How to Live off the Grid

Are you wondering how you can effectively live off the grid? Do you need some guidelines on how to make the most of your off-the-grid living?

This powerversity guide provides the relevant details on how to live off the grid effectively.

It discusses; what it means to live off the grid, a look into the background/origin of the concept of Off-grid living, how to live off the grid, the benefits, and misconceptions about living off the grid

So, let’s get to it.

Living Off The Grid; What Does It Mean?


Living off the grid entails disconnection from civilization and all of its benefits.

It also entails cutting off access to public utilities such as water and power in order to rely only on improvised or self-made supplies and things.

Living off the grid can be a way for some people to escape the chaos of city life and find peace and quiet in nature.

it is essentially a form of escapism that may appear primitive to those accustomed to city life with amenities at every turn.

Although, you must understand that this isn’t always what these people want out of life – sometimes simplicity outweighs convenience even if it is a form of escapism.

However, that’s not all there is to living off the grid. This brings us to consider the background or origin of this concept.

An Overview Of The Concept; Living Off The Grid

Living off the grid takes us back to when humans depended entirely on their environment for survival. At this time, they relied on things provided by nature to make all the things they needed.

Fast forward now to the present time, civilization and technology have taken over. The world we live in right now is heavily dependent on technology.

Now, the concept of staying in the wilderness is not anti-technology or anti-civilization, Instead, it’s born out of the need to save the world and its habitat from the negative impact of technology and other destructive activities.

Indeed, technology has been and is very beneficial to humankind. Thanks to technology, we have sound health care systems, incredible communication systems, electricity, transportation, access to good water, etc.

However, some of these activities have one or two negative impacts on our environment.

For instance, using conventional cars contributes largely to toxins in the environment. This increases our exposure to global warming.

Likewise, there’s an over-dependence on non-renewable or exhaustible energy sources such as gas and diesel, to mention a few.

All these are some of the factors that necessitated the concept of living off the grid.

Hence, living off the grid is about promoting self-sufficiency, self-dependence, and preserving the entire ecosystem.

Above all, while most people may have personal reasons for living off the grid, the end goal is surviving off nature and preserving the environment from destructive human activities.

Now that you know what staying in the wilderness is all about let’s discover how to live off the grid.

How To Live Off The Grid; Checklist For Living Off The Grid

In this section, we dive deeply into how to live off the grid. Here, we’ll cover the basic things you need to have for living off the grid. We’ll also share some helpful tips for living off the grid.

First, the things you need for effective off-grid living.

Step 1 – Secure An Off-Grid Land or Location

There can’t be off the grid living without a good location/land.

Hence, this is one of the first things you need to have ready before moving out of your environment to live off the grid. Therefore, you need to secure land.

When doing this, here are a few things to keep in mind. The first thing is that the land must be suitable for off-the-grid living.

To ensure this, you need to know what living off the grid means for you, which is, you’ll have to provide your food, water, electricity, and everything you’ll need to live.

Hence, you’ll need to ensure that the land or location you get supports all these activities. You should also check in with the rules or laws in the region.

Does it support off-grid living, and the activities involved? Are there any laws preventing off-grid living?

Likewise, you should check for proximity to the main city, available natural resources, zoning/property taxes, among other things.

In all, putting these things and more in mind will help you secure suitable land for your off-grid living.

Step 2 – Prepare For Food Supply

Food is another necessity you’ll need to survive, especially when living off the grid.

Therefore, you’ll need to make some provision for food. Some of the best options will be growing a food and vegetable garden.

Also, you’ll need to rear some livestock to provide for meat and milk. Similarly, if you like hunting, hunting for meat is another great option.

You’ll also need to prepare for food storage and preservation. This is to enable you to have a food supply system to cater to emergencies.

Overall, doing these will help you produce your food while living off-grid and limit your dependency on grocery stores to get food supply.

Step 3 – Get Shelter

Like food, shelter is also essential for surviving off the grid. It is essential to protect yourself from harsh weather conditions and harmful animals in the woods.

Depending on your personal preferences and lifestyle, your off-grid shelter could be a cabin, wood-frame house, a cob, a straw house, etc.

Whatever your shelter choices are, ensure that it is well constructed and suitable for living off the grid.

You could get the required materials and construct it yourself if you know-how, or you could hire a contractor to do it for you.

Step 4 – Prepare For Water Supply

You’ll need clean, drinkable, and usable water to survive off the grid.

Most times, it’s best to live off the grid on a land/location with natural water resources such as; a lake, river, or stream. This way, it’ll be easy to get water each time you need it.

Likewise, you could prepare a water storage system for easy access to water so that you don’t have to go to the stream each time you need water.

