Going off-grid is an extremely popular topic right now; after all, with everything going on in the world, wouldn’t it be nice to unplug and get away from society?
However, many preppers don’t have a great idea of what going off-grid means for their lifestyle.
Most people know they want to get away, but they don’t often stop to consider the amount of work, sweat, and huge learning curve going off-grid actually entails.
Off-grid living may become a realistic possibility for some of us in the near future – but, like anything, we must prepare for it now in order to survive it later.
It’s my job to help you stay prepared and to help give you your best chance at survival; that’s why I’ve created this list of…
10 Things You Need To Know Before Going Off-Grid
1 – Ask Yourself “Why?”
First of all, you must understand the real reasons why you want to go and live off-grid before you take the plunge. Are you tired of paying corporations for expensive utilities? Are you wanting to do as much as possible to help save the environment? Is there an impending disaster about to arise that going off-grid would completely avoid? Or are you just afraid of this year’s election results? (That last one was a joke).
Find out your reasoning, and then create a plan that supports your vision. Also, it’s important to realize that “off-grid living” doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing endeavor.
For example, if paying for expensive utilities is your biggest concern, you don’t have to go live 500 miles away from society.Instead, you can adopt new conveniences into your home (such as solar panels, an on-demand water heater, and fridges/freezers that run on DC power) in order to make your lifestyle more energy-efficient.
Note: If you need some portable solar panels, we’ve got some great ones right here:
You could also choose to eliminate your refrigerator all together, like the woman in this video did:
2 – Communication Is Key
Before you make any rash decisions, it’s incredibly important to communicate your thoughts and ideas with each member of your family. This is crucial because each person has different expectations of what off-grid living will look like, and each person has different limitations on what they’re willing to put up with.
You might not agree on every little thing, but you and your family will be much more successful if you each have a shared vision of what you want to accomplish by going off-grid, and have a clear plan in place as to how you’re going to accomplish those goals.
3 – Go Slowly
Too many preppers jump way too far, way too fast when it comes to off-grid living. They’re not happy where they are, and so they find themselves out in unknown territory with no idea how to live without their modern appliances.
Instead of going to extremes, make small, gradual changes to your home so you can get used to living without certain conveniences. For example, you can switch to hand-operated can openers and other appliances, you can dry your laundry outside, start eating raw foods as much as possible, keep the blinds open to heat your home, cook outdoors, utilize extra clothing and blankets in the cold, and install extra insulation in your home to avoid turning on the heater.
Note: Want some tips on how to move away from your electric washer and dryer? I wrote a blog about how to wash your clothes without them here. You can also learn how to avoid buying expensive laundry detergent here.
As you make these changes, you’ll gradually understand what it would really be like to live off-grid, and will thus be much better prepared for it.
4 – Adjust Your Expectations
Lots of preppers have grown up using modern conveniences like stoves, ovens, refrigerators, and washing machines. As such, it can be an enormous adjustment to leave all these things behind.
Before this idea freaks you out too much, it’s important to take a deep breath and realize that many aspects of off-grid living will require a steep learning curve. You’ll most likely need to learn lots of new things, and “rewire” your brain in terms of how to get simple tasks accomplished.
You also need to realize that you’re most likely not going to do everything perfectly – at least not the first time. On average, it takes about three years to become fully acclimated to a brand new lifestyle and to feel comfortable doing day-to-day tasks. My advice? Cut yourself some slack, and enjoy the process.
5 – Choose Your Location Carefully
In most cases, you can’t just decide to live off-grid, pick any old spot, and settle in successfully. Therefore, it’s important to become informed about the various aspects of the land you’re planning to live on.
Important things to consider are: the type/quality of the soil and what foods you’ll be able to successfully grow in it, the amount of renewable energy you will realistically be able to cultivate on the property, the types/severity of weather the property experiences, and how you’re going to handle water drainage.
You also need to make sure the land is suitable for game to live on. After all, food storage can only last so long. If you’re going to eat, you need to ensure there’s an adequate food supply outside your front door.
Until you search for the perfect spot, you can always eat these outstanding canned meats in the meantime. They’re outstandingly delicious and have a shelf-life of 25+ years! Take a look here.
6 – Evaluate Which Items Are No Longer Necessary
Once you begin the process of moving to an off-grid lifestyle, you begin to realize how many things you have in your home that just aren’t necessities. A great option for the prepper making this transition is to walk through the home and look in each room.
