Taking Your Home Off-Grid

living of grid

In this article:

  • How do you prepare to live off-grid?
  • Pros and cons of eliminating technology
  • Types of off-grid shelter
  • The basics of living off-grid
  • How to transform your house into an off-grid household

As more people consider their environmental impact, many search for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Taking your home off-grid is one of the most effective ways to reduce energy consumption. In some cases, it could also increase the value of your home.

Being off the grid means not being hooked up to utilities by wires, pipes, or cables. Off-grid homes get energy from renewable energy sources such as the sun and the wind.

“The grid” is the electrical grid, a network that delivers electrical power to properties. Living off-grid means being disconnected from the electrical grid. While it might make you think of primitive living, it’s not the case.

You can live in an off-grid residential home and grow your produce. When a building is off-grid, it has no connection to any utilities, and its power comes from alternative energy sources.

How do you prepare to live off-grid?

If you are a city dweller looking to transition your life off the grid, take time to prepare for a big move. Spend time planning where you want to live and how you plan to sustain yourself. Consider your sources of energy, food, and water.

Explore all resources that could help you to learn about off-grid living. They could be blogs, websites, and online courses.

Defining off-grid living

Living off-grid is living a completely self-sufficient lifestyle. It means you don’t rely on public food, housing, and utility sources.

Off-grid homes generate their electricity through alternative sources like solar and wind. An off-grid home is self-sufficient and low-tech when it comes to its energy needs.

Off-grid living also involves recycling your wastewater and growing your food. Many people who live off-grid also transition away from electronics and the Internet.

Choosing a location for off-grid living

First, you need to find a perfect location for your off-grid living. Living off-grid means that you need to find the land where you can build your new dwelling. If you want to be off-grid, find a remote location where you will not have to deal with rules and building codes.

It also means you could be miles away from the nearest road, highway, or hospital. But the upside is that you will need less money to buy your land and have lower property taxes.

Sustaining yourself

To sustain your life while living off-grid, you must get creative. One of the most common ways to provide for yourself is to grow your food. You can start your garden or greenhouse since you will not have access to grocery stores. Consider your climate when planning what fruits and vegetables to grow and how to conserve them.

You can also start growing your livestock to produce eggs and meat. It’s a good idea to have a combination of both, so you are not left without food if your crops don’t grow for some reason.

Learning how to live off-grid

Living off the grid means you could be hours away from the nearest hospital and essential services. Learning basic first aid skills and knowing how to fix your home could be crucial for your survival.

First aid

Learn first aid techniques that you will need in case of any emergency. Know how to treat basic cuts and resolve more severe problems when you might need to provide emergency care like CPR. Always have your First Aid Kit handy.

Basic carpentry

Learn basic carpentry to build your furniture, maintain your house and take care of repairs.

Basic mechanics

Learn basic mechanics to fix your vehicles so you know what to do if you need to be your mechanic. It’s imperative because you might need a few vehicles like cars and tractors to sustain your off-grid lifestyle.

Pros and cons of eliminating technology

There are many benefits to unplugging from technology. Disconnecting can help you to reduce stress and anxiety. Most people get calls and emails daily, besides news alerts and social media notifications. It’s tough to be present when you constantly have digital information.

Benefits of eliminating technology

Connecting with nature

When you cut technology from your life, you have more time for other activities. One of them is reconnecting with nature. You can spend time outdoors, go for a walk, or hike in the mountains without having to check your phone.

Connecting with yourself

While technology offers a way to stay connected with our friends and family, it can also make you feel lonely and lost. When you spend time away from electronic devices, you can reconnect with yourself and spend time reflecting on your life. Meditating and doing yoga can also help.

Downsides of eliminating technology

While living off-grid has many benefits, it also has some drawbacks. Think about how you plan to overcome them before making a leap of faith and changing your lifestyle.

Running out of essential supplies

There might always come a time when you run out of some essentials. When the weather is bad and you can’t reach the nearest store, you could be out of food or water for a few days.

To avoid this situation, always keep an eye on the weather and have a phone or radio system in place if you need emergency help. Ensure that your house has enough supplies. Always stock it with food, water, medicine, and other essentials.

Feeling lonely

Living off-grid means you might not have immediate access to your friends and family. While staying disconnected offers a break from the chaos and constant barrage of information, it can also make you feel isolated.

You can always catch up with your loved ones when you get a chance next time. Remember to always look at the bright side – you are living the life that most people never will experience.

Types of off-grid shelter

Based on your location, consider what type of off-grid housing you can choose. Your climate and location will dictate your options. Some building materials are more suitable for colder climates rather than warmer ones. You also need to consider the size of your land and other things you plan to have on your property.

Other factors that could affect your choice are the cost of building materials and transportation options. Keep in mind that you will also need to maintain your housing on your own.


