While most of us will only ever dream or fantasise about living off-the-grid, there are those amongst us who are growing increasingly close to taking the plunge and opting to live an “off-the-grid” life. If you find yourself identifying more with the latter, here are 6 things to consider before you take the ultimately next step towards self-reliance:
1. FINDING THE RIGHT SPOT
While this may seem like an obvious thought-starter, there are many factors regarding finding the right location for off-the-grid living that one needs to consider – given that you will actually be living off-the-grid. When looking for a home, or even land, it’s important to remember that you will probably need to create your own power – either from the sun or wind – so wherever you decide on will need to have enough space to facilitate or assist with power generation. It’s also important to consider where your home will be located relative to local amenities or emergency services if you plan on moving quite far out.
2. GENERATING YOUR OWN POWER
No one can claim to truly live off-the-grid while still relying on the state supply for power. Becoming self-sufficient when it comes to power means a lot of effort, research and ultimately capital beforehand in order to establish what will work best for you. It’s also good to bear in mind that wherever you choose to live, in terms of location and size of home, will have an effect on what self-generating power options you can make use of.
3. CREATING YOUR OWN WATER SOURCE
Along with generating your own power, you will also need to consider where your supply of water will be coming from. Large water tanks can be used to catch rain or filtration systems can be used to filter water from nearby streams or rivers if need be. These can be costly so be sure to do your research as to what will best work for your home and wallet beforehand.
4. FEEDING YOURSELF
Another important thought to consider is how far you’re prepared to go in terms of being able to source your own food. For some, this might look like farming your own vegetables or investing in livestock, so be sure to consider how long this endeavour will take before you find yourself with an established food supply. For example, most fast-growing vegetables take at least a few weeks to grow, so bank on it taking at least three or so months to have any kind of food source up and running.
As with food, you will need to consider the lengths to which you are prepared to go in order to stay off-the-grid. Depending on your circumstances, it might be possible for you to sell your car and opt to get around on a bike. Not only will this be hugely beneficial for the environment, it will be hugely beneficial for your health as well – an added bonus.
6. CONSIDER YOUR OFF-THE-GRID MONEY-MAKING OPTIONS
For a lucky few, you might not need to earn a living while living off-the-grid. For the rest of us however, living off-the-grid could mean a switch to more creative ways of making money, like selling your own produce or handmade goods, or it could mean remaining in your current position and working remotely or even pursuing freelancing opportunities if this isn’t an option.
It may seem scary when you contemplate all that’s involved with living off-the-grid, but doing your research and some thoughtful consideration beforehand could save you a lot of unnecessary trouble in the long run. With that said, it’s also incredibly important to consider whether you have the dedication and commitment it takes to live a life off-the-grid. Be sure to remember that it’s a complete lifestyle change you’re signing up for and going back on-the-grid will be as onerous as going off was in the first place.