An Exercise in Self-Reliance

Today’s non-fiction writing contest entry was written Judy W

Photo by: Joan Sorolla

Photo by: Joan Sorolla

On August 18 I received an email about a group of Survivalist nationwide going off the grid for the weekend of the 22 the 23 ,the 24.It said,no electric,no,cell,no Internet, no city water, no gas stations, no stores. My first thought was yes – Great idea! I believe in practice, and it is a great way to learn. In fact I learned by practice to walk my entire home in the dark, by practicing.

Let me tell you on Sept.8th I turn 73. About 25 years ago I lost my husband and my dad in the same week. It was very painful. I have 7 children,one adopted who is developmentally delayed, age 51 but tests age of 6 or 7. My homestead is 5 plus acres,rural private,S he lives with me.All my other kids live in different states and think I am a nut job,lol

23 years ago I went to a workshop in Utah, to learn about being independent and off the grid. I wanted to learn how to take care of me without relying on anyone or anything. Me a real spoiled city girl fell in love with the Mormons concepts of food storage and growing your own food etc. So I began my journey of educating me to learn and grow and survive any and all disasters .

Okay,so I am going to go off the grid for the weekend.I sat down with my daughter and reviewed what we were doing,and the more we chatted the more I learned this was going to be a great challenge…..

No electric means no water for the toilet.Yes I have much water stored but do I really want to use it?Do I have a back up plan, yes for sure remember I trained with the Mormons. So I am good when it comes to the bath room and bathing,it feels good to know this one is covered.

Next the thought of no AC is frightening.The temps here have been high 90’s
The good news is I have battery operated fans and plenty of batteries,which is comforting.I can camp out but am hoping I will not have too.

  • Cooking I have multiple sources to feed us.
  • No cell,hmm
  • No Internet,hmm
  • No TV hmm

These will be interesting to experience.

I have gas stored for my car and my tank is always full if I have to bug out. For this weekend I am staying put.

So today is Monday and I have shared with you my first day thoughts.

It is now Thursday night, and what a week.My brain just would not shut off.I decided I would not do or add anything to my homestead because of the adventure I was planning.I would make do with what I have.I emailed friends and family to let them know they could not reach me.Boy I got some weird responses to my going off the grid.Some very negative. I explained to many a positive attitude is the key to survival of any disaster.

So I am off to bed now and have my paper and pen ready to journal the experience .Do you remember what a paper and pencil are? lol Sense of humor is important also.
One last thing before I pull the switch we are having a heat wave here and heat index will be over a hundred. Maybe I can sweat some pounds off.

First day …I learned I am spoiled and I am wasteful.I put the generators on,grabbed the coolers and ice packs and stored the perishables and food that had to be eaten.I got the meals planned for the 3 day, I got the paper plates ETC. I did a check on batteries, candles flashlights, camping stove, gas grill. I store gasoline, propane, kerosene – the temperature was 97.

I have a pool, a pond ,chickens, a garden, and plants. I am missing a way to catch water,

so I will have to work on that. Not having cold drinks or ice darn near killed me.i am an ice addict so I have to work on that also.I have several small water purifiers but I realize I need a Berkey.

My home is dark to begin with,and I made it real dark hoping to keep sun and heat out.heat index was 111 on Saturday.We stayed outside most of the day hiding in shade or pool.we had hamburgers on grill and a salad I had to use and I waited till about 730 to prepare,cause it was so hot we didn’t want to eat or drink.I made us do both.

I had put flashlights around inside but didn’t really focus on where.At 830 we separated garbage to burn or not to burn barrels .I entered house and it was pitch dark and I had not a clue to where they were.I laughed and laughed, and kept thinking some Prepper I am. I learned I am weak on lights for night time. I also will have a LED at each table marked with where they go. I could have gotten the lanterns but frankly it was too darn hot.I have light sources stored but really didn’t need to break out supplies, cause what was in home was quite adequate for the weekend.

I got my survival book out and started reading with a flashlight that kept rolling off my stomach,all I could do was thank God I had the flashlight and laugh at my big stomach.It was a good read.I went to bed very early for me and I have these 2 little battery operated fans and I put one on and as night when on I began my first strip act.I woke up around midnight in a puddle of water no clothes on and the fan died.
I thought wow this is only day one and I learned so much,my family is right I am nuts…

Day 2 I want to tell you something that I am so happy about,I never thought of aborting the mission and my prayer was always God help me to learn all that I can to help me and others to get through any disasters.

Cooler almost empty now, yogurt for breakfast kinda soggy, but we thanked God we had it and talked about those who have nothing. Gratitude filed my daughter and I.

We did some chores, fed the fish etc. Hey, I said how do we wash clothes?

Now here is another problem.I don’t know. Having no electric is a killer. Who would have thought I would be grateful for my washing machine and my SHOWER.

I remember the night before I began this I said wow no vacuuming awesome…. Mistake, I miss my vacuum. This sweeping and bending over ROTS.