Evaluate which of these items are absolute necessities, and which ones you could do without (or get a more energy-efficient substitute). This might be a longer process than you might like, but you’re likely to come away with less stuff and a greater appreciation for the necessities you end up keeping.
If you’re not quite ready to leave civilization yet, this DVD provides excellent information on how to save money on your energy bill and how to build your own solar panels. It even teaches you how to build your own windmill! See it here.
7 – Invest In Solar-Powered Materials
Once you go off-grid, you realize that your best friend will be the sun. Not only can it heat up your house, but you can use it to power your gadgets and heat up your water. Solar-powered products save you energy, save you money and allow you to still use the conveniences you love.
Here’s some examples of some great solar-powered survival tools (also see the solar panels shown in #1):
One of the most important devices you can own is a solar-powered water heater. Using these, the sun can heat up your water tanks without using excess energy, and you’ll be able to take a hot shower even in frigid temperatures.
If you can’t afford a solar-powered water heater yet, a great and energy-efficient alternative is the 5 gallon jumbo campers shower. Just fill it with water, let the sun heat it up, and then take a nice hot shower. Also great for camping! See it here.
8 – Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
When you go off-grid, you won’t have the ability to just toss your glass jars, plastic bottles and paper plates into the recycle bin. As such, now is a great time to think about how you can reuse or recycle these products to have new purposes.
For example, a glass mason jar can act as a cup, a storage container, or a pot for plants. Need more ideas? We’ve got a great blog on how to prepare containers for survival. See it here.
9 – Learn A New Trade
The further away you live from civilization, the more you’re going to be depending on the skills you’ve acquired to help you survive. So, before you move, now is the perfect time to learn a new trade that will be of value to you.
Examples of these include: sewing, cooking (especially outdoors), planting and tending to an herb/survival garden, hunting, and carpentry.
Note: If you want to hone your gardening skills, we highly recommend these seeds to plant your very own herb, fruit and survival gardens! See them below:
There are endless resources out there to gain info from, such as books, YouTube videos, blogs (like this one!), magazines, and online articles. Start learning things little by little, and you’ll be amazed at the amount of skills and knowledge you can acquire in a relatively short period of time.
10 – Learn From Others
There are absolutely families that have gone off-grid and done it successfully. There are also preppers that have tried it, and made quite a few mistakes along the way. Either way, it’s important to learn from these people now before you get out there, so you have a better idea of what to expect.
There are numerous resources out there for people to share their experiences, such as blogs, web forums, internet article, and chat rooms. I would also encourage you to talk to friends and neighbors that are also into off-grid living and survival; they may have had experiences about this that you don’t know about.
Another great way to learn from others regarding off-grid living is to search YouTube for videos of people describing their experiences. I’ve got a great one right here of a real couple who lived off-grid, and they have lots of advice on what to expect:
It’s important to remember that, although going off-grid can be a very exciting and beneficial time, it’s also a learning process and takes a long time to get the hang of. As such, it’s important to remember that you’re still allowed to have modern conveniences, at least at first, as you make the transition. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
One great tool you can use while making the transition to off-grid living is an EnerPlex generator. This generator is able to simultaneously power a huge variety of devices, such as refrigerators, TV’s, smartphones, tablets, and laptops, for hours on end.
The beauty of using this generator to power your devices is that it provides a portable charging system that you can carry around with you and use at will. So, whether you’re at home or off-grid, you’ll have a backup charging station ready to go.
One great thing about this generator is how lightweight it is. Because it uses lithium-ion batteries, it only weighs 40 lbs. This is an incredible feat, especially considering most of its competition weighs 100+ lbs.
This EnerPlex generator also comes with two powerful solar grids, which will help charge your USB devices as fast as as a wall outlet would, all by using the power of the sun. These won’t hike up your energy bill even by a penny, and they’re a fantastic solar-powered resource to charge your devices anywhere you go (even in the shade!).
These solar panels are also incredibly durable and water-resistant, and can withstand the shocks and drops that can happen when you’re in a survival situation.
Here’s a short video explaining how this amazingly handy Enerplex generator works:
This power-packed combo can be an incredible asset to you as you make the move to off-grid living. And, if you realize the off-grid life isn’t for you, this is a fantastic charging combination you can bring with you on camping trips and tailgate parties to keep yourself and your family fully charged.
Click here or on the image below to snag this incredibly powerful combination.