How to keep your secluded family get away equipped with modern necessities
We live in a digital world. It’s great to take the time to get away from it all by heading off into a secluded area, but it is still important to keep certain modern necessities. That can be a challenge if your soothing retreat takes you off the grid because most of those modern devices depend on electricity. Fortunately, there are a few ways things that you can do to get the seclusion that you need and still keep access to all of the comforts of the modern world.
Use Solar Electricity
Electricity is an absolute necessity in the modern world. Take a minute to think about all of the devices that you use which depend on it. You probably have a phone that needs regular recharging, a computer that can only run when it is plugged in, electric microwaves, and a huge number of other devices. Some of them can survive for a little while on battery power, but that won’t cut it for very long. If you want to keep using them, you will need a way to get power without depending on the local electric grid.
An off the grid solar power system is generally the best option. A solar panel array can be very big or very small, depending on how much power you need. They all run on the same basic principles, so all you need to worry about is the amount of power that your system can generate and its size.
Larger panels provide more power, but they’re also harder to transport and set up. The best way to strike a balance is to measure the amount of power that you use on a regular basis, and get a system that provides just a little bit more than that. That extra power can go into batteries to cover the times when the sun isn’t shining.
The easiest way to get started is to just buy a kit that is designed specifically for cabins or vacation homes. The kit should have everything that you need, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting anything. People who only need a little power may want to look at portable systems instead. Those can rarely handle much more than recharging phones or laptop computers, but they do get the job done for an RV or similar accommodations.
Connect to the Internet
Most of us depend on the Internet to get in touch with our friends and to get work done. We need to be able to stay connected. That is easily done in most urban areas where there are plenty of great providers to choose from, such as Earthlink internet – but it is much harder in the wilderness. Most people who are out in the wilds will only have two options to choose from.
Satellite Internet systems are popular among people who live in rural areas, where other connections are simply unavailable. The system relies on a small satellite dish instead of cables, which makes it cheap and easy to install in almost any part of the world. It can be a little bit slower than a wired connection, but it gets the job done. The biggest disadvantage is that they need a clear line of sight to the satellites in order to function. Rough terrain or even bad weather can cause problems.
The alternative is to connect to the Internet through a phone network. Most smartphones can connect right out of the box, but you can also turn one into a router to let other devices use the connection. This can take a little bit of work and not every phone can handle it, but it is a great way to hook up a lot of devices at once. The downside to this method is that it can be restricted by your phone plan. Many of them have a cap on the amount of data that you can send through them while they are acting as a router. Be sure to check your plan before you decide to rely on one of these systems so that you can be sure that it is safe to rely on it for an extended period of time.
Build Passive Solar Devices
Solar panels and a simple Internet connection can cover most of your basic needs, but it is possible to do even better. You can heat a cabin or cook food with electricity, but you can also use passive solar power. That will cut down on the size of the solar panel array that you need, which can make it much easier to power all of your other devices.
If you are building or renovating a cabin, you should try to keep passive solar design principles in mind. A good system can cover all the heating and cooling for a building in most seasons, so it is worth the effort. If you are in a mobile home or RV, try to park it so that you can control the temperature through passive means.
The sun can also make sure you have a hot shower. The most basic method is to buy a solar shower pouch and use it to heat water over time, but you can also build or buy a larger solar water heater to get more hot water at once.
If you want to cook without relying on electric power, you can build a solar oven. It is a quick and easy project that should only take a few hours, and it is simple enough that you can get the kids involved. Cooking with one takes a long time, so it is best for things that can slowly roast and survive a little bit of imprecise cooking.
You can enjoy the peace and serenity of the wilderness and still keep all of your modern devices. All it takes is a little bit of engineering and a willingness to rely on the bounty of the sun. The tools are simple, effective, and even good for the environment, so everyone should consider putting them to good use.