We hid out in pool under umbrella ,heat index 111 how do I know that I turned cell on for a second and asked Siri.That reminds me, I must have hit the light switches hundreds of times,no electric,I appreciate electric now.also solar but mine is down,need to get it fixed .I learned my day must revolve around the sun.

Garbage out,flashlights in place,heat unbearable.Ate dinner,outside in order to use natural light all I could think of was what if they were gangs or bad guys coming my way,we sure couldn’t sit outside .I want to say I am hot I am tired and although it seems overwhelming,I will close day 2 by doing a mini plus sheet. Positive thinking produces positive results…

I have a homestead, instead of looking at the negative, I will look at the positives of what I have…

  • Water
  • Chickens
  • Fishpond
  • Generators
  • Food Storage
  • Candles
  • Flash lights
  • Lanterns
  • A grill
  • A wood stove
  • A fire pit
  • 3 …..72 hour kits
  • 6…24 hour kits
  • Gasoline
  • Propane
  • Medicine
  • Herbs
  • Mre’s
  • Guns
  • Ammo
  • Bow and arrows
  • Barb wire fence
  • Batteries
  • Solar panels

Ok I feel better. I do see I have many needs to fill and classes to take…

  • I owe no one and have no mortgage.
  • I have a great relationship with God.

Day 3

Slept maybe 2 hours, heat unbearable, grabbed an ice pack from cooler and tried it.In a short bit it completely melted from body heat.We drank a lot all night long.Put wet clothes on us, and believe it or not were so grateful to God for all our blessings and so apologetic to Him for all the things we have wasted and not valued in our lives. Breakfast was cereal with can milk,,and raisins.Food was so not important due to heat. We are going to do this again in winter, I am sure it will be so different.

Today was bath day, OMG what a riot – we had shampoo, soap, pails water, and were outside. It is tough to wash hair and body with little water,and a riot to be naked in your front yard. Its ok my neighbors are not too close but close enough if I need them. All I can say is we laughed a lot and told each other if we had to do this it would not be a laughing matter and we stopped and prayed for the less fortunate people in the world.


I wish every person would go off the grid for a weekend.When and If something bad happens,it will be chaos because people are not aware or prepared to take care of them selves.It is a very sad scary thought for me.

I learned I have done well and need a lot more learning and studying. Life without electric is painful, life without water is death. Life without God is Hell.

Prizes for this round (ends October 20th 2014 ) in our non fiction writing contest include…

  1. First place winner will receive –  A $500 gift certificate off of any product or products at MRE Depot!
  2. Second place winner will receive –  a gift a gift certificate for $150 off of  Winchester ammo fromLuckyGunner and a Wonder Junior Deluxe grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Neads.
  3. Third place winner will receive – a Survival Puck  courtesy of Innovation Industries and  20 Live Fire Sport – Emergency Fire Starters from LPC Survival.
  4. Fourth Place winner will receive –  a copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of and copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy of

Well what are you waiting for – email your entries today. But please read the rules that are listed below first…


  1. Sounds like a weekend of camping to me.

    I had a boss who rode a motorcycle in India. He would wet his shirt to keep cool while riding.

    Being outside won’t increase your exposure to bandits, it will only alert you to their presence sooner. Otherwise they’d just sneak up on your house and surround it.

    The only thing that you could be indoors and would alert you like being outdoors would to be to have solar cameras, trip wires with alarms, or someone manning an OP/LP with a way to alert you and not the intruders. (OP/LP = observation/listening post. Basically a hidden spot to watch from)

    You can always bathe in the bathtub with that bucket of water. No need to go outside if you’re trying to be modest – and the bathtub will contain splashes. Also people’s idea of a daily toilet (bathing/grooming routine) used to consist of using a pitcher and bowl like a sink. Women also brushed their hair a lot more back then because it was a way to clean the hair between baths. And people covered their heads, probably for reasons of cleanliness more than anything else. It’s harder to get lice when your hair is up and covered. Also hats keep the sun off.

    I have worried a bit how to keep cool in the summer without power. This summer I am not using AC, to toughen myself up. I’m just using a fan. But if the fan wasn’t working I’d probably try to sleep outside.

    • Been thinking about building a screened room on the long deck in front of the trailer. Mosquitoes are a real problem as is summer heat. Would not be able to stay in trailer. Glad I live back from the dead end road. Might give me time to be ready for “visitors.”

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Hi Penny,I read your post to My daughter,she was a riot,she said and I quote,it was not camping and it was not fun,camping is fun.I laughed so hard ,she was so adamant .she also said for me to please tell you that onSat.night we had thee worst lightning storm either of us have ever seen and she was not going outside .We did have a incredible lightning and thunder and rain from about midnight to 3,I was glad we were not camping .We did use pitcher and bowl for a grooming routine several times a day because we sweat and smelled SO BAD,lolI learned while in Iowa in 110 degree heat to wet my clothes to cool me down.I do have a few security things in place,and am investigating more.However when the city folk come this way when they are starving. Well I am 73 with a disabled 50 year old child,and I will be better off to defend inside,and I am a good shot.Having taken many lessons .We went outside to bathe because it was SO HOT inside no kidding Penny it was hell.We applaud you for no AC
      We also do things to toughen us up.I thank you for responding to my experience and I strongly suggest you and everyone who reads it,do a 3 day off the grid experiment,it was Amazimg.

