Here’s a little exchange between somebody named Stella, Nicole, and of course, Charles who is basically irrelevant.

And here’s a clip from the link that Stella provided.

Stella’s statement, you aren’t off the grid if you are still using electricity, is incorrect, of course.  Her link is not.

Nicole’s statement of what being off-grid actually means is equally incorrect, or more like disingenous.

Nicole’s basic idea is that if you simply unplug from the local electric company and use a generator, you are off-grid.  You aren’t connected to the electrical grid, therefore you are superior.

Dave has two chainsaws. One is a largish, gas-powered saw which he uses mostly for bigger pieces of firewood. The other is much smaller, much lighter and electric.  He uses it mostly to limb trees.

Sometimes, those trees are located too far away from an electrical outlet to be convenient, so he puts a generator in a wagon and takes it with him to the tree.

According to Nicole’s idea of off-grid, Dave is being just that when he’s using a generator to power his electric chain saw.  He’s also off-grid when he’s using the gas-powered chain saw.

We have an outdoor shower that we use in the summer months.  The hot water is supplied by a propane on-demand hot water heater.

According to Nicole’s idea of off-grid, that means our shower is off-grid. The energy to heat the water comes from propane, and the water itself comes from our well.

We are not connected to any regional water supply. We have a well.

We have a septic tank, so we are not connected to any sewer service.  According to Nicole’s idea of off-grid, we are off-grid when it comes to sewage disposal.

Off-grid implies autonomy.  It carries with it the idea that not only are you not connected to the power pole at the edge of your property, you are not dependent in any way on the electric company.

Joe and Nicole have a couple of very small solar panels.  I do not know, but doubt, that those produce enough power to keep them running that large monitor/TV that they have in the garden shed for any significant length of time.

I know for a fact that they run a generator a lot.  I was there right after dark one night and it was going.  Nicole mentions it a good bit, enough that I suspect they run it every evening, all evening, until bedtime.

For more about what is involved with solar panels, read this.

But let’s argue, for the sake of this discussion, that their two little solar panels supply what they need in terms of electricity on the shitstead.

If that were the case, then that would mean that the Nauglers are, in fact, off-grid regarding electricity.

However, they are not off-grid when it comes to water, or sewage.  Nor are they off-grid if they rely on that generator for more than emergency use.

They tried to be regarding sewage, but ran into the long arm of the law.  They now have a Porta-potty, and whether they like it or not, that set-up is owned by an outside company and dependent on that company to come empty.  I am assuming here, probably incorrectly, that they are actually using the thing and not still just dumping shit in defiance.

They have no water source on their property that isn’t contaminated. I’ve seen nothing to indicate that they have any serious water filtration system, and much of their difficulties with other people seems to center around their efforts to obtain water.  They haul water from the shop.

They have a refrigerator at the shop.  They have electricity at the shop. They have water at the shop. They have a bona-fide bathroom at the shop.

All they do is obtain what they need in terms of utilities from the shop and transport it to the shitstead.  Or in the case of the generator, they obtain the energy source they need from the local gas station and transport it to the shitstead. That was what Quinten was doing on the day the Blessed Little Chariot fell apart.

I highlighted two key words in the definition that Stella provided to Nicole and Nicole didn’t bother to read.


Completely independent.

They mean just what they say.  It’s not about a plug in the wall.  It’s about independence.

The Nauglers would last, in terms of utilities, about a day on that shitstead without any outside inputs of energy.  Maybe two days if they hauled a hell of lot of water in and stored it.

What we really need is for Nicole Naugler to write a blog post about preparedness.


14 thoughts on “Gridlock”

  1. she’s an off gridder who uses disposable diapers, store bought can food, a laundromat, a port-a-potty (I doubt they use that, as it is so much easier to use a bucket, than to walk to the potty at 2 am), gas power generator (not only is she having to go into town to buy gas and haul it back, it must be stored safely, and it is very loud, not neighbor friendly at all), water is obtain from her business, which is not off grid, they have no garden, no orchard and what happened to the all important herb garden? (Really, what homeless encampment can do without a herb garden?? Weed??). No food producing livestock and no knowledge whatsoever on how to maintain a herd, flock, pack, gaggle, trip, brood, or even a clutch. Let’s not even talk about their mismanagement of land. Trees, bushes, foliage, soil, pond, grading, road maintainment (yes, road, as in their driveway not being drivable in rain or snow, they haven’t figured out how to solve that and they have been there how long??).

    She couldn’t survive a week without running to the shop or store or gas station. She is not prepared. Part of being being prepared is having a back up plan. Having escape routes in case of a fire. I wonder if they have even done a fire drill. Having money in savings is being prepared. Even if it’s just 20 bucks tucked away in a can (of course the more people you are responsible for it only stands to reason you will need more money in savings).

