December 21, 2016


Positively negative


I’m amazed at how the people in your life can become your biggest and loudest critics when you decide you are going to do something, especially something positive and life changing. You have decided to take the plunge and move off-grid, then there they are, your friends, your family, they begin telling you all the things that can go wrong, all the mistakes you are going to make, how you are going to fail, how risky change like that is, how you shouldn’t even try, bla bla bla.

What’s even worse, is these people will most likely never do anything like this with their life, they are afraid, afraid of change, afraid of risk, perhaps even afraid of succeeding. As a result, they don’t think anyone else would be able to or even should be able to make such a change in their life. They will take every opportunity to let you know that your chances of succeeding are so slim, your chances of failure are so sure, they will do everything they they can to pull you down to a point where you will give up your dreams.

I’m here to tell you, yes stepping away from your regular life is risky, everything you do is a risk, sitting still is risky too. Don’t listen to the naysayers, don’t allow the negative people to decide which road you take, you are the only one that gets to do that. Choose to walk the path that leads you to your dreams, to the things you have always wanted to do. If you are here, reading this, I have to assume your dream includes living more independently, perhaps even off-grid.

Start making your plans, set some goals, learn more skills that will help you now and in the future. If your circle of people around you aren’t supportive of your plans, then enlarge your circle to include more positive supportive people. I’m not saying to ditch your current friends, just know which ones are supportive of your dreams and which aren’t and understand that the ones who aren’t supportive, aren’t necessarily trying to pull you down, they are just afraid, or perhaps they are content in their current life. If you aren’t content and want to move toward a different life, then DO IT, surround yourself with folks who will support your dreams and even help you achieve them. Start the new year off with a new direction and a more supportive set of friends.


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James Wesley Rawles followers grow in NW USA

The Economist newspaper ran the foilowing report on the growth of survivalism in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana:

A movement of staunch conservatives and doomsday-watchers to the inland north-west is quietly gaining steam

ASKED by an out-of-stater where the nearest shooting range is, Patrick Leavitt, an affable gunsmith at Riverman Gun Works in Coeur d’Alene, says: “This is Idaho–you can shoot pretty much anywhere away from buildings.” That is one reason why the sparsely populated state is attracting a growing number of “political refugees” keen to slip free from bureaucrats in America’s liberal states, says James Wesley, Rawles (yes, with a comma), an author of bestselling survivalist novels. In a widely read manifesto posted in 2011 on his survivalblog.com, Mr Rawles, a former army intelligence officer, urged libertarian-leaning Christians and Jews to move to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and a strip of eastern Oregon and Washington states, a haven he called the “American Redoubt”.

Thousands of families have answered the call, moving to what Mr Rawles calls America’s last big frontier and most easily defendable terrain. Were hordes of thirsty, hungry, panicked Americans to stream out of cities after, say, the collapse of the national grid, few looters would reach the mostly mountainous, forested and, in winter, bitterly cold Redoubt. Big cities are too far away. But the movement is driven by more than doomsday “redoubters”, eager to homestead on land with lots of water, fish, and big game nearby. The idea is also to bring in enough strongly conservative voters to keep out the regulatory creep smothering liberty in places like California, a state many redoubters disdainfully refer to as “the C-word”.

Estimates of the numbers moving into the Redoubt are sketchy, partly because many seek a low profile. Mr Rawles himself will not reveal which state he chose, not wanting to be overrun when “everything hits the fan”. But Chris Walsh of Revolutionary Realty says growing demand has turned into such a “massive upwelling” that he now sells about 140 properties a year in the north-western part of the Redoubt, its heart. To manage, Mr Walsh, a pilot, keeps several vehicles at landing strips to which he flies clients from his base near Coeur d’Alene.

Many seek properties served not with municipal water but with a well or stream, ideally both, just in case. More than nine out of every ten Revolutionary Realty clients either buy a home off the grid or plan to sever the connection and instead use firewood, propane and solar panels, often storing the photovoltaic power in big forklift batteries bought second-hand. They also plan to educate their children at home. The remoter land preferred by lots of “off-the-gridders” is often cheap. Revolutionary Realty sells sizeable plots for as little as $30,000. After that, settlers can mostly build as they please.

Lance Etche, a Floridian, recently moved his family into the Redoubt after the writings of …

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Ways to save on smartphones and mobile internet

glamphoneThe key problem for off-grid smartphone users is their monthly data plan. Due to apps playing videos automatically, attachments being downloaded as soon as they become available, and other activities behind the scenes that drain data (and power), smartphone users typically struggle with making it from one month to the next when it comes to their data. To help, here are some ideas to help select a better data plan.

 Select a Rollover Plan Intelligently

One thing to consider when choosing a good mobile data plan is rollover data. There are a few carriers that offer this feature, which allows users to take any unused data at the end of a the month and add it to the next month’s data allowance. This is a good way to increase the amount of data that is available for the next month.

 However, for those who normally go over their monthly data limit, a way to save would be to upgrade their data amount. The cost for an upgrade varies by carrier, but carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint sometimes offer coupons for upgrades. This is important to look into because the cost of the upgrade may be lower than the cost of going over the data limit.

Another good way to find out if a data plan is suitable is by speaking to a customer representative about what is and is not included in a data plan. Some questions that would be valuable to ask a representative due to websites sometimes being unclear are valuable to have cleared up. Another benefit from speaking with a representative is that they may have a deal going on that might be beneficial to look into.

It is also important, if thinking of switching carriers, to see if the smartphone that is currently being used can be used through a different carrier. If not, a new phone will need to be purchased.

I, myself, prefer Virgin Mobile as a carrier despite its service map due to the prices of their phones and their data plans. They currently have two types of plans, $35/month for 5G of 4G LTE and unlimited data, talk, and text and a $45/month plan for 10G 4G LTE with unlimited talk, text, and data. Verizon is in second place thanks to their offer to allow users to pay for their phones monthly. Their data plan is a little expensive, like the 2G for $35/month plan that comes with unlimited talk, text, and rollover data. In third place is Sprint. For $30/month, a user can get 3G and unlimited 2G data. Their phones are also pretty pricey, but they do have the best service available, next to AT&T. However, AT&T is the worst carrier due to their plans and expensive phone prices. For $30/month, a user receives 1G, rollover data, and unlimited talk and text.

In conclusion, all smartphone users face the …

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