A lot of people move toward an off-grid lifestyle to discover a huge amount of freedom and a feeling of taking control of life. Detaching from the grid leaves you with no power bills, no water bills, and an immense amount of freedom over the way you live.
Some people do it without any modern technology, while some just rely on their own power and water supplies. Regardless, the lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but the people that do find an off-grid life to be for them absolutely love it. There are a lot of benefits that come along with living off the grid, but also some difficulties that can’t be forgotten.
What Does Living Off-the-grid Actually Mean?
Living off the grid simply means having no reliance on industrial power or water systems. The power used in an off-grid home is produced on sight, or not used at all. The water is typically straight out of a well or a nearby stream, rather than a pipe that connects to a city’s water supply.
There are two main ways to live off-grid, and some people will prefer one way over the other, so we’ll look at each type of off-grid living.
The Types of Living Off-the-grid
No modern technology at all
The more extreme way of living off-grid is to go without all modern technology. That means having an outhouse without a flushing toilet, a house lit by candles, and no connection to the internet at all.
Most people these days would struggle with the move to a zero-tech lifestyle. Our lives are built around having a cell phone in hand and a laptop in front of us for work, but when living off-the-grid, you don’t always have access to these tools.
While this is more extreme, a lot of people still seek it out to escape the confines of modern-day living. It can give a sense of freedom but also will separate anyone from the modern world.
Off of the government’s water and electricity grid
The middle ground is to live without being connected to the water and power grid. This still allows for access to the internet and a modern lifestyle, just with self-produced power and a water system independent of the city.
It can be more demanding, this lifestyle, but large-scale power outages don’t pose a threat, and there’s more control over the treatment of water, which a lot of people worry about in the city.
Why Do People Choose to Live Off-the-grid?
There are many reasons why people are turning to an off-grid lifestyle. Many people think that those moving off-grid are running away from something, but there is a lot that people are running away from.
The environmental benefits of living a low-tech off-grid life are tough to match. With lower energy usage, a more sustainable water source, and a life that doesn’t rely on driving everywhere, comes a much lower carbon footprint.
It’s not always more eco-friendly to live off-grid, but when you’re using solar and a clean source of water without contaminating the environment around you, it’s a much more sustainable life to live. There is no reliance on fossil fuels that are putting off dangerous emissions, and many off-grid dwellers will grow their own food on their land.
This also leads to a much healthier lifestyle. An off-grid life is difficult, but working for food and water is often physically demanding, pushing you to a healthier life. There is a physical activity built into almost every part of the day as there are fewer luxuries that complete tasks for you.
On top of having more physical movement every day, off-grid living will often include growing a garden and eating healthier in addition to moving your body more. It gives more control over what goes into the food you eat, making everything overall healthier.
Once an off-grid site is set up, it can be very cost-effective as far less money is spent on electricity, water, and food. Over the years, the energy bills add up significantly, especially with the rising price of power on the horizon.
Low stress and anxiety
You may spend more time in nature away from the hustle and bustle of the city, relieving the stress of continuously being surrounded by people.
Out in an off-grid cabin, there are tasks that need to get done, but they are often simple. The off-grid life is a simple one that doesn’t hold a lot of stress and anxiety in day-to-day movements.
The Minimum of What You’ll Need to Live Off-the-Grid
While living off the grid is a minimalist lifestyle, there are some things that you still can’t go without. We’ve put together a short list that shows the absolute minimum of what you need in order to start an off-grid life.
Your own land
Moving off the grid means you need a spot to do it. Buying your own land is an exciting prospect and allows you to design and build your own cabin or small home. In that design, you get to start incorporating garden plots, power, and water sources.
Many people desire to find huge tracts of land, however, off-grid homes can also be built on smaller plots. Find something within your budget that satisfies your needs for sunlight, water, and architectural space.
A water system
Access to fresh water is one of the most challenging aspects of building an off-grid home. Many off-grid homes have wells dug to ensure an ongoing supply of water, but this can be costly.
