With cities growing larger and reliance on the grid becoming stronger, more and more people have decided to take a huge step in the opposite direction. Living off the grid is an amazing experience for many people if done the right way.
If you are planning on moving off the grid, there are some things you should know first and some tools that you will want to gather before heading out.
We’re going to give you the information on all things off the grid.
These tips and tools apply to an off-grid lifestyle. Let’s begin.
Why Are People Moving Off the Grid?
For many, it’s hard to imagine why anyone in their right mind would give up the comforts of technology and industry to live as we did in the early days. Some people just have too much reliance on their creature comforts.
There are tons of reasons why more Americans are trying to move off the grid, and the movement seems to be growing every year.
Some people choose this lifestyle to get away from the stress of city life, some just want to connect with the land. Others want to create a fulfilling life and raise their kids away from the ‘madness’.
Whatever your reason, one thing’s for sure: it’s not easy getting started. When you come from a life of instant hot water and power at your fingertips, it can be difficult to transition.
Luckily, there are a ton of great tools that will help you get along better when you’re first starting out. We’re going to tell you about 12 must-haves for off-grid living, read on to learn more.
1. Wood Stove
Regardless of the type of home you will be living in you need heat in the winter. If you aren’t connected to power, you’re going to have to switch it up from the typical gas or forced air heating system you are used to.
One of the first things you are going to want to have lined up is a proper wood stove. These are the ultimate off-grid living tool, and you need to make sure you do it right.
Whether you’re buying a yurt, building a cabin, or driving up your tiny home, a wood stove is the best option for off-grid heat. That’s because it requires no power at all, just wood.
There are so many different kinds of wood stoves out there in all shapes and sized and a range of prices. Make sure you get one large enough to warm the entire space that you will be living in.
2. High-Quantity Water Filter
The way that you get water will vary depending on where you are and what you want to do. Many folks move off grid and tap into an underground natural spring with a well. Others collect rainwater off their metal roofs, or source water from a nearby stream, creek, or river.
Regardless of where it comes from, it needs to be clean. In order to ensure it’s cleanliness, you need a water filter that can handle a big load.
While some make DIY charcoal filled downspouts, there are options on the market you can ready yourself with before moving to the bush.
If you are storing water in barrels or a small silo, it is advised to use some sort of additive to kill off bacteria and microbes that can contaminate your water, your container, and your pipework.
However, there are other great, healthy options when it comes to water filtration. In-home water filters are perfect for the family and can give you potable water all day long on one fill.
In line filters and straining screens are other bits that can improve your water and water system for time to come. This keeps out the big debris that may come through the line, creek, or end up in your rain barrel.
Many off-grid living channels and media influencers portray an all-natural life of beauty and elegance living among nature. Don’t be fooled, living off the grid is done to get away, and away you will be.
If you are used to living amongst civilization on the grid, you may find once off the grid that there are necessities you must use power for on a moments notice. Should this be the case, a generator is crucial.
A generator isn’t just for emergencies though. A generator will allow you the use of power tools on your site to build the structures and living amenities you need.
In fact, many people live off the grid with a couple of two-hour long generator runs every other night to get the phones, lights, and batteries charged.
When it comes to choosing generators, one name ranks above the rest for the sake of reliability, efficiency, and decibel output. We’re talking about a Genset generator.
Before you purchase a generator, you need to decide what your total output needs to be at any one time and move forward from there. A generator is only as good as the uses it has for you. Add up your amps and get the power you need.
4. Solar Kit
This is by far the most efficient power source for off-grid living. While your initial purchase may be a little higher for a quality kit, you save by not having to pay for gas or a trip to town.
Solar kits range vastly as well. While there are some kits that occupy the entire area of your cabin roof, most folks moving off-grid aren’t too concerned about providing the electricity needed for a suburban home.
For around $2000, you can make your self completely self-sufficient in the way of electricity.
Able to run the common household items that matter most to you and charge up the necessary electronics, these solar kits give you the freedom you need at a price that rivals a couple of months of electric bills!
