Being a homesteader is a terrific way to save money, live independently, and improve your health, whether you’re prepared for a huge survival event or you just want to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
But if you’re unprepared for them, life off the grid can also bring along some challenging circumstances. Most individuals just prepare for a grid-down situation by making sure they have a generator and some food on hand.
You need to acquire a lot of little skills if you want to be self-sufficient, such as how to manufacture your own soaps and cleansers, how to mend or sew clothing, how to set up irrigation systems for your property, how to work with wood, and many other things.
If you want to be fully prepared for a prolonged event without electricity, you need to learn and practice these abilities rather than just ordering them and keeping them on hand.
The information provided here will give you a head start on what you need to know to broaden your knowledge and learn the empowering abilities that may be passed down from generation to generation if you’re committed to the idea of homesteading.
Although it won’t happen quickly, doing this will improve your capacity to handle shortages and issues with ease and make you more resistant to whatever is happening in the world that is beyond your control.
When you live off the grid, you rely on your own resources to provide for your needs, including food, water, shelter, heat, and energy. You don’t depend on the neighborhood electric utility to keep the lights on.
This is crucial for a range of scenarios, from minor and brief weather grid outages to massive disasters that we can all only hope to escape. It’s time to put that daily life into reality on a property that is self-sufficient once you’re ready to relocate so you can live off the grid.
1. Choose an Appropriate Location for Off-Grid Living
It’s important to consider where you want to live off the grid. You must have a home that is easily capable of supporting your way of life. That means if you want to raise animals like chickens, cows, horses, etc., you’ll need enough acreage to support livestock.
Although you don’t need a lot of land, you might want to look for plots with at least 2-3 acres if you want to be totally self-sufficient. Ideal ones should have their own water source and be situated where you can use solar or wind energy.
When selecting a place, you must also take unexpected factors into account. For instance, if a family member is ill, you will require access to medical care more quickly than a healthy person.
If there isn’t a shelter existing on the ground when you get to your destination, you’ll need to construct one. You can have a house built that is designed for solar power and includes other green adaptations to help you live off the grid.
2. Take waste disposal into account
Living off the grid requires you to consider two categories of trash: household waste and individual requirements. Living off the grid allows you to use the restroom, flush, and never worry about waste unless there is an issue with your toilet or sewer system, of course.
However, if you choose to live off the grid, you will have to organize your own garbage disposal because you won’t be dependent on any municipal services. You have a number of options to consider.
Utilizing a composting toilet is one practice that is common among homesteaders.
Additionally, you can put in your own septic system. Make sure you don’t have an excessive amount of domestic rubbish. This implies recycling and avoiding plastic use. Your kitchen leftovers should be composted.
This is excellent for providing your garden with rich nutrients, which will also be helpful if the power goes out and grocery stores are left with few if any, options for supplying people with food.
3. Avoid Dependency on One Power Source
People who don’t live off the grid won’t be able to utilize any of their electrical devices or appliances if the electricity grid goes down. They have only used one power source, so when it fails, they are at the mercy of the circumstances.
Don’t act that way. Some people make the decision to homestead and then select a renewable energy source, like solar electricity. Although this is a fantastic energy source, it is not faultless. The quantity of solar power you have depends on a number of factors.
You should have a backup plan in place in case the power source fails or you find that you require more power than you anticipated. A wind power system is one of your options for a backup power supply.
In addition to solar power, this can be used to generate the electricity your homestead requires. When you live off the grid, you have to rely on yourself if there is a power outage, therefore you need to make sure you are prepared for that.
Consider your heat source as well. Many people who live off the grid heat their homes using wood furnaces. Consider options for each area where you now use energy.
It may be a solar oven, a gas or solar generator—though availability may vary at any given time—or even wind or natural irrigation for your garden, among other things. It requires some preparation, but in the end, you won’t need an electric business to survive.
4. Think About Your Communication Techniques
You should examine the cost, the method’s durability, and how effective it is while looking at non-grid communication techniques. You don’t want to be in a position where you need to talk to someone on your property or elsewhere but are unable to do so.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a fantastic way to stay in touch with friends, family, and coworkers when off the grid. A VPN such as the Surf Shark VPN, gives your device’s internet connection an extra layer of security, protecting the security of your online activities.
When you use a VPN to access the internet, all of your internet traffic is sent through an encrypted tunnel, making it harder for anyone to listen or snoop on your online activities. Your internet connection is secure and private because of its encryption, which makes it ideal for preventing cybercrime and thwarting hackers.
One of the main advantages of using a VPN is the ability to safely and remotely access movies, entertainment, information, and programs. You can use a VPN to gain access to the intranet or private network of your business from any location in the world.
You may also get around internet censorship and geo-restrictions with the help of a Surf Shark VPN. In some places, access to specific websites or services could be restricted. By utilizing a VPN to connect to a server in another area, you can gain unfettered access to those websites or services.
