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5 Tips for Living Off The Grid

Updated on March 16, 2011

Common Sense Tips for Living off the Grid

Thees are a few tips I have learned over the years living off the grid.

#1. Know your average power consumption!

Its not that hard to figure out what your power needs are and plan your power system accordingly. I have lived off the grid in all sorts of climates and each one has its own challenges. I need power for my computers and a few lights. I do not use a TV any more I watch all my shows online. I like it much better in fact So because I have lived off grid for so long I have learned to live with out most appliances. We haven't owned a Microwave in 20 years.

We use a mixer from time to time, when we want her to bake bread or something like that. So we have learned to live with really minimal power. My daughter who is in her 20s grew up off the grid so she knows nothing else.

Let me give you an example of how I lived off the grid for many years. I know my power consumption. Check the links I will post a link that will help you figure out how much power you are using.

Obviously we do not live a typical life but I did have a conventional job that I had to commute to. it was approximately 40 minutes away from where I was living. This gave me the opportunity to charge batteries everyday, I installed 2 deep cycle batteries in my trunk, Its not rocket science! These batteries were being charged as I drove back and forth to work everyday.

So essentially my car had 3 batteries. There were also a few batteries under my house to store energy. When I came home every night I plugged my car into my house. The batteries that I was draging around were normally fully charged and when I hooked the car up to my house, the house batteries received a charge from the 3 batteries in my car.

I know it sounds crazy, but you will need an inverter to convert 12 volt to 120. You should have one of these anyways in your car. Then when the power goes out at least you can turn on your computer and have a few lights. I lived in Florida during many Hurricanes and many times for days I was the only one who had lights in my house with out running and maintaining a expensive generator.

Hey inverters are inexpensive, I recommend that you get one as soon as possible and you will never be with out lights as long as you have a car or 12 volt battery! So tip number 1 get an inverter. I have 2!

Tip #2 Common Sense Tips for Living Off the Grid

#2. Compost Toilet

If you think that you are going to buy a piece of property and live free and easy off the grad think again. Yes it is possible but the way I live off the grid is a life style.

Many people try to live off the grid and bring their life style with them. If you have plenty of cash and want to run a generator with plenty of batteries back up, you might want to re think your decision.

When you were a city dweller you didn't have to think to much about water consumption, just pay the bill and don't water your lawn on certain days or you will get fined. When you go off the grid you will want to think about water consumption. Because normally you will be responsible for collecting and storing your own water. i will get to that later. First we really need a place to well you know.

We have owned a few composting toilets and you can also find plans for them online. I recommend you buy one that uses very little water and minimal electricity. So tip #2 is buy or build a composting toilet!


#3. Water

You need good clean water to drink and you need water to wash the dishes and bathe. We have ruffed it many times and have had to well sort of go out on our own so to speak. Thats how we learned all these things. Anyway in Hawaii we collect our water for showers and to wash the dishes. I would not reccomend drinking collection water even if you filter it. One of the places where we lived off the grid I dug a well that gave us water year round. I must warn you I didnt hit water until I dug 26 feet!

So you can collect water from your roof to filter and use for bathing and washing dishes. You need something to store it in and you need a pump. I have used Shurflo pumps for over 20 years. I love them. They are a good all abound pump to have for almost any situation where you need to pump water


#4. Stock up a little food.

You would be surprised how many people never think about not going to the store. We know about not having food and the stores being shut down for several weeks during national disasters. We have been in a few and survived.  We probably would have survived off we did not store food and water. But we were happy that we did when we couldn't go to the store for a few days.

Its not a bad idea even if you are not living off the grid. Hey actually its a better idea to stock up because the stores in the city run out fast. So stock up on a few days of food. Include a few treats for the kids. Of course we have an emergency kit with all our emergency stuff in it. Flashlights our weather radio etc!

Tip #5 Communication

You have food , water electricity. Our refrigerator is gas if you are wondering. Its really important that where I am living off the grid that I can get on the internet and also make a phone call. Before we buy property we always check the service in the area. We have lived places where we had everything except internet.

We lived in placed in the USA that are supposed to be civilized but had no internet or phone service.


Submit a Comment

  • Insightful Tiger profile image

    Insightful Tiger 4 years ago

    Some things to think about! Thank you for sharing.

  • Alternative Prime profile image

    Alternative Prime 7 years ago from > California

    Hi coolbreeze,

    Some great tips for those who may not have experienced " Off the Grid" living... I enjoyed your personal in depth knowledge on the subject.

    Alternative Prime