Off Grid Living: A Beginner’s Guide
If you are thinking about whether or not you want to live off the grid, you will not want to make this decision quickly. In order to live off the grid, certain comfort items will have to be taken out of your lifestyle. Think long and hard about whether or not you are willing to do what it takes to take yourself off of municipal slavery.
What it means to live off the Grid
Many people think that living off the grid is simply switching from basic energy to solar and wind energy. While this is a step in the right direction, this is not the whole of the matter. By living off of the grid, you are taking yourself off of municipal power, water, sewage, trash and any other outside source of living. Eventually, you will learn how to grow your own food, dispose of your own waste, create your own power source and produce your own water source.
Find the Right Place
If you are looking to purchase a piece of land to homestead on, you will want to take seasonal weather changed into consideration. Since you will be living off of wind and solar energy, you need to ensure that you have a plot that will be able to provide enough wind or sun to power your home. You will also need to make sure that you are able to dig a well or septic tank that can take care of your water and waste. Living completely off the grid inside a city is almost impossible.
Be Prepared to Work Hard
Okay, you will not always have to work extremely hard, but you will need to be able to put a lot of work into making your home functional and comfortable. You will need to be willing to keep a garden, hunt for food, maintain a fire, locate timber for winter storage and many other things that you probably do not absolutely have to do right now. There is no point in living off of the grid if you have to purchase your firewood from the local grocery store.
Be Prepared to Financially Support your Decision
Living off the grid does save a lot of money, but it can be expensive getting there. You need to either be willing to build everything from scratch or fund your decision. While it is not rocket science to build a solar panel, it may not be something that you choose to do. If you decide to purchase all of your equipment already intact, you are looking at tens of thousands of dollars going into your project.
Purchase a Generator (or Two!)
Living completely off the grid is great, but there may be some instances that you want or need power. Think ahead, and buy a generator. While you may have to purchase fuel for it, a generator can come in handy when trying to charge batteries, make it through a cold winter or just plain give you entertainment for a night. No matter what you decide, a generator is an essential item to have around. If you happen to be able to purchase two, that is even better.
Take time to Smell the Roses
A lot of hard work goes into keeping a house off the grid. You need to make sure that you take some time to smell the roses. You do not want to put out all of this work and energy and never be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Sit down and read a book, relax on your front porch or start a hobby. Living off the grid is meant to make life a little easier, and you deserve it if you have made it this far!
To put it simply, you need to be mentally, physically and even financially prepared to live off the grid. You need to make sure that your debts are taken care of, you have a useful plot to live on, can take care of your own waste, grow your own food and much more. The best advice that can be given is if you are in doubt about going completely off the grid, take baby steps. It’s okay to start with something small and go from there. If you take baby steps, you are better preparing yourself, anyway.