Is Wyoming a Good State to go Off the Grid?
Wyoming, the cowboy state, is the least populated state. It has beautiful natural scenery like the Grand Tetons, high plains and beautiful rivers. Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park are both in Wyoming. But is it a good state to go off the grid in? Let's take a look and see.
It is typically semi-arid with regional desert conditions in Wyoming. Summers are short and hot while winters are cold and long. Average daily temperatures in Cheyenne range from 15 degrees Fahrenheit to 38 degrees Fahrenheit in January and 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 82 degrees Fahrenheit in July. The record low is a frigid -66 degrees sent on February 9th 1993 in Riverside Wyoming. The record high was 114 degrees Fahrenheit on July 12th in Basin Wyoming.
2. Precipitation and Snowfall:
The average annual precipitation in Wyoming is 12.9 inches. Wyoming ranks 48th out 50 for the least amount of rainfall in the United States. Snowfall varies considerably depending on what city your are in Cheyenne averaged 56 inches between 1971 and 2000. What Wyoming lacks in rain it makes up with snow!
3. Building Codes Alternative Housing Materials:
I could only find vague references to alternative building materials and whether the municipalities will let you build with them in Wyoming. I can only assume, like the rest of the country, if you are in the country rather than in a city that they might allow it. You would have to check in the specific town you want to relocate to in order to see if it would be feasible to build a cob, straw-bale or earth-ship house. I would probably forgo cob for straw-bale due to the cold winter months.
4. Cottage Businesses:
Cottage food laws in Wyoming require a permit to operate a food processing operation in their homes. The foods must be non-potentially hazardous foods and have a broad list of allowed foods sold direct to the consumer. In Wyoming cottage businesses can only sell directly to the consumer. There is no license, registration or permit required to sell cottage foods in Wyoming nor is there a sales limit. There are labeling requirements in Wyoming.
5. Homeschooling laws:
Wyoming is considered a “low” state regulation state. The state requires parental notification only.
6. Rainwater Harvesting:
Wyoming has some restrictions but allows rainwater harvesting in certain areas. In other regions it is restricted or you must file a permit and/or prove that you're putting the harvested rainwater to good use.
Wyoming is a tax friendly state; the total tax burden ranks 48th out of 50 states.
- Wyoming has no state income tax!
- Sales Tax is 4% , very low!
- Property taxes are 4th highest in the nation but veterans get an exemption. This is not good if you are hoping to be free from expenses and off-the-grid, but since they have such a low sales tax and no income tax I guess they have to get money somehow.
- Wyoming does not tax pensions or social security.
- There is no estate or inheritance tax in Wyoming.
8. Gay Marriage:
Same sex marriage is illegal in Wyoming and is banned by the state Constitution and by law.
9. Gun Laws:
Permit to Purchase Rifles, Shotguns and Handguns: NO
Registration of Rifles, Shotguns and Handguns: NO
Licensing of Rifles, Shotguns and Handguns: NO
Permit to Carry Rifles and Shotguns NO, Permit to Carry Handguns: NO
Wyoming is ranked 6th out of 50 in the best state for gun owners poll (#1 being the best). Wyoming is a very pro-gun state, ranking high on the list for best state for gun owners over-all. 60 percent of residents are gun owners, more than any other state.
10. Garden and Food Laws:
In Wyoming raw milk is legal only through the participation in a herd or cow share. It is illegal for a farmer to sell raw milk directly to the public. I could not find any regulations against having a garden in your front yard in Wyoming but good luck with that due to the short growing season.
11. Raising farm animals:
You would have to supplement farm animals with feed as the weather would not permit year round grazing.
12. Property Prices and Cost of Living:
Cost of Living
The United States
The cost of living is more expensive in Wyoming than in most parts of the United States. The median cost of a home in Wyoming as of this writing is $204,100, while the median average across the United States is $170,100. The cost of living is lower in utilities, transportation and average in health, leaving housing and groceries more expensive than the national average.
According to people who track these things Wyoming scores a 104.40 compared with the average across the United States of 100. The score is based on the U.S. Average. A score above 100 means that the state is more expensive than the average in the United States and a score under means that the state is less expensive than the average.
13. Growing Season:
Wyoming has long winters and therefore short growing seasons at about 125 days. You would have to have a greenhouse in this state. Wyoming is one of the few states that has gotten snow every month of the year.
Wyoming has a very low crime rate, low taxes (except for property taxes), almost complete gun freedom and conservative laws but it gets very cold in Wyoming which could be very difficult when living off the grid as it would be difficult to grow your own food, raise animals (without additional costs) and heat your home. Wyoming also gets hail storms as well as snow storms. Wyoming, to me, is a toss up. If you have the resources to deal with the added expense due to the cold then it might be worth your while but if not there are better states out there.
Would you like to go off grid in Wyoming?
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