What Does Off The Grid Mean

A Journey into Off Grid Living

Lets Take a dive and see –  what does off the grid mean?

I’ll never forget the moment I first learned about off-grid living. My buddy Paul was telling me how he ditched his fancy downtown apartment to buy some land and live totally off the public grids. No electricity, no municipal water or sewers. Just living on a homestead powered by the sun and his own two hands, he was totally self-sufficient. I couldn’t believe it! But it got me thinking – what does off grid really mean and could I ever try it myself?

In this post, I’ll give you the low-down on off grid living from my personal research dive into life without being connected to the grid.

living off the grid

Defining Off Grid Living


When most of us think of a home, we imagine it hooked up to power lines, water mains, and sewage systems. But off grid homes operate independently from all that public infrastructure. Part of the process is learn to live without public utilities, Like using off grid solar instead of being connected to the power grid.  As my friend Paul put it:

“Going off grid just means having the skills and resources to handle all your own basic needs – keeping the lights on, the water flowing, and your belly full without any outside help.”

There’s different degrees too. You could go partially off grid by putting in solar panels but keeping your electric grid connection as a backup. Others ditch the grids totally by:

  • Producing their own power – solar power , wind, or generators
  • Collecting rainwater and storing it instead of using city water
  • Composting waste and using a septic system with no sewer hookup
  • Growing a garden, hunting, and foraging for food

At the end of the day, off grid living is about taking responsibility for all your own needs instead of relying on anyone else. For a lot of folks, it means freedom. 

Making the Leap to Off Grid Life


Picking up and moving off grid isn’t something you just dive into. It takes strategy and preparation. From what I’ve researched, here are some of the steps to making the transition:

  • Start small with a few solar devices or rain barrels and get your feet wet before taking the full plunge. Gotta learn to swim before diving in the deep end!
  • Figure out the bare minimum you’ll need when it comes to water, power, and food. It ain’t the Ritz-Carlton out there!
  • Save up to invest in major off grid systems like solar panels, wind turbines, composting toilets and septic. This stuff costs big bucks.
  • Find some rural land with good sun, fresh water, and space to grow crops and raise critters. An off grid paradise!
  • Get rid of any unnecessary clutter and belongings. You won’t have room for excess stuff out there.
  • Bone up on essential skills like gardening, hunting, food preservation, and DIY repairs. YouTube University to the rescue!

With the right mindset and preparation, just about anyone can make off grid living work if they set their mind to it. For some it’s mainly about saving money, but a lot of off gridders just want to live freely and sustainably too.

The Good, The Bad, and The Off Gridly


While living off the grid has some pretty sweet perks, it also requires some major sacrifices. Here’s a quick rundown:

The Good

  • More self-reliant and confident in your skills
  • Keeping costs down without all those utility bills
  • Smaller carbon footprint when you go renewable
  • More freedom from codes and restrictive HOAs

The Bad

  • Dropping big bucks upfront for solar panels, wind turbines, septic and more
  • All the back-breaking work of homesteading like gardening and repairs
  • Missing out on modern conveniences like A/C and fast internet
  • Potential loneliness and isolation out there in the wilderness

For many off gridders, the personal growth and satisfaction outweigh the challenges and discomfort though. You gotta find what makes you happy!

Off Grid Living Q&A

If you’re thinking about going off grid, you probably have a ton of questions like I did! Here’s answers to some common ones:

How much land will I need?

The more the merrier! But 5-10 acres is doable for basics and 20+ acres gives you more wiggle room.

Is living off grid even legal?

For the most part yes, but building codes and utility rules vary based on where your land is, so research first!

What’s the best location for an off grid homestead?

Look for rural spots with abundant fresh water, good solar exposure, and land suitable for growing crops and raising animals.

Can I still work a normal job off grid?

With satellite internet you can work remote jobs, but you’ll have limited options without consistent connectivity.

What does an off grid home actually look like?

Lots of solar panels, rainwater barrels, gardens, and hand-built architecture using natural materials. Rustic and eco-friendly!

I don’t know about you, but learning all this has me daydreaming about living off grid myself someday. It just seems like such a rewarding adventure. Hope this beginner’s guide gave you some insights into off grid living too.