There are many reasons why people go off grid. Some individuals seek to be away from the danger of other people in the event of a disaster. Others simply cannot take the stress of the daily grind anymore. Others enjoy braving the elements and seek to prove that they can live off the land. Whatever the reason, it is important to be aware of a few necessities before pulling the plug.
Adequate ShelterThe first concern to address when going off grid is the type of shelter you will need. Some rough and tumble survivalists can get along fine for weeks or months with a tent in the wilderness as adequate shelter. If you are single and your interests are not that mobile, then a one room log cabin or small traditional house might suffice. Alternatively, some people design and build elaborate energy efficient dome homes, because they feel going off grid doesn't necessarily mean one has to sacrifice comfort.
Nutrient Dense FoodNo matter how far one moves away from civilization, they still must have nutrient dense food to live. Traditionally, ancient tribes solved this problem by hunting and gathering berries and other plants to supplement their diet. Building on this foundation, the advent of mail order catalogs and the internet has provided people with the option of acquiring prepackaged meats, long-term bulk storage containers filled with dehydrated meals, and bulk seeds for planting a massive garden. Hence, there are many ways to acquire food, even off grid.
ElectricityDue to advancements in solar technology, it is easier to live off grid today than at any other time. Inexpensive solar panels, cost effective ready-made solar power stations, and even solar appliances, have made it possible to obtain all the electricity a person might need. Alternatively, wind power is another inexpensive choice when looking for ways to generate electricity off grid.
HeatHow a person will adequately heat their home, off grid, is certainly an important concern to address. One method may be to install a wood burning stove. However, a more efficient approach might be to install a rocket stove. A rocket stove uses up far less wood than a traditional wood burning stove, burns cleaner, and leaves less residue. The amount of heat that can be generated is massive and makes this type of heating option an efficient choice for many who live off grid.
Septic SystemsIf you are ready to get off the city sewer line, the easiest way to make this transition is to install a septic tank. A septic tank collects waste water. Bacteria in the tank breaks the waste down, forming three layers. As more waste water comes into the tank, it pushes out old waste into underground pipes that transport the waste byproduct to a drain field. It is recommended to have a septic tank serviced and emptied once annually for homes with a garbage disposal and once every three years for homes without a garbage disposal. Many people think it is acceptable to ignore this advice, if their toilets are not backing up. However, it is often a costly mistake to neglect one's septic system maintenance. Schedule an inspection from a professional like David Brantley & Sons Raleigh in NC, that can make sure your septic system is working.
ConclusionFrom meeting concerns about adequate shelter to waste management, living off grid can be a satisfying lifestyle for some. It is a lifestyle that demands both planning and a hard work to ensure that everything runs smoothly. It is important to take the time to anticipate how one's needs will be met before committing to this lifestyle. With proper forethought and preparation, it is certainly possible to live off grid.
Marlena Stoddard writes on emergency preparation and energy independent homes. Originally from Senoia, GA, Marlena lives in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and 2 children. When she isn't spending time with her children or writing, Marlena enjoys hiking and photography. For more on Marlena, you can follow her on Google+.