When I was younger, I never gave much thought to the availability of running water.
Never once did I have to stress about not having enough clean water to drink, or about where the next shower was going to come from.
My decision to spend a year living off the grid, in a modest hut in the mountains, with my family, was the turning point that caused everything to alter.
Even if you don’t plan on living without running water on purpose, it’s important to be prepared for the possibility that you may have to do so in an emergency situation.
For example, if a natural disaster strikes or there is a problem with the local water supply, you may find yourself without access to running water for an extended period of time.
In these situations, it’s important to have a plan in place for how you will meet your basic needs for water, such as by stockpiling water or having a way to purify and filter water from other sources.
Related: Does Water Really Expire?
It’s also a good idea to have basic sanitation supplies on hand, such as a portable toilet or toilet paper, to help maintain personal hygiene.
By being prepared and having a backup plan in place, you can minimize the impact of being without running water and ensure that you have the resources you need to stay healthy and comfortable.
Preparations For Living Off The Grid
Before making the transition to living off the grid, we took the time to educate ourselves about what was involved and made sure to prepare as much as possible.
We acquired a portable camping shower, but you can also build your own off grid shower system if you have the time and skills.
We also installed a system to heat water using a propane tank, so that we could take warm showers.
Here’s an easy guide on how to build an endless hot water system without electricity.
We invested in a water filtration system that used sediment filters, activated carbon filters, and UV light to remove impurities from the water and provide clean drinking water.
In addition to the filtration system, we also used a rainwater collection barrel to ensure a reliable supply of clean drinking water.
The barrel collected rainwater from the roof and, combined with the filtration system, helped to ensure that we had a consistent source of clean water throughout our year off the grid.
To handle laundry, we had a hand-crank washing machine that required no electricity at all. We hung up our clothes outside to dry.
Cooking & Heating
We made sure to have enough supplies on hand to last us through the winter months when the water in the stream might be too cold to use.
We stocked up on bottled water and non-perishable food such as rice, beans, and canned goods.
⇒ Click Here For The Awesome DIY Device That Turns Air Into Fresh Water
In addition, we purchased a propane tank for cooking and heating to ensure that we had a reliable source of energy during the colder months.
The propane tank allowed us to cook our meals and keep warm, even when the weather was harsh.
In addition to these preparations, we also made sure to have a reliable source of electricity and energy.
We installed solar panels to provide electricity for our home, and we purchased a generator as a backup source of power in case the solar panels were not sufficient.
When living under such circumstances, you have to be prepared for any emergency.
We made sure to have basic first aid supplies and emergency equipment on hand, such as a flashlight, a portable radio, and a fire extinguisher.
Related: 50 Emergency Items To Always Have In The House
By carefully planning and preparing for our transition to living off the grid, we were able to ensure that we had the resources we needed to live comfortably and sustainably.
Adjusting To A Lifestyle Without Running Water
At first, it was quite difficult to adjust to a lifestyle without running water.
We had to carefully plan our water usage and make frequent trips to the nearby stream to gather water for the kitchen and bathroom. We didn’t want to rely solely on the rain water we harvested.
We had to be careful about conserving water in general, as we couldn’t just turn on the tap whenever we wanted.
We learned to use water sparingly and to take shorter showers.
We also had to use an outdoor toilet, which was a new experience for us.
As the weeks and months passed, we began to see the numerous benefits of living without access to running water. One of the biggest benefits was the reduction in expenses, as we no longer had to pay a monthly water bill.
Additionally, because we had to be mindful of our water usage, we became more conscientious about conserving resources in general. This awareness of the need to save resources spread to other aspects of our life too.
Sense Of Autonomy And Independence
Living without running water, gave us a sense of autonomy, as we had to rely on our own ingenuity and resourcefulness to find solutions to the challenges we faced.
For example, we learned how to gather and filter rainwater. We installed barrels to collect rainwater for later usage.
Then we installed a water filtration system to remove any impurities before using the water for cooking, showering, or doing our laundry.
Fostering A Sense Of Community
Another advantage of living off the grid was the sense of community that it fostered.