  2. Canyonman says:

    WOW, what a fantastic piece!! Thanks so much for writing this – a lot of folks will glean much from what you endured.

    ~ John 8:32

  3. Judy W, thankyou for sharing. Inspirational.

  4. Great post!!
    Penny, with all due respect, I think there is a big difference in running an experiment like this and camping. It’s a mental “thing”. Living in your house without power and trying to function mentally and physically as normal is much different than packing up and going on a camping trip. It gives us a sense of the habits the brain will have to contend with, i.e. flipping the light switch or turning on a faucet. All the preps to make Rawles proud won’t do diddly without the mental fortitude to persevere.

  5. What a positive attitude you have, Judy W, and how brave to go “off grid” in such heat! Our son, who’s almost 18, has Down Syndrome, so I felt a special connection as I read your article. Thank you for sharing your experience, very helpful; may God continue to bless you!

    • Soggy Prepper says:

      Our son will be 18 in December and he has Down syndrome too. Kinda puts prepping into an all new arena. You will NOT be going any where fast! And without electronics would be something for our son to deal with and it wouldn’t be in a good way. Can’t practice that piece cause he just doesn’t get it. Cold turkey will be very ugly.
      We are close to God also, cause he’s the only one who will get us through something major! (and minor…like every day!)

      • Soggy Prepper — we’ve had practice during several power outages in the past couple of years (from 1 to 5 days), so he understands “no power”; as long as our son has his boom box (stocked up on plenty of D batteries!) he’s been able to deal with it. And he’s a good reader, about 4th grade level, so reading during daylight hours is a good quiet activity. But I do worry about a sustained grid down situation, we’re not prepared for that — yet!

    • I am guardian to a DGD, 26, with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS). She lives in the nearest town 23 miles away. Her apartment is set up for weather issues. Her daytime caregiver is helping to get supplies into the pantry. When SHTF, family, depending on family and what the disaster will be picking her up on way to the mountain. Going off the grid is not scary for me, but others in family may have a time with it. The DGD is the one I worry about as she takes 3 medications for her seizures and 1 medication for the aggression that comes with the syndrome. Everything she takes can only be ordered 30 days at a time. The one for the behavior is a controlled substance which requires a medical visit every other month. She will have no chance unless I can find the herbs necessary for the seizures. I pray for all those with issues like this. The availability of medications mean the difference between life and death. Yes, uncontrolled seizures do kill.

      • Gone West says:

        Docj, I enjoy your comments so much, I hesitated to chime in on this but I had to. I truly don’t mean to offend – PLEASE PLEASE check into CBD (yes cannabinoid) it really can help. It is right now helping so many out here. It’s very nature almost guarantees some result. It also has calming effects.
        I too know that seizures kill. It’s heartbreaking when they look at you and don’t even know you anymore because their brain is getting so tired.

        • Black Rose says:

          I take med for seizures and would like to try alternative meds. I tried to talk to my neurologist but he shut me down. Once I retire I am going to try caninoid (I drive a lot for work now) my concern is how do I use it? What part of the plant ? Any one know of any books ?

          • Black Rose – Please look into CBD’s – that is what has been working so well on seizure activity. There is little to no THC, although some reports show that THC has many health benefits as well. The whole plant is used, usually made into a tincture. Charlotte’s Web has very little THC and Harlequin has equal parts CBD & THC I believe, though you will not get “high”.
            It’s working.

  6. This article really hit home for me because my high-functioning autistic child pretty much lives in the internet. I know I have a lot of things to change, starting with mindset with both child and DW. Positive attitude is important, but for some people it can be a real struggle. Still, we are doing what we can with what we have.

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Thanks for comments.I learned so much that weekend,and do t tell but I thought I just about knew everything,lol
      What I learned was incredible,believe me it was unbearably hot,and I. Ever thought of quitting.Gosh that makes me feel so good.I made the decision and I stuck with it.Was it easy no it was not.I am almost 73,I have numerous ailments aches and pains and am raising. 6 year old with out electric wart tv cell Internet etc.The secret,keep on keeping on,and for me PrayPray Pray
      There is a book by S Peck and first sentence is
      Life is difficult,I didn’t read anymore because I got it,Life is difficult and I control my attitude.Good luck my friend.

  7. Thanks for sharing this! Great article!

  8. Judy W — Excellent article. So glad you also listed your positives.

  9. When I had a sudden non-voluntary off grid/no phone situation due to a powerful storm with 7 days in the heat of summer at 95 degrees nearly every day in July, 2012, I faced what it would be like. I would rather have a planned off grid moment like you did 🙂

    I put plastic on my bed, wet towels down, and slept on them because I had no fan at all. I went in the nearby lakes with the dogs to cool off. I wore wet clothes like you did. Every breeze was a God send, as I had to chainsaw for 5 of those days removing trees and cutting limbs that blocked my driveway, road, and a large tree fell that on my garage doing damage. Since I live alone with dogs and being isolated, I was fortunate to have a friend check on me to see if I was alive, but I did all the clean up myself.

