Louisiana is well known for its amazing food and great jazz, on the surface, it might seem like a great place to live off the grid, although there are a couple of notable drawbacks for living off the grid in this state. Like most states in the south, you will have to endure high humidity and hot temperatures. The climate is basically hot and very hot, with the occasional thunderstorm to cool off the air. Once you start visiting rural areas in Louisiana you will notice two things that every house has, mosquito nets and fly traps.
Living off the grid in Louisiana is legal, at first glance when you look at the price of a property and the local taxes you might think that this is an off gridders paradise. The climate is fairly mild and the growing season is long, in some areas you wouldn’t have any problems growing crops all year round. This mild climate also comes with a lot of drawbacks like the high humidity which could cause a lot of problems in the long run if you live completely off the grid.
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Due to the high temperatures and the high humidity, all kinds of bugs reproduce at a rapid pace. You have probably seen a couple of commercials about Louisiana depicting people sitting in the evening on the porch watching the sunset, you probably won’t be able to do that as the mosquitoes and flies would eat you alive. When it comes to off-grid living, in this case, there is one massive problem geographically speaking.
Almost the entire state is marshland, and the elevation is so low that floods are fairly frequent. Some areas are below the sea level, and if you visit Louisiana, make sure to check out some of the cemeteries, you will notice that people are not actually buried below the ground but in an elevated position. This is due to the fact that a lot of the land is below sea level, and in case of a flood, the water would be contaminated and not safe to drink.
Louisiana is probably one of the wettest states, you might think finding freshwater will be easy, but the truth is that most of the water is found in marshes, and these are areas where a lot of the bugs reproduce, drinking from here will end up badly. The climate is fairly similar to Mississippi’s climate, although arguably Mississippi is probably a better state for living off the grid, for more information check out my recent article Off grid living in Mississippi ( Top 12 Pros and Cons ).
In general, the summers are fairly hot, with an average of 90°F, during the wintertime, the temperature drops off to around 66°F. One thing to keep in mind is that the temperature difference between night and day are fairly high both during the summer and during the winter, and it goes even lower during storms. In addition to this, you will also notice a temperature difference between the northern and southern parts of the state, the closer you get to the Gulf of Mexico the hotter it gets.
Louisiana is one of the rainiest states in the country, but this is normal for the states in the South East. The good news is that you can harvest rainwater, so even if you do not have access to groundwater you will still have water. Just keep in mind that between October and March the rainfalls are at their lowest point. If you come from a state which has all 4 seasons then you will be in for a big shock when it comes to the local climate if you would prefer a more temperate climate for off grid living then check out my recent article Off grid living in Kentucky ( The Bluegrass State ).
Best Crops To Grow In Louisiana
Louisiana is known for its cotton and sugarcane crops, although you will also find plenty of people growing rice, corn, and grain. As the local climate is fairly humid you will have no problem getting water for your crops, although too much water will probably be the main problem. If you are planning to grow crops then your best bet would be to grow corn and grains, other crops either need a lot of land or a lot of manpower. Arguably, South Dakota is better suited for off-grid farming, for more information check out my recent article Off grid living in South Dakota ( Easy Living? ).
Off Grid Water In Louisiana
Louisiana has plenty of water, some would say that it even has too much water. When it comes to water for off-grid proposes you will have two options, either use groundwater or harvest rainwater. The problem with groundwater is that it might be contaminated with chemicals or with saltwater. Generally speaking in the northern parts of the state you will have the cleanest groundwater, as you start going towards the south the chances of the water being contaminated increase significantly.
On the other hand, you will have no problem harvesting rainwater no matter in which area of the state you live in. Just keep in mind that you should still filter and purify the rainwater mostly due to the numerous bugs laying their eggs in the water.
