Off-grid survival has evolved as a popular form of lifestyle among the urbanites. It implies living an independent and self-sufficient life without dependence on power and civic amenities.
A major lineament of this form of lifestyle is the extensive use of renewable energy sources such as wind energy and solar energy. If you cease to use the civic amenities or public utilities, you begin living off the grid. You start using energy and power from a self-generating source.
Living off-grid does not imply a primitive and archaic way of living. There are two sides to survive off-grid.
The first one is that you may lead a lifestyle without being connected to the power grid, while the second form is living a self-sufficient lifestyle and maintaining no connection on civic amenities or utilities such as food, power, and so on.
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1. Is it Legal to Live Off-Grid in the USA?
It is legal to live off-grid in the USA. If you wish to live off-grid, you do not depend on the civic amenities of water, power, and food anymore.
You produce your food, obtain water and produce power by yourself. Living off-grid is quite cost-friendly since all your necessities are provided by nature.
There are few things you need to live off-grid in the US:
- A source of water
- A source of power
- Learn to handle sewage and waste
- Produce your food (cultivate fruits, vegetables and raise livestock)
Living off-grid refreshes your soul and enhances your physical and psychological health. You get to stay away from the hustle and bustle of city life and spend your life in the vicinity of nature.
Don’t worry! Staying off-grid does not imply getting disconnected from your friends and acquaintances. You can stay connected with your near ones by using off-grid internet.
You can access the Off-grid internet easily. We will discuss it in detail in a while.
Owing to instability in the social and economic sphere, pollution, and deteriorating health conditions nowadays, citizens prefer to live off-grid in the lap of nature.
Living off-grid is legal in the US and comes under the American principle of personal freedom. However, you are required to follow all the local building codes and tax laws.
1.2 How to Choose a Good Piece of Land To Survive Off-Grid?
To live off the grid in the US, purchase a good piece of land in advance. Don’t forget to check whether you need to pay property tax.
The best land for off-grid survival can be woodland where wood is available in plenty, which can act as an excellent fuel, or fertile land, where you can grow vegetables and crops.
The most important factor is the presence of a water source in its vicinity. Choose land that is near a source of water, such as a stream, lake, etc.
No matter how far or remote the residence is from city life, you have to pay the property taxes. You are also required to pay taxes on the livestock raised and the crops grown. It is better to consult an accountant if any deduction in the tax is available.
1.3 Rules and Regulations To Live Off-Grid
- In the US, camping is not allowed for more than two weeks, irrespective of who owns the land.
- Make sure that the building to be constructed is not too small. You will need a minimum of 500 to 1000 square feet otherwise further construction of the building may not be permitted.
- Also, acquaint yourself with the proper knowledge of the International Building Code.
- Ensure that all the buildings are inspected by professionals. If any building does not follow the building codes, it will attract a penalty or legal action.
- You may install solar panels and wind turbines to generate power. Staying near a water source solves the problems of cooking, washing, drinking, and so on.
- You can also use rainwater harvesting or construct a borewell to obtain water.
1.4 How to Obtain Power and Electricity?
You can generate power by rooftop solar panels.
Apart from using solar energy, you can use the other two ways of generating electricity. The first option involves the use of hydroelectric power from water. However, the initial investment to build a hydroelectric power plant near a water source is quite high.
Generating electricity from wind energy is equally expensive since it requires the setting up of windmills and turbines.
Installing a solar panel is the cheapest and highly preferred among the off-gridders for generating electricity.
1.5 How to Obtain Water?
It is recommended to live near a source of water. However, not everyone can stay near a water source. In such cases, devise varied methods to collect water so that you never run out of water in critical moments.
Rainwater harvesting is a great way to collect rainwater and use it for various purposes. The set-up expense is a one-time cost. All you need to do is to construct a water tank beneath the ground. Then, link that tank to the terrace and connect it to a filtration system.
The other two methods to obtain water include the construction of a borewell and an Off-Grid Box.
Any service provider can construct a borewell. Before the construction, a geological survey of the land is usually conducted by the service providers. The off-grid box is another option to obtain water that also provides electricity.