If a natural water source is not available in your chosen location, there are other things you could do. One such thing is to drill a well if the land is suitable and the land laws permit it.

Well, drilling is a way of improvising and creating your natural source of water supply.

Alternatively, you could create a water collection system that allows you to collect and store rainwater. This should be something that helps you collect water from your roof each time it rains.

Thereby helping you get access to clean water while living off the grid.

Step 5 – Get Power Supply

staying in the wilderness doesn’t mean living in darkness or being primitive. However, it means that you’ll be cut off from all public utilities, supplies, such as electricity.

Hence, you’ll have to provide your electricity supply. Your best option is to rely on various renewable energy sources such as the sun, wind, biomass, etc.

For instance, you could rely on solar energy for your power supply. To do this, you’ll need to install a few solar panels to derive power from the sun.

Even more, you’ll need to prepare a backup power storage system. This is to take care of instances where you cannot generate power.

For instance, when there’s very little sunshine in the rainy or winter seasons, you cannot effectively generate solar energy. Hence, the need for a power storage system such as a battery.

Luckily, there are battery power packs that could store power for later use. However, these could be a little bit expensive.

Also, you could consider buying a generator that uses bio-diesel to serve as your backup power supply system. Nevertheless, it’s a great way to ensure that you always have electricity to power your electronic devices while you live off the grid.

Step 6 – Prepare A Waste Disposal System

When living off the grid, it is also essential to have a proper waste disposal system.

This is because improper waste disposal could pollute the environment, which could be bad for your health and livestock if you’re rearing one. Therefore, you should ensure to make provision for this.

One way to do this is by having a septic system. A septic system is a traditional onsite sewage facility (OSSF) made of concrete where sewage flows for treatment.

The waste from this OSSF is then emptied into a septic drain field when full. Another option is to use a composting toilet system.

Overall, these are some good waste management procedures you can implement for off-the-grid living.

However, before you do this, ensure that you check in with the state or country laws where you live off the grid to ensure that this is permitted.

Step 7 – Take Care of Communication & Internet

A lot of people might not consider this essential, but it is. Living off the grid doesn’t mean cutting yourself off from the rest of the world.

Hence, it is also vital that you have communication facilities and a means to stay in touch with the rest of the world.

The best type of communications and internet to use off the grid is satellite. They are reliable and work very well in remote or off-grid locations.

Hence, you should consider getting a satellite phone and using a satellite internet service provider to help you stay in touch with happenings around the world.

Step 8 – Prepare Yourself Mentally

Just as it’s important to prepare yourself physically for living off the grid, mental preparation is equally important. Mental preparation is all about having the right mindset before and when living off the grid.

It’s also about knowing all it takes to live off the grid and asking yourself sincerely if you can handle it. Living off the grid involves a lot.

It involves living in an isolated area with little or no people around you. It also involves surviving mainly on the things you can provide yourself, such as food, water, shelter, electricity, etc.

Likewise, it means that you’ll forfeit the privilege of certain luxuries of the public environment, such as fancy houses, cars, etc. All these things can be hard to give up, especially if you’ve lived most of your life around them.

Therefore, ensure that you’re mentally ready to accept this new life before you jump off to live off the grid.

Overall, adjusting to this new life will not be easy. However, with perseverance and determination, you’ll adapt and get used to it.

Now you know what you need to live off the grid. It’s time to share some helpful tips for living off the grid.

Tips for Living Off The Grid

Here are some helpful tips for successful off-the-grid living.

They include;

  • Learn how to DIY your essentials such as home and kitchen supplies.
  • Also, learn many food processing and preservation techniques such as drying foods to help them last longer and avoid wastage.
  • Know how to improvise. You won’t necessarily need to travel miles to the city to get some things if you learn how to improvise.
  • Take care of your physical and mental health. Always ensure that you’re in the best shape physically and mentally by exercising, eating healthy foods, taking your vitamins, and reading to keep your mind active.
  • Also, have a good first aid treatment kit. This would prove very useful in emergencies.
  • Try to conserve water and electricity when necessary. This will help you save a lot.
  • Furthermore, try to associate or interact with the locals around you. It would make you feel less isolated from the rest of the world.
  • Finally, make your house weatherproof to protect you from harsh weather conditions (summer and winter) and have a good security system to protect you from the dangers of the woods (bears and other harmful animals or people).

Why Do People Choose To Live Off The Grid- The Benefits

For some people, living off the grid is the last thing they’ll consider.

On the other hand, this is a voluntary choice other people will make. Why is this so?

Let’s find out.

1. Cost Efficiency

Living off the grid is cost-efficient because there are lesser or no utility bills to pay.

