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What Does Living Off The Grid Mean to You?

By: Everett S

Scene from Off The Grid - Life on the MesaOne thing I’ve noticed since starting this website is that there’s living off the grid and there’s Living Off The Grid.

What do I mean by that? To me, at least when I first started writing about off grid topics, to “live off the grid” simply meant to have a home that wasn’t connected to the electricity grid. In other words, to have a battery backed-up solar, hydro or wind power system. Then I learned about people who were getting electricity by charging batteries using a generator once a week. I thought that was hardcore, but then I heard from folks who didn’t even have a generator, and were cooking with wood, lighting with oil and doing, literally, everything by hand.

But there is yet another definition to living off the grid:
Being a ghost to the government. Living under the radar. Staying on the move. Being as free as free can get in today’s society. Dropping out of society. No taxes. No Job. Minding your own business and expecting the rest of the world to do the same.

While this lifestyle is a bit too hardcore for me at this point in my life, I admit that I’m fascinated with the idea, and respectful of the people who choose to do so. Despite their best efforts, however, many people who choose to live like this still have to put up with the government sticking its nose in their business, as was highlighted in the documentary Off The Grid: Life on the Mesa.

With so many people going to Google and finding our website by typing “Living Off the Grid” or “How to Live Off The Grid” and even “How to Live Off The Land” – it makes me wonder what the intent was behind each search. The only way to truly know is to ask. So, without further fanfare…

What Do The Words “Living Off The Grid” Mean to You Personally?

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Comments (180)

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  1. Dave says:

    I’ve always thought of “Living Off The Grid” as not needing public utilities at your house. Somehow you generate enough electricity for yourself and have a well for drinking water, etc… So there is no need to pay for or rely on those services.

    However… I am now a wind farmer so I have a completely different point of view on the phrase “Living Off The Grid”. To me this means producing way more electricity than I could ever use and selling it to the utility companies at a profit – enough to live on. Therefore – I am trying to make a “Living Off The Grid”.

  2. Michael says:

    I’m a twenty-one year old student in college and since I was in high-school I’ve wanted to live off the grid, or in other words, live off the fat of the land. I’ve always wanted to be self-relient and be more in tune with the natural world. My idea is to create a community off the grid where my family and friends could live together and enjoy a life free from our government. I know the gonvernment will always have it’s nose is my business, so maybe I’ll have to move to Canada or something where it is easier to do this. So, in my definition of “Living Off The Grid” I would say that I am completely self-relient and happy.

  3. Sean Dugan says:

    My idea of “Living Off the Grid” is a return to a local economy that has been destroyed by Big Box retailers and world-wide travel. If the economy continues down it’s current path, I may just get my wish. I would like to see an economy where the price to the environment is more reflective of the price tag the consumer sees. I think a lot of people have a delusion of living off their own sweat and work by themselves. This is not realistic. Humans are meant to live in groups and work together. We should use the existing infrastructure but not rely on it so much as we do today.

    I’d like to be able to buy more local produce and I’d like to know where the stuff I buy, that isn’t local, comes from. I’d like to grow whatever the land I live on grows best and use the excess for selling. I’d like to offer my other services and have a larger advertising voice then a company that is physically larger but further away.

    I want to produce most of the electricity I consume. I want the internet to be more “bottom-up” so it would be more robust and less susceptible to monitoring and control.

    I think a lot of these solutions are not just more environmentally-friendly, they are also more economical. I believe the economy has been artificially shifted by corporations having too much influence on our daily lives and the government. They have an unfair advantage over other businesses. I also think that a service such as Google maps tied to a cell phone could push these kind of more local ads and solutions that would make local businesses thrive. Of coarse, relying on another large company to solve our problems is not ideal…

  4. Isaac Wiegmann says:

    Living off the grid, is a different thing for everyone, and the last couple entries have made that clear. To me, off grid means both off the electrical and water grid as far as home use, but it also carries the idea of rather frugal and basic living. There’s nothing wrong with having some appliances, and I currently am fully hooked up to the grid, but have lived without electric or running water, and heated with a wood fire or a thick sweater. I do think that claiming “Off Grid” is difficult to do if you have a cell phone, light bulbs, and a car. All of those goods are produced very much “on the grid,” and I have a hard time calling anyone, but the hardcore mountain cabin folks “off grid.” It’s a very catchy phrase and I encourage any definition of “off grid” living to be implemented…every little bit helps

  5. Esmaa Self says:

    Wonderful, insightful and inspiring responses thus far. I think a certain part of off-the-grid living is mentally divorcing oneself from peer-pressure and follow-the-leader thinking. In this manner, I was perhaps born off the grid.

    I have lived absolutely off the grid –miles away from the last telephone and electricity pole– with with no modern convenience. We fished, we hunted, we gardened. These were some of the happiest years of my life.

    Right now I’m semi off the grid and moving toward self-sufficiency. We have no cell phone, no TV; grow, forage and barter much of our own food and live in a passive solar home. We are looking to add solar panels and a wind generator with the idea of producing and selling whatever excess energy those system create. (Shouldn’t be too hard, as our monthly energy bill is ~$65.)

    Still, because of Colorado water law and this property’s ineligibility for a well permit, we’ll be partly on the grid as long as we live here. But there’s just no hooking my brain to anybody’s grid.

  6. Janet Worn says:

    Yes, interesting responses and thank you for asking the question and providing the forum. My definition is self-sufficient and then some, as with the first responder. At a high elevation in Vermont, easily accessible but open and private, I designed and built a home that is fortified to the north and may low-e windows to south and east for significant supplemental passive solar. It currently uses propane (tank), is hooked to the grid, has potentials for productive solar panels for power and/or heating water and a wind turbine to produce income from excess power and possibly communications rental space on the tower. It is ten acres with no zoning, a well to a glacial lake, a spring, 3/5 ths woodlot, the rest both flat or sloped and wide open. An instate company is developing tinker-free wind turbine units to serve one (or more dwellings; sell the excess), for which the state is offering an incentive. It’s just a matter of time and some money to “leave (and feed) the grid”, a great option with the costs increase forcast for power. This “off the grid” situation gives self control of many needs where others will be totally at the mercy of “society”.

  7. I am working on a documentary tv series called My Last 24.
    The show features Canadians in the midst of major life changes.

    We are currently looking of canadians to interview who are contemplating ‘going off the grid’ some time in 2009.
    By off the grid, I mean leaving jobs, friends,& family to live completely off the land. I’d also be interested in speaking with people who are moving into off the grid communities with their families, or with people who are making similar life changes.

    If you know of anybody who may fit the bill – please forward them my email information –


  8. Julia says:

    My name is Julia. I’m working on finding a really great family to profile for a documentary series. A major American TV network is looking for dynamic families living “off the grid.”

    We’re looking for families (with teens between the ages of 15-20)
    who strongly believe in living a self-sufficient lifestyle and would be willing to share their beliefs and way of life.

    If you, or anyone you know, has an interesting family (with teenagers between the ages of 15-20) I would love to talk to you!

    Thank you so much! Feel free to contact me directly at:


  9. Jamey says:

    I currently have a farm in Indiana and have slowly (sometimes much slower than I wish) been shifting to understanding what really makes sense for living off the grid. For me it is a sense of freedom that americans have no clue even exists. While I admit my partner and I are very slow to cut-off our electric connection it is being looked at and will happen over time. Fir us here in the US it is more of being aware of the real options and freedoms those options can bring. I really feel society has its handcuffs and they are very tightly around our wrists but have been there so long we don’t mind. Where is a happy mix.

    I have learned more about being off the grid and the freedom and beauty it has while I am in Kenya- typically in the bush but even small towns are often left with no electric. While in the bush i live with little to no electric other than solar or wind and most use wood that has been trimmed from trees not killing the trees. There I am able to more cost effectively since I have little money learn and try how things work there. I do burn with propane sometimes.

    So too share why I came here because I am seeking how to move further off the grid while here in the US at my farm and while I am in Kenya near the Mara. To me the grid is much more than turning off the meeter but a way of thinking and being aware of our actions. trying things that we socially are told we need and learning we really don’t that they are a weight to hold our spirits back rather than free us in so many ways.

  10. Alex says:

    My goal is to disappear off the radar. Totally independent of the chaos and live free.

  11. […] story short, we bought the property. It isn’t “off grid” technically, but I’ve always said that living off the grid is more a state of mind than the literal interpretation of being […]

  12. DQ Carter says:

    Hello, to all ” Gridders”, my name is DQ, I work for a production company in NYC, we are currently putting together a national documentary series that discreetly showcases families, and individuals living ” Off The Grid”, we’d like to educate the public on how this is not an option for a few, but should be an option for everyone. We live in a day and age where we are so detached from community, we’re so plugged in. My company would like to take a glimpse into some of the lives of you all who have the courage to unplug yourselves from the Matrix, if your interested, or know anyone who lives ” Off The Grid” who might be interested please contact me @

  13. rose says:

    living off the grid means LIVING OFF THE GRID, I guess with solar power being more available and affordable this would pop up in must searches. For me though it means being undetectable. WE all would like to think our privacy is private, but it simple is not. When the foundation of our government is to attack it’s own country, start wars for no reason and expect us to elect and have faith in our voting system? Common now who are you kidding? Our fore fathers who founded this country i’m sure when writing the Constitution of the United States would ever dream our country would end up how it is today. Where is the HONOR!!!

