Family History of Urban Homesteaders – There’s No Place Like Home

vegetable garden

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Family History of Urban Homesteaders – Here at Rural Living Today, our main focus is encouraging people in their transition from urban or suburban life to the rural lifestyle.

That transition begins when a person makes a decision to live that lifestyle, and they may be living in a downtown skyscraper, an inner city neighborhood, or a suburban community at the time.

We always encourage people to start wherever they are to learn what they’d like to know and practice what they’d like to be doing in the future.

Suburban and urban homesteading are a part of that!

No matter where you want to end up, you can practice homesteading to some degree, either in your backyard, on a balcony, or just in your kitchen.

Family History of Urban Homesteaders

Is urban homesteading a new concept that anyone alive today could claim as their own?

Not if you look at our family.

My maternal grandparents were urban homesteaders.

And I am a grandparent myself, so I’m talking about the middle of the last century.

Grandpa and Grannie lived in a neighborhood on the outer edges of a large city.

Homes were close enough to talk to a neighbor in the next yard.

Most of the yards on the street were just that.

Yards with lawns and ornamental landscaping.

But not Grandpa and Grannie’s.

Their backyard was no larger than the others in the neighborhood.

It had a small patio and a patch of lawn for grandkids to play on.

A brick planter edged the patio…and a big ceramic frog lived there.

But most of the backyard space was taken up by tomatoes, rhubarb, and a myriad of other veggies and fruits carefully fitted into terraced beds.

Urban Homesteaders

I probably got some of my first lessons in composting from my grandparents.

Living through the great depression had taught them the value of using resources to the fullest and making everything count.

Many a family meal was prepared with ingredients we kids went out and harvested from the garden for Grannie.

I can still smell ripe peaches from the trees Grandpa nurtured, and the peach pies Grannie made.

Similarly, my parents were urban homesteaders.

We’ve been urban homesteaders.

And would you believe it, some of our kids are now…urban homesteaders.

Our family heritage includes rural, suburban, and urban homesteaders.

Is it any surprise that we enjoy growing food, raising animals, preserving our harvest, and being more self-sufficient and less reliant on commercial products?

Why Do I Want to Live in the Country?
Why Do I Want to Live in the Country? Corporate Life Ball and Chain

Why Do I Want to Live in the Country?

For most of my life I lived in the city.

I worked in the city.

I was fortunate to have employment that I enjoyed, but to tell you the truth, the pace of life was catching up to me.

I can play the corporate game well, and go through the motions seamlessly.

But it was becoming difficult to keep up with the intensity and passion that is needed to keep succeeding.

The pace of life, it seemed to me, was getting faster and faster.

I was thinking that I should just move to a desert island, or maybe be more practical…and move to the country.

Now Living in the country, that would be a change!

Sometimes people need help navigating that change, and at BetterHelp.com, that is exactly what they do.

These thoughts continued for some time and I finally had to admit that some change was in order.

You only have one life to live…and my big question was this:

IS THIS ALL THERE IS?

Keep doing this till…till when?

So I took some time to think about issues that I found myself concerned with.

Here are a few of them…

Unsustainable Pace of Life

I was tired of the unsustainable pace of life.

It didn’t start that way, but in the last 20 years the pace of my life has accelerated and accelerated to where I was really winded.

It takes honesty to admit this, as my macho “I can get it done” style has always ruled my life.

But that pace really has no reward, and it was time to get off of the treadmill.

I didn’t have time for…literally anything.

Even my family.

Some people discover this much later in life, and it always brings the “should have…could have” questions.

But for me, there was no need to wait.

The pace was killing me.

I no longer wanted to be a 24/7 slave to my Blackberry.

I like to create and build.

But I lived on a postage stamp lot in a cookie cutter neighborhood where everything was the same.

I detested the yard work, though I love projects.

Everything was too cramped for me.

I needed space, and there was no way to get any more of it in our neighborhood.

The World Around Us

Without going into detail, I am finding myself  more and more concerned about our economy and what is happening with our government.

Being a planning kind of guy, I can’t just sit back anymore with my head in the sand and say everything is OK.

This isn’t politics…stuff is happening  that I absolutely can’t believe…but it is true.

I have started looking at what I should do with my family, and living in the country is a great option.

I am not one to operate in fear, but with my family’s welfare at stake, I will do what I need to do.

One source of help and encouragement I’ve found along the way is a guy named Rudy who writes some real practical stuff on “preparing your family.”

You can check it out here – Preparing Your Family.

Have  a wonderful day…

Homesteading for Beginners Making a Living Homesteading
Homesteaders Life Insurance and Benefits of Living Off the Grid
Moving to the Country – Is this really the right property?
Moving to the Country – The start of the journey
Living in the country ~ Best rural places to live

Remote Doesn't Have to Mean Isolated
Remote Doesn’t Have to Mean Isolated

Remote Doesn’t Have to Mean Isolated

This picture of our red chicken coop and garden shed in the snow is one of my favorites.

I love the contrast of the deep red with the white surroundings.

The falling snowflakes give a peaceful ambiance.

Looking at the photo,  I can almost “hear” the  quiet and feel a nip in the air.

My friend Char likes this picture so much she would like to paint it.

But she also describes the scene as  “a symbol of the enduring, sometimes lonely, always beautiful allure of ‘the life’ and ‘the land.’ ”

Char has a point.

The rural life, while rife with beautiful scenic views and picturesque landscapes, can indeed be lonely.

If one likes solitude, it can be found on a remote piece of land far from neighbors and traffic.

If one likes lots of company, that requires lots of visiting.

Personally I could not live alone on our property very long.

Though I’m very much a homebody, I am not a good loner.

Jim is a great companion though, and the two of us do just fine.

In fact we can go for days without seeing anyone else and have to make a point of not becoming hermits.

We do have a good internet connection and phones.

We communicate daily with family and friends via phone, email, and texting.

But there’s nothing like “people with skin on,” as a child once described it.

So we make a point of seeing people–both by having people come by and by leaving our place to go out where the people are.

If you’re starting out in a new area, there are several ways you can go about meeting people, making new friends, and getting integrated into the community.

Meet your neighbors

We’ve met most of the families on our road and found every one of them to be friendly and warm.

We’ve shared ideas, swapped tips, and helped each other out.

One neighbor, also new, invited everyone over to get acquainted one evening.

Get to know local merchants

Our tiny town has just a few businesses.

Farther up the highway are others, and even more in the nearest sizable town.

Wherever we go people welcome us to the community and are glad to give us suggestions or pointers about the area.

Find sources for local information.

Visit the local library for community history materials and photos.

Pick up visitor guides, pamphlets, maps, and event schedules at the chamber of commerce.

Seek out special interest groups to meet like-minded individuals.

Look for garden clubs, service organizations, churches, and other groups and places where people gather with a common purpose.

Volunteer in the community

At a nursing home, food bank, animal shelter, meet people and provide a valuable service at the same time.

Get acquainted with your local county extension agents and agricultural organizations

They have a wealth of information on gardening, livestock, forestry, food preservation, and a multitude of other topics.

Get on their email lists to be notified of classes, workshops and other educational events.

Some of the people you meet will become your friends, and soon you’ll have a new social network and support system of people to enjoy life with.

Do You Know Your Neighbors?

I love living in the country.

Being a relational kind of person, I have always been interested in people.

I have noticed that while I am still new to our rural area, I seem to know many more people that I am involved with on a day to day basis now than when I lived in my suburban neighborhood previously.

In my old suburban neighborhood, when I saw a neighbor outside I would introduce myself and we would have a short chat and then go back to each of our worlds.

We wouldn’t see or talk to each other for literally months.

It seemed that everyone was so busy with life that to take any amount of real time to get to know a neighbor was out of the question.

At our last house, we did know one neighbor couple fairly well, and Marie and I both wish we had gotten to know them better.

But I think we all are part of a system that has us so busy that we don’t and won’t have any real opportunity to be true neighbors…having real relationship.

How to Get From City to Farm or Ranch

I remember the day I brought our U Haul truck to our new homestead, excited but anxious about unloading.

You who have moved before know what I mean!

I called a friend I haven’t known too long and he immediately volunteered to get over here and help unload…even before I could say no.

Fifteen minutes later, he was here with his teenage son.

We progressed nicely until we got to my baby grand piano.

We needed help!

My friend picked up his phone, called a friend of his, and voila!

There was another guy with his two teenage sons.

Soon a third man arrived to help.

It is safe to say that everything was unloaded within the next sixty minutes.

Then we all sat down and got to know each other.

I had made a few new friends.

One of them was apologetic that he hadn’t brought any kind of housewarming gift!

We ended up talking for a couple hours about all sorts of things.

He shared information, advice, and even some historical details about the area.

Our conversation went into some real depth on some issues. I was amazed how fast this relationship took hold.

Do You Know Your Neighbors? Friends Around the Campfire
Do You Know Your Neighbors?

In the following days, one after another of my new neighbors came up and welcomed us to the area.

One day I stopped to talk with a neighbor at his place, as I was intrigued by his Texas longhorn cattle.

Same thing…he stopped what he was doing and took time to get to know me.

A couple of days later I found myself at our local tractor store buying some maintenance filters for my tractor.

After I made my purchase, the two guys in the store just wanted to welcome me to the area and we ended up talking for an hour.

They had time for me as a person and not just a customer.

I have since been in there many times, and they remember my name and who I am.

This also happened at the local contractors’ desk where I purchased material for our new home.

And again at the bank.

This is amazing.

It seems to me that people certainly need to do business together, but that they do it differently in a small town and rural environment.

It seems to be that people living in rural areas have more time margin to spend with others.

And they genuinely like to do it.

So in my former neighborhood, where houses were literally 20 feet apart, I rarely saw my neighbors.

Here I am living on our rural 100 acre homestead, and even though I can’t see my neighbors’ homes, I already know most of them.

I count them as friends.

Farm Kids: Ballerina Girl and Little Rambo
Farm Kids: Ballerina Girl and Little Rambo

Farm Kids: Ballerina Girl and Little Rambo

Looking at the nicknames of these young farm girls, you might think one is too busy dancing to keep up with her busy little sister.

But these two girls race around our farm together, keeping up with the dogs and cats, chickens and pigs, and even the plants in the garden patch.

Meet 7-year-old Ballerina Girl and 5-year-old Little Rambo.

First off, I have to say that Little Rambo, who was a tomboy toddler, has become quite the fan of pretty clothes and the color pink.

She and Ballerina Girl share a flair for fashion, even here on the farm.

These lovely young ladies are the older two of Bethany’s three daughters.

They had gardens and chickens in the backyard before moving to our family homestead last spring, but now they feel like “official” farm kids.

Here they share some of the highs and lows of farm life.

What would you say if someone asked what it’s like to live on a farm?

BG: I’d say thank you for living on a farm like this. It’s fun.

LR: Holding my chick.

What is your favorite thing about living on a farm?

BG: Going to the chickens. That’s where I used to work but I’ve been naughty but now I can go with a grownup and they watch me.

LR: The toast that my mom makes. (Mom was making distracting toast at the time of this interview.)

Is there anything you don’t like about living on the farm?

BG: No, everything is fine.

Except the wasps that are outside and I got stung right here (shoulder) and it was like a yellow jacket.

LR: The wasps. Can you guess that it has been a bad summer for wasps around here?

Where does food come from?

BG: Vegetables come from our garden. Chicken food is seeds and we grind it.

Eggs come from chickens.

Meat comes from chickens and pigs.

We’re gonna eat the pigs.

And the cows.

And we’re gonna have our milking cows.

LR: Make food and get it at the store and from plants.

Eggs come from the chickens.

Would you like to say anything else about living on a farm or being a farm kid?

BG: Everything is good.

I love the farm.

LR: Baby chicks are so cute.

I like to hold them and feed them and give them a drink.

So now you know a little about the life of these two charming farm girls! Ballerina Girl and Little Rambo have a few (well, more than a few) cousins who enjoy visiting the farm on weekends.

Next time on Farm Kids we’ll hear from some of the boys; maybe they’ll tell us about the fences they helped build or the deep holes they dig in their pursuit to reach the center of the earth.

Via: Arnold Parts

Alternative Landscaping Fit Homeowner’s Eccentric Needs

People like to exhibit individuality in many ways, for some it’s personal fashion and for others it’s their homes.

In fact, homeowners have an affinity for individualizing their surroundings.

It usually starts within the home, but the most important aspect of a home is where you relax.

For many homeowners, they relax on the porch or in the backyard.

This is where alternative landscaping comes in to play.

Whether the goal is to enjoy an exceptional view from their porch or within their own backyard, it’s important to know certain stylistic preferences that will best suit their alternative landscaping needs.

Steps to Alternative Landscaping

As with any plan, there are several steps to employ in order to ensure the best possible result.

Landscapers should engage a homeowner, especially ones with unconventional needs, in a discussion of the following steps:

Colors: ask about the homeowner’s ideal plant types, colors, and seasonal expectations

Scale: discuss the size of plants and specific quantities to be used in different areas

Focal Point: question if there is a favored structure or setting as a focus for landscaping

Texture: assess characteristics of the homeowner’s preferred foliage for an optimal setting

Grouping: review possible plant groupings and colors for cluster-like settings

Sequence: consider recurring elements in the mix, but be mindful of over-repetition

Alternative Landscaping Focal Point Suggestions

On occasion, a homeowner has a notion about ideal plant types, colors, and textures but is at a loss when it comes to a focal point.

It’s quite possible there is a natural focal point that you can highlight.

If there isn’t a natural potential setting, you can suggest building a Japanese Garden or an outdoor dining area.

Then again, if the homeowner has children, a backyard playground or playhouse might be the perfect focal point for an alternative landscaping project.

In any case, a homeowner who is aware of landscaping options and makes informed decisions is more likely to be pleased with the finished product.

Guaranteed Ways to Slash the Costs of Homeowners Insurance

Once you have a good indication of the homeowner’s requirements, it’s easier to create a suitable landscaped environment.

Remember, it’s a lot of information for a homeowner to take in during one meeting.

You should consider leaving a checklist for the homeowner to review over time prior to starting a landscaping project.

Alternative landscaping is an art, and like any other art, you need the correct tools to begin work.

Once you have these tools you can integrate the various elements to optimize the most harmonious setting.