Cabin in the woods sounds like a romantic escape, but it can also be your off-grid housing. A house in the woods is an excellent option if you live in a cold forested area and need a place to keep you warm.


An off-grid camper allows you to stay disconnected from power and water supplies. Unlike other types of off-grid housing, you can move RV to any place. It’s a great idea, as you can escape cold weather in winter and enjoy sunny destinations when your home city is freezing.

If you love to travel and do not feel like being tied to one place, an RV is the way to go.

Tiny home

The tiny house might be like any typical house, just a mini version. You would downsize and let go of any extra stuff you have to live in a tiny house. Shipping containers are one of the most popular building materials for building tiny homes.

Some of the biggest reasons people opt for tiny homes are the savings and the size. A smaller home lends itself to a more minimal life — you’re not tied down by a lot of stuff or a hefty mortgage payment.

Tiny homes are about 225 square feet versus a whopping 2,301 on average for a traditional house.


Earthships are sustainable homes that are built with recycled or natural materials. They get power from renewable sources like wind and solar. Earthships collect their drinking water, treat their sewage, and grow their food.

Earthships are often built in remote areas and are designed to be self-sustainable.

The basics of living off-grid

If you are starting your off-grid life from zero, you have some essentials to think about. There are several things you can’t live without, and you need to consider your plan to approach these things.

Water collection

A reliable source of clean, potable water is essential for living off-grid. Before you choose the location for your off-grid home, ensure that it has access to a water source. You will need enough access to haul your home’s water if it doesn’t. Many off-grid homes also have a water-collection system place and a well.

Always filter your water because even seemingly clean water could be unsafe to drink. Treating your water before using it for cooking and drinking is also advisable.

Power generation system

Solar panels are a popular choice among off-gridders. But don’t forget to install a backup generator that can supply energy in an emergency. If you have the financial resources, consider adding a battery power storage system.

Although costly, the power generation system could save you in the most critical moment.

A battery energy storage system collects energy from the grid or a power plant and discharges it later to provide electricity.


Growing your food is essential for your survival when living off-grid. While you can collect certain things like berries and plants, doing so is not always the safe choice, as some of them could be poisonous.

Cultivate a vegetable garden to avoid having to look for food in the natural environment. Learn how to store your food, as you will need your supplies to last for a long time.

If you have any livestock on the property, learn how to preserve meat and other animal products. Having a supply of non-perishable food is vital for emergencies.

Emergency supplies

Always have emergency supplies well-stocked. You will need a solar-powered speaker to avoid losing communication in an emergency. Keep emergency lights, batteries, and signaling tools handy.

Make sure you have a cooking and water purifying system at your fingertips. A First Aid Kit and basic medicines are essential because they can help you to survive before the help arrives.

How to transform your house into an off-grid household

While living off-grid implies that you need to move to a remote place, it’s not true. You can start living off the grid by converting your property into an off-grid home. Most properties are not designed to go off-grid, except for homes built in the last 3-5 years and can be energy efficient.

To move your home off the grid, you need to replace high-energy-consuming appliances with more efficient options. They include electrical and air conditioning systems, water heaters, and cooking appliances.

Replace the source of your home energy

Inspect your home wiring and consider going solar, geothermal, or wind power, depending on your location. Wind power might be the best option if you live in a windy place. And if you live in a sunny climate, consider installing rooftop solar panels.

Change your water heater

A water heater is essential to any home, and you need to find out how to make it more efficient. Consider moving your water heater to the roof or making it more energy efficient. If it is old, you could replace it with a new version like a solar one. The solar heaters are suitable only for warmer climates with plenty of sunshine. They are not ideal for snow or icy regions.

You can also change it to an inline gas or electric model. These devices are installed near the tap or shower and switch on when water begins to flow.

Replace air conditioning and heating

Air conditioning and heating systems consume a lot of electricity. If you are serious about living off-grid, you need to replace them with options that don’t rely on the grid.

You can change your air conditioner to an evaporative cooler if you live in a climate with low humidity. If you live in a place with high humidity, consider using fans, which need 95 percent less energy than a typical air conditioner. For the heating, switch to gas or a solid fuel-based central heater.

Invest in new kitchen appliances

Consider gas-powered kitchen appliances for your off-grid living. Try to cook your food outside on an open fire whenever possible. If you have a refrigerator older than ten years, replace it. New refrigerators have better insulation. They also consume less energy thanks to inverter-based refrigerator systems.

If you live in a cold climate, you do not need a refrigerator as you can store the food outside or in the basement. 

Final thoughts

Off-grid homes have become popular in recent years. As more people are aware of their environmental impact, many seek to live a more sustainable way of life. Some also look for a quieter pace and a relaxed lifestyle that living off the grid offers.