  14. Yassine Et-Tahery says:

    To me ” Living-off the grid ” Is to be Absolutely self-relient Self-sufficient And Self-confident too living all alone with no Cell-phone No Adress No One & Nothing Can Find You

    That Is Slightly Its Meaning According To TERMINATOR 3 Rise Of The Machines

    And I Agree

  15. northern troy says:

    Well this is a great subject and good timing for me. I have been doing research for months to educate myself on living off the grid. i had to think about what that means to me… no pubilic utilities no mortgage minimal restrictions. Finding the right place that is solar friendly (lots of sun) available resources ie. lumber,water sources,lack of people,services i want,and must be very cheap. there are several locations that fit the bill, however restrictions vary greatly. i have been in contact with local people, county permit offices, tax assessors,local services people. so far the san luis valley of southern colorado is the most friendly. the only catch is buying the right property, not all parcels for sale will qualify for a well permit. minimum acreage is usually 35 to get a permit. however there are some exceptions, and alternatives. there is a local service that will deliver 3000 gal water for $120 if your careful this could last a long time. the reason i was given for the min. acreage of 35 is to keep the old west character of the landscape and minimize waste to natural resources. basically they dont want alot of people there. also the prices vary greatly. on ebay you can buy 5 acre parcels for about 5k but if you get near trees or water it goes up fast. most of the property in this area is old range land, just brush or sparse grass. however the mountains are beautiful and over 300 days of sun a year. the weather isnt for everybody though, the summer days are great and the nites are cool 40-50. the winter is a different story. usually above freezing during the day but single digits to below 0 at nite. not much snow in the valley either, guess that adds to the cold?? the property i purchased is 40 acres and not far off a main hwy. however i am going total solar, with a backup system. i am designing the system myself for the fact that retail solar is still not real cheap. its easy to spend 10-20k for a larger system. so ive done a lot of math and computing to decrease my needs to a level i can afford without breaking the bank. i will supply my lites and frige with solar and run my washer and dryer off propane and a propane generator ($300 on ebay) i have also decided to go with a smaller water heater and suppliment with water i heat on the wood stove. summertime ill have a tank outside painted black wrapped with bubble wrap to increase heat and it should be plenty warm to shower with in the afternoon. i will be installing a compost septic that i will incinerate when dry. i have enough land to plant numerous veggys, and i will raise chickens and rabbits. there’s also a local rancher to buy organic beef. this lifestyle requires changing many ways you do basic things, but its just a matter of adjustment. there are many resources on the net to make this change easier if your not educated in this type of living. its not for everyone. if you like simple pleasures and convienances and are not willing to change what you do it wont work just keep dreaming about it and enjoy that. its alot more work but it could be very rewarding especially if your handy. oh ya cant forget about the rattlesnakes.. a friend of mine has been living in this area for 3 years so far hes had to kill 6 rattlers, 1 of which was in his house. so you need education in this area also. and if you raise any livestock you will have predators to deal with. falcons eagles coyotes and the like. they will take your chickens and small pets, wouldnt recommend shiz zu size dogs or cats you let outside. the birds will take them. so i will be ready to start constructing my place soon, so its ready before winter. this area has a lot to do for the outdoor person, but if you like to shop better do it online or drive 2 hours to a large city. internet and sat tv is available. if you cant live without electric you can get it if your willing to pay for it. a guy by my friends place just paid 85k to run power lines 2 miles to his place. guess he can afford it. not me… i am constantly educating myself about new tech for this lifestyle. the reason im choosing to do this is simple. ive had enough of this so called chasing the american dream. it existed when i was growing up but these days things have changed so much that its coming down to survival. there are so many more people now and the worlds economy is all connected. i feel this country is losing itself due to some peoples greed and desire for power. glad im not 1 of them. i want to go back to basics mostly. think 1800’s but with a few 21st century perks. i dont want a mortgage im tired of hi and rising utility bills and property taxes, wages are going down in buying power(have you been to the grocery store lately) ive just had all i can take of this rat race and im getting out as far as my abilities will let me. well thanks for the time hope maybe this helps someone take care troy.

  16. Naomi says:

    Why i googled this site: plain and simple, i’m doing a paper on “living off the grid” for a class at the university of Toronto, called, “Green work, wealth and community development”. I’m looking at what alternative energy sources people use and if it possible to even go “off the grid” energy or water wise in an urban or suburban setting. Quite frankly to me, “off the grid” meant no utility bills and self-sustaining homes, not necessarily not existing with out being a blip on anyone’s radar or living in seclusion or a “pioneer” lifestyle. I’m looking the modern “off the grid” practices.

    If anyone has any further insights to applicability to a more urban setting, please comment.


  17. osprey says:

    completely removing your self from knowledge of existence. with only the necessity equipment and a few dollars, a good knife, and a pistol for hunting if your lucky to have a pistol. plus we had a resent ice storm that majorly crippled everything so hey that was okay.

  18. Diann says:

    I, like Naomi, who commented above, do not wish to disappear from society. I need, and want, the companionship of other human beings. I would lose all ability to function, at all, if I was alone in the wilderness, with nothing but the wind and the trees and the wild animals all around. What I am seeking is peace, and harmony with all of life. That can never be accomplished when there is waste and greed. Everyone has the right to be comfortable and have their basic needs met. Everyone is of value. If we are using our technology to make the most of the available resources in whatever area we live, and if we are educating and assisting others to do the same, then I believe we can have a world at peace, and will never have to deal again, with the absolutely horrible consequences of famine and war. Can we accomplish this? I believe we can, but it has to come from each individual, and not from the government, or any large corporation. Major changes have always been made by ordinary individuals who have bonded with others and said, “We’ve had enough. We won’t do it this way anymore. There is a better way, and we will take that path, and we will start now.” This world can be, and is, such a beautiful place. I came here looking for Hope, and I found it in the intelligent and thoughtful comments of all of You. Blessings and Peace to All of You. May we All somehow find the Strength and Courage to continue along the course we know is Right. It won’t be easy. It’s never easy.

  19. Lyle Gentry says:

    I’m a little different than most who have been posting here. I really have no desire to drop out of society or give up life’s luxuries (TV, Internet, Telephone, etc..).

    To me being “off the grid” means being as self-sufficent as possible and not being at the whims of a utility company. If I could generate and store my own electricity through the use of wind, solar or even a gas-fired micro-turbine generator and have plenty of electricty on tap even while all the lights are out in my neighborhood because the grid is down I would consider that a success. Having my own water/sewage system would be an additional bonus.

    It’s all about not being at the mercy of the grid for me. Especially in these days of increasingly violent weather and the threat of terrorism being tied to any type of grid can leave one extremely vulnerable.

  20. thomas says:

    tent or tipi in the middle of the woods. gun and fishing gear. Oh and learning how to make beer. =o)> plan to soon with 2 friends. maybe a little prospecting. But i guess it would have to be on government land and we would have to move around a little. I dont think you can erect a permanent shelter on government land, though that may vary by state.

  21. Oldskool says:

    I’ll add in another consideration. No property taxes. There are such places. I have plans to buy some remote land, hopefully 20 acres or more (dont want to give away location) with much timber. Then build a cabin off the land. Use wood for cooking and heat. Hunt and fish for some food. Grow garden, can food, have cellar, and later on maybe even a green house, and have natural spring for good water. Have enough supplies and food in the beginning to get started and then hopefully later have the skills and system down to replenish off the land. Hope to be away from roads, with only access by atv or boat or hiking. Might also consider solar, wind, or hydro power for some appliances, indoor plumbing, etc. But thats not a must. Anyway, I believe there is going to be a day in the near future when major problems, like shortages on electricity, oil, and fuel, and problems with water and food sanitation, desease, etc. And ofcourse just being out with nature, away from hoards of people and noise will be nice, and healthier. It won’t be easy, especially at first. But you can bet I’ll be enjoying life much more than I do now.

  22. mark says:

    You said it best… Being a ghost to the government. Living under the radar. Staying on the move. Being as free as free can get in today’s society. Dropping out of society. No taxes. No Job. Minding your own business and expecting the rest of the world to do the same.

    Hey Rose, our forefathers founded this nation on lies and broken treaties! They didn’t “found” the country, they invaded it and stole it and raped it… and are still doing it!

    As for all the hunters out there… I have found the best way to go off the grid is to become a vegetarian RV nomad. I’ve been meat free since 1995 and am tons healthier than I was back in my younger day, plus, I don’t have to worry about hunting and skinning and all that mess. I’m a lazy bastard and truth is, that’s just too much work. As an RV nomad, weather isn’t a problem either. I winter down south, summer in the rockies, and stay one step ahead of big brother!

  23. white says:

    it means being a loser hippie who probably sells weed or acid, makes income but does not report it, engages in petty theft, contributes nothing to society, and if they have kids, abuses them by keeping them unsocialized and uneducated, not to mention unvaccinated. i know the type, and they are losers of epic proportions.

  24. I feel sorry for people like Mr. White. I wonder if he behaves like that offline. If so, I’m surprised he’s still able to type; I’d think someone would have gotten sick of listening to his know-it-all stereotyping and broken all of his fingers already.

  25. To me it means trying to live a simple life
    where i take control over the power i produce from renewables

    peace and light

  26. It’s the way of the future,because history repeats itself!

  27. Laura says:

    1) LEarn to make/shoot bow and arrow. 2) learn to hunt/skin/make fire without matches/ cook,/gut/preserve left overs 3) how to make shelter out of natural resources/how to sew clothes from animal skin-what to use as thread? sinew? 4) learn how to make beads/paint/boots 5) what leaves make good “rags” for period/toilet paper/how to make a rag 6) would i use water purifying tablets? 7) animal bite remedies/transportation long distances/would i own a horse and cattle? 8) can i really use wood ash instead of soap? how?

    the list goes on. I want to live like a native american in the san luis valley. i need a tribe.

  28. nancy ohlsen says:


    My goal in 10-15 years is totally living in a sod home, no electricity, no gas, no phone lines. I want to have 1 cow, 2 horses, 2 goats, chickens and a rooster, and 2 pigs. I plan on having my own HUGE garden to substain me for veg. and of course plant feed for the animals. I am a country girl and know how to milk cows, make cheese,butter,can veg., and smoke and salt meat, also, I am a hunter and was a butcher for 5 years. I need alot of suggestions on how to get started and would like to find people who are doing this visit and see how it is actually done.

  29. john says:

    Northern Troy, good insights – thank you. I have had my eyes on this area and unfortunately, its just like you wrote: most affordable land is just flat sagebrush. But I want to pay cash and have no monthly payments. So 5 to 35 acres of sagebrush may have to do. Maybe get some trees shipped from the arbor foundation.Buy a trailer and set up some solar panels. Plant a garden und have some animals. Owe nothin to noone. As a building contractor I can work a little when I feel like it to buy fuel and supplies. Maybe even trade services for same.
    My wish is to be away from the rat race and get back to the basics. Not to have the pressure to have to generate thousands of dollars every month to pay all the bills and having the fear of losing everything, should the income fall short…
    There is much to learn, but it can be done!
    How will one survive in a city apartment when the SHTF???