5. Power Tools
Specific to the type of off-grid living you will be doing, power tools can make life drastically easier.
Whether you are looking to drop timber on your property, clear roadways from fallen trees, or build your own cabin from the ground up, chainsaws, circular saws, and drills are a must have.
You get what you pay for in the way of tools. However, with the exception of the chainsaw, most tools are either pneumatic or electric.
Be sure to observe that either
A: You get a solar kit or generator that can charge your tools, or
B: You get tools that can be charged by your generator or charging kit.
Moving off-grid takes some diligent planning, and the tools you have will make or break your success.
6. Hand Tools
Vehicles, water lines, and common construction projects all need to be maintained and repaired. When you are off grid, this takes on a whole new level of importance.
Hand tools can save your life. You depend on nothing but yourself in the bush, and the things you bring with you are your responsibility. Without a car, you may be stranded.
Ensure you have all the proper tools for the equipment you bring back woods with you. American cars use standard wrench sizing, and foreign cars usually use metric.
Observation of these factors can be the difference between whether you get to safety or not.
7. Gardening and Farm Tools
Your resources are your life when off the grid. Chickens, goats, and crops can provide you all the food and sustenance needed to live a happy and healthy life.
But as with everything in life, these things require work. Investing in quality field tools such as shovels, rakes, pitchforks, hoes, and other crop and stock yielding devices is important.
Once you have these things, consider keeping them in a dry and safe space away from the elements. While these tools are tough, they can deteriorate over time spent in the weather.
No matter what your goal is for living off the grid, keep the essentials with you and safe.
As the sun sets in the backcountry, no streetlights turn on to mark your way. The night time is only as light as you make it, inside and out.
Lanterns offer light that lasts into the hours of the night until slumber. Keeping these devices in safe and secure locations around the home and outdoors can make for safe and cozy operations when nightfall comes.
Though, some may have electricity in the form of solar or generator power. If this is the case, well placed efficient lighting can give you relatively worry free nights.
Flashlights are also a key component of living off the grid. You never know when you may need to make an outdoor excursion, even to your vehicle. The proper battery powered lamps, headlamps, and flashlights will get the job done.
Just make sure you stock up on batteries every time you reach a town.
9. Cooler/Solar Fridge
Especially crucial for hunters, having a fridge or freezer gives you the ability to keep your goods fresh for longer. Goat milk, eggs, and veggies can all spoil. Keep your precious crop good in an efficient cooler or solar fridge.
These units can either be added to an existing solar or generator system or be found separately with their own dedicated solar generation system.
10. Stove Top
Whether you are cooking with propane or over an open flame, cooking a hot meal means a lot when you live off the grid. Water needs to be boiled, meat needs to be cooked, and bellies need to be filled.
Propane is fairly cheap and lasts a long while. Keeping a couple of full re-fillable bottles on site will give you fuel to cook for you and yours.
Burners range from the simple to the deluxe and can be found just about anywhere. The classic Coleman camp stove can compare to the most high-end propane burner.
11. Quality First Aid Kit
This is one bit that should not be overlooked in the slightest. First aid is critical off the grid.
Keeps first aid kits prepared with gauze, tape, alcohol, and other necessities based upon the health of you and yours for the environment you dwell.
It’s not enough to just possess the right equipment. Living off grid puts you a long ways from a hospital. Train yourself and your loved ones to react to emergencies.
12. French Press
You didn’t think you’d have to give up coffee to live off the grid, did you? Of course not! Avoid power draw and make better coffee than ever. Boil your water with your wood stove, propane burner, or over a nice morning fire.
Add water, press, and enjoy. When you live off the grid, it’s the little things that really start to matter.
Your New Life
With these tips and tools, you are sure to have a successful start to your new lifestyle. Moving off the grid is a rewarding and enriching experience, and you’ve got a great head start.
While you’re getting ready, check out more of our great content about lifestyle, you’ll be glad you did!