When people stock up on supplies the tendency is to plan to cover a specific period of time only and then not to re-stock until then. In other words, there is a tendency towards a bit of brinksmanship. We all like to think of that as efficient.
But you shouldn’t do that if you live remote.
When living, planning and stocking to live off-the-grid, you have to plan for ‘some extra’. The hard part is figuring out how that ‘extra’ need or requirement might show up.
I buy 100 gallons of gasoline for about four months of running boats and small engines and so, as I work through the inventory to month three, I book the barge delivery for the next month. The assumption, of course, is that the barge will be there for me. Reasonable enough, wouldn’t you say?
I tend towards having the barge come three times a year when, in fact, I have the storage capacity for leaving it to two times. But, for that kind of just-in-time management to happen, everything has to run out at the same time and so I tend to overlap a little. Reasonable-but-leaning-towards-the-cautious side, wouldn’t you say?
Not enough, it seems.
The barge will not be there for me this month. This time the barge is in drydock. Like I said – I can stretch propane and diesel til they come back but, this time my gasoline supplies are too low. And I found out about that when I phoned today. We will be out of gasoline too soon! Damn!
I am not really complaining. The barge will be back next month and we can cope till then. I only have to ‘bridge’ that 30 day gap and I can do that with a few portable Jerry cans. No big deal. We did that for years. Some people still do (full containers really stink up a car when you are traveling over bumpy roads. It is something to be avoided if at all possible).
But, honestly, this is just another small example of being just a smidge behind the learning curve out here. I really should have enough of all fuels on hand for five months and plan on calling the barge as month three is ending. I really should have had that extra month in reserve.
Lesson learned. Another storage container will be purchased.
As I plan and stockpile into my eighth year out here, I still wonder if I have the right assessment on things. It is only natural. I am still learning and not fully confident in my off-the-gridding competence. I kinda know I’ll screw up a bit now and then but the comfort comes from knowing that I won’t likely make the same mistake twice. The discomfort comes from knowing that there are always new ways to screw up. And I will find them. This time it was fuel. And, like most screw-ups, the situation is made a bit more dire by it being winter. Travel plans are always more ‘iffy’ in the winter. There is a bit more urgency to it now………….
Is this worthy of a blog post? Perhaps not. We all run out of things now and then. That’s life. In fact, it is the very definition of life – we run out of it! But running out of fuel when you live remote is a bit more vulnerable-making, a bit more ‘dicey’, don’t you think? Well, I do. I will address this issue a bit sooner rather than later.
It is the prudent thing to do.