The world is more connected than ever, but many people have grown tired of that connectivity. If you want to disconnect and go off the grid, you should know that it’s not as easy as it might sound. This is not an extended camping trip; this is a new way of living, and you’ll need the right tools to do it successfully. If you’re interested in an off-grid lifestyle, keep reading to learn more about what it means to go off the grid, the pros and cons of this lifestyle, and what you’ll need to create reliable off-grid systems that will make it possible.

What Does “Off-Grid” Mean?

Before we go into the details of how to go off the grid, let’s define what that term actually means. “The grid” being referenced in that phrase is generally the city power grid. But, of course, people looking to live off the grid generally want to disconnect from more than just the power grid. Off-grid living entails disconnecting from all municipal utilities and becoming entirely self-sufficient. While people who live off the grid may make trips to a nearby town for supplies, they generally live without any reliance upon city services and frequently grow their own food as well.

Pros of Going Off the Grid

So, what is it about going off the grid that appeals to people? Here are a few of the benefits of this lifestyle:

  • Live more remotely – If you’re someone who likes to get away from it all, off-grid living is a great way to go. Because you don’t have to rely on a connection to municipal utilities, you can live out in an area with no noisy neighbors, loud traffic, barking dogs, or other irritants that come from living in more crowded places.
  • Become more self-reliant – Supply chain shortages and rising power costs have a lot of people looking for ways to become more self-reliant, and there are few lifestyle choices more self-reliant than living off the grid. You have to supply your own water and power, grow your own food, and become truly independent of everyday conveniences. This means you won’t be subject to grid power outages, rising utility bills, or inconvenient shortages of the grocery items you need; you’ll be able to supply your own needs daily.
  • Emergency preparedness – Living off the grid translates very well into being prepared for emergencies. Because you don’t rely on city power or other traditional means of providing for yourself, you can more easily face natural disasters. You don’t need to worry about the grid going down in a snowstorm or the city water supply being contaminated after an earthquake; you can hunker down and continue your self-sufficient lifestyle until things get back to normal.

Cons of Going Off the Grid

Of course, going off the grid is only for some. There are a few cons that you should consider to determine if it’s right for you:

  • No backup power supply – Because you won’t be connected to the city grid, you have to be able to supply your own power fully. This includes powering your home through long periods of cloudy weather and increased energy usage in the winter. If you don’t plan properly, you might find yourself without power for days at a time.
  • Setup is expensive – Even though off-grid living can eliminate all those monthly bills, it’s going to cost a lot to set yourself up for it. Purchasing land, installing solar power, digging well, and all of the other steps involved in going off the grid can be pricey. You’ll need to have a lot of funds upfront to make it happen.
  • Sacrifice some daily comforts – You can live a fairly modern life even if you go off the grid; however, you will have to give up some of your daily comforts. While you can certainly have a computer and television, you’ll have to rely on movies and video games for your entertainment on these devices. There’s simply no way to provide your own phone or internet service, so if you want to be fully off the grid, you’ll have to give these things up.

How to Go Off the Grid

Now that we have clearly defined what it means to go off the grid and addressed the pros and cons of doing so, let's talk about what you’ll need to succeed in this endeavor. To go off the grid, you’ll need all of the following:

  1. Land – You can’t go off the grid within city limits. You’ll need to find and purchase the right plot of land in a remote area to build your off-grid home. Make sure that it has a good water source and is close enough to an access road that you can make that supply runs we talked about earlier.
  2. Home – Now that you have land, you’ll need shelter on it. There are many types of homes you can build for off-grid living, ranging from the very rustic to the very modern. Off-grid homes can be large or small, though smaller homes will be easier to power.
  3. Water – Water is essential to life. As mentioned above, you should buy land that has a clean water source, like an underground river that you can drill into to build a well. A cistern water collection system that collects and cleans rainwater is also a good idea, but it should not be your only water source since you can’t predict how often rain will fall.
  4. Food – While you could certainly purchase groceries while living the rest of your life off the grid, most people don’t want to make weekly trips from their remote, off-grid homes. Having a large garden and learning how to preserve food through drying and canning is a good idea. Consider some chickens and other livestock, or look into hunting in the area.
  5. Waste disposal system – Dealing with waste is a fact of life, and if you’re not going to be connected to a city sewer or have city garbage services, you’ll need to think about both types of waste disposal. For household waste, composting organic materials is a great way to fertilize that garden we mentioned earlier, and you can often burn many other types of garbage. For human waste, you’ll need some type of septic system.
  6. Power generation and storage system – Finally, you’re probably going to want power for your home. Off-grid houses usually rely on renewable energy sources, with solar being the most common option. Solar is reliable, steady, and more affordable than ever, making it the most convenient choice for off-grid living. Of course, you need power when the sun goes down too, which means you’ll need some way to store the excess solar power generated during the day. Solar batteries can store that energy so that you can continue powering your home in the evenings and during periods of cloudy weather.

While going off the grid is no easy task, many people find the lifestyle rewarding and fulfilling. The PowerStore can help you establish your off-grid home with our off-grid solar kits and custom-designed systems. Shop off-grid products in our online store, or contact us today to help design your off-grid solar system and start your new life off the grid.