How To De-Google Your Life (Free Full Tutorial)

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How To De-Google Your Life

Introduction

“We’re living in the age of surveillance capitalism: The age of excessive data collection and monetization of our actions and behaviors” – Marko Saric, co-founder, Plausible.io

“Google’s business model is very much based on never dealing with a human… you can make them real money, you can have over a million subscribers… and there’s no-one you can deal with.” – Louis Rossmann.

“We don’t collect or share your personal information. Ever. There’s literally no data about you on our servers. None. We can’t profile you, and we can’t be forced to hand over your data to authorities, simply because we don’t have any data to hand over.” – Startpage.com

I believe in freedom of choice. Fed up with Google? Sick of surveillance capitalism? Then I have good news for you. You can unplug. There is no law that says you are required to use Google anything – and there are now fantastic alternatives; which is how the internet was always supposed to be, wasn’t it? It was never meant to be a top-heavy structure with a handful of ultrabillionaire overlords controlling what people see, read, learn, say, buy and think. What the heck happened??

There are very many people now who are extremely fed up with “Big Tech” and some of their frankly rather odious and even monopolistic policies in areas such as data harvesting, user tracking and censorship – yet people have continued to utilize the tech giants’ services, partly because of a perceived or actual lack of viable alternatives.

Many people were also simply unaware of how pervasive and powerful big tech’s influence has become in the past few years. It’s only when you decide to unplug that you learn just how deeply they have their hooks in you. However people are getting hip to the game in big numbers now and as the saying goes, the jig is up.

When companies – any companies – start to think of themselves as more important than their customers, and cease to put the customer first with integrity, value and service – then this creates space for new companies to innovate and disrupt. At that point, it is only a matter of time before something better comes along and outplays the behemoth that has lost its bearings and its sense of what it truly means to do good business. We are now at that tipping point. We have critical mass. And when people jump ships on the internet… things can happen really fast. Remember Myspace? They were the biggest once too; where are they now?

It’s interesting and timely to learn that as I write, signal.org is experiencing temporary outage due to 30m+ new subscribers in the past week overwhelming their servers. This is happening right now!

I’d like to think that Big Tech is in the middle of learning a hard lesson about what happens when you crap on your customers. You think you are too good for us Google? You think we are now the product and not the consumer? Think we should not be permitted the freedom to share ideas and opinions as we please? Think we need you more than you need us? Think we cannot escape your clutches?

Ok, bye!

I’m amazed by the quality and the “good vibes” of some of the alternatives that are now coming up like roses through the cracks in the concrete. Really cool companies! It’s like a sweet breath of fresh air after climbing out of a murky dungeon; like waking up from a bad dream and thinking “My God, where was I then?” It sure feels like that… and it was indeed a very bad dream. You will awake now… 😉

This is a big tutorial as there are a lot of Google services. I wanted to get this posted asap and will continue to add sections as I can. Please let me know in comments if there is anything else you would like me to cover, or any other recommendations you have for alternative services.

Alternatives To Google Search

There are some really cool alternative search engines now. Two in particular have jumped out: Startpage and DuckDuckGo.

Startpage bill themselves as “Zero saving, sharing, or selling your search data – No third party trackers or cookies like other search engines – Un-profiled search results – Browse other sites in complete privacy with Anonymous View.”

Startpage does however use Google’s search engine; but they strip out the profiling and tracking. Startpage is thus essentially “Google-like” in terms of its search results, but without all the stuff that you would not want it to have; although I still question whether I want to fatten Google’s wallet. So if you are a “purist” then use another search engine like DuckDuckGo, which also has great privacy features and does not collect any personal information – but in my opinion sometimes seems to deliver slightly inferior search results in some searches.

I tested both Startpage and DuckDuckGo using Waterfox Browser with the “about:preferences#privacy” panel open in another window. This enables you to see any cookies that are dropped, as they are dropped. Clear out any cookies, then load the page you want to review and you can see exactly what cookies are being sent.

Sure enough, neither Startpage nor DuckDuckGo sent any cookies at all; so I can confirm that my experience correlated with their claim. Full marks.

