Hello my friend and welcome back! I talk to people all the time that keep saying that they can’t wait to go off grid, as they check their email every few minutes as well as their Facebook. Then they usually complain about it being too hot or too cold. As I listen to them, I can’t help but wonder just what they are picturing “Off-Grid” life to be like. In today’s post, we will discuss some of the common misconceptions of “Off-Grid” living, so grab a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit this topic.
So what exactly do I mean by “Off-Grid” living? While I know that there are many definitions of exactly what it is and some vary dramatically, I will give you my definition of it.
“Off-Grid” – Is the act of living without any connection to the modern services such as Cable TV or city water and city electricity. It is the absence of any dependence on the outside world for what you need to survive. Yes, I know that others may have a different idea about what it means, but this is mine.
The funny thing is that when I ask others what they picture “Off-Grid” living to be like, the very first thing many say is that they will be able to relax because they will not need to worry about the rest of the world and can do what they want. Believe me when I say that these people are in for a rude awakening if they ever do go “Off-Grid”. There are so many things wrong with that concept of “Off-Grid” living that I hardly know where to start. These people are fooling themselves and need to know that it won’t be anything like that at all.
First off, “Off-Grid” living is hard work, not just some of the time, but all of the time. If it wasn’t, everyone would be doing it. It’s like taking a job where you work 7 days a week with no time off of even on holidays. Oh sure you might take a few hours off here and there just to relax or celebrate something special, but that is it. Most of your time is spent either working in the garden, doing chores or fixing something that’s broken. It seems like the list of things that need to be done never ends. Instead of going to work every day away from your home, you spend every waking moment at work. Granted you have no boss standing over you (except maybe your spouse), but some times that is worse. Necessity will push you much harder than your boss ever would. Things like chopping firewood, working the garden and hunting will become daily chores that must be done regardless of the weather or how you feel. Hard work will be your constant companion, but the satisfaction that comes from doing it will be very rewarding.
Lack of communications will be another drawback for many. While I do know people who claim to live “Off-Grid”, they do have a cellphone and internet service. To me, that is not “Off-Grid”, but simply Homesteading. There is a difference and many people don’t realize it. Homesteading is much like going off-grid, but you are allowed to have certain luxury’s, but you are not dependent on them such as wireless internet and cellphone service. They are a luxury and not a necessity, so if you get up one morning and they are gone, you will still be able to survive. Just remember that to a true hard-core Off-Grid person, these are all taboo!
To a true off-grid person, being off-grid means living with no connections to the outside world with the exception of personal face to face contact. I think that many of those that are contemplating going “Off-Grid” are not taking this into account. Other types of communications are allowed such as Ham Radio which does not rely on any type of outside power to work. They run on 12 volt batteries and can easily be kept running using a solar panel to charge the batteries. These are excellent sources of information for what is going on in the world. Another is the short wave radio for collecting news from around the country as well as the world. Everyone needs to know what is happening in the world if they hope to survive. If not, you could wake up one morning to find foreign troops standing at your front door and have no idea what is going on.
While staying warm while you are off-grid in the winter will require work, it is easily doable unlike staying cool in the summer. Living off grind means no air conditioner which is something many people don’t really think about when the talk about going off-grid. I think they simply underestimate just how hard it will be to even sleep in the hot summers that many areas experience. I also think the reason for this is that they associate “Off-Grid” living with camping and don’t take into account that they only camp during the cooler parts of the year and not the middle of the summer. I can tell you from experience that trying to sleep when it is hot and you have no air-conditioner can make for a long miserable night until you get used to it, if that is even possible.
The point that I am trying to make here is that when many people think of “Off Grid” living, they tend to think of best case scenarios and not hard facts. The truth is that “Off Grid” living is not for everyone and while it is a hard way to survive, it is also a very satisfying way to live. I personally think that this country would be a lot better off if our Government encouraged people to live off-grid or at least to homestead rather than trying to discourage it. I encourage everyone to at least try “Off Grid” Living once because the day is soon approaching when we may have no choice and will all be living off of the grid! Well that is it for today’s post and I hope you have enjoyed it. Until next time my friend, stay safe, stay strong, and stay prepared.