The transition to an off grid lifestyle can be fairly difficult especially if you are doing it from a city. There is so much new stuff that you will have to learn even before moving to an off grid homestead, and you will learn even more once you have moved. Moving, in general, can be stressful, and moving off the grid needs a lot of preparation, if you forget a couple of things you will regret it down the line.
One of the biggest lifestyle change a person can do is to move off the grid, living off the grid is a way of life and you will have to change a lot of your habits to fit this lifestyle. As with everything in life the better you are prepared the easier will be the transitioning process to an off grid life. Far too many people make the big mistake of not preparing, or not preparing their family for an off grid living situation.
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On the other hand, there are plenty of people who watch a lot of videos and read articles about how to prepare themselves to live off the grid, but there are some things which you definitely need to experience. While most people who are serious about living off the grid prepare themselves mentally but not physically, as living off the grid is a lot of work you should consider your physical fitness a priority.
If you are moving off the grid alone then you will have an easier time preparing yourself, if you are planning to move off the grid with your family then you will also have to prepare them both emotionally and physically as well. If you are looking for a good off grid living state then check out my recent article Off grid living in Michigan ( Great Lake State ).
1. Learn as much about off grid living as you can
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for off grid living is to learn as much about it as possible, both by reading articles and by watching videos. Ideally, you should look for how is off grid living in your state, this way you will mostly learn about things which you can also practice. Other people’s experience is extremely valuable if you are new to living off the grid and most people who have blogs and videos about off grid living will share their experiences.
Living off the grid is not that simple as a lot of things can go wrong and the more you know about some of the potential problems with living off the grid the better you will be prepared. While you are learning from others you will also prepare yourself for what is about to come. If you want more tips and tricks for living off the grid then check out my recent article Tips for living off the grid ( Top 14 Tips & Tricks ).
2. Prepare yourself mentally for living off the grid
Moving is fairly stressful, and moving off the grid is even more stressful. In order to prepare yourself to transition from your everyday life to the off grid life, you have to be mentally strong. Once you are off the grid you only can rely on yourself and on your family for most things. Depending on where you move it is not as easy to go to the nearest supermarket and buy the things which you have forgotten.
A lot of people who move off the grid alone tend to forget how lonely living off the grid can be, so you have to be prepared to spend days or weeks completely alone, although this mostly will depend on where you move. On the other hand, some people want to challenge themselves, while for the most part, this is a good idea but only if you are actually prepared, remember your actions have consequences and if you run into trouble while living off the grid you can only blame yourself. If you are wondering if living off the grid is worth it then check out my recent article Is living off grid worth it? ( Top 8 Reasons Why ).
3. Prepare yourself physically to live off the grid
Living off the grid seems like a dream for a lot of people, and trust me if you do it correctly you can live your dream. The problem is that there is a thin line between a dream and a nightmare, especially as you will for the most part only be able to rely on yourself while you are living off the grid. Far too many people are simply not prepared to physically for off grid living, and trust me there is a big difference between going to the gym and chopping firewood.
By preparing physically I don’t mean that you should bulk up, instead focus on endurance and on stamina, this way you will have a far easier time adjusting to the off grid style of living. In addition to this, you should go on hikes as frequently as possible, hikes will increase your stamina in the long run and you will get used to staying outdoors all day long.
4. Prepare your family for off grid living
A lot of people seem to forget to prepare their family for living off the grid only to end up miserable after a couple of months. Living off the grid can be fairly stressful especially for people who are used to constantly socialize with their friends and on the internet. Preparing your family is especially important if you also have children, smaller children will have no problem adjusting but teenagers will definitely have a couple of issues.
Make a family meeting and let your family know what they will be missing while living off the grid and what they will be gaining. Although if your significant other doesn’t see the positive aspects of living off the grid then you will have a hard time convincing them.
