Live off the Beaten Path: A Guide to off Grid Living
Going off the grid. For most people, those words conjure up images of living in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere, completely removed from civilization. Today this couldn’t be further from the truth.
With modern technology living off the grid can look like whatever you want it to. Including an identical lifestyle those living on on the grid. With the right systems in place you can live a total life of luxury. 8000 square foot houses, full kitchens, home theatre systems, pools, and saunas. Whatever you want your home to look like it can be done off the grid.
The beauty of off the grid living is that you can have your ideal lifestyle with more freedom, privacy and independence. You can be as far or close to civilization as you like without compromising on lifestyle.
Off-grid living simply means not being connected to the utility companies providing electricity, gas, water, and sewage services. Nothing more nothing less.
To many, off-grid living seems almost impossible, but it is not as difficult as it may seem. Here is everything you need to know about off-grid living.
Why live off the grid?
Off-grid living is becoming more and more popular with many of us eager to leave a smaller footprint on our planet. Others want to disconnect from the noise of modern life. Some want to reconnect with nature and humanity. Others want more freedom and privacy.
Rural cities and communities are beginning to facilitate off-grid living by regulating those living off the grid, making it easier to go off gird without having to move away from society. But it is not without its challenges.
Off-Grid Living Challenges
The biggest challenges for those wanting to go off-grid are financial. Obtaining land without homeowners associations (HOA) and their covenants, conditions and restrictions (CCRs), in an area that allows you to build wells, alternative power sources, and septic systems is difficult.
Building or modifying your property for off-grid living is also expensive. However many people living off the grid save money in the long run through producing your own electricity. Despite the initial expense of fitting out your property.
Moving to off Grid Living
Once you have your location, finances and approvals for the development, how you proceed will depend on exactly how off-grid you want to go.
If you want to go entirely off the grid, you will need to independently source all your utilities, electricity, water, gas, and sewage.
Your first step is to visit your local government. You will want to build strong relationships with the local health, planning and zoning, and building departments.
It may seem counter-intuitive, building relationships with local government when going off the grid. However, you are still living under the community, and having good relationships will make your life a lot easier.
The most common and often most rewarding part of off-grid living is generating an independent electricity supply. This is why it’s called off-grid living in the first place. Getting the right off-grid power supply is essetnail to ensuring you have the lifestyle you are looking for. Luckily Haliburton Solar and Wind systems can ensure you have enough electricity to power your chosen lifestyle.
When it comes to power, there are a few options to consider. Running water is the most affordable off-grid power source. The trouble is viable streams are hard to come by on private property and are often heavily regulated.
If you do have a babbling brook, you have two options. A turbine in the natural channel of the water or a dammed water flow that feeds into a turbine.
Wind is a clean and reliable alternative. Exactly how much it costs varies. Larger windmills capture more energy; however, there are a lot of misconceptions around windmills and wind energy.
Many windmill owners face stiff opposition from neighbors about noise, environmental impacts, and safety. So if you are going to choose wind energy, you should arm yourself with the facts.
Solar energy is an increasingly popular option. Technological advancements are making solar more accessible and efficient. You can have solar panels in an array, on your roof or even install roof tiles that double as solar panels.
Exactly which power source is right for you depends on your situation. Factors such as electricity usage, location and the physical nature of your property will guide you in making this decision. For those seeking more luxury in their homes, we recommend wind or solar energy.
Access to Water
When it comes to water and permits, you will want to understand your water rights and any information on well drilling in your area.
You can also install water tanks to harvest rainfall. If your land has access to water from rivers and streams, you can easily make yourself independent of the mains water supply.
The Final Touches
With independent electricity and water supplies, you have done most of the hard work. Here are a few final suggestions for off-grid living.
Grow your own food. You now have a beautiful, self-sufficient property and home. Growing your own food is not only more sustainable, and also healthier, but it will be a rewarding challenge. Growing your own vegetables and having a few chickens will have you well on your way to complete food self-sufficiency.
It’s not for everyone, but disconnecting from the sewage system and building your own outhouse with a composting toilet that does not flush saves significant resources.
And finally, join an off-grid community. Going off the grid can be isolating and challenging. Many people don’t understand it. But there are strong communities of off grid living enthusiasts who will make your experience much more rewarding.
Not only will you have a social outlet, but these communities will share their expertise and make your project much more manageable. These communities make food sustainability much more achievable too.
Get off the Grid
If you are ready to take up the challenge off grid living is incredibly enjoyable and rewarding.
It might be daunting at first, but if you follow our guide, you will find that nothing is impossible. For more information on you off grid power supply, check out our solar and wind solutions.