Start Now! Change the Way You Manage Your Life.................................. Be Self Reliant. Be Sustainable.
Maybe not everyone is interested in living off the grid. But you can at least change the way you live day to day. Perhaps the biggest challenge is that most people do not know where to begin. You can start here by reading through this simple guide featuring some of my best posts. Continue reading.........
Welcome to Off Grid Living News
Whether you live in the city or in the country, we're here to perhaps make you question how you live everyday. Use some of our posts to guide you toward a more sustainable life and help you achieve more personal freedom than you ever thought possible. Keep reading to learn more!!
Learn how to produce your own food.
Get rid of the clutter and focus on what is truly important to you.
Establish a lifestyle that is inline with your personal values.
It takes time and commitment to establish this kind of lifestyle. Take one small step forward and keep reading!
Off Grid and Self Sufficiency Start Guide
If you mention the possibility of a self sufficient, off-grid lifestyle, most likely you will be met with looks of confusion. Most people will not understand why you would voluntarily do such a thing and may even consider it impractical, if not impossible to achieve.
The thing that most people do not realize is that this choice of lifestyle is becoming more and more common place. Even more common than the pure off grid lifestyle are families setting up their residences to go off grid if needed. They are what I call “off-grid ready”. Conventional technology being what it is, the simple fact is that an off grid lifestyle today is often a marriage between old country wisdom and modern technology.
Having lived off the grid for 20 years, many things about this lifestyle have become second nature. These are things that I no longer have to even think about. However, I do remember a time when I had no idea what I was doing. I struggled with things almost daily, and often times I learned things the hard way.
The purpose of this start guide is simply to give you a basic foundation or framework, a list of things to think about. Each item on this list has a number of related topics and articles on the blog. So keep in mind that this is simply a place to start.
I hope this page puts forth a challenge for you to start learning and step outside your comfort zone.
Off Grid Start Guide
1) START WITH THE RIGHT MINDSET
2) TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE WHO LIVE OFF THE GRID
3) EXAMINE YOU PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
4) TRY IT BEFORE YOU BUY IT
5) BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
6) SIMPLIFY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
7) GET OUT OF DEBT AND STAY OUT OF DEBT
8) START SAVING MONEY
9) THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WILL EARN AN INCOME
10) EXAMINE YOUR SKILL SET AND EDUCATE YOURSELF
11) PROPERTY SEARCH
12) TOOLS NEEDED ON THE HOMESTEAD
13) HOUSING OPTIONS
14) FOOD PRODUCTION AND STORAGE
16) SANITATION AND PERSONAL HYGIENE
19) COOKING AND COOKWARE
20) COMMUNICATIONS AND INTERNET
21) FIRST AID AND MEDICAL CONSIDERATIONS
22) EMERGENCY AND SURVIVAL SUPPLIES
23) FINAL THOUGHTS
-Start with the right mindset
Everyone I know that lives a self sufficient lifestyle is a motivated self starter. These folks often learn by doing and many times step outside their comfort zone. Pushing your personal boundaries produces one of those uncomfortable feelings somewhere between excitement and fear. It takes a little getting used to.
But, it gets you motivated to challenge yourself. Challenging yourself and stepping outside your comfort zone is something you need to become comfortable with doing. Once you do so and accomplish a new goal, you gain new confidence that spurs you on to do even more.
Always remember, ultimately you are responsible for everything that you do and everything that you don’t do. Many things about modern society that produce so much ease and comfort tend to make all of us forget this simple fact. Yes, we are still responsible for our choices and ultimately the lifestyle we produce for ourselves.
To read more about the off grid mindset, go HERE.
To read about mastering the off grid mindset, go HERE.
-Talk to other people who live off the grid
If you are interested in living a more self sufficient lifestyle and/or living off the grid, take the time to find people with similar interests. Take the time and effort to interact with them, make some new friends. It seems that the entire world lives on social media. It is not difficult to find online social groups that are dedicated to any topic you can think of, including self sufficiency and living off the grid.
Read blogs and other publications that are an on-going source of information on the topic. Read books, articles, and anything else you can get your hands on regarding the subject. This information is readily available and will help you decide if this lifestyle suits you.
To find out more about who lives off the grid go HERE.
-Examine your personal relationships
Living off the grid, being self reliant, producing and managing a great deal of your resources is NOT for everyone. Just like any other choice we make in life, it has distinct advantages and disadvantages. It just isn’t a bed of roses and tranquility 24/7. It has it’s own stresses.
Make sure you have a partner that is in full agreement with your lifestyle choice. Otherwise, prepare yourself for on-going frustration and unhappiness.