Many homeowners have an idea of what they would like but need a landscaper to visualize the idea.

The best way for a landscaper to assess what a homeowner wants is to discuss and guide the homeowner in how to accomplish this goal.

Moving to the Country Start of the Journey

cars stuck in all lanes of traffic

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Moving to the Country Start of the Journey – It was a dark and stormy night…. Really, it was!

That night started my journey to move back to the country.

As I was coming home from work in early evening, snow was swirling everywhere.

I could barely see.

I had actually left work early, as I had heard that the snow was coming.

Of course, I wanted to get home before the worst of the commute hit.

Silly me.

I had seen so many times before the effects of heavy snow during a commute on a freeway, and quite frankly I was too tired to deal with it again.

On a normal day, I would be home in 40 minutes, resting from a hard day at the office.

Every day.

Twice a day I entered into the chaos and maze we call “the commute.”

I didn’t know that this particular night would be so different.

Moving to the Country Start of the Journey

Once I was on the freeway it became clear that this would be no normal commute.

Buses were stuck in all lanes of traffic.

Semi-trucks were jackknifed in every way imaginable.

A very fancy and expensive Mercedes was spinning alongside a concrete barrier, bouncing against the hard surface as it tried to regain traction and move forward.

The car lost the battle.

I would stop and then move forward a bit.

Once in a while I’d creep along an inch at a time.

After a couple of hours, I’d traveled only two miles.

I wondered if I would ever really get home that night.

Or even get home safely at all.

About this time traffic funneled into one lane, zig-zagging around stalled and stuck cars, trucks and buses.

The chaos was brutal and it reminded me of several scenes in the Terminator movies.

Many people abandoned their stalled cars or just pulled over to the side and went in search of warmth, food, and a place to sleep.

But some of us wove our cars in and out.

And finally, after many more hours, I arrived home.

I was safe.

I didn’t know that awaiting me was an email that would change my life and take it in a new direction.

Direction I had dreamed about, but had never made any steps to realize.

It started with an email

After a nice dinner with my wife, I fired up the computer and there it was.

Not just one but quite a few emails, as I hadn’t checked them for a couple of days.

Most of them were from our grown kids—group emails bouncing back and forth.

Now you need to know that our kids are all very different, but they also are very close.

Together they have 11 children–now I am dating myself–that I am very proud of.

I think the message thread started with an email from our son, and the others responded back and forth.

The gist of the discussion was this:

Do you guys remember growing up on the five acres?

Do you remember the rope swing?

Do you remember the horse ‘Nick’ that just showed up?

Do you remember our two cows that seemed to get out all the time?

Do you remember playing with the other kids on the property?

Note to readers: They were referring to the home I’d built years before on five acres abutted to two other five-acre parcels developed by family and mutual family friends.

The Property Search emails continued…

“Why are our kids growing up in the city??” and then, “Why don’t we get some property and move to the country and live on our own farm or ranch?”

As I kept reading the emails, it was clear that my kids were all in agreement that this was something they wanted to do.

As one of the highest compliments they could jointly give their mom and dad, they continued, “and let’s ask Mom and Dad to come too!”

That’s how Marie and I got included in the conversation.

Let the property search begin

And so the journey started.

First thing was to search and find that perfect piece of heaven.

And that is what these kids did.

Every day, the emails flew back and forth, each showing real estate listings for farms, ranches, and lots of raw land.

We looked at listings from Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and California.

This continued for virtually months, with ongoing discussions of the pros and cons of different property listings.

During this time, it became clearer what we were looking for (what we learned will be in a different post here) and that most pieces of property listed had some kind of fatal flaw eliminating them for our needs.

At least in our eyes.

As this continued, I became numb looking at these listings.

They all started to blend together.

Our daughter seemed to be sending listings for us to all look at on a daily basis.

“You need to look at this!”

“Look at this one!”

It took a lot of time and effort on everyone’s part to really look hard at all these listings.

Then one winter day, we all received an email, “I know I said this before, but THIS ONE YOU REALLY NEED TO LOOK AT!”

Moving to the Country – Is this the Right Property?

I had looked for property many times before, both for family homes and for business projects such as resorts and office campuses.

I had purchased raw land and purchased existing homes.

There is a huge difference between looking at rural property and looking at houses for sale on smaller lots.

When looking at land, the key before starting is to quantify exactly what you want to do on the property.

Or, in one word, PLAN.

One of the abilities I seem to have is “visualizing” how things could be.

That has helped me in various areas throughout my life and my career.

When I built our first house on five acres, the land was essentially a forest.

We knew what we wanted to build, and I determined the perfect site… with the forest still intact.

Couldn’t “see” it so she just had to trust me that it would look right and be a good fit.

Fast forward to the email I received.

Here was the “perfect” piece of land.

It did look nice, with pretty pictures, but it was fairly expensive and it was over 100 acres!

I was thinking in the back of my head of a nice quiet five acre piece somewhere where my wife and I could retire.

Even with our large extended family, what would we do with 100 acres?

Just to walk around it was over two miles!

I realized that I hadn’t done step one when we all decided to look for property.

We hadn’t done any clear PLANNING.

Property Search Planning for the big picture purpose:

Find a farm or ranch where our family could live, work and raise young kids in a rural environment.

And to do it together.

The listing sent was intriguing enough to go take a look, so off we went to see it.

One of our other daughters and her husband were able to go with us.

We met the listing agent and visited the property along with other parcels in the area.

Right Property
Right Property

It was late winter, with a bit of snow on the ground, but the weather was beautiful.

This land had a lot going for it.

It had pasture, thick forest, thinned forest, and a large pond.

It was at the end of the road, and yet was only 20 minutes from the nearest town.

At one point on the property, you can see for miles.

I saw a couple of deer by the pond with an eagle gliding overhead.

I took out my cell phone, and my goodness–I saw four bars!

Still connected to the world!

As we tromped around this property, it became very clear that as a family (with five family units) we could do almost anything we wanted with it.

After our visit the family had many discussions about it, sharing photos and impressions with those that weren’t there.

Should we get this?

Or keep looking?

As our discussions continued, it was clear we all had ideas and plans.

And they were all varied, but it was clear this land would meet our initial goals and fit our reasons for this purchase.

The planning continued.

In my mind, the piece of land just seemed so big, but as I saw the seriousness, passion and excitement in the faces of my kids and felt the stirring in my own heart, I concurred that this was the place.

To assist myself with this pending life transition, I turned to BetterHelp (click here), which helped.

So it was decided that we would put an offer on this piece, giving ourselves some time to further research the issues or potential issues that could arise.

In the development business, this is called doing your “due diligence.”

I have done this many times for projects I have developed so I knew what to look at.

So now to the next step in realizing our family dream of moving to the country!

But, my goodness, 100 acres???

Is this the right property?

So our journey from the city to the country continued.

Was this really happening?

We had been talking about it for a while, but now we had found the perfect property for us.

At least we thought it was perfect.

After we walked the land with another son and discussed it at length with each of the kids, we put an offer down on it.

Actually, quite a bit had to happen to make it all come together, but the journey starts with these first steps…so we started.

Our offer was one that was contingent on many items.

It was very important to us to make sure that we could do everything we envisioned doing on our future piece of land.
Caution Tape

Rural Property Due Diligence

To start this process, I had to truly divorce myself from my emotional feelings and excitement about the property.

This was really hard to do, as I was pretty jazzed and I really wanted this to work.

If I kept this mindset of excitement, it could cause me to overlook some potentially very serious issues that could stop all our plans for the property.

So it was crucial to do my serious “Due Diligence” to ensure that this indeed was the right property for us.

The investment was considerable, so I approached this like I approached my other business projects.

First off I compiled a due diligence checklist of important issues that needed to have questions answered.

My “Due Diligence List” is part of a package available as a FREE download as a bonus for subscribing to our mailing list.

If you are interested, you can subscribe to the mailing list by clicking here.

Not all of the questions on the list will get answered–sometimes no answer is available.

In that case, you have to determine specific potential outcomes and the risk that each of them brings to the project.

Rural Property Due Diligence example:

In our case, there were no water wells on the property.

Obviously water would be needed to develop the property into our farm and ranch.

But can we get water?

As I looked into this, I contacted some neighbors and found out that the land in the area had a history of very poor wells.

State records showed the same.

Local well drillers had a rosier picture, but no guarantees.

So there was a very significant risk that water could become an issue.

I didn’t want to invest $6000 to drill one before we closed on the purchase deal.

So…put that one down on the “unanswered questions” list.

Buying Rural Property issues to look into:

Water access, water easements, easement, power, legal access, telephone, road construction, county building requirements, master planning…and the list continues.

In our case, I was able to quantify the cost and issues for each of these items, and they resulted in no more real questions.

It looked positive…except for water.

Maybe we should just buy an established farm?

Maybe.

We had looked at several.

But this piece of land seemed so perfect.

I formalized my findings, and we had another family meeting discussing the added costs to develop this land.

Should we still buy it and assume the water risk?

After much discussion and prayer, we decided to buy it and take the risk.

But we did it with our eyes open.
Is this really the right property? Flying Kites on the Farm

How to know if this is the right rural property to buy?

So with much celebration, after our due diligence, we bought the property and our family farm/ranch became a reality!

Challenges lay ahead, but we were all pretty darn excited about this.

The whole family gathered on the property for a big “homestead party” and land blessing.

Marie helped each of the grandkids make a little “land stake” flag, which they decorated and put in the ground.

Interestingly, this land project has brought our family even closer together.

We seem to be tied together and to this land in a way that we can only describe as “being tied together the right way.”

snow over hill and dale
snow over hill and dale

Who knows what the future holds?

We know it is in God’s hands, that he loves us and has a great plan for us.

In the meantime it is time to build a playground for the grandkids.

And PS: We have water!

Related Posts:

Working Remotely Doesn’t Have to Mean Working from Home

Working Remotely at Community Work Spaces

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Working from home is a great option for those of us who don’t work well amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy office.

Even with all the great benefits, there often comes a time when you need to pick up your laptop and get out of the house.

But without an office to go to, you might be wondering where to go and we are here to help you solve that dilemma.

What to Expect When You Work From Home

Working from Home at Your Favorite Coffee Shop

A coffee shop makes a great alternative work space because it’s somewhere you can be around other people but not be bothered by them.

Being around other people can also help stimulate creativity and ideas in some people.

Most coffee houses have Internet access readily available, but they don’t come with coworkers asking questions or bosses hovering over your shoulder.

Starbucks offers high-speed Google Internet in all of its shops.

Even if you’re not a fan of that particular coffee conglomerate, most cities have local shops with Internet access too.

Working from Home at Coffee Shop
Working from Home at Coffee Shop

Community Work Spaces

Some cities have community work spaces, and they are becoming more common across the country.

These work spaces are available for rent by the day, week, or month, and they allow you to recreate an office environment, but with people who aren’t your coworkers.

You get the office setting without actually being in one.

Working Remotely at Community Work Spaces
Working Remotely at Community Work Spaces

Theses shared work spaces are wonderful resources for entrepreneurs who crave a buzzy environment and noise while they work, but who don’t want to interact with others unless they choose to.

And if you’re looking for an outside perspective or a group to bounce ideas off of, many have setups where you can do this as well.

Working from Home at The Local Library

Libraries are great places to work remotely because they have everything you need.

In fact, 90 percent of public libraries provide free Internet access to local residents and sometimes guests.

Libraries also have tables, chairs, and rooms to work alone in.

Most importantly, libraries are generally viewed as quiet areas.

You can go to the library, find a desk, and hunker down for hours of work without dozens of people chatting around you.

If you choose to go this route, be aware that around 41 percent of libraries don’t have Internet speeds fast enough to meet their patrons’ needs.

However, this can be a good thing.

This will help you avoid losing time to YouTube videos and social media when you should be working.

Working From Home at Local Library
Working From Home at Local Library

Work Outside

It can be hard to be stuck inside on a beautiful day, especially if you’re in a position to work from wherever you want.

Don’t let work stop you from enjoying a good breeze.

If your phone doubles as a hotspot, or if you own a Mi-Fi device, hook them up to your laptop and choose a nice spot in the park to settle down.

Research shows that people are less happy with their jobs when it’s sunny out.

To combat this, get out and enjoy that sun, along with all the happenings going on around you.

Find a park bench and soak up some Vitamin D while you type away on your keyboard.

Just remember to stop and listen to the birds.

It turns out nature actually inspires us to be more creative.

One-size-fits-all solution to work remotely

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for where to work remotely.

In fact, the best idea might be mixing it up.

Choose to spend a couple of days working out of the library and another at the coffee shop.

Or you can mix them up in the same day.

Rent out a shared work space for a Monday morning and then head to the park in the afternoon.

A change of scenery throughout the day might help inspire creativity.

Due to the nature of having the home and work space in the same area, remote workers often struggle to maintain a proper work-life balance due to lack of boundaries.

Working out of the home can help you achieve this by separating the two on a more consistent basis.

Take time to try different areas and choose the one, or ones, that work best for you.

If you prefer a more secluded, quiet setting the library might be a great place for you.

If you’re the type who likes to simulate an office environment, you might do best in a community work space.

Spend some time exploring your town and seek out new and effective rural living places you might feel comfortable working and give them a shot.

The In-Office and Work from Home Balance

For many people, working from home is a dream come true.

It means more flexibility in your schedule, fewer distractions while you power through projects, and less overall stress in life thanks to the peace and quiet of solitude.

However, there are benefits to working in an office and being surrounded by coworkers, including the process of collaborative brainstorming, the rivalries that fuel you to perform, and the simple pleasure of socialization.

If you’ve been in either of these environments exclusively, and are now transitioning to having a hybrid work environment, there is a lot to consider to making sure you balance these two worlds.

Work from Home Balance Face-to-Face Interaction

There really is no substitute for face-to-face conversations and, when you work in an office filled with peers, this happens all the time.

Whether you’re in the conference room for a big meeting or you bump into a coworker by the coffee machine, you’re always talking to people at work.

But when you’re at home, you have to proactively reach out to achieve meaningful contact with coworkers or clients.

Thanks to video conferencing and screen sharing software, it’s easier to get the same experience when you’re home.

To make this as effective as possible, make sure your home Internet speed can stream that much data.