While transitioning to the off-grid lifestyle is a big move, it has many rewards. If you transition your home off-grid, you might finally have the lifestyle you always wanted. And you can enjoy it while being a good steward of the environment.

Live Off The Grid In Your Own Upcycled Shipping Container Home

Upcycled Resource Conscious Architecture that can be exported to any place in the world. It is more than architecture; It is a sustainable product. This home would be perfect for many of those that would prefer to live off the grid, be self sufficient and use recycled materials.

upcycle-house-container-home upcycle-house-container-home-1 upcycle-house-container-home-2

To see the entire project of this Sustainable prefab house built with shipping containers. [source]

Old shipping containers used as the structural framework for the WFH- Huse. This is not just recycling; This is upcycling!

In Short:

• The WFH concept is a patented modular building system, based on a design principle, using 40 feet high standard modules as

structural system.

• The structure can be adapted to local challenges such as climatic or earthquake issues.

• The first prefabricated housing system that meets the demands in the international environment-building-standard, Active House.

• The structure can be configured to meet many different purposes, multi storey, townhouses, cluster houses or individual villas.

• Top class indoor climate, low energy consumption and environmentally sound materials.

• Very short construction-period.

• Demountable for recycling or relocation.

• Online customization-tools give clients the possibility to decide their own version of the house concerning layout, size, facade, interior etc. The configuration happens within a predefined framework that will ensure high architectural value and quality of materials.

• Cost competitive in comparison with other green houses.

• Building-components are prefabricated and on site construction can be limited. The design allows for high-quality industrial production in large numbers and distribution using standard container transport.


• 180 square meters.

•Energy class, which is 50% lower than the standard requirements for new housing constructions in Denmark.

• Photovoltaic cells are integrated – area is flexible, but to fulfill the standards above min. 20 m2 solar cells for power production are needed.

With an area of 30 m2 or above a normal household using energy efficient appliances will be self-sufficient with power on an annual basis.

• Green roof solutions that are optimized for rainwater harvesting for use for toilet flushing, washing and cleaning.

• Customized façade solutions.


The design is based on Nordic values. Not only according to architecture, but also design objects. These values are defined as:


• Build for people, human values. – Good daylight conditions, different types of light.

• Reliable (long term) solutions. – Healthy materials, recyclable materials, design for disassembly strategies.

• Materials that age gracefully.

• Access to nature, greenery.

• Minimalistic look.

• Playfulness.

Sustainable global housing

The WFH concept is a modular concept, based on a design principle, using 40 feet high cube standard modules as structural system. The structure can be adapted to local challenges such as climatic or earthquake issues. Online customization-tools give clients the possibility to decide their own version of the house concerning layout, size, facade, interior etc. The configuration happens within a predefined framework that will ensure high architectural value and quality of materials. Building-components are prefabricated and on site construction can be limited.

FLEX space

The FLEX space is the heart of the house. It contains the living room, kitchen and can be used for multiple purposes. Parts of the room are double height, creating perfect lighting conditions. The rest of the space is one story height, defined by the landing that creates access to the spaces on the second floor. In each end of the FLEX space there is access to the surroundings and daylight. The boundary between inside and outside disappears, when the doors open. This is a fundamental part of the design; to be able to open let nature in. It is a consequence of having varying requirements for inside temperature and definitions of what domestic functions takes place inside and outside.


The geometry of the FLEX space is defined by the two rows of modules, and can easily be modified to specific wishes regarding size. The FLEX space has a number of possible solutions for subdivisions. Both on one plan or two plans. It can also be one big space, creating a lot of light and openness. The kitchen elements are built into the wall (into the technical module). It creates more floor space and also makes connection to water and plumbing easy. The kitchen can also be extended with at freestanding element, defining the work area of the kitchen. From the FLEX space there is access to all spaces. This eliminates square meters used for logistics. It is possible to make larger openings from the FLEX space into the rooms, again creating flexible solutions within the same system.

The work area of the kitchen

From the FLEX space there is access to all spaces. This eliminates square meters used for logistics. It is possible to make larger openings from the FLEX space into the rooms, again creating flexible solutions within the same system.


The size of the bedrooms is defined by the half of a module (15m2). There are four bedrooms, and they can be used for multiple purposes: A parent’s bedroom, kid’s bedroom, workspace etc. Three of the rooms have windows on two facades, creating a mixed light. It is possible to remove the wall, or part of it, facing the FLEX space. This adds flexibility to the layout and shows the structural systems ability to adapt do different needs.


The landing creates access to the second floor, but can also be used as a space for play, relaxation or work. It gives the inhabitant the possibility to draw back, but still enjoy the company of people in the house. You are in the FLEX space, but because you are on the first floor you are drawn back from the action. It is an ideal place for a quiet retreat and still being able to observe what is going on in the house.

