5 Things To Consider When Choosing Life Off The Grid
Going off the grid is an entire lifestyle change that requires massive amounts of dedication and self-education. One online survival guide estimates that an average household in America uses almost 9,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 144,000 gallons of water in one year. Going from this average to disconnecting from the electrical grid has some unexpected consequences. The five most important things to consider for life off the grid are communications, accessibility of goods and services, finding the right land, cooking skills and fellowship.
In today’s world, we have become accustomed to instant communication with people anywhere in the world. Nearly everyone has access to the internet and mobile phones. Shifting from this type of modern technology to off the grid life can be a little bit unnerving at first. Going off grid means that using FaceBook or sending a text message requires going into town or to a neighbor’s house. There is no need to completely socially isolate yourself, but it will take time to adjust to a life without instant communication.
Accessibility of Goods and Services
The main reason off-grid living requires extensive preparation is because this lifestyle limits the accessibility of most modern-day good and services. Virtually all grocery and convenience stores have moved away from barter and only accept Federal Reserve U.S. dollar bills in exchange for goods. If you are completely off-grid and rarely utilizing the monetary system, then it may take a few extra steps to purchase items. You will have to consider your family’s needs for health care services, emergency response services and convenience needs to determine how off-grid you are willing to go.
Finding the Right Land
The most important factor you need to consider when picking a piece of land to survive on is the availability of reliable, fresh water. A wooded area is ideal because it provides for privacy, firewood and recreational needs. For long-term livestock and gardening needs, you will need a large, sunny, open space. It’s always crucial to research and understand the area’s zoning and building restrictions because laws vary depending on where you are. In many places, a resident is not allowed to build any structures, dig ditches or other projects without approval.
Modern-day convenience allows for take-out nights, frozen meals, prepackaged lunch meat, ready-to-drink milk and amazing products that would simply be unavailable living an independent grid-free life. Such luxuries must be sacrificed, or at least minimized, to survive. Additionally, honing skills like cooking will not be optional. You will have to learn to prepare, cook and store your own harvest.
Though modern-day propaganda makes off-grid individuals out to be social outcasts or self-proclaimed loners, the benefits of fellowship with like-minded people are innumerable. When living off the grid, neighbors can become vital assets that help you survive and aid in emergencies. Together, you can share knowledge, skills, equipment and barter for goods. Most importantly, having fellowship with like-minded people will provide you with the social interaction that every human craves. An estimated 200,000 people across the United States have chosen to live off the grid You don’t have to be alone to go off the grid.
By Tammy Sons