Our December Experiment: Going Unplugged

Over the past few weeks, Greg and I have been talking about the days when you lived off the land and your survival depended on how well you prepared. What sparked this discussion? Alaska.

Greg has been on an Alaskan kick for several weeks now. We’ve watched about every movie on Netflix about Alaska or a national park. As he reminisced about when he and the Roberts clan made the trek out west, I learned some new fun facts and got to thinking  (a dangerous past time I know…) What if we tried to be more self reliant?  Could we ever be so self-sufficient that we retire early with no debt?

The show that drove all this home was Alaska: The Last Frontier which airs on the discovery channel. Now we only use Netflix and an antenna to get our TV fix so we were only able to watch season one. But, oh, season one how you have won my city girl heart. The series follows the second and third generations of the Kilcher Family on their homestead in Homer, Alaska. They essentially live an off the grid lifestyle. Although they live within a few miles of another town, they live only off of what they grow, hunt, and fish.

Starting with episode 1, I was hooked. I was so revved up to start my own garden and start canning until the hunting part came on…..

I am the first one to admit that if the zombie apocalypse or dooms day were to happen I would be one of the first to go. While Greg would live on to be 100, hunting for food and building shelters, I would die probably three days in because I can only stack wood. Pathetic.

So Greg and I decided to try out a little experiment. Try to see how much we would not only save financially but overall general happiness/ health by going unplugged while we’re at home. And to accomplish this little experiment we’re focusing on:

1. Heat: We’re already 95% there by being able to heat the front of the house (Living room, kitchen, loft) with just the woodstove. Greg is We’re hoping to clean up up the loft area and moving in that room for the winter so we would not have to use our propane heat at all.

2. Electricity: For the past two nights we’ve been going almost completely electricity free. For lights we’ve been using candles and our oil lamps/lanterns. We set our phones aside (for the most part) and tried to occupy ourselves for the most part. I’m still trying to sort through some recipes where I can use our dutch oven on the wood stove. I cheated a little and used the microwave to heat up left over thanksgiving dinner (Sue me).

3. Food: This is more my arena instead of Greg’s but we have been trying to use more in season produce and meat (Venison). I’ve also started a new Sunday tradition: baking bread. Every sunday for the past month or so I’ve put a few hours aside to make two loaves of bread that last us till about Friday. It’s fresh bread and and taste oh so heavenly when it’ right out of the oven.

4. Food Storage: Slowly but surely I’ve been creating a food storage area in the house. I’ve decided to start small not only for budget reasons but I’m prone to buying things and not cooking it. I’ve been trying my best to rotate out our cans and so far it’s working. Although my Ramen stash keeps mysteriously diminishing by a little food mouse……who shall remain nameless.

So far it’s been a really fun experiment. One of biggest things I’ve noticed is by putting down the gadgets and turning off the TV you feel more connected and in the moment. With the distractions put away I was able to get to things on my list that have sat there for ages. At night, we were able to wind down in front of the wood stove and relax. We even brought out the board games!

. Until the next post!

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