A couple of further ‘user notes’ – Startpage seems to have trouble with “exact phrase” searching using inverted commas. Also its result pages don’t generate a unique URL so I can’t create a hyperlink to a search result in the way I can to DuckDuckGo and others.

To learn more about why you might wish to switch, DuckDuckGo has a fantastic article What Does Google Know About Me? which is absolutely worth a read.

Alternatives To Google Chrome

There are very many good browsers now with good security and privacy. Good options include Brave and Firefox.

Many people are concerned about Chrome’s user privacy and data policies. The last straw for me, however, was when I observed how much of my CPU Chrome was hogging. Literally maxing out a powerful 12-core Mac Pro. Switching to other browsers, I was astonished to see my CPU use dropped from 90-something percent down to a few percent. Right now I have around 200 tabs open in Firefox, Brave and Waterfox (yes really) and my CPU usage is 2.95%. Why did Chrome need 95% of my processor?? If Firefox can do it with 2%, why does Chrome need to be using massive computational power just to keep tabs open? It doesn’t. Forming wildly speculative theories in my mind that Chrome is either collecting data on a scale that would only be useful to an advanced alien civilization; some 1984-like scenario; or is cryptomining on the quiet using half the world’s computers to accumulate half the world’s Bitcoin without people knowing… I binned it from all my machines and will never look back. Life is better now.

Removing Google Chrome completely from your device is a bit complicated because Chrome installs ‘bits of itself’ all over your system and you need to flush these out. There are tutorials out there for “How to remove Chrome completely” and I have linked a search result to help you find these. Documenting them in full would get long and detailed because the process is different on different devices – and it’s already been done!

Alternatives To Google Analytics

For website owners / bloggers: Google Analytics is now notorious for its user tracking. It’s also something of a heavyweight app that may slow websites down, which is not ideal.

Plausible have created a very user friendly analytics platform that is lightweight and has MUCH better privacy. It does not send cookies of ANY kind to website visitors. Highly recommended! This in turn makes your privacy policy requirements much simpler and not only will those nagging fears over GDPR will haunt you less, but you don’t have to throw your website’s visitors under the bus for the privilege of learning which of your web pages is getting the best response and traffic, which is all you really wanted to know anyway! Just that is worth the price of admission. It turns out that Plausible delivers all the data most webmasters could ever need. Check out their Data Policy.

“The goal of Plausible is to track overall trends in your website traffic, it is not to track individual visitors. We don’t use cookies, we don’t generate any persistent identifiers and we don’t collect or store any personal or identifiable data. All of the data that we do collect is aggregated data only and it has no personal information.”

I was already sold after I read that… but after less than an hour of using it I was totally convinced and commenced the process of installing it on my 20+ websites. I wrote a question to their support and got a super fast response from one of the co-founders, who is totally cool. We ended up having a great chat. All good vibes. Plausible is not freeware, but has a 30 day free trial and it’s inexpensive. When you think deeply about the “hidden cost of free”, it makes sense.

Alternatives To Gmail

This one is easy: Protonmail. They have great security and privacy. Been using Protonmail now for many months and it’s been a smooth ride! The biggest challenge with regard to making this switch is that it is time-consuming to go into all your various online accounts and update your email address. It’s a good time to update your passwords while you are at it! I would advise to open the new Protonmail but leave your Gmail open for several weeks so that you can catch messages from “stray” contacts and services that you did not manage to update the email address. Another option is to set up a forwarder within Gmail and reroute all the messages to your Protonmail for the time being. But you will still need to update all your contacts so that you can ditch Gmail successfully.

Alternatives To Google Docs / Sheets

Found one! Well actually, Marko from Plausible pointed me in the direction of this one: CryptPad. I haven’t dived into this yet and so I can’t give a review but it looks impressive and appears to walk the walk with regards to privacy and document security.