    What Nicole & Joe are is homeless. Just like all the poor unfortunate souls here in the Bay Area who live next to the freeways and off ramps in encampments with tents, blue tarps, solar panels, etc.. They too shit where they are, beg for donations and have campfires. The only difference is that those who live next to the freeway aren’t forcing 11 kids to be homeless with them.
    Also, I don’t believe for one minute that Nicole is a miniualist. She is way too fond of knickknacks and bows and critters. She shops to much at dollar stores and such. If she was a miniulist her tiny house would not be filled with so much junk. Nor, would she have bike parts everywhere (funny thing is around here in the Bay Area you can tell a meth house by the bike parts, and lawn mower parts all over the places they stay even and especially in homeless encampments). I think she calls her self a miniualist to make her seem or feel better about not being able to buy the things she wants for herself and children. I mean really, what miniualist makes a million bows when she is trying to sell you on the idea of being a miniualist? A miniualist that uses disposable diapers that’s who.


  2. If the property they are on were to have much rain, I think their “house” would be in danger. From the photos I saw, the structure is resting on several towers of cinderblock; it doesn’t have an actual foundation. A good amount of rain washing out the soil around those towers, and the towers will fail. There is a reason why structures aren’t built upon towers of cinderblock. Even the beach houses that look like they are sitting up on “legs” aren’t really sitting in a couple legs.

    I find the entire off-grid idea is ridiculous for the most part. There are people that have successfully set themselves up off grid; Cody Lundin literally built his home from the ground up to be almost completely self-reliant and off grid. He gets propane every 18 months or so.
    When Cody wanted a self-reliant home, he put in the research and work and did it properly. He didn’t drag 10 children along for the ride and make them do the work. Nor did he buy garden sheds and use them basically as disposable homes.

    Offgrid is supposed to be gentler to nature. It is supposed to be as much about leaving few footprints as possible as it is self-reliance. The point is to use resources wisely, not to take shortcuts so you can congratulate yourself. The Ns are not doing this. The way they “compost” waste is right out wrong. Any vet could tell them its right out wrong (they all have to take “field sanitation” classes multiple times in a given stint). Actual field sanitation isn’t as easy as walking up the hill and dumping buckets. Their waste disposal method is irresponsible and dangerous. Burning their trash is very likely literally toxic. I highly doubt they limit themselves to burning paper products (even that isn’t necessarily all that safe). Burn pits are very common in Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Iraq; those pits have been associated with long term health issues for soldiers that were forced to live around them. Since the Ns eat so much canned food, I’d bet they burn all their aluminum cans. A few cans here and there is OK. Burning the number of cans used by a family of 11 in an open burn pit on a regular basis? Very likely toxic. Maybe they figure that a short life of “freedom” is worth the risk. The problem is that they are dragging their children (and grandchild? Don’t they live there too?) into this mess and endangering them too.

    Maybe they want to unschool so their kids won’t ever have a chance to question how dangerous and irrational what their parents do is. The problem is that the numbers are not in their favor. Eventually a child will grow up, move out, and research for themselves; then that child will tell their siblings and the truth will come out. These aren’t issues that you can have a mere opinion on that is debatable; these are issues that are clearly right and wrong.


  3. Burning their trash is very likely literally toxic.

    I don’t think they burn trash. They just haul it to the shop and dispose of it there.


  4. Off the Grid News donated the solar panels after the kids were removed and the story blew up.

    That is correct. The set up they have is appropriate for camping, not full time living.


  5. I read somewhere that JN said they burn their trash “like people in the country do.”

    If so, I stand corrected. But people in the country (like us) don’t burn everything. We burn burnable stuff, not metal cans.

    We do not have trash pickup here. We recycle what we can, burn what we can, and then keep a big bin in the garage and fill it with what we can’t. Dave takes a large bag to the dump about once every two weeks or maybe once a month. It costs $1 to dispose of it.


  6. Thanks for putting this in perspective. Without access to the on-grid utilities at their shop or buying gas for their generator, in the event of a true disaster the Nauglers would be worse off than many of us “on the grid”.

    People who live in honest to goodness houses usually have short-term storage capacity for disaster needs. Where do FIFTEEN Nauglers store their “prepper supplies” to carry them for days following a catastrophe ? Under the stilted shed-on-cinder-blocks, shared with the vermin and dogs? After a long and hard rain on the ‘Stead, what a great unschooling lesson for the children: “Find the supplies in the mud.” Or perhaps, the supplies are in the chicken coop or simply out in the open.

    Note: Disaster preparedness was part of the my kids’ STATIST elementary school experience. The children participated in checking and stocking the school’s disaster supplies, and were taught what a home should be stocked with in the event of our regional natural disaster: earthquakes, fires, power outages, high winds.


