Most preppers dream about going off-grid…but it’s not as easy as just buying a homestead and moving in.
Many would-be homesteaders jump in but fail because they didn’t think about the situation well enough.
I want to help make your off-grid transition a success, and that’s why I’m showing you the top 5 mistakes people make when going off-grid.
Mistake #1: Not Knowing Your Zoning Laws
Unfortunately, some places having overbearing zoning laws in place that prevents you from living an off-grid lifestyle.
You need to know this beforehand so you don’t spend a lot of money for land you can’t use how you want.
Depending on the specific ordinances, you might be able to get around these zoning laws. One popular method that people who live in “tiny houses” use is to build on top of a trailer so their house isn’t technically a “house”.
However, you’re better off just choosing a location that’s friendly or at least tolerant of off-grid lifestyles.
It’s worth the cost to get a consultation with a local lawyer wherever you plan on going off-grid.
Mistake #2: Not Having a Way to Earn an Income
It’s true that going off-grid will dramatically lower your expenses, but you’ll still have some expenses.
Unless you’re already retired, you’ll need to have some sort of an income.
Since going off-grid usually means moving to a rural area, you probably won’t be able to keep your current job unless you can telecommute.
Many people who live off-grid earn an income by creating custom crafts or growing organic food and selling it as a small business.
For instance, you could make soap, build furniture, make jams/jellies, or just sell extra crops you grow.
Mistake #3: Not Having Easy Access to Water
You need a lot of water every day to survive, so you better have an easy way to get it.
The best way to do this is to drill a well on your property. It’ll cost a few thousand dollars, but having quick and easy access to water is worth every penny.
But to build a well there needs to be a pocket of water somewhere on your property without having to dig too deep.
Most places have at least one, but some places are just too “dry”, and the only way to know beforehand is to have an expert test for water.
The other option is to live close to a natural source of water and filter it yourself. You can buy a full water filtration rig or do it on a budget with a water filter like the Sawyer Mini.
No matter how cheap the property is, don’t buy it if it can’t have a well or isn’t near a natural source of water.
Your off-grid life will be miserable if you have to constantly worry about where you’ll get water every day.
Mistake #4: Not Having a Reliable Food Source
How will you get food during your off-grid life?
You’re probably thinking you’ll just have a garden and grow your own food. That’s a good idea, but what you might not realize is that growing plants isn’t as easy as you think.
There’s a lot to learn, and even after you learn everything about gardening there’s still a lot of things that can go wrong and are completely out of your control.
Most or all of your crop could be wiped out by disease, insects, or just bad weather. That’s why you also need a backup source of food.
Here are four additional ways to get food: hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering wild edibles.
Each of these takes time and patience to learn, and while they may not provide your main source of food, they’re still important to learn just in case you need an alternative food source.
Mistake #5: Buying “Dead” Land With Low-Quality Soil
Even if you’re already good at growing plants, you’re going to have a difficult time growing anything if the soil is depleted or simply unsuitable for growing.
Did your property used to be agricultural land? If so, they probably sold the land because it became depleted and they couldn’t grow crops anymore.
Revitalizing soil can take many years and is not a practical project for most people.
Before you buy any property, have the soil tested by an expert. It’ll cost a few hundred dollars, but it will help you avoid buying worthless land that can’t grow anything.
Do you have any other off-grid mistakes to add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below!