Have you ever thought about moving off grid? leave the rat race behind, find a nice piece of land in the country and just unplug? There are many things to consider when making this decision, and it should lot be taken lightly. Take a look at our Top 5 Reasons why decided to go Off Grid and see if you can relate.
What Does It Mean To Live Off Grid?
What does ‘Off Grid’ mean? Well, it means many different things to different people and believe it or not, the simple definition of living ‘Off Grid’ causes arguments within the Off-Grid communities. To me it means:
- To be independent from public utilities like electrical, water, and gas.
- It means reducing our carbon footprint, conscious living, sustainable living, and embracing the ways of old.
- Leaving the four walls , the fluorescent lights, the 9-5 and the rush hour traffic, in order to get more connected with nature.
When our family decided to embrace this lifestyle we came up with our Top 5 Reasons to Move Off Grid and leave the rat race behind. After years of living off grid, these are still our motivators, and we’re glad we did.
Why work all day to pay for a house you don’t have time to enjoy? Enroll your kids in every activity available to never see them? Or have a boat you never have time to use? We asked ourselves this very same question and the answer we came up with was in fact the very question. Why?
Have more and enjoy less? Reverse that-have less and enjoy more. That is the true key to happiness.
We save money by not having a mortgage, electric or water bill, and by growing and raising our own food.
#2 Life Skills and Experience
I often hear kids these days don’t know how to do X,Y,Z. Or that handmade crafts are a lost art, and it may be true. The legacy we want to pass down to our children is how to provide for themselves, to take pride in a long day’s work, to find self-worth in accomplishing goals, and seeing the fruits of their labor.
We have created a society where it is easy to get sucked into the system of co-dependence and almost impossible to live independently. If you are hurting financially? ‘Here’s food stamps, here’s money for rent, here’s insurance, here’s a phone’. But when you try to improve your situation?
Instead of supporting you through the transition to independence, they punish you and take everything away, thus many stay co-dependent.
We desire to be able to provide everything our family needs without help from the outside world. Don’t get me wrong, people need a community, we need each other, but what we don’t need is big brother handing us everything on a silver platter without working for it, earning it, or offering us a way to provide for ourselves.
For far too long we have taken from this earth with no consideration of the consequences of our actions. We have been using our fresh water supply as a toilet and our land as a disposable resource.
We live with the mindset that if we destroy this earth we can just get a new one, everything is disposable and replaceable, that’s not so.
You can be eco-friendly anywhere you live, but you can’t live off the land anywhere. Meaning, we have rules and restrictions about: solar, wind energy, hydro energy, rainwater collection, our recycling centers no longer collect glass, etc. Living off grid allows us to reduce our carbon footprint on a larger scale than we can do in the city.
#5 What Is It Called When You Go Off The Grid? Freedom!
Most of our lives we’ve lived within the confines of HOA rules, county restrictions, laws and bi-laws, all telling us what we can and can not do. We can’t have livestock, we can’t have a clothes line, our trash can can’t be outside past a certain time, we can’t be too loud, have to have our mailbox a certain color- ENOUGH ALREADY!
Living off grid allows us the freedom to live. Although we will never escape taxes and laws, we are able to enjoy more freedom and live how we were intended to.
Is It Good To Go Off The Grid?
While I’ll admit, this life isn’t for everyone. It’s hard, exhausting, relentless, and you never get time off. But is it good? You bet your sweet patootie it is! In ways I can’t even express into words. All I can say is at the end of each day, I feel accomplished and satisfied.
What Would I Need To Go Off-Grid?
WOW- this is a loaded question. I say that because the ‘off grid’ is different for everyone. Meaning, some may want to simply disappear and live in nature. While others want to duplicate their current living situation but not be connected to public utilities.
I will answer with what we needed and you can adapt it to your own needs and plans. As a matter of fact, I will elaborate this in greater detail in another article to help break it down a bit more, but here is a brief overview.
- Land. Specifically land that is in an unincorporated county that doesn’t have building and zoning restrictions.
- Job/Income/Savings. You will need money to build your off grid life and money to support you while living off the grid. Ideally, you can have a job working from home.
- Internet access. I work from home and the children do school online so internet access is necessary.
- Water. Having a water source is essential, either a well, creek or spring. Water is a top priority.
- Solar or some other alternative source. We bought a package unit from Backwoods Solar Company but there are several good companies to work with.
- Construction Knowledge. This is not mandatory in order to go off grid, however, we were on a tight budget so being able to build everything ourselves was crucial to our savings. See our tips on How To Save Money On Construction Supplies.
Does Living Off Grid Appeal To You?
When we decided to take the jump and leave the city to move off grid, we didn’t have anyone we could reach out to for help or advice. Sure, we had YouTube videos and Google, but I wanted someone we could actually converse with.
We want to help. Over the years, we have wrote articles about some of the lessons that we’ve learned (linked below), however, we want to be here for you. If you have any questions to ask, ask away, we will answer to the best of our ability. Either drop a comment below or email us directly.
- 12 Things You Must Do Before Moving Off Grid
- Top 6 Energy Sources For Living Off The Grid
- What You Need To Know About Living Off The Grid