The Show Stopper List

First a side note… please comment on any of my posts if you have a suggestion or information that I can use regarding the topic of the post. I would love to utilize the talent and knowledge of my readers. I’m not proud. Ha!

Boy. The list of things to do to get this process started is lengthy. I’m prioritizing them and researching options.

First thing to do is to see if there are going to be any major hurdles that stop this process. Hate to get half way in, spend a LOT of money, and then realize, “Oops… that’s a show stopper. Can’t move forward.” Would HATE for that to happen.

The list of things I’m trying to make sure are covered before moving forward is:

1) Safety (the safety of my children against varmints is paramount. Hence the rattlesnake and mountain lion questions I’ve posed to fellow land owners near our ranch.)

2) High speed internet (if I don’t have this, I’m toast.)

3) Consistent cell service (not AS important as internet, but still necessary.)

4) Cost of the “can’t do without” stuff (if I have to spend $100K for the power, water and septic… then we might as well hang it up now.)

Regarding safety, I’ve looked into life flight options, 911 and the nearest ambulance response…etc. I feel confident that we can get someone to medical attention well within 1 hour, which is kind of the cut off for safe snakebite care. That coupled with the very low chances of a snakebite happening (and almost no chance of seeing a mountain lion) and proper education for my girls, I think we can move past that particular show stopper. (Allison, my wife, on the other hand, has been overly fretting about that issue. But I wouldn’t expect anything less. She’s a mom.)

I’m looking into cell booster kits that can bring in a weak cell signal and make it stronger, for the internet and cell issue.

I’m also looking into satellite internet service. Pricey, but having two ways to connect (cell and satellite) will give me some peace of mind.

Looking into the various septic solutions for off grid living. So far, we have compost, incinerator and traditional septic tank. There are pluses and minuses to each. Any pro and con advice on this would be appreciated.

Water is probably the most important problem yet the easiest to solve. For normal living (where the President is sane and the nation hasn’t gone to hell in a hand basket where we have to fend for ourselves), you just plop a tank down somewhere and have water trucked in by the thousands of gallons and call it a day. Use some solar heating for the hot water…etc. However, if the SHTF (term used by preppers to denote that the feces has hit the fan and chaos reigns), then the water solution becomes an issue. That’s why I’ll work on having a rainwater catchment back up plan, but that can be done AFTER we move in. Not a high priority.

Then we come to what is probably the most expensive and potentially weakest link in our plan to move off grid. The power issue. This requires some very good decision making because every solution is most likely your biggest investment and you don’t want to choose incorrectly. There are 4 options, of which all or various combinations of each, can be selected. We have solar (PV), wind, propane and generator. All feeding into a battery system. And the generator can be run by propane or diesel (regular gas isn’t really a smart decision for off grid gensets, so that’s not being considered.) For this choice, I have to consult some experts which I am LOATHE to do since experts typically cost money. And I love keeping money in my hands and hate giving it to others. I’m funny that way. Ha!

So, those are the current hurdles I’m dealing with. If you have a super drug that will allow me to jump over my hurdles in a single bound, feel free to share it. 🙂

Meantime, I’m pressing onward…

2 thoughts on “The Show Stopper List

  1. Dan,

    I teach a residential electrical class at the community college in Omaha. One subject that I have implemented over the last couple of years is alternative energy sources. It would be a great class project to help you decide and design an electrical system for a completely off-grid residence.

    Please let me know how I can be of assistance.

    Good Luck!!!!


    • Hi Jeff… would that feasible to do from afar, like that? Also, I’m not sure it would be challenging enough, as it will probably be a very simple set up. But yeah, let’s discuss it. I’ll send you a regular email so we can discuss it further. Thanks!

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