5. Have realistic expectations about living off the grid
Living off the grid is a life-changing experience, you will learn a lot, especially about what your limits are. In order to achieve a higher goal, you will inevitably fail a couple of times, and this is also true for living off the grid. The problem is that a lot of people set their hopes high and once they can not live up to the high expectation and fail they will blame the failure why they couldn’t do it. Failing at any task is just gaining experience and it shouldn’t stop you from achieving your ultimate goal.
Most people who imagine themselves living off the grid will think of how happy they will be while working in the garden, but trust me it gets old extremely fast. Once you have to wake up several times during the wintertime to fuel the stove, or you have to go out in the middle of the night to the toilet the reality will hit you hard.
6. Get out of debt before moving off the grid
A lot of people want to reduce their living costs by living off the grid and for the most part they will. The problem is if you have a lot of debt, the money you make today will be spent on something you have bought years ago, and going forward like this will be extremely hard. If you are not able to pay off all your debt before moving off the grid you should make a monthly budget just for paying off the debt.
7. Prepare yourself financially to live off the grid
No matter where you are moving you will still need to invest some money. Although living off the grid doesn’t cost a lot of money but it is a good idea to have your finances in order before you do so. As I have mentioned before it you should probably pay off your debt before moving off the grid. In addition to this, it is extremely important to have some emergency funds, just in case something breaks down and needs to be fixed.
8. Have a good plan for an off grid shelter
Not everybody living off the grid lives in a homestead, some live in tents, Yurts, RV’s, improvised shelters, and even on boats. If you are not planning on building a homestead then you have to think of what your alternatives are in terms of shelter. Most importantly you have to consider the local climate as this is what determines what kind of shelter you can use. If you move to a region with harsh winters then do not cheap out on the insulation.
9. Think about how you will generate power off the grid
Even if you do not plan on powering a lot of devices you will still need to generate at least some power for your phone, lights, and other smaller devices. The good news is that there are a lot of devices which do not need a lot of power so you will have no problem generating enough power. Off the grid you will have two options for generating power, solar panels, and wind turbines, for the most part, solar panels will be a lot easier and cheaper to set up.
10. Stop eating fast food and sugar
A lot of people are used to eating a lot of fast food and sugar as well, I am not here to judge your eating habits but once you move off the grid you will most likely not have access to fast food and processed food in general. For the most part in the first year of living off the grid, you will be eating canned food, as you will not be able to grow enough food in the first year. The sugar crash is real and you will definitely feel it once you do not have any food with sugar in it.
11. Learn self-reliance skills which you will use while living off the grid
Living off the grid is all about being self-reliant, although a lot of people think that this is easy but the truth is that if you are not used to being self-reliant it will be extremely difficult. There are a lot of books and online videos which teach self-reliance skills, so you will have to start studying them as soon as possible. In addition to this, you have to learn how to improvise as living off the grid is mostly about improvising and spending your resources as best as you can.
12. Make friends in the off grid community
Good friends are extremely hard to find, the good news is that most people who are living off the grid tend to be friendly. You will struggle a lot if you do not know anybody in the area where you want to live off the grid. Doing everything alone is possible, but you will have a far easier time if somebody can help you out, even if they only give advice it can be priceless if you are new to living off the grid.
13. Make an off grid list
Before you move off the grid you have to prepare for it, you will need a stockpile of food and water, several tools, and other items. Make sure to make a list and slowly expand your list for different situations. This will be a considerable investment although it will be worth it in the long run, just keep in mind that you do not have to buy everything at once, slow and steady keep on adding things you will need to live off the grid.
14. Knowing the local laws regarding off grid living
Living off the grid is legal no matter in which state you want to live off the grid, although that doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want. In some states, you will find some regulations and restrictions which are not directly targeted to people living off the grid but which directly impact them. Regulations and restrictions regarding septic systems, building code, harvesting power, and so on are extremely important to know even before you move off the grid.
As you can see you have a couple of steps to prepare yourself to live off the grid, some might seem more important than others but you have to keep in mind that everybody’s off grid living experience is different. You will need to prepare yourself mentally, physically, and even financially if you are serious about living off the grid.