Because we were isolated from the rest of the world and had to rely on each other for support, we developed a strong bond with our neighbors and the other families in the area who were also living off the grid.
We worked together to solve problems and help each other out when needed, which strengthened our sense of community and connection.
Having A Backup Plan
One of the lessons we learned during our year living off the grid is the importance of being prepared.
This experience served as a reminder of how critical it is to have a backup plan in place for any circumstance that may arise.
We learned the importance of having multiple sources of water and energy, as well as the importance of keeping a supply of non-perishable food and other essential supplies on hand.
We also learned the importance of being flexible and adaptable, as we had to find creative solutions to the challenges that we faced.
By being prepared and having a backup plan in place, we were able to manage the challenges that came our way and continue living sustainably off the grid. We hope that our experience can serve as a reminder to others of the importance of being prepared for any eventuality.
In general, being without running water for a whole year was a challenging but rewarding experience. It taught us the importance of being prepared, conserving resources, and appreciating the simple pleasures in life.
While it was difficult to adjust to a lifestyle without the convenience of running water at first, we discovered that there were many advantages to living off the grid, such as reduced expenses, a sense of autonomy and independence, and a strong sense of community.
I would recommend this experience to anyone looking to learn more about living sustainably and independently.
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Good article to read.
Until you have been there, you can only imagine how much go’s into trying to survive.
Won’t be like you think. Then add about a few million people to the mix,
Then you will find that it is much harder to survive, then you think.
Try surviving with out all this internet information that y’all have at the click of a button, we did not have the luxury of what y’all have today. Much info out there.
Books and just some basic skills, but did get better thru my mistakes. Now, not much worried about surviving, been a very long time surviving on this planet.
It will only be you, when your life, will need to survive.
CARA, your link is not a secure site, take your bogus SPAM sales pitch elsewhere
dz is O.K.
I thought you were replying to Red Ant.
Good reply to all of that Red Ant. I myself have been printing most of what i read on different articles and how to’s. I have multiple ideas for the different situations that may come up. I am currently building a retreat on some land that i own and have 3 different water sources within a tenth of a mile from that hooch. Fire wood is plentiful and game is plentiful. Hidden from any prying eyes is a plot for a large garden and have buried multiple dry food cashes. But as you stated until you have to live this way you do not know. Even weekend practices do not prep you for what it would be like to have to actually live this way. Very good comment on your end. Thank you.
Our water here at our house comes from an underground spring which fills our cistern, I installed a double filtration system at the house and treat the cistern monthly with chlorine. I am thinking of adding an additional cistern further down the hill from the current one primarily as a back up.
You are very fortunate to have the underground spring. Water is life.
Great information but there’s one problem… what do you do when there is no propane for the tank or gas for the generator?
I think you need to look into other power sources. Wood-burning stove anyone?
And I think you’ve overlooked the most important part of living off-grid. Attitude. Learn to “make do” with what you have and learn to accept it as “normal”. Because when TSHTF, it ain’t gonna get better any time soon. Be prepared as much as possible but develop a good attitude to go with all the material things.
So the first issue i saw was claiming yo live off grid, but using propane for several things… wouldn’t it have been better just to say “we lived off grid as much as possible, but still had to rely on creature comforts”?.. most of the article is great, but off grid is a completely different animal, no gas stoves or gas powered hot showers.
Off grid simply means you aren’t hooked in to the electrical grid. It doesn’t mean you’re a cave man.
Off grid means that you do not have access (or chose not to ) to mainstream electricity and water. It does NOT mean that you don’t use alternative sources for electricity: gas, wood, solar, wind, etc..