  30. Lazarus says:

    Living off the grid is being 108 miles from the nearest McDonalds.

  31. Daniel says:

    I just Purchased 10 acres completely off the grid in south east oklahoma, I have many Ideas to do to my land , but the main one is being completely off grid under radar by July of 2010, I am tired of the so called Rat Race and the federal government, I am 36 yrs old ad have lived the Rat Race for to long, I just want peace now, any Ideas will be greatly appreciated, Ill describe the land now and ready for everyones ideas the land is located 1/2 a mile from nearest blacktop, located 1 mile from lake sits on top of a small hill, have plenty of trees , plenty of hunting, to the north of my land ther is nothing but woods for 3 miles, i have thought about a small cabin, but i also do have a Travel Trailer to put there if i want, any suggestion please email me at thank you.

  32. flatoutgold says:

    living off grid is somehting i dream about daily and is not just about going green and putting in solar or windmiill for power
    it’s about being totaly self sufficent and not relying on any outside help it’s hunting,fishing,gardening,prospecting and doing for yourself not having to awnser to anybody but yourself this is not somthing for the lazy because you would only die this is somthing that takes a lot of work,courage,survival instint and the will to make it happen i would love to just disapear off this place we call civilaztion but would just become another statistic do to lack of funding to get started and it allways comes down to the money you have to puchase land and material to start nobody gives anything away for free so the people who are doing this my hat’s off to you good luck and have a peacful life oh and mr.whiteon wtf centry do you live in it’s people like you give this world a bad name with your stereo type thinking very close minded shame on you

  33. Leona Mars says:

    “Living off the Grid” to me means living a self-sufficient life style such as no modern utilities, using wood for fuel, growing your own food and making your own clothes. My husband would love to “Live off the Grid.” I do not and would not live in those conditions. We live in a small rural community and we drive five miles to the nearest town to buy groceries, etc. Sometimes it gets wearisome, the main highway we travel on is an interstate and it will back up and create a bottleneck. I love country living, but I sometimes miss being around people. Most of the time we do not see and communicate with anyone during the week until we go to church on Sundays. I grew up having many people in my life and it took a lot of adjustment for me to live in this secluded environment. I go out and get involved in outside activities to be around people. If it were not for the modern amenities, I would not live in this area. “Living off the Grid” is not for me.

  34. curt says:

    I am trying to figure out what I need to live off the grid. My interpretation of living off the grid is to be off the radar. I live in Canada where I would have access to lots of water(and snow) animals, lumber. I have thought about just building a house in the forest and using oil, propane, and wood for anything I need. I am a carpenter so, if I do need a little work it’s always easy to make a few bucks. I think the biggest obstacle for myself right now is learning how to live on minimal amounts of food. Gardening, hunting and fishing.

  35. Thomas says:

    we are trapped by ignorant but powerful people, who control us through the web of money,violence and monopoly over science and of most people is so stressful. There is cruelty everywhere. values like kindness are insulted in the society. institutions have made human relationships impersonal.

    I want to form a community in India, of kind people.I want to live a life where kindness and humane values are respected. once i succeed in it, i want to spread such communities all over India. We will need to reinvent so many things. I am searching for some kind of guidance.

  36. Kim Hill says:

    Mr. White,
    I’m a Realtor in North Central Florida, I’m back in college, have a 2nd job, pay my taxes, vote and don’t smoke anything. I personally think being off grid is just smarter in the long run, better for the earth and our children (yours and mine) You don’t have to be a hippie to think about your own responibility to the environment. You better make friends with some of those hippie’s ’cause you might need them some day.

    I live in the Sunshine State. Why not use solar power? It’s there! It seems really stupid not too. People live just fine off grid in nice homes with internet and modern kitchens.
    The people who live more basic lives take pride in being able to take care of themselves. Every days a challange. Good for them.

    When disasters happen you need to be able to take care of your self and not be a burdon on the system. When Katrina hit all I saw on the news was people on walfare waiting for the government to come save them. (I know that the media always looks for stupid person to put on screen but…) They took no responsibility for themselves or preparing for the worst. Just “where the hell is the Redcross and FEMA” Things are going to happen. The economy is unstable. Earthquakes, tornados or hurricanes. There only going to get worse.

    For me the ultimate goal, being off grid, is just being less of a burdon on the planet and being responsible for myself. In the last hundred years we have done so much damage. More damage to the earth than the last 2000 years. What gives us that right?!?!

  37. Scott says:

    I am a work in progress towards off the grid. I live in a large hub city and have a little girl who I share parenting with. Her mother is every bit a city dweller while I would prefer the wilds. I have found a medium. I currently reside in an rv in a friends back yard (stealth mode) and offer him some cash monthly for use of H2O and hydro and the odd trip to his laundry room. My footprint has dropped drastically with this move. Its temporary while I bank cash to hopefully pick up land and go off grid on it. It is going to be tricky to work within and around the cities municipal coding. Sadly, this city is every bit redneck and backwards as they come being very reliant on the oil industry for so long. I am a maverick here but hope to influence and lead many in my efforts. Off the grid? Im almost there. To go completely invisible is a goal but not realistic as I co-raise our daughter. I want to introduce her to my style of alternative living all the while allowing her to have a contemporary upbringing at the same time. When she is older, she will have experienced both sides of the coin and will be equiped to lead or follow depending on her chosen path. Until she leaves the nest… I am only partially off grid. In about 12 years though… I might very well vanish completely. I cannot support a system that in truth doesnt support us… it mothers us. We are/have become reliant on it and that is not living.


  38. Gina says:

    To me, living off the grid has an even deeper meaning that being self-sustaining and tied to no utilities. To me, it is synonymous with living under the radar and being in no one’s data base. This is not an easy thing to accomplish in this day and age. Almost every part of our society is already set up to function a certain way and it’s very difficult to stray from the beaten path. Too much of what we do is pre-determined and too much of our lives are scrutinized. It’s difficult to even get on a plane or rent a motel room without a credit card, for instance. What if you are a person who does not believe in living on credit? It’s very difficult to do anything without someone else knowing about it. Buy a car; you must tag and insure it. Buy a home; you must pay property taxes, utilities, and insurance. There is very little in the way of pioneer freedom left in our nation anymore.

  39. David says:

    I just bought 1.25 acres of land and i am in the process of planning to build a house on it. My plan is to be totally sepperate from this corrupt society we live in. I want to grow my own food produce my own power every thing. Go back to living like our grand parents and great grand parents did.

  40. Clint says:

    Off The Grid. The ideologies of living off the grid has metamorphosized for me over time. Originally I accepted it to mean being off the energy grid while using renewable resources to sustain without use of the conventional industrialized methods, but now, for me, it means to be off a system(s). That is to say a system of institutions, which, in my experience, appear to be predicated on lies, greed and social manipulation. I can no longer find comfort being part of the self defeating/destructive nature of my culture. And while I can’t imagine even for a second that living off the grid is an easy feat, I am sure glad that this is a choice that we all have before us, that I am making. I’m 32 years old,…and I’ve wasted enough of my potential and time here in the distraction and ways that lead me from self awareness and the deeper awareness and appreciation of life. I do hope that one day there will be a true civilization that will have learned from the mistakes in the past and will prosper in a harmonious relationship with this planet,..I just hope that it won’t be too late.


  41. Nathan says:

    I’m a conservative person, certainly economically and politically…perhaps less so socially. It bothers me that many “mainstream” conservatives (and liberals to be fair) are so far from being conservative with their personal everyday existence.

    I simply want to buy a piece of property and build a very well insulated house that, through whatever means possible, can keep me and my family comfortable without being “plugged in” to the power company. At present my interest isn’t much more than that. I’d like to save the money, and feel a little less guilty and reponsible for tragedies like the Gulf Oil Spill.

    I haven’t read all the responses above, but plan to. The gentleman who is now a wind farmer really intrigues me, so I guess what I say above is perhaps just a start, and I have no idea where it would take me.

    I can’t fathom why there isn’t one builder in my area (or in my state that I know of) that is building neighborhoods off the grid. I have to believe they could do very well.

  42. RickDownSouth says:

    Off grid, to me, doesn’t entail cutting all ties to society. Although I would like to minimize my information footprint along with my resource footprint. I, along with my siblings, are planning to purchase land jointly, and share in the work involved. We may invite other to join us, as we would like to maintain a community spirit.

  43. richie says:

    for those that have cars/trucks/tractors there is away to make your own diesel, or convert the vechicle to straight waste vegie oil from chip shops and other restaurants ,, google bio-diesel , or for those that prefer petrol there is the conversion to ethanol. but the many of our forefathers used steam-engines or even horses.

  44. nancy says:

    I am looking for a community that would have everything, men[unmarried], permacuilture,peace and quiet. I live in Aspen,any ideas? Mahalo!

  45. TheBerries4Earth says:

    Living off the grid means to us being completely self sustainable. My husband and I have been thinking towards this way of living off the grid even before we saw the documentary about Life on the Mesa and the one about the family (Pascawitz?) who lived in their van. We totally agree with the posts about the government doing most of us wrong(other than big business especially oil companies). I work at a bank (completely against my will but in this economy you take what job you can get) and we’re sick of our lives revolving around money. It seems to us the only way to get off the grid all together is to purchase land (which of course comes taxes, etc) and then go buy a bunch of expensive solar panels, generators etc. This of course takes money that we don’t have. Even working at a bank I don’t bring home enough to support us and be able to save up enough to do all this. I’m hoping that someone could please give us some direction.

  46. silverdine says:

    To me living off the grid is both. Away from utilities that I can make myself and it doesnt take alot of money to make your own electricity or hot water and from this corrupt government system that taxes you practically for breathing. Just want to be myself and live free and governments idea of “Free” is that they take 3-4 months of your yearly earnings in taxes to me thats not freedom at all. And also i dont like funding for needless wars or a politicians vacation when I don’t have these luxuries myself. Anyway I can probably write a whole book on this but won’t. I am currently in the process of making this a reality of freedom for myself.