If you’ve decided against using a cell phone, have a satellite phone. If your family is dispersed around your land, walkie-talkies can be used to communicate with them. A ham radio can be used for communication purposes as well.
A CB radio can be used for communication purposes as well. Use solar-powered or hand-cranked radios that enable you to listen to survival news if that’s all you need to do.
5. Have a Reliable Source of Water
Many people depend on their power provider to provide them with water in their houses. However, if you want to be independent of that, you might need to have a well dug on your land.
If you have a pump, you’ll need a way to power it because pumps require energy to operate; otherwise, you may use something like a sleeve bucket. If you reside in a region with mountainous terrain and a tiny waterfall, you can use that instead of drawing water from a source like a creek.
All you need to do is make sure the water is cleaned up. Another recommendation that you should go by when living off the grid is collecting rainwater. Rain barrels and other containers are good for collecting rainwater.
This water can be used for drinking and cooking if it has been decontaminated, as well as for bathing, washing clothes, and watering gardens and cattle. It is simple to store away things that won’t take up much space to purify the water you require.
6. Your Own Fruits and Vegetables Can Be Grown or Produced
While grocery shopping is quick, it is also expensive and the food you receive is not necessarily of the highest quality. Aside from those perennial concerns, you run the very real risk of losing the convenience of grocery store food supply if the grid goes down.
This enables you to be self-sufficient so that you won’t have to worry about feeding your family or yourself if the grocery stores are unable to meet the demand for food.
Grow produce such as fruits, vegetables, potatoes, maize, carrots, tomatoes, and beans.
But you should also produce your own herbs, such as parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and others, for flavor and health. If you don’t already know how to preserve food or dry herbs, you should get some training so you can stock your pantry with these goods.
7. Make a plan for food storage for the winter.
Of course, throughout the winter you won’t be able to plant certain crops in your garden. However, since you still wish to be self-sufficient, you’ll need a method of supplying food.
The best way to accomplish that is to set away the food you’ll need to consume if you can’t cultivate it. Make a plan for how much food you will need to survive the winter.
Each member of your family must be counted, and then a small amount should be added in case you require more. You might want some self-heating foods, like MREs (meals ready to eat), during a grid-down situation.
Make sure you have enough fuel, charcoal, and other cooking tools on hand to cook and reheat the food you’ve stored. Warm meals will comfort you in a serious situation in addition to satisfying your hunger.
8. Possess the necessary tools for food preparation
Many people who live off the grid adopt a minimalist lifestyle as one of their lifestyle choices. While not being burdened by possessing a lot of possessions is a wonderful thing, there are some resources you must make sure you have.
If you don’t have the right tools, you won’t be able to prepare or store the food supply you’ll need. You’ll require supplies for the fermenting process. Larger pots than you would typically use for everyday cooking are required; cast iron is preferred so that you may cook over an open flame.
You must have a method for freezing or canning the food. You’ll need a method to dehydrate the foods naturally without using an electronic device if you want to manufacture dry food products.
Early planning is not sufficient before going off the grid. With an off-grid farm, you will need to continue learning how to accomplish these things for years to come. It’s important to be able to safely prepare food for long-term preservation, which involves the tools and ingredients for cooking as well as the packing to protect it from pests or bacteria.
9. Learn About Natural Plant Life
Knowing the flora in the area of your farm is essential if you’re going off the grid. Numerous plants that grow in the wild can be utilized as food or as herbal treatments for various illnesses.
However, you shouldn’t just wing it because many plants can be fatal or have unpleasant side effects when consumed. Learn what something is and how to use it before using it.
What you need to know can be taught to you through books and classes. To learn what is edible or useful for health, you may even employ a guide in the region where your homestead will be situated.
Even better, you can cultivate these plants on your land as part of a covert survival garden to keep them hidden from curious eyes. They will just see it as wild vegetation, but you and your family will know that it is a valuable source of nourishment and wellness.
10. Raise Animals
You can grow a lot of fruits and veggies if you have a garden. When it comes to your meat source, you’ll want to either hunt meat or raise cattle, however, you can cultivate some that provide you protein.
Hunting is not always successful. You might be able to bring meat in occasionally, but if you don’t and don’t already have a supply, you have to do without. Therefore, raising your own meat is a good idea.
Both raising cows and raising pigs for meat are options. You can also obtain fresh milk from cows. Both the meat and the eggs from chickens can be used. You can acquire milk and meat from goats if you raise them.
Not just for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but throughout the year as well, turkeys can be kept and used for meat. Ducks, lambs, and/or rabbits are also raised for meat by some people who live off the grid.
When raising animals, be sure to educate yourself on how to care for them appropriately. You want to be able to make sure they are healthy, and they need a lot of space and fresh supplies.
