Is it legal to live 'off the grid'?
I have seen all of these great ideas about tiny house and living sustainably without being hooked up to town services such as water or electric. Is it allowed to just build a cabin on a piece of land you own without a connection to the state?
It all depends on what you mean by "off the grid".
If you're truly "off the grid" you don't own the land, you're not paying taxes, and you have no social security number. If all these things are true, you really don't exist within the government's eyes.
And yes, there are people who live off the grid. How many? Who knows?
So, is it illegal?
Technically "yes". Everyone has to have ID and pay taxes. However, as you have no postal address, no income, no possessions, and no way to be tracked - the government has to find you first. If they have no evidence that you exist, they're probably not looking for you. If you do all your transactions with cash, there's no reason why they should be looking for you. Keep your nose clean from things like murder, armed robbery, and other major crimes and you'll be a ghost in the system.
When you're truly "off the grid" you're pretty much invisible to the system.
cperuzzi has given a great answer, I'm sure you know this already, but if not also research meet your 'Strawman', common law versus law of the land and being a 'Freeman' of the land.
I hope this helps & good luck ;-D
If you own the land you can do what ever you want. You can build your own cabin, and totally live off the grid. You can build a cave or an earth home, you can hunt and fish as long as you have a license. You can do what ever you want you own the land. You can haul your water you can heat with wood taken from your land you will however need a composting toilet as you can't just put your feces in the ground. You will need to do your research. In fact learn how to build a mud oven they work great. I have cooked off of one for years. Like I said it is a lot of work however it is doeable if you are willing to be a real woodsman.
Yes as long as the 'grid' is defined. Like cperuzzi there are definitions. There are a few articles here at HP on that subject worth reading. The ones I know who are off-grid are in the mountains or in states like Wyoming.
[IMHO} The ideas of those homes built from recycled materials like a great one I saw on the web built from pallets still must comply with building codes - local, county, and state. An oddity occurs. If they do not comply then obviously since illegal they are not really off-grid. They are simply non-compliant. If they meet code then they are compliant. Both cases are not actually off-grid as many of us think of it.
To me off-grid means not reliant or self-sustaining. If you use electricity to power the pump for the well and solar panels for the home power system, then that is not off-grid.
And, too, for me as alluded to by cperuzzi there would be as complete as possible a means of financial support without reliance on common economic structure and social status. That is tough to do. Even as an author working at home there would be reliance on the internet economy or a pay check for the royalties of a book. Or, trading corn for potatoes too.
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