Living off the grid can be extremely difficult, but also extremely rewarding. Off-grid living isn’t for everyone. But for those willing to make the extreme life change, it will lessen your growing dependency on income and increase your time spent with family. This guide will walk you through the reasons for an off-grid way of life, how to attain it, and the benefits of becoming the ultimate survivalist.
But before you start setting up your modern-day homestead, you’re going to have to think about some big questions:
- Will you be using electricity? If so, how will you be generating it?
- Where will you get water?
- Will you need to process or treat the water to make it potable?
- How much money will you need?
- Where will you get it from?
- How will you access the Internet if you still need it?
- How many people will be members of your community?
- How will labor be divided throughout the community?
- Will you be buying food, or growing and hunting it?
- How will your off-the-grid community be defended without law enforcement officers?
The first question you have to answer if you decide to live off-grid is where you plan to do this. Nearly everywhere in the continental United States has something wrong with it in terms of living off grid. Some places are too dry, and some aren’t good for growing food. Other places are too close to cities, while others are in nuclear fallout zones. Some states have laws making gun ownership and off-grid living prohibitively difficult. And others are just too cold to sustain wildlife.
So what should you look for when it comes to picking the three most important factors in off-grid living: location, location, location?
- Be at least a tank of gas from a highway.
- Research natural disasters that frequently befall areas you’re interested in.
- Look into less-common, but entirely probable, natural disasters.
- Read about nuclear fallout patterns. Nuclear war might not top your list of concerns, but you should at least be informed.
- Consider whether or not you want to be part of an existing community and where you can connect with one.
- If you plan to use solar power, make sure the area gets plenty of sunlight.
- No matter what your plans are, you’re going to need water. That means proximity to a river or stream, a good supply of groundwater or, at the very least, plenty of rain.
- Hunters should research local and state hunting laws.
- Friendly gun laws are an absolute must when it comes to living off-grid, which rules many states out.
- In general, a small-government culture will help keep you from being prosecuted for “stealing” rain water.
- Good soil is a must to grow your own food.
- Shelling out big money for land defeats the purpose, so look for cheap land.
Water is the number one resource you’re going to need. That water needs to be clean, close and plentiful enough that you can access it year round for everything from drinking to watering crops.
Crops are a must when living off grid. And much like water, it’s important to have multiple ways to access food. That means three main sources: growing, gathering and hunting.
Clothing is a topic that most off-the-grid guides ignore. You have a few different options here, such as stocking up and storing clothes for the future. However, a lot of the same skills that are required for feeding yourself can also keep you clothed.
While weapons and ammo are a must, the more immediate threat to yourself and your family is not from armed invaders – it’s from the elements. Off-grid homes come with a special concern: They need to be impenetrable not just to the elements, but to the critters who will be wandering around. From little guys like squirrels to big beasts like bears, your off-grid home should be protected pests of all sizes.
Most of the animals are totally harmless, but the issue is that they’re going to be a nuisance especially when they start eating you out of house and home. And no matter how much you love the nanny goat giving you milk, chances are pretty good that you don’t want her hanging out in your living room.
Protecting your property with non-lethal forms of defense is another important factor, but keep in mind that electricity use needs to be limited when living off the grid. Sentry systems and other security systems are great to have, but are too much of a drain on your power supply. At the very least, having a couple of dogs around to patrol the property is a good idea not to mention a fun one.
Living off the grid is hard especially when you’re getting started. But when you ask yourself if the life you’re living now is easy, you will realize the freedom that comes with being completely self-sufficient. Living off the grid means living for yourself, making you far better prepared for difficult times than you would be living in the city.