Good write for what it was. No running water. Taking it several levels beyond that absent propane, generator, stockpiles of bottled water, food, med supplies is intense. Succinctly, beyond what most people can endure. The writer gave a view of just a few basic items of normal life taken away and the challenges it presented. If one thinks in terms of “what if I have none of that, what then? ” then we see what people can face in really bad times. It is a thought provoker. Thanks
Building a log home now. Likely will have a large electric heat and a/c unit. Connected to grid power as both draw a lot of juice. Putting a wood furnace in the basement too. Have a large amount of wood available here. Going to do a solar panel setup asap, but that may be a bit. House has sucked up all $. Been thinking a lot on how to live off grid. Here’s one to consider. Go outside. Look around. Think what you would do in a few hours when hunger hits. Forget about going back inside a dwelling, or driving a vehicle somewhere. How would you stay warm, eat, stay alive. Think no electric, gas, etc. Just you. Lets say you find a barn, shed or something to stay out of the weather in. What now? Are you hungry, thirsty? You will be. Will you try and find running water in a ditch or culvert and will it make you sick? You can only go about 4 days w/o water. They say up to about 20 w/o food, but hafta have plenty of water. And you won’t be in good condition after about day 10 w/o food. 10 days is a long run. Generally, a 3 day fast is all that most people want, some go 5 or more, not many. Looking into possibly a wood stove too. So many possibles, it’s difficult to know exact configuration to build. They say after an EMP that roughly 85-95% of the US population will die. That’s an astounding #!! I questioned it at first, and then did some more reading. They may be right. A HEMP will make everything stop. EVERYTHING. It’s sobering.
I grew up without any of those things.
No electricity (at all), kerosene lamp at night,
No indoor plumbing except for a hand pump,
No shower, no bathtub, no bathroom just an outhouse.
No propane, No Water filtration, No solar panels. No refrigeration,
no insulation in the walls, single pane windows where you could feel
the draft all around the frames,
no store except 35 miles away, and very few people had cars,
and the roads were dirt roads, and very narrow. It was a challenge
if 2 horse buggies met… one would usually have to back up
to where the road might be a tad wider so they could pass.
A peddler with a store in the back of his van came by once a
week, but only when I was in my teens.
I know how to live “Off Grid” as people like to call it.
My father cut all our firewood with a hand saw and
a buck saw,
and we live where there
are long, cold, bitter, winters. In winter, the roads
were often impassable because of the snow build-up.
No plow was coming to open the roads. We had to
wait until Spring for that!
City slickers have no idea what living off grid means these days, because
they have access to generators, solar panels, and propane heaters and stoves.
When I was 15 years old, we did get minimal electricity, a few lightbulbs,
and a few plugs on the walls. But before that it was kerosene lamps, and a
If I ever have to go back to it, I can…. but believe me, it is in no way
romantic,,, it’s a brutal existance, with no days off. There is always
work to be done for the future months, whether it is summer or winter.
Mowing the lawn meant bringing the cow out to the front of the house for
My parents could do everything, from survival (some learned from the Indians),
to medical, to making our clothes, to finding yet another way to cook potatoes.
They could build any shelter they needed from sheds to houses.
They made cough syrup, they had a poultice for just about every kind of
infection, and giving birth… well… you have no idea the hardships they suffered.
And yet, they made it, and lived a long life each.
My mom passed away at 96, my dad at 97.
You really need to write a book, instrumental manual, or long detailed article. Your memories are valuable.
This would not be possible in Michigan, because we have real winter every year
I guess the cabin my grandfather had near the Rose City Oil Fields in Northern MI was just a dream.
Wood stove, plus propane lights, fridge, and range. Along with a hand pump we used all winter long. Plus a outhouse.
Wonder we survived.
Do you happen to remember roughly how much propane you used in a year? Or how big your propane tank was? Propane, unlike gas or diesel, NEVER goes bad. Was considering maybe filling a couple of good sized cylinders and tucking them away in a corner for use with a propane stove. But, obviously, propane is a “grid” item. But, it keeps really, really well. And, at least as of right now, it’s not terribly expensive. Could maybe put back a couple of those large cylinders and have a winter or maybe 2? of usage for a very few small things. Just an idea.
Yup. My mom grew up without any power on a farm in Wisconsin. My dad in Upper Michigan, during the depression. I can’t imagine. Keith that wood stove going like your life depended on it, cuz it did!
we can’t have solar panels in our county. I keep 35 gal of water incase of loss of electricity but won’t last very long. I got a shovel to did hole for potty.