To see the entire project of this Sustainable prefab house built with shipping containers. [source]

Could you see yourself living in one?

Survival on the Cheap: Preparing for an Emergency without Losing your Savings

By Guest Blogger –  Survival Life

Being prepared for any eventuality is one of the keystones of being a survivalist. However, if you’re just starting out, it can be a little overwhelming thinking of all of the supplies you need to be ready for three days, a week, a month or even more living on your own. Being prepared doesn’t have to cost a fortune though. In fact, re-using items and finding alternative (and affordable) sources for food, clothing and other essentials goes hand-in-hand with being a prepper. It’s a more modern variation of “living off of the land.”

How to stretch your prepping dollars

If you’re looking to start building your survival stockpile, below are a few hints to help you gather everything you need without breaking the budget. (And, remember: you don’t have to buy everything at once; a better plan is to build your stockpile gradually and thoughtfully. Your ideas about what you need will evolve over time.)

Tips for preparing for an emergency on a budget

1. Learn from the couponers. Although you may be buying different items (they’re buying baby food; you’re buying beans), there’s a lot to be learned from the extreme couponing crowd. Combining coupons with store specials can net you regular savings of 30 percent or more on non-perishable food items and toiletries. Take it a step further and join the grocery and drug store reward programs and you can find things like hand sanitizer, toothpaste and a host of other items for free that you can use in your survival kit. To learn more about couponing, check out sites like the KrazyCouponLady.com.

Surplus stores, stores that sell dented cans or half lots of boxed items, can also be good places to find non-perishable food items.  Learn how to create a price binder.

2. Be a regular at estate and garage sales. Estate and garage sales are other good places to find gear and supplies. Estate sales are especially good hunting grounds, since they feature an entire house full of goods. Some sales may require that you dig around in the attic a little bit, but there are often treasures to be found at cents on the dollar. Good things to look for at such sales are water containers, camping equipment and kitchen items. Some people also find good bargains on food at such sales. (I prefer to buy food directly from the grocery or market.) If you do look at food items, be sure to check the sell-by dates.

3. Shop off-season sales. Off-season sales are another good place to find seasonal gear like camping equipment and gardening supplies at prices that are 50 percent or even 75 percent off of their original price.

4. Host your own swap meet. If you know others that are interested in the survival life, you can combine preparing your stockpile with a social night by hosting a swap meet. Have everyone bring something extra from their stockpile and let the trading begin.

Review these 70+ survival items that cost less than $5!

Being prepared for any emergency or situation doesn’t have to be expensive or all consuming. Like other aspects of life, it’s all about smart shopping and always keeping an eye out for a bargain.
About the Author
At Survival Life our mission is to provide vast array of knowledge, tactics, and skills in the survival and preparedness fields, to any and all who wish to become more prepared for whatever may come. We strive to maintain a truthful and unbiased compendium of knowledge, both in original content, product reviews and survival tips, as well as curated articles from other top survival websites. Click here to visit our site and learn more.

Going Off The Grid: Want to erase yourself from the web?

How to erase yourself from the web or from just specific websites?

Just Delete Me is a directory of links for deleting your accounts from a variety of websites and services, along with indications of how difficult it is to delete yourself from those places (ranging from easy to impossible). It’s a little alarming just how many sites make it impossible to delete your account.


With recent scandals of government tracking, who isn’t thinking about how much of their own life is stored up on some data collection server somewhere.

This is a great resource if you’re trying to figure out which web technologies you are going to erase yourself from and go totally OFF THE GRID.



Why You Need A Solar Generator?

First off it’s the obvious, FREE endless supply of solar power.

But here are a few more reasons:

  • Clean energy (promotes clean air quality)
  • Zero emissions
  • Saves money
  • Renewable energy
  • No smells or noise
  • Electricity continues to rise in price
  • Good return on your investment (ROI)
  • Solar power can offset climate change
  • Save precious resources

Applications for a Solar Generator:

Support laptops, notebooks, tablets and most computers, cellular phones, small fans, AM/FM radios, DVD players, small TVs, low wattage light bulbs etc. (up to 60 Watts)

solar power 20w Folding Solar Panel Charger

When to use the Solar Generator?

  • Emergency (power failure etc.)
  • Camping & traveling
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Power your devices

Portable Powerpack - Back up emergency power


Imagine life without communications or small electronics!

  • No internet
  • No cell phones charged
  • No TV, DVD players, video games or radio
  • No laptop, notebook, or tablet
  • No router or modern
  • No low wattage electronics or small appliances

battery back up USB AA Solar Charger

See more solar generation.

Related Blog Post: Making-your-own-electricity-for-survival