1.6 How to Procure Food?
Living off-grid implies an entirely independent way of life.
That means growing your vegetables and crops.
Raising livestock is another way that lets you consume eggs, milk, and meat.
You can raise poultry, but you will need funds for their maintenance and genetic breeding. Dairy farming is also another way to obtain fresh milk and other dairy products.
1.7 Waste Management
Preparing a proper plan of waste disposal and management is essential. You can throw the sewage or waste products only at a designated place.
One of the ways to manage waste is to construct a composting toilet. It does not emit any foul smell and has a compact and clean appearance. However, proper approval is required to set up composting toilets.
You may also consider establishing the septic system. The septic tank is buried under the ground. However, a proper permit is required to set up the septic system.
1.8 Fishing and Hunting
You may go hunting and fishing for recreation only if you have valid permits. Hunting animals during the off-season and without a permit is strictly disallowed and punishable by law.
1.9 States Where You Can Live Off-Grid In The US
Perform careful research on suitable places for off-grid survival in the US.
The following list enumerates the states in the US for off-grid survival.
- Colorado offers a beautiful environment where you can lead an independent lifestyle. It has a very flexible building and zoning codes.
- Florida is very off gridder-friendly. The laws are flexible and allow the installation of solar panels and wind turbines.
- Hawaii has a favorable climate and is very popular among the off gridders. The state also has highly fertile soil. Hawaii is also a tranquil place to live.
- Missouri has no such specified laws regarding the septic system or rainwater harvesting. The pleasant weather of Missouri is conducive to the growth of crops. The laws are off gridder-friendly.
- Ohio is the best place to live off-grid mainly because the property taxes there are quite low. Moreover, the cost to buy the land is also less. This state is the best to live an independent lifestyle amid nature.
- Alaska also has less strict laws and is off gridder-friendly.
2. How do I go Off the Grid and Disappear?
Living off the grid is quite relaxing and gives a unique experience to be cherished for a lifetime.
You need to keep some points in mind before disappearing from city life:
2.1 A Proper Understanding of the Laws
Before selecting the area, get proper knowledge of the local and state laws. Each state has different laws regarding off-grid outdoor survival.
Go through the local laws carefully. After a proper understanding of the state rules and regulations regarding off-grid living, make further preparations.
2.2 Finding the Best Piece of Land
Make sure that the place is away from the city and urban infrastructure. The site has to be near the source of water since, without water, life is impossible.
Choosing a place near the woods is a wise idea since enough fuel will be available. You can practice camping on that land before shifting permanently. In that way, you’ll get more acquainted with the area.
2.3 Preparation To Survive Off-Grid
Proper planning and preparation are necessary before moving to off-grid survival. Before permanently moving to a remote area and disappearing from the mainstream of city life, carry the basic items and carefully make plans.
Installing solar panels to get a consistent flow of electricity is very important. Setting up the wind turbines may take a longer time, and you need to do it before moving to that area.
Make proper preparations for building the shelter and procure adequate food and water.
Train yourself in cultivating crops and growing fruits and vegetables. For this purpose, you may consider practicing gardening.
Many books are available that give proper guidance to farming and gardening. Reading these books will give you an idea as to how to cultivate fruits and vegetables correctly.
3. Is it Worth Going Off-Grid?
Going off-grid is worth it since it assures a healthy surroundings. The environment does not have any traces of pollution and is the best to live a peaceful life.
Off-grid survival is extremely cost-friendly since all the necessities will be available on the same land where the off-gridders decide to live. The initial investment of the off-gridders to bring together everything is nothing compared to the cost of living in a city.
Going off the grid makes you completely independent.
Every basic item for survival, such as food, electricity, and water, is procured by the off-gridder from their land. There is no dependence on civic amenities and urban infrastructure. It makes off-grid survival autonomous and peaceful.
Nature has its healing powers. Living in nature is absolutely blissful. You can have a beautiful experience of living in an environment that is not only pollution-free but is such that it helps you stay hale and hearty.
Staying off-grid makes an individual self-sufficient and self-sustainable.
