A lot of people think that everybody has electricity although the truth is that there are a lot of people who live without electricity. Some of them do it voluntarily like the ones who are living off the grid while others simply do not have access to electricity and they have to manage somehow. Most people can not imagine how they can live without electricity, and they only notice how dependent they are on electricity once they go without it for a couple of days.
You can live without electricity as long as you are able to tend to your basic needs like water, food, and shelter. People who voluntarily live off the grid do it as a lifestyle, and for the most part, they do not need any electricity. On the other hand, people who find themselves all of a sudden without electricity will struggle as they have limited options to heating their home, conserving food, and using their appliances.
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People who live off the grid tend to use little to no electricity, some of them do generate their own power with solar panels or wind turbines but many who live off the grid do not even bother with generating power. If you have lived for at least some time off the grid then you know that living without electricity is possible, but that doesn’t mean that it is easy. Most people are so reliant on electricity that they will find it extremely difficult living without it.
There are a lot of scenarios that could force people to live without electricity, like wars, blackouts, solar flares, natural disasters, or a faulty power grid. At some point, everybody will live for at least some time without electricity. If you want to live without electricity to save money then you will have an easier time than a person who has to live without electricity because the local power grid went down.
If you are the only one in your area that doesn’t have electricity than you will be able to manage, but if there is a local power grid failure than in most cases that will mean no power, no water, no gas, and most likely you won’t even be able to use your credit cards to purchase anything. The lack of electricity is one of the disadvantages of living off the grid, if you want more information then check out my recent article Disadvantages of living off the grid ( Top 8 Cons ).
Heating without electricity
One of your biggest problems while living without electricity is heating, if you have prepared to live without electricity then you have probably a backup plan for this and you will most likely heat with firewood. On the other hand, if you have not prepared to live without electricity then you will have to think hard about how will you heat your home. During the summertime, heating will not be a problem but during the wintertime, it can become extremely dangerous.
People who live in apartments have very few options for heating without power, and once the temperatures go below freezing it will start damaging the property. If you live in a house and you have a fireplace then you can easily use firewood to heat your home. On the other hand, if you do not have a fireplace then you will have to insulate one of the rooms as best as you can and use a heating source that doesn’t require an open flame or power.
If you have to live without electricity during the wintertime for a longer period of time and you do not have the possibility to heat your home in any way then you have to start putting on as many layers of clothes as possible. Your body generates a lot of heat and your main goal should be to trap this heat as close to your skin as possible. Homeless people often will put newspapers between their clothes as this is excellent for trapping heat. You will most likely use firewood to heat your home, if you want to know how to get free firewood then check out my recent article Free Firewood ( Top 14 Places ).
Light your home without electricity
Your second challenge for living without electricity is how you will make light. If you are living in an urban area then you are used to having light during the night, but if the local power grid goes down then it will be pitch dark. As a temporary solution, you will most likely use your flashlight or the flashlight on your phone, but as you won’t have electricity you will not be able to recharge them. In the case of a standard flashlight with batteries, you only should use it during emergency situations, as batteries will be hard to come by if the power outage lasts for a long time.
When it comes to illuminating without electricity you have two viable options, candles and oil lamps. For the most part, you will have no problem buying a couple of candles, these will make enough light to illuminate a room and a couple of candles can warm up the room as well, just doesn’t expect miracles.
Cooking without electricity
Most people cook with either a gas or an eclectic stove, the electric stove will not work without any power, and odds are that the gas stove will also not work as the gas will be shut down. For the most part, gas pumps that supply an area generate their own power, and in theory, they also should work if the power grid goes down. Although if you will, or not have gas depends on why you do not have electricity in the first place.
If you do not have electricity because of a natural disaster then odds are that the gas pumps will be shut down as a preventative measure to avoid gas leaks. If you live in a house then you will have no problem cooking outside even if you do not have power, on the other hand, you can also use butane or prone stoves to cook, just keep in mind that these are not safe to be used indoors. If you want to know which butane stoves can be used indoors then check out my recent article Best butane stove for indoor use ( Top 10 ).
Keeping food fresh without electricity
Without power you will not be able to use your refrigerator or freezer, so you will have to be creative about how you preserve food. If you live without electricity during the wintertime and it is below freezing outside then you can freeze most of your food. On the other hand, you have to be careful what kind of foods you actually consume, as a lot of them have a limited shelf life. For the most part, you can preserve food in several methods by salting, smoking, and pickling.
Although you will need some ingredients and the know-how for preserving food. Generally speaking, canned foods will be your diet if you do not have electricity as canned foods have a long shelf life and you can easily eat the contents of the cans before they start to spoil.
Charging your smartphone without electricity
If you do not have electricity but the people in the surrounding area do have electricity then you will have no problem using your smartphone. On the other hand, if you have no electricity due to a blackout then odds are that you will have no cell phone reception or access to the internet either. The good news is that you can still charge your phone without electricity by using solar chargers. Solar chargers are small solar panels that are specially designed to charge smartphones or small devices.
Just keep in mind that you will need to place the solar charger in a place where it has direct contact with sunlight. Some solar chargers do not work if the temperatures are either too high or too low, so make sure what temperatures it can handle. On cloudy days you will still be able to charge your phone with a solar charger but it will charge it slower, as it needs direct contact with the sunlight in order to work at maximum efficiency.
Use the daylight as much as you can if you do not have electricity
If you do not have electricity then you should do all the work and chores around your home during the daylight. Even if you have candles or additional sources of light you should still limit yourself on using them as much as you can. This means that you have to wake up once the sun comes up and you have to go to bed once the sun goes down. Most people who live off the grid without any electricity wake up at dawn and are already asleep once the night comes.
Just keep in mind that the days tend to get shorter during the wintertime, and this is especially noticeable if you live up north. In the northern parts of the country, the days can be extremely short during the wintertime and it can turn pitch black in a matter of minutes.
Unplug your electrical devices if you have no electricity
If you do not have electricity because the local power grid is down then you should unplug all your electrical devices. You should be safe if the power goes down for only a couple of hours but if you do not have power for more than a day then unplug everything. While the electrical company is trying to fix the local power grid you might get a surge of power from time to time, and in some cases, these power surges can destroy some electrical devices.
Relocating due to not having electricity
In case of a natural disaster or a long-term blackout where you have a difficult time due to not having power, your best option is to relocate to another area where there are no problems with the power grid. Some beginners to off grid living find it unbearable to live without power after a couple of months, and they will often move back to civilization. Living without electricity can be extremely difficult, you will have a hard time working and enjoying the modern-day comforts like heating, lighting, and entertainment.
Living without electricity is a lifestyle for a lot of people, however, that doesn’t mean that you will manage to live without it comfortably for a long time.
Living without electricity is possible, although it mostly depends on why you do not have electricity. if you are in a situation where there is a prolonged blackout then living without electricity will be a nightmare especially if the winter is upon you. If you are not prepared to live without electricity for a prolonged period of time and there is no news on when the power grid will be functioning again your best option is to move.