Off-grid living: The definition.
Off-grid living is a matter of how connected you are to electric, water, and sewer public utilities.
The reasons for seeking a simpler life and living off-grid are as many as fingerprints.
Many seek this lifestyle for the possibilities of financial savings and environmental impact.
A wide variety of approaches to off-grid living exist.
Some construct their own residences in secluded regions. Others renovate existing homes to enhance energy efficiency.
There also are communities that offer off-grid living alternatives. In these instances, they provide valuable support and resources for those new to this way of life.
Don’t think for one second that this way of living is without its challenges.
Done well, almost anywhere in the world, off-grid living is often a fulfilling experience.
To live such a life, one must make a thorough plan and lots of preparation.
This enables a more sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle from the start.
Living off-the-grid requires one to work smart and hard.
For a person, family, or community living off the grid, there’s seldom a dull moment. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Few moments happen when one sits back and says, “I have nothing to do.”
What’s more, you will find that finishing a “simple” task requires completion of many others, too.
Your level of “Off-Griditty” determines your ‘free time.”
Your “Off-Griditty,” my word, depends on unique and personal factors.
Your level of skills with solar, wind, and hydroelectric systems is significant.
What you know about ways to collect, store, filter, and purify water is another.
Knowledge about how to grow, forage, raise livestock, or buy supplies becomes vital. Even then, you may be able to grow food, but if bugs, pests, or deer eat your crops, those skills do not matter.
Questions you should ponder before taking action.
Have you factored in the climate in your neck of the woods?
What about the acidity and type of soil where you live?
Got an almanac? How many days make up your growing season?
What, where, how, and when you plant all affect your harvests. So do the number of cats, birds, or garter snakes around your plants.
What do you know about woodworking? If you own power tools but have no place to plug them in, what good are they? If you have vintage hand tools but can’t saw straight, how will this affect you?
How long can you stand to go without a shower or bath? How often do you wash clothes for you, a spouse, and children?
These often are things urban and suburban dwellers take for granted.
What happens if there’s a storm–rain, hail, thunder, or snow? What will you do when La Niña, hurricanes, or a drout cuts off the rain?
The scenarios of “what ifs” seem infinite.
The advantages to off-grid living.Despite mainstream doom and gloom predictions, many advantages come from living off grid. These include:
Cost savings: Personal power generation and reductions in water useage can save money.
Environmental friendliness: Adopting a sustainable lifestyle reduces your ecological impact.
Learning new skills: Discovering new ways to meet your needs brings satisfaction.
Tranquility: Peaceful environments away from the demands of daily drama improves one’s health.
But there are significant and important challenges.
Challenges associated with off-grid living include:
Cost: Setting up off-grid systems gets expensive faster than you can say, “lightbulb.” Less often means doing more with less in the beginning. But this helps ensure you’re ready for the rewards and challenges of this unique way of living.
Maintenance: The need for maintenance skills never disappears with off-grid systems.
Limited amenities: Modern conveniences like air conditioning and cable TV may be unavailable. Don’t forget WiFi or the coverage limitations of your mobile devices.
Isolation: Those who live in remote areas may experience feelings of loneliness.
Different strokes for different fokes. (Southern word.)
Off-grid living means different things to different people. Some think the term only counts if you’re prepped for a catastrophic event.
But others have their own definitions of what it means to live off-grid.
For example, a friend of mine grows most of their own food and goes on long hikes along the Pacific Coast Trail.
Another person I know lives in a camping trailer in a secluded area.
They commute to work every day but return “home” to a peaceful place in nature. One person recently shared a video of bison playing no more than 40 yards away.
When they go camping, they hook a truck up to their trailer and go even further off the grid.
My situation with my Great Pyrenees, A. Maycee Grace.
As for me and my Great Pyrenees, we prefer a higher level of off-griditty than most.
For months on end, we tent camp on family land in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
We don’t have a much electricity there, at present, only about 300 Watt-hours per day. In the summer, they have an average of 6.2 hours of sun for solar power each day.
We have a spring for water and plans to build a garden and a small cabin-like structure.
An important point about your own off-griditty.
Some local government ordinances mandate that you remain connected to public utilities.
Even so, you have options when it comes to increasing your self-reliance.
Keep research and reading.
DonaldJClaxton.com exists to develop ideas, research, test, and recommend best practices.
The two pillars of knowledge we focus on is about off-grid living and woodworking.
The site means to serve as a guide to ways we all have to increase our own levels of off-gritity.
The live more rewarding and enriching lives through greater self-reliance.
We offer the possibility of simpler living by bringing the outdoors inside.