Currently, you'll rarely find a more appealing concept than off-grid living—many folks around our planet dream of trying out such a lifestyle. Living independently, without using the public power grid and utilities, and producing clean & sustainable energy are just some of the critical elements that make the idea of living off the grid so attractive. Since you're reading these words, there's a good chance you've thought about kick-starting your off-grid adventure. We will cover some basic concepts and offer you a no-nonsense guide to off-grid living.
What is off-grid living?
Before we delve deeper into this article's main subject (the guide to off-grid living), it's best if we first consider the very idea itself. Therefore, it's only natural to ask: what exactly do folks mean when they say off-grid living, and what are you giving up?
The concept of off-grid living revolves around your home not being physically hooked up to utilities, whether we're talking wires, pipes, or cables. In other words, living off the grid will require a person to find alternate ways of supplying their home with energy, entirely relying on alternate sources. These energy sources are often renewable, such as sun and wind-powered batteries. We're talking about achieving something you'd call total energy independence. However, our guide to off-grid living will cover more than just your power supply.
Individuals who plan to live off-grid will need a way to cover all of their basic needs. We'll try to make our guide to off-grid living as simple as possible, so it lines up with the no-nonsense goal we've put forward in its title. However, there are still many important things you need to consider.
#1 Buy (vacant) land
You'll want to start from scratch. Therefore, the first thing you'll need to do is find yourself a piece of vacant land that you can buy. That's because living on your own terms can't be possible without owning the land you'll use for your off-grid home. Here's the thing: you'll want to opt for a few acres of land. Also, see that it is miles away from the grid system since your goal is to avoid restrictive building codes and permit regulations. However, you'll still need to check the local laws and regulations to know what you can build on the land you're planning to buy. Anyway, you'll be happy to know that land in areas far away from the grid system tends to be less costly. Just make sure that the land you'll buy matches your needs.
#2 What about housing?
Next up, you'll need to figure out where you'll live. In other words, you'll need to ask yourself what kind of structure you are going for. Maybe there's a small cabin already built on the land that you've bought? If so, that could save you some time you'd otherwise spend on constructing your off-grid home. However, you'll still need to see if the object matches all the legal checks you'd be looking for on open acreage. Remember that some folks choose to live inside their camper/RV, so that's also an option you might want to consider.
#3 Moving in a sustainable way
We'll be short here. Once you decide to move to the land you've bought and begin off-grid living, you'll need to think about just how you'll transfer your stuff. In alignment with the concept of off-grid living, you'll want to make your move as eco-friendly as possible. Therefore, when it comes to packing eco-friendly supplies, you'll want to do it in a sustainable way. For instance, buy recycling packaging materials or utilize the most straightforward option, ask your local grocery shop owners to give you some cardboard boxes for free. Moving off-grid is also the perfect opportunity to declutter and get rid of the things you don't need. Consider renting a temporary storage unit if you have trouble parting with your possessions.
#4 The water system
Needless to say, once you've decided on the object you'll reside in, you'll have to consider your new home's water system. While your options are somewhat limited, we'll show you two of the most common water systems: rainwater collection systems or wells. Keep in mind that the former might prove to be a more straightforward option. Also, collecting rainwater isn't something that only off-the-grid folks do. Even their on-the-grid counterparts worldwide collect rainwater and find many good uses for it. However, you'll need to consider just how much water you want to use daily, your water spending habits, etc. Also, along with thinking about your habits, you'll need to consider how often it rains in the place you've chosen as your new home.
#5 The power system
Now, of course, you'll also need to find a reliable power source. That being said, know that solar power is your best bet. Of course, you can also use a generator or a wind turbine as backup power sources. If you're working from home, there's no way you'll get around this one. Now, if your new place doesn't see a lot of sun throughout the year, a wind turbine will be a fantastic backup option (much better than a generator). We suggest you opt for a couple of 250W solar panels and a sturdy 250-500W wind turbine. You'll also need a solar battery to store your harvested energy.
Unfortunately, the options we've mentioned in this paragraph can be pretty expensive. However, you shouldn't be scared of the large upfront price. That's because you'll be able to save a lot of money in the long run, even though your initial investment might be a couple of thousands of dollars.
#6 The food system
Okay, so keep one thing in mind: you don't need to grow your food if you're off-grid living. However, many folks find it an essential part of the whole concept and one of the reasons they decided to move off-grid. Others, of course, rely on grocery stores. A traditional, eco-friendly, old-school yard with a greenhouse for your fruits & veggies might be the way to go. Also, you might want to keep some farm animals, too. Consider opting for chickens for eggs and cows for dairy products. Lastly, if you've got the place set up for livestock, you could also think about producing meat.
The bottom line
As you can see from our no-nonsense guide to off-grid living, there are plenty of ways to get around your basic necessities. We hope you've had a fun read and that this article has inspired you to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle.