Prepping Basics

How to Live Off The Grid: the Secrets of Living with No Money

Alone in the wild
Andrew McKay
Written by Andrew McKay

In the luxurious reality of today, living off-the grid might sound like a true scene of apocalypse, but the beauty of its self-sustenance makes one connect more with nature and natural living or perhaps just, living. Society, its inventions and discoveries have proved to handicap us more into dependency rather than enlightening us to use the same genius to be independent. Living off the grid refers to living without any dependence on the government, society and its products.

For knowing how to live off the grid, one should be aware of being independent. Truly, we are mortals and hence are dependent on air, water and food as well as shelter, but does all these have to come at a cost of a 9-5 job or the bonus insomnia that comes with it, let alone endless stress?

Living off the grid calls out to live a life sans any employment under anybody so that you work hard to eat what you need and sustain yourself, on your own. In this case, all the time in the world belongs to your dreams, hopes and interests.

What does living off the grid mean?

In our post-progressive era, we have too many definitions for anything and everything that living itself has branched out into the very antonyms that it should not be. Centuries ago, every family sustained on its own as that was the grid.

The term off-grid refers to being, rid of any dependency for existence. Literally put, it means anyone living off the grid of government provided electricity. In brief, it refers to families that survive on their own without depending on the society, government or public for any means of survival.

Going it alone infographic

This is a cloud term to include that independent house, which has its own endless supply of water, electricity, gas, food and fabric. During an apocalyptic situation, such a house or family has no fluctuations in its energy supply, food or fabric production.

To make your own unlimited electricity, fuel, water and food requires a long stretch of productive hard work. In the course of time, man has started to misinterpret the purpose of life with getting employment or doing a job.

To be a cogwheel under another’s bums is what the world preaches each one to be alive, healthy. A steady 5-day week for 50 years and your insurances insure you to be cleverly, packaged before rotting! That, perhaps is the gist of such a life lived being dependent on someone else.

Man living off grid with no money

True knowledge is free and true living comes without any shackles of knowledge, but with its omnipotence. Living off the grid follows an amalgam of the aforementioned philosophies is concise brief of what living off the grid sans any money means. Along with barter system, when you live off the grid, you tend to make enough money for any emergency you might have.

With having a land on your own, backyard garden and computer in the garage, living-off the grid and making unnecessary few bucks en route is truly the right route to take. In order to understand how to live on your own, start with doing what you love the most.

Philosophy of living off the grid with no money

Re-wild is not just a fancy word but also an opportunity to resurrect our wild instincts and be one with the wild, which is the purpose of our life. Some philosophies of this lifestyle are

Everything in the world is free

For anyone who truly lives off the grid, the world is filled with freebies. If you are free, you will realize that to gain anything you will not need anything else.

Living of the grid infographic

True freedom makes you see the whole world as opportunities or gift-wrap spread all around. Only the truly free can sense the free goodies that are all around us. In addition, the best things are free in the world.

Avoid wastage absolutely

The first lesson to engrave in your head if you want to continue living off the grid and not just a tiny bit of vacationing is that you must understand all wastage as a sin or crime. Avoid all wastage. Wastage of food, water, fuel and money should be, mandatorily avoided. Buy that which is necessary to your existence. Everything that is dependent on your whims and fancies should be, strictly prohibited.

Each time you waste something it makes a cut from your chunk of peace in the future. Buying things because it rejoices your mood is not an excuse to spend money. Saving is your golden rule of existence. With wastage comes greed. When you do not waste, you attain satiation or lack of all greed.

Adhere to doing, only the things that you really want, with your time

Time is endless, infinite and lost. When you start living off the grid, this becomes an effect of your lifestyle. Time that you willingly and mindfully spend will be on a handful of chores, as you no longer have all the responsibilities and drudgery of being part of the gigantic world that ours is.

Living off grid

With lack of responsibilities to trigger your daily routines, you gradually start to avoid all unnecessary wastage of time. En route, you will start to nurture yourself and be mindful about your potential skills. This way, your days will be, filled with just the things you really want. There shall be no halt to support that and you will live free. Time spent in real happiness is much sweeter than elixir itself.

Communal anarchist life

This is a way of living-off grid in a group like Ayn Rand’s group of intellectual real people in her book Atlas Shrugged. This communal taste of anarchy sustains itself on a barter system with each other, where the community as a whole can sustain itself, and lesser effectively when as an individual.

Here, the community grows its own energy, food, fuel and fabric to sustain the entire populous. Nothing is externally, bought and everything is acquired through an internal barter system that fuels their own interests or skills on the side. A communal anarchist life does not compromise on growing its own fuel for sustenance unlike a capitalist society, where everything is in disarray or chaos.