  47. Andy says:

    Robinson Crusoe style, but on purpose in this case.

  48. Nick says:

    I am 30 and for as long as i can remember, i have dreamt of leaving society. For me, ‘off the grid’ has changed meaning over the years. From my teens, it has meant bringing into the forest what you could (be it many trips) and living without human contact or any monetary services. Currently, my views cover a more broad variety of ways to live ‘off the grid’.

    It was one thing for me to romanticize about living in the wild, but once i actually started thinking of it as a reality i realized how much knowledge i lack. I grew up spending my days in the woods.(wolcott/plymouth connecticut) and i always enjoyed the adventure, tranquility, and purity of the forest. As a teen and up thru now, i have regulary camped several areas for up to a week at a time. Point being, im not completely oblivious to ‘roughing it’. For the last year i have researched more intensely on the details of what living off the land would entail.

    First off, location. Early on, i always had it in my mind to ‘go off into the woods’. But where? Im stumped on this one, but from what i can tell i would have to save up some cash and buy acreage, find a huge parcel of land that i wouldnt be bothered on (easier said than done), or come across a person or people who are already living this way and join them.
    Which brings me to my main concern-solitude. I have always been one to enjoy time to myself, probably moreso than most. My mind is an active one and i keep busy with thought. But can only imagine what long term solitude could do to a person. My friends in life have been close and i feel im conditioned at this point to need some form of companionship. f.y.i. they are the types that would also live off the land, but have come to be married or have its not a reality for them. Lets be honest, uprooting your whole way of life is a serious leap of faith.

    There is a 1001 concerns/question i can list here but i just wanted to give an idea of where my head is.
    I do not enjoy the structure of life i have been raised to accept. I have led a great life by all means, this is not out of bitterness, im just ready for a change to a more natural life.
    If you have any information, questions, ideas, feel free to contact me. Im sure i can throw questions your way if your not sure what to say.

    p.s. i am willing to travel-work-and gain any knowledge necessary if you have a set-up and are in need of company.

  49. KC says:

    Thanks to everyone for their feedback and interest in our community. We are a community living off the Grid. self sufficient and Independent. We grow our own food and build our own shelter’s made from straw and mud.We use wind power and solar for our power. If your interested in our way of life and would like to subscribe to our Newsletter. ” New Life,New America, Living off the Grid” email: Thank you.

  50. Shane says:

    To be completely self-sufficient. To live off the land.

  51. B. Earl says:

    Well, after literally reading every post in this string thus far, I am amazed and enlightened at all of the different views there are on living off the grid. I can honestly say I agree in part with all of you, except the hippie reference guy. So why not share my view… I see it as a way of self sustaining, not completely because I think that may be to far for me. We all need sugar, coffee, tea, etc. Although I do like the idea of solar power, water collection, wood heat. I am a single 36 year old male living in a southwestern US metropolis(hint, sin city), solely because my job is here and has been here for the last 13 years. Luckily because of this job I have been able to build my own remote cabin, 20 miles off the nearest paved road, solar power, still working on the water situation. And it is a beautiful spot, great climate, well hidden, quite easy to escape here and not be noticed for a long time. Problem is we/I are so trained in this country to got to school, go to college, get a job, retire with little or no money, die! Well, that just isnt working for me anymore. Like Nick said earlier, there are some fears that go with it, the solitude, disconnecting with family and friends, financial means. I think if I met the right woman who wanted to go for it, I probably just might, but then again who knows. I do know that it is something I long for, and as I can see, so do many other people. We may be crazy, we may be forward thinkers, we may preparing for what our government has in store for us. Either way, someday I will make it happen. Thanks for listening, and best of luck getting to where the big city ain’t! I would love to swap ideas with any and all of you.

  52. Doogie says:

    After living and working in California’s Silicon Valley, for over 18 years, living on the grid to me means unplugging from the matrix. What matrix you ask? The corporate world, metropolitan sprawl, career-minded/constantly planning and addiction to electronic media….mentality.

    It really means abandoning the known world with it’s matrix of comforts, promises, ease and supposed safety nets. It means moving to a strange life where you stop watching the clock and live with the seasons. And you’re 100% responsible for everything in your life 24/7.

    There are huge perceived risks involved with the choice to go off grid. But, most people down play the huge risks involved in not going off the grid. The modern world isn’t as stable as we all thought – illustrated by this latest financial crisis.

  53. Laurie says:

    Hi we have a off grid solar system do we need to charge our batteries with a generator when they go down ?

  54. repressor says:

    To me, living off the ‘grid’ is
    1) finding work in the underground economy such as clubs and pubs
    2) buying clothes at street fairs
    3) buying food at farmers market
    4) using prepaid cellphones
    5) using wifi connections to access the internet

    ways to disappear without too much sacrifice in quality of life
    Hopefully the govt will collapse down the line

  55. prov says:

    Off the grid is off the utilities system to me. I believe to truly be independant you must also have no mortagage on your homestead and not require insurance. Being able to grow and raise your own food gives one even more freedom. I personally am heading in this direction widowed and alone on a 3 acre plot of land in TX, investing in a water system and producting my own energy and food. I believe the control over all the things humans need is being consentrated into the hands of the very few powers that be who also control the media, money, and governments around the world. We are at their mercy or lack there of, depending on their motives at any given time. They spend their days and lives figuring out how to gain control of all the worlds resources as well as all the people. They decide which country will gets those resources, which countries to take down finacially and morally. I believe americas gravy train is coming to and end. It is unsustainable. It was set up to fail just like banking. You have to keep blinders on very tight to not see the old ways of 401ks, SSI, public unions, welfare etc, are going to emplode and leave many millions broke and unable to afford the basics of life. Still many keep their collective heads deeply held in the sand and the media drum rolling out the lies they choose to believe because to question the status quo would be too hard.

  56. Angel says:

    I’d never heard of “living off the grid” until I read a news article that mentioned it. I would love to just drop out of society, but I’m not free to do so. I would worry about what’s going to happen to me when I get much older and pf retirement age. Where would I get money? How would I get medical care? How would I protect myself from predatory people?

    Living off the grid seems to be a romanticized way of living for the young and young-ish. I don’t see how elderly people could sustain this lifestyle. By then, they’ll have no money in savings, etc. to live “on the grid”.

    Anyway, to answer the question….Living off the grid seems to be like the old 60’s saying “tune in, turn on, drop out”. In other words….becoming aware, formulating a plan and leaving society. It sounds blissful on some levels, but you might have doubts if you’re a practical person. If you were wealthy and didn’t need to work for money, this lifestyle would be easier to support.

  57. Jeff says:

    I read this article and then the comments. I found this site just how you mentioned. I want to start by removing myself from society. Clearly at (23) I need to continue to work to support the idea of eventually being a “ghost.” I grew up in a little farm community with gardens and hunting and about as close to living off the land, on the grid, as you can. Hopefully by the age of 28 I have the necessities to pack up and motor on. I think life would be a lot more simple with out mass media forcing false ideals down every ones throats, while the government controls literally everything you do, whether you believe so or not.

  58. Old D says:

    Mr White, like in the swastika sporting, first of the inbred clan to hit college, hillbilly with a dentist and a tux Mr White? Well Mr White sir, I am privileged to know a family whom have been sailing for many years raising four kids, whom never seen the inside of a school classroom. All four attended university on study grants, due to brilliance, no, their daddy is white but do not go south on me please!! None of them sold ‘E’ or cat or crack , yea that is correct even that has modernised, even a buffoon like me living in good old Africa know that, yes sir Mr White me I am that trash you speak of, sorry do not steal do not sell drugs but I do a decent days work, my point is that if you generalise, compartmentalize and stereotype you lay bare the fact as to the utter lack of cognitive ability on your side, or should that be your side of the tracks? That is what I want to say about that!! Dear Off Grid Ebert I believe sailing on a small yacht, doing work where ever you can find it and practicing frugal living is my idea of off the grid, I love what you doing here, great job, keep it up. Oi Mr White go out and buy something extravagant, maybe a brain is not a bad idea!!!!!!

  59. BQ says:

    I think of “off the grid” as more “pre-grid” really: a lifestyle similar to those tribes of the Native Americans who lived peaceably with the land, not “off” of it.
    Does any one know of a self-sustaining, totally green community in the U.S.? That’s what I am searching for. Thank you.

  60. BQ – There are LOTS of communities out there that are trying to do what you have asked about. But to ask for a completely “self-sustaining” community that is “totally green” is a bit much to ask. All we can do is try. Do a Google search for “intentional community” or “self sustaining community” or “intentional communities” plural. You’ll find several. I know of five or six in the next county over (Floyd, VA).

  61. The Traveler says:

    I’ve lived off the grid in the Puna District on the Big Island of Hawaii. This I believe is one of the few places in the USA that you can do it. I totally supported the local businesses, including organic farms, farmers markets and roadside stands. We did grow some on the property but it was so cheap to buy locally it just made it easier. Solar and propane made life easy with hot showers, hot meals and some entertainment when needed. Water catchment kept a 2500 gal. tank full most of the time. The jungle isn’t for everyone, but when you take the step, it’s really much easier than you think, just relax and enjoy the ride.

  62. Obie 1 says:

    This is truly an amazing subject… This thread (or conversation) began in Feb. 2009, and people today are STILL posting comments, ideas, and their personal experiences on it. This tells me there’s an enormous desire for “Living off the Grid”.

    So let me share my story with you….

    About thirty years ago, I went “off-the-Grid” for just one summer. I backpacked across country, (I know it’s not what everyone here considers real “off-the-grid” living, but it’s pretty comparable, it’s the closest I came to true inner peace and self-worth). I was barely 20 years old, and I had nothing really holding me back or tying me down, so I left my dead-end job, emptied my savings account, packed a bag and started walking.

    Now remember – This was BEFORE cell phones and blackberries. No internet or GPS’s, None of the technology we have today, So it was (and I’d imagine still is) a lot tougher than you’d think. If I needed to call someone, I had to wait until I came across the nearest pay-phone (if you’re too young to know that is, Google it). I was armed with a diary-sized map book of the U.S., a tent, sleeping bag and an assortment of camping gear.

