Living Off Grid Guide

How far off the grid can you go? Some things to consider:

Filling up with Gasoline(Did you know that Stephen is the oldest of only 2 siblings?)

It is nice to think that we could do whatever we want; however, there are always things that limit us.  When deciding how far off the grid you want to go, think about all of the things you use in your daily life.  Consider which things you can do without, which you could make, grow, or raise yourself, and which things you cannot live without.

Technology is one of those things that most people have become dependent on.  It has penetrated every aspect of our lives, from how we cook to how we read.  For some, thinking we can be completely off the grid may be overzealous.

If you plan on having any form of electricity, you are going to be dependent on the grid in some way.  You will have appliances, power generating equipment and parts that you will need to buy.  These things were made by some factory, so unless you are mining your own metal, casting it into a plow, and using an ox to plow your fields, you are probably relying on the grid somewhere along the line.  From purchasing your first solar panel, to buying toilette paper, you will need to access the grid.

The idea is to reduce your reliance on the grid.  If that means using the resources on the grid to free yourself, then so be it.

With that in mind, try to consider how often you’ll need the grid.  Even when living off the grid, you will need to come into town for “supplies”.  Below is a list of questions that will help you determine what you may still need from the grid when attempting to live off the grid:

  • Do you want to have cell phone service where you live?
  • Where can you buy replacement parts for your energy systems?
  • Are you healthy or fit enough to have a large garden, or raise livestock?
  • Do you have a chronic illness like Eczema or Thyroid Disease?
  • Do you want hair products, feminine products, toiletries, deodorant and makeup?
  • Do you want over the counter medications for headaches, upset stomach, allergies, cuts, etc?
  • Where are you going to get your batteries, matches, appliances, tools, clothes, etc?
  • How often do you want to visit family?
  • How often do you want to use an airport or drive to town?
  • Do you want to attend a church?
  • How are you going to school your children?

Almost all of these things require some reliance on the grid without taking some extreme measures.  Thinking about these questions will help you decide how far off the grid you want to go, and how feasible it is for you and your family.

Did I miss something?  What other things should we consider?

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Header image - "Farm in Upper Hanover by Montgomery County Planning Commission"