To find out more about what it means to live off the grid, read this post on Living Off the Grid: What Does It Mean?
-Try it before you buy it
There is no better way to gain new knowledge and skill than real life experience. Find an off-grid property for rent, take a short vacation, and spend at least a week living off the grid. Introduce yourself to a farm or ranch owner and see if they are willing to let you get your hands dirty as an introduction to their lifestyle.
You could also get involved with local co-ops that are geared toward sustainable living. Often times people that are involved in these organizations are more than willing to offer advice and share their experiences.
If you are interested in gaining some experience, read this post on 10 Ways to Test Drive the Off Grid Life Before You Commit
-Begin with the end in mind
What kind of lifestyle do you want to achieve? What are your goals. Set some priorities. Think in terms of needs versus wants.
Most people are far to dependent on others for their everyday needs. But, it is possible to change that if you are committed to the idea and willing to put forth the time and effort.
The best place to start is to think carefully about the type of lifestyle you would enjoy. What is it that you want to achieve? What level of self sufficiency is important to you? Where do you want to live? What type of life do you want to have 5 years from now?
“Instead of wondering when you next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” Seth Godin.
-Simplify as much as possible.
Most of our lives are cluttered with useless material possessions and a long list of meaningless obligations that bring no value to the table. Take a close look at your lifestyle and figure out what truly matters. Get rid of the rest.
To learn more, read this post on The Importance of Simplifying Your Life
-Get out of debt and stay out of debt
This is paramount to making your life as simple as possible and maximizing your personal freedom. For more information, read this post on How to Live Debt Free.
-Start saving money
Long-term financial management is key. It is imperative to get in the habit of saving money. Even if you can only afford to start setting aside a few dollars a week, it is more important to establish this habit than it is to focus on the initial dollar amount.
-Think about how you will earn an income
One of the biggest challenges that most people face if they want to live in a rural area is having options for decent employment. So before you chuck it all and head for the hills, remember you still have to have a way to make ends meet.
Despite your desire and dream of being self sufficient and off the grid, if the money is not there, you cannot survive. Supporting your dreams with hope is a recipe for disaster and financial hardship.
Consequently, a source of income should be one of the first things you consider. Furthermore, you really need to think hard on what it is you are trying to achieve. What are your goals?
There are numerous things to consider and there is no one right answer for everyone. It truly depends on your personal situation, your goals, and your specific skills.
To learn more, read this fun post on 58 Ways to Make Money on the Homestead.
-Examine your skill set and educate yourself
Living off grid and being self sufficient requires a broad range of skills and knowledge. The list of necessary skills seems to be endless. Most people that I know did not acquire all that skill overnight.
Being able to manage your own resources and provide most of your daily needs can be a significant challenge especially if you are not accustomed to thinking that way. What if you had to build you own house? Provide your own electricity? Repair your roof? Build a shed? Install your own water purification system? Grow your own vegetables? Provide your own source of meat? Or what if there was some important project you had to complete, you had no idea how to do it, and hiring someone was not an option?
Could you figure it out?
It is vital that you take the time to invest in yourself and learn new skills. You need to start somewhere.
If you want to learn more, the read this post about How to Improve Your Homestead Skills.
I also have another post on How to Improve Your Off Grid Skills.
Due diligence. Due diligence.
Typically there are different considerations when purchasing rural versus urban property. It is imperative that you educate yourself about this process. Use local experts whenever possible.
To learn more about some important considerations when purchasing rural property, read this post on the 35 Things to Consider When Buying Rural Property.
-Tools Needed on the Homestead
There are many. Just know that having the proper tools always make the job tremendously easier.
I would recommend at least starting with a basic set of carpentry tools. You can then acquire new tools as needed while you work on different projects. This is how I have done it for the last 20 years.
But, to learn more, read this post on the 100 Best Homestead Tools
A lot of self sufficient folks live in owner-built homes that are far more efficient than most other modern houses. If building you own home is beyond your skill level, then considering buying a property with a house or small cabin already on site.
If no structure is on site, consider having someone frame up and dry in (structure is completely closed in so that it stays dry inside) a small house or cabin. This way you might be able to live it while learning how to finish out the structure.
For further information, go to one of the following articles:
Living Off the Grid: Four Realistic Options
Building an Off Grid Home: What Are the Major Concerns?
Having An Off Grid Home: Five Realistic Options
-Food Production and Storage
One of the key elements to being self sufficient is producing you own food. The methods and means of home food production and storage could fill enough books for an entire library. From gardening, to raising small livestock, permaculture, green houses, etc, there is a great deal to know.
