Sometimes, the inevitable and relentless advance of technology can just feel like too much. Increasing numbers of people are turning to off-the-grid living as not only a rebuke to the tech-heavy modern lifestyle, but also to return to nature and regain a sense of kinship with the world. With fewer distractions and fewer ways to waste time, the theory goes, there’ll be more time to spend doing the things you truly love.
Whether you subscribe to this particular philosophy or not, there’s definitely an allure to living off the grid. Of course, you should definitely check out whether or not this option is viable for you depending on where you live. If you’ve run up a decent amount of money and you’re looking to move out of urban living, though, we’re here to help you. Here are our 10 tips on living off the grid.
Think about investing in some woodland
If you’re truly thinking of going off-grid, then one of the best ways to do that is to find a densely-wooded area in which to live. Forests are breathtakingly beautiful and silent places; they offer bountiful ways to survive; and they’re great places for kids to play. Sites like Tilhill Forestry can help you to acquire and deal with woodland and forest land. You will need a decent amount of money, but it’s worth it, trust us.
Look into canal boats
Canal boats can be one of the cheapest and most convenient ways to enjoy off-the-grid living. You’re beholden to canal networks, sure, but you get to see a lot of beautifully diverse urban landscapes, and if it all gets too much then you can float out to a quiet spot somewhere and moor your boat for a less intrusive night. This is a strong option for those who want to live in both city and countryside.
Invest in renewable energy
If you want to truly live off the grid, then you’re probably going to need a dependable source of sustainable energy. Probably the best and most common method of doing this is to install rooftop solar panels. These are a relatively inexpensive and reliable way to power a home, and best of all, they can be installed on canal boats as well. Solar power is the future, so start investing now.
Build a network
It pays to have support, and nowhere is this more true than when you’re living off the grid. Having a network of people around you who are tackling the same lifestyle that you are means you can share tips, prop each other up when you’re down, and have friends to invite over when your out-of-the-way home is finally complete. It’s always a good idea to have friends around you, after all.
Consider your own water supply
If you’re not taking water from nature, are you really living off-grid? Many would say no. There are plenty of ways to build your own water supply. You could build tanks that make rainwater drinkable, for example, or you could siphon your water from local rivers and streams (provided you have the correct permissions, of course). Having a water supply makes you even less reliant on the grid.
Change your toilet habits
This is probably one of the less appealing aspects of living off-grid, but it’s worth installing a composting outhouse system instead of a conventional toilet. We’re all a little icky when it comes to bodily waste, but it can be incredibly useful for fertilising crops, and it’s eco-friendly to boot. You’re not going to enjoy this stage, but trust us when we say it’ll definitely be worth it.
Ditch your car
Unfortunately, despite being incredibly convenient, cars are a surefire way to need civilisation around you. After all, how else are you going to get fuel? They’re also not particularly eco-friendly. It’s time to ditch that car and pick up a pedal bike instead. Bicycles are probably the most environmentally friendly transport method on the planet, so they’re the perfect fit for your new off-the-grid lifestyle.
Start growing your own food
Just like having your own water source, growing your own food is a great indicator of a successful off-the-grid life. Doing so is not as difficult as you might think; there are plenty of easy-to-grow fruits and vegetables that are great in a wide variety of dishes and won’t take up too much of your time to maintain. Once you’re experienced, you can graduate to slightly more taxing growth challenges.
What are you doing this for if not to enjoy yourself? You swore your off-the-grid lifestyle would bring you joy and happiness, and although it is of course not always going to be sunshine and rainbows, it’s not worth doing it if you’re just as miserable as you were living in the city. Stay positive, stay focused, and above all, make sure you’re enjoying yourself in your new life.
Don’t worry if you don’t want to ditch your smartphone
You don’t need to live entirely technology-free to be an off-the-grid survivalist. It’s entirely possible to maintain your smartphone and still live out in the great outdoors. In fact, apps like what3words make this an enticing prospect; if you do get lost, you can easily contact the authorities and they’ll help you. Don’t feel bad if you’re not feeling ditching the smartphone.