What off-grid means to you and what it means to others, may be two different definitions.
According to the dictionary, off-grid means not being connected to the public utilities or the power grid. I tend to agree with this definition.
For instance, off-grid means you’re not connected to the public electric grid, public water, or public sewer.
Of course, the slang translation of that is not to have communication with the outside world, not participate in society, and have a life far away from humanity.
This is the definition that many people on social media adopt.
That concept might appeal to some, it’s unrealistic for most of us. We still have to work, make money, visit family, and see doctors.
As much as we love our privacy and seclusion, we also need community and things from the store. Even the most self-sufficient homesteads need outside resources.
Some examples are gas, nails, oil, livestock feed, clothes, shoes, eyeglasses, and medical supplies, just to name a few.
If one were to truly follow the slang definition, would we even know? Think about it.
Does off-grid mean no electricity At All?
Living off-grid does not mean that you can’t have electricity.
There are several sustainable ways (and some not-so-sustainable) to provide your own electricity independently from the public grid.
Some examples are solar power, Hydro or wind electricity. You can even provide electricity with something as simple as a generator, propane, or gas.
Personally, we have a solar array to provide for all of our off-grid electrical needs.
In fact, our son and daughter-in-law live off-grid on our property. All they use are some solar lights inside their home, a wood fireplace for heat, and a wood cook stove.
They don’t have any other source for electricity. So it is possible to live off-grid without having to invest a lot of money in an energy source.
What Qualifies As Off The Grid?
As I mentioned earlier, as long as you are not connected to the public utilities, that means water, sewer, and electricity, you are considered off the grid.
Some might argue with me, and I say, bring it. I’m exhausted about defending our definition about the way we live, but I’m not backing down.
I get comments all the time saying I’m not truly off-grid because we have satellite Wi-Fi.
We want to be self-sufficient, we don’t want to alienate our family from society. There’s a difference.
Not to mention, I still need to make a living from working online.
All I can say is when the grid goes down, we don’t miss a beat.
In fact, for the past three years, the entire area of where we live lost power, and we didn’t even know until a neighbor told us.
Why do people go off-grid?
Everybody’s reason for moving choosing this lifestyle is different. Their motivations are different, the way they go off-grid is different, and the conveniences that they have are different.
Our reason for moving off-grid was so we could connect with nature and not be a prisoner to the ‘in the box’ lifestyle.
We wanted to be self-sufficient and not be codependent on the system for our quality of life.
As parents, we were tired of always seeing our children ‘plugged in’.
We were living but we weren’t alive. Our quality of life was a series of duplicate events that we repeated daily.
Wake, eat, get the kids off to school, work, pick up from school, sports, home, rush dinner, everyone got on their private electronic device, go to bed, sleep, repeat. Every. Single. Day.
Do you feel this way?
What happens when you go off the grid? Refusing To Conform
Well, the first thing that happens is everybody you know will think you’re crazy.
Those that don’t think you’re crazy and are intrigued by what you’re doing, and want to learn more about it.
They will want a tour of your land, your home, then they want to bring their friends over, and people they know.
For us, the first couple years was a huge learning curve. We literally had to unlearn everything and relearn the off-grid way to do things.
As an example, things like heating -water, taking a shower, cooking dinner, and making coffee.
All of those basic tasks look differently off-grid than they do when you live in the city.
Adjusting to not turning the dial on the thermostat for heat or air.
Planning our days and evenings around our off-grid chores and duties instead of the tv show that was on.
Is going off the grid a good idea? Unsure if it’s For You?
Obviously, we think it’s a good idea. After living this way for several years, going back to city living would suck the life from my very soul.
However, it’s not for everyone.
Off-grid living isn’t for the faint of heart or for those that don’t have a strong work ethic.
If you were on the fence with wanting to live off-grid, I strongly suggest you take your family to Rustic Campground.
Better yet, find an off-grid place to rent to try it out, before you put your house on the market and quit your job.
Daring To Make The Change
One desire we have is to share all we can about our lifestyle with all of those that want to learn about it.
We aren’t going to glamourize anything and only talk about the good parts of living off-grid. We’re going to share the grit of it, the struggles, as well as the successes.
You want to know what off-grid really means? It means never taking vacations (if you have livestock). Working from sunup to sundown. It means no days off. And lastly, it means being uncomfortable, a LOT.
More importantly, living off-grid means freedom, peace, satisfaction, and a sense of daily accomplishment.
If you feel this lifestyle is something you want to learn more about, we are here for you.
Start with the 12 things you must do before moving off the grid.
Ask questions from those that are living the lifestyle that you want to live.
Better yet, send us a message and reach out with your queries. We welcome all of those that are seeking simplicity and wanting to escape the definition that society thinks we should live.