Make sure to regularly conduct Internet speed tests before planning a teleconference session, as it’s frustrating, embarrassing, and ineffective to have to deal with technical difficulties while trying to be professional.

Work from Home Balance
Work from Home Balance

Important Resources for Work from Home Balance

Your chair (or couch) at home may be more comfortable than the one you have at the office, but what about the rest of the equipment you use?

If you’re going to be working from both locations throughout the week, check with your manager to see if you can have a company laptop to use.

This way, all of your information is stored in one place and you don’t have to use your personal items for professional purposes.

Also, if you can, plan to print things when you’re in the office so you can use the high-quality printer in your copy room.

This way you don’t use the ink you buy on your own dime for company purposes and you’ll likely get a higher quality product on the office printer anyway.

Schedule Control

In most offices, even a diehard workaholic can’t spend time at the office after business hours, and that’s probably a good thing.

It’s important to maintain a good balance between your work and personal life.

If you’re working from home, make sure you set a schedule for yourself so you don’t have a 15-hour workday or a 5-hour workday either.

You also don’t want to be working at all hours, nor do you want to spend the majority of your day watching TV or doing laundry.

It can be a larger challenge to get motivated when you’re working from home, so make sure you set a time you have to start on work materials.

Stay consistent with your hours and when it’s time to be done with work, be done.

Regardless of your work habits, as long as you have the motivation to get the job done, you’ll be better able to find a strong work-life balance.

Work from Home Balance Interruptions and Interactions

While meetings are great for getting ideas off the ground, many studies support the often-groaned sentiment that they’re not very productive.

And while chatting in the halls or over cubicle walls can be fun, it’s also not the way to get work done.

When you are working from home, especially when you are working on a complex project that will require a protracted period of time and effort, peace and quiet are simply better than the hum of an office.

If you are someone who thrives with more action around you, consider a coffee shop; no one will directly interrupt you as a coworker might.

There are a lot of benefits that come with working both from home and in an office throughout the week, so if you’re taking on a hybrid role, you’ll enjoy the benefits of both.

Make sure you keep your world balanced, so you get to enjoy all the benefits to the fullest.

What to Expect When You Work From Home

Opportunities to work from home are rapidly expanding, and that’s good news for people who want to enjoy the perks of rural living without sacrificing their careers.

A report by Global Workplace Analysis indicates telecommuting in the U.S. rose almost 80 percent from 2005 to 2012, and in a recent survey, 34 percent of business leaders said more than half their organization’s full-time workers will be working remotely by 2020.

Remote work opens doors for those who live in rural areas where good paying jobs, or jobs that fit their skills and experience are hard to come by.

For people who want to move from an urban or suburban environment to one of America’s best rural communities, working from home can make the transition possible.

With all the perks telecommuting offers, it takes a bit of getting used to.

Whether you’ve recently started telecommuting or you’re just thinking about it, here’s what to expect when working from home, and tips to help you succeed.

When You Work From Home
When You Work From Home

Work for a company that’s telecommuter friendly

Aligning yourself with a company that encourages and supports telecommuting is the first step toward establishing a rewarding virtual career.

Many companies that promote the fact that they offer flexible schedules may also very well allow telecommuting.

And even if they don’t, it doesn’t mean they won’t be willing to consider it.

Don’t be afraid to ask!

Tip: A few of the best work from home companies include Xerox, Humana, and About.com.

Separate work and living space

Working from the comfort of home is a major benefit of telecommuting, but because your work and personal space are no longer separate, it is also one of one of telecommuting’s greatest challenges.

Ask any veteran virtual worker and they will tell you that dedicated office space is essential to success as a telecommuter.

Tip: If you can’t find a quiet place to work at home, then consider relocating to a shared or collaborative workplace.

If your community doesn’t have a shared workplace, why not establish one?

Benefits of a Clean and Hygienic Workspace

Set your alarm earlier than you used to

When you work from home you could be tempted to sleep in and stay up late.

But studies have shown morning people are more proactive and productive than evening people.

So set your travel alarm an hour earlier than you used to and get a jump start on your day.

Hack – If you’re a night owl, try going to bed and getting up 15 minutes earlier than you typically would until you’re comfortably waking up an hour early.

Set boundaries, and abide by them

When you work virtually, it’s important to set parameters that help you establish and maintain a schedule.

Everyone’s lifestyle is different, but boundaries could include telling friends you can’t accept calls during the workday, or letting your employer know that Sunday is dedicated family time.

Time Tracking App Hack

Use a time tracking app to monitor how you spend your time and help you develop a healthy work-life balance.

Stay connected to colleagues

When you move from a traditional office to a virtual one, it’s not uncommon to experience feelings of isolation.

In fact, for many virtual workers, overcoming loneliness is one of the most challenging aspects of working from home.

To stay in the loop with your office bound coworkers, consider regularly scheduled video chats, instant message from time to time, and if possible, poke your head in the office and attend company events.

Communication Hacks

If your supervisor hasn’t talked with you about how you two will remain connected once you start working from home, discuss possible communication challenges (and solutions) before you start telecommuting.

Switching from a traditional office to a home office can be a bit overwhelming.

Use these hacks to make the transition smoother, and you’ll soon settle into a routine that works best for you and your lifestyle.

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Comparing Generac Generators with other Generator Brands

Kohler Backup Generators

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Comparing Generac Generators – Are you shopping for a home backup generator?

Learn about the top generator brands, including Generac, Champion, Onan, Yamaha, and Honda.

Industry leaders consider Generac generators to be the best in the market.

This article will help you understand why.

When it comes to generators, users consider Generac to be the most trusted and most popular brand.

The company has been around since 1959, and has built a reputation for producing robust and quality emergency power generation units for industrial and residential use.

Generac Generators is believed to be the largest maker of home generators with a market share of around 75%.

At a Glance: Our Recommended Best Generators

Click here to Get your Home Generator within 24 hours

Generac generators have output ranging from 800 watts to 9 megawatts.

They also have generators for industrial use, providing energy solutions to hospitals, data centers, schools, gas stations, groceries, hotels, and restaurants.

Its other products include pressure washers and water pumps.

Check out our Honda Inverter Generator vs Generac Inverter Generator, and which one we recommend.

Top Best Portable Generators You Can Buy and our Generator Reviews: Generac vs Ariens

generac generators reviews
Generac Generators Home Standby Generators

Generac Generators Reviews – highly recommended for homes?

Generac Powerful engine

Its generators are powered by OHVI engine designed for extended use.

This is the same engine that powers most of its popular generator units for commercial use.

In fact, this engine can run three to four times longer than the engine of other generator brands.

Broad range of options

Generac generators also offers the broadest range of home backup solutions in the market.

You should be able to find a generator that best suits your needs.

The output of Generac standby home generators ranges from 6KW to 50KW.

If you don’t have enough money to buy a permanently installed standby home generator, you can still get a cheaper, portable generator for home use from Generac.

Again, Generac has very affordable portable generators.

You can get an entry-level portable generator with an output of 800 watts.

Generac Nationwide dealer network

Aside from having a wide range of generators, Generac also boasts of an extensive, nationwide dealer network.

It has more than 5,000 dealers in the country.

Hence, getting a Generac generator delivered to your house should not be a problem wherever you are in the United States.

Generac are Easy to maintain

Moreover, maintenance of a Generac generator is easy.

Generac backup power units perform weekly self-diagnostic tests.

Plus, these standby generators come with the company’s patented Quiet Test function.

This feature lets the generators conduct a self-test without disturbing the neighborhood.

Generac G-Flex technology

Another key feature of standby Generac generators is the company’s patented G-Flex technology.

This feature allows the engine to run only as fast as necessary, depending on the electric load demand.

This is a feature that sets apart Generac genset engines from the competition, as other generator engines run at a constant speed regardless of the electricity demand.

With the G-Flex technology, Generac generators are more fuel-efficient and quieter when in operation.

Generac gensets are safe.

Most of these units are housed in galvanneal steel with RhinoCoat that provides enough protection to the generator and prolongs its life.

These generators are equipped with a low fuel, shut off function that prevents damage caused by low fuel.

And these gensets have circuit breakers that can protect your appliances in case of overloading.

Generac Generators Environmentally friendly

Generator units made by Generac are environmentally-friendly.

These generators are designed to consume less fuel and emit fewer emissions.

And the gensets are less intrusive compared to the generators of other brands.

There are even some Generac standby units that are up to 19 decibels quieter than competitor units when operating.

With all these great features of Generac generators, it is not surprising that it is the only generator brand to have received the prestigious Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. 

(Check prices here)

It’s not surprising that whenever a weather disturbance like a storm or blizzard threatening an area, most homeowners buy Generac generators because of the wide range of generator models and the extensive dealer network of the company.

Kohler Generators

Kohler is not really a new player when it comes to generators.

In fact, it is one of the first companies to offer generators that provided electricity to farms.

However, the company did not have a generator for home use until the ‘80s.

Its foray to the production of portable generators was also very recent, having done so in 2013.

Still, Kohler generators are a good choice for residential use.

Kohler generator Warranty

One of the main selling points of Kohler generators is that these units come with a five year, 2,000 hour warranty.

Kohler generators are also built to last.

All 14 and 20KW models also have corrosion-proof enclosures, while other models have corrosion-resistant enclosures.

In terms of power output, Kohler has generators that can produce as low as 6KW of electricity to as high as 150KW.

Prices of Kohler Generator

Kohler Backup Generators prices, however, are quite higher than Generac generators.

Portable generators from Kohler are priced at the higher end as well.

A 2 KW portable generator available, while the biggest portable generator from Kohler has a maximum output of 12.1 KW. 

Buy Kohler Generators with free shipping Here: See Kohler Generators here

Impressive Kohler generator engines

The engines of Kohler home generators are quite impressive, too.

The Kohler Command Pro engines are typically used in generators for industrial use, yet a handful of Kohler residential generators have them as well.

This engine type features integrated oil coolers, so it would take a longer time for the engines to require oil change.

The engines even have highly efficient air filters that protect it from debris, as well as extra-large sleeve bearings both of which ensure longer service intervals.

Because Kohler generators are powered by engines that are used in commercial applications, you can be assured of long lasting power for your house.

Kohler generator Automatic transfer switch

Kohler home generators are equipped with automatic transfer switch that monitors the electricity coming from the grid.

It works all the time to detect the flow of electricity from the utility grid to the house.

There’s a power indicator that is located on the automatic transfer switch which would tell you where the power is emanating.

Whether it is from the utility grid or from the generator.

When there is a power outage, the automatic transfer switch tells the generator to start running.

In just 10 seconds, the ATS would facilitate transfer of electricity from the grid to the generator.

Once the generator has started supplying electricity to the house, its other advanced features will start working as well.

One of these high-tech functions is the PowerBoost technology that enables the genset to handle large starting loads like air conditioners, without affecting the starting load of other appliances.

While Kohler generators for residential use are almost at par with Generac generators in terms of technology and features.

The affordability of Generac models is what makes Generac generators a better choice than Kohler.

(Check prices here)

Champion Generator

Champion Power Equipment, the company that produces Champion home generators, does not have a long and storied history like Kohler and Generac.

The firm is newer, having been founded in 2003.

It is based in Santa Fe Springs, California with a production facility in China.

Aside from generators for residential use, it also has pressure washers, transfer pumps, winches, and log splitters in its roster of products.

Since this is a new player in the home generator market, it is not surprising that Champion Power offers a limited number of gensets for residential use.

The smallest home standby generator from Champion Power has an output of 8KW, while the largest can produce 12.5KW.

The smallest Champion home generator has a retail price of Check pricing here.

Its output is good enough to power refrigerator, heaters, lights, television, freezer, and computers.

It is encased in an all-weather steel enclosure, and is powered by natural gas or LPG.

Champion Power offers a five-year, limited warranty on this home generator.

The biggest home generator from Champion has an output of 12.5KW.

It is also encased in an all-weather steel enclosure and comes with a five year limited warranty.

In case you want a portable generator from Champion, the smallest one you can get has an output of 1,200 KW.

The biggest portable generator from the brand can produce 7,500 KW.

One disadvantage of Champion compared to Generac is that it does not have a wide dealer network as that of the latter.

Plus, Champion does not have the build quality and the solid reputation that Generac generators have.

>>See Cummins Generators here

Onan Generator (Cummins Generators)

Onan branded generators are designed and manufactured by Cummins Power Generator (Check prices here) which is a subsidiary of Cummins, Inc.

Aside from generators for residential use, Onan has generators for use in marine, light commercial, and commercial applications.

Cummins Onan has been in the business since 1920.

Cummins Onan generators have Four product lines to choose from

There are four product lines of Onan gensets—Quiet Connect, Power Connect, Air Cooled Series, and Liquid Cooled Gas series.

As the name suggests, the Quiet Connect series features home gensets that are quiet when in operation.

These generators are ideal for those who live in the city, as the machines won’t be distracting the neighborhood.

The Onan Quiet Connect generators have an advanced sound attenuation design plus durable enclosure to minimize the noise generated while in operation.

The Quiet Connect series has gensets with a minimum output of 22KW and maximum output of 40KW.

These generators are ideal for use in medium to large houses.

The Power Connect series, meanwhile, features the Cummins QSJ2.4 engine and a brushless alternator with heavy-duty design for first-rate performance.

The generators under this series are built to operate well even in extreme environmental conditions.

And the machines feature a flexible exercise mode that lets the customer choose the time, frequency, and duration of the generator’s exercise.

Output of the gensets under the Power Connect series ranges from 30 to 60 KW.

Then there’s the air cooled series, with power output from 13 to 20 KW.

Generators under this series have features like Internet remote monitoring, automatic load management, and powerful motor starting.

The liquid cooled gas air series can provide backup power ranging from 45 to 100 KW.

The 16 generators under this series feature an aluminum and steel enclosure to ensure that the units would last for a long time.

The gensets are also fully automated, having been equipped with the Cummins automatic transfer panel.

Prices of Cummins Onan Generators

While Onan generators appear to be good when it comes to build and performance, the gensets are quite expensive when you compare them with Generac gensets.

The cheapest generators are those under the air cooled series.

Moreover, Onan does not have portable generators that are designed for residential use, so you would really have to pay for the standby generators of the brand, in case you decide to get an Onan genset.