More so, instead of buying most of the stuff you need, food and other home supplies, you produce or make them yourself. This helps you save more on home expenses.

In the end, you’ll save more on bills and expenses, which, when put together, could be quite much.

2. Improves Health

Living off the grid also improves health in so many ways. First is a clean environment, free from toxic gas emissions.

Also, the natural food (free from chemicals and preservatives) you get to eat provides your body with the essential nutrients to stay healthy.

Likewise, living off the grid means you might likely rely on walking or cycling as your means of transportations. These activities are exercises that’ll keep your body fit and healthy.

3. Serenity

A lot of people chose to live off the grid because of the serenity of the environment. They see it as a way to escape all the noisiness and drama of society.

Isolating themselves in the off-grid location gives them much-needed peace and quietness. Thereby improving their mental health and giving them mental clarity.

4. Less Stress And Anxiety

Besides serenity, living off the grid also lessens stress and anxiety. There’s less stress of having to deal with crowded places and people everywhere.

Likewise, there’s less pressure from having to conform to the norms and societal rules. All these lead to less stress and improves mental/physical wellbeing.

5. Flexibility And Control

Living off the grid also gives you flexibility and control to experience the life you want and how you want it. No strict laws are limiting you from building the kind of house you want to live in.

Likewise, there are no nosy neighbors whose rights you have to be careful not to infringe on. Even more, you have total control over your food, water, power, and other utilities since you provide them yourself.

6. The Joy of Contributing To A Healthier Environment

For those environmentalists conscious about the impact of their activities on the environment, they’ll feel at peace knowing that they are contributing to reducing carbon footprint in the world.

Therefore, they’ll feel happier with this lifestyle choice that brings less damage to the environment.

7. Self-Dependency/Self-Sufficiency

Living off the grid teaches self-sufficiency and self-dependency. You learn how to produce your food, water, power supply, and all your needs.

This is a valuable survival skill that helps you build resilience and self-dependency to survive hard times. Indeed, there are numerous benefits to living off the grid.

However, there are also some challenges.

Let’s discover what these challenges are.

Drawbacks of Living Off-The-Grid

i. High Up-front Cost

Living off the grid would require you to put specific infrastructures to cater to your food, water, power, shelter supply, etc.

All these things cost money to set up. Thereby making the initial cost of living off the grid relatively high.

Nevertheless, as said earlier, it’s only an initial cost. In the long run, you’ll find yourself saving more living off the grid

ii. You’ll Face Some Inconveniences

Separating yourself from the society where virtually everything is pre-made comes at its cost. This cost is your comfort. You’ll have to work hard to produce the things you need.

Also, you’ll have to do certain things the traditional or the old-fashioned way. All these can be quite inconvenient at first.

Nevertheless, over time, you’ll become used to these activities, and things will become less stressful and inconvenient.

iii. You’ll Need To Be Very Conservative

Living off the grid means that you’ll have to make the most of everything you’ll have to make the most of what you’ve got. You’ll have to learn to preserve things (such as food, water, power, etc. ) to take care of emergencies or scarcity.

This can be pretty stressful, but you’ll learn how to manage and effectively use available resources in the end. Thereby teaching you valuable skills for living.

Overall, the benefits of living off the grid outweigh its challenges. Therefore, it’s a good lifestyle choice that could prove very beneficial.

Wrapping Up; Misconceptions About Living Off The Grid

We’ll end this discussion on how to live off the grid by considering some misconceptions about it and debunking them.

A lot of people tend to think that living off the grid means a lot of things, some of which are;

  • Means complete isolation and total self-reliance
  • Means lack of comfort/ self-deprivation

First, staying in the wilderness doesn’t mean you don’t get to interact with other people. You can interact with the locals in your location.

Even more, you can build business relationships with them, such as exchanging items for other things and getting some necessities from the local shop around you.

Furthermore, who says living off the grid cannot be a comfortable experience. Thanks to technology, living off the grid can be a lifestyle of enjoying peace and quietness in a remote location while still living comfortably.

Technology has made it easy to self-produce most of the things you’ll need for living off the grid, such as solar power systems, backup power supply systems, food storage systems, etc.

However, the most crucial thing to never forget about living off the grid is staying in tune with nature and preserving the ecosystem from harmful human activities.

I hope this has helped you better understand what living off the grid means and how to do it effectively.

Victor Akin-Ojo
Victor Akin-Ojo is the founder and the Lead Editor of Before he started, Victor worked in the IT industry for close to 15 years. He worked mainly as field Engineer on Installation of VSAT, Wimax Technologies, including but not limited to, Power Maintenance Sector for close to 10 years – Designing an electrical installation for Homes, Private and Government Offices and more.
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