Can’t have solar panels? Is that a regulatory issue or just no space for them? Possibly some gated communities wouldn’t let you have solar panels or possibly some subdivisions may have some rules regulating that, but by and large you can have solar panels any place you aren’t right in the city. Tough to have solar panels if you live in an apartment building.
Get a solar gen set up with portable panels.
Where do you find a hand pump washer?
With water being the #1 requirement for life then redundancy
of your system is an absolute imperative.
We live rural on a well powered by the commercial grid. The first
back up is a transfer box that allows us to pump using one of
If that fails the hand pump from the SIMPLE PUMP Co. works
superbly but should be tested every month to keep it primed.
Next is rain water collection from the roof gutters into plastic
barrels.The barrels need to flushed yearly with a bleach solution
if it is to be used for drinking.
Our last back up is several hundred two liter soda bottles which
we use for short power outages.
We are very lucky to live where there is enough rain to keep the
barrels full and the well is fairly shallow.Well depth is a factor if
anyone is considering a hand pump.
Looking back we wish that we had bought land on or very near
a body of water but we didn’t so we have to make due.
Living in an arid climate will make long term survival difficult if
So IF, and i say IF, because i don’t know for sure one way or another, my well pump gets knocked out by an EMP, how would you pull that water up out of the ground? Even if you had a spare well pump handy, how would you replace it? Well drillers have a derrick that can function as a crane to pull up the EXTREMELY HEAVY pipe and pump. Each section of pipe is 20′ long and screwed together onto the next section all the way down to where the pump is attached. Pretty sure it’s 2″ NPT thread. My well is 550′ deep. No way am i gonna be able to change that unless i can borrow a well drill rig, or at least a crane truck. However, it could be possible to build a log type derrick and platform and chain hoist, or rope and pulley, cable or something to pull one up out of the ground. You hafta unscrew each section of pipe as it comes up… Generally that’s one big stout guy with a large pipe wrench and some sorta stop to keep the pipe from turning. Ain’t no 2 hour job. I’m putting in an EMP protective module to hopefully stop that damage from happening. It’s a lightning arrestor too. So much technology in our lives nowadays. Try a full-length cold shower sometime. It’s not invigorating, it’s rough. I can shower thoroughly, including washing my hair with shampoo, in 13 minutes if i get right after it. I’ve done it ONCE, in the fall, water was plenty cold. Don’t plan on doin that again if at all possible. It pulls a lot of heat out of ya. I’d much rather heat up a big pot of water and use a washcloth than do that again. I can heat a pot of water over a wood or trash fire if needed. I’m working toward off grid, but i’ve got a ways to go. Just sayin, completely off grid is not easy at all, but worth it if you can get there.
Do a search for ‘well buckets’. I have made two with PVC pipe and a check valve. They are easy to make. I may never need them, but I wouldn’t think of not having them. You’ll also need enough rope or cable to reach the depth of your well. A small snatch block on a tripod will help give you a mechanical advantage if your well is deep.
8 years with no running water, no electricity, no phone. First year no refrigeration. First 6 months with no outhouse.
We survived and thrived.
Was it hard? Yes.
Would I willingly do it again? No.
Could we do it again? Sigh, yes.
You learn to not be choosy about the temperature of your water. You source a wood fired cook stove or propane stove pretty quickly. Lights are another difficult item as propane & oil lamps makes reading difficult. Water usage goes way down, I highly recommend a sweat lodge/house/sauna for bathing.
The absolute hardest & most expensive item is refrigeration. Propane fridge/freezer was $1000 in the early 80s, now it’s more like 3k and they don’t work as well. Our gas freezer goes through propane quickly (1.5-2lbs/day) and isn’t great at keeping ice cream.
We have winter with winter/spring like weather 9 months out of the year. A root cellar of some type is a must.
