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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

What tools/supplies are essentials!
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Judith Tjosvold    Posted 03-18-2002 at 20:55:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Planning to live off the land in the next couple of years. Tired of the rat race.What are the "tools to have". My husband is very concerned about using oil lamps. He says they are horrible and sooty. Have oil lamps improved over the years? Are there any tricks to having a cleaner burning lamp? All e-mails will recieve a big thank you and a reply!!! Thank you!

Okie-Dokie    Posted 03-19-2002 at 15:11:17       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The absolute best source of this type of information is Just click on the forum and ask away.

Ludwig    Posted 03-19-2002 at 12:09:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'd plan on a few electric lights. A rig like the
Nomad power source would power a couple
compact flourescent bulbs full time without
too much trouble. Oil lamps are nifty and all,
but you'll still need a reliable source of oil.
With one of the nomads you'd need bulbs
every 5 years or so, and the sun.
Of course you could go all out and build a full
solar setup, but I get the feeling you want to
limit your technology. I like that idea too, but
when I'm trying to read or get something done
I like an electric light.
Another thing to consider is safety concerns, if
you needed to work on the car or tractor or
something I wouldn't feel safe using an oil
lamp if there was gasoline involved.

Ludwig -link to nomad    Posted 03-19-2002 at 12:09:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
I almost forgot

geo in MI    Posted 03-19-2002 at 06:12:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
All you need is an axe, a rifle, and a shovel.
That's how Abe Lincoln did it for a number of years.

Hogman--naw    Posted 03-19-2002 at 08:42:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
That was Al Gore

I LOVE THIS SITE!    Posted 03-19-2002 at 17:28:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
HAHAHAHAHAHA, HOO EEY... oh it hurts to laugh this hard, but thanks all the same Hogman

Tom A    Posted 03-19-2002 at 04:48:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Oh my! Hopefully you either have experience doing this growing up, or have been reading and studying for a long time...this isn't something to jump into and be successful with. We'd studied for years and still didn't know what we didn't know. But, it can be done...with good neighbors helping, some books, and this web site, there's lots of information around.

First, you need lots of tools. Small tractor, implements, etc etc. A good place to start with a lot of stuff (especially household and garden) is Lehman's. They are a company who specializes in non-electric stuff mainly for Amish and Mennonite customers, but they also deal with the rest of us. Their printed catalog is excellent, as is the quality of their merchandise. They have a number of very good books to help you figure out what you need, and whether this is even a good idea for you all.
Lehman's website is at:

As far as kerosene lamps, the only ones for in the house, in my opinion, are Aladdins. They were invented in 1908 and have been improved upon ever since. They are not cheap (the least expensive one they sell now runs about $80 and they run up to several hundred; older ones go to several thousand!). But: no smoke, smell, soot or whatever, and they are bright. Their website is:

Best of luck. If you are prepared it will be lots of hard work but incredibly fun and very rewarding. If you are not prepared in advance, you will be miserable and ultimately fail. Just trying to let you know: be prepared before you 'jump in.'


Judith Tjosvold    Posted 03-19-2002 at 11:30:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks Tom!!!
We have been practising now for about 5 years. Not quite confident enough for the full off the grid thing yet! Currently we are on 10 rural acres, but we are close enough to work and go to the stores when the need comes. Thanks for the tips about the lamps as this has been sort of the running joke in our home as to how sootie everything will be with a wood stove and the lamps. I grew up with a wood stove ( good ole Mama bear) but I am sure that as a child the last thing on my mind was cleaning!!!And I just don't remember everything being filthy. This year the only new thing we might try is to raise a weiner pig. We are almost ready!!!

Tom A    Posted 03-20-2002 at 05:08:56       [Reply]  [No Email]

Sure, my pleasure.

For what it is worth (another source), there are usually lots of Aladdin lamps for sale on ebay...old ones are collector's items.

But right now there's one there that is relatively new (1980-1990 era) and isn't so sought after by collectors. As I type this, the bid is at $15.50 and the auction closes later today so there might be a chance to pick up a working Aladdin fairly cheap. You can search ebay for "alladin lamp" and see all the ones there, or go to the link below to see the specific one I'm talking about.

Happens to be same model as the first one my wife and I bought several years ago that got us interested in them. You'll have to buy a mantel, maybe a wick, and definitely instructions for lighting it, but if it stays under about $40 this appears like it might be a good starter.


Judith Tjosvold    Posted 03-20-2002 at 08:44:11       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-18-2002 at 21:10:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
I don't want to bust your bubble but you have a very lot to learn and hard work ahead of you if you want to live off the land and not on the grid. The list of tools is many and the knowlege to do it will take years to develope. What you need depends on how rough you want it on your self and the climent you will live in. Access to water in the winter, keeping your food fresh, growing you own food can be hard loose a crop and you starve. Staying warm in the winter and having enought wood to make it thru the months. Why don't you give us a idea of what you have in mind for your way of living. Are you talking about moving to the country or realy living off the land totaly independent of others. Just a few of your ideas would help. Mark H.

kraig WY    Posted 03-18-2002 at 21:07:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Try adladin lamps. Not near as bad a plan oil lamps put out more light too. Gonna need a little more information to be much more help.

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