Other systems deliver water directly from a nearby creek either with the flow of gravity or an electric pump. Another method is water capture with rainwater. This isn’t legal in all places, so be sure to check regulations before installation.
All of these systems work well for reliable water until a drought comes, making it one of the more difficult parts of off-grid living.
A power system
To live in a more modern off-grid home, you’ll need a solid and reliable power system that can power all of your electronics. Many people are moving off-grid as they move towards remote work, making this an even more important factor in the design of the off-grid home.
Long-lasting solar generators are when portable power stations are paired up with solar panels to harvest and store energy for future use. A solar generator is the most popular option for powering an off-the-grid life.
When picking out a power system, you need to make sure that the brand you purchase is trustworthy, as a lot of your life will rely on its performance.
Growatt has a range of options to help make living off-the-grid easier and more modern. The Growatt INFINITY 1500 is the most powerful option available and is capable of running multiple large appliances at once. When paired with portable solar panels, there are very few instances in which you’ll run out of power.
All of these portable power stations have a large number of outlets and plugs as options to charge your devices quickly. They can be charged from the wall or from a solar connection in a short amount of time, making them incredibly efficient to use throughout your day-to-day life off the grid.
|Series||Capacity||Ports||Recharge Time||Outdoor Appliances|
|Growatt Solar Generator VITA 550||538Wh||5V/9V/12V/20V, 5A, 100W Max USB-C||Solar 200W: 2.5H||Light(6W): 76H|
|5V /2.4A, 12W Max USB-A||Radio(100W): 4.5H|
|5V /2.4A, 9V /2A, 12V /1.5A, 18W Max
USB A-FAST Charge
|13.2V /10A, 132W Max Car Outlet||Wall Charging: 1.6H||Drone(60Wh): 7Cycles|
|13.2V /3A, 36W Max DC5521 Output||Car Charging(100W): 5.4H||Headphone(6Wh): 76Cycles|
|Growatt Solar Generator INFINITY 1300||1382Wh||2 x 5V/9V/12V/15V/20V, 5A, 100W Max USB-C||Solar 800W: 2.5H||Light(10W): 117H|
|2 x 5V/2.4A, 12W Max.USB-A||CPAP(65W): 18H|
|2 X 5V/2.4A, 9V/2A,12V/1.5A, 18W Max.USB A-FAST Charge||Camera(10Wh): 117Cycles|
|1 x 13.2V/10A, 132W Max.Car Outlet||Wall Charging: 1.8H||Drone(60Wh): 20Cycles|
|2 x 13.2V/3A, 36W Max.DC5521 Output||Car Charging: Support 12V/24V Standards||Headphone(13Wh): 90Cycles|
|Growatt Solar Generator INFINITY 1500||1512Wh||2 x 60W Max (5V/9V/15V/20V, 3A) USB-C||Solar 800W: 2.5H||Light(10W): 128H|
|2 x 12W Max (5V, 2.4 A) USB-A||CPAP(60W): 21H|
|2 x 18W Max (5V/9V/12V, 2.4A)
Quick Charge 3.0
|12-24V, 8A Max
|Wall Charging: 2H||Drone(60Wh): 21Cycles|
|Car Charging: Support 12V/24V Standards||Headphone(13Wh): 99Cycles|
With everything else set up, you need to find or create a reliable source of food. Many of these setups are far from a grocery store, making it a difficult trip to get everything you need. This is why many off-grid dwellers prefer to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
Communities and Resources
Living alone off the grid can become lonely quickly. There are a lot of options out there like community-living spaces and communes that are great options for anyone wanting to live off-the-grid but aren’t ready to live alone.
Many online resources can be used to build and upkeep an off-grid home.
How Much Does It Cost to Live Off-the-grid?
The expense of living off-grid will vary based on a variety of factors, just like city living. Growing your own food on a cheap piece of property that relies on solar energy will bring your cost of living down dramatically. You could also buy an expensive piece of land, then choose to have your supplies shipped to you rather than hunt and forage on your own.
The cost really depends on your preferences, which is one of the best parts. Off-grid living is about you and designing your life exactly how you want it!