How did you get your water? Nearby water source and boiled it or? When i grew up, back in the Dark Ages of the late 60’s early 70’s, a very few people that i knew still had outhouses. Several were redundant as they’d gotten indoor plumbing, but were still operable. Smelled bad and you darn sure wouldn’t want to tarry any longer than necessary in there, especially in summer. Wasps and mud dobbers were really bad to build nests in those and it takes a trained eye to tell the difference between the 2 at a quick glance. Nothing makes ya “get er done” quicker than wasps buzzing around yer head. While i’ve heard of outhouses with an a/c unit on them, it’s definitely an internet legend. Blistering hot in those in the summertime! You can not get in and get out fast enough to avoid being lathered in sweat in just a minute or two. Those are the highlights of my memories of outhouses. Never even considered an outhouse to be a source of groundwater pollution, but they say those “old school” ones are and a composting type isn’t. Yes, they worked fine as far as i could tell, would they be my bathroom of choice? NO. And a flush toilet doesn’t electricity OR pressurized water. You can flush one just fine by either adding water manually to the reservoir and flushing normally OR by pouring a large amount of water into the bowl suddenly. Roof drain water is fine for that. Takes around 3 gallons, roughly, and a quick pour to make er flush, but it works just fine. Depending on how many under your roof and how much “roof” or drain water you have available, but a single person or a couple can likely get by with flushing twice a day in a pinch. No, it doesn’t look or smell good, but doable in a pinch. And hey, i’ve worked a few construction jobs where you grab a roll of TP and head downhill or at least a ways off from everybody else and grab on to a small tree to steady ya and get er done. That wouldn’t be first choice for a long term stay, but it works too.
In case anyone is interested:
A friend of ours had 33 solar panels on his roof,
It cost him around $18,000.00.
He runs everything in his house (a very large log house)
and had an extra $69.00 per year to sell back to the
He has now added 3 more panels, because he installed
a dehumidifier for the summer months. I said he might
have more to sell back now, but he thinks not, as he
assumes the dehumidifier will use the extra.
I said, oops… if we do have a SHTF episode, there will
be lots of people knocking on his door. (He lives in a
rural area.) But knowing him, he would help everyone,
he is a genuine good samaritan. He helps people in need
annonymously, I have secret knowledge of some of his
Yeah no he didn’t. Unless this just a straight grid tie in. He had no battery back up and just is a grid bank for thr power company.
A total house setup would be In close to 100 grand
Not sure where you get those numbers. I am currently running 3 households electricity entirely off sun energy. This includes 3 refrigerators, chest freezer, front load washer, lighting, fans, toaster oven, and my entire shop including bandsaw, tablesaw, welder etc. I built the system myself, lithium batteries, controllers, inverters, and panels….currently have about $12,000 into it and it’s working great. Panels will last 30 years, batteries like 15. It’s actually 3 systems for redundancy and wired so if any part has a problem I can switch to the working part. If you call an “installer” to do this, it would be more expensive, but it’s actually pretty easy to learn…Youtube university if necessary.
Some good advice but moxed with the inbuilt desire to continue to love the American dream. The simplest toilet is a trench and a moveable hut. After using the trench, cover your waste and move the hut a little. In time, this will be your vegetable garden, already fertilized. Unflrtunatly, the whole thing wluld be outside. But think pf its advantages. No smell, very little work to make or operate and there is your garden predug and fertilized.
On the ugly side of a possibly future desperate time, an outhouse is a Vast security gap. An invader just waits for the daughter, wife, young child to use the facility and takes them hostage or worse to get into your house or gain tactical advantage. And that’s always going to be an ever present danger as long as there are outhouses. Kids played pranks on their siblings around the outhouse,etc back then. In some areas that bears frequent, i can’t help but think that they might occasionally be an issue too.
I have done what you have done here several times in my lifetime and I have to agree that not having running water can be a challenge and a blessing all at the same time. Not having water available at the tap certainly makes you appreciate the value of water!
I learned a trick concerning water for cleaning. I have reused the water from washing and rinsing my clothes to bath and wash my hair in, I have reused rinse water from doing the dishes to mop the floor so that I didn’t have to use more water than necessary when it was low. After using the water, I used it to water plants around my house which meant I also had to be careful what I used as cleaning supplies so that I wouldn’t poison my plants and hence my family!
Very good points indeed. Most don’t realize what a precious resource water is until it’s too late.
Arizona has a limited freshwater supply. The wells have high deposits of certain minerals that make it mandatory to process the water into potable water.
