Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Walking the Walk
Have you ever noticed that it is easier to talk about something than it is to actually do something? It is one thing to talk about "going solar" and another entirely to take the plunge and put your money where your mouth is. It is by far harder to walk the walk than it is to talk the talk.
Over the years, we have spoken with numerous people who want to live off-grid. The interesting thing is, that most of them know how to live an off-grid life better than we do. Sir Knight and I have politely listened to more people than we can count, tell us that our system is all wrong, that our wind turbine would have produced more power if we would have wired a 9 volt battery to the guy wires and that really, we could make more power than we could ever use if only we would put tin foil antennas on top of our solar array. They mention that they would never use two Xantrex inverters, because Bob's Solar has a super-duper all-in-one unit that makes solar panels obsolete and all you have to do is rub your hands twice a day in close proximately to the unit and you can run your electric forced air heater and hot water tank and still have power left over for the air conditioner. Foolish us, we have just lived off-grid for the last 10 1/2 years - they have taken that time to study, read and talk, and we are the lucky recipients of their acquired knowledge.
Now don't go getting the idea that I think we know everything about living off the grid. I love hearing how other people do things. It is amazing how creative people can get. One of my favorite pastimes is to trade notes with other off-grid types. The school of hard knocks has come calling to us all and we are the better for it. It is the all-talk no-action crowd that drive me nuts. It is amazing how much these folks know, but how little they can actually do. And it is not just off-grid living that attracts these folks - it is preparedness as well.
One of the hallmarks of a hard-core prepper is the determination to make sure that his preparations will not be in vain. The prepper that will actually survive the end of the world as we know it is the prepper that has tested his preparations. He knows that his food is fresh because he rotated it faithfully. He knows that his generator will run with a load because he regularly load tests and services it. He is confident that his oil lamps won't burn his house down, because he field tested numerous lighting methods and settled on the one that would best serve his needs. He is the go-to man in a medical crisis because he didn't just buy all the neat little gadgets, but he acquired the knowledge and skills required to effectively use those gadgets. He will survive the end of the world because he walked the walk. He didn't just talk about it.
Walking the the preparedness walk requires effort, commitment and inconvenience. You will be in for an expensive education, but an education that will serve you well when the grid goes down. Don't be the smartest guy in the room - the guy telling everyone else how to do it - with no real life experience backing you up. Be the guy who has done it. Be the guy who knows how to do it, not because you have read about it but because you have lived it, because you have practiced it. Be the guy who walks the walk - not the guy who talks the talk.