How to Live Off the Grid: a Guide to Freedom

We live such hectic lives, filled with absolute non-sense that we forget what it is we’re actually living for. Most of us have 60 hours’ work weeks so we can pay rent, taxes and buy food. We don’t even have time for our loved ones, and we seem too busy or too tired even when we take a day off. That’s when leaving it all behind and starting a new life in the middle of nowhere starts to sound like an awesome idea.

Give it all up

The first thing is renouncing your old life and habits. That sounds pretty terrifying, but it’s liberating at the same time. Ask yourself this: if a tornado were to take you to Oz, what would you miss the most about your life now?

Giving up your life starts by prioritizing the essential things and relationships. After that, you’ll find there are plenty of things you would gladly let go of, if, in exchange, you could have peace, tranquility, and love.

Find a place

Cabin-in-the-woods

After deciding you really need to take off, you can’t simply do it without a plan. That’s why you should find somewhere to stay first. Maybe you have a cabin in the woods or a property in an isolated territory, and that could be your starting point.

But if you have to find your own place, things can get complicated. For instance, you can either buy or rent a piece of land. You should make sure the place is isolated enough so you won’t have any nosy Nellies around, but still, have some neighbors at convenient distances. You should also check that a nearby town doesn’t have future plans to extend closer to your property if you want to live a more solitary life.

After that, you can set up a camp, maybe even move in your trailer and start building your own home. If you have some money saved, you can commission the work to a professional, but you also have the option of turning this into your first DIY project.

Learn survival skills

You can’t move off in the wilderness without learning some survival skills first. The first one would be how to find water if there are limited water sources near your property. If you have very hot summer days when springs peter out, you might need to use other techniques like placing plastic bags on tree branches or digging for water.

making-fire

You should also learn how to build a fire, but that’s the easy part. After all, you can leave home equipped with 20 pounds of waterproof matches. The hardest part is to learn which trees you can cut down, how to chop them and how to store the wood properly. If you cut green trees and the wood gets too wet, you’ll have fewer chances of building a lasting fire.

Grow your own food

This can mean different things depending on where your property is. If you’ve moved off to a deep, damp forest in the mountains, your only options might be hunting, fishing and eating wild fruits. Of course, learning some hunting and fishing skills, along with buying proper equipment is useful no matter where you might end up. And you need to recognize which plants are edible, and which aren’t.

If you’re moving to a friendlier environment, you can always build a greenhouse with basic equipment. So you might need nothing more than some sturdy cellophane and a few pallets, along with plenty of water and the right seeds.

Apart from that, you can farm certain animals, depending on how large your property is. Chicken is the easiest when you take into account all the logistics, like space and food, plus they give you nutritious meat and eggs. Otherwise, you can consider raising cows for their milk, maybe buy a couple of horses if you own a bigger farmstead.

Arrange your amenities

You also need some degree of comfort, especially for keeping a clean environment. So you’ll want a toilet and some sort of washing facilities, and you have plenty of options here too. The easiest would be to buy a camp toilet and a camp shower, which can easily be transported and used no matter where you are.

Or, you can build your own bath, and improvise if you don’t have any running water. For instance, your toilet can be an outhouse, but you have to place it at some distance from your house and greenhouse.

Your shower can be a barrel of warm water with a valve attached to it and a hose with a showerhead for the warmer summer days. Or you can get a bathtub for indoor use, and that would help you relax after a long day’s work.

Earn the money you need

You might still need some money even if you’re living in a remote location for paying the rent or for buying the things you can’t produce on your own, but that doesn’t mean you should get a day job in the city.

One idea is to sell or trade the things you produce in surplus. So if you have lots of eggs or meat, you can sell that to your neighbors, or trade with them for clothes or different tools.

Another idea is to focus on a skill you already have, and sell the results of your work on the Internet. For instance, you might be into crafting and learn how to make interesting sculptures. Or decorate axes. Or make origami. The world is your oyster.

Learn to enjoy solitude

prepare-to-be-alone

This might prove to be difficult enough, especially if you’re all alone. We’re so accustomed to noise (even white noise) that eating a meal by ourselves without constantly checking our social media accounts seems impossible. But if you’ve chosen to live off the grid, you can find pleasure in loneliness.

So after all that, what seems like the most difficult to do? What plan do you have? Tell us all about that in the comments.

 

About the author: Mike is a passionate hunter and his favorite grounds are Alaska and British Columbia. He’s also an expert in hunting gear and he is one of the most reliable resources when it comes to choosing the right tools for the job. He also writes for OpitcGearLab.com

A Beginner’s Guide To Living Off-Grid

A Beginner’s Guide To Living Off-Grid

It used to be that the only time ‘living off-grid’ was used in everyday conversations was when someone was referencing an extremist individual or group. However, that is simply not the case anymore. As of 2013, more than 180,000 Americans were already living off the grid, and it is estimated that by 2035 that number will increase to a whopping 12 percent of the US population. If you are one of those people who dreams of an off-grid lifestyle, we at Modernize have a few pointers to help you get started.

 

A Beginner’s Guide To Living Off-Grid

Purchasing Land

If you are looking to buy land on which to build an off-grid home, there are several factors you will want to research before placing an offer on a piece of property, such as location and building regulations. Depending on your family’s age and health, determining an acceptable commute time between hospitals, school, and work will need to be thoughtfully considered in order to narrow down the radius of your search. Along the same lines, knowing exactly what the local laws are in regards to essential off-grid living components like septic tanks, wells, and wind turbines will save you many headaches when it comes time to begin construction. Most municipalities have their building codes listed on their website and are happy to answer any questions.