    Long story short – I made it from the East coast to the West coast and back again, with knowledge and experiences that you can’t get in a state or government controlled classroom. Today, I’m almost 50 yrs old and I look back on that summer as the best experience of my life, No matter what you call it… Living-off-the-grid, under the radar, being a “ghost”, If you ever have the opportunity to do it, I would say do it.

  63. Basics55 says:

    Gina and Repressor,
    I agree with both of you. Everything we do is tracked. Cameras at stop lights. Technology allows others to listen to conversations when our cell phones are on but not in use. Every where we go there is a paper trail and/or tracking device on us, unless we chose to garbage the cell phone and computer and band together in survival villages filled with good people with various skillsets.

    Are both of you working on trying to get off of the grid?

  64. MumAllum says:

    Living “off the grid” to me means more than just roughing it. No technology, no dependance on anyone but yourself and your family, or community, or could be just yourself. No government involvement, no internet, no cell phone no vehicle. Think pioneer days, yes “pre grid”. It would mean burning all paper documents with your name on it. Finding a nice cave in a mountian or making a campground IN the middle of no where, literally. If I can’t have true freedom where I live then I’ll have to make myself free away from any and all society. The shit will hit the fan and looks like a lot of people don’t want to be near it, things are brewing and no one can deny it.

  65. offthegrid2013 says:

    Loved the helpful comments, except Mr. White.

    I am 39, 3 years from finishing my bachelor’s degree and working hard to pay down my student loan debt. For the next 3 years, I am living frugally, living off bare necessities, learning how to camp, garden, and learn as much as I can about going off the grid. I have a few areas in mind where I would love to live.

    I long for living off the grid and giving up the rat race. All the advice, comments, and suggestions have inspired me moreso to do it.

    And I am a recovering sci-fi and tech geek. For me, my biggest vice is letting go of the internet. Something in my soul feels right about doing it. I have no kids and coming out of a pretty amicable divorce. I look forward to joining like-minded people who also pursue a more content and simpler life. Thank you all for sharing your comments.

  66. Ed says:

    Liked all the comments except Mr White’s.

    I would like to live off the grid, especially to become invisible to Big Brother.

    I would be interest to join others who are doing or planning to live this way. Raising animals, organic gardening, living without depending on the government for anything.

  67. Michelle says:

    I am so glad I found this site. I have been researching ways to live more in harmony with nature and just the way God made me.

    My version of “off-grid” is a very city centered view because my reason for wanting to live off-grid in the first place. Religiously speaking, I want to return to a less “pleasures of the earth” and worldly desires way by not worshiping money. In relation to designer clothing, the fancy job, pillaging off the earth utilities (oil) I just want to be rid of it.

    I feel that I must remain in contact with many people just because how can I help to educate others and show them how to find faith without living amongst them in some way? Like Jesus who went to change lives he went to sinners not saints.
    I simply want to remain in NYC and make my own clothes, join a community garden, try to find/join a bartering community, use my own homemade natural products (deodorant, beauty, toiletries), limit my information footprint, lead a frugal lifestyle so I can have a non-corporate job and just help everyone I can spiritually and be aware that the government and satan are all conjoined. A slave to money is what I am not!

  68. lois jean says:

    Living off gird has been a life long goal after I lived that way 25 years ago. But now I need a man to help with a snow plow and chain saw and companionship.

  69. jason says:

    Vanabode is pure off grid living and travel as well

  70. matt says:

    I have been living totally off the grid for two yrs. I got to this point by total by accident. However it has been totally worth it. I’m not tied down with a house,bills even a job. And I have been able to live very comfortable instead of just surviving from day to day. You would be amazed what you can live without like a cell phone,car or cable/t.v. I don’t ownany of it. I live simple and I actually have saved a good bit of money. I wouldn’t change a thing..who’s the president now..what i dont care…

  71. Greg says:

    To get away from people like Mr White.

  72. Firehawkk says:

    I was raised virtually off grid, only then it was being poor. I know how to turn animal skins into functional leather, how to make lye soap, build shelter, can veggies, and meat, hunt and trap, I have spent a lot of time in the rockies. I am not now off the grid as I still have a house payment until I sell. A question for those planning to go off grid. What will you do in weather such as 40 below or 115 depending where you go? And those that are off the grid. How are you on the internet?

  73. Sumaya says:

    Thank you Firehawkk for asking those questions, lol. I don’t have the answer to how I am going to manage to live in different climates especially in the cold winter month. I am hoping you can help with some ideas. All I know is the desire to change and to be born again (not in a religious term) is overwhelming for the last year or so. I have being saving up to buy some fertile land some where. The DREAM is to be self sufficient and lead a spiritual life style where service without monetary reward is encouraged along with the practice of yoga, meditation, plant base diet, , and green living in general. All I know is the present pain to live in civilization is greater than the ‘how to’ acclimate to living without. The question is where would be a great place to buy the right land and ‘go off the grid’? Any insight is appreciated, please feel free to email me at

  74. Sumaya,

    You may try looking into already-established “intentional communities” that have a focus on Bhudism, or veganism.

    We are looking for like-minded folks with whom we can go in on a large land-purchase and then split up the land so we each own our own place, but are surrounded by people who share some of our interests. But we’re meat eaters. 😉

    Good luck!

  75. 60's hippie says:

    Well, it’s been a long strange trip, of OFF THE GRID living. Was reading Mother Earth News back in 69. Quit school in the 10th grade cause they didn’t teach what I was learnin. Now I do it all, built some cabins, put in some water lines, compost outhouses, grow garden, hydro electric from auto/truck parts. Been bartering my services for other needs. Was into reforestation for 25 or more yrs., treeplanting on logged out clearcuts from N.Calif. to Montana. We now have 40 mtn. acres in S.Oregon with a home built hydro system that has been workin for 35+ years. We got lottsa electric gadgets, power tools.Also got solar panals now. This last summer a bear got onto our shed tipped over our freezer that we had just filled with half side organic beef, and eat half.Broke the freezer. He also got onto one of our apple trees and polished off 150+ apples. Country living at it finest. I’m lucky that my partner is a emergency dept. hospital nurse. Theres lottsa off the grid folks in these her parts, all over the pacific northwest. Since that y2KooKoo thing alot of right wing get away from the goverment types are out here and they got money to spend. We also got those white only survivalist types. When my neighbors get tired of shooting their guns, I plug in my amp and give them some good ole electric slide guitar. Yep livin off the grid means different things. I find it really funny when I go to town and there isn’t any power cause the grid has been knocked out by some storm or tree that has knocked out some lines or something.

  76. sara says:

    I don’t normally do this but I was wondering if anyone has any good websites that I could help me plan to “live off the grid” with not so much governmental control? Does anyone know of any place where there is land that is tax free? I hope to build a bomb shelter and a small house while growing my own food but i do want to keep some technology. I think it’s important to know whats going on in the world around you. also I need my family to know i’m safe all that good stuff. I don’t want to cut down any more trees though. i want to also make my own clothes and other nesseties myself. I also hope to preserve a large piece of land for me and my family but who knows if i’ll ever have enough $$$

  77. Rusty Fulk says:

    I lived off the grid outside a small town in Texas when i was born, called Center. i rember using a small tractor to move the outhouse and we went to bed when it got dark. momma would check on us at night. and i still see her face in the candle lite that she carried. Don’t get me wrong we visited people who had all modern house hold things. but i didn’t mind living as we did. now i tell my son who is 8 how it was for me growing up, and he looks at me as if im insane. no telephone or computers? Man! that must have been when they had dinosaurs. were you scared daddy? now i admit walking home in the woods with the trees reaching down was kinda scary. but i would wait till one of my younger brothers bolted in to a run before running my self. mom divorced dad who was a ranch hand and we went to live with granny in Houston. maby one day i mite strip off this shell and walk back in the woods.theres still time im only 47. my wife of 28 years sais No way! youve got me 18 miles from town already im not going any farther. she wants to move to Austin near her money bag brother. that mite be the last straw. Just to walk away and leave it all. my horse Beauty and her stud colt zephure as my pack horse, leave it all behind. Yea. and im a chineese jet pilot too.

  78. Lloyd Beere says:

    Living off the grid to me is building an earth shelter or staying in an outfitters tent, shelters of that kind, and in a way living off the land. A garden, hunt or become a hunter. No electricity. Vehicles, yes, jobs, yes. The italasized living off the grid def. ran across my mind a few times. It sounds pretty rad but real tough to try. So thats why im going to stick with a job and a vehicle to move gear or get to work or road trips or hunting trips. I spend a good bit of time in the backcountry of northern Penn. Over nighters, not many people even tent camp anymore. When we go to spend a night back in we just sleep on the ground by a fire. But anyway I plan in spring to live on my uncles farm/ woods and fields in an earth shelter and have a garden. Can only hunt turkeys in spring so i might make meat, but i plan to use an outfitters tent to winter in. I plan to be a trapper for a good winter and do nothing but trap and hunt. Im going to practice primitive skills this spring to try to get even closer to the earth and not be like the rest of the world.

  79. tad says:

    do you see the need here? do you see how there are others living the corporate lifestyle and longing to get back to the basics? i have read these threads…and it it gives me hope…hope that i am not alone in my thinking..therefore not insane, or totally stupid. our govt is not for us. they depend on a long list of money contrubuting wingnuts. they dont care about more than themselves and their families. same as ME. i want to explore this further. i am currently in arizona where the weather is tolerable. if i could qualify for a passport, i would purchase a sailboat and hit hawaii, then french polynesian isalnds. they have been doing what we have been talking about since time. people need to pull together here..and i applaud those ones who have shared..and i challange those ones who have not. is your convertible beemer how you want to be defined? then skip this. people have an innert nature to be together. its our God given right in the constitution to live free. read the constitution. it will define if you are a patriot, or a pirate. dont get me wrong, i love the usa…however….as a great poet once said..times..they ar a changing. so. count me in. im too young to die, yet not old enough to live it seems. off the grid is living as God intended for us..before govt internention, and living as green as you can with keeping your internet connection. i hear most coffee shops let you connect if you spend a couple bucks. i like this thread..and i encourage all of you to rethink what is important …because we only get this one lifetime. thank you for posting your thoughts. one is easily broken..but together as many, we can change the world. God bless us all.


