Off The Grid Limitations That No One Tells You About

Off The Grid Limitations That No One Tells You About   Off the grid living is something we all dream about, but only a few of us dare to actually do it. We love our convenient lifestyles and we cherish our electrical appliances that make life easier. Living off the grid means living off the public utilities and becoming self-sufficient. The tricky part is that nobody will tell you what it all implies in the end.

Living off the grid is not a primitive living as most people imagine. It certainly doesn’t mean you have to lower your living standards. In fact, to go off the grid has many advantages and if you managed to stay strong in the beginning, you would benefit from living off the grid in the long run.

Here are just a few benefits of going off the grid:

  • You will not have to worry about how you’re going to put food on the table with the economy going crazy and the prices skyrocketing. You eat what you grow and you know where your food comes from.
  • Living off the grid will give you the financial independence that you were always looking for. Becoming self-sufficient and producing your own energy and food will provide you with financial freedom.
  • In time, you will get a sense of security that other people don’t have. When a disaster strikes or the fast approaching energy crisis hits us, you will still get all the services. In an extreme situation, you will be on your own. Your chances to make it are much higher than those for the rest of the world.
  • Living off the grid means developing a set of skills that are not available for everyone. Your off the grid skills will make a huge difference when a natural or man-made disaster hits your area. You will be able to barter with people and get goods in exchange for the services you provide using your off the grid skills.

Related reading: Choosing land for an off the grid house

  • Living off the grid will unite a family and create a healthy familial bond. Everyone from the family will have to contribute to this new lifestyle. Your kids will no longer stay on Facebook 24/7. The absence of media from an off the grid living provides freedom that is hard to explain, but it’s a delight to experience.
  • You get a sense of accomplishment from living off the grid. Something that you don’t get from your day job. When you produce your own energy and grow your own food, you achieve self-satisfaction. You do it all for yourself and your family and nobody else. Working all week to make someone else rich is out of the question. You work for your loved ones and you get a satisfaction that doesn’t have a price tag.

Going off the grid means you have to make your own energy and there are many ways to do so.

Here are the most popular ones:

Using Photovoltaic solar panels is the most common method to produce energy for your house. All you need are the panels and the sun. The market is flooded with solar panels and the technology improves every year. These targeted products for people living off the grid are increasing at a high rate. You won’t have problems finding something suited to your needs.

Related article: This solar power generator is something new. Will it conquer the market?

Using a wind turbine to produce energy is another method preferred by those who live off the grid and it’s not as complicated as it sounds. You will need to install a wind turbine about 50 to 120 feet high from the ground. Afterward, the wind will do the entire job for you.

Of course that this off the grid method has to be used in an area with a reliable supply of wind to be efficient. However, with the climate changing, it seems that most of the regions will have a good supply of wind.

For an off the grid living you can also use a hydropower plant to produce electricity. However, this requires a lot more work as you have to build dams and utilize the kinetic energy from the water current to create electricity.

All the work will pay off since water power can produce between 10 and 100 times more power than solar panels. Building a dam on your land for your off the grid setup can involve a substantial cost that you need to take into account.

Related article: A new wind power generator that changes the game. Goodbye blades!

You can also make your own gas for a comfortable off the grid living. All you have to do is to build a biogas generator that uses household, organic waste to produce your own gas for cooking or lighting. Living off the grid means having easy access to a lot of natural material that can be turned into gas.

It would be a shame not to take advantage of it. It is much easier to build a gas generator than one would think, it’s not rocket science. This method is preferred by those who live off the grid because it’s much easier than cutting wood to produce gas.

Those who can afford it can use more than one of the methods listed above in order to make energy and have the comfort they desire. It’s just a matter of location, budget and the will to do it.

Another critical part of a decent off the grid living is how to arrange for your own food. Making your own food is possible and everyone can do it. We buy food or groceries from the stores because of the hectic work life we have and because we lack the time and will to do it otherwise. Growing your own fruits, vegetables and meat is a skill that goes under constant development for those who live off the grid.

Related article: Man builds hydropower plant and uses local stream to power his entire home

You can have a vegetable garden at your off the grid home to produce what you need. You will have to get the proper seeds and gain useful knowledge for your garden to become efficient. In addition to a vegetable garden, you can always run a home-based farm consisting of chickens, rabbits, goats, pigs and cows if you like dairy products.

Things may look great if you read all of the above. It would seem that living off the grid is not that difficult and you can make it too. With the right will, you might and I hope you do make it. If you consider an off the grid living, you should also be aware of the limitations an off the grid life brings.