The wildlife in Louisiana mostly consists of rodents like beavers and rabbits. Although you will also find bobcats, turtles, and a lot of alligators. As the state is predominantly marshland you will see a lot of alligators, both in the wild and in alligator farms. There are around 2 million alligators in Louisiana, people do hunt them both for their meat and their skin. If you like fishing then Louisiana will be a paradise for you, as you have plenty of options both for fishing in freshwater and in saltwater.
Just note that you will need a permit both for fishing and hunting, for fishing, there are two different types of permits, one for freshwater and one for saltwater.
Louisiana Off Grid Laws
There are no laws in Louisiana prohibiting you from living off the grid, you can also harvest rainwater without any permit, although if you are using cisterns to collect rainwater then you should know about the statewide regulations regarding cisterns. When it comes to homeschooling the laws are fairly relaxed, although you will have to get some permits to do it legally, so make sure you read more about the homeschooling laws. If you want to know the best places for off grid living in this state then check out my recent article Best Places To Live Off The Grid In Louisiana ( Top 6 Counties ).
Louisiana Road Access
Generally speaking, you will have no problem with road access in the northern parts of the state, although you will find a completely different situation the further down south you go. The state has a lot of marshlands, and a lot of properties do not have any kind of road access whatsoever, and they mainly travel by boat.
Louisiana Price Of Off Grid Land
Generally speaking the price of land in the northern parts of the state are lower than the prices in the southern parts of the state. The closer you get to the bigger cities the higher the prices will be, and you will see a fairly big difference between counties. Overall for an off grid property, the prices are fairly cheap, especially due to the high local poverty rate, and not a lot of people flocking to this state to buy land.
Louisiana Property Tax
Louisiana’s property tax is the same as Mississippi’s which is at 0.52%, this is one of the lowest in the country. Just one state over in Texas the property tax is more than 3 times higher. In my opinion, a low property tax is vital when it comes to off grid living, there is no point to live off the grid if every year you have to give an arm and a leg just for property taxes.
Louisiana Cost Of Living
The cost of living is fairly similar to Mississipi’s cost of living, which is below the national average. Although if you are looking to rent an apartment until you find a good place to buy then you should rent in smaller cities or towns, as the rent is fairly high in the larger cities.
Louisiana Available Jobs
The unemployment rate is around 4.5%, most of the population works in one of the following industries, agriculture, oil, natural gas, commercial fishing, and restaurant industries. Generally speaking, if you want to find an agricultural job then you will have better chances in the northern parts of the state and for commercial fishing in the southern parts of the state. The poverty rate is around 18.6% which is a little bit higher than in Mississippi.
Louisiana Crime Rate
The crime rate is fairly high in Louisiana, in fact, according to the FBI, it has one of the highest crime rates in the country. The high poverty rate and the opioid crisis might have something to do with the crime rate.
Generating Power Off The Grid In Louisiana
- Solar power: As the state has plenty of sunshine all year round you will have no problem generating power with solar panels. Currently, there is a 26% federal tax credit, and in addition to this you could get an even higher tax credit from the local authorities.
- Wind power: Wind power is an excellent option, especially in the southern parts of the state. The federal tax credit for wind power is around 30%, and you can lower your expenses even more by teaming up with other homesteaders.
- Hydroelectric power: Generally speaking you will have no problem generating hydroelectric power in the northern parts of the states. Usually, small hydroelectric generators are enough to power a small community, although you could also use one which is enough for a homestead. There are tax credits for this as well, although you will have to check it out based on the county as not all of them do give incentives.
Louisiana Natural Disasters
When it comes to natural disasters, Louisiana has a bit of everything, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and plenty of thunderstorms. By far one of the biggest threats are hurricanes, remember Hurricane Katrina, which has devastated a lot of cities and paralyzed almost the entire state.
As you can see Louisiana, is probably not the best option for off grid living, although this doesn’t mean that you can not live off the grid comfortably in this state. Most people who live off the grid in Louisiana are born and raised in the state, if you are from somewhere up north then you will probably have a hard time adjusting to the high temperatures and humidity.