  80. Living Off Grid To Me Does Not Mean You Lacking Anything, Your Day To Day Is A Little More Disciplined To Get The Same Results. You Can Live Without A Power Line, The Monthly Bill. Hang Clothes Out, Or On A Rack Inside In Winter For Moisture We All Need With Wood Heat Anyway. You Start To See Overlap Of When You Live This Simple Way, Piggy Back Benefits Start To Show Up. Better For Environment, Less Carbon, Save Money, Not So Hurried And Become More Patient, More Grateful For Resources You Found A Way To Harness!

  81. Livinfree says:

    From me, living off the grid is being free from the government, from any commitments and anyone holding you down. It’s to have a state of mind where you do not need technology to keep you happy, all you need is yourself and the person you may be with. It is about acceptance and love. And most of all it is about being free.

  82. Samer Dweik says:

    I wish i could do this. It is my ut most dream to live off the land , away from all this crap in the world. I want to fresh organic food and live life away from modern societies crap culture. I am 19 and second year in college doing pre dental. I feel pretty guilty because no joke i live in a 11thousand sft mansion, that just hogs energy. And my family would lose all repsect for me if i threw all this away for the simple but good life. All i know is that i feel trapped and i hate it.

  83. Samer,

    While I wouldn’t advise you to “drop out” of college, I would encourage you to rethink the meaning of the word “respect”. All family dynamics are different, but I’ve found it is easy to gain respect when you go your own way and define “success” on your own terms. And if people don’t respect you for that – well… maybe their respect isn’t worth having.

    Don’t feel guilty about the house your parents live in. That choice was not yours. Just don’t make the same choice. Just because you “Can” buy a house like that, doesn’t mean you have to. Live your own life Mr. Dweik. At 19 you have plenty of time to make mistakes and change your mind. Finish school, see how you like working in the field, and design your life as you go. It doesn’t have to be one way or the other. You don’t have to give up everything and live in the woods. Just live below your means, don’t take on debt, and don’t work any more than you have to.

  84. Mr Mauve says:

    Wonderful… but can I bring my Lexus?

  85. saraz says:

    In my opinion, it is nearly impossible to totally escape all government involvement in one;s life in the USA, For me , living off the grid means escaping societal expectations and norms which are largely dictated by the media.
    Although we can’t escape such things as property and income taxes, we can keep it to a minimum by non participation in unnecessary spending. I bought a small piece of property and built a small cabin to live in. Since I do not buy things like make’up, new clothes, hair dye, appliances, etc and heat with dead wood from the surrounding unoccupied property and have a well, I can live on very little income. This keeps taxes paid (sales, income and property) at a minimum. I do pay for electricity at the moment and will have to do so until I install alternative sources of power, or, learn to live without it. I enjoy living this way and feel a wonderful sense of freedom. I eat mostly what I grow (organically) or gather wild and eat most foods raw and am in near perfect health. I haven’t been to a doctor in years but I would definitely seek help in an emergency room in the case of a severe accident if needed.
    If a person rejects society’s standards of what life should entail it is amazing how much money (and time spent earning it) they can save. Make a list of all unnecessary expenses and it will be clear.
    Here is a short list
    shampoo and hair products, soap works well if rinsed with vinegar added to rinse water
    make up
    keeping in style with clothing
    buying the latest gadgets
    new car instead of repairing old one.
    processed foods
    having more in house living space than needed
    Full coverage insurance on new cars
    home insurance on expensive home
    commercially made gifts
    packaged cigarettes
    chemical medicines
    the list is endless

  86. dkrnusa says:

    I guess I always thought “Living off the grid” ment living without the need to buy utilities. That I could be self sufficent in alot of ways. I never thought of it as being a “ghost” I guess there are alot of people out there that have been delt a less than perfect hand in life. To them I say do whatever makes u happy. But, I have to say that although our goverment might not be the best in certian areas, they do lie, they do spend to much money at times for things that are questionable, and yes there are plenty more. That being said this is still (in my opinion)the greatest country in the world. Proof in point. We are all writting our opinions and sending it off to cyberspace for anyone to read. Try that in China or Russia.

  87. DKRNUSA – I am glad I live in the United States as well, and I love my country. But to say that we’re the “greatest country in the world” and offer China and Russia as proof of that is a false argument. There are nearly 200 countries in the world (196, I think) and MOST of them allow people to say whatever they want to say and practice whatever religion they want to practice. Many of them are as free – or more free – than we are here in the United States. Do you think people in Australia, the UK, Canada, France, Ecuador, Japan, or Holland are having their doors busted down because they write about wanting to live off the grid? No. I can promise you, that is not happening. I’ve lived in several other countries for years at a time, so I’m speaking from experience here. Look at how many people the US puts in prison every year compared to these other countries and tell me we’re the most free, greatest country in the world. We’re like a totalitarian dictatorship compared to some other countries. At least in Holland they let people smoke whatever plant they want to smoke. At least people don’t have to get permission from the Right Wing Conservative Christian Oligarchy in order to marry who they want to marry. At least most other countries aren’t shoving their youth into prisons for experimenting with drugs – like most of the people who are putting them there did when they were the same age (fucking hypocrites!).

    …OK I’m getting upset now so I’ll stop.

    The point is, I think it’s great that you’re proud of your country. Despite our many failures (like our prison system, bans on gay marriage, making marijuana illegal, the Patriot act, Grenada, Bay of Pigs, Iraq, Watergate, slave history, jim crow laws, women’s rights issues….) that seem to make us anything but “free” in some cases, this is a GREAT country in which to live. I’m not complaining that I have plenty of open space, that we have a lot of diverse people and opinions, that we have a strong economy (despite recent upsets, ours does fairly well on the global stage), lots of natural resources, great climate, good, hard-working, honest people are the norm… It is a GREAT country. But you can be proud of your country without being arrogant about it.

  88. dkrnusa says:

    Sorry…. I didn’t mean to upset anyone. I guess I didn’t choose the right words. I am sorry if I upset u & anyone else. I’m really not stupid or arrogant :) that’s actually kinda funny if u knew me. I think I’ll stick to what I do best from now on & leave hot issues way alone. :)

  89. You didn’t upset anyone and your comments are welcome here. I just go off on a tangent sometimes. I too should leave hot issues alone, LOL…

  90. Living off the grid the true defininition means living off the electricity grid (agreed) however I believe that it’s begining to have a new meaning to people..I wish more then anything I could live “off the grid” in more ways then one. More ways then just off the electricity grid. I think people are sick of the government. Living off the grid would be “the other option” to living a “normal” life. It’s more like a fantasy I think about then something I’ll turn into a reality. Maybe when all my kids grow up and move out I’ll sell everything I own, buy a bus and move off the grid but until then.. I don’t think my kids would apprieciate it like I would.

  91. Kris says:

    To me ‘Living Off the Grid’ means to separate oneself from dependence upon society. I think there are degrees of this. Minor examples might include living without luxuries like television, cell phones, a car, ect and more extreme examples may include living completely without electricity, outside of the city, completely self sufficient (so much as is possible). In this day and age where we are born into a society that trains us to be dependent upon it and discourages us from such ‘frivolous’ thinking, it is very difficult to live off the grid. Thus I think it’s important to consider all degrees of ‘living off the grid’ rather than adhering to one strict definition. I personally seek to one day own my own land, grow my own food, build my own cob house, and become as self sufficient as possible but I will probably retain my phone to contact my family, my car (or a truck) to transport materials, and buy certain things that I feel are too difficult to be efficient to make on my own (ex; cloth)

  92. Chris says:

    Thanks for all the fascinating comments here which I read with interest. I live in the UK where it is very hard to think about ‘getting away from it all’ because of the huge price of land. However we do have a holiday cabin which has no mains electricity or water, and are planning to spend four months living there this summer. Sadly we are not allowed to be there in the winter.

    I have mixed views about living off-grid illustrated by three points:

    Firstly, at least in the summer we don’t miss mains electricity at all. We have solar powered lights, a wood burner, water from a spring, a river to wash in and a cooker that uses bottled gas. We also have our own simple sewage tank.

    Secondly, the thing that stops us being at the cabin more is schooling for the kids. Although it is possible to home educate we aren’t up for such a huge commitment. It is not so easy to dis-engage from a society that provides some really clear benefits.

    Thirdly, a lot of comments here just talk about the electric grid but the oil system is even more damaging to the planet and its people. Getting free (or freer) of the internal combustion engine is part of the challenge, and this is actually much more achievable in an urban setting with good public transport and everything so close rather than a remote rural setting.

    Just a few more things to stimulate thought and debate on off-grid living!

  93. Ruthie says:

    Dear Enlightened One,

    Who of you are you still planning on living off the “grid?” I have been considering the matter for myself for many years. In fact after watching the movie and reading the book, “Into The Wild,” I gave some serious thought to creating this reality. Not to say that I would actually want to live in Alaska, but rather, I find myself contemplating living off the land within a more tropical climate. I have viewed videos such as, “How To Live Without Money,” (found on youtube) and have seen it as more than just inspiring, but rather a prosperous lifestyle. Do any such societies exist here in the United States?

    The prospect for living off the land and living off the so-called “Grid,” is very feasible and attractive to say the least. No longer would I have to rely on societal norms and social constructs to define who I am as a person. I can be a free spirit. No longer would I have financial shackles and a definitive role to play, I would create my own sense of being and my own purpose. Indeed, living off the “Grid,” would entail a lot of work and is definitely not for the faint of heart. I am a Veteran from OIF III, and consider myself a renaissance woman. I am well rounded and hard working. I know how to fish and I was an Engineer; so I know how to ultimately create and have experience building. To buy a property and still owe the Government money in any way, is to perpetuate the same monetary cycles. I know that the only way to be a “true capitalist” is to own apiece of the pie. That being said, I vouch to never perpetuate that cycle. That is no way to live. I believe that every human has an enduring spirit, and it is through that spirit that they may afford themselves a creative sense of being, and a more holistic path in life.