Don’t make your life just about the hunger games

Nowadays, many people tend to consider life as the survivalist rant of a runt! Living is not equivalent to surviving. People pride upon claiming themselves to be survivors, which is great. Although, when the same people start to advocate that life is all about survival and that too, of the fittest, the message turns negative or toxic. Life is about living.

Living in the wild with no money

There is no competition in life. There is, you; there is the universe; nature and everything around you. So, stop surviving so that you can delight yourself of starting to live!

Wake up with sun and go to bed when it sets

That is right. Learn to live without the artificial light. One strong stunning factor to amateur living off-the grid people is the difficult of having own electricity. Well the best solution to it is, want no electricity. Do with solar energy and sleep when it is dark. In the breezy twilight and nightfall, you will find much in the nature that will lull you to sleep!

Who lives off the grid?

En route to measuring the practicality of living of the grid, you might wonder who is it actually that lives off the grid. It is true that all it takes is the sparkle of a slightly strong will to make you plunge into living off the grid as well, but how many people do it anyway?

As of a survey that was conducted two years back, 1.7 billion people all over the globe are living off the grid. Out of which, 180,000 people are from the United States of America. Being off-the grid refers to the refusal of partaking in public utilities to be self-sufficient. So who are these people anyway? Following are some people all around the world who live-off grid happily.

Josh* (name changed for privacy)

Josh is renowned in the papers for his notorious escapade from credit card loans. These days, many people have actually made off with disappearing into the wild. It is not strange that since recent years you have felt a strange reason to isolate yourself from the bustling noise of humanity and its township.

Josh never paid his credit card loans, and opted to disappear out into the wild, off the grid. His story has a high criminal taste to the living, but it emphasizes the proof of the power of your anonymity or private firewall.

It is not difficult for someone to erase their identity and sustain a beautiful and happy life on their own, today. Josh has a cabin in the words where no one comes. He has a few cabins on his land in the city where tourists come and go. The revenue pays off to keep his caretaker happy and shut. Josh never visits the city. He confesses that he has never felt to visit it, once in his two-decade long life of being an outcast.

Island Community Lasqueti

The second most noteworthy people who live off the grid are the 400 residents on the little island of Lasqueti. People live here, sustaining their life, fishing, hunting, camping and living on their own. The island is not crowded and residents live in peace and harmony with each other.

Island Community Lasqueti house

This is not a communal anarchist society as every individual can sustain himself or herself and is not dependent on each other. However, for heavy tasks or living safe in the wild, people aid each other.

The little island has many ex-townies who have evolved into the peace and calm of living in the wild, blissfully sans any complaint. There are many families on the island, one infamous for its St. Bernard Breeder tag! The island is definitely a place to check out if you are interested in practical way of living off the grid, that too, on a larger scale.

How to live off the grid when you have no money

Not as easy it sounds, living off the grid requires much hard work and genius to be successful infinitely. Following combines a list of necessities, techniques and practices you must be aware of in order to start living off the grid.

Water

The first and the foremost thing to check for when locating a plot to live off the grid, is water. Availability of water on your own land gives you the independence from municipal or government facilities of the base requirement human existence, water. Having a location where you have a couple of endless orifices underground will serve as the best wells.

When you cut down your dependence of water use from the public, sustenance is halfway complete. One must assure that the plot has good water for drinking, washing, bathing and cleansing during all seasons.

If not, you must locate a source that can provide you water during the summer or high winter. However, to make sure you get drinkable water, you should invest in a water purifier for the entire family – check prices here.

You can also learn how to make your own water filter with things you can easily find in the wild. If you’re interested, read our article on how to make a water filter.

Off grid water

Energy

The next big thing in living off the grid is what energy or fuel do you need to sustain yourself healthy as well as safe. The basic options for your ingenious energy produce can be through water, wind or solar.

Many of the off-the-grid state of the art houses are equipped with luxurious fridges and fancy blenders, all run on their expensive and efficient solar power. However, solar power is also easy to make with the help of a small solar panel.

You can create fuel as biogas as well. One can create sufficient energy without relying on the public or government today. Cutting the dependence of energy, one becomes almost free. Check out our friends research for the best solar portable charger options. They found best products on today’s market for you.

We also have some in-depth reviews of the best products on the market that may be worth a small investment before you go off the grid. Take a look at our reviews in the best portable solar panel article.

Apart from that, the golden rule to save on lighting is not to have any light. Work during the day and sleep during the night.

Initial needs and investment

Initial transformation of moving off the grid relies on your investments. If you have money enough to buy sturdy and strong equipments for your stay in the wild, it will give you more throttles on your long path to peace.

Some things to invest are location, set-ups, maintenance, construction, repair and installation as well as raw material for each. You must invest in strong portable beds (check prices here), cabins and durable electronic good that can be multi-purpose.

