In today's fast-paced world, the concept of off-grid living is gaining momentum as people seek a simpler, more sustainable way of life. Living off the grid means disconnecting from traditional public utilities like electricity, water, and gas, and instead, relying on self-sufficient and renewable sources. While it may sound like a drastic change, there are numerous joys and perks that come with this lifestyle, offering a unique sense of freedom and harmony with nature and freedom.
However, don't fooled, taking on this lifestyle without preparation can be fatal. We all hear about stories of campers and wilderness explores being found dead after deemed missing. Well, the same tragic stories have happened to those who left everything to live off the grid. There are several programs on TV about those living off-grid in Alaska. While these conditions may be harsher than something you're planing, just watch the show and see prepped these people are for the unexpected.
In fact just recently a family of two sisters and a 14 year old son passed away tragically in Colorado, you can read more here. They decided to move off grid due to world conditions and fear things are getting worse. However, unfortunately they didn't have the experience to handle what they encountered.
In order to prep fully for off-grid living take your time, spend a good 6 months to a year learning several DIY techniques. For a good start, let's discuss the top 5 fatal mistakes you can avoid before your journey.
1. Fully Understand Your Weather Conditions
Very few places have perfect weather every month of the year. Depending on where you plan to set home for off grid living, you need to fully understand your weather conditions and even plan for more extreme than you expect and freak storms can happen.
Snow - Off Gird living is often in remote areas, this means roads are not maintained. Even if your area is used to lite snow fall, are you prepared for a heavy snow season. Meaning you can't drive out and are essentially land locked to your home. Having a large supply of canned food or frozen food is key. Make sure your water supply or well is good, pipes remain unfrozen or know how to melt snow for water. Have a large supply of firewood for warmth and expect issues with lack of electricity if using solar. It may also be useful to have a gas generator and plenty of gas. Remember people can freeze to death and obviously starvation can happen. For an extreme emergency situation having a snowmobile is a good back up option to get out.
Heavy Rains - While it doesn't sound all that bad, flash flooding does happen. Even if it's not near your home, it may wash out the road enough to not be able to reach a town. So the same would apply for having enough supplies to withstand such an issue till it's fixed.
Extreme Heat - People do die out in the desert from heat, while usually from camping and lack of water. Don't just always trust your well, during extreme conditions your table top water level could drop leaving you with lack of water. It's best to have a large back up supply. Should a car be your exit out, you never know when engine trouble arises. Always expect the unexpected with living off-grid.
2. Supplies Are Essential From the Start
From the start, your car, camper, truck needs to be loaded with enough supplies to last you a long time. While the plan is to get set up and gather things along the way, it will take a while to get to that level. Also, should you get stuck out there for a while before setting up, you need the means to live till the situation is resolved.
In basic here are some key items, there are many more things but we would say these are quite essential. Be sure to compile a list from several sources while you gather things for your journey
1. Clean Water
4. Survival Kit
5. Clothing and Personal Items
6. Communication and Navigation Devices
7. Survival Gear
8. Energy Sources
9. Hunting and Fishing Equipment
10. Cooking Supplies
11. Emergency Shelter Building Materials
12. Knowledge and Skills
13. Firewood and Fire Safety
14. Entertainment and Mental Health
15. Positive Attitude
3. Survival Skills:
Survival skills are crucial before venturing into remote areas as they ensure one's ability to navigate and adapt in unpredictable and challenging environments. These skills empower individuals to find water, shelter, and food, as well as build fires and signal for help in emergencies. The wilderness presents numerous natural hazards, such as extreme weather, wild animals, and rugged terrain, where having survival knowledge can mean the difference between life and death. Being equipped with these skills fosters self-reliance, boosts confidence, and enhances decision-making under pressure, enabling adventurers to explore the great outdoors with a higher level of preparedness and safety. While you can't learn everything, be sure to bring several survival books to take with you.
4. Limited Access to Help:
Emergencies do happen, depending on a cellular signal alone is a risk. You could lose access to power to charge your phone rendering it useless. Also, cell towers in remote areas do go out and they are rarely fixed quickly like a city one would. At the same time your phone could have other issues, even not paying your bill can leave you without communication for emergencies. Consider several alternatives to take with you.
-Give your exact location to friends and family. Have contact times where if they don't hear from you for a certain period they will know something is wrong.
-Consider satellite connected phones plans
-PLBs, a personal locator beacon as a last resort for emergency help
-Ham/CB radio in your car
5. Wildlife Encounters
Depending on the area you should know how to deal with wildlife. Being comfortable in areas with bears and not knowing how to store food properly can end up in an altercation or having your supplies wiped out. At the same time something as simple as a rattlesnake bite in a far remote area can be fatal. Bring a first aid kid, snake kit and consider some firearm protection or at least bear spray.
Living off grid can be extremely rewarding when done right. Often free from the burden of a mortgage and the comfort of being self sustainable in such a world of chaos is a big plus. Just be smart and stay safe from the start.