    I would like very much so to hear your views on the topic. From one spirit to another.

    Yours in light,

  94. Robert says:

    Hi everyone!

    I have read almost all the posting here. Most of us think the same thing. But! if you don’t have allot of money you will never see that dream. I have been looking at a different way to get off the grid. Some of the ideas about being self sufficient I read here sound good, but there are me small details you have to consider.

    There are ways of getting off 90% of the grid. For me that is a HUGE step! I have looked into earth homes half under ground half out. Using wood and propane to cook and heat, have a well dug “not cheap” and use 12 volt solar and oil lamps for light.

    There will always be things you will have to buy. You will always need money. Staples, medicine, cloths and tools just to name a few.
    What if you picked 10 to 20 like minded people like us. buy a 20 to 40 ac plot. Small earth homes for each that blend in to the terrain spaced nicely apart for plenty of breathing room. One in each family still keeps a simple job and pays into a fund to take care of propane, land tax and the other small things that will pop up! The other stay in the community working the garden, fruit trees, tending the chickens, goats, cow and bees. You will need your carpenters, farmers, bakers, butcher, and other fields of service. Then you have a self sufficient small community. But no one will know any thing was ever built on the land. Blend in. I am x 82nd Airborne, if you can be seen you can bill killed! in this case Taxed to death! lol! but true!

    Thank to the man who provides this site for us to learn and grow.

    Take care,

    [EDITOR’s NOTE: Robert I took out your links because the photos you use to show the houses are well-known photos from earth-built home books. I’ve seen them all over the place for years and years so they are obviously not the houses you are building. I felt that was dishonest and didn’t want to send readers to a CraigsList page. However, maybe I got the wrong impression. Feel free to communicate with people here on the board, but I don’t allow links in the comments as a general rule. You are welcome about having the site here. And I hope this doesn’t keep you from joining in the conversation about off grid living.]

  95. H. Joyce says:

    Living off the grid is something I’ve wanted to do since before my children were born & now that they are in the horrible world I want so badly to start making that dream become reality. Living off the land, growing your own food, supplying your own electricity & water, not being hounded by the government or being annoyed by drama & gossip in the world. We live in an apartment complex and we just hate it. People are rude & hateful in the world today. I grew up in the South & we farmed our own food but that all fell apart some years before I moved out and I miss that. We rarely went to the store. We had chickens for eggs & we had apple, pear & plum trees in the backyard. A simple life that we can be proud of & in the process teaching my children real values that will stay with them their entire lives is what I want to achieve by living off the grid. I somehow think it will remain a dream for many years before I’m financially stable to embark on that journey & this makes me very sad because I would like to start ASAP! Have a good day & good luck on everyone’s journey or lifestyle of living off the grid…

  96. Johnson Grande says:

    Robert on Jan 27th, 2011 at 6:33 pm SAID:
    “What if you picked 10 to 20 like minded people like us. buy a 20 to 40 ac plot. Small earth homes for each that blend in to the terrain spaced nicely apart for plenty of breathing room. One in each family still keeps a simple job and pays into a fund to take care of propane, land tax and the other small things that will pop up!”


    Uh…that’s already been invented. They are often referred to as “subdivisions” with a working family provider and a stay-at-home mom. Your version is just more a more primitive version and is also known as a “Commune” or “Communal Village”- loosely based on “Communism”. Not saying its good or bad, I’m just saying the idea isn’t new and the way you pitch it is actually a cliché in a lot of jokes.

    Also, you didn’t address one of the first basic needs, a steady reliable source of clean water and then sanitation.

    So, let’s say you start out with 20 people on “40 acres”. Well, typically over time populations always grow – at least in strong heterosexual communities anyway. Families will grow over time. Younger humans will reproduce new humans. That yields less than two acres per person to live on for ALL their needs, water, food, shelter and sanitation. And that doesn’t even cover energy needs.

    If you are buying “propane” as you propose, especially in large quantities for 40 people – you are not going to be “fully off the grid” or under the radar. The government tracks these things. The sellers will have records of sales / deliveries as required by law.

    Remember, you will need to make allowance for some kind of “street” or streets. So that subtracts from your useable square feet. In the end, a lot of things will come down to being measured in square feet the denser the population gets.

    Even early settlements still had streets – even if not paved. They were muddy, manure and waste filled and when the weather was dry, they were a source of constant dust filled with irritants and potential pathogens.

    Then, if you are going to run water lines, say from a communal well, you will need easement space for those. They have to be accessible in case of a break. Wells are highly regulated and MUST be done a certain way and in almost all areas must be done by licensed contractors now. They must be tested, certified and approved.

    Next – what’s your plan to handle sanitation? Is less than two acres going to be allowed by law for a septic system – per dirt hovel? How much of the soil passes perk tests? Authorities who will approve or deny a permit for septic will examine the site and they will grant permission, or they’ll say “h e l l NO!” And the regulations are getting tighter and tighter. Same thing with an “outhouse”.
    Then there are typically grading permits that are required and strict environmental regulations that must be followed such as erosion control, silt fencing and runoff prevention. If you cause a nearby stream to get silted – the environmental fines can be steep. Always plan for the worst case scenario, the most heavy, 100 year event rains that can come at the worst possible time.

    Will local building codes allow “dirt hovels” to live in? It is doubtful and building codes are getting stricter and stricter. Then can condemn your hovel and evict you.

    What will you use for fuel? Propane brought in for 40+ people? Again, you will need at least a minimally acceptable road for a gas truck to operate on. Without paved street or at least a well formed and graded road with a sufficient crusher run (ABC stone) base, dirt roads and trails quickly become mud holes of misery for everyone. Then when they dry up, they become airborne dust sources of misery. Grading and even minimal road building is expensive. Anytime you have to move dirt it costs $$$$$.

    In the end, you will find yourself in the middle of “developer planning” type of situation where you have to submit things to the county for approval and if you do things without approval they can make life hell and even shut you down. You will find that the “small things” morph into big problems and in the end – money, or lack thereof, is always going to be the biggest problem in a community.

    There will always be slackers who talk a good line and get all excited but then when it comes down to steadily producing their end of the labor bargain and/or producing the agreed upon amount of money to contribute (we already have that – it’s called “taxes”) you will find many who want to live off the fruits of labor of others (again, we already have those in society). The slackers will ALWAYS have some sort of excuses. “I had to take care of my sick child”. “I had to go run an errand.” “I’m not feeling well today”. “I have a dental appointment”. “I’m depressed”. Whatever the excuse is – they are experts at coming up with a sob story.

    What about crime? What about someone who you let join and they buy a plot in your “community” only to find out they are running drugs, or have a dangerous mental issues, or are just plain insane? Or a child molester? You going to murder them and then face charges yourself? What about domestic violence? Are you going to insert yourself into the middle of a dangerous situation like that? Even cops fear getting in the middle of one. What about adultery? I assume then, you don’t plan on actually living away from Law Enforcement.

    When times get hard and people are not holding up their end of the bargain, all that “Kum-By-Yah” stuff seems to go right out the window remarkably fast.

    In other words, the more people you bring into the mix, especially strangers, the more “control” and “government” you have to impose. Well, we already have that in just about every nation on earth to one extent or the other.

    In essence, you display the well intentioned but naive excitement and vision of primitive utopians everywhere.

    Not saying it can’t be done, but the history of dirt hovel communes in this nation or any nation is not good, and not long-lived.

    I’m a cynic and a realist. Airborne! (Been there, done that).

  97. Johnson, your realism is appreciated here. You have done a fantastic job of dismantling one option, but we would love to hear of a more workable alternative if you know of one. Of would that just be a single-family, off-grid situation?

  98. Denver says:

    For myself, “living off the grid” doesn’t have anything to do with energy independence. It has everything to do with “independence”, period. Some of us have played by the rules, studied hard, gotten good jobs, a wife, maybe children; and simply not found happiness or have felt that by following the norms of society, we are just a rat spinning in a wheel. Freedom through independence and self-sufficiency and reaping 100% of what one sows is happiness. Working too much and giving the bulk of our efforts to the company, the tax man, the bank, etc. is not happiness. Having time for ourselves and enjoying simple life is happiness. So, in short, “living off the grid”, for me, is finding happiness through simplicity.

  99. Cindy says:

    We lived 19 miles out of town, on a 7 mile long dirt road that was almost impassable in winter for 7 years. Our water came from an Artisian spring which we had to pack in 5gal containers up to the 5th wheel we lived in. Electricity was from the genrerator or batteries, and our heat was a propane space heater. My husbands disability is what finally pushed us back onto the grid. It was a sad moment…I miss the quiet!!!

  100. Kim says:

    I am just now scratching the surface of this. I am reading and trying to find my path. My truth and my path is not today, but soon. There is so much out there, so much to digest and I have no idea how to figure this out. I do know, that I cannot or (will not) live this way anymore than I have to. Looking for like minded people to celebrate.

  101. JJ says:

    Hey…I want to congrats to all who are off the grid. For me livin off the grid means if I can’t catch it, forage, grow, make build or manufacture i dont need it. Unfortunatly I have remain connected to the grid for family reasons but am working towards my dream lifestyle

  102. jimbo says:

    No address, no friends, no property, no financial holdings, no ties to any community, no family, no government support, no driver’s license, no hospital visits, no passport, no borders, no citizenship, no moral code, no shame, no help, no remorse, no luxeries of life, no email accounts, no ip address, no gps, no communication of this existance to others directly, no future, no past, no direction, no keeping up with the jones’, no illusion that this is freedom, no legacy, no contribution to a society that doesn’t need it anyways, no desire to please another single soul, no familiarty, no gun, no knife, no tools of any sort beyond what you carry inside. Educated, alive, physically fit, resourceful, survivor, realization that only a few can exist this way and that society is needed to hide amongst in plain view, tyrant of old living in modern times, dangerous. The energy grid whether it is hydroelectric, wind, solar or fossil fuel is a tool utilised by industry which in it’s simplest form is an extension of man’s desire to build, control, and breed. The human being is a political animal of habit and despite vast technological advancements is still essentially the same since antiquity. We exist for a reason and democracy tells us that is for each individual to decide why, this is widely and socially accepted but not necessarily truth. The grid may very well be defined as has been explained in each post but there is a deeper thread that ties these posts together.

