If you’re planning on becoming self sufficient in the near future, it’s worth looking out for opportunities to experience ‘off the grid’ living. Gaining real experiences will prepare you for what’s ahead in your new lifestyle, and you’ll pick up invaluable tips to help you make the most of what you have. Whether you want to brush up on your survival skills, get hands on with farm animals, or experience life in a home without running water, these resources will help you to get the experience that you need.
Take to a Wilderness Survival CourseMost survivalists will have considered taking one of these courses, and they’re definitely a good investment. Not only will you learn skills that will serve you well when SHTF, you’ll also get to see what it’s like to be cut off from civilisation. Most of the courses take place in the heart of the wilderness, and you’ll be able to conceptualise what it’s like to live without electricity, running water, or ready food supplies.
Take a VacationA slightly less stressful way to experience off the grid living is taking a vacation designed for people who want to get away from modern conveniences. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of companies already jumping on the bandwagon to offer this style of getaway. From campsites with no running water, to old homesteads, a quick Google search brings back plenty of options. Some of the destinations are fairly romantic, too; the perfect way to introduce this style of living to a sceptical significant other.
House SittingLooking after someone’s home and beloved pets may not sound like the best way of getting essential survival experience, but scratch the surface of housesitter sites and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to experience off the grid living. You’ll find homes that rely solely on solar energy, homes that don’t have running water, and homes where you have to source and chop your own wood; or risk freezing to death. The best thing about these assignments is that there’s very little competition for them. Most house sitters are looking for luxurious free accommodation, and owners of off the grid homes are looking for sitters who understand the subtleties of septic tanks.
WWOOFingWorldwide Working on Organic Farms (or WWOOFing, as it’s affectionately called) is a gap year favourite with college kids who want to see a bit of the world. It’s also great for getting a bit of hands on farming experience before purchasing your own land and animals. There are all sorts of opportunities available, from rearing herds of goats to growing fruit. As well as getting to do a bit of travel, you’ll learn some great lessons that will help towards your own organic gardening efforts.
So there you have it: four easy ways to get experience of back to basics living.
James is a freelance writer who's been practising living off the grid for the past two years. You can follow him on Twitter here (@j_cave).