Are you ready to go off the grid? It’s a rewarding lifestyle, but only if you’re willing to work for it. Follow the 10-point checklist below to see if you have what it takes to survive.
1. Access to Adequate Land
To live outside society, you’ll need a piece of land to meet your needs. For a garden and some chickens, you can get away with a smaller plot. Plants will need a space with plenty of natural sunlight. If you want to invest in livestock, like pigs and dairy cows, you’ll need to look for at least an acre with shaded areas.
2. A Suitable Living Space
Once you’ve found the right piece of land, you’ll need to decide on the type of living space you want. If you love the freedom of the open road, you might add a mobile home. Are you good with your hands? Then build a small wood cabin. You can also choose a prefabricated house as a kind of set-up-and-go solution.
3. Knowledge of Agriculture
The key to successfully living off the grid is growing your own food. To that end, you have a diverse variety of options. You can grow vegetables like tomatoes, cauliflower, zucchini and green beans. And don’t forget dessert made with fresh fruits like raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.
4. Equipment for Rainwater
You’ll have to harvest rainwater to make the most of your limited resources. Once you collect it, you can water your garden, wash your animals and attend to other tasks. If you want to drink rainwater, be sure to treat it first. A “first flush diverter” can help bypass contaminants by removing the first bit of water out of the collection system.
5. Tools for Preserving Food
Growing your own food is an important step toward living off the grid, but what happens when you grow too much? Instead of letting food go to waste, learn different preservation methods to keep your family fed year-round. It’s possible to freeze almost all fruits and vegetables for months at a time, and canning food with a pressure canner will preserve food for years.
6. An Understanding of Livestock
A lot of people in your position choose to raise livestock, so you should do a little research. If you want to raise chickens for eggs, you won’t have to worry about buying a rooster. But if you want the eggs to hatch, a rooster is a must. Remember that each animal comes with a learning curve, a trial-and-error process you’ll learn along the way.
7. The Ability to Upcycle
If you want to live off the grid, it’s essential to take advantage of all your available resources. Instead of tossing out those bald tires, ripped jeans or banana peels, consider how you can upcycle them into something new. Toss food scraps into the compost pile for natural fertilizer, use old windows for a DIY greenhouse or collect wood from pallets for larger projects.
8. Renewable Energy Systems
You don’t have to depend on electric companies to keep the lights on. Sustainable energy sources are well-suited for off-the-grid living. Since 2016, solar generation has increased by 39%, and rapid advances in these technologies have made their integration cheaper than ever. You can also invest in wind or geothermal energy solutions.
9. A Self-Sufficient Mindset
If you want to enjoy life off the grid, you may need to adjust your mindset. You’ll need to focus on appreciating the simple things in life, like the happy bleat of a goat or a warm summer night with fireflies. If you’re worried about appearances or keeping up with the neighbors, you’ll stress yourself out and become dependent on modern-day society.
10. Willingness to Monetize
Living off the grid can feel difficult at first, but once you find your footing, you might decide to monetize your lifestyle. If you have a green thumb and grow a large crop, consider selling fruits and veggies at a roadside stand. For those that invest in bees, pure organic honey sells for a hefty price. Even baked goods, like tasty pies and tarts, are lucrative offerings.
Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?
A life off the grid won’t be perfect every day. You’ll make mistakes and learn as you go. But the satisfaction of self-sufficiency is worth the effort. Before you head out on your adventure, read the 10-point checklist above to see if you’re truly ready.