    I have a freezer with my refrigerator that kept food frozen for 4 days without power. After the 4th day, food started to thaw. I always kept ice in plastic soda bottles in the freezer because it reduced the use of electricity. I also put water in the freezer during the outage for cold water, something you said you didn’t have. Just don’t open the freezer a lot without power.

    I have a well and holding tank. I drained the tank into my containers, and on the 3rd day, I went to an artisan well for the rest of my drinking water.

    Strange as the storm was catastrophic, stores and gas stations closed in a 150 mile radius, there was no looting, no hoards of rioters or criminals breaking into homes. The “3 days after power outage, food and water riot scenario” didn’t happen here or in the closest town. Power and water was restored there in 6 days, and the 7th day mine came back, even the phone.

    If you plan a winter off-grid situation, you must live down south. Would you try it up north when it is 20-30 below zero? We had an outage for 12 hours and I lit 16 candles to keep it above freezing inside, which helped to convince me to buy a wood stove the following fall in case of outages and also saved me a ton of money. I think you would agree that experience is the best teacher in survival situations. Good luck with your next off grid moment.

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Hey thanks for sharing,I enjoy hearing others stories and plight.
      I lived. In the North when we had awesome snow winters and had to stay in and I know what you are talking about.I came south to get out of the cold my daughter with MS cannot do cold,and I also do not like it.I love and you kicked in and took care of bussiness, good job.when I picked my site for my homestead I looked at many issues and for our needs I chose here.The Mormon trainings had much to do with educating me to looking at our needs and where I should resettle to .whereever we live we need to practice and prepare and Pray.
      Again thanks for sharing your story.

  10. Babycatcher says:

    Great article! You inspire me! Keep up the good work!

  11. mom of three says:

    Great article, I understand about not having running water, electricity, no gas stoves. As a child we each summer would spend 2 to 4 weeks, living in the woods in our family’s cabin (baby to 18) . The cabin, was built in 1934, it had the cook stove from 1890’s , we took water from the river and boiled it. We brushed our teeth in wash basins, and washed up in wash basins too. We would wash our hair, in the river had
    the softest hair ever. We had a outhouse,probably from
    when the cabin was built and a wonderful hand set stone
    fireplace, rocks came from the river. We lived like the it was
    the 1880’s. The only modern things we had was the Coleman
    lanterns, ice chest, & our cars. They would put the milk in
    the river, pop, and beer to keep it cold during the day. Fun
    times I know I could do it again. This should be a practice
    that you do each season, to see where you can see where
    your holes are. I can see our holes are fuel, and extra
    propane. Great way to get kid’s, involved and to see what it’s like with no modern conveniences.

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Thanks for sharing,there are so many extra things to think about with kids and teens involved.For me was having my daughter who is about 6 mentally.I could not believe how she embraced what we were doing.I think that I involved her in discussions and decisions she really got on board.the second night I offered her an out to go out in the play room where I could give her AC and she refused saying in a disaster there are no breaks.I was so proud of her.Anyway thanks for posting ,blessings on your family.

  12. one of the best articles I’ve read. Thanks, good job. Glad to know people like YOU.

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Thank you Mary you made my day.I wrote truly from my heart and I truly want to learn and help others.Again thank you much

  13. TexasScout says:

    I have read a lot of “prepper” stuff in the last four years. But this short piece has more insight and info in it’s short message than most anything I have read yet. I too would love to try this, I live in South Texas and it’s been over a 100 degrees for the last two weeks. This morning it was 79 degrees at 6 AM and with the 90% humidity on the coast, it can get miserable. This short weekend (I know it seemed to last forever) has given me hope that I too can survive. I do remember when our power was out for two WEEKS after August 3rd 1970 after hurricane Celia hit Corpus Christ Texas. I have fond memories of that, believe it or not, because we came together as a family. I don’t remember the heat, just the fun stuff.

    Thanks again.


  14. you are a person I would be proud to call a friend! Keep up the good work!

  15. ChristineM says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Well written, made me laugh, and brought up a couple of issues we need to address. We’ve had several multi-day power outages in the past (summer and winter), so have most issues covered.
    I have to admit though, that if we had an outage (or for practice) in this heat, I would hook up the generator to the horse trailer and sleep in the A/C.

  16. Soggy Prepper says:

    I truly enjoyed that piece! What an adventure. Kinda like camping but when it’s at your home it’s very strange.
    Isn’t it great to know where your strength comes from! May God continue to bless you and yours!

  17. patientmomma says:

    Thank you for writing this article! I don’t think I could practice in the heat of summer with 111 heat index; you are a tough lady!
    “Life without electric is painful, life without water is death. Life without God is Hell.” Amen sister!