  7. Burning trash is an issue of particular hatred for me. The people that sold us this house used to burn their trash. There are patches of soil that are literally toxic. Our second eldest daughter can’t touch the dirt in some areas of the property without breaking out in hives. Our plan is to plant various plants to clean up the soil somewhat so its at least better than it was. They bought the land in the 70s and built a place on site. I imagine our current trash service is fairly recent, and they didn’t feel like going to the dump, and thereafter just didn’t feel like paying for trash service. There is literally about 40 years of trash burn toxicity in certain areas. Our neighbor rents part of his property to a sort of commune, they live in old railroad cars scattered around on 2.5-5 acres (the owner owns 2 5 acre tracts, but I don’t know if he rents them the entire 5 acres or merely part of the 5 acres). The commune people don’t take their trash to the dump and they don’t have trash service. I’m pretty positive that they burn their trash. On the days they decide to burn trash the air is acrid and awful and I don’t let the kids outside. They “compost” their waste too; right next to my wellhouse. I test our well water to make sure there is no leeching into our water and so far so good. I wish I could do something about both those issues. Unfortunately, I have zero proof because their property is off the road behind a ton of large trees and I can’t see them doing either activity. I’ve been told they compost their waste, I’ve never seen it. Everyone in the road association knows this, we are the only ones close enough to be effected by the composted waste. I believe they burn their trash because of the smoke, because they never have trash out, and I’ve never seen them haul it. They can’t have trash service because their location doesn’t have an actual address. If I reported them I will piss off my road association that is fine and dandy with it, so we’re stuck at present until I can prove danger.

    My dislike of how the Nauglers live “off grid” is in part because I live next to people that do the same things. The big difference is that that commune has absolutely ZERO children on it.


  8. Here in suburban Sydney in Australia, we aren’t allowed to burn off anything. Ever. However the local council provides us with a wheely rubbish bin (red lid), a recycling bin (yellow lid) and a green waste bin (green lid), and all are emptied once a week, so we really have no need to burn rubbish at all. There is also a local council kerbside large rubbish collection if we need it, three of four times a year – we ring the council, book a pick up in, and then leave whatever on the kerb, and the council dudes swing by and grab it.

    I admire people who can successfully and sustainably live off grid. It’s admirable because they generally leave very little carbon footprint, and are almost totally self reliant. I’d love to be able to do it, but I suffer from chronic laziness, so am unable to 😉

    I find it hilarious when the Naugler leg humpers say “You guys will fare better than the rest of us if a disaster happened” and the like, because the reality is, they’d be in dire straits on their shit covered stead with their rusty cans etc. Being prepared to them, means having a few extra nondescript tins of dubious age lying around. I feel for those kids so much, but until they are old enough to see their parents for what they are, instead of just loving them as kids do, they are hamstrung.


  9. We have already seen what the Nauglers emergency plan is: hightail it into town, leaving all animals behind to fend for themselves. If they couldn’t stick it out when the children were removed, imagine Joe and Nicole’s panic if they couldn’t recharge their phones and Kindles.


  10. I am as citified and “statist” as they come. I have canned peaches, peach jelly, apple butter, elderberry syrup, grape jelly, plums, plum jam, and strawberry jam. I also am a single parent of teens who go to school and have jobs. I also work full time. I wonder what Mr “Unschooling” wholesome stay-at-home dad canned with his kids.


  11. Recently, I had to use a porta-a-l
    pot. No big deal. fairs, festivals, etc.

    One thing that struck me and gave me huge pause was on the cleaning schedule it clearly states it’s good for up to 10 people in a normal week.

    I read that and that the Nauglers must be paying for weekly cleanings. They have to be. There is no way it would last longer. It states on the ones here up to 10 people on a normal week.

    how do they afford that? I know not my business really, but honestly you would think that is one of the first things they would want to square away. Sewage removal in a safe way and water.

    From the very beginning I was dumb founded they don’t have water access on their land and still dumbfounded after 45k plus in donations they still don’t have water access on the land.

    Logic to me is you need water access on your land before you have horses, goats, and other live stock.


  12. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again-We are constantly losing power, often for days at a time. We live in the middle of nowhere and I swear if someone farts too close to the power lines we’re out for a day or 2 and a few times it has been 5-8 days. Yes, we have went 8 days without power. In the middle of July, which is the hottest time of the year here. We don’t have any form of manual water pump (it’s on my list of needs though) but we have cases of water and Gatorade stocked up. I typically have enough time to fill up gallon jugs too that I keep on hand, tied to a string together for that reason. ONE time we were ill prepared and it was just a few months after we moved in, the closest gas stations were out of water before we could get there. We ended up driving 45 minutes across the state line for water and a generator, every single local store was out of generators and water. Locals were seriously having block parties, everyone would bring their cold foods that wouldn’t last long without power to grill up and share, it was AMAZING. The power company was bringing cases of water door to door. We actually didn’t even use the generator, we grilled what we could and threw everything left into the chest freezer, nothing went bad in that 8 days! It wasn’t bad at all, we have children too but it really wasn’t bad at all. It wasn’t severe weather though, it was one really bad, windy storm (the news said it was hurricane force winds), power was knocked out for the whole area, then it was really nice, hot, summery weather. There was a ton of people who spent most of that time clearing away fallen trees, every single business was closed because of no power (even the ones with generators because they were moving their genes to the hospital or the hospital was moving kind of like triage to the places with running the genes. No one had work so there was huge groups of people with chain saws making the rounds. It was such a beautiful thing. I am SO glad I moved to this area. If NN digs deep enough, she might figure out where I live now :O I don’t think hurricane force winds are very common this far inland.


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