The hustle and bustle of city living isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer the quiet solitude of living outside city limits—or even off the grid entirely. Off-grid living isn’t for everyone, either, but it can be a very rewarding experience for people who take the plunge. Living off the grid offers far more challenges than living in an established city or community, as you’re essentially at the mercy of Mother Nature. As such, you must consider several things before swearing off urban life completely. This guide explores those considerations as well as three things to do before moving off the grid.
Take a trial run
Perhaps the most important thing to do before moving off the grid is to take a trial run and see if this is something you’re truly interested in. If you prefer “glamping” over traditional camping, for instance, off-grid living may not be for you. Your trial run should give you as close an experience to actual off-grid living as possible. You can most easily achieve this by renting a cabin or other off-grid property for at least a week. During this week, try your best to replicate real off-grid living. Avoid using traditional power sources and see if you’re able to go about life as usual. If you can hack it after a week of living off the grid, you can start putting real thought and action into making this your full-time reality.
Establish your energy sources
In most cases, off-grid houses don’t use the same traditional energy sources as homes in an urban or suburban setting. You won’t be able to tap into local water or power sources to fuel your home, and you’ll likely need to get a bit creative with how you source your energy. Luckily, there are many sustainable energy sources you can use in an off-grid home. The most popular option for off-grid energy is solar power. Solar panels can be installed in almost any home, including those that operate off the grid. Depending on the location of your home and the amount of sunlight it receives on a daily basis, a solar panel may be able to replace other energy sources entirely. Other reliable sources of off-grid energy include wind turbines and water power.
Find a food source
Depending how far off the grid you hope to go, you may need to get creative about finding a food source. The benefit of off-grid homes is that they’re far removed from society and that they offer a quiet place to be at peace with yourself. On the flip side, this will likely place you several miles from the nearest grocery or convenience store. As such, many off-grid homeowners prefer to grow their own produce and source their own food. Keeping backyard chickens and tending to a home garden can provide you with enough food to tide you over until you’re able to make the laborious trip into town again.