Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Fed Up With Everything? Here’s A Handy Guide To Living Off The Grid

[Good Is] If the idea of the internet, aliens, and Big Brother have got you down then we have your solution: get off the grid.
Living off the grid (OTG) literally refers to living off the government-funded electricity grid, but in a more general sense it also refers to living without any dependence on the government, society, and its products.
A survey cited by USA Today in 2006 reported there were about 180,000 families living OTG. However, it’s likely that number has gone up significantly in the last decade, considering the growth in popularity of homesteading, permaculture, self-reliance, sustainability, tiny homes, and survival.
In order to live OTG successfully, one needs to take into account his or her own specific needs long prior to actually walking away from the modern world. To become truly self-sufficient, he or she would need to provide all electrical power, food, shelter and water. Here, we’ve outlined a few key elements to help think about, and even begin, a life OTG.
At the onset, expect to put in significant effort to establish food production systems. Jason Knight, director, co-founder, and instructor at Alderleaf Wilderness College in Monroe, Washington, who has taught nature skills for nearly two decades with a focus on wildlife tracking and wilderness survival, says, “I would recommend implementing food systems in phases over the course of a few years. Working on big projects in chunks of time on weekends. After that, time spent is primarily on harvesting and maintenance. Once the systems are in place, expect to put in at least 5 to 10 hours a week for harvesting and maintenance.”
Prepare to pick up a few books on the subject and educate yourself on permaculture–a field of study on sustainable living focused on how to integrate all the various systems of living like food, water, shelter and energy in a way that gets every site element to work together. Knight recommends Practical Permaculture by Dave Boehnlein.
There are a lot of things humans can go without, but water just isn’t one of them. Living OTG, there are a few options, most common of which is to have a well drilled and a pump (either electric, wind-driven or hand-pumped) put in place. If there’s a good spring on the property, the water could be potable. “Be sure to have it tested to find out,” says Knight. “And if it’s not potable, sometimes it can be filtered and/or purified.” Read More