Using renewable energy sources such as wind energy and solar energy is not detrimental to the environment. Therefore, the off-gridders do not contribute to pollution and global warming as compared to urban dwellers.
4. Best Places to Live Off the Grid In The US
4.1 Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
In Missouri, the best place to live off the grid is Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. This area uses renewable energy sources such as solar energy and wind energy for generating power and electricity.
This village saw settlements since 1997. Off gridders can lead an independent lifestyle in Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Missouri.
4.2 Greater World Earthship Community
Greater World Earthship Community is in Taos in New Mexico. Rainwater harvesting has been a popular practice in this area. This area has now emerged to be a great manufacturer of biodiesel fuel.
You may also collect snow in the reservoirs and then heat them to obtain fresh water.
4.3 Lasquetti Island
Lasquetti or Vancouver Island in British Columbia is a wonderful place to stay off-grid. The island is full of greenery and offers a soothing and peaceful life to anyone who wishes to dwell on this island.
Presently, 400 residents on this island are off-gridders.
4.4 Torri Superiore
Torri Superiore is an ecovillage located in Italy. This village is the residence of 20 off-gridders.
Solar energy is used to generate electricity in this area. Torri Superiore offers an excellent and peaceful lifestyle to the off-gridders.
4.5 Three Rivers Recreation Area
Three Rivers Recreation Area is located in Oregon and provides shelter to 600 off-gridders. Renewable energy sources are used to generate power. This place is also a popular tourist destination.
5. Off-Grid Survival Gear
Let’s dive in.
5.1 Portable Outdoor Fire Pit
You will require fire pits to ease the process of heating, cooking, and serving other purposes.
Prepared Outdoors Portable Fire Pit
Carrying a survival hatchet or an ax is necessary to cut through wood. You will probably need this a lot.
Fiskars Splitting Axe
5.3 Portable Generator
You will generally not need a portable generator. However, when you will need it, nothing else will be able to replace it.
In case your conventional power generation is not working, you can use an alternate fuel (gas or diesel) generator to get the job done.
Durostar Portable Generator
5.4 Solar Lights
Solar lights will ease your power generation by generating their own electricity. You will require some lights in and around your house, solar just takes away the need to connect them and worry about overusing your power.
Aootek Solar Lights
6. Off-Grid Internet
Living off-grid does not imply staying disconnected from friends and family members. You can access off-grid internet services by the following means.
6.1 Cell Phone
To connect to the internet, cell phones can be used. Network connections may also be available in certain remote areas. Using cell phones to connect to the internet is very easy and is portable.
You can use it to send messages, watch any videos or perform other works very easily. The carrier of the choice of the off gridder needs to cover the location where you have intended to settle.
You can also use any local network connection that provides unlimited plans. In cases of weak signals, a cell phone booster may come to aid since it acts as a signal amplifier and boosts up the connection.
6.2 Private Hotspot
Private hotspots require a slight initial investment and can be used by the entire family of the off-gridders. Many companies provide a wireless provider that can be used to get a superb internet connection.
A Wi-Fi antenna and signal amplifier can also be used to cover the entire homestead with off-grid internet access.
Unlimitedville provides internet access to the off gridders. It ensures a very fast internet connection. The remote areas have a network connection of about 1 MBPS. They also have a 14-day money-back guarantee. This service provider offers an internet connection to all the devices used by the off-gridders.
Going off-grid does not mean staying alone. Using the service providers, you can stay connected with the various parts of the world.
Off-grid survival is a beautiful way of leading a lifestyle that makes you enjoy the bounties of nature. Perform careful research of the selected land where you intend to build your residence.
Proper understanding of the local law is also highly significant. Off-grid, survival is completely legal in the US. It is the best way to have an independent lifestyle, using renewable sources of energy for survival.
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Hi, I’m Vineet. Creator of DivinioWorld. I am an outdoor enthusiast and absolutely love researching, learning, and applying skills and knowledge in the real world. I started DivinioWorld to share everything I know so that even a beginner can follow the ropes and master the subtle art of outdoors adventure and survival.