Alternatives To Google Drive

There are numerous ‘cloud storage’ apps now and most of them operate a similar model; with ‘free’ cloud storage for a smaller data capacity (generally around 5 to 10GB) and then once you max that out, you can move on to a (typically massive) storage (often 1 or 2 TB) for a few bucks a month. Famous services of course include iCloud and Dropbox. iCloud is Apple and Dropbox has been the subject of data policy concerns and is of course owned by Microsoft so it’s ‘big tech’. Check out Sync which functions in a very similar fashion on the surface but has good reviews for privacy and security and offers 5GB free. Also PCloud which claims to be ‘Europe’s most secure cloud storage” and offers 10GB free!

Alternatives To Google Translate

DeepL is free, can be used offline as well as online. It has been billed as “more accurate than Google Translate” but that claim, according to Wikipedia at least, is subjective rather than scientifically evaluated. DeepL not only allows you to copy paste text into the box but also allows you to drag and drop .docx and .pptx files for full document translation. I tried translating something from English to French and then back to English again. The French was perfectly legible and the English came back with only about 2 words out of over 100 different, and these were totally acceptable synonyms. It did very well indeed! DeepL functions smoothly and and appears to walk the walk with regards to privacy and document security.

Alternatives To Google Maps

OpenStreetMap has no tracking, no ads and can even be used without an internet connection. It’s a collaborative project that enables contributors to add improvements and corrections.

DuckDuckGo Maps (click the maps tab) is private and can enable you to plan trips by showing you a route overview, distance and travel time, with both driving and walking options.

Alternatives To Youtube

There are numerous video sites out there for content creators and many of these are picking up traction right now. Some have monetization options but it’s early days on that level by the looks of things. Check out LBRY, Vimeo, Bitchute, Odyssey, Rumble.

Alternative Social Media Networks

Try Minds, Gab, Odyssey, Parler (when they get up and running again after the big tech takedown).

Alternatives To Google Hangouts

There are a stack of privacy-focused messenger apps out there now, including some great ones. Telegram and Signal are at the top of the pile and experiencing massive surges in demand after the recent censorship fiascoes that have had so many people up in arms.

Alternatives To Google AdSense

This is a big topic. It’s not impossible by any means, but this is a more a tricky service to ditch because AdSense does pay well relative to many other ad providers. On the other hand, hitting them in the wallet is probably the only thing that will cause them to pay attention and stop treating people like shit. Disclosure, I still use AdSense on some of my blogs at the time of writing but moving closer and closer to making the jump. I am beyond fed up of dealing with them. And they might ban me after this post anyway…

If you are a Youtuber, then your only option for in-video ads is AdSense, and this makes up a large portion of many channels’ revenue. This is a sticking point. However there are various problems with AdSense (and with Youtube censorship!) It’s notorious for account bans and demonetization of contrarian / anti-narrative videos.

AdSense also has unbelievably appalling support. It is all but non-existent. The worst support experience of my entire life was with AdSense. Nothing even comes close; not even Bank of America with their torturous binky bonky music that I am convinced is purposely designed to drive you so insane that you hang up. AdSense non-support is on another level entirely. They might as well just cut to the chase and direct you to a web page that says GO AWAY in big letters…

For bloggers / website owners, there are a huge number of options for ad revenue – either from ad networks or from affiliate promotions and of course your own products and services. Some of the better paid ad networks use “header bidding” which allows multiple advertisers to bid on your ad space – however this will often mean AdSense ads (and cookies) once again! Advertising is a huge topic but there are scores of companies that will be glad to have your business. You will only find the best ads by testing and measuring results, there is no ‘one size fits all’. Go with the one(s) that generate the best revenue-per-visitor metrics with minimal impact on user experience.

Alternatives To Google Hardware

The most private and secure phone on the planet, according to The Hated One is GrapheneOS. Ironically, this runs on Google Pixel phones – however (from the GrapheneOS website): “No Google apps or services. GrapheneOS will never include either Google Play services or another implementation of Google services like microG. Those are not part of the Android Open Source Project and are not required for baseline Android compatibility. Apps designed to run on Android rather than only Android with bundled Google apps and services already work on GrapheneOS, so a huge number of both open and closed source apps are already available for it.”.