Yamaha Generator

If you’ve heard of Yamaha generators before.

Then you may know this is a Japanese company that is into the production and distribution of motorcycles, marine products like boats, and other motorized products like portable generators.

Motorists might be surprised to learn that Yamaha does produce portable generators that they can use whenever there is a power outage at home.

Yamaha Generator are actually inverters that produce alternating current (AC).

Yamaha’s gensets are intended for outdoor use like camping given their lightweight and compact design, although the units can also be counted upon during a power outage at home.

But unlike Generac, Yamaha does not make standby generators at this time.

Yamaha Generators Have Many key features

There are several good features that you’ll appreciate in a Yamaha portable generator.

For example, most of these gensets have an oil watch warning system that eliminates risks of damage caused by low oil levels.

Yamaha generator units have an advanced warning system that informs the user that the genset needs to be shut down to prevent damage to the engine.

Another key feature in Yamaha portable generators is the patented technology called Smart Throttle that helps in regulating the load and keeping the unit fuel efficient.

It is a load sensing control that can also contribute to lower noise emission of the gensets.

This feature makes it possible for many units to operate up to 12 hours.

Noise Block is a patented sound reduction system of Yamaha, and this feature is present in many of the portable generators of the Japanese brand.

For example, the EF1000 can produce 57 decibels of noise while in operation which is a lot quieter than most Generac gensets emitting 60-plus decibels.

Most Yamaha generators also have the Warm Up feature that allows the engine to run at a higher speed for six minutes, or before it produces electricity.

This feature prevents any potential problems at start up, while making the generator even more fuel efficient.

Yamaha Generators Portable and lightweight

One of the things you’ll enjoy about Yamaha generators is that they are very easy to transport.

The inverters are portable and lightweight, with some systems weighing 26 pounds.

Thus a Yamaha inverter is one that you would likely bring for camping out.

Yet it would still have enough power for a couple of lights during emergencies.

Yamaha generators, however, are not as affordable as those from Generac.

The least expensive inverter from Yamaha has a maximum AC output of 1KW.

(Check prices here)

Honda Generator

This is another Japanese company that is best known for its cars and not for generators.

Honda is popular for its cars like the CR-V and City, but what many of us don’t know is that the company actually started making generators after World War II.

The man who founded the firm, Soichiro Honda, outfitted bicycles with generators in the 1950s.

By the next decade, the company was expanding its roster of Honda generators products (Check prices here).

Part of the motivation for such a move came from the widespread use of electrical appliances, as well as leisure activities that were increasing in popularity.

Honda thought there was a demand for portable generators, and this pushed the company to specialize in this aspect.

Many Honda Generator models to choose from

Although it is now more popular for its cars, Honda still makes pretty decent generators for outdoor and home use.

There are 18 Honda generators in the market today, and these are classified into four product series—economy, deluxe, industrial, and super quiet.

Output ranges from 2KW to 10KW.

Honda Generator
Honda Generator

Honda Quietest of the generators available

All Honda generators have four-stroke engines, making the units among the quietest in the world.

A Honda generator for residential use would have an average noise of 60 decibels.

If you buy a generator under the Honda Super Quiet series, then you are getting a unit that can operate at noise levels as low as 49 decibels.

Honda Generators are Compact and easy to store

Honda generators are also compact and easy to store.

Some generators, particularly those with output of 2KW, can be easily carried and stored in vehicle compartments, making them ideal for out-of-town trips.

Yet these generators have enough power to provide electricity during power outages.

A 2KW generator can power a refrigerator coffee pot, and TV when power from the utility grid is cut.

The Deluxe series is particularly recommended for homeowners who want a quality, portable generator.

Gensets under the Honda Deluxe series are available in 4KW, 5KW, and 6.5KW sizes.

These units feature electric start function as well as remote start.

Moreover, these generators have the proprietary iAVR power feature that boosts their performance.

Pricing of Honda Generators

However, one disadvantage that Honda generators have is that the prices of the units tend to be higher than those of Generac generators.

>>Honda Generators prices here

Honda generator recalls

Honda generators have also been hounded by controversy.

In 2012, the company recalled about 150,000 portable generators because of fire and burn hazard.

Two years later, the company recalled some 8,000 units of its 7KW, gasoline-powered generator.

Thus in terms of price and product reliability, Generac holds a very clear-cut advantage of this Japanese multinational firm.

Thinking about harnessing solar energy?

Maybe a solar backup generator would work in your area.

Generac generators get best reviews overall

Based on the reviews of the generators from Generac and other firms like Kohler, Champion, Westinghouse, Onan, Yamaha, and Honda, it is easy to understand why Generac is the clear-cut leader in the residential generator market.

Generac has best pricing and features overall

One of the reasons why Generac has maintained its lofty status in the industry is its very competitive pricing.

As you have learned after reading this article, Generac offers the most affordable home generators.

You can buy a Generac portable or standby generator at half the price of the competitions’ gensets.

Despite being cheaper than its competitors, a Generac generator for residential use is designed to last long.

Generac gensets are housed in galvanneal steel with RhinoCoat, providing sufficient protection against debris and weather conditions and prolonging the life of the unit.

You can also expect a Generac generator to be fuel efficient, and to operate quietly.

The inclusion of the G-Flex technology feature in most Generac gensets has significantly improved the fuel efficiency of the units, aside from reducing the noise of the generator while producing electricity.

Generac Generator Maintenance

Maintenance of a Generac generator won’t cause you to have headaches.

Generac genset units can perform self-diagnostic tests on a weekly basis.

Additionally, the fact that you can get a Generac generator wherever you are in the United States further adds up to the solid reputation of the company.

Finally, Generac has a wide range of home generators you can choose from.

It has portable and standby generators, with varying sizes which make it easier to find a genset that is suited to your requirements.

So if you are shopping for a generator for home use, there is clearly one brand that you should trust—Generac.

As you have learned, Generac generators are not only high quality and efficient, but are also cheaper than other genset units in the market.

Ultimate Comprehensive Guide on Generators for Sale

Biodiesel Generators

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Finding generators for sale isn’t as difficult as it used to be thanks to the Internet, and competition has certainly increased the number of options available.

Generators today are more powerful than ever, and any homeowner or entrepreneur can tell you just how important reserve energy is.

But rather than simply going out there and buying the most expensive unit available, it’s better to invest some time getting to know these machines, how they work, and what you should look for. 

Direct Generators for Sale

Direct generators or electrical generators are machines that turn mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Their operation is based on motion or dynamically induced EMF (electromotive force).

As per Faraday’s Laws of Electromagnetic Induction, when a conductor goes through a magnetic flux, it produces dynamic EMF.

This causes current to flow if the conductor circuit is sealed.

If you’re looking for electric generators for sale you should understand how they work.

How generators work

A direct current generator provides electrical power with current and unidirectional voltage, and its operation is similar to that of synchronous generators.

The voltage in the coil comes from the coils and is based on the magnetic field change rate.

The induced voltage alternates in form because the coil flux decreases and increases with a zero average value.

The field in DC generators is produced by direct currents in the coils or the stator magnets, while the armature or output windings are set on the cylindrical iron rotor slots.

The design varies from model to model, but usually the rotor is equipped with a commutator or mechanical rotating switch that links the rotor coil to the terminals by way of the carbon brushes.

For practical reasons, these generators are built with 4 to 8 field poles to reduce the rotor coils’ end connectors and also to minimize the magnetic iron required for the stator.

The stationary brushes on the commutator are usually the same number as the poles, although this isn’t always the case. 

how standby Home Generator systems works - Direct Generators for Sale
how standby Home Generator systems works – Direct Generators for Sale

Benefits of owning a DC generator

DC generators are Cost effective

DC generators don’t use an inverter, making it more convenient to run.

It reduces the complexities that come with running currents.

The majority of DC generators are ideal for use in campers, RVs and small systems.

You can use them in homes with a converter.

Modern designs cost less and are no longer as complex.

DC generators are Easy to manage

Direct generators are capable of running different things.

The wiring for running larger systems has become less complex.

It’s no longer a fire hazard as in the past.

Wiring direct generators is now easier to manage.

DC generators are Very efficient

Direct generators are very efficient and are ideal for powering electrical appliances.

However, for more complex operations, you may need longer wires.

Generator Transfer Switch

A generator transfer switch is set beside a generator’s electrical panel and is hooked to the major circuits you’ll be operating when there is a blackout.

In case there is a power outage, you just need to crank the generator up, and all it requires is one power cord (or wiring) from the generator to the switch.

Once the generator is running, you can just select the circuits to energize by flipping the appropriate switch.

One of the things you’ll need to consider when buying a generator transfer switch is to size your power cord and/or wiring, as it will determine the dimensions and capacity of the manual transfer switch.

In other words, if you require a 30 amp cord you’ll need 30 amp transfer switch.

The more circuits you want to run, the more powerful the generator must be

Knowing how electricity works is necessary because it will give an idea of how much power you need.

The simple rule though, is that the more circuits you want to run the more powerful the generator has to be.

The specs will vary from machine to machine, but a 5,000 watt generator should be able to power up to half a dozen circuits.

If you have a bigger generator however you’re going to need a 10 circuit switch.

The majority of transfer switches today are pre-wired and have the circuit breakers set up.

If you have a different type of installation you can buy a transfer switch with interchangeable breakers so you can customize it to fit your specific needs.

The transfer switches, at least the manual types, usually has built-in wattage meters and is used to monitor everything that it is powering.

Wattage meters are very important because without it you won’t be able to tell if the system is overloaded or not.

This may damage appliances.

Options for installing manual transfer switches

If you’re going to install manual transfer switches you have two options: the first and easiest is to simply install it on the wall between the generator and the electric panel.

This is particularly effective if you’re going to use the generator in a garage or in the basement.

If you’re concerned about the aesthetics, you can always purchase a mounting kit that will recess the switch and inset it in the drywall in-between a couple of studs.

What to know before buying a transfer switch

There are several things you need to consider before buying a transfer switch (Check prices here), such as the following:

Look for a switch that can cover all the circuits (and if necessary, only the important circuits) when used with a generator designed for your specific application.

Some transfer switches are designed for use in residential homes. It is better if you get an all-around switch so you can use it for commercial and industrial applications.

A well-designed switch system provides an efficient way to manage and monitor both essential and nonessential circuits.

Provided that the transfer switch is properly designed, the system will automatically turn off the nonessential circuits to prevent overload, if necessary.

You’ll also want to look for transfer switch systems that are compatible with smart management modules, as that will track the various circuits and supply power where it is required.

It will allow you to get the most out of your generator.

Industrial Generators Generator Rentals
Industrial Generators Generator Rentals

Generator Rentals

There may be cases when it is better to rent a generator than buy one.

There are a lot of different types of generators available.

Be sure you know what’s out there before renting.

What to consider before you rent a generator:

Cost comparison of Rental Generators

The main purpose of renting a generator is to save on costs.

Calculate the figures first to ensure renting is less expensive than buying one.

If you’re going to use a generator only once, you may be better off renting.

However, if you foresee yourself using it a few times or more in a year, then you may want to consider buying one.

Safety of Rental Generators

If you’re going to rent a generator, do so only from a reputable company to ensure that the system runs properly and won’t be a fire hazard.

This is especially true if you’re going to use gas generators.

Keep in mind that some gas generators produce toxic fumes, so check the specifications and there are safety mechanisms built in.

The importance of safety features cannot be overemphasized, especially if the generator will be used extensively, so it has to run as cleanly as possible.

Rental Generators Safe for the environment

This is related to the above in a way, because if you’re going to rent a generator it has to be eco-friendly.

What’s good for the environment is good for you.

No matter what type of generator you rent or buy, you need to be certain that it’s been certified safe for the environment.

Check the company’s background and reputation

Ensure that all aspects of the rent have been worked out.

Do not sign to any agreement unless you’re completely sure.

This is the best way to trust there won’t be any problems later on.

There are a number of other things you have to consider such as the price, the reviews, and specs and so on.

In a way you should check the generator out the same way as other products except in this case you’re renting.

Generator Wheel Kit

A generator wheel kit enables your generator to be portable.

Usually generators are set in one location and run from there, but in some cases it’s necessary to move it around, (i.e. on a job site) and that’s where a good generator wheel kitwill come in handy.

The majority of wheel kits today have never-flat tires, and really it makes sense to invest in one particularly if you’re going to use them on rugged terrain.

Most of these generators run on specific types of generators and capable of supporting up to 5500 watts (or higher, depending on the kit).

Most of these kits also have tubular steel handling so it’s convenient to use.

Rubber feet are also pretty much a standard feature for stationary placement and stability.

These wheel kits used to be expensive and considered as nothing more than add-ons, but they’ve become very important as portability and flexibility are now required from these machines.

Yes there was a time when generators could be installed and used in one specific spot, but that’s not the case in business, commercial, and industrial establishments where different areas may need power.

If the needs for each area are temporary, it’s more practical to buy a wheel generator kit than buy separate generators for each one.

The good news is you can find these kits easily and purchase them online.

Features vary per kit, but a typical one has two wheels, a fold away handle, and support leg.

Should be easy to install

If you’re going to buy a kit, read some reviews to find out what people are saying about it, and in particular how easy –or hard- it is to install.

A well-designed wheel kit should only take a few minutes to install.

Generator wheels need to be of the highest quality so they don’t pop off while you’re transporting the generator.

As mentioned earlier, rubber wheels are ideal, but other manufacturers use synthetic compounds which are fine provided the material is strong.

There a few other things you need to look into:

Look for wheel hubs and axle that are steel.

They should be very high quality.

Take note of the handle, because on some kits it is higher than normal.

Also check the design and make sure that the pads don’t make contact with the ground.

You will find several different wheel kits online.

Take time to review and compare them.

While many of these are easy to use, some are difficult to assemble and require expertise.

The bottom line is that when you’re shopping for wheel kits, look for those with durable high quality wheels that are capable of moving and transporting the generator you are using.

Propane Generator

When you hear the word propane, people often think of grilling hamburgers and steaks during summer.

Nowadays, a growing number of generators now use propane because it provides several advantages over other gas generators.

