Where is the Best Place to Live Off-Grid?
OK, so you caught the off-grid bug and now you are looking to cut the apron strings, quit the rat race and head for the big outdoors to try your hand at off grid living. But where do you go and how do you pick the land to settle on? It's not as if you are choosing an apartment and can just up and leave if you don't like it. So what does a person do, where is the best place to live off-grid? In my opinion the three most important criteria for locating an off-grid homestead are water (or lack thereof), cost and community.
Thank God for the internet! We now have access to all kinds of “off-grid” websites, classified ads and You Tube videos that will help us navigate our uncharted course to “off-grid” living. I have put links to all the websites and pages below. There are sites that will match you with people who are already off the grid who need help and conversely with people who are looking for off-grid communities that have been established already. If it's land you are looking for they have classified ads, if it's information about a well drill, someone out there has that. You have only to seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened. Off-grid living can be lonely and difficult, people who are living in the wild want to share their experiences and you can benefit from the information and experience they have to offer.
Many people have asked me where is the best place to locate an off-grid homestead. There is no easy answer to that question as it depends on you and what you want. However, having said that, I have my preferences. For example, I would not want to go off-grid in the desert. There ARE people who do it and God bless them, but it seems to me that the lack of water and isolation would really put you in a precarious situation. Water is THE most important asset when living independently and off grid. Without water you will not be able to survive for very long at all. The life that people live off-grid, in the desert, is not for me. So that cuts out a good deal of the southwest. Furthermore, the isolation that the desert has can be a problem. If the SHTF and we have a total breakdown of our society how long do you think you could survive with NO outside contact? For this reason Alaska and Hawaii might not be the best choices either.
Another consideration is expense. A property can be the most perfect property in the world but if it is too much money what good is it? If you are Ted Turner, I doubt you are reading this article! So the cost has to be right.
If your goal is to go off-grid then your goal is to be independent. One cannot be independent if one has debt. Therefore, the cost has to be something you can afford without going into debt. If you must go into debt then it should be at a bare minimum with the intention of paying off the debt as soon as possible.
Thirdly, and this is something I have come to after reading many articles about off-grid living...thirdly, I think it's very important to locate where there is a community of like-minded people if not nearby within a short distance. Now, some of you may want to be totally isolated from the world but that gets old for most people pretty fast. I think it's very important to have a community near-by that is supportive of you and your life-style. You can have the most beautiful place, the most independent off-grid homestead known to man, but if you have neighbors that are not friendly or even hostile to what you are doing and who you are it can ruin everything. Face it, we need each other and even in an off-grid lifestyle you might have to depend on a community at some point. This can make or break your off-grid experience in my opinion. After all, one of the things that makes off grid living doable is being able to sell your products to your neighbors. Things like raw milk, eggs and wool from your sheep can bring in some extra money and help you make a go of your homestead. If the local (or state) laws make this difficult, well it is something to consider when choosing your homestead. If the local or state laws are going to make it difficult for you to build your cob house and nickle and dime you to death over permits, fees licenses or the property taxes are prohibitive then another location may be in order.
Now there are other things to consider but I don't think that they are nearly as important as the three things I just mentioned. Some might say that the growing season is important. And, yes that is important but with the addition of a a greenhouse or two and/or aquaponic systems you can overcome this almost anywhere. Another problem for some might be extreme weather. Again this can be overcome and animals can live in almost any climate, including very cold weather. You might not WANT to live in extreme weather but that is another issue entirely. Also, gun laws have been mentioned. Personally, I think that a state's gun laws should be considered however, I would not put that as a “must have” for the simple reason that even this can be overcome. If you are using guns for security you can usually use rifles almost anywhere in the United States. If you need extra security you can use dogs and cameras. If the laws in the United States become so draconian as to make even owning rifles illegal, well then, that is unconstitutional and as far as I'm concerned those laws are not “lawful” and should not be obeyed.
So there you have it, my two cents as to what you should look for when trying to decide where to locate your off-grid homestead.
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