BTW The Hated One’s YT channel is worht a look. Plenty of in-depth privacy and security focused discussions in the comments and you can learn a lot just by diving in. This rabbit hole goes deep…

Librem makes a range of phones and laptops “designed chip-by-chip, line-by-line, to respect your rights to privacy, security, and freedom.” Librem’s homepage links to PureOS: “PureOS is a fully auditable operating system: you don’t have to trust our word that it respects and protects you—it is independently verifiable by security experts and software developers around the world.”

PinePhone is another name that crops up in these discussions. From their website: “Perhaps you’re in a line of work where security is a must, or a hard-core Linux enthusiast, or perhaps you’ve just got enough of Android and iOS and you’re ready for something else – the PinePhone may be the next Phone for you. Powered by the same Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 64-Bit SOC used in our popular PINE A64 Single Board Computer, the PinePhone runs mainline Linux as well as anything else you’ll get it to run.”

Here are a few more links to dig into:

Linux Phone vs. De-Googled Android AOSP – Which is better for Privacy?

Privacy. That’s LinuxPhone. True? False?

Android without Google: the /e/ Project blew me away! e is a nonprofit project, backed by the /e/ foundation. Its goal is to provide a compeltely de-googled version of Android. This is in the strictest sense, as anything that might call to Google has been plucked out of the operating system: the google services, app store, default applications, even the time server and DNS have been changed.”

What Did I Miss?

Let me know in the comments and I will do my best to cover it!

Excellent Further Reading:

DuckDuckGo: What Does Google Know About Me?

DuckDuckGo Privacy Blog (lots of good articles) https://spreadprivacy.com and Privacy Crash Course

Will They Get Rid Of Us? How To Survive And Thrive In The Post Automation World

This article is about automation, about how it will put most of us out of work within a few years and about what we can do. I can’t help but be haunted by these ideas and think it’s time to give them deep consideration. Let’s dive in.

We have to look at the road ahead of us if we are to be in any way prepared. If you make the deliberate choice to only think about things that are comforting – well I can’t blame you in one sense, but in another sense, that yearning for comfort creates a form of vulnerability. Facing reality and making strong choices is what leads to preparedness and resilience at the end of the day.

Automation – from driverless cars to robot manufacturing – is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. The robots are here. There are many jobs that used to be done by humans that simply do not require humans any more. In many cases, the machines can do them more predictably, more accurately, faster and of course – a machine can work 24/7. A robot needs no pension plan, no lunch break, will never phone in sick and will never, ever show up for work hung over.

Looking at obvious trends has triggered the realization that as AI gets smarter and robots become more skilled, more and more workers become replaceable. For example, much of agriculture is already mechanized and there have been proof-of-concept experiments growing an entire crop – from seed to supermarket – without humans having done any of the work or even having touched the goods at all. Car manufacture also is very highly automated. From the employer’s point of view this can be seen as desirable in terms of lowering costs and increasing output, which are bottom-line necessities in order to remain competitive.

In China there are now many shops / stores with no staff – or perhaps just one security official on “door duty”. You pick up what you want, scan the QR code on your phone and then you are done. It’s not unreasonable to expect that this trend will be adopted everywhere.

But it’s not just the simple “shelf stacker” type jobs that are on the line. Scientific research into new technologies pitted lawyers and doctors against AIs and found that the AI “won” in certain tests – as seen in the video – such as being able to diagnose health issues and evaluate legal documents more accurately.

Even the human who is replacing the humans with robots is replaceable.

So with machines, automated processes and AI able to do more and more of the work, it’s just a matter of time before most of the existing tasks that keep the wheels turning do not require us any more. Will we simply be out of a job and out of luck? Or will the new wealth bring new opportunities? What will the mass of humanity do?

From this question arose the discussion of Universal Basic Income – the idea of giving everyone alive a kind of welfare check that covers the basics of life – with a “robot tax” being levied on businesses utilizing a high degree of automation, in order to pay for it. As such schemes would replace existing welfare programs, which already cost trillions worldwide, a significant chunk of the funds required for such programs have in fact already been allocated towards this sector – meaning that the financial “leap” is not as great as might be imagined.