FEMA declares that September is National Preparedness Month

Several advantages using propane over gas generators

For one thing, propane generators (Check prices here) have cylinders that prevent spills, and in the unlikely event that propane does spill, it’s going to evaporate quickly.

Propane offers other advantages; it burns cleanly and costs only half as much as regular gas per gallon.

They run more quietly than gas.

This is something that anyone who’s been around generators will appreciate. 

Generators that use propane are also handy in an emergency preparedness kit — or even just to prepare for a power outage — because you don’t need electricity to fill up the tank.

Shelf life is very long too.

You can store gas for only 12 months maximum whereas you can store propane indefinitely.

Your concern should be the container because propane is going to outlast it.

If you can get quality containers, you’ll be able to stock up on propane without worrying about quality degradation or that it will be useless by the time you actually need to use it.

What to look for in a generator

While there are many types of generators available, you should look for the following:

Look for the newer propane units as the older ones tend to have a somewhat complex fuel system.

The newer systems also have built in safety features that ensure it doesn’t fail, and that if something does go wrong it is easier to fix.

Keep in mind that propane powered units run best in warm weather and that anything close to below 20 F will affect performance.

Look for portable generators because that’s going to make it easier to move the unit around.

You may think that it isn’t necessary but it’s better to have one now than wish for it later.

If your generator isn’t portable you can buy a wheel kit.

Some generators allow you to use different types of fuels.

This could prove useful if propane isn’t always available in your area.

You’ll want to use propane because it has a low boiling point (-44 degrees Fahrenheit / -42.2 Celsius).

This means there won’t be a problem with vaporization.

Because you can store propane for extended periods, it’s the ideal solution if you only use generators on occasion.

Since it’s a gaseous fuel expect your generator to operate smoothly and the emissions to be low.

Benefits of propane generators

Burns cleanly

Usually available in large and small tanks

Doesn’t produce as much noise as other fuels when used on generators

Wet stacking will not be a problem

Suitable for intermittent use

Has a quick start and stop time

Propane generators are also no longer as expensive as they used to be.

They have a longer life expectancy than gas.

There have also been improvements in safety design.

Propane generators are especially good for powering up small scale systems and other domestic applications.

Unlike diesel generators, you can switch them off and on without fear of damaging the system.

A small generator has the added benefit of being compatible with recreational vehicles.

It’s also ideal for use on job sites where you need a power source.

Due to its inherent properties, propane has minimal impact on the environment.

It’s also a good choice among buyers living in cold areas where other fuel starts up as quickly.

Check this review for the best Yamaha generator as well.

Solar Generator

This type of generator has many benefits, starting with the fact that your solar generator (Check prices here) will be using green, renewable energy, which is good for the environment and is also appropriate for outdoor and emergency applications.

The solar industry is growing at an exponential rate.

You can choose from a wide range of solar powered units.

Your choice should depend on your power output requirements, its size, price and weight.

Of course these requirements will vary from person to person but the following general guide should prove useful.

What to look for in a solar generator

Solar Generators are Portable:

Today you can find portable generators styled like briefcases, making movements easier.

More than aesthetics, a portable generator will make it easier for you to move from one area to another.

Depending on your needs, you may get more use out of a portable generator.

Solar Generators are Check the handles:

The generator should have a collapsible and robust handle.

The wheels also need to be comfortable and won’t get flat.

Basically what you want in a portable generator is durability especially if you’re going to use it on rough terrain.

Solar Generators are Expandable:

Solar energy is known for its expandability, and generators should be no exception.

You will never know just how much power you will need.

Therefore, it’s best to get a generator that allows you to increase output easily.

You might think that you just need a specific amount but as time passes by this could increase.

Some of these solar generators are expandable via batteries while others by way of solar panels or both.

Be sure the unit is expandable because it’s going to be cheaper than buying another generator.

Solar Generators are Lightweight:

One of the trademarks of a quality generator is a lightweight design.

Generators used to be huge, bulky machines that were incredibly noisy and difficult or impossible to move.

That’s no longer the case as many of these generators are portable and provide better energy output

Heavy duty generator

Do keep in mind though that the more power you need, the more powerful –and heavier- the unit will be.

A high end generator powered by solar energy is going to have several extra panels, batteries, and inverters.

Generators built for rugged use are also going to have a larger and more heavy duty case to meet these requirements.

If you’re going to use this generator outdoors, make sure it’s certified durable and built for outdoor use.

A rugged generator must have a solid body, be portable.

It should work regardless of how rough the condition or weather is.

Don’t let price dictate the type of generator you will use.

It really all comes down to quality.

You’ve probably heard this before but it bears repeating here.

Don’t settle for a mediocre product because it’s going to cost you more later on.

When you need power at your job-site, home, or recreational use, the Ryobi 2,200-Watt Inverter Generator is ready with clean, quiet power.

Check prices on the Ryobi Green Gasoline Powered Digital Inverter Generator here

The information above should give you enough of an idea what to look for in generators for sale.

Regardless of the product you decide to buy, assess their specs to determine if it fits your needs.

This might take time but it will definitely pay off later.

Related Contents:

Preparing for Food Crisis Challenges Coming Our Way

wood pile preparation for food crisis

Last Updated on

If you are reading this, you know it’s important to be preparing for food crisis challenges coming our way.

The month of September has been designated National Preparedness Month in the United States.

Recently the White House made its annual announcement about this month of preparations.

The 2012 press release says,

“During National Preparedness Month, we renew our commitment to promoting emergency preparedness in homes, businesses, and communities nationwide, and to building an America more ready and resilient than ever before.”

It goes on to mention the possibility of “disasters of all types — from cyber incidents and acts of terrorism to tornadoes and flooding.”

The release suggests that “individuals and families can also take action by building a disaster supply kit with food, water, and essential supplies in case of emergency, and by developing and sharing an emergency plan with their loved ones.”

We agree that it’s important to have an emergency plan to cover basic needs for a short-term disruption.

>>Check out our book “Getting Started on a Food Supply Plan: Sourcing, Preserving, and Storing Foods for Tomorrow’s Uncertain Times”

Preparing for Food Crisis

So what can you do?

One of the first things we did was to buy a sun oven.

It harnesses the sun’s energy.

It can boil water, as well as bake and cook food.

But what about a long-term economic situation that affects us much differently than any local weather event or national incident?

Do we need to take this possibility seriously?

Yes—without a doubt, we do! 

But wait—won’t everything just continue the way it has, up and down, rise and fall, essentially the same?

Won’t we just resume, in due time, the wonderful growth and prosperity we have enjoyed as a nation?

Sadly, the answer to those questions is “no.”

Things are different.

The sustainable recovery that we all hope for is now nearly impossible without some real changes in the way our nation operates.

The normalcy bias

As a people, we are captivated by what is called “the normalcy bias.”

We have expectations of what normally happens in various situations and circumstances.

This is why many responsible people fail to act when there is sufficient evidence that a real problem is at hand.

According to Wikipedia, “the normalcy bias, or normality bias, refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster.

It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects.”

One example is the response of many people when “the unsinkable Titanic” sustained serious damage.

The Titanic can’t sink. Regardless of what I see, feel and observe…the Titanic can’t sink.

Many Titanic passengers lost their lives because of this normalcy bias: the belief that everything will stay the way it was or is or should be.

Is that you when it comes to preparation for any kind of disastrous event?

Our encouragement to you is to ACT based on what you see and observe and sense, not on what you believe “should” happen.

Preparing for whatever comes our way

For several weeks now, the Rural Living Today team has been planning some fall blog posts and Rural Living Insider articles about weathering the increasing economic challenges we see on the horizon.

We didn’t even realize that each year since 2004, September has been earmarked for national preparedness in the U.S.

It’s our hearts and our gut feelings that have been urging us to prepare for the coming year and to encourage our readers to do so as well.

Many of you live in countries other than the U.S., but it seems every nation is affected in some way by the global economic situation.

No one is immune to its effects.

Chances are you have been preparing for “something” for many months or years.

If so, you’re a step ahead in the game.

But even if you haven’t, it’s not too late to start from scratch.

It would be wise for each of us to evaluate our own individual risks and prepare accordingly.

Risks and vulnerability vary from one person and family to another, depending largely on geographic areas and types of communities.

Preparation factors include personal skills, equipment at hand, family demographics, and medical situations.

For many years we lived in a prominent earthquake zone, where we were always urged to keep emergency supplies.

One of our homes was near a river valley that flooded annually.

Though our house high on a ridge was never in danger, supply routes were often cut off for days or weeks at a time.

Even the effect of an unusually heavy snowstorm was evident in grocery stores where we saw empty freezer cases and sparsely lined shelves.

In 1999, some people stashed food and supplies after hearing predictions of doom for Y2K.

Most of us remember clearly how the events of September 11, 2001, affected our personal lives and those of friends and strangers.

We’re all aware that any of a number of situations could put a kink in our daily routines and put us in a position where self-sufficiency will be of the utmost importance.

Preparing for Food Crisis Challenges Coming Our Way at Rural Living Today

Keep learning about sustainable living topics like gardening and livestock.

It should be a goal to maintain personal stability as prices and supply of food and other vital needs continue to fluctuate.

We have practical tips as well as some inspiring stories of people discovering the joys of simplified living and community cooperation.

Due to some exciting recent developments, our own family is moving forward in our quest for further self-sufficiency.

Prepare yourself.

Buy a solar oven and/or a rocket stove.

Make a food plan.

Figure out how you will purify water.

Check out some of our favorite resources!

In the meantime, do you feel the need to learn some basic sustainability skills?

Do you wonder how you could raise much food in your backyard or on a small farm?

Want to know how to prepare your family for changes?

Should you get chickens and a rooster?

Beekeeping provides honey plus multiple additional sources for income.

We maintain a list of some of our favorite books, magazines, websites, blogs, and other sources of info on sustainable living topics here on our RLT Resources page.

In addition to plenty of nonfiction information sources, there are some good fiction options for long fall and winter evenings.

You can enjoy a great story while learning more about living off the land.

When our children were young, we read the Little House on the Prairie series each year.

I think those books and others, like Bethany’s favorite My Side of the Mountain, instilled in our kids a love for this rural life that they are now sharing with their own children.

Thanks to Louis Lamour novels they even have an idea how to trap and dress a wild coon or beaver. Who knows, that may come in handy some day!

cover Getting Started Food Supply Plan AMZ

Need help getting started?

Our newest book is now available at Amazon, Smashwords!

Buy Getting Started on a Food Supply Plan

Getting Started on a Food Supply Plan: Sourcing, Preserving, and Storing Food for Tomorrow’s Uncertain Times by Marie James of Rural Living Today

Have you ever wondered how you’d feed your family if the retail grocery store system failed?

Do rising prices and declining food quality make you want to take matters into your own hands?

Getting Started on a Food Supply Plan: Sourcing, Preserving, and Storing Food for Tomorrow’s Uncertain Times will help you create a system that will raise your level of preparedness, increase your self-sufficiency, and provide peace of mind.

It covers important topics about raising your own food, finding local sources, home preserving, cooking food, and storing food.

There is introductory information along with  links to numerous helpful resources in print and online. 

Living in the country ~ Best rural places to live

Living in the country

Last Updated on

Living in the country – Dreaming of a different way of life?

Many people seek solitude or just more of a back-to-the-basics type of lifestyle.

Whether you plan to relocate from a large city or suburbs, you will find country life very different.

Learn about living in the country and best rural places to live.

There is nothing more breathtaking than living in the country with its lush greenery, minimal pollution and natural beauty.

There are many advantages to living a quieter life.

Perhaps you will pursue more self-sustaining habits, including composting, gardens and orchards, beekeeping, or a hydroponics system.

Rasied Garden Beds
Rasied Garden Beds

Maybe you will consider raising backyard chickens.

And if that isn’t all exciting enough, some venture into raising miniature cattle or Pygmy Goats complete with a livestock guardian animal.

The opportunities for learning and new hobbies are endless!

You won’t need to do everything right away.

That’s what rural living is all about — learning to live at a slower pace — but it is worth considering adopting modern homesteading practices.

Living in the country could be for you

There are many advantages to rural living in the country:

You are automatically integrated into the community.

While some young families that have moved into the countryside may feel that long-time residents take awhile to get to know them, there are things you can do to help you assimilate faster.

There are local events which bring the community together.

Nothing is more effective at helping one join the community than volunteering at the many local events which take place there.

Get involved and meet your neighbors.

Peace and quiet in rural towns

Moving to a small town and rural living is much sought after by senior citizens, retired couples, and others who seek solace.

The lack of traffic and other city activity is welcome.

In addition to a less stressful environment, you will probably have some beautiful views and wide open spaces.

You will see more stars at night as the city lights won’t interfere.

Going at a slower pace, with less bustle and stress, you can take time to watch the sunset and be up early to enjoy the sunrise.

You may find you are able to enjoy more time outside as you garden, tend to animals, or set up an irrigation system.

You will be able to enjoy the quiet and be more in tune with your surroundings, even as you are doing work around your homestead.

Limited entertainment options in country places

While major shopping, tourist attractions and entertainment venues may be a big drive away, you are likely to find fun and entertainment closer to home, in simpler activities.

There’s a ‘We are all in this together’ idea.

School, sports, church, local craft fairs, perhaps some car groups and crafting clubs are often popular in smaller communities.

You will likely see a fish fry, weekend barbecue and festivals.

If there’s a high school in town, the community may come out to support the football games on Friday evenings.

There is a tremendous sense of community, especially when someone needs assistance.

Disadvantages to living in the country

Other aspects of living in the country may pose a problem at the initial stages for people.

Some of these include power outages, the presence of wildlife and insects, and the transition it may take for those not used to living amid rural surroundings.

You may need to “rough it” more than you did before.

Also, depending on where you moved from, you may have downsized or may have moved into a home that needs repairs.

Or maybe you aren’t used to having to maintain land.

It may take awhile to get used to being more isolated from neighbors.

During natural disasters or storms, it is common for those living in the country to be technically and geographically cut off from the world due to power outages, no Internet, fallen trees and other issues.

The time taken to restore functionality will be greater since they are away from service outlets and have less homes and population to restore.

Electrical companies and other service providers generally go to the denser areas first.

In exchange for a more relaxed lifestyle, your country home may be a great distance away from healthcare providers, hospitals and urgent-care facilities.