America never had so many crisis’s until the Marxist education system final got two Marxist thinking generations to submit to the Un-American ideology we see unfolding.
Ever since the modern G Floyd riots destroying many parts of America. The water crisis is just one part of the troubles.
There are good and poor solutions on the internet to solve the potable drinking water we need, On or Off the Grid.
Lots of people complaining that this isn’t really ‘off grid’ (it wasn’t titled that way, in any case). Propane in tanks IS off grid. Generators ARE off grid. The grid is the connected system. If you aren’t connected to a system, it IS off grid.
Some State counties have regulations that the city to rural homeowner must be hooked into the grid by local laws and regulation. Pay a minimal base fee to be on the grid.
You can still go off grid but not totally until the East an Left coast liberals are put in there place. Take back those Green Energy initiatives they have put into law.
Water, gas stoves, all electric everything to be restricted according to the Bite Me administration and the UN.
Will we win the the great water crisis coming to us?
Yes, and no. While you are correct in the sense that propane and generators aren’t connected to the electrical grid at all, i think many use the “grid” term to reflect functions of an energy network that the propane and gasoline or diesel come from. You still need this grid or energy network to be available to resupply those items when they inevitably run out. Some years ago we had a bad ice storm here and it downed the electric grid for quite a bit, more than two weeks in some areas. A friend of mine quickly hooked up a small gas powered generator, shut down all but about 3 circuits in his breaker box and unhooked the main lines so he wasn’t backfeeding into the grid, which can hurt or kill utility workers, and ran his heat and a few lights off of the generator. Put his fridge stuff outside in coolers. It was simply amazing how much gasoline that he went through in a little over a week of constant use. I remember that we broke it down into a daily amount and the cost per month was Incredible! Like 6 or 7 Hundred dollars a month to run constantly.
Yup your right. There is a cost to either on or off the grid to maintain our present lifestyle. Too bad we the people can’t round up those Greenies put them all on a deserted island away from us.
Even the best preppers can only store so much provisions to live. Eventually they have to resupply with the broken supply chains.
The politicians never lost there jobs during any modern day crisis. A lot of us did loose a lot more.
We still need items to maintain and repair those systems for safe water.
People on the West coast, Fresno farmers have seen the environmentalist pulling the plug on water. They use the “Delta Smelt” endangered species theory scam, on the irrigation water to farmers. Those libs send the water out to the ocean bay while the farming communities.
Also environmentalist drain the water reservoirs of badly needed water to citizens. Freshwater is fundamental to life there. Prove this wrong, talk to your friends or relatives that live there. Water shortage or drought there has been politically man-made. Sure there are dry periods there. That’s why they built reservoirs just in case.
The whole West coast has unlimited ocean water to use in distillation process. Those people there would be in a better position. It’s all political garbage and most of the idiots there voted for Gov. Newscum twice, that’s insanity. Land of fruits and nuts.
Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.
According to the liberal activist there.
Right on the Money! They’ll earmark 750 million to move homeless encampments at the drop of a hat, but won’t even talk about building a large distillation facility. And the corruption runs very deep there. Their state Supreme Court convened on a Saturday one time just for the express purpose of illegally killing the Drake Amendment. It scared them to pieces. The Very Idea that the People might actually be able to upset their lil apple cart and set the state on a path to responsibility simply horrified them!
It took at least 10 years for a San Diego based seawater distillation plant to be built because the liberals, believe the Surf-rider organization was dragging their feet to approve.
What’s also funny is the Mexican Tijuana sewage problem in San Diego’s Imperial Beach been polluted ongoing for 40 plus years. Saw that video online from a local San Diego news channel.
Most people see the water crisis as a simple solution on the surface. But it runs rabbit hole deep. Just like the Washington DC Deep State that encourages these distractions to hid the real truths.
I lived in a little cabin in Big Sur back in 1980. We had a water source but it was just a black poly pipe that ran for a mile over the hills but we were able to siphon out of garrapata creek. We have batteries for lights. I hooked up some golf cart batteries in series. For hot water we had this little wood fired hot water heater that worked great. Build a small fire in it and 15 mins later two people could shower. We didn’t consider this off grid . We just wanted to live there and that’s what it took. I sure would love to find one of those hot water heaters again. It was made in Mexico.