One of the standard promises given by government leaders on the path to election is that they will “provide jobs”. In future, this promise will likely be transparently unrealistic and so they will need to make a new promise. The offer of Universal Basic Income is thus quite likely to be pitched – possibly even very soon.

Perhaps, in fact, it is already here. Whether or not you are into conspiracy theory – I can’t help thinking that 2020 has been seized upon as an opportunity to push this scenario forward in a giant way. Think about it. Many people are currently being paid to stay at home. Was this always a convenient way to warm people up to the idea of UBI?

But if machines are doing all the work – will humans have any value at all?

“When the producer names the tune, the consumer has got to dance.”

This is a universal truth. If all you are is a consumer, you are in one sense the ‘bottom of the food chain.’

As things currently stand, even if you are not a “producer” – a worker or productive individual, you still have “value to the system” – as a consumer. You spend your income – buying first the essentials of life and then moving on to the “desirable but not quite as necessary”, if you have funds left over. Your consumerism is a vital factor that drives the economy, providing opportunities and funding the creation of goods and services.

But if all you do is eat grain and don’t lay any eggs, why will the farmer keep you?

There are some very dark ideas floating around as people sense the dizzying pace of change and struggle to make sense of the new world. Our previous “stable” life path is gone. It’s been pulled out from under our feet. Naturally this leads us to wonder whether we are in fact now disposable rather than indispensable. Grand decisions are certainly being made and executed “from upon high” with very little in the way of our input being considered toward the way our future is being sculpted. Now whether that is being done for our benefit or without regard for our benefit is hotly debated and not something I am capable of answering. Candidly though, I don’t think the elites of this world care less about us and if we come to be regarded as a “useless burden”, the outlook might be bleak.

Now let’s look at some ways we can continue to be indispensable.

A simple yet excellent survival concept is the notion of being useful. Usefulness will be critical to our survival in future. In a post-apocalyptic scenario, the person with gold bars and no skills is in much greater danger than the person with advanced medical training and no money. The latter will be defended by the community because they are a useful asset; the former is likely to be viewed as more valuable dead than alive. Sorry but it is true. If you wish to survive, it is not advisable to be seen as a loaded galleon with no usefulness to others. If You Want To Survive, Stay Useful. This has always been true and always will be.

So in order to thrive in the coming times – start to think about what humans can do that robots can’t. What unique value can you provide? And, to take the famous old ice hockey metaphor, be prepared to look not just at where the puck is now, but where it will be, and start preparing yourself to skate to where it is going to be.

Although automation will certainly replace every kind of mechanical and even decision based task, the need for “the human touch” may well reach new heights. In a world where “the unreal” comes to the fore, it may be counterbalanced by intensifying desire for “the real”. Hand made goods, personalized services, artistry, personal care and tightly-knit communities are some that spring to mind. Being a good communicator is as important as ever. What else can you think of?

Robots are good at getting boring stuff done but are not very good at creativity. So it may be that creativity becomes even more valuable. We are already seeing it in fact. With Youtube for example. Many people who are ultra-creative are thriving in these times and making a full time living from Youtube – building a following which then pays them back – potentially handsomely, in ad revenue, sponsorship opportunities and affiliate income. I don’t want to be Google’s b***h any more than you do, but it will not be the only platform. If a platform becomes oppressive, then new opportunity for fairer platforms will arise. I hear that Parler is currently experiencing massive platform growth. Such will always be the way of things – new opportunities will always arise through the cracks. Look out for these.

Its hard to say if the future is “good or bad”. It will be both. It will not be like the present, and it will be different things to different people. Its happening, we cant stop it and things are going to change an awful lot. Viewed from one angle, there is actually incredible opportunity, like never before. You can reach over a billion people now. In the old days there was no way to do that. And the world needs you – you just have to find your gift. Be prepared, be open to change, be flexible, adaptable, nimble of foot and the future can be yours.


I Can't Help Showing This Off:

If you haven't heard of Claude Davis yet do yourself a huge favor and watch this video.