This might be a problem in the event that you require medical attention.

Best rural places to live for modern homesteading

The cost of building a sustainable home is much higher in urban areas due to the stricter building codes, zoning and other housing regulations.

Many readers dream of a simpler, healthier life in rural areas where there are few or no building codes and costs are far lower.

But what are the best rural places to live in?

The United States is experiencing a rural resurgence as families are leaving urban areas and seeking out communities where crime is lower, good schools are present, and life is simpler overall.

Best rural places to live
Best rural places to live

Homesteading is also becoming more and more popular among people with the charm of living a life close to nature.

We’re seeing a definite trend of people choosing to live in the country rather than in urban areas,” says Jack Odle, editor-in-chief of Progressive Farmer.

“And we wanted to celebrate that.

We’ve come up with a unique list of some great areas that may be somewhat under the radar.”

Best rural places to live

Here are some of the best rural places to live in United Sates of America.

All of these places have the common values of providing land at a good value and having vibrant local communities which have a flourishing local commerce scene.

  1. Fauquier County, Va.
  2. Oconee County, Ga.:
  3. McPherson County, Kan
  4. Callaway County, Mo
  5. Grafton County, N.H
  6. Gillespie County, Texas
  7. Sauk County, Wis
  8. Wilson County, Tenn
  9. Eagle County, Colo
  10. Rankin County, Miss

These areas are good places for someone to raise a family as the crime rates are low, there is plenty of fresh air to breathe in, and vast areas available to run around.

There are good schools in all the localities that have been listed.

It is important to have the availability of good schools and hospitals in the area where you want to settle in as these add a lot to the value of the community and provide social comfort as well.

The trend to move out of crowded cities and live in rural areas is becoming more and more widespread.

Best rural places to live include:

  • Anna, Illinois and it’s nearby neighbor, Cobden, IL (Learn more about the area with its wine trails and more.)
  • Vail, Arizona
  • Cassopolis, Michigan
  • Jerome, Arizona
  • Ellsworth, Kansas

According to Kiplinger.com, there are rural areas that will entice you to move there.

Consider Ellsworth, Kansas.

With a population under 3,000 people, it’s one of ten Kansas towns which offers free land for retirees and others to move there.

Remember, on many publicized lists, there are small towns that feel more like large cities.

If you are truly looking for a rural existence, you will want to note the difference.

Consider if you want to move to a rural city, town or rural village.

Using less resources

Moving to a rural area could be a boon for the environment as well.

A number of studies have found that people who are living in rural areas are utilizing much lesser of the resources per capita and living a much easier sustainable lifestyle.

There are also a number of people who find that they are more suited to the hands-on approach to the rural lifestyle.

You will have more opportunities to use your skills in different ways, especially when you live off the land and from your talents and hard work.

The above mentioned list is by no means comprehensive and only serves to provide a starting point for which to begin your search for good rural places to live in.

Declaration of Homestead

The homesteading movement is spreading all across our nation.

There are a variety of reasons for which people are taking the decision to live a rural life off the land giving up their city lives.

These reasons vary from wanting to move to an area with lower crime, taxes and better schools to making the environmentally conscious decision to utilize less resources and try to be self sustaining in lifestyle.

Whatever the motivation to set up your homestead may be, it is important that you fill up the legal form for the declaration of homestead.

This is necessary as the law provides certain privileges to your homestead that can protect it from foreclosure because of debts to creditors under certain conditions.

declaration of homestead
Declaration of Homestead

A Declaration of Homestead requires you to prove that the homestead is your primary place of dwelling.

In certain states, just proving the homestead as your primary place of dwelling is enough to provide you with the same legal protection.

These laws vary by state and make sure you are aware of your legal responsibilities before taking the decision to set up your own homestead.

Declaration of Homestead form

Filling the form is fairly straightforward.

You can do it without any legal help.

You can download them online.

The form has to be notarized before submission, for which the legal fees have been capped by the government to a maximum of $25.

Rural living classes

The homesteading lifestyle is not for everyone, and it is advisable you look into what you are taking on closely before you commit.

There may be options where you can attend hands-on workshops at functioning homesteads.

You can also seek out community outreach and conservation centers, nurseries, nature and special-interest clubs, libraries and community colleges.

They often offer classes on specific topics throughout the year.

These places can be great resources to learn about living off-the-grid.

Many teach about may teach about rainwater harvesting, attracting pollinators, planting native plants, preserving food, growing fruits and vegetables, wind and solar production, composting, prepping, and much more.

This will allow you to get an idea of the activities that you can do.

You may well find some new hobbies and friends.

You can learn skills that will help you earn a living as well.

Even if you don’t plan to earn money from your venture, you may save money and/or live healthier by growing or doing it yourself.

It’s a great way to fully immerse yourself in the life you are considering.

Choosing to move to a rural location

Be sure you are making an informed decision and not just following a trend when you decide to set up your own homestead.

The environmental benefits are a draw as the resources that you consume and the strain you put on the environment is much less than those people who live in the cities.

Be sure you to follow all your legal responsibilities when you are setting up your homestead.

This includes building your homestead to code and filing your declaration of homestead to avail of the legal protection that the law gives you.

Earning a living homesteading

Can the homesteading lifestyle provide an income too?

We think it can.

So the question we are attempting to answer is what are the homesteading skills that will help you survive and even earn a living?

Number of ways you can earn a living off your homestead.

Grow fruits and vegetables and sell them at the local farmers market.

You can preserve food by canning and dehydrating to sell.

You can raise bees and sell honey.

Many people rear livestock and then use them as a source of income.

Sell milk and then meat from miniature cattle.

Sell eggs from backyard chickens or ducks.

Best Chicken Coops (Check prices here)

Make money from timber

If you have purchased a piece of land that is heavily wooded, that in itself is a huge opportunity to earn money.

Timber companies will pay you good money to come and clear your land for you.

All you need to do is inform them that you have standing timber which you are ready to sell.

This sale can be either to large companies or individuals.

There are always people looking to purchase firewood and you can cater to these people.

Earn money selling rocks

If your land has a lot of rocks then that can too be a source of income as there are people who are interested in buying all kinds of rocks.

You can set up a simple website to advertise the rocks you have to sell.

You may see a surprising amount of interest in what most people see no value in.

Raising livestock for a living

Again, you can raise livestock for meat and cows for milk.

There are auctions in most small towns for livestock of good breed.

You can raise them and then sell them for profit.

Depending on your space, you can also consider small cows instead of full-size.

You can have ducks and chickens on homesteads.

Chicken and duck eggs are always in demand wherever your homestead may be.

This can be for food as well as income.

You may be able to raise quail along with chicken and ducks.

You can sell quail eggs for more money than chicken eggs.

Rent out equipment

Often you will have equipment you aren’t using regularly.

You can rent out tools, a generator, tractors, or heavy equipment to make extra money.

Earn money from your skills

Once you are skilled in these various jobs, you can earn money for them.

You can offer classes and workshops in town teaching any number of things.

From there, you may want to hire yourself as a consultant, helping people get started in a new hobby, craft or trade.

You can be the expert in rainwater harvesting, milking cows and preserving milk, bird watching and building birdhouses, beekeeping, cultivating organic seeds, making cheese and butter, growing berries and making jam, or building furniture.

There are endless opportunities when you are living in the country.

With your skills, you can help others get started and grow your business.

Best Birdhouses for Birds

Best Birdhouse Plans

Modern homesteading skills

Homesteading is spreading across the United States.

More and more people are interested in acquiring the necessary skills that will let them live off the land in a wholesome and self-reliant manner.

There are homesteading schools in certain parts of the country.

Taking a class can often be easier than trial and error, and you will often find success faster.

All kinds of people attend these homesteading schools and workshops, not necessarily beginners.

A number of people took the plunge into homesteading and then realized that there are some skills that they needed to polish or learn from scratch.

These schools have started receiving help in the form of fiscal support as well as access to facilities by corporate players in the field.

Modern homesteading skills
Homesteading Skills

Pole barn insulation

Having a pole barn on your property is a cost effective way to have some sizable storage space.

Depending on the use of the barn, insulating it may be necessary.

Proper insulation provides a number of advantages.

It make the barn safer for the animals inside by helping to regulate the temperatures.

It also makes the structure a more comfortable place for the people that work there and even help prolong the lifespan of the structure as a whole.

What insulation helps with

Insulation helps combat the two main problems most commonly faced with pole barns: extreme temperatures and moisture.

Any pole barn that is going to house animals should contain reflective insulation.

This will help to protect the livestock and poultry from excessive heat.

An increase in the heat stress on the livestock has a direct effect on their milk production, fertility and may make them more susceptible to disease.

Reflective insulation controls indoor temperatures.

It reflects heat away from the building.

It also helps control condensation.

By using spray foam insulation, you can prevent water and moisture when insulating the pole barn.

An important thing to consider is to avoid using pure urethane for foam insulation as this can ‘rot’ when exposed to excessive water.

Most new spray foam insulation formulas are designed to avoid degradation that can occur over time.

Another way to combat this moisture buildup is to use a heavy duty plastic sheet in between the insulation and the metal side of the barn.

The only downside is that the metal can rust due to the trapped moisture if left undisturbed for a long period of time.

There are a number of different types of methods that can be used for pole barn insulation.

Fiberglass blanket insulation

This is commonly found in steel buildings and it may be housed in vinyl.

The advantage with this type of insulation is that it does not require additional support on installation.

The fiberglass sheets are easily available at the hardware stores.

These are fixed in place with the help of steel nail guns.

Fiberglass board insulation

This is probably what most people associate with when they think of pole >barn insulation.

This kind of insulation requires the addition of a vapor barrier alongside.

The fiberglass board should be installed with a custom cut to ensure that it fits tightly.

Spray foam insulation

This is the most widely accepted way to insulate a pole barn today.

You will be hard pressed to find someone who does not agree that this is the best method for pole barn insulation; however, it turns out to be fairly expensive.

If this falls within your budget, then it is a viable solution.

There are many options that you can use to insulate your pole barn.

This is a great investment when you move to a rural location.

It can seem like a lot of work but the pay off in lower electricity bills as well as increased productivity is worth the trouble. 

Maybe you will consider a generator or a solar backup generator.

Living in the country

Making the decision to move from a busy and bustling city life to the comparatively quiet and peaceful country, might seem like a radical decision.

However, once you start living in the country, it will hard to imagine anything different.

You will likely thrive living a rural existence.

When you start thinking of homesteading and rural activities that will interest you, you will like it that much more.

Life in the country

If it is too intimidating to move out of state, consider options closer to where you are now.

Many major metropolitan areas have outlying areas several hours away that are very rural.

Perhaps you get acreage outside of the county limits.

Consider your options and make it happen.

When Living in the country, You will want to consider homesteading, including declaration of homestead and modern homesteading skills to be successful.

Homesteading for Beginners Making a Living Homesteading

woman harvesting homestead garden

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Homesteading for beginners, For those in the environmentally aware circles, there is a term that is making a comeback of sorts albeit in a slightly different meaning than was originally intended.

That term is homesteading.

Homesteading was originally a US government legislation that gave away free land to people who took large tracts of rural land and then converted it into their primary landholding and place of residence.

It was a huge success as it helped develop some of the largely rural parts of the country years ago.

Homesteading for beginners
Homesteading for beginners

What is homesteading?

Nowadays, homesteading means to live a sustainable lifestyle away from the city.

It is a throwback to the rural lifestyle which many of our forefathers used to practice.

The decision to move away and live a life on the homestead is becoming more and more common across the nation.

Homesteading for beginners

Making a living homesteading, homesteading school and homesteading today

People who have taken the decision to homestead live a life that is much easier on the environment than a typical urban lifestyle.

These people are much more in tune with nature as they live a healthier and more wholesome life.

They usually have a garden in which they grow fruits and vegetables seasonally.

This is for their consumption as well as for local commerce.

They contribute to local farmers markets where they have an opportunity to sell the produce that they have grown over the season.

In addition, they also rear animals that serve as both a food source and again provide an opportunity to make a living off the land.

Why homesteading?

Some wonder why some people make the choice to live a harder life.

Why choose a life that involves more manual labor?

What is it about homesteading that attracts them?

Well, there is another way of looking at this decision.

The people who have taken the decision to adopt this lifestyle claim that they are closer to nature.

They have a closer connection to the community around them.

Almost all of them agree that theirs is a more straightforward and a fulfilling life.

How to make a living homesteading

So you want to live self-sufficiently off the land?

Leading a homestead lifestyle requires a serious commitment on the individual’s part which may include a sizable investment of the land itself.

Can the homesteading lifestyle provide an income too?

We think it can.

So the question we are attempting to answer is how to make a living homesteading?

A lot of the young people have been moving into rural areas setting up homesteads.

They take the example of their parents who grew up on large tracts of land in the rural areas.

They are preparing food in the traditional manner and basically living in a manner which utilizes minimal resources.

Here are possible income sources which will help you make a living, earn some extra money and even make the land pay for itself.

Beekeeping

Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby that many people turn into a business.

It doesn’t take a lot of space, and there are many months when there is little work you will have to do which will enable you to market your business or take on other projects.

Before starting out, you may think there is only honey and honey-related products to sell.

Yet, when it comes to beekeeping, there are many income streams.

When you are starting out and learning, you will likely be drawn to some things more than others.

Perhaps you will be interested in how to breed queens or to maintain hives.

You can sell starter colonies and beehive products (including wax and starter jelly).

There’s even photography, activism, science, bee removal, bee products and equipment, education, and more.

Or maybe you just want to keep bees for fun.

Here’s everything you need to get started in beekeeping.

making a living homesteading
making a living homesteading

Make Money Selling Timber

If you have purchased a piece of land that is heavily wooded, then that in itself is a huge opportunity to earn money.

Timber companies will pay you good money to come and clear your land for you.

All you need to do is inform them that you have standing timber which you are ready to sell.

This sale can be either to large companies or even individuals.

There are always people looking to purchase firewood and you can cater to these people.

Make Money Selling Rocks

If your land has a lot of rocks then that can too be a source of income as there are people who are interested in buying all kinds of rocks.

A simple website to advertise the rocks found on your property can see a surprising amount of interest in what most people see no value in.

