So you’ve finally done it!! You’ve decided to get the heck out of the city and go off the grid! Congratulations! No more traffic, noisy neighbors, or stress! Your days will be filled with relaxation and nature and your nights with campfires and starry skies!
Living off the grid is amazing, but it can also be stressful if you haven’t prepared. So I’m here to help!! Take a look at some of my tried and tested tips for making your off-grid days full of enjoyment.
Try to Have Several Power Sources
The biggest factor of being off the grid is having power. If you are only using your property for weekends, maybe power isn’t even important! But if you are wanting to go off-grid long term, you will most likely want a power source! Solar, water, and wind power are all good options for off-grid living, depending on what the environment is like where you are, and you can use more than one of these power sources if available. You may want a gasoline-powered generator as a backup. The more power sources you can have the better!
Make your power last by lowering your usage as much as possible. Make sure to plan accordingly and adjust your habits! For example, making sure you home has good insulation will cut down on energy usage for heating and cooling, and being mindful of your own usage will cut down on precious power going to waste. I’m sure you’ve forgotten to turn off the light when leaving a room, but when living off-grid, you have to train yourself to be mindful of every detail to make that power last!
You’ve Gotta Have a Water Source!
In many parts of the country collecting rainwater is vastly more efficient than lugging a bucket back and forth to a stream or river. In fact, with a good rainwater collection system, you can accumulate a great deal of water from what seems like an average rain. Putting the system together can be a pretty big task, but it will continue to pay off for years as you will be able to collect and store enough water to supply your family and garden with ease.
Building a well is another option, but depending on the location and quality of ground water wells can be difficult and expensive. Rainwater collection is almost always the better (and more efficient) option for off grid living. Rainwater can be much cleaner than well water and contains fewer minerals, and in many climates you’ll get plenty of it, making it more convenient! You’ll want to filter and purify it, though, as well as preserve and store it. Make sure to do your research before installing a rainwater tank system!
Plant a Garden and Have a Hobby Farm
One of the best ways to become even more self-sufficient by growing your own vegetable garden. Depending on the location, you could also consider fruit trees to supplement your growing. If you are going off-grid full time, consider livestock as well. Chickens are easy to keep and will provide you with eggs, eat garden pests, and their dung can be turned into fertilizer for your garden! Depending on the size of your property, you can add all kinds of livestock!
Compost Your Waste
If you have natural materials that you would normally throw away, start a compost pile and use that to fertilize your garden! Coffee grinds, leftover food, and some paper products can all be composted! Its a great way to reduce your waste, and increase the yield of your garden. (see more on this below in the Poo section)
Use DIY & Natural Cleaning Products
Household essentials like lemon, baking soda, vinegar, salt, olive oil, and castile soap make effective natural cleaning solutions. You can use them to remove stains, eliminate odors, scrub your sink, and countertops. Stock up on these ingredients for DIY household hacks when living off-grid. Cleanliness is extremely important when living off-grid.
Make Sure to Have a Heating & Cooking Source
The first (and most common) power source to come to mind for off-grid cooking is wood. Propane is also a good option. Depending on your area, you can have a large tank or two put in and filled only once a year. You can even use an outdoor kitchen in the summer and use a wood stove in winter.
Stock up on Cast Iron Cookware
Trust me on this one! It’s very easy to maintain, can be used on any heat source, including open fire, and lasts for generations. Cast iron treasures are inexpensive and can be found at yard sales, estate sales, and flea markets.
Well, I’ve left the ‘crappiest’ hack for last ? When you’ve decided to live off grid, you are also disconnecting yourself from the municipal sewage system. Sewage probably something that you think of often, but is definitely not something you can take for granted when living off grid!
One of the more modern off-grid toilet options is a compost toilet. This is the option that I personally like the best because the waste actually gets turned into compost that you can use! So it’s no longer ‘waste’! Yes, poop really can be turned into safe compost that you can use in your garden, I promise! You can either build you own composting toilet, or buy one! They will usually have vent hoses so they are odorless, and they also convert waste into compost much faster.
Well there you have it!! My favorite off grid tips! Make sure to do your research and plan ahead and you are going to love unplugging and living the simple life!