My name is Joe. I live in the suburbs of Pittsburgh in Southwestern Pennsylvania. I’m a white collar guy, but I was raised a farm boy in northern West Virginia. After high school I went to college, graduated got a job, got another job, got my master’s degree, and settled comfortably into a suburban existence with a successful career. Oh, and I got married and had a son and two daughters along the way. By the time my career started to take off I had lost most of my country/small town ways. Oh sure, I still went hunting and fishing occasionally. But much of what I had learned regarding self sufficiency growing up was very rusty, if it was still present at all.
Around 2012 I had a shift in perspective. This wasn’t a “lightning bolt” shift, but more of a gradual, tidal shift. I began to see more value in the lessons I learned growing up; the importance of a family garden, the value of land, a renewed joy in hunting and fishing to feed my family (not just to get away from my phone).
As these thoughts continued to bounce around in my head I began to work on various skills and projects to get me closer to where I wanted to be. I also began to think about moving out of the suburbs and back to a country life. One night I returned from visiting my father to find a letter stuck inside my door. It was from the local code inspector informing me that I would need a zoning variance for the 6′ x 8′ playhouse Dad and I had recently built for my daughters, and a building permit for the repairs I had recently completed on the postage stamp-sized porch I had recently repaired on my garage. Bear in mind, the playhouse was tiny. It had no electric service, no foundation, nothing. The “porch I had repaired was around 3′ x 6′. The total cost would have been somewhere in the $300 range. That was the last straw. I began making plans.
This website is intended to document my path to self sufficiency, and also to keep myself accountable. I will be posting about the projects and skills I am working on, as well as the things my family and I are doing in preparation for selling our home and moving back out to dirt road territory. We’ll be talking gardening and permaculture, hunting and fishing, home and auto repair, water storage, and the thousand other subjects that make up a self sufficient life. For the record, I don’t consider myself a prepper. I used to think in those terms, but I’ve come to realize that pursuing a self-sufficient lifestyle makes prepping redundant. I’m certainly not against preppers and prepping. But it seems that most who take on that label seem to be more interested in the idea of prepping, than in actually doing anything (other than going to the gun range once a month).
So now we’re learning things. We’re building things. And we’re making plans for our future. In short, we’re walking down the self-sufficient path. Come along with us. If you get something out of this, please take a moment to “like” the Facebook page, like whatever Youtube videos you fancy, share the blog; whatever. Thanks for checking us out, and thanks for supporting selfsufficientpath.com.