Make Money Selling Livestock

Livestock is reared on homesteads for the purpose of food and can be a source of income too.

There are auctions in most small towns for livestock of good breed.

These animals can be raised at your homestead and then later sold for profit.

Miniature cattle breeds are often the perfect choice for a compact farming space.

They can provide milk and later, meat.

Make Money Selling Eggs

Chicken and duck eggs are always in demand wherever your homestead may be.

These can serve as a steady source of income.

Quail eggs too go for a tidy sum and it may not be a bad idea to raise quails along with chicken and ducks.

Make Money Selling Produce

If the land is amenable to it then you can do small scale farming on it too.

It requires time, patience and skill but it pays off well in the long run.

The produce from the land can be sold at local farmers markets.

More and more people are shopping at these markets as the trend to eat local grows.

If you are short on space, consider a DIY hydroponics system.

Other sources of income

Apart from all of these you can always sell your skills that you have gathered as you set up your own homestead.

Even inventory that you may have purchased can leased out or rented out to make extra money.

Homesteading school

As the concept of homesteading is spreading across the United States, more and more people are interested in acquiring the necessary skills that will let them live off the land in a wholesome and self reliant manner.

It is to impart the skills required to run your own homestead that a number of homesteading schools are cropping up across the country.

We take a closer look at the skills that you can learn at these schools as well as list out some of the better ones across the country.

A good way to adjust to some of the changes that you will face as well as learn some of the skills that you will need when you take the decision to run your own homestead is to join a homesteading school.

Most of these homesteading schools have been started by pioneers of the return to this movement.

They want to make the path that they followed easier for other to follow.

There are a number of established homesteads that have hands-on courses that allow to you to get a feel of the life firsthand as well as learn the necessary skills.

It is important to develop these skills as you work as they also can be a source of income to you in the future.

Skilled workers are always in demand on homesteads.

Homesteading school
Homesteading school

Workshops and learning on farms

Kimberly Coburn who has started Homestead Atlanta shared that she realized a number of people want to experience the fulfillment that she has by starting their own homestead.

Her school is not rigid about curriculum that they follow.

Most of the learning is practical and hands-on.

The purpose is to teach as many skills as possible in the allotted time so that a wholesome and economically viable lifestyle is possible for the ‘students’ that pass out from there.

The classes for these schools too can take place at a different location every time.

It can be a discussion at a restaurant or a beekeeping class at a bee farm.

The approach is low-resource by intention.

Some people prefer to take workshops at functioning farms.

These workshops are becoming more and more common across the country now and can start from as little $25 per session.

All kinds of people attend these schools and workshops, not necessarily beginners.

Learning homesteading skills

A number of people took the plunge into homesteading and then realized that there are some skills that they needed to polish or learn from scratch.

These schools have started receiving help in the form of fiscal support as well as access to facilities by corporate players in the field.

Kimberly’s school had a tie up with Georgia organic that allowed her to expand the scope and reach of her program much beyond what she had possible imagined when she started out.

A simple web search for these schools reveals a map of the United States with the homesteading schools in your area marked out.

If you are considering a shift to this lifestyle then it may be a prudent idea to attend one of these schools and acquire the necessary knowledge that will allow you to make a seamless switch.

There is so much to consider when deciding whether to homestead:

Consider the move on your family and possibly being away from extended family

Year-round work it will take, in all types of weather, to make your family self-sufficient

Cost to uproot your life and move (if necessary)

Can you keep your job and start projects on the side

Consider the schooling options available if you have children.

Take the time to understand what is homesteading all about before you take this huge lifestyle change into consideration.

Investigate a homesteading school to help.

And it is possible to make a living homesteading, but everyone has to be “on board.”

You can start small with something that interests you, and grow from there.

Who’s to Blame for Household Debt Levels

Canadians Blame for Household debt levels are among the highest of developed country nations, beyond those of Americans and Britons.

Recently, we’ve been warned that these debt levels are far worse than previously thought with growing consensus among experts that Canadians aren’t immune from the downfall they witnessed among their American neighbors.

The only bright side, ironically, tends to be the eroding asset base of Canadians, which is largely dependent on a deteriorating housing market.

As Madani at Capital Economics explained: “Debt growth dynamics over the last decade look eerily similar to the U.S. experience, just before their dramatic housing bust.”

In response, the discussion in the media tends to revolve around the dilemma the Bank of Canada faces in its efforts to combat a struggling global economy on the one hand, which requires a lowering of interest rates, and rising household debt levels on the other, which paradoxically requires the raising of interest rates.

Collaborative Consumption Can Curb Over consumption

I find our reliance on the Bank of Canada amusing because nowhere in our discussion of this dilemma are we considering what I think is the elephant in the room, which I refer to as an intrinsic motivation of big banks to exploit consumers.

3 Types of Lending

To understand this, it’s worthwhile to perhaps simplistically distinguish among three types of lending practices.

The first is responsible lending where banks respond to the needs and wants of informed and educated consumers as a means to lubricate the economy to improve societal welfare.

The second is called careless lending, an extreme level of lending that we saw in the US where, due to the deferral of risk, lenders provide credit to those highly susceptible to default.

The conversation in Canada often ends here as loyalists to the invisible hand argue that banks have no incentive to employ the latter practice because our regulation makes it so that consumer default results in bank losses.

In fact, recently, National Bank Financial analysis Peter Routledge explained

“That these consumer debt levels are a non issue because the average loss rates on banks’ credit cards has fallen back down to about 4 percent, a level not seen since 2008 and the average value accounts whose payments are 90 days or more delinquent is just 1 per cent of the portfolio.”

He concludes that while Canadian debt levels are high, the default rates clearly indicate that this is a non-issue.

The fascinating thing about this absurd and completely misguided conclusion and others that say debt levels isn’t a big deal is that he’s using defaults as a proxy for debt problems rather than considering the idea that perhaps banks have just gotten better at finding ways to exploit consumers without sustaining the cost of default.

This leads me to an overlooked third category of lending practices that I think represents a majority of the types of loans banks make called exploitative lending, a middle ground between the first two extremes where banks search for gaps in consumer knowledge to impose on them the maximum amount of credit possible without them defaulting.

It is this third type of lending that while difficult to pin down is critical because it puts into clear focus the inherent conflict between bank and societal interests, a conflict that I believe is responsible for today’s debt levels.

My Own Debt Experience

For the last several years, I’ve been bombarded with offers from my and other banks to take advantage of credit opportunities, to increase the credit limit on my personal line of credit, my visa card, or to apply for a home secured personal line of credit.

This type of lending has also happened with student loans being granted for more than needed, causing an increase in people who need to refinance their student loans at a later date.

The latter came up when I was asking for a $5000 increase in the credit limit of my existing PLC, at which time I was encouraged to apply for a home secured line of credit that would provide me with 40 times the amount I was originally asking for and 8 times what I had already.

The interesting point of the conversation was that the person on the phone forgot completely about my original request of $5000.

On top of all this, I recently received my fourth communication in a year from my bank offering a 33% increasing in my visa credit despite the fact that since first getting a visa card 17 years ago I have never come close to having a balance of more than 33% of my credit limit for more than 4 weeks.

In other words, I have never maintained a balance on my visa card.

Now what is going on here?

Is my bank really looking out for my needs by offering credit to me that is going to improve my life?

Sadly, I don’t think banks are experts at improving the quality of life of their consumers.

They are experts at finding ways in which to capture value from their consumers.

In this case, value comes in the form of disposable income.

In my case, the bank has learned through reams of data on people sharing my demographic and psychographic characteristics that increasing my credit limit in multiple ways leads to a false sense of security that I have greater disposable income through which to meet needs I didn’t know I had.

More specifically, they know that because I’m comfortable with a 33% use of my credit limit and that my income level has not increased by a similar amount, increasing that credit limit will eventually lead to payments that exceed my monthly income thereby locking me into a perpetual state of interest payments and a high debt-income ratio.

To ease consumers into what it means to have a large balance on their PLC, banks require that consumers keep a minimum balance on new PLCs as a means to avoid initial registration fees.

After the 3 months of a high balance, the hope is that the consumer is accustomed to such a debt level while at the same time hasn’t put money away to pay this off.

Throughout my undergraduate university education, I worked at one of these financial institutions as a customer service representative (teller).

I was awarded cash on the spot if I signed up someone for a credit card.

We were very strongly encouraged to look at the birth dates of younger looking clients to see if they were 18 and were now eligible for a credit card.

I recall learning clever tactics to convince them to get a card such as benefits to their credit rating for future credit access and the benefits of receiving free money for up to a six-week period.

I realize today that this represents a dramatically scaled-down version of a more general culture of pushing credit on unbeknownst consumers.

From the bankers’ perspective, think about how easy it would be to slide down the slippery slope of exploitative lending by finding ways to convince consumers to take on more credit that they don’t need.

Bankers are very bright people, and while well-intention at best, they understand the psychology behind consumer purchase decisions.

They know that a majority of the consumer population struggles to differentiate between cash and credit and that when consumers see a high credit limit they are more willing to use that credit in lieu of cash.

If you were a bank, you would have every motivation to push credit on consumers just up to the point prior to bankruptcy.

Call it greed or good business, the point is that this is a reality that we’re not talking about.

Eco-Friendly Tips for Managing Your Finances

Consumer Responsibility for their personal debt

One of the main reasons why this discussion hasn’t yet occurred is because the very conservative Canadian culture would argue that it’s up to Canadian consumers to spend responsibly and therefore to borrow responsibly.

Carney himself, in his message to Canadians, tends to use this approach.

What this completely overlooks however is how the power of Canadian financial institutions in influencing consumer behavior in Canada.

Several months back I was somewhat lambasted by the Sustainability Director of one of the Canadian banks because I criticized their green initiatives as green washing, a mere disguise for the blatant disregard that they oftentimes demonstrate to society.

My main criticism, like with many other firms I comment on, is that on the one hand the bank is marketing the hell out of their commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency in their retail branches but on the other ignores how their ongoing daily activities with business and individual consumers leaves them culpable to debt issues.

There is no question that the banks would respond to my above claims by completely denying responsibility for any increase in debt levels because it is up to the consumer to make sound credit decisions.

This is an expected response, one that several other industries have taken when they engage in activities that indirectly lead to major social issues.

The apparel industry denied responsibility for sweatshop labor in the 1990’s, the consumer electronics industry, up to a year ago, denied responsibility for the suicides in their suppliers’ factories, the food and beverage industry denied responsibility for the obesity epidemic, and of course the tobacco industry denied responsibility for consumer deaths.

The banks got their first scare in 2008 with the financial crisis revealing that the inherent motivation of the financial industry does not necessarily align with society’s interests.

As Canadians figure out that debt levels, like cigarette addiction rates, are not necessarily caused by consumer irresponsibility but rather a blatant attempt by banks to exploit the vulnerabilities of their consumers, a major backlash will ensue.

Perhaps one so drastic that they end up like their tobacco company counterparts, cowering in a corner begging for mercy.

I’m not Environmentally Friendly, I’m Just Cheap

I started by asking myself if the decisions I make are “eco-conscious” or “frugal” ones. I initially thought it’s not an either/or question, rather a both/and proposition.

My dad instilled frugality, while my step-father promoted a sense of stewardship by having us collect cans to recycle.

There was a monetary incentive.

Growing up in Los Angeles, each can had a deposit and we earned money for returning them.

If memory serves, my step-sisters and I earned over $100 for turning in cans (multiple large trash bags full of crushed cans).

Every time I come back to the question of whether I walk somewhere because it’s good for the environment or I’m just cheap, I almost always tend toward the frugality.

I can’t stand paying for gas.

Every time I drive the car I think about how much money I’m wasting and how much I could save by walking (or biking).

Every month, when our auto loan gets deducted from our meager checking account, I curse how expensive it is to own a newer car.

The same goes for the insurance on it.

We don’t drive much, neither my wife or me.

In all honesty I don’t know what her aversion to driving is.

She supports environmental awareness, but I don’t know if she quite disdains the financial commitment the way I do.

The funny thing is that it doesn’t matter at the end of the day whether I’m a cheapskate or just being an “eco-warrior” because the two really go hand in hand.

Saving resources, like using cloth napkins instead of having to continually buy paper ones or paper towels, is all about saving.

Money, energy, trees; these are all resources.

I just can’t understand why people would willing spend money when there are viable, cheaper alternatives.

I suppose this explains why the savings rate has been so low in this country.

Debt – I’m talking about personal, not governmental – is something to be avoided.

Why wouldn’t someone choose the option that saves money?

There just happens to be an added benefit of saving other resources too sometimes.

Best Survival Knives So You Can Survive

Ka-Bar Survival Knives

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There are numerous survival knives available on the market.

It can be confusing for you to select the best one.

Best survival knives you can buy

And now that you’ve read our Survival Knife Buyers Guide So You Survive Extreme Environments, if you haven’t click here survival knife. 

KA-BAR Full Size Fighting Survival Knife (Straight)

A KA-BAR Becker BK7 knife is a full-size survival knife.

It’s perhaps the most efficient survival knives ever made, and my personal favorite.

The survival knives were initially manufactured to be used by American troops in World War II.

Although the design of the knife is the same, its performance has improved considerably.

These beautiful survival knives are something of an heirloom and you will want to pass it down to your children.

Its superior quality and design makes it a deadly combat knife and can also be used to skin animals.

The KA-BAR survival knife comes in two blade variations, the straight blade and the straight blade with serrations.

The survival knives are manufactured in the good’ole USA by Cutco Knife Corporation in New York State.

The design speaks for itself.

It is made to be reliable, has superb balance and a comfortable grip.

The design on the knife also features a USA stamp on the blade itself by the hilt.

Click here for the world famous KA-BAR Survival Knives Special Pricing

Specifications of the KA-BAR

The total length of the knife is measured at 11 7/8 inches and weighs approximately 0.70 pounds.

Apart from the blade under the handle, the 7” blade is manufactured using 1095 Cro-van carbon steel.

This is a high-performance carbon steel which is easy to maintain and sharpen but can rust if exposed to the elements for too long.

The blade can also be used to shave armpit hair, just in case you want to check how sharp it is.

But if you think it isn’t sharp enough, you can sharpen it easily using a great knife sharpener.

