Learn how to create a self-sufficient homestead and live off the grid with the help of this beginner’s guide.
With all apocalyptic jokes aside, more people than ever are thinking about switching from consumer-driven lifestyles to more off-the-grid ones. This idea is replete with romantic notions of living off the land, preserving energy, and using only what is deemed necessary.
But it’s not really that simple. Making the transition off the grid requires thought, effort, and planning. And once you’re there, the work will continue with the upkeep and maintenance of your homestead.
Let’s simplify this as much as we can by going through each of the most crucial items you’ll require for off-grid living one step at a time.
What is Living Off the Grid?
Living off the grid involves avoiding all traces of modern technology while remaining independent and cut off from the rest of society. For various people, living off the grid can mean different things.
For some, it may only involve installing solar panels or making a concerted effort to save energy in other ways. Others may choose to do so by integrating water-saving technologies into their modern lifestyle.
Living off the grid means you are in charge of meeting all of your needs, regardless of your motivations. Housing, food, water, electricity, power, sanitization, and healthcare are all included. Numerous preparations are needed as well as sustainable systems.
Essential Things to Survive Off-grid Living
You should have a fundamental understanding of homesteading before learning how to live off the grid.
The three elements of food, water, and shelter make up the practical definition of survival. If you’re planning to go forward with this lifestyle, make sure you have access to these essential things:
The basis of your off-grid lifestyle is your land. To live off the grid, you need a piece of land that is conducive to your new way of life. Finding land in a remote location, away from stringent building codes and permit requirements, is typically necessary to accomplish this. You can buy more land for your money and pay less in property taxes in these areas.
The shelter is the next thing you need. To survive, every human being needs to have access to this basic need. A yurt, which is essentially a large octagonal tent, can also serve as your off-grid home. Other options include a cabin, a traditional wood-frame house, a tiny house, a cob house, an Earthship, a strawbale home, or even a cabin.
There are numerous types of shelters, so it’s a good idea to decide which type you’ll buy or build before you even set foot on your land.
Water & Water Collection System
Living off the grid requires access to a reliable source of potable water. The land you choose must either have a natural water source or be near a convenient water-hauling location because you will most likely not have access to city water or municipal county water sources.
You also require a water collection system. It could be as simple as a rain barrel water catchment system attached to your home’s gutter, or it could be a more intricate cistern water collection system that gathers all the rainwater from your roof.
You will benefit from growing your own food in a garden and/or greenhouse since you most likely won’t have regular access to supermarkets and convenience stores to shop for food.
A traditional garden, some raised beds, and a greenhouse stocked with fruits and vegetables are all wise additions. If your homestead is equipped for raising livestock, you can also produce meat and eggs there.
Power Supply, Storage, and Generation
Off-grid living doesn’t always entail going without electricity. Power is still a crucial component of off-grid living for many people. It simply means that you are in charge of producing the necessary energy and fuel.
Utilizing solar power is one way to generate electricity. Depending on how much energy you require, the average cost to install solar panels can range from $10,000 to over $25,000. Solar panels are beneficial for your new way of life as well as acknowledged as actively reducing living expenses and climate change.
Residential wind turbines are yet another source of renewable energy. Depending on the size and output you require, these units can cost a lot of money. EnergySage estimates that the typical price range for a small wind turbine project that provides the primary source of electricity for a homeowner is between $15,000 and $75,000
Off-grid living may require wearing the appropriate seasonal clothing. Wearing additional layers of clothing can keep you warm while also reducing the energy costs associated with heating your home. Thrift shops are a great way to save money and gather enough clothing for the summer and winter.
Although it might seem obvious, even seemingly insignificant information—such as the types of clothing you’ll need to stay warm or cool—can be very important. Although having this clothing is necessary, you should also consider where to store it.
Waste Disposal and Septic Systems
Living off the grid has some less appealing ideas, like how much waste you’ll have to deal with. You can construct a septic system or figure out a way to compost waste.
The health of the general population and the health of your household members are important considerations when choosing a waste disposal system, but it’s also important to take precautions to avoid legal repercussions from failing to adhere to federal and state regulations.
The Mindset & Will to Live Off the Grid
To live off the grid, your mindset and willpower may be the most crucial requirements. It’s simple to talk about and declare that you’d love to live off the grid, free from the restrictions and tedium of modern life. It can be alluring to consider that kind of freedom. But it requires a lot of effort and hard work.
It requires strong motivation, laser-like focus, and a commitment to live sustainably. Independence is based on living a self-sufficient lifestyle, and that independence entails responsibility for your family and other people who depend on you as well as for your lifestyle choice.
Basic Supply List for Off-Grid Living
Do you want to live without a power source? We’ve created a beginner’s supply list to help you gather some essential things for your new lifestyle:
- a first-aid kit that includes bandages, medicines, a thermometer, cold packs, etc.
- An emergency blanket and warm clothing
- Rechargeable batteries
- Wood-burning stove
- Hearing protection
- Eye protection
- Pots & Pans
- Work gloves
- Wood saw
- Hand drill
- Duct tape
Conclusion: Off-Grid Living
Self-sufficiency, safety, and survival are the three main tenets of off-grid living. If you’re eager to begin off-grid living, keep in mind that it takes time to learn how to get by without grocery stores and public utilities.
Today, there are so many people who are willing to make positive, lasting changes. Whether you should consider living off the grid depends on your financial situation, your property’s logistics, and your general willingness.
Is It Possible to Just Live Off the Grid?
So, living off-grid is possible but not as affordable as you might think. The technologies of biomass, solar, wind and even biogas are available to us. You can use less energy overall and generate less waste, though, so you can travel farther.
Is Living Off the Grid Hard?
There’s no doubt about it, living off the grid is tough. You spend the majority of your waking hours learning how to get by without the comforts of modern technology.