read reviews to learn about the company and make sure you are getting a quality product.

Source: https://apelectric.com/general-faq/

Want to Learn More? Join our Off Grid Discussion Group on Facebook!

  1. To learn more and discuss off grid topics, please join our free Facebook group at:
    Off Grid Living: Prepping to Live Off the Grid
  2. Or, read more topics in our “Guide to Off Grid Living” at:
    https://LivingOffGrid.Home.Blog/Guide-to-Off-Grid-Living/

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#1800RPM #3600RPM #AirCooled #Backup #BriggsStratton #California #Cummings #Diesel #Gas #Generac #Generators #Kohler #NaturalGas #OffGridLiving #Propane #UnitedStates #WaterCooled #Winco

How to Build Greenhouses and Cold Garden Frames Out of PVC Pipe

Off Grid Living: How to Build Greenhouses
and Cold Garden Frames Out of PVC Pipe

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Off Grid Living - How to Build a Greenhouse and Cold Garden Frame Out of PVC Pipe

Off Grid Living – How to Build Greenhouses and Cold Garden Frames Out of PVC Pipe

Building Greenhouses and Cold Garden Frames Out of PVC Pipe

Alabama – The greenhouse is an ancient invention, going all the way back to the Roman Empire. It is the oldest example of passive solar heating, creating an environment for plants to grow in, where they otherwise couldn’t survive. Anyone who loves gardening and lives in a cold environment needs to have a greenhouse; at a minimum, to start their plants in the spring.

Yet building a greenhouse is normally considered a very expensive proposition… at least, building a metal and glass one is. However, you can build your own greenhouse for a fraction of the cost and it will work pretty much just as well as one designed by an architect.

This is done by using PVC pipe for the framework, covered by a thin, sheet plastic, commonly used by building contractors to partition off areas and provide temporary weatherproofing to their projects. It is available in varying thickness up to 6 mil. Any thickness of plastic will work, but the thicker variants will last longer.

Source: http://theplywood.com/diy-pvc-greenhouse

Want to Learn More? Join our Off Grid Discussion Group on Facebook!

  1. To learn more and discuss off grid topics, please join our free Facebook group at:
    Off Grid Living: Prepping to Live Off the Grid
  2. Or, read more topics in our “Guide to Off Grid Living” at:
    https://LivingOffGrid.Home.Blog/Guide-to-Off-Grid-Living/

# # #

#OffGridLiving #LivingOffGrid #Howto #Build #Greenhouse #Cold #Garden #PVC #Pipe #Alabama #ColdGardenFrames #Gardens #Greenhouses #LivingOffGrid #News #OffGridLiving #Pipes #PVC #UnitedStates #WindowBoxes