How to Live off the Grid: A Complete Guide for Beginners

Over 300 million people live in the USA, but nearly 50% of the country remains unoccupied.

That’s a lot of open space where you could get away from the hustle and bustle of civilization. Let’s look at how to live off the grid if you’re thinking about getting away from it all.

Are You Sure About This?

An off-grid homestead has lots of advantages, but it comes with some trade-offs, too. You need to prepare yourself to look after everything, from food and power production to medicine and first aid.

If you’re not sure about living off the grid, it’s a good idea to give it a trial run. You can rent a cabin or a tiny home in all kinds of remote places for a few weeks or months at a time. This will give you a chance to try it without making a definite commitment until you’re sure it’s for you.

What You Need to Live Off-Grid

There are quite a few things you need to prepare for when living off the grid including:

  • Power production
  • Food production
  • Income
  • Water sources

Let’s break those down.

Power Production

Solar is one of the most popular methods of power production for going off the grid, but you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. There’s also wind, water, and typical fuels like propane or gas.

Having several power sources means if one goes down, you’re not left without power. Plan for at least two, if not more. Using propane as a backup is always a good idea. You can get an idea of how much you’ll need by using a propane consumption calculator.

Food Production

Food is another necessity that you’ll need to plan for. If you’re off the grid, you likely can’t just waltz down to your local supermarket and pick up what you need.

You’ll need to grow your own fruits and vegetables and will have to plan for the climate where you’ll be living. You might need to build indoor gardens or use hydroponics to grow food year-round.

You may also need your own livestock to provide food for your family, so make sure you have the necessary space and the constitution required to grow and slaughter your food.


You might be living off-grid but you’ll still need to interact with people for some things. And most of those will need money.

If you’re living off the grid, you likely won’t be able to commute back-and-forth to work every day. Make sure you have a plan for generating the income you need to survive.

Water Sources

You won’t survive long without a consistent, clean water supply, so make sure you choose a location wisely.

A well can provide a solid water supply but groundwater is subject to contamination. Rivers and lakes have the same potential problem.

One of the best sources of water is rainwater. If you’re living in a place that gets any amount of rain, set up a collection system. You’d be surprised at how much water you can collect even during short periods of rain.

How to Live Off the Grid

These tips will get you started with how to live off the grid, but you need to be prepared to fend for yourself in almost every part of your life. Start building a reference library for every possible thing you might need to do — even if you don’t think it’s needed now.

You never know when something will come up and having a book or two that shows you how to deal with it will be invaluable.

Did you find this post helpful? Check out the rest of our site for more interesting articles.

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