6 Basics Of Living Off The Grid
There are many reasons why someone would want to break away from modern living as we know it and make a living off the grid. It could be for purely altruistic reasons like reducing the carbon footprint in the world or for cost-saving purposes. For some, it could be a call for a life away from prying eyes or the search for a life to live at an elementary level.
Whatever your reason for choosing a life far from conventional, it’s proper to know that you shouldn’t decide to live off the grid on pure whims. You must be well-prepared for the difficulties that come with the decision.
Here are some basics you must have figured out before living off the grid.
The Off The Grid Location
Location is everything in off-grid living. When determining the location, ask yourself these questions:
- How far away from fundamental social amenities will you be?
- What’s the soil quality of the place, and would it be conducive to growing your food?
- Would the location be ideal for the source of energy of your choice? For example, would the weather condition be favorable enough for solar power to function?
- Does the area of choice allow easy access to fresh and clean water?
- How conducive is the climate to the lifestyle you desire to lead?
The answers to these questions will help you to determine the location for your off-the-grid living.
Renewable Energy Source
Living off the grid means almost always being away from standard amenities like electricity. Before you leave for your destination, you must look at several factors, like the size of the house you plan to live in, the appliances you’ll be using and their energy consumption, and the dependability of your energy source.
Wind turbines and solar energy are the most commonly used energy sources while off the grid. Wind turbines are dependent on the availability of the wind to function. Many people living off the grid use solar systems to avoid the hassle. If you choose to follow suit, you must consider the best off grid solar system that would suit your needs.
After deciding where you’ll live off the grid, you should figure out the type of shelter you’ll settle with next. In this case, the critical determinant of choice isn’t beauty or fantastic architecture but sustainability. The shelter you choose must consider the resources you have at hand. It must allow for efficiency more than comfort and style.
Whatever your shelter choice, equip it with reliable sources of energy, as discussed earlier, and limit consumption to what’s necessary. One way of saving energy in your dwelling is using nature’s gifts for ventilation and natural lighting.
Knowledge of Basic Living Skills
Living off the grid also demands survival skills. It might include sourcing food through growing crops, fishing, hunting, and collecting and filtering water.
Another relevant skill to learn is recycling. You can recycle tin cans, old clothes, plastic tins, and scrap metals. If you can’t repurpose them for your benefit, you can sell them to people who deal in scraps and make extra income. Speaking of earning money despite living off the grid; you might also want to learn a skill that will allow you to work from home as an independent contractor for businesses across the world.
Also, other skills like navigation with and without a compass and first aid come in handy in the case of an emergency.
Transportation And Communication Options
Another challenge of living off the grid is you may not have easy access to highways or even phone signals. So, for off-grid communication, you might need a satellite phone. Most satellite phones nowadays have call, SMS, and internet functionalities, which will keep you connected. Satellite phones work in places with non-existent cell phone signals and are thus reliable.
Regarding transportation, your location will determine the means of transport you’ll use. In some cases, a rough terrain vehicle or a dirt bike will do, while a bicycle or a horse will do in others.
Living off the grid can sometimes be a lonely and isolating endeavor. With that in mind, connecting with people who have the same interests as you is advisable. It won’t only help with your safety while living off the grid but can also allow for other collaborative and shared activities like building together and distributing resources amongst yourselves. A community will make living off the grid a more fun and fulfilling experience.
Off-the-grid living is possible and can be an exciting endeavor if only you have your bases covered. Make sure to look into each item mentioned and discussed above carefully. Don’t take anything for granted if you want to make the experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. If needed, ask for tips from individuals who have been living off the grip for quite some time already.
Kelvin Jones is an avid backpacker and believer in a carbon neutral world. He loves writing about all things backpacking and off-grid living. When he’s not back-packing, he is hiking and skinny-dipping.