My parents bought an A frame deep in the south west (Australia) woods when I was a teenager. It had power on, but no water. This part of Australia has what we deem to be ‘reasonable’ rainfall, but water is a protected commodity in Oz. (About 1,000mm of rain, over about 120 days of the year)
So we had to think wisely about water use. We ran horses, and pets, and a veggie patch. We had clothes to wash (normal washing machine), and toilets and showers.
At 5am winter mornings (1-3c) every one of us would lie awake in our rooms, listening to the others equally awake, wondering who was going to be the first up to light the stove. The wooden oven/stove top was the source of hot water, and it was a standoff on particularly cold mornings for who would traipse down the stairs and light that, and then a race for who could hear the first tip/tip/tip of the steam vent on the hot water going and make the dash for a warm shower.
We had two sets of water piping through the house – both sets ran from a gravity fed water tanks (ie high up on a landing). One set ran purely to the kitchen tap, and all rain water was sent to this tank, for drinking. The problem with A frame houses is while they have a lot of roof area, they don’t have a lot of water catchment. This tank would run dry by late spring, and we’d then start filling it from the (large, 15ha) dam – which was fresh water stained with local tea tree. The other tank ran to showers, hot water, toilets and laundry. No point wearing anything white here, it would be tea coloured by it’s second wash. Grabbing a glass of water from the kitchen sink hot tap was brown, but clean still. Toilet water was always brown, and that was how it was.
We had to think through fires (rather than ice), surrounded by kilometres of bush. We had a tiny boat shed in the middle of that dam, with logs to balance over to get out to it… and that’s where we’d have headed if the world was burning around us. Thankfully we never had to test it. (The idea of driving 3km of tree lined windy driveway to just get to a logging road that was also surrounded by trees would be potentially dangerous. Of course you always make decisions about this stuff based on the direction of fire and wind etc.)
Talking of fires – many a Christmas Day was spent having cold food only – it’s bad form to spark a bushfire on Christmas Day, and while our stove was very legal and not going to send sparks out it was best to err on the side of caution. Besides no one wants a hot meal when it’s 37c outside and there’s no air con and no breeze – they want a quick salad and throw themselves into the dam for a splash.
Water ran very low some years, we always could pump up from the big dam, but I remember some years that being low enough that I could walk out to the boat shed. In the winter the rains would refill it, occasionally it would over flow and we’d have a soggy front paddock, but we never wasted water, and a few years had to truck some in when the dam was low and we needed quality drinking water.
Good article, good comments.
You might want to look for clean Food Grade IBC totes for water storage. I’ve a few 275 gallon totes to capture my rainwater in for my dry spells of the gardening season. As they are uphill from the garden easy to use for watering. Have used them for toilet and after filtering for drinking. I’ve thought of buying more and putting a pair in my basement as a cistern.
Do paint them as to protect the plastic from UV and keep the Alge growth down.
They can also make interesting wicking beds 😉
Sounds interesting Sandgroper.
Care to share some links?
Some good information here. Adding my two cents regarding “ability to live off grid without electricity or propane or solar.”
I spent two years in the North Country with axes, saws, a wood stove and kerosene lamps also other hand tools, my traps and guns and fishing gear.
The camp I was in was crudely built, no insulation and you felt it when the winds kicked up. But on a lake so boiled my water, took sponge baths and cranked that wood stove up so high that often had to douse the fire so the crude stove pipe stack wouldn’t burn my camp down. Skis and snow shoes, no machine. It was hard work but it was far from miserable. Anyone who thinks it can’t be done in reasonable comfort needs to rethink their position. Been there, done that – not bragging, I really didn’t think it was that big a deal.
When I was a kid we had a outhouse. We all had our own “chamber pots”. NO ONE would want to sit in a outhouse in MN in the winter. Just running out there to dump the pot would freeze you to the bone.
CARA, your wiresouth.com link is not a secure website, take your bogus SPAM sales pitch elsewhere.
Only fools wanting to get hacked would log into wiresouth.com