Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Winter woes off grid

We are expecting very bad weather, including frozen precipitation, over the weekend. It’s past time to really “batten down the hatches” and get better prepared. But, you know how it is. Every month I’ve planned to include a better heat source and some insulation, but every month other expenses take the money. December is no exception and I’m pretty well broke till the first of January. Hoping to sell the older three baby pigs to have some money to get gas for the generator and propane for the stove.

I’m on my last propane tank now, which is a 30 pound one. Not sure how long that will last since I’ve resorted to using the RV stove for some heat. I do have the kitchen window raised about 2 or 3 inches, but I’m pretty sure there are probably enough air leaks in the cabin to actually not need that!

The next two days will be spend trying to at least add plastic moisture/vapor barrier to the inside of the cabin walls. And it looks like we’ll be stapling nothing more than cardboard over that. It’s really getting cold inside and there’s a lot of condensation forming on the inside of the metal walls.

Also, my oldest son has given me a gas heater. One of those infrared kind. Anyway, turns out it’s for natural gas only and I have propane, so I’ve contacted a person who is very knowledgeable about such things to see what he thinks about converting it. We might not be able to do so, and if no, then I’ll just give the heater back to my son. Maybe he can sell it to someone.

I do have a large kerosene heater, but I’m now out of kerosene. Around here, the cheapest I can find is $4.80 a gallon from the bulk plant about 25 miles away. Next is $7 a gallon at a much closer place, so we need to figure if the gas used in driving actually makes the bulk plant price economical, or if just buying it by the jug at $7 per will actually be cheaper on us.

Last night our solar power also ran down really fast. Probably due to being so heavily overcast all day. It’s somewhat brighter today so I hope it builds up some power. Same for the well pump solar. It stopped pumping not long after sundown but in all honesty, I had used the water a lot yesterday which I’m sure ran it’s battery down pretty low. We will probably charge the battery off the truck battery with jumper cables to bring it up high enough to absorb some power as the day goes by and be useful later.

Yeah, I like being off grid but there are also downfalls to it. You learn new skills all the time for how to repair things, how to make do, how to protect livestock, inexpensive feed solutions, and more!

So, here’s the video I made in the dark last night while cooking supper!

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