The knife’s curved and flat grind design also makes it an ideal hunting knife.

You can use it to skin deer or dress it.

The best thing about this knife is that it has a full tang blade which is an absolute must if you talk about survival knives.

Full tang knives provide superior power and durability.

The knife has an excellent synthetic rubber handle grip.

The leather washers given on the handle allows the knife to be held firmly even with sweaty palms.

You may not fall in love with the sheath of the knife as it may even be considered the least exciting part of the knife, but hey you could always replace it with a better quality sheath so that should not deter you from the actual product.

Here is a great review Survival Kit for the Ka-Bar Survival Knife

Ka-Bar Beck BK9 Survival Knives
Ka-Bar Beck BK9 Survival Knives

Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Bowie Fixed Blade Survival Knives

Ka-Bar BK9 Bowie (Check Prices) Survival Knives are manufactured using 1095 CroVan carbon steel and is ideal for using in a range of survival situations.

The blade itself measures at 3/16” and is pretty thin but strong which can be used for a number of different applications including chopping.

Its deep edge blade design can also be used for precise and adequate slicing tasks.

These Survival Knives are equipped with a thumb ramp which can be seen on the spine of the knife.

Some like the thumb ramp, others like myself find that after using it it cause a great deal pain in our main thumb joint.

The handle of the knife provides for a solid grip which prevents thumb tearing.

Ka-Bar Becker BK9 additional specifications:

Blade Dimension: 9 Inches, Thickness 3/16

Weight: 1.15 lbs

Length: 14 3/4 Inches

Grivory handle , Full Tang

The BK9 Combat Bowie Survival Knives have a sleek short clip blade edge renders it perfect for piercing and other gruesome applications such as digging and prying.

Plus, the knife’s full tang includes a specially designed butt augmentation which allows it to be used for a number of hammering applications as well.

The knife’s thin blade design provide added comfort when performing hammering, piercing and chopping or slicing tasks despite the blade’s vibration.

Consider the Bowie a multipurpose, large Survival Knives tool.

The Bowie handle is made with detachable Swiss Grivory slabs with three screws used to attach the slabs.

You can detach the slabs with a screwdriver if you want to customize the knife handle.

The Grivory is constructed using superior quality fiberglass nylon, which is both comfortable and firm, and users experience no fatigue at all carrying or using the knife.

The sheath of the Bowie is designed to be durable and made of kydex and nylon and also features a pocket for a knife sharpener or a small flashlight.

I’ve carried either one, but usually a small flashlight.

But if I do carry a knife sharpener I carry the Gerber 31-001270 Bear Grylls Field Sharpener.

As impressive as this may sound, the overall look and feel of the sheath cannot be compared with the BK9’s quality and look.

Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife (Fixed Blade)

The Swedish FireKnife is a wonderful camping knife made in collaboration by two companies, Light My Fire and Mora, a Swedish company.

Mora from Sweden has been in the knife manufacturing business for over 120 years.

The Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife (Check Prices) is more than just a handy knife.

Although it is really sharp and durable, the most interesting feature of the knife is its fire starter located at the base of the handle.

Simply put, you can use the knife to skin, gut and clean a fish and also light a campfire using the fire starter.

All you need to do is split the kindling and light a fire.

It is a great outdoor tool.

The knife is reputed for aiding in several tasks while on a camping trip but can also be taken along on a hunting expedition.

The Swedish FireKnife amalgamates dependability through its fire steel and a superior cutting blade to bring you an all purpose tool.

To build a campfire, all you need to is take out the fire starter from the bottom of the handle and slide it forcefully against the back of the blade and presto, there’s fire.

Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife Benefits

Sharp and durable blade designed by Mora.

High-friction rubber handle, which is easy to hold and work with.

Sheath with clip for mounting

FireSteel remains unaffected in extreme weather conditions and in water.

The FireSteel produces a 2980°C spark to light a fire.

Available in 3 colors.

Blade Length: 3.9″ (10 cm)

Dimensions (in sheath): 8.9″ x 1.8″ x 1.2″ (22 cm x 4.5 cm x 3 cm)

Weight (w/ sheath): 3.4 oz. (94 g)

Knife Length: 8.5″ (21.5 cm)

Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife Specifications

So, there you have a detailed description of some of the world’s most incredible survival knives.

Choose one from the list and rest assured it will aid you on your next camping or hunting expedition.

This is not a recommended Survival Knife per se because it is a folding survival knives, but it is a great tool that I personally use and carry in my bug-out pack.

Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Survival Knife with Speed Safe

The Kershaw Ken Onion Blur folding knife is a tactical blade which has a Speed Safe installed for added protection.

The Speed Safe design provides for a safe and quick release of the blade from its fold.

You can open its release using either your left or right hand.

This makes the knife ideal in different hunting or sporting scenarios where you can open the knife with only one hand if the other is occupied.

So when you go hunting or fishing, you don’t have to worry about using both hands to use a knife.

The blade is priced around $59 here on Amazon.

Specifications of the Kershaw Ken Onion Blur

The Kershaw Ken Onion Blur blade is manufactured using 13c26 stainless steel which is rust and corrosion proof.

The blade is designed to be sharp and brutal with added durability and reliability.

The 13c26 stainless steel is renowned for being deadly sharp, and unlike a plethora of survival knives and combat knives, this particular knife does not need to be sharpened before its initial use.

The knife is measured at 3-3/8 inches long and the blade is designed to be partially serrated and is a tanto blade which is perfect for piercing and sawing tough materials.

The tanto design is meant to provide brute strength for puncturing thick objects such as wood and animal skin and bones.

The total weight of the knife is approximately 4.2 ounces.

The entire casing and the handle of the Kershaw Onion Blur knife is made of anodized aluminum which provides for a firm and solid grip and frame.

You can hold and use the knife safely without injuring yourself.

The handle is manufactured using complex materials to provide the user a safe and firm grip, even in the most severe and intense conditions and scenarios.

The handle also has a Trac-tec grip installed that provides the users an extra firm grip.

The main benefits of the knife include speedy release of the blade, thanks to the Speed Safe torsion bar mechanism which allows users to release the blade using just one hand.

It has a wonderful grip, even in rainy weather.

The blade is incredibly sharp and durable and does not require frequent sharpening no matter how roughly you use it.

Survival Knives Guides:


Survival Knife Buyers Guide So You Survive Extreme Environments

Ka-Bar Survival Knives

Last Updated on

According to various survival experts around the globe, the most important tool or item in your survival kit is a dependable survival knife.

It is easily the most useful thing when it comes to surviving in extreme environments.

You can use it as a weapon to hunt small prey and as also as a tool for different applications.

So, it is imperative that you choose the right survival knife when looking for proper survival gear.

Believe it or not, it might just save your life.

But, like any tool it’s only as good (or effective) as the hand and brain that uses it.

What a survival knife should do

A good quality survival knife can be used to perform multiple functions in difficult situations like:

Chopping wood

Building a shelter

Preparing food

Signaling, with a polished blade

Starting a fire

Using as a hammer

Hunting or skinning animals

Prying something open, if necessary

Now, you have to make sure that your knife can indeed be used for all the functions mentioned above in a reliable way.

In the wild your knife will be your best friend.

You will be depending on each other.

The knife will depend on you for proper use and you will depend on for its functionality and reliability.

You will need a knife that you can rely on, so it’s time to take things a bit more seriously.

This survival knife guide aims to help identify the most important attributes in a quality survival knife.

So consider the following 5 features when selecting a survival knife.

And in full disclosure, let me say right up front I’m a huge fan of the Ka-Bar Survival knife (Check prices here).

It’s not perfect and it’s not the end-all-be-all, but for it does everything I need it to do well enough for me to have a chance to survive.

While not included in the top features of a survival knife, and for a good reason, a folding knife makes a bad choice when it comes to survival knives.

Almost every survival expert agrees that a folding knife is not a versatile as a fixed blade nor as strong.

No matter how strong it appears it will at some point in time break, all folding knives weaken and are weak at the joint.

It can break easily as compared to one that has a fixed handle.

But you can always take a folding knife as a backup option or when doing tasks which requires a shorter blade.

Survival Knife Buyers Guide

Everyday Carry EDC Knives

Top Things to Look for in a Quality Survival Knife:

Knife Tang

Ever notice the part of the knife’s blade that elongates into the handle?

That’s called the tang.

Under the handle of the knife, the tang extends to the tip of the knife and is made of steel.

Bear in mind that the tang and the blade are not different pieces of steel.

The tang which elongates all the way to the end of the knife’s hand is referred to as a ‘full tang’.

A full tang survival knife is considered by many survival experts as the perfect choice when selecting a survival knife.

A fully extended tang adds more strength and durability to the blade, lessening or even zeroing its chances of breaking as compared to a knife with a shorter tang.

Survival Knife Size

A majority of survival knives are between 5 to 12 inches in length.

Any less than 5 inches and it might not help you perform functions like chopping wood or prying things.

But, on the other hand, if you buy a blade which is bigger than 10 inches, you will have a machete on your hands.

But we are talking about survival situations, and a blade this long would only get in the way.

A big blade is hard to control and wield.

But, depending upon the terrain and my needs, I do sometimes have needed and used a bushwacker machete (check Prices here).

Survival Blade Design

The design of the blade is also argued amongst various users, but it mainly depends on what you will be using the knife for.

Here are some factors to consider when it comes to the design of the blade:

Survival Knife Blade Edge

When it comes to blade edge, the debate is between straight and serrated blades.

A smooth straight blade will be useful for chopping wood and doing intricate work.

Plus, it is much convenient to clean and sharpen.

And due to the fact that it is straight, you can use any stone to sharpen it.

So don’t worry if you lose your blade sharpener stone.

When it comes to serrated edges, you might want to stay away from them in survival situations.

While a serrated edge holds up well for many tasks, it requires a unique sort of blade sharpener and it isn’t easy to sharpen the serrated blades when you’re out in the open.

Unless you will be cutting rope on your journey, you won’t miss a serrated edged knife.

Spine of the Blade

It is good to find a knife that has a flat spine (the back of the blade), preferably without any serrations.

A flat back blade makes it easy to crack wood and you will be able to use it with fire steels to make fire.

The spine of the blade depends on what you use it for.

For example, there are double-edged spear point and tanto knives used by the military for close-quarters combat.

But it will do you no good when having to survive in the wild.

Although you can use tanto knives to fatally wound animals, you can’t chop or split wood with it.

Clip Point Blade

A clip point blade is shaped concavely so that the tip becomes thinner and ultimately sharper.

The back blade of the clip point is usually sharpened to create a double edge.

When you sharpen a clip point’s wrong edge, it becomes ideal for piercing and thus can be used for skinning small animals.

You can also use the sharp tip to pierce holes in cramped places.

As an example, the Ka-Bar Survival Knife has a clip point.

Drop Point Blade

A drop point blade’s back edge is designed to hunch downwards from the middle to join with the curved edge of the blade which is above the middle of the knife.

What’s more interesting is that all well-known survival blades and knives have this shape.

Knife Blade Grinds

The grind on the knife can tell a lot about the purpose of a particular survival knife’s design and what it should be used for:

Scandi Grind

The scandi grind is like a straight grind with only one difference: the bevel starts in the middle of the blade and not on the back of it.

But a grind like this is designed to add durability to the blade but it falls back on cutting abilities a bit.

Still the scandi grind is usually used for survival knives.

Hollow Grind

A hollow grind is designed to give a concave attribute to the knife with a beveled cutting edge.

The design is similar to the one used in straight razors used normally for shaving.

But the problem is that a hollow grind has a weak edge.

Although it is really sharp, it would require stropping repairs.

And you won’t find a grind like this on survival knives.

High Flat Grind

A high flat grind is comparable to a flat grind with the exception that a flat grind is not designed to travel all the way to the spine.

Hollow grinded knives have another bevel at the edge.

The second bevel could either be scandi or a convex.

Full Flat Grind

In this grind, the blade narrows down to the spine from both the sides of the blade.

In the process, a significant amount of metal is removed.

This is why it isn’t considered to be a proper survival knife.

Because much of the metal is removed to make the blade sharper, its durability drops considerably.

The Finnish Puuko is a perfect example of a full flat knife.

Full Convex Grind

Instead of narrowing down the blade with straight lines, the taper is given a curved shape.

This allows the blade to retain a proper amount of metal, making the edge more powerful and deadly sharp.

This type of grind is often used to make axes and is also referred to as an axe grind.

Blade Metal

There are two types of steel used for manufacturing survival knives, pure steel and carbon steel.

Each type of metal has its own merits.

The type you choose depends on what you need the knife for.

Stainless Steel

I am not a fan of stainless steel knife blades on a survival knife.

Stainless steel can be okay when you are in areas which is marine or harsh environment like a coastal areas.

Stainless steel lasts ridiculously long and does not rust.

Plus it is a durable metal.

But in terms of sharper and stronger edges they don’t hold a candle to carbon steel blades.

Carbon Steel knives are strong and durable as compared to its stainless steel counterpart.

Plus, most survival experts say that carbon steel blades are convenient to sharpen.

The only disadvantage the blade has is it can easily rust.

So, you have to take care of it.

Knife Handles

Knife handles also vary in terms of the materials used, some are made of leather, hard rubber others use durable plastic, strong wood or micarta canvas.

In terms of handle materials, all of them are good but it depends on how much you sweat.

If you have sweaty hands, it is a good idea to go with a rubber grip.

Be sure to look at the handle, if the handle is hollow, it is clear that both the blade and metal inside the handle are separate, which could end up breaking, not ideal for surviving conditions.

Plus, if you are keeping something important inside the handle of the knife and if the handle breaks away, you could be in an awkward situation.

So, try not to pick hollow handle knives.

They are not easy to grip and not even comfortable.

Hollow handle survival knives come with a compass attached at the bottom, so forget hammering anything because you will break the compass and risk getting sidetracked.

If you want a compass then buy a durable one which is waterproof and break proof.

Always look for a survival knife which has a whole body, meaning the metal inside the handle and the rest of the blade should be one.

Search for knives which have micarta canvas handles.

They are much more comfortable and durable.

So, the next time you decide to upgrade your survival kit and plan to replace your old survival knife, be sure to keep the above mentioned factors in mind before buying a survival knife.

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