(Stephen has hiked the Grand Canyon 5 times.) One of the best parts about living off the grid is that it brings you closer to nature. Even if you choose an urban lifestyle and only adopt some off grid principles, you will be closer to nature. Man was created from the earth, so that is where he belongs. The many benefits of living closer to nature definitely outweigh the dangers. There are many health benefits to living closer to nature. Studies have shown that people who live closer to nature experience less anxiety and depression and are less likely to get cardiovascular disease.1 These studies also show that children raised closer to nature have lower rates of obesity. 2 Lastly, studies show a lower mortality rate for younger and older adults, and a proven increase in immune health.2, 3 Living off the grid will bring you closer to nature and improve your health.
Living off the grid will also help you appreciate nature. You get the chance to breath fresh air, listen to the sounds of nature instead of air conditioning compressors and automobiles, and get a chance to see just how bright the stars can be on a clear night. Learning about where your food comes from will help you gain appreciation for how much goes into making a pizza or Chicken Alfredo. You will also respect household items like clothes, vacuums, toasters and more as you learn what it takes to make these things. Although getting closer to nature is a good thing, don’t approach it recklessly. There are some things that you should be concerned with. First, if you go off the grid and dive into nature, make sure that someone knows where you are or where you are going.
You never know when you’ll get hurt and need assistance. There are real people who have made this mistake. Aron Lee Ralston4
got trapped in a mountaineering accident and barely survived after amputating his own arm. Christopher McCandless5
died in the Alaskan wilderness because of poor planning and lack of food. Just make sure someone knows when to check up on you.
Being closer to nature also means that you are closer to wildlife. While most wildlife is not dangerous, wild animals do attack.
Be aware of your area and the animals to look out for. I live in the southwest, so I am very familiar with coyotes, rattle snakes, mountain lions, scorpions, and deadly spiders. In other areas you’ll need to watch out for bears, wolves, moose, elk and more. Just check with your nearest ranger office before adventuring out. The good news is that wildlife generally avoids people, so if you stay away you should be OK. References: 1. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-10-15-nature-anxiety-exercise_N.htm
– 03/27/2014 2. http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report-living-close-to-nature-does-improve-health-and-overall-life-quality-1538962
– 03/27/2014 3. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/health/06real.html
– 03/27/2014 4. http://www.npranger.com/NPVideos/AronRalstonAmputesArm.htm
– 04/22/2014 5. http://www.christophermccandless.info/
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