One of the smartest guys I ever had the pleasure of meeting, Claude set-up a unique prepping system that changed his life forever.

I already tried it myself and let me tell... you I was completely blown away... His surprising tactics could make your life easier and give you the peace of mind you deserve.

Don't just take my word for it... watch his short video and decide for yourself.






Most People Don't Have The Guts To Try This:

Lost Ways Of Survival Video

An amazing discovery in an abandoned house in Austin, Texas: A lost book of amazing survival knowledge, believed to have been long vanished to history, has been found in a dusty drawer in the house which belonged to a guy named Claude Davis.

Remember... back in those days, there was no electricity... no refrigerators... no law enforcement... and certainly no grocery store or supermarkets... Some of these exceptional skills are hundreds of years of old and they were learned the hard way by the early pioneers.

>> Click here to find out about them now

We've lost to history so much survival knowledge that we've become clueless compared to what our great grandfathers did or built on a daily basis to sustain their families.

Neighbors said that for the last couple of years Claude has tried to unearth and learn the forgotten ways of our great-grandparents and claimed to have found a secret of gargantuan proportions. A secret that he is about to reveal together with 3 old teachings that will change everything you think you know about preparedness:

>>> Click Here To Watch His Short Video <<<




More Off-Grid And Survival Resources:

  1. Survive The End Days (Preparation Tips For TEOTWAWKI)
  2. Famous Chef Sheds 60lbs Researching New Paleo Recipes: Get The Cookbook FREE Here
  3. Bullet Proof Home (Amazing Secret Tactics To Protect Your Home Against Looters, Thugs And Thieves)
  4. "Red" Smoothie Helps Alabama Girl Shed 80lbs!
  5. Survival MD (Field medical guide to survive any crisis situation)
  6. #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat
  7. US Water Revolution (Generate Your Clean Water Anywhere)
  8. Blackout USA - How To Survive An EMP / Long Term Grid Down Situation
  9. The Lost Ways Of Survival - Ancient Survival Secrets Of Our Ancestors
  10. Here's What Happens When You "Unlock Your Hip Flexors"



What REALLY Happens When You Bury a Shipping Container? (Hint: It's A Bit Crazy...)

Shipping containers are all the rage - but if you are thinking about buying one, you MUST watch this video first:

shipping container video

There's a general belief that if you bury a shipping container you can create an awesome root cellar / storm shelter / survival bunker.

But is a shipping container strong enough to handle the pressure?

Watch the video to see what happens:

What Really Happens When You Bury a Shipping Container? (Click To Watch Video)





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Power To The People: How To Survive If The Power Goes Out

Power To The People - How To Survive If The Power Goes Out
Image © Ariel Celeste Photography, licensed from Shutterstock (#532886983)

Carl Sagan once remarked that “we live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology”. Electricity it seems, that whole set of phenomena bundled with electromagnetism, is massive in that we all take it for granted — but almost no one understands just what it is, or quickly forgets after graduating from science class.

Almost all of us get our electricity from the “grid”. That is, the national infrastructure currently in place that wires energy produced elsewhere into our homes. But what if that electricity went out one day? We are so used to excessive light pollution that, during the Los Angeles blackout of 1994, terrified residents called 911 to describe a massive UFO hanging over the skyline — that “UFO” was actually the Milky Way galaxy, our galactic centre. They were seeing it for the first time.




Fortunately, we don’t all have to revisit the science textbooks to learn the fundamentals of power-generating technology. Years of technological advance have already greatly simplified — and made available — the right equipment to us.

In fact, an independent power supply is probably one of the easiest aspects of self-sufficiency. In the event the power goes out, here are some things you can do to be self-sufficient:

Harness the power of the sun

The most efficient and best thing for power self-sufficiency is to capture the infinite resource that is sunlight and convert it into energy. In recent years, solar technology has come on leaps and bounds. Solar panels now work pretty efficiently —  even when it is grey and overcast. Plus, solar panels are remarkably resilient. Take good care of one, and it should last well over a decade. And even then, it is likely that you will only have to replace the panels.

