Before civilization became as advanced as it is today, virtually everyone lived “off-grid.” Living off-grid essentially means that you are living off the land and the natural elements and materials it has to offer. If you and your family decide to go off the grid and live away from urban civilization, you will need to take a number of necessary steps to prepare adequately. You will need to think about food, energy, water, and more. Here are five key steps to prepare your family for living off-grid.
Prepare a Food Supply
The first key step in preparing your family for living off-grid is getting a food supply together. Food is absolutely essential for living a healthy life. But when living off-grid, you don’t have the access to groceries that you do when you’re in urban areas. Therefore, you need to take the necessary steps to prepare a food supply for you and your family that will sustain all of you. Many people who live off-grid own livestock to provide meat, eggs, and milk for their families. Livestock also serves as a good resource to trade with other people living off-grid if needed. Planting gardens for vegetables, fruit, and other produce is also a fantastic option. You want to make sure that you are getting the proper nutrients from your food, so get a diverse range of plants to raise. Another option is to purchase long-term food supply kits that are premade and ready to use. No matter what route you take, you must make sure that your food supply is large enough to last and can continue sustaining your family long term.
Create a Shelter
Creating a shelter is the second vital step to take when preparing your family for off-grid living. Shelter is an essential element of living off the grid, as it protects you and keeps you warm and safe from hazardous weather. There are several housing and shelter options for off-grid living. You can choose to buy a home on a plot of land. Alternatively, you can build your own home with your own materials if you prefer. Many off-grid dwellers opt for less traditional shelters, such as yurts, RVs, or even shelters made out of shipping containers. You can use virtually any material you like to construct a living space for you and your family. Just make sure that your shelter can house all the people you are living with and effectively keep you safe and warm from the outside elements.
Find a Water Source
The third crucial step for living off-grid with your family is finding a water supply. An off-grid water source does not depend on a municipal water system or the electrical grid for you to use it. You can use a nearby body of water, a well, or a rainwater collection system for your water source. If you are using a body of water, you will ideally need a natural water source on the same property as your shelter to create your own water system. You can invest in a water pump to transport the water from its natural source to your home or shelter. You may need to treat the water to ensure that it’s safe for your family to drink as well. A well is another option for your off-grid water source. You can connect a supply line from your well to your shelter and use a submersible pump to push the water into a pressure tank inside your home. Collecting rainwater is yet another option when you need a water source. However, you will need to purify the rainwater, and this particular system can be less consistent and convenient since you have to wait for weather conditions to be right to use it.
Establish an Energy Source
Establishing an energy source is the fourth pivotal step for off-grid family living. If you wish to get the full off-grid experience, you can choose to go without an energy source altogether. However, you may find that having some source of energy is useful and necessary. Off-grid energy systems can allow you to significantly reduce your carbon footprint while using energy independent of the grid system that requires payment for electricity. One of the best ways to create your own power system is to go with renewable energy sources, such as wind and sunlight. For example, solar panels are an efficient option that generates energy using the rays of the sun. Wind turbines are another option that utilizes wind as your source of energy. It’s helpful to have a backup generator handy in case of emergencies as well. You will also want to keep a supply of batteries for flashlights, radios, and any other device that you may need.
Create a Waste Disposal System
The fifth critical step to prepare your family to live off-grid is creating a waste disposal system. Properly managing your family’s waste while living off-grid is crucial. The two main types of water waste are greywater and blackwater. Greywater is the water that comes from sinks, showers, and washing machines. The positive thing about greywater is that you can recycle it for other uses if you sanitize it and filter it effectively. Blackwater is the water that comes from toilets and dishwashers, and unfortunately, it is not safe to recycle or reuse due to the bacteria and pathogens present in it. There are several different ways you can dispose of waste, so you have options to choose what works best for you and your family. Many people invest in a septic tank for their property or even build their own. You can also use a compost toilet that does not require any water or plumbing to use. Whatever option you choose, make sure it is one that your whole family is comfortable using.
Now that you have five key steps to prepare your family for living off-grid, you can begin getting ready today. Follow these tips to ensure that you live off-grid with your family safely and sustainably. Choose the options that work best for you and your particular living situation.