 

A-Beginners-Guide-To-Off-Grid-Living

Say “So Long!” To The Power Company

If you already own a home that is connected to the grid, your first step will be to have a home energy audit conducted to determine what improvements can be made in order to make your home as energy efficient as possible. The lower your energy demands, the less energy you will have to find a way to generate on a daily basis—all of which translates into saving you as much money as possible in renovation expenses. During this audit, you will want to consider replacing your current appliances with Energy- Star rated alternatives. Bear in mind that some appliances like your water heater have solar-powered options available on the market as well.

 

Once the audit has been conducted and your improvements have been made, analyze just how much power your home needs. With that information, you can then determine how many solar panels and/or wind turbines you will require and can begin making plans to have them installed. As soon as they are ready to go, it’s “so long, power company,” and “hello, free, sustainable power!”

 

Water and Waste

If you truly want to fully divorce your home from the grid, part of that process will entail finding a solution for your water and sewer obligations. Digging a well is an expensive process, and the deeper your well is, the higher the price tag is going to be. You will also want to have your water and soil tested for contaminants before you begin construction to ensure that no toxins are present that can potentially harm your family. As for your septic tank, you’ll want to purchase a tank larger than what your family actually needs. This way, if you ever have guests stay for an extended period of time, your tank will be able to keep up with these higher demands. Like with any serious renovation project, make sure to get an experienced contractor for an expert design.

 

When it comes down to it, living off-grid is not for everyone. It takes hard work and plenty of planning to build and maintain a fully independent, self-sufficient home, so design for the best fit for your lifestyle and your family’s needs. Every step taken is a step in the right direction for yourself and for the planet.


Have You Ever Wondered How You’re Going To Store Food When The Grid Fails During The Apocalypse?

But even more pressingly, do you know how to eat well during the inevitable post-storm power outages in your neighborhood?

In my experience, while the power company spends its energies hooking up more important buildings like schools and hospitals, I spend at least the first day in the dark.  That means encouraging my family to eat ice cream before it melts and cooking hot dogs over a fire. The fridge’s cold air is fading fast and it can only be opened on a strict schedule: whenever every member of the family is simultaneously dying of hunger. By the second day, the refrigerator’s cooling powers have failed entirely. The now useless box begins to stink of rot and breakfast is served at the doughnut store. In fact, every meal is either pizza or donuts until the electric company decides to grace my street with their omnipotent presence. Although a power outage is a kid’s culinary dream, it can be an adult’s nightmare.

What to buy at your grocery store to prep for when you need doomsday survival.

Yet, with a little knowledge and planning, you can actually cook delicious meals without a refrigerator. After living on boats for almost four years with no or limited electricity, I have learned it is possible to eat like a gourmet without ice.

  1. Get a gas stove: With a gas-powered stove, you can heat basics like hot water even when there’s no electricity. Boiled water will be vital after the apocalypse when there is no clean, running water.  Just kidding.. sort of.  If your main stove is electric, a small camp stove with a propane tank will suffice for roughing it during a power outage.
  2. Eggs Eggs Eggs!!! Eggs don’t need to be refrigerated! Eggs can last up to a month at room temperature. You do need to turn them over every day to coat the insides of the shell with yolk. Otherwise, the shells will become brittle and crack more easily. If they smell bad, or are cracked toss them.
  3. Canned Food: Canned beans and veggies are a great way to store food. These can go great in soups, chilies, and stews, or make a nice addition to salad. Be sure to have a non-electric can opener.
  4. Fresh Vegetables: Many vegetables do not need refrigeration. Root vegetables such as onions, carrots, and potatoes can last for weeks in a cool, dark area. More perishable vegetables, like tomatoes and zucchini, can last a week in room temperature conditions.  Tomatoes even taste better when they’re not refrigerated. Use your judgement when storing food. Of course, vegetables will last longer in cool, dark places. If you live in Alaska, your food will last longer than in Jamaica. I would recommend going vegetable shopping twice a week to keep up a rotation of your stores.  Now you can make onion, garlic, and tomato egg omelets!
  5. Fresh Fruit: Most fruits do not need refrigeration. Apples, bananas, and oranges will all do fine for weeks without refrigeration. Store apples away from other fruits, however, because they have a tendency to cause other produce to decay more rapidly. Berries and peaches will last a few days without refrigeration. Don’t eat if they are moldy! Again, shop for these more perishable fruits a few times a week.
  6. Dairy Products: Butter can last weeks without refrigeration. Monitor the butter for spoil. To encourage your cheese to last indefinitely out of the fridge, wrap hard cheeses in vinegar and cheese cloths. This may prolong the life of your cheese.
  7. Rice: and other grains are perfect when you have limited power. If you have your gas stove, you can cook up a pot of rice, and add some of your fresh veggies for a great dinner.
  8. Become a Vegetarian: I would not advise storing meat when you do not have refrigeration or an ice box. If you must have meat, cured sausages such as charcuterie will keep without refrigeration. Canned fish is a great way to add protein. If you really enjoy the 19th century lifestyle, salted cod will also keep. Soak the dried, salted fillet in water for a day, and you will have fresh, desalted, re-hydrated fish.
  9. Beverages: Wine and beer store nicely and will go well with your preserved cheese! Enjoy your next power outage in French style!

Please use your own judgement when consuming any food. These are techniques the author has found useful. The author is not liable for any illnesses you may experience due to eating non refrigerated food.

Source: Off The Blueprint

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