There are many different types of solar panel, but mounted-roof solar panels are especially handy. They are free-standing models, and you can re-orientate them to the sun as it moves across the sky for maximum energy absorption. Briefcase solar panels are also convenient. They look like their namesake, and open up like flowers to capture the sun’s rays. Both models can be packed away to prevent theft, which is especially important.

Adjusting to a solar-powered life

A life off of the grid does come with sacrifices. Thankfully, they aren’t great sacrifices — and there are lots of alternatives. For two people, a single 100-watt solar panel should be enough to provide a bit of energy for a life in the slow lane, one that’s wired into two 110-amp leisure panels.

That is, for a life without TV, a microwave oven, coffee-maker or toaster. But you can just as easily cook food and boil water on a wood stove. Lighting does not have to be a problem if you can swap out any LED-bulbs for their halogen cousins. And, assuming television would ever come back online, you could easily watch it on a laptop, after using solar energy to charge up the battery.

If the main energy grid ever goes down, solar panels should be your first and foremost source of power. You will soon learn to adjust to their capabilities, and probably quite easily. There are a few habits to get into: one being to keep everything battery-charged during the day, and not letting the battery voltage drop too sharply. In fact, the only drawback of solar panels is that their battery levels are quite expensive, but for the most part solar panels are a wonderful invention.

Gas systems — for high and low temperatures

Off-Grid Power
Images – cc0

After solar, gas is the next most important source of energy. Though in a post-grid world it might be hard to get a hold of any gas cylinders (which is why it is important to prepare, and stock up).

We burn gas in the winter to keep us warm, but we also use it in the summertime to keep our refrigerators running. Without mentioning any brands it is important to have a gas system of about two cylinders, with a third emergency cylinder as backup.

Two good-sized cylinders should last about three-weeks, based on average consumption. But in the winter — and especially if you live in a part of the world that’s prone to freezing — it might take about 34 litres of mostly propane gas to keep warm for one week above sub-zero. So keep that in mind.

It is hard to say how much exactly, but you may have to refill your gas cylinders about 10 times a year. Gas systems don’t cost the Earth, fortunately, but it is best to shop around for the best deals now, and stock up in case anything does happen to the power grid. 

Preparing for a low-consumption lifestyle

Aside from storing gas cylinders and mounting solar panels, there are a few other things you can do to make everything run more smoothly.
The first thing is to make sure you have an inverter on hand. What this crucial device does is convert direct-current (DC) electricity into alternating-currents (AC). Because DC is the industry standard, the likelihood is your solar cells and batteries will need an inverter to convert the energy output into AC.

It must be noted that different inverters are required for different energy demands, though. For example, a 75-watt inverter is more than enough to charge and handle little things such as camera batteries, or an electric shaver. But a 100-watt inverter will be needed for powering larger things, such as a laptop. It would also be a good idea to install 12-volt sockets to abet the lower consumption of power, whether you are living in a fixed-abode, or on the road in a motorhome.

The second most important thing is to stock up on power packs, charge them regularly and keep them charged. And finally, a bio-ethanol stove can act as a makeshift cooker (and even a heater) in case the gas system ever fails. Such a simple investment could make a huge difference in your quality of life down the road. 

Backup Generators

Backup generators are noisy and smelly, meaning they can attract unwanted attention. But they are useful on long, dark nights where the solar panels are struggling to get the necessary power. Turning them on will eat into your gas supply, though. A good generator — again without mentioning brands — will last over a decade if maintained properly, and if you don’t use too much power, you might even be able to get away with a 1000-watt or even 500-watt generator. 

Final Thoughts

Thanks to technological advancements, it has never been easier to be power self-sufficient. It can be expensive — well the gas cylinder bills can be — but it is relatively easy to switch to a calmer, slower way of life that uses much less energy, free from the whims of the national grid. 

Take care of everything, and you should have few problems, with only a few inconvenient sacrifices. 

—–

This Author:
Neil Wright is a copywriter and researcher. He has an interest in travel, science and the natural world, and has written extensively about off-grid living in the UK on his motorhome website.