  18. Judi – thank you so much for doing your brave off-grid weekend and letting us know about it! I have often thought about doing a practice run and I think you have given me the impetus to do just that. I do live in the north (Canada) where winter temps are well below zero but summer temps can be in the low 90’s. Not as hot as you talked about but very humid as well. I think a winter trial would be a really good idea – you never know when the SHTF will happen and it’s no good only being prepared for one season.

    Thanks again. I’m 65 so I know what you mean about aches and pains (and having your family think you are nuts!)

  19. Lake Lili says:

    This was great to read Judy! And a good idea. Perhaps MD could tuck that one away and drop an outage weekend on us at some unsuspecting time. I also have a child with genetic issues and appreciate the extra work that goes into planning around their needs. Thanks for sharing and best wishes for your continued planning efforts.

  20. Excellent article. Practice makes perfect.

  21. Judy, good for you! If I could do what you did at 73, I would be proud! Good for you for sticking it out and telling your story. I just love your humor and faith! God is good and he is looking after YOU. God bless.

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Thanks Mrs.B,I appreciate greatly your kind words.
      Truly in my deepest heart I wish everyone would do it.I learned so much about me and got closer to my Higher Power that I call God.It was thee best weekend of my life,and the worst weekend of my life .I am so grateful for all my blessings and my crosses.I. Am also very grateful for MDCreekmore.

  22. Happy Camper says:

    Hi Judy, I really enjoyed reading your experience of going off grid. Thanks you for sharing and best wishes to you 🙂

  23. I lived for a long time with no water/sewer/electric. Its was a lot easier for a single guy I think. Solar shower from rain barrels, drinking water was from a spring 12 miles away that I filled every other month or so, I had a propane fridge/stove, oil lamps and led lanterns, very small wood stove(Dickinson Newport).
    Now a days its 300 watts of solar, 12v fridge, holding tank w/ rain water, pressurized w/12v pump, tank less propane water heater, doultan water filter for drinking rain water, sawdust toilet, outdoor shower w/ pressurized hot/cold water, bigger wood stove(jotul 602) propane cook stove.
    Pretty spoiled now. I know how lucky I am to have what I have. My only gripe is I miss the silence of the propane fridge vrs the compressor of the 12v I have currently. I know I know first world problems ;p

  24. Sisterjudi says:

    Thanks Sarkin,I never heard of a Doultan.I am in the process of looking for a drip water filter.I am off to a Survivalist Prep show next weekend hoping I can learn about them.I want a good one of course and I don’t want to pay 500 bucks.I have a solar shower but it was too got to use it,Lol and I do mean hot.I have a couple of propane stoves and the idea Of propane fridge is something I will check out.I have a big wood stove outside when it is too hot inside,and I have a small wood stove inside.I didn’t need them.I could have fried an egg on my own belly it was so hot,lol the whole idea was to see what I know and what I do not know and need to learn.It was wonderful,and even more so for a spoiled 73 year old female who has a big heart and a small brain,lol
    Your story is wonderful and you are so lucky to have had the experiences,in good times.You live my motto
    Keep it simple….thanks for sharing

  25. What a wonderful story. Best of all it was true to life! I’m sure three days of living “off the grid” must of at times, felt like a lifetime. However, you did it and survived! What an example for all of us to follow. Best of all, you never lost faith in yourself or in our God. Truly He led you through your toughest times and smiled perhaps when you smiled and laughed at the simple things in life like stumbling around in the dark to look for a flashlight. 🙂 Congratulations to you and your daughter for surviving this remarkable weekend. May God be with you now and forever.

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Thank you.It was am awesome weekend.My daughter with her MS and developmental delays testing about age 6 was amazing.

  26. Curley Bull says:

    Judy W, you have my respect lady. Around here we don have to plan an outage, just try to be ready for it. Cold weather, not a problem for us. Hot weather, problem! In 2011 with all the 108 deg. days, I experienced a heat stroke and can’t take the heat too pretty good any more. At present, I have a window unit (for emergency) and 60 gal. Fuel for generator, BUT I’m working on something else that will solve the heat and cool problems with NO energy required. In fact I’m writing an article on it; “My Idea of the Perfect Shelter”. I remember when I was a kid in East Texas sleeping in the root cellar on really hot nights.

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Thank you,We have had here floods,trapped in for 7 days,but had power thank God.However not being able to get out was hairy mentally .I had a house fire where I had to camp out for a month,
      Which was doable because I had water and power.In Andrew when we were in South Florida we had power but could not go out because trees down and wires down that was a nasty hurricane as they all are. I think attitude is the key,and my faith in God.Thanks for sharing with us we love reading what everyone says.God Bless you.

  27. I have been looking for a small property for several months now, and thank you for reminding me that I should stick to my guns about having running water on it! ( my DH and I have waffled about just having a well dug, but my little voice keeps screamin running water!) I’ll just turn into a prune sitting in the river when it’s hot, and so be it. I really like your idea about just having an off grid weekend at home, we camp a lot, and as much as the kids like to camp, they don’t think it’s fun to do at home (I do, the beds better, but hey I’m outnumbered)
    Ms Judy, you truly have the best attitude I may have ever heard and it sounds like you should be incredibly proud of your daughter. Thank you for letting us know what it was like for you both, and sharing your thoughts!