Wastage is a crime and one must always see multitudes of profits with each item that one decides to invest on. Make a checklist of everything you will need in the start so that you have a solid idea of making the complete transformation living off the resources you cultivate. To ripen those tomatoes, it sure will take some time. So take the leap confidently!

Waste disposal

One of the best results of living off the grid is becoming one with the nature. En route such a lifestyle you cultivate a way of preserving and conserving the nature around you. In every way, the lifestyle promotes Going Green or Being Environmental, on a whole-scale.

With you, starting to live off the grid where there are no streetlights or municipal dust bins ‘round the corner, you must method a good waste disposal and management system. Along with the construction of septic tank and other drainage for your bathroom, you must also construct a good compost pit that helps you convert some part of the burning into fuel or energy.

If you have an improper waste disposal, there are high chances that you will catch infectious diseases and sickness quite soon. A consistent and durable waste disposal is vital to your sustenance while living off the grid which is why we have a well-documented tutorial on how to build your own outhouse that we invite you to check out.

Green life

Seasonal needs

With every change in the season, your own demand for water and other necessities change. When you are starting anew, it is impossible to be ready for all drastic changes in the climate.

Some essential seasonal needs include the winter wear (check out this jacket, great for when the weather gets cold), sunscreen lotions, raincoats, umbrella, muffler, cap, boots and accessories to suit each. You must also check in detail the availability of water in your area during all seasons.

Lifestyle changes

Another important practice prepping you for this grand feat is the willingness to accommodate and widen your eyes about life. Your life will undergo strictly drastic and overwhelming changes. It has proved to be effective on all people.

So, prepare to be aware that your life will have many turns and curves on its route. When you live wholly in the nature, as a part of it, the dimensions that will open up to you will be farther than any overdosed synthetic buzz.

Activities to do

Make sure you have the accessories you need to indulge and engage in the activities or hobbies that you dearly like. Missing out your chessboard is a sad thought after shifting into the Amazons. Then, you can very well make your own game plays, props and grids while in the wild.

Playing games off grid

Needs of communication

This is one of the strictly optional needs of, living off the grid. If you have near or dear ones wanted to be, updated about your whereabouts, you must keep a mailbox at your post office or keep a postal address. As living off the grid refers to be self-sustainable enough to be cut-off from the world, this is truly optional.

Since you can use the solar energy to charge your phone and other communication devices, it may be a good thing to keep an open line. Also, an emergency radio is a fantastic asset, so don’t hesitate to buy the best – you can read our reviews on best emergency radio to make an idea of the product you want.

Hospital and medical care

Another necessity to be, considered is your health. If you are a person who lives on a dozen tablet and regular health check-ups, the wild might truly be a wild option for you. If your passion is true, you pack up your medicines and proceed to the wild. In any case, you must have an idea about your nearest hospital as well as their number. Also, a complete first aid kit is absolutely necessary.

We also have a few in-depth reviews of the best first aid kit that can be found on the market so don’t hesitate to take a look.

Gardening and farming

A vital part of living off the grid is learning the art of gardening and farming. Everything that you call food, chicken, asparagus or poppy seeds, have to be, grown yourself, on your land. So, while you make the checklist for right investments, try getting the best strains of seeds of the vegetables, fruits and herbs that you wish to grow. You can learn about choosing the right seeds and storing them in our in-depth article that can be found here.

Farming is a natural talent that requires much skill and hard work. Fools say that work is in an office, because a farmer works the hardest and frolics much deeper than the office-goers. Farming is an experience from which you learn, gradually.

Cooking

Another skill that will determine your efficiency at being healthy and happy is your measure of culinary arts. If you can eat anything that does not bite back, you are in for the right game. Many a times when you live off the grid, you are, faced with mixed outcomes. You might have a feast for months and then it might just be drought and starvation for a few days.

You must know how to cook your food from any plant or meat. You must be skilled to cook healthy and nutritious food without wasting any of your farm produces.

Petting

Out in the wild, it does not take much time to realize the burden of heavy loneliness. Having something to keep you busy and working will get you sleep at night. But, to vent out your emotional needs, you need something to communicate with.

A faithful dog, a turtle, or rather any choice of pet is idea for this lifestyle. Thus, value of the pet upgrades onto companionship-level, almost instantly. In addition, the bond that grows between the pet and the master, in this case tends to be quite strong as well.

Petting in wild

Exploring

Also, when you are tired of being at one place for too long, pack up your bags and move again. Backpacking through places will help you find the ideal place for your stay. It also teaches you great knowledge and wisdom. However, for this, you will need a durable backpack to carry everything around.