Limitations of an off the grid lifestyle

It would be unfair to discuss an off the grid living without exerting on the barriers that this choice comes with. Everything in this life has its limitations and so does an off the grid living.

Money, the root of all evil.

Every off the grid adventure requires money and most of these experiences needs a lot of money to start with. If you find it hard to make both the ends meet and you are struggling with soaring bills to be paid, then this system will not work for you. You need to be debt free before you build your off the grid home. Having a little extra on the side is recommended to survive the first years. You shouldn’t go for it unless you own land in the suburbs or you have a big savings account.

Sure, many struggles with nothing at the beginning. They end up building their off the grid dream home, but those success stories should not be a role model for you. Those people struggled hard enough and they had an advantage. They had the skills you probably don’t have. Even so, most of them wish they had something extra when they started in order to make their life easier. Renewable energy sources have high initial costs and you need to keep that in mind.

Growing food requires a lot of work

You need to understand that growing your own food requires a lot of work and success is not a promise. Producing your own food requires diligence, consistency and recuperative ability. It will take time until you get used to all of it and you need patience. Not to mention that growing food means you need to get down and dirty.

You can’t do it from the keyboard and it will be harder for you if you’re not used to physical labor. It will pay off in the end, but you will have to get to that point. That means you have to practice and have patience. There are a few good solutions for producing your own food, some quite innovative and you just need to find the right one for you.

Living off the grid requires a certain mind spirit

Yes, you’ve heard it right, living off the grid is not for everyone. If you are the type that panics quickly, you will have a hard time if you decide to follow this system. There will be times when nothing goes your way. There will be nobody you could blame it on. Uncertain weather conditions, pests, soil problems and what not will undeniably discourage you.

So if you’re not an optimist and if you can’t keep your cool, even when nature it’s against you, then you should reconsider about living off the grid. The good news is that humans are creatures that can quickly adapt if they have the right mindset. Most of the people I’ve talked with and based on the stories I’ve read about off the grid living, made me believe that the first three years are the hardest.

Off the grid living is also about relocating

Most of the time, in order to set up an off the grid lifestyle you need to have a separate piece of land. Off the grid, living involves moving to another state and finding an appropriate and affordable piece of land. So not only you have to get used to this new lifestyle, but you also have to deal with everything that relocating brings.

You will have to face new challenges. From meeting new people to learning about the rules and regulations from your new location. Even developing a new type of skill (like hunting). Some people have trouble dealing with all of this. It takes a toll on their state of mind and well-being. It makes a living off the grid much harder for them than it already is.

Off the grid living is not a permanent vacation as it looks

In fact, you might not have too much free time for yourself in the first year or two. This until you get used to this new lifestyle and the changes it brought. You must kiss your leisure days goodbye because you will be on duty 24/7 in the first months. You need a lot of motivation to continue and if you’re the laid back type, it will all come crashing down on you.

Living off the grid requires a lot of work in the first year. In order to make it, you need to convince all your family members to give a helping hand. You will see that things get more comfortable with time and you will be glad you didn’t give up.

Off the grid living requires safety measures

You are far from the world and you think you’re safe. You’re not, and you might find out the hard way. When you live off the grid, you should always be on guard. Many people have a “Zen attitude” when moving off the grid. They don’t pay too much attention to the outside world when they have their own little slice of heaven.

They don’t put too much effort into defending their home and I think that’s a mistake. You’ve struggled so much to build everything you have. Shouldn’t you protect it?

When it comes to defense, most people get a firearm or two and that’s pretty much it. If something will happen and the brown stuff hits the fan, people living off the grid will become targets because they have what everyone needs, self-sustainability. Living off the grid means you also have to invest in your protection. Make sure your new house can withstand a home invasion.

Off the grid living can’t make everyone happy

In fact, off the grid living it’s about compromising and the sooner you realize it, the better you will be. All the renewable energy sources you install might not generate enough energy to power all the things of your need. If your kids are spending all their time on the Xbox, someone will be disappointed at the end of the day when the washing machine won’t work. Not all the members of the family will be drawn to this type of living, especially the teenagers.

They will need their time, their friends and their hobbies. Dealing with an unhappy teenager when you have other chores waiting for you, will only cause arguments. These are just some examples, but the point is the same, not all families can handle an off the grid living. If you are not united as a family and if you can’t compromise, living off the grid will become a struggle.

