Anyone who has gone camping overnight knows that there is a certain magic involved when sitting by a campfire or camp stove, sharing fish tales and roasting marshmallows over the flickering flames. The whole idea of being off-grid for a few days is embraced as a big adventure and something to look forward to as way to disconnect from our busy lives and the digital world.
Alas, as fun as a camping trip can be, the adventure could get tiresome if not downright frightening if you were forced to camp due to either a short-term power disruption, or the longer-term side effect of a major disaster of calamitous proportions.
Think about it. We depend on power for the most mundane things. Lights, heat, cooking, laundry, basic hygiene and, of course, let us not forget about computer and internet access, are all driven by the power grid. Unless you are lucky enough to own a generator (and even then you need fuel – lots and lots of fuel), when the grid goes down, so does life as you know it.
So what is it like to go off-grid?
1. Stay in good physical shape. Life in the rough is more difficult that life on the sofa. You will more likely than not be walking with a pack, carrying water, chopping wood and performing other strenuous activities. The best way to prepare for this is to get in shape now.
2. Plan on water for drinking – and lots of it. Make sure that you acquire some way to purify water in the field plus make sure you have some way to carry the water whether it be it bottle or a portable bladder. Heat will be your enemy in this regard, so be prepared or you will go down like a flash fromdehydration.
3. Think about the gear you will need and start acquiring it now. There will be no Santa Claus to deliver gear to you when the grid goes down, and if there are stores open (unlikely) they may not have what you need. And just as important, keep your gear together in a central location – you are less likely to forget about it if it is all located in one place.