Trading your skills or engaging in barter system

Doing only what you love is the best way to be content with your life off the grid. One way to engage into proper barter system is to offer your skills and talent to someone who can return something of benefit to you. Make sure you do not indulge in drudgery when you are engaging in barter system. The essence rests in sufficiency.

Be proud, independent and content by living the way you want

With the aforementioned, it is not quite difficult to start living off the grid with no money. If you have many of those wild skills, you might end up on a good start, but your wagon won’t run for long. It is essential to know your options and use them to the fullest when you are planning to live off the grid. There is no pause or shortcut. It’s the whole way ‘round or nothing?

So are you ready to live off the grid with no money?

About the Author
Andrew McKay
Andrew McKay

Andrew McKay is a seasoned hunter and fisherman from Anchorage, Alaska. Andrew thinks that he is the luckiest person in the world, as he lives in the most gorgeous place in United States and does what he loves to do. As a member of Alaska Professional Hunters Association and International Hunter Education Association, he is always looking for the ways to improve his skills and to teach people around him.

  • Kevin Smith

    I heard of this guy who lived in the caves of Arizona for two years until he got kicked out by park rangers who discovered his makeshift home accidentally. I think he is a great example that anybody with the proper know-how can live without depending on society. He showed that sustainable living is still achievable and technology is luxury. I admire that guy. I’m planning to follow in his steps soon.

  • Yap, there are many people out there who live like this. It’s a great way to actually see how many things we have around that can be of help.

  • Mike Miller

    Great information shared. It would really help the poor guys living on streets, and would be highly beneficial for the adventurer guys who try these sort of thing.

    • Andrew McKay

      Thanks for sharing your opinion, Mike. Anyone can live off the grid as long as he or she has the appropriate skills. This post is all about helping you learn such skills.

  • James Turner

    Reading this article reminded me of a novel “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. All the things described in the article are great. However, I would like to add that you should always move forward to your dreams no matter what, eventually, you would reach your destination.

    • Thank you for showing interest in our community

  • Jun V Lao (PaparazSea)

    really cool article man, I tried doing this but went back to corporate again, …but this lifestyle I can hack and enjoy, just have a few responsibilities, thanks for sharing

  • Andrew James

    I figure this would be difficult when you have a job to keep and a family to feed. But this would be ideal for retirees who are definitely done with society. Save money to buy land, build a cabin, learn gardening/hunting and the likes and you’ll have your perfect retirement.

  • Andrew McKay

    That’s true, Andrew, but living off the grid can be for anyone who has time in his or her hands to escape the chaos of urban life.

  • Andrew McKay

    We are glad we could help, you don’t have to be a dedicated mountain man to enjoy off-grid living.

  • QueenCersei

    Very interesting article and information. This lifestyle appeals to me greatly; though as a “somewhat” high-maintenance woman, I think I’d have some adjusting to do. lol Especially during those monthly times and having to wax haha Still, places like those homes in Taos New Mexico intrigue me and have pulled me in for years now. I’m so over “society” and our monetary system. I only hope by the time I have enough money saved, our country hasn’t imploded and I’m not ready. :( Scary thought.

    • Andrew McKay

      Hi Queen,
      It’s always good to be prepared, even if it is small BOB, and grow your emergency plan as your finances grow.

  • LordSnow

    Thank you for interesting and informative reading.
    It will be fantasticly intriguing to pursuit a lifestyle like this!

    So it begins!

    • Andrew McKay

      Even though the reasons vary from one individual to another, the experience is definitely interesting and memorable.

  • Jakes Jones

    Living off the grid seems to be a good way to enjoy the natural habitat. You need to prepare your mind to encounter the wild, live independently, and be free from the hustles and bustles of urban life. Learn how to live off the grid by ensuring the availability of water, energy, cooking gears, communication equipment, medical and first aid tools, and other essential kits. Can you really find peace and freedom by living off the grid when you have no money?

  • Andrew McKay

    You cannot possibly go off grid without a plan. Therefore, money will not always be a necessity, but what you have backpacked and the outdoor skills you possess are certainly crucial for survival.

  • Brian Mecum

    Hi, I’ve lived in the beautiful State of Alaska, and the winters are something to survive! However, the fall and the spring, along with the summer are more then words I can say! I was thinking on homesteading there, considering that I know the State and vegetation. On the other hand, Montana has all the same things, but no coastal cold front, still there’s something to be said with the ruggedness with the barren and desolate.

  • Andrew McKay

    There are certainly plenty of States that one can live off the grid, but I believe one has to be familiar with homesteading or anything to do with backcountry survival. There are always challenges that you will encounter, mostly to do with the terrain and Mother Nature.

  • John

    Doable> maybe; but one still needs something to start with; it cost money to live simple too.

  • Andrew McKay

    You are right, it is doable, but you will need to spend some cash in the preparations. Even though all that nature offers is free.

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