Living off-grid appeals to so many people

CJ Coombs
Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash.
The idea of going off-grid is appealing to many—it means living every single day in the fresh air and honing a more sustainable way of life. By turning to natural living, you put less strain on the environment, learn how to become entirely self-reliant, and experience the many joys of Mother Nature. (Source.)

While it isn't the same experience, when I hear the term "off-grid," I think about my youth in Idaho when we would go camping and my dad would fish for trout in crystal clear waters. Watching him in his knee-high boots and the sound of casting out his reel is so memorable. I didn't comprehend at the time that it was a perfect escape from working for my parents--my dad was in the Air Force and my mom briefly had an administrative role on the airbase. It was a great state to live in with the surrounding beauty.

Your reward for living in a developed society is paying a significant chunk of your hard-earned money towards utility bills. As bills rack up and carbon footprints become measurably worse, it’s no wonder living off the grid is becoming an increasingly popular lifestyle. According to the Conservation Institute, over 1.7 billion people are living off the grid, meaning they do not rely on public utilities (electricity, water, etc.) (Source.) [Emphasis added.]

According to Off Grid World, you might want to live off-grid because "[t]o divorce yourself from a system of materialism, greed, corruption, and debt slavery becomes more of a proclamation of independence and freedom from a system that one deems oppressive." (Source.)

Different people will have their own reasons. I wouldn't choose to live off-grid alone, but what appeals to me is the solitude and living off the land. While there is more crime in the city, I also feel more secure in my home in town.

What do you need to live off-grid?

Water, food, and shelter are your main necessities to be off-grid.

Water. Living in town, we take water for granted. If you don't think that's true, think how many times you perform a small task like brushing your teeth while leaving the water running. It's wasting a resource to leave it running, and you might not be concerned since you pay for it anyway. If you like to conserve energy, turn it off when you dampen your toothbrush and turn it back on when you need to rinse your mouth. When you're off-grid, you have to find your water.

Food. Living in town, you go to your grocery store or farmer's market. I love going to the farmer's market to find fresh produce because it's fresher in some cases, and generally less costly. If you're off-grid miles away from those resources, then you have to create and manage how you get our food. You have to learn how to garden and importantly, how to have good soil to raise whatever you plan to grow. For pre-planning purposes, you'll want to do your research to find out what vegetables are prone to grow in the area where you plan to live off-grid. My dad was an expert organic backyard gardener and his reasoning was you should only eat what comes out of the ground. He also taught us how to make compost which is a necessary subject worth researching. You can churn that back into your garden after it breaks down.

Shelter. Of course, you want to make sure that wherever you live and what you choose to live in will protect you from any storm that brings rain or snow. You also want to be guarded against strong winds and even hot temperatures. You want to be able to be kept safe. You also want to be sure you can sustain your life. When it's really cold, you might have a fireplace so you have to have enough firewood in the winter plus all the things you need to start that fire. Importantly, if you're off-grid in the woods, you have to make sure you're safe from animal intruders, or even human intruders.

Power. You can't rely solely on candles for lighting. While you might think that's possible for the short-term, you have to consider what else you need power for. Consider all your options, including the most common resource of solar power.

Even the pioneers had to be safe and they had the necessary tools to ensure that safety. Likewise, when you're off-grid, have a plan.

If you research back to the 1800s, you'll learn that wood was the primary source of energy to heat a home, cook meals, and even provide light. Wood was the most used source of renewable energy until the 1990s.

If you can't adapt to off-grid because you can't stand to be alone, then living off-grid may not be for you.
If you go off-grid by a lake, you'll have plenty of fishing opportunities.By Barnabas Davoti on Pexels.

Where can you go to find off-grid housing?

If you live in Missouri, the southern part of Missouri is a good location.

Southern Missouri, particularly in the Ozarks, is very popular for off-grid living because of the cheap land. (Source.)

Interestingly, there are off-grid laws for every state. Missouri is supposed to be one of the friendliest states to consider going off-grid.

Some of the topics you have to consider when choosing a place to go off-grid are overall climate conditions, cost of land, any local building codes, your property taxes, and as mentioned above, check out the off-grid laws for the state you want to move to.

It is legal to live off-grid. There are a variety of reasons why people choose to do so. Some people want out of living in the city. Like every decision in life, planning is essential if you choose to be off-grid. With anything you want badly enough, there's usually a sacrifice. If you want to experience living off-grid even for a short period of time, check out these Airbnb quarters.

Thank you for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author; 30 years of legal secretarial experience; BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. Thinker, giver, and lover of life. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, truth, non-fiction, reading, history, and travel.

Kansas City, MO

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