Off the grid living is a permanent retreat for some

Most of the people I know that decided to live off the grid are located more than a 2-hour drive from a town. They are okay with it and even though I understand the need to be located in a secluded area, I can’t help but think about the downsides of this. Being far away from civilization will provide a certain level of protection. However, what about if you need medical assistance in case of an emergency? You will have to deal with the situation yourself and this requires knowledge about first aid, but also about specific illnesses you suffer from.

Driving four hours in order to get supplies, it’s not comfortable. Often times, you have to carefully plan your shopping runs. Your social life will be affected in time no matter the type of person you are. You will prefer to stay at home rather than going to the nearest town and get to know people.

As I said before, this is even harder for teenagers. Sure you might get a pet or two, but you and your loved ones still need human interaction. This is one of the limitations that can do just fine with some while for others, is a nightmare not being part of a community.

Living off the grid is not easy, but it is not difficult either if you have the needed resources and the right mindset. Living off the grid is a complete transformation of your lifestyle. However, the many benefits it offers you make it nothing less than a blessing in disguise. An off the grid living is both cost saving and natural, an enjoyable way to spend your days on Earth.

Stay Safe and God Bless!

Recommended off the grid and Preparedness solutions:

The LOST WAYS (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

US Water Revolution (A DIY Project to Generate Clean Water Anywhere)

Bullet Proof Home (Learn how to Safeguard your Home)

Blackout USA (Video about EMP survival and preparedness guide)



8 thoughts on “Off The Grid Limitations That No One Tells You About”

  1. As a person that has lived offgrid for more than 15 years, I can tell you that you mentioned some difficulties most people do not give thought to; such as a bad growing season (how to feed yourself after a crop failure) for the garden or access to supplies and medical care. Also you are going to need some means of generating cash flow. You are still going to need some things you either cannot produce (fuel and parts for vehicles and farm equipment) or are impractical to produce for yourself (clothing and boots, for instance). Overall good honest article.

  2. We’ve also been off the grid for about 17 years. Many people see it as some sort of idyllic lifestyle, but as your article points out, you must take the bad with the good. Our blog shares our experiences, both positive and negative.

  3. Very informtive and well thought out. I like the rources. I would also like to recomend a book call” when technology fails” .

  4. You hit the nail on the head I tell people living off grid is your full time job I do take some time off but like now I’m getting ready for winter after 4 pretty EZ winters here in Calif. we’re suppose to be getting a wet snowy one this year where I live I could get 5 to 7 ft. and no one clears my road for 5 mile away

  5. A good article that gives a well-rounded view of the off grid lifestyle.My family lived off grid in the Tennessee mountains for 6-1/2 years when my children were younger (they’re 31, 32 and 33 now). Some of my best memories come from that time period, but it was certainly not easy. I had to work a full-time job away from home, which kept me gone a lot. Cutting firewood, trying to grow a garden (I sucked at that), and canning were enjoyable for a while, but running out of firewood due to a particularly harsh winter (Superstorm ’93) meant trudging through the snow to cut more and drag it back home. Out took us a couple years to get a well drilled, and to that we had to walk 1/2 mile to the creek and haul water and wet laundry back a half mile uphill…for real. Baths were done in the creek for those first couple years too. We learned a lot in those 6-1/2 years, and those experiences taught me an inner strength for which I am so grateful today. I am in hopes that my new husband and I can pursue an off grid lifestyle in the near future.

  6. I agree with your above discussion . I am 61 yrs and cant wait to live off grid. I have 2 goats 20 ducks and a garden 100 by 25 ft. and do all my own baking for what I need. but with a 200.00 light bill coming every month, its not easy.and that’s just me with a well and little electric needs. keep up the good work with the info.

  7. We are at the beginning of this journey and would love insights from those who have come before us. We started a blog to document our journey, and also for some self accountability. I felt that would keep us focused on the prize. I am fully aware of how hard the journey will be and we have considered many of the obstacles you listed above. So I feel like we might be able to make our story a successful one.

  8. This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid I grew up living on a farm in the country I loved it it’s so rewarding to be able to take care of yourself it is harder work but you’re in better shape. I love everyone’s suggestions on articles and blogs I am trying to do my research and figure out how to get this thing started I know I have a mountain ahead of me as I live alone by myself no man no kids but I do plan on having some money to help me get started and doing what I can do. I’m fairly mechanical I’ve been a truck driver for 20 years of my life and I also know a little bit about carpentry I just built my own 4 by 5 shed all by myself without anyone’s help using mostly free scrap material. I know enough of the basics to get me started and I do realize how much more I have to learn thank you for this article it was very informative and I look forward to more

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