Start small. Have a small garden. Perhaps raise a few backyard farm animals. Start your food storage plan.
To learn more, read some of the following articles:
The Quick Run Down on Backyard Farm Animals
How to Start Your Food Storage Plan
Food Storage for Self Reliance
Establishing an Emergency Food Supply
Fresh water on the homestead is a key consideration. It is one of those things you simply cannot live without. Consequently, the availability of water should be a key consideration in purchasing any property or setting up a homestead.
Once you have a water source, there are a few simple principles to understand in order to safe guard your water supply. Filtration, purification, and storage are key elements.
For more in-depth information, read these posts:
How to Maintain a Safe Water Supply
How to Choose the Best Water Filter
-Sanitation and Personal hygiene
This is not exactly a romantic subject. But staying clean and dealing with your own humane waste is very important.
There are multiple ways of bathing off grid. I’ve tried several different methods that were all effective. But, some ways are easier to deal with than others.
For a good article read about Off Grid Shower Options
As far as dealing with human waste, there are several different possibilities. Building an outhouse is likely the easiest and least expensive. Personally, I am in favor of a composting toilet. Depending on your geographic location and local regulations, you may be required to install a septic system. As a general rule, installing a septic system will only be allowed if no other option is available. In other words, if city water and sewer are available, you will generally be require to pay for the hookup whether you like it or not.
Check out these posts:
Waterless Toilet: A Great Off Grid Toilet Option
Electricity or not? Grid tie or not?
It is possible to live without electricity. I did it at my off-grid cabin for almost 15 years. I learned a lot about alternative means of lighting and refrigeration.
Then I installed a very basic solar electric system. A couple of years after that, I installed a full solar array and now have standard household electricity in both cabins. This made a tremendous improvement in my lifestyle. I highly recommend it.
Although I choose solar energy , there are other renewable energy options such as hydroelectric, and wind.
But, for now, if you want to learn more about alternative energy sources, read one of the following articles:
23 Reasons to Choose Solar Power
Wind Energy Systems: The Pros and Cons
What are the best appliances to use off the grid?
There are several options for off-grid appliances. With modern technology, there are some awesome high-efficiency appliances on the market. Check out the following posts:
Off Grid Appliances: Options for Cooking Off the Grid
Off Grid Refrigeration: Propane versus Electric
-Cooking and cookware
Consider different methods of preparing your meals: wood stove, open fire, propane, electric, solar oven. What are the best types of cookware to use.
To learn more, check out these posts:
Off Grid Cookware: What Are Your Options?
Off Grid Appliances: Options for Cooking Off the Grid
-Communications and internet
Disconnecting yourself from the world to some degree can greatly simplify your life. However, the ability to communicate with others is still important in case of emergencies. Also, such communication can make it possible to work remotely. Read these posts and find out what options you may have.
Off Grid Communications: Five Realistic Options
Off Grid Internet: Five Realistic Options
-First aid and medical considerations
Access to emergency medical care is important. Always have a medical kit available. At a minimum, get up to date on basic first aid techniques. It could save your life and even prevent an expensive trip to the ER. Learn more in the following posts:
The Importance of Learning Basic First Aid
-Emergency and Survival Supplies
Part of being self sufficient is being prepared for the unexpected. It is important to keep several months of food and other basic supplies on the homestead. For more information, read the following posts.
Read this post about How to Start Your Food Storage Plan
If you want to learn even more, read about Building an Emergency Kit: An Important Part of Self Sufficiency
Or you can also read about Establishing an Emergency Food Supply.
It is also very important to learn about the The Ten Essentials Needed for Survival
If you have taken the time to read through all of these posts, then you have just about read through a small Ebook. Just remember, this is only a guide to get you started in a new direction. There is something you will hear me say over and over again…………
As long as someone else is in control of your resources they are in fact in control of your life.
Learning to manage your own resources is a tremendous commitment. Yes it is a lot of work. Yes I get frustrated and tired at times. But so many other things in life produce the same sort of reaction. I would rather have much more control over what I do everyday than to allow someone else to be in control of all of the vital things that make my life work.
Some say that self sufficiency is a myth. In some respects that is true. Our daily lives, and in fact our everyday world, is so interconnected that perhaps it is nearly impossible to be 100% self sufficient. But as we all now know, things can happen in the world that suddenly change our lives completely without our permission. But, that has always been the case. In my opinion all of us would be better off if we took more control over our lives, manage many of our own resources, and took more responsibility in how we live day to day.
I urge you not to sit back and allow someone else to take care of all the things that make your life what it is. Do something about. Put the controls back in your own hands. Live life the way you want and above all be sustainable.
Go off grid and live well,