Off Grid Living: All You Need To Know About It
If you want to live independently, away from everything, amid nature and enjoy solitude, then off-grid living is the way.
Living off the grid means severing electrical and other utility connections for sustainable living in the fresh air. A lot of people dream about it, but only a few can do that finally. This is because it needs the right fortitude, problem-solving skills, survival techniques, and a lot of preparation. This article aims to give you the essential insights on off-grid living.
Requirements for Off Grid living
Food, shelter, power, and water are the four basic requirements for Off-grid living. Moreover, you have to think about waste disposal. The following steps can make your living off the grid successful.
1. Decide on the living space
You need a shelter to stay safe from the elements of the weather. Abundant options are available. But you have to decide based on resources and style of living. Remember that picking a small house means you need less energy to consume. However, you may opt for a log cabin, or a cob house, or container house or any other style that suits you.
2. Plan about harvesting and harnessing water
You will understand how precious water is, once you settle for living off the grid! There will be no water coming to your place and you have either to carry it from the nearby source or dig a well for that. You can build a catchment area for harvesting rainwater. Alternatively, using rain-barrels is also a good way. Or you may also employ wind or solar energy to bring water to your place from the nearest source.
3. Always try to grow your food
Food is everything for living in the wilderness. It is unlikely that you will turn a hunter-gatherer and can live on berries, nuts, plants, and natural games. Relying on those could put you in difficult situations. So, you have to grow your vegetable garden and fruit trees & plants. Growing mushroom patches and perennial vegetables could be a great food source. You must also learn how to preserve dried foods and fishing could be a luxurious sport for a break.
4. Set up alternative energy sources
Setting up alternative energy sources is a vital requirement for Off-grid living. You can harness electrical energy in three ways. Having solar panels is a great way to harness renewable energy. But it involves high initial investment depending on the size of your dwelling.
You can also employ a wind turbine if the place is blessed with a continuous high-speed wind. A 900watt turbine is enough for your cabin. Or, you can also use micro-hydro electricity that uses the power of the running water.
5. Disposition of the waste
Human wastes must be properly disposed of. You can build outdoor toilets and latrines far away from the dwelling area. One can also have a septic tank. Arranging compositing toilets is also a great way. You may burn household garbage in a pit and compost the vegetable waste.
6. Keep tools and tackles ready
You need to be ready for all emergencies while living independently. So, you must gather all tools and tackles for running your makeshift work-shed.
Different types of houses
Several types of off-grid living houses are available in different styles. You may consider any of the following types.
1. Cobb House
These can be made using clay, soil, straw, water, and other organic substances. As these are made with clay, they deliver a pleasant indoor all through the seasons. You can make this as big or as small you need and make it waterproof with a coat of linseed oil.
2. Container House
These are ideal for a place with a moderate climate. Else, you have to insulate them. As these are made from retired shipping containers, they can be very secure with a modern and stylish look. Moreover, they can be moved around without much trouble. You can even stack multiple containers for imparting a structured look.
3. Bamboo House
Being exceptionally strong bamboo is great for making houses. Only thing is that you have to treat it with borax for protecting from bacterial and insects. This will also ensure a longer life. It is the best for hot and humid climate and looks like a paradise among thick vegetation.
4. Log Cabin
It takes you back to the early days and is the best for living in a rustic environment. If you are ready to live in a small place, this is ideal for you. While a majority of the off-grid dwellers stay there for summer experience, the hardcore ones do it all around the year.
5. Hobbit house
This is fantastic for insulation and ultimate privacy. You can build it with recycled materials. Being mostly underground this provides great thermal mass conditioning. Plant vegetables on the roof and this will be hardly visible by anyone.
Common mistakes people make
Most of the people dream about Off-grid living but has no idea of harnessing alternative power. They also carry unrealistic ideas about living alone and independent in their mind. So, one must learn the basics of homesteading before going off the grid.
Underestimating the cost is another mistake people make. The hard fact is that it may pop up anytime. One must, therefore, have sufficient savings and also plan how to earn money while living off the grid.
Generally, people boast about their strength without knowing how physically strong they are. One should, therefore, be engaged in intense physical activities to make them fit for the hard labor ahead.
Most of the people also fail to build a support network before they move for living off the grid. This could be dangerous. Always try to connect with similar groups online and also get introduced to the closest neighbor.
Off Grid living lets you feel the pulse of life. But, this is challenging and expensive as well. Despite these, it is gaining more popularity as many people are now opting to live green. Now that you know the essentials, why not try the off-grid lifestyle?