11. Use only natural cleaning products.
When going off the grid, you should swap out your regular items for more natural ones. Detergent, dishwashing soap, and cleaning supplies shouldn’t be purchased the same way you would before deciding to live off the grid.
You must be able to create your own cleaning supplies if you wish to be self-sufficient. There are several natural cleaning products that work just as well as those you might buy at the grocery store.
Lemons, for instance, can be grown and used to clean a variety of items. A bathtub can be cleaned of soap scum with this fruit. But mirror cleaning is another application for it.
Lemon may be used to clean every surface in your bathroom, including the toilet. Lemon juice has antibacterial qualities that successfully eradicate some microorganisms and stop bacterial development. Lemons can whiten stains if you use them to clean your kitchen countertops.
Clothes can be cleaned, scented, and made whiter by using baking soda. Even your outside grill and the shower may be cleaned with it. And you can clean your teeth with baking soda.
Additionally, vinegar is frequently used as a cleaning agent. You may learn to utilize lye to produce your own soaps when you live off the grid, and you can even give them a natural aroma like lavender.
12. Set aside funds for savings
When it comes to homesteading, this advice may seem odd, but it’s a mistake not to save or make money when you’re off the grid. You had living expenditures before you started homesteading.
When you live off the grid, those costs may be greater than you anticipate if you need to make repairs. Septic system repairs, for instance, can be exceedingly expensive. If you use a woodstove or wood furnace, you might need to use more firewood than you think, which can be expensive.
When it comes time to use the livestock for meat, you will have to pay the butcher’s fee if you don’t do it yourself. If you raise cattle, you will also have to pay for veterinarian care.
A cow that is being prepared for your meat supply can run you several hundred bucks. When using machinery like a tractor, it might be costly to fix or replace if it breaks down.
Therefore, you can save for these difficulties instead with the money you save by paying for your electricity, water, and sewer. Make sure you have several trustworthy connections for these issues as well so that you are not stranded in a crisis.
13. Get and Maintain Physical Fitness
Living off the grid involves more physical activity than living on it. The comforts you enjoy now won’t be available to you anymore. You’ll also have to perform tasks that you’re not accustomed to.
You might be carrying wood into and out of the cabin, for instance.
Laundry may be wrung out and hung outside on a line. You can be caring for piglets, collecting eggs, or milking a cow. If you’re not physically fit, you run the danger of getting hurt and starting out completely worn out.
For instance, those who lack the physical fitness to live off the grid sometimes suffer with arm and back strength. Before you make the final transition to an off-grid farm, you might wish to start strength training and adopt a regular cardio routine.
14. Study Up Before You Jump
Learn how to do something if you don’t already know how to do it to avoid making costly blunders that are frequently made. For instance, some people construct a chicken coop without considering the appropriate size.
They lose a portion of their flock since they don’t know how to construct a structure to keep predators away from the chickens. Make sure you are aware of all the requirements before beginning any project on your farm.
Spending time learning upfront is preferable to trying to correct errors later. Consider durability first and foremost because these goods should last you a long time rather than just concentrating on cost-saving or acquiring supplies quickly.
15. Understanding First Aid Is Essential
If you live off the grid, you might be too distant from a doctor. You must understand the fundamentals of first aid instruction. This implies that you should be familiar with how to splint a fractured bone and how to treat both minor and major injuries.
In the event of a major emergency, you must be able to do CPR and other life-saving techniques. You should have plenty of supplies on hand to handle anything from a small cut to a major surgical crisis.
Invest in literature you can learn from and have on hand in case the grid goes down and hospitals and physicians’ offices are unable to treat patients. Spend time mastering these survival techniques.
Make sure that everyone in your household is trained in these off-grid first aid techniques. Your adolescent child might be the only person who can assist you if you’re out in the field taking care of a fence or a cow and you’re in need of assistance.
16. Have the appropriate tools on hand
Keep a supply of frequently used tools on hand all across your homestead. This includes tools like an ax for chopping firewood or felling small trees. Additionally, you should make sure you have hoes, a wheelbarrow, a post-hole digger, screwdrivers, wrenches, a multi-purpose knife, and equipment for mending fences.
If you have any electric tools, such as drills, you should swap them out for manual instruments. Also, learn how to utilize them responsibly. Don’t forget to include items that will prolong the life of the instruments, such as lubricants or sharpeners to maintain them in good condition.
17. A local homestead support group can be joined.
It can be quite helpful to have individuals you can ask questions of and get answers from. If you want to start beekeeping on your farm, you might want to connect with someone who can show you exactly how to put it up.
But establishing a homestead support group can also be a terrific method to exchange goods as well as ideas and information. You could, for instance, decide you don’t need all the eggs your hens lay and swap them for something else from another homesteader.
In order to have safety in numbers and resources to rely on, many homesteaders establish communities and purchase properties near to one another. Furthermore, you can exchange knowledge with one another.