ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Off the Grid Living

Updated on August 11, 2015
A small of the grid cottage that blends into it's surroundings.
A small of the grid cottage that blends into it's surroundings.

What is Off the Grid Living

Off-the-grid living has been coined as a term that corresponds with living independently, without the use of common public utilities, such as water, electric, phone and sewage. Most people use the term to describe their use of self-sustaining building materials and living conditions. Generally people who live off the grid like using their environment to create a life that is beneficial to their surroundings. The term “the-grid” refers to the power grid, which most people are incredibly reliant one, and one that a growing number of people have decided to abandon.

Self sustaining home in California
Self sustaining home in California | Source

Things You Need to Learn About to go Off the Grid

Shelter

You will need to think of shelter as an essential if you are going to live off the grid. If you are camping, a tent might be all you need. But if you are in for the long haul you will need to think about what type of shelter would suit your terrain, and your budget. Generally small spaces suit people just fine on small budgets. Some other options include campers and RVs, pop-up campers, small sheds (turned into homes), shipping containers (turned into homes), tree houses, shacks, cabins and all kinds of other unique possibilities.

Assessing your budget and climate/terrain needs can help narrow down your options. You can easily assess your needs by checking what others are doing around (or close) to you. If you are in the mountains you may need to do some clearing and grading if you want to put a cabin on your land, or you could decide to use a shipping container that's only needs 4 corners braced, so only tree removal and digging in supporting posts is needed. But you would also need to assess the climate to determine what kind of air controls you need. It really depends on your wants/needs and budget.

A cost assessment could help you lay out all of your options and easily track what expenses will be needed for each type of shelter. Be sure to include the following into your cost assessment.

1. Temperature Control (Heat/Cold)

Extreme climates, either hot or cold, will play a major part in your shelter requirements. Insulation and providing adequate relief from extreme heat, or cold will be required. You have many options, but this will be a major expense. The bigger the shelter the more expensive temperature control will be. Of course, options like RV's and Campers provide temperature control included.

2. Electricity (Lighting/Cooking)

Solar panels are increasingly popular with off the grid homes. They can be expensive to install, but the long term benefits of a solar system far outweigh the initial costs. Another option is Wind Power, which is much harder to come by, and is expensive to set up, but again, long term benefits outweigh the short term disadvantages. Below are some good resources to get more information about solar and wind power.

Solar Power:

How Solar Panels Work

Wind Power:

How do Wind Turbines Work

Water (Bathing/Toilet)

Water and sewage can be a bit of a pain. Sewage systems are expensive to install, but do provide an all in one system. If a septic tank is out of your budget though you can always look to composting toilets. Their are many composting toilets, check out Amazon's selection of composting toilets to see what options are available.

As for water; collecting rainwater is generally the preferred method of off the grid water usage. You can get really creative with rain barrel systems, and can even do it yourself. Check out the basics of rain water collection with this simple book "The Water Collection Handbook". It shows you exactly how to set up your own rain water collection system and how it works and how it can work for you and your family.

Essential Off the Grid Living Tools

Besides general food and clothing supplies, you will want to bring with you each one of the items below. These are essentials you shouldn't be without if you plan to be off-the-grid for a long period of time. I pulled this list off the top of my head, and I am sure I am missing some items though. I will try to update as items come to mind.

  • Emergency First Aid Kit
  • All purpose knife
  • Hammer or mallet
  • Water/water purification devices
  • Flashlights/headlamps/lanterns
  • Axe
  • Fire starters/matches
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Repellent
  • Map
  • Compass

Let me know if I should add something to this list!

Where to Learn More Information

To find more information about living off the grid visit off-the-grid.us. We are a new site trying to bring together the most relevant and helpful information for the self-sustaining, camping, and off the grid enthusiast. Feel free to write us and tell us what you want to learn about, and see on our blog!

Off-the-Grid.us

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      mikeydcarroll67 

      3 years ago

      This seems to be a very interesting topic for many individuals. I feel that society can greatly benefit from having more individuals taking steps towards becoming green.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      3 years ago

      Some say if we every get hit with a massive EMP blast or a sustain solar storm that many could die. Many of us would have trouble feeding ourselves without the grocery store and most of us would die without indoor plumbing since all other immediately available water sources for city dwellers are suspect.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)