News How to Live off the Grid

How to Live off the Grid


Many people have dreamt of living “off the grid,” but only a handful of people have actually accomplished a completely self-sustainable lifestyle. Living off the grid can be a completely life-changing experience, but it comes with its share of work. Keep reading to learn how you can provide your own power, water, heat, and food to become a true off-the-grid pioneer.
Water: There are two ways to capture usable water off the grid: ground water and rainwater. For potable water, the best solution is to install a well onsite. There are a lot of regulations regarding wells, so you must do some upfront research to see if a well can be built on your property. Next, you can harvest rainwater with a cistern (giant holding tank). Water pumps are required for belowground cisterns. This is a very common water gathering method for homes that aren’t near a water source or able to drill wells.
Food: To truly go off the grid you must learn the art of growing and gathering your own food. A garden will be essential, and chickens, cows, goats, and pigs are all great farm animals that produce a lot of the food you will need, including eggs, cheese, milk, and meat, if you need it.
You can grow all kinds of seasonal fruits and veggies in your garden and use manure from your animals to create fertile soil. You can grow wheat to make your own bread and preserve your garden’s offerings a number of ways, including canning, dehydrating, and freezing.
Power: The main option for generating your own power is by way of the sun and wind. Photovoltaic solar panels can be installed on the roof of the house to capture the sun’s rays and turn them into usable AC power in the home. This solution is perfect for homes located in areas with a lot of direct sunlight. Wind power includes a turbine that spins and generates DC power when the wind blows between certain speeds (typically greater than 9 mph) and then is converted to AC that can be used in the home. Many people utilize both to have a reliable source of energy at all times. In order to go off the grid you will need to install batteries near the power sources that can store the DC power until it is needed. A backup generator is an important item for off-the-grid living as well.
Heat: Relying on electricity to heat the home will use up a lot of your resources. The easiest way to heat a home off the grid is by way of a wood-burning stove. Make sure you coordinate your firewood gathering in advance of winter—you’ll need to acquire, chop, stack, and protect plenty of wood to keep you warm through the colder seasons.
Another way to ensure that your house stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer without using much electricity is to ensure it’s properly insulated and that anywhere heat escapes is properly sealed.
Living off the grid takes you back to an epoch when people lived self-sustainably. Having the knowledge to live on your own builds character and gives you a completely new perspective on life. If you’re serious about living off the grid, you can make it happen. Good luck!

How to Live off the Grid
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.

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