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Hi Domna,thanks for responding to my adventure.I support you sticking to your guns.We know how important water sources are.I have a well with a regular pump,and a solar pump and a hand pump.In addition I have a huge body of water on the back of my property and my fish pond and my pool.So I say stick to your guns. Lol Camping is fun and the lake or the woods or the trails are awesome,supplies are plentiful and there are no worries.Goimg off the grid causes much thought about real life crisis and stressors and situations etc It is an incredible mental journey,well it was for me.I learned so much about myself it was wonderful.I recommend every one do it.My daughter who I adopted when she was 28 and is now 50 and tests about age 6
      She loves to play uno,and she loves to color,so we played uno and colored and poured water on us often,,lol we have lots of games we play and she loves to play them also.She was abused and in an institution from age 12 till I got her and is a blessing to me that there are no words to describe.She is going blind so I have to read the posts to her and she said to tell you thank you and ,she votes you do a weekend off the grid.Good luck my friend.

  28. Stealth Spaniel says:

    Great article! I have done the same thing many times with my mom when we had earthquakes. No utilities which means no running water, AND you have a house that is constantly rocking!! People forget that in “the old days”, before WW2, many homes had a “summer kitchen” that was seperate from the house. It kept the summer heat from making the house unbearable. The homes also had screened in porches, summer porches, or an outdoor room (covered balcony) upstairs that the family could sleep on and escape the heat. You quickly learn that cotton or linen sheets are your friends. It might be worth your while to invest in a humanure or macerating toilet to make off-grid days easier. I think that more of us should practice off-grid “vacations.” Usually, we wait until the disaster (earthquake, flood, hurricane, etc) hits and then rough it out. My mom was a nurse, so she had most of the bases covered: food, water, entertainment, and medical. I think that I will be trying out an off-grid practice session just to keep my skills up!

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Dear SS,thank you so much.After our adventure we both agreed we wish everyone in the world would do a 3 day off the grid exercise .It really is a thought provoking incredible experience.I am sure the heat made it even more intense for us.My daughter is asleep now and I can’t wait to read your post to her.She will. E very happy you will do it.A funny thing we were close before we did it she really adores me. Excuse I got her out of the institution ,but this really brought is closer,just an awesome wonderful painful learning experiment.God Bless you SS

  29. Judy,
    When you state, “Boy I got some weird responses to my going off the grid. Some very negative.” it doesn’t surprise me; however, practicing any skill can be important, and IMO the most important thing about the way you went about your trial weekend, was the ability to abort if you had to, and to adjust things in the future for a “do over”. In a real event, those who replied in a negative fashion will not get that chance, and will be stuck with the equipment and skills that they have on hand, no doubt while waiting for the gubment top send help to bail them out.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      (No doubt while waiting for the gubment top send help to bail them out.)

      Can you say Superdome???

  30. Sisterjudi says:

    Gee thanks Ohio Prepper I agree a hundred percent with you.
    It is frightening to think about what will the masses do when they can’t get KFC or Burger King etc.I know they will head my way,well guess what………this little old faith filled women will not be welcoming. I have been frugal vigilant and not run around buying frivolous things as so many have.They are NOT reading the signs of the times.Call me what they want,I call me an independent,happy,generous faith filled overweight elderly gal lol lol

  31. Chuck Findlay says:

    A couple things to look into getting.

    You said the house was really dark at night, LED headlamps are great to use as they shine light wherever you look. They cost $5.00 to $100.00. I have a few $50.00 ones and they are nice, but I also have several $5.00 ones and they work just as well.

    Get a solar powered battery charger that charges AA & AAA batteries. And get several Sanyo Eneloop batteries as these hold a charge for 5-years. For some reason you can’t find Eneloops anyplace locally in any part of the USA, you have to go to Amazon. It’s worth it as these are the best AA & AAA batteries made.

    And for hot water get a Kelly Kettle or a Thermette. I have the Thermette. But both of them heat water to boiling in 5-min and they tun on sticks you find in the yard. You can also use them as a wood cook stove but a separate wood cook stove is nice to have.

    Make a Hobo wood stove that you can cook with.

    Buy a NEW bathroom plunger and a 5-gallon bucket. these will make a very good off-grid clothes washer. They also build arm mussels as it’s hard work, but then most off-grid things are more work. For a commercial version of this search “Breathing Washer” but honestly the plunger works just as well.

    And finally get a solar shower bag (Under $10.00 at Wally-world) so you can take a hot shower or clean dishes with hot water. But be careful, solar showers get much hotter then the hot water from your home heater. You may need to add cold water to the bag if you leave it out in the sun all day.

