What the heck is going off the grid anyway?
Most of us have heard the terms “off-grid living” or “going off-the-grid.” We have at least a vague idea what they mean. Something about not using technology anymore, right? But what does it fully mean, and can people actually do it?
Have you ever considered going off-grid but weren’t really sure if it was right for you?
Let’s explore what going off the grid actually means.
What It Means
The phrase “off-the-grid” was originally created to describe buildings and dwellings that are not connected to the power grid. The power grid is the network that provides electricity to everyone. The term “grid” is also used to talk about utilities like water, gas, and sewer systems. So, someone living off-the-grid is not using public electricity, water, sewer, or gas. They are completely self-sufficient.
A self-sufficient person must work hard to survive only off the land. For water, they dig a well or collect rainwater. They use solar and wind energy instead of power plants. They grow their own food, raise animals, and hunt. These are only some of the ways people survive when they choose to go off-grid.
Why Do People Go Off-Grid?
People choose to live off-grid for many different reasons. A few of those reasons are:
- You create your own resources and you are totally self-sufficient. You are not dependent on anyone or anything.
- It is environmentally responsible. You have a much smaller footprint on the world and you basically reuse and recycle everything.
- It is a healthier, more active lifestyle with less exposure to harmful chemicals in food, water, EMFs, and other such things.
- You might feel a loss of trust in government or that social media is just too involved in your business. You feel it is safer to disconnect from things and live more simply.
Ultimately, there are a wide number of reasons why a person chooses to move off-grid. These are only a few. It’s a complicated choice, and only you can decide if it is best for you and, possibly, your family or loved ones.
What Does It Take to Move Off-Grid?
First, you need a lot of knowledge. Learn as much as you can about living off the land. Read about gardening, raising animals, hunting, foraging, and how to collect and purify water. Learn about survival skills, first aid skills, and the basics of how to build things. Look up everything you can about living off-grid.
You need to keep in mind that living off-grid means working hard to survive and possibly even giving up many of the modern comforts you are used to. It is a major lifestyle change. You need to be emotionally and psychologically ready for this kind of commitment.
When you first begin, the three basic things you need to concentrate on are: shelter, food, and water. This means you will need a piece of land, some sort of house on the land, access to clean water, and food to get you started. You will then need supplies to be able to set up your gardens, a well, wind turbines, or whatever else you are using.
Keep in mind that location is especially important. If your plot of land is in a zone that gets very cold or very hot, you will have to plan accordingly. When you live off the land, the temperature and weather affect you a lot more!
Here’s a system consisting of the parts that I use when off-grid that gives me the power I need to run all my devices:
This high performance battery’s dimensions are 12.09″ x 6.65″ x 9.17″. It can be used for not only solar but for wind, RV, trolling, sump pump, electric vehicles, and several other devices.
This battery box’s OUTSIDE L x W x H measurements are 16.7″ x 9.9″ x 12″ and its INSIDE measurements are 13.3″ x 8.1″ x 8.6″. (You will see that on the advertised site the dimensions for this product are mixed around. The ones above are the correct ones.) Box fits batteries in the 24 – 27 size group. Features are: main switch for circuit, safety circuit breaker, manual reset switch, two USB sockets, 12-V accessory plugs, and a visual voltmeter.
This light weight solar panel measures 21″ x 28″ when folded, then opens up to a nice spread of 43″ x 29″, and only weighs 6 pounds. The Dokio produces 100 watts of power. It is protected by a carrying case that has a pocket of cable storage.
Here’s a diagram showing how I use the above parts to charge my power supply system:
I add these parts when I actually use the system to run my devices:
I add these Sunway 16ft cables that work for the 12V battery. The cables are colored Red (+) and Black (-) so easy to use. See how I’ve used them in my diagram below.
This inverter provides 300W DC power to AC power, and it has 700W of instant power. It has 2 110V AC outlets and 2 USB ports and provides safe charging protection for your devices.
Maybe all of this appeals to you, but you can’t see yourself doing it full-time. There are actually many people who live off-grid only part-time because they either can’t or don’t want to do it full-time.
Here are some things you can do to work up to becoming an off-gridder:
- Educate yourself. Learning about sustainable living is the easiest and best thing you can do to reach your goal.
- Save money. If you don’t already have the land, you’re going to need money to buy it. You will also need money for the other equipment on your homestead.
- Take a first aid course. Living off-grid means not always having ready access to modern medical care.
- Do it slowly. Some people are off certain grids and not others. Having solar panels or being on a septic system means you are off at least one type of grid!
- SUGGESTION: Animal Tracker Journals
What Do You Think?
Do you still want to go off the grid?
It is not an easy thing to do. It takes hard work, dedication, and some money. You will have to live off the land and learn many new ways to survive.
It is also a rewarding experience. You will feel proud of yourself for living a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. You will know that your independent life is all thanks to your own effort and commitment.
If you’re interested in this life style, I would suggest giving it a trial run before you make it permanent. Then you will see if it’s for you.