Living off the grid means living sustainably growing your own food generating your own energy and building your own shelter. Self reliance and freedom. But what does living off the grid really mean? Living off the grid has multiple definitions. Generally speaking it means being disconnected from the municipal power grid. In most simplistic terms it means not being dependent upon the system, self reliant, independent and free.
Living off the grid means different things to different people, and that according to people’s individual needs and wants.
Most human beings seek two things. Safety and happiness.
This can vary widely from person to person, family to family, even culture to culture. There are few very specific commonalities among most “off grid” people however.
We’re called homesteaders, preppers, survivalists, and sometimes crazy people. There’s a certain stigma that the outside world, those within the system attach to the “off grid” movement as if to live free from the system is for “crazy people” and that includes “doomsday preppers” and survivalists.
Off The Grid Means Being Disconnected From Public Electric Utilities
This of course ignores the fact that being off grid simply means being disconnected from the local power grid. And it completely disregards the fact that most people who choose to live a free lifestyle and produce their own food, water, and shelter are not crazy at all, and in fact might be the only sane ones.
But I digress, that’s probably only a matter of perspective, and one person’s lifestyle might seem crazy to another’s from their own perspective. It’s all relative.
What’s not relative however is the actual definition of what “off the grid” means.
“Off-the-grid is a system and lifestyle designed to help people function without the support of remote infrastructure, such as an electrical grid. In electricity, off-grid can be stand-alone power system or mini-grids typically to provide a smaller community with electricity…Off-the-grid homes aim to achieve autonomy; they do not rely on one or more of municipal water supply, sewer, gas, electrical power grid, or similar utility services.
Source: Wikipedia Off-The-Grid
That’s it really.
It’s that simple.
Living Off The Grid Does Not Mean Primitive Living
Another opinion within the off grid community is the purist’s definition of what off grid means. There are some folks that believe that living off the grid means that you cut all ties with the outside world and disconnect from all public utilities. This includes electricity, internet, cell phones, water and sewer and all other public utility services.
Further, purists believe that it’s a requirement to call yourself “off grid“.
This of course is absurd, and you’ll find these kinds of people in every niche group of people interested in one thing or another.
There are always the people who think everyone else is doing it wrong, and those are the ones that complain the loudest about it.
They wrongly think that if you’re not doing it the way they do it then somehow that it’s the wrong way to do it. It’s silly! What’s even funnier is the irony that these opinions are expressed on the internet from those that claim to be off grid.
Think about that for a second. Take all the time you need. 😉
Yes You Can Use Technology and Be Off Grid
Living off the grid doesn’t mean you have to avoid using technology altogether. There’s really no point in living that kind of primitive lifestyle unless you just want to see if you can survive without modern technology, and even then, that’s just a personal opinion.
Then you have the majority of people who live off grid or who aspire to live off the grid, and to whom living off the grid is their dream.
Most folks within the off grid community are folks who simply want to live a more sustainable healthy happier life without having to be dependent upon the system.
It’s all about homesteading and sustainable living.
Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and may also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. Pursued in different ways around the world—and in different historical eras—homesteading is generally differentiated from rural village or commune living by isolation (either socially or physically) of the homestead. SOURCE: Wikipedia – Homesteading
Homesteaders usually have a dream to one day to build their own cabin in the woods. Or at the very least purchase a homestead with a nice cabin already built.
Building your own cabin not only brings with it a sense of accomplishment for folks. It’s also a way to save hundreds of thousands of dollars by not having to get a mortgage and going into debt for decades.
Homesteaders typically grow their own food in their own gardens on their own land. Grow your own food, fruit and veggies. Traditional row crops, raised bed gardening, vertical gardening and farming, aquaponics and hydroponics just to name a few of the different agricultural methods and techniques.
The sole purpose of which is to provide a dependable fresh healthy sustainable food source. If done right you can live on the food you grow in your own garden indefinitely. This is what it means to be self reliant.
Humans are omnivores, meaning we eat both meat and vegetables. Most folks who decide to go off grid do so with the intent to also raise their own livestock for meat, milk and eggs. Livestock also provides natural resources like fertilizer, leather, feathers for bedding and arts and crafts. Livestock materials for making cheese and soaps and other things you need for personal hygiene products.
Canning and Preserving Your Own Food
People who live off the grid also can and preserve their own food. We’ve been doing it for millennia and will continue to do it well into the future. Homesteaders, off gridders, preppers, survivalists all will preserve their food in one way or another. Storing food for the long term requires something besides a freezer and a fridge.
Health Tip: Harvard recently did a study about fermented foods and probiotics. The study found that pickled and fermented foods are actually good for gut health because they are full of natural enzymes and probiotics (healthy gut bacteria).
This of course goes to creating a healthy sustainable lifestyle.
Living off the grid of course means you generate and store the energy in battery systems. It means. disconnecting from public utilities. Solar power and wind energy are the primary sources for off grid power systems. Though there are such technologies as geothermal and hydroelectric as well as others.
The primary mainstay source of power for an off grid homestead is a solar panel array. The solar panel array is hooked up to a charge controller and battery energy storage system. Some folks like to add a wind turbine for added power to supplement their energy needs when the sun isn’t shining.
During the long nights and cloudy weather events the solar system will not be producing power, but usually there’s a bit of wind blowing. The wind turbine offsets power usage during low sun periods.
Living Off The Grid is About Freedom and Self Reliance
That’s what it means to live off the grid. To be free from the confines of a system that doesn’t care about us. A system that will swallow us whole and keep going without a second thought.
To me, it’s insane to stay connected to the grid, to a system that will probably eventually collapse under the weight of the crazy and insane greed that has become systemic. A malignant tumor, a cancer that eats up the good people of the world.
Don’t work a 40, 50, 60 hour work week making someone else rich. Your time is valuable. Live life today for you and your family. Don’t slave away in a system that makes other people richer. It’s insane to keep feeding the beast that is the system when it would devour you whole in a second the moment you stop working.
Wouldn’t you rather work for yourself and your family?
We unplug from the grid for survival and for our sanity. To be connected to the grid is crazy! Why would you do that? To put all your trust in and rely on a system that cares nothing for me or my family is just pure craziness.
Yet they call us off grid homesteaders crazy? That’s funny.
I think they have it backwards.