    Also start canning food that doesn’t need to be frozen, I can burgers, ground chuck, brats, hot dogs, sausage links and of course Bacon, and all of them taste great out of the canning jar. I just opened a jar of bacon canned 14-months ago and it looked like I just opened the plastic package. And it tasted great.

    Get out and do some tent camping, tent camping is a very good teaching experience in off-grid life.

  32. Chuck Findlay says:

    You can also get battery powered fans at truck stops. I like the O2Cool brand as they hold up well.

    For 12-volt power you can get a Jump Box, these are portable battery boxes that car lots use to jump-start autos. I have a large one of these and it has a 12-volt plug on it, a 110-volt output on it, a USB output on it, a LED light, a tire air compressor to refill auto tires, a air inflator for blow-up things.

    With my 50-watt solar panel I can have ongoing power without the grid.

    • Sisterjudi says:

      I am overwhelmed with gratitude at your reaching out to help me.I am so grateful for your kindness and for this site.i read your post twice and it is a lot of good information.Tomorrow I will break it down and examine.All I can say tonight is thank you so much and thank all of you who have responded to my article.

  33. Chuck Findlay says:

    Also get one of these water filters. It filters down to .1 micron. (very small), it filters 100,000 gallons, it fits almost all water and soda bottles and Wal Mart sells it for $20.00 in the camping section.

    Sawyer Mini Water Filter

    • My one concern with this filter is that it is a simple sieve type filter meaning that it will remove nearly all bacterial and protozoon contaminants, by not letting them through the filter element; however, it will not remove viruses or dissolved contaminants, like VOC’s. It is always better to boil the water first, before using a filter like this one, to kill viruses and evaporate any VOC’s. If you cannot do that, then it would still make the water more potable than straight from a stream, etc.
      Although it only processes 200 gallons; a filter bottle with activated carbon and silver, such as the Seychelle would work in nearly any situation, for about the same money.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        Very few filters remove viruses, but a virus does not survive long outside a host. A virus needs a warm cozy place to live, take it outside that and it dies. There is not much of a virus threat in the water you normally find outside. As far as things like dissolved contaminant you can add a carbon filter element to any water filter. I have one on my Katadyn Pocket filter.

        No item be it a Glock firearm, a water filter or whatever is perfect. So you have to understand what it will do, operate it within those terms and do the best you can.

        I dislike a filter that filters a small amount of water before you have to buy a new replacement element as it may be hard to do post SHTF. I agree boiling is a good idea, but I also understand what my water filters will do and having used them for years I have never had a problem at all in all the water I have filtered in the wild.

        Yea I suppose you could get in trouble filtering down-river from a chemical plant, or filtering flood water like the Japan situation a few years ago because a lot of things (including salt water) could have easily been in the water. But you have to apply a few brain cells in selecting water to filter. I was not in Japan, but I will bet I could have found suitable water to filter without too much looking.

        The Sawyer filter filters 100,000 gallons of water. If you filter one-gallon a day, every day it will last 273-years. That;s a lot of good drinking water for only $20.00

        My Katadyne Pocket filter filters 13,000 gallons, I don’t have to worry about buying another element for the rest of my life. With a 200-gallon filter I will have to buy more elements.

        Another thing a person could get if they are worried about viruses is a Steri-Pen, a base model one of these is $40.00 at the local Meijer stores. I don’t like them, but a lot of people do.

        • Chuck,
          Actually the Seychelle does kill viruses because it contains a silver compound in the carbon filter; however, that is part of the reason it has a shorter life. Obviously @ 200 gallons, it is meant for short term use, like a BOB, GHB, or 72 hours kit.
          As for understanding the tool, hopefully the combination of both of our posts will give people some guidance on what and how to choose filters. It isn’t the brain cells as much as the knowledge and skill on what and how things work. Filters can be ceramic, carbon, and other materials, each with different uses and one must know when and how to use them, and on what starting quality of water.

          For someone on a tight budget, the Sawyer looks like a great tool, and although I don’t currently have one, it’s been added to the list.

          What I do have are some Seychelle bottles for short term or traveling, a Katadyn, and a monolithic, which like the Sawyer is a simple ceramic filter, running at 0.2 microns, and is generally used in a gravity flow configuration (

          BTW, the Findly Hamfest is coming up this Sunday (Sept 7). If you’re planning to attend and would perhaps like to have a face to face, drop me an email via the link to my webpage.

  34. Sisterjudi says:

    Wow only 20 bucks,thanks .i think I will get a few was barter is just mind boggling to me all I have learned this week.God is so good to me.

  35. Chuck Findlay says:

    Sisterjudi if you get one of these filters look on U-Tube for videos on how to turn it into a gravity filter. That way you can fill the top container and let gravity do the work while you do other things.

    You can turn it into a gravity filter from things you throw away every week.

  36. Gee Chuck you are full of knowledge .Thanks for sharing.I bought 6 Sawyers at wallmart today.I am not sure where you said I could get. Steri Pen..I never heard of it before.I will check out you tube,and thanks. I leave Thursday for a Prepper show and I am excited about that.Thank you for everything.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      The prepper show you are going to, is it the one in North Carolina ?

