South Dakota is not an ideal place to live off the grid, mostly due to the harsh climate, although the relatively high property tax can be an issue. This doesn’t mean that you can not live off the grid in this state, far from it, in fact, there are a lot of people living off the grid in this state and there are several off grid communities in South Dakota. Your biggest challenge for living off the grid in this state will be the cold climate.
The best places to live off the grid in South Dakota are located in the southeastern parts of the state, as the climate is significantly milder than in the rest of the state. Counties like Minnehaha County, Pennington County, Aurora County, Union County, Clay County, Lincoln County, Yankton County, Bon Homme County are the best for off grid living and homesteading.
One of the main challenges of living off the grid in South Dakota is the harsh winters especially if you are heating with firewood, my personal recommendation is to use an EPA certified wood stove which has a heat output of up to 100,000 BTU/h Click here to check it out on Amazon.com
Winters in South Dakota tend to be fairly harsh, although not as brutal as in North Dakota. In addition to this, the growing period for vegetables and crops is relatively short in almost the entire state. For the most part the further up north you go in this state the harder it will be to live off the grid, both from a financial stand of point and how comfortable you are able to do it. Most people who live off the grid in this state tend to prepare for the wintertime during the summertime, and this means a lot of work.
Let us not forget that one of your biggest expenses living off the grid in South Dakota will be the firewood, the good news is that firewood is relatively cheap in South Dakota. The bad news is that the further up north you live off the grid the more firewood you will need. In addition to this if you want to generate power with solar panels then your best option will be in the southern parts as the days tend to be longer than in the north. If you want to know more about off grid living in this state then check out my recent article Off grid living in South Dakota ( Easy Living? ).
Best Places To Live Off The Grid In South Dakota
From my perspective, South Dakota presents several exceptional options for living off the grid. The state’s vast open landscapes and diverse natural beauty make it an ideal setting for those seeking self-sufficiency. The Black Hills region, including areas such as Custer County and Pennington County, offers stunning scenery, ample wildlife, and the potential for off-grid living in harmony with nature.
The prairie regions, such as Butte County and Tripp County, provide expansive views and opportunities for agricultural pursuits. Additionally, the Missouri River area, including counties like Hughes and Stanley, offers access to water resources and a sense of tranquility.
Minnehaha County has the highest population density in the entire state, there are around 170k people living in an area of 809 sq mi. Minnehaha County has everything that you would need for off grid living, although due to the high population density the price for a homestead or an off grid property will be significantly higher than in the rest of the state. Minnehaha County is located in the eastern part of the state, which is relatively good for living off the grid. If you want to know what are your options for having internet off the grid then check out my recent article How to have off grid Internet? ( Top 15 Ways ).
Pennington County is one of the largest counties in the entire state, some would say that the population density is high but there are around 100k people living in an area of 2,776 sq mi. Needless to say, you will have no problem finding suitable land for homesteading and off grid living for relatively cheap. The demand for housing is only high in and around the urban areas, in rural areas you will find the price of property to be significantly lower than in the urban areas.
Aurora County is probably one of the best places to live off the grid in South Dakota, the population density is extremely low, as there are around 3k people living in an area of 708 sq mi. The price of property in Aurora County is one of the lowest in the entire state. In addition to this Aurora County is also an excellent place for growing crops and generating power with solar panels due to its unique geographical position. If you want to know the advantages of living off the grid then check out my recent article Advantages of living off the grid ( Top 5 Pros ).
Union County is located in the most southern part of the entire state, this means that the climate is relatively milder than in the rest of the state. Although the winters tend to be brutal like in the rest of the state but the growing period for crops is significantly longer than in the northern parts. The population density of Union County is relatively low, as there are around 15k people living in an area of 460 sq mi.
Clay County has a relatively low population density, currently, there are around 14k people living in an area of 412 sq mi. The climate and the growing period for crops are very similar to Union County, and for the most part, this county is fairly good for off grid living. Due to the relatively low population density, the price for a homestead or an off grid property is relatively low.
Lincoln County has a relatively high population density, which will make the price of an off grid property or a homestead somewhat higher than in the rest of the state. There are around 45k people living in an area of 578 sq mi, although there are a lot of excellent places to live off the grid in this county, even if the population density is somewhat higher.
Yankton County has an average population density when you compare it to the other counties, there are around 23k people living in an area of 522 sq mi. Generally speaking, the price of property in this county is somewhat lower than in the surrounding counties, although it can be somewhat higher than in the rest of the state. Not a lot of people in Yankton County live completely off the grid, most of them live in a semi-off-grid way.
Bon Homme County
Bon Homme County is located in the southeastern part of the state, and it is considered one of the better counties for off grid living. The population density is relatively low as there are around 7k people living in an area of 563 sq mi. Due to the somewhat low population density and the size of the county, you will have no problem finding suitable land for off grid living or homesteading for relatively cheap.
- South Dakota offers abundant natural resources, making it an attractive destination for off-grid living. With its vast prairies, forests, and access to water sources like rivers and lakes, residents can tap into renewable energy options, practice sustainable agriculture, and enjoy the serenity of untouched landscapes.
- South Dakota has a low population density, providing ample opportunities for solitude and privacy. This makes it an ideal place for those seeking a remote and off-grid lifestyle. The vast open spaces allow for self-sufficiency, opportunities for outdoor activities, and a deeper connection with nature.
- South Dakota has a low population density, providing ample opportunities for solitude and privacy. This makes it an ideal place for those seeking a remote and off-grid lifestyle. The vast open spaces allow for selSouth Dakota is home to various off-grid communities and like-minded individuals who embrace sustainable living practices. These communities offer a supportive network of individuals who share knowledge, resources, and experiences, making the transition to off-grid living easier and more fulfilling.f-sufficiency, opportunities for outdoor activities, and a deeper connection with nature.