      I was going to go to it but I just got a job to re-roof a home and it’s scheduled for the same time.

  37. Chuck Findlay says:

    I live in Toledo Ohio (Northern Ohio) and Meijer is a Michigan based store chain like Wally World. They are slowly moving South from Michigan.

    A few things about the Steri-Pen, they only work if the water is very clear as they use ultraviolet light to destroy the molecules of any living thing in the water. This is why they work on a virus that is too small for almost all water filters.

    The second thing is that they break a lot, A few years ago I was active on the Appalachian Trail and it’s web site and there was a lot of complaints of failure of the Steri-Pen. They may have improved in the last 8-years, but knowing what was common at that time I did not want one, and I still don’t.

    If you are going to get one look at the reviews of it to see if it still has problems. Yea the company would fix them, but SHTF it may be different.

  38. No it is in Alabama.On the 5th 6 th and 7th
    I am so excited,I can’t wait.

  39. Sisterjudi: You are one amazing lady. I thank you for sharing your experience. You are a blessing for your Daughter and she is for you also. You have inspired each other as well as many if us here in the Pack.
    A couple of years ago, we got about 2 inches of snow, an inch of ice and then 4 more inches of snow. It knocked out the power for three days but it took three weeks before our water thawed and we had running water again. We had several little tuna-fish can stoves that we could cook on and we made cowboy coffee ( coffee grounds in a pan, brought to a boil, and then you sprinkle cold water on the top to knock the grounds to the bottom when you are ready to drink it.) We had to stick it out and rough it for several reasons I.E. I was not strong enough to carry my wife to the car, if I had tried we probably would both ended up flat on our backs because of the ice, and the roads were impassable. Then if we were able to get to town, there would have been no place to stay because all the rooms to rent were already filled and our kids in town were in the same shape as we were. All in all, it was an enightening experience. We had enough food and a way to prepare it: because of the knowledge gained from the Pack, we had enough water for the three weeks. we were down to about 18 gallons of water, so if it gone for another week, we would have been hurting. we bathed with a wash rag and a basin and used the gray water to flush the stool. Ron S

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Hi Rom,As much as I get frustrated with my daughter,I know she is a gift from God to me.She makes me laugh a lot.She does not have a mean bone in her body.I have enough for both of us.The way she embraced this exercise was wonderful .There are no words to describe the heat we suffered with.I think the neat made the experiment a thousand times harder.When my son got the ought to me ,I felt so bad because he was so worried that we would have died from the heat.I felt bad I put him through that,but for what I gained it was worth it.I discussed with my daughter how heat and cold affect how one deals in a disaster..We do not get below 15 degrees here ,and while I have many wool blankets and sleeping bags,I am very short on warm clothes.Thank you from my heart for writing to us,blessings on you and your family.

      • Sisterjui, I know exactly what you are saying. My second oldest Daughter will turn 50 on Christmas Eve, but mentally she is between 9 or 10. When she was 18, the school requested her to live away from home so they could prepare her to live on her own. The weekend before she was to move to the school, she and I spent all day Saturday riding the bus around town so she would not have to depend on us if she wanted to go somewhere. When we had her 6 month evaluation, they told us that she had a new job of teaching the new Clients how to ride the bus. Then they said that they were able to teach her how to cook. I remarked that she had been cooking since she was 8 years old with our supervision, and her job at home was to prepare my Breakfast on Sunday mornings, which consisted of frying 2 eggs, frying some bacon, making toast, pouring a cup of coffee and a glass of milk. They were quite surprised as she had told them that she didn’t know how to cook. We also insisted she take her turn at putting the clean dishes away after they had been washed. Her comment was that she couldn’t do that because she was retarded. we told her that she was just as capable as the other kids, only shorter and that she needed to take her turn(to use a step-stool if she couldn’t reach the shelves). The school told us during that evaluation that they could tell that we had worked with her because she was very self-sufficient. She will turn 50 on Christmas Eve, as I said, and suffers from an eye disease that I think is called Retinitus Pigmosa or something to that effect. It has taken her about 5 years to go blind, although she can determine light from dark, but she is still very self-sufficient.Thank you again. Ron S.

        • Incredible story.When I adopted My daughter she was 28 and lived most of her life in an institution .The state took her from her mom when she was 12,her mom had developmental problems also.I had her tested when I got her and she tested about age 12. Now she is 50 and test about 5 or 6, and is going blind.Her MS is a problem. cease getting her to exercise is like pulling teeth.I dread the day when I would have to put her in a home.I read the posts to her and she loves it.She thinks she could ride the bus,after I read your post to her .The good news is she has no idea how handicapped she is.Thats a blessing.She loved being part of going off the grid and she loved all the responses except Pennypinchers got her upset.Lol we are leaving in the morning to go to a Prepper show in Alanama and she is so excited,and she loves that we are part of MD s Wolf Pack,she really is a great gift from God to me.Thank you for sharing part of your life with us.

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