  103. mick says:

    no human contact,live off the land or die, hunter gatherer,log home grizzly adams style.

  104. Sarah says:

    Living off the grid to me was the way we do it at my family’s ranch. Gathering wood for heat and cooking, using kerosene lamps for light. But it was never really a goal for us to live that way, it just happened to be how it was. Now, that we’ve lived off the ranch in “civilization” we find that we don’t want to live on the grid, but we would like to learn about solar/wind power and such things to make things not so difficult while we are out there.

  105. Hollowk says:

    To live as my grandparents did. They were cotton/soybean farmers in Alabama. They didn’t have running water or a bathroom in the house. They had a bucket on a rope/pulley system to draw water from the well for drinking and cooking and an outhouse a little way from the house. There was a creek on the farm where Granny bathed us. They grew and canned all of their vegetables. They also raised hogs, chickens and cows and preserved the meat in their smokehouse. Milk came from the cows Grandpa milked every morning. They also grew wheat for flour. They even grew popcorn that Granny popped in the fireplace. They had PLENTY of everything they needed and alot of what they wanted without the stress of “modern” life.

    Conversly, I now live in one of the largest cities in the US with all the stress that comes with it. I constantly yearn to return to that simpler life. One day (soon)I will.

  106. Doom says:

    with me its all about saying Fuck you government but wat everybody else said is also part of my deffination of being of the grid well most of the ppl

  107. wndrwmn1029 says:

    “Off the Grid” is the way the character Jack Reacher lives in the series of books by Lee Child. He doesn’t own a car; he only carries what he has on his back, and hitches from town to town. He works odd jobs to feed himself and moves on if things get too complicated. Of course, this is fiction. One would be hard-pressed to live this way in reality. However, some of what he does in fiction could be applied to a very private life.

  108. Greg says:

    Living off the grid has been part of the Amish culture since before there was a grid. I’ve lived around the Amish all of my life around Holmes County, Ohio. They’ve developed an approach to “the grid” that serves them very well as a group. The fact that they are a large group is what makes it possible for them to have highly succesful communities. Their approach to the grid is that they don’t totally reject interacting with the “gridders” or the English as they call us. Their culture would continue in the absence of a grid, but they do take advantage of the English way of life in order to make money to buy more land. Their commercial operations use electric and gas from the grid, they utilize English driven motor vehicles and machinery and public transportation. They use cell phones etc. So, for them, the grid is not forbidden, but they do not depend on the grid for their survuval. Being a long established culture, they control vast land holdings and considerable business assets. The beauty is that they can survive on their own.

  109. Greg says:

    I like the idea of being off the grid, but I also like to be clean, warm, and well fed. We’ve lived in the countryside since 1984, and have a pretty good handle on growing and preserving food. Living totally off the grid is not really practical for me, but flying under the radar is a nice feeling.
    You can’t really hide from “THE MAN”, so you must interact with the local community, and you need money obtained legally and account for it so “THE MAN” gets his share. Moreover, when you get really sick, you probably want to go to the hospital rather than die.
    My version of under the radar is a small business selling used, refurbished light equipment and toys for big boys. We also sell surplus produce. We grow way more than we can eat. Also,we mow grass for city people. The point is that there is plenty of work out here if you go after it and do a good job for a fair price.
    My wife and I work for many years to be able to escape the corporate monster, and so far, it’s a great feeling to be free of that. We had to sell the Acura, but it wasn’t 4 wheel drive anyways 😉

  110. ria says:

    To move off the grid, whether intended to be or not – is a strong political act. To me, it is an intentional adaptation we must consider in order to foster energy independence, ensure food security, regain a lost sense of community, and reconnect with the environment.

    Ultimately though, living off the grid is about Freedom.

  111. Sunni says:

    We too will be taking more control over our destiny. Currently looking for others to pitch in to buy property in Northern, Ca. for off-grid living/growing our own food source, working together & sharing community.
    Anyone interested, please email our website. Looking to move late Summer/early Autumn.

  112. Katy says:

    Living off grid to me simply means living responsibly within our means and studying God’s creation to know and love Him more. :) It’s taking care of our own needs and sacrificing some wants to help others. It’s creating community and being creative. It does not mean secluding from the world, but creating our home as a “safe haven” and a place of peace to welcome anyone who needs rest.

    We are not there yet, but that is my dream. We have just begun our transition and look forward to what the future holds for us!

  113. Doug says:

    I love all the replies on here! Well, the ones I read, anyway. Especially the cynical/realist one that ripped some other poor guy apart – that kind of thing always helps you make a better plan.
    To me, living off the grid is living exactly how you want to. In my case, the statement at the top covers most of it:

    “Being a ghost to the government. Living under the radar. Staying on the move. Being as free as free can get in today’s society. Dropping out of society. No taxes. No Job. Minding your own business and expecting the rest of the world to do the same.”

    The only things I would change about that are ‘staying on the move’ – I’d like to live in a little village of like-minded people, a hobbit village if you will – and ‘dropping out of society’. I wouldn’t want to be a hermit – I may not be super social all the time but I like having people around. Honestly the lord of the rings movie would be heavenly for me.

    Like most of you on here I’m working my way toward it slowly – this summer I plan on building a small hobbit house type thing in the woods behind my parents’ house in northwestern Ontario and trying to live there as independently as I can. That way I can learn the skills of living mostly outdoors without it being a ‘do or die’ situation, and hopefully by the end of the summer I’ll be doing pretty well. I’ll try to go the whole summer without using my computer as well – check my email once a week at the library or whatever. :) I plan on working a regular job too while I do that. In September I’ll take my last year of university, and then use my teaching degree to emigrate to new zealand. then, once I’m well-established there, I can hopefully buy enough land to build myself a more or less permanent hobbit house and become self-sufficient. It’s a long shot, maybe, but worth a try.
    If it wasn’t for our oh-so-lovely canadian winters here, I’d probably just go for it right here. I love new zealand, though, and its climate is better suited to being self-sufficient.

    Well – hope you all wanted to hear about my life plans. :) The very best of luck to anybody who’s going for it!!!

  114. Alice Wedderburn says:

    quote: Being a ghost to the government. Living under the radar. Staying on the move. Being as free as free can get in today’s society. Dropping out of society. No taxes. No Job. Minding your own business and expecting the rest of the world to do the same. That’s a bit hardcore for me too, yet may become a necessity for many of us (if not all of us) the way things are going!
    I want to learn how to grow my own veg and fruit as a first step. We should be able to continue with home comforts such as electricity and internet and other ways of communication, but at an affordable rate. I like the idea of the previous response, living in a community that can support one another back to trade and barter with skills to trade.

  115. Gypsy Soul says:

    To me living off the grid is to be as you said, a “ghost.” Leaving behind all of the hinderances of technology and expectations of societal norm. Moving from town to town meeting different people, never staying long enough to get too emotionally attached. Harming no one and leaving each place a little better than I found it by doing some good to others. In the solitude of travel connecting with my innermost being.

  116. Vinnie Brown says:

    I would like to go off the grid and find Illuminati members the elite that making our great country mad mad mad by people that live here and from many other nations. we need to get infolded with constitutionals that want to take our government to there own court try them for treason. It would take 17 man or women from each county in each state to recede back to 1776 our our republic. there are movement in every state in the union. If I’m able I will tag you tube and web site working right now

  117. arik says:

    To live off the grid is to try and disappear forever to me. I haved a time in my life hat I feel completely alone. I have no family, I lost my son and fiancee in a car accident (drunk driver), and hit the over the hill age at 40…I look a lot younger and feel a lot older. Everything that I ever found enjoyable in my life, no longer means a thing to me, I just want to disappear for real because I already feel invisible to anyone and everyne around me. I have no friends, no family, am tired of getting turned down for jobs because I am too old or choose not to drive in a city overpopulated with cars. I want to live in solitude and write for the rest of my life to help people and change the way the world thinks because this wrld is way too materialistically driven.

  118. Arik,

    Living off the grid means different things to different people, and your idea of doing it has a lot of similarities with others. Still, it also has some similarities with clinical depression and that is no joke. You should talk to a doctor about the way you feel. I know a lot of people on this site are anti-medication, and I am for most things, but there are times when it could help – or at least talking to a professional can help.

    Whatever you choose, I do hope you begin to feel better. We all get older, and we all feel alone sometimes. The entire country is struggling with employment problems too. I don’t say this to belittle your problems (because they are REAL problems) but to say that you are not alone; at least not as alone as you might feel.

    Good luck and bless you.


  119. BEAR CLAW says:


  120. Kevin says:

    I’m so glad I found this website. Living off the grid to me means living a self-sufficient life, growing /raising your own food, using solar/wind power for electricity, gathering your own water, and most importantly; getting away from this decaying society. I’m 19, just got done with my second year of college and don’t plan on going back. I’ve wanted to live a simple life for a long time, but only recently started researching into it and finding that it its entirely possible. I’ve talked about the idea with a few friends who I knew would like the idea and they loved the idea.. now we’re all pooling our money together and making it happen. I’m stopping school, and just working small jobs for the next year or two in till we have all our plans figured out and enough money to make it happen. Any tips or suggestions for a few young guys looking to get away from it all?

  121. […] fly under the radar, while others want to be an active member in a local or global community. And, as we found out with your answers here, living off the grid means something a little bit different to us all. This makes us very curious […]

  122. Jai says:

    Hello – Appreciate your site and as you’ve stated it does mean far different things to different people. I made the search and ended up on your page by being quite furious at searches that I have done on myself and my home. Living off the grid for me simply means that people can’t just type in my name/address/phone number and voila it’s just there for them to be able to show up on my door step. I googled my address and see a picture of my house with my cars and I have a SERIOUS problem with that! I constantly search myself and request that my private information be removed. Its a tedious losing battle! Living off the grid means that I am not accessible to anyone at their whim and that I can have some sort of privacy which is an absolute joke these days. Good luck to those who are actually accomplishing this rare feat. Y’all stay safe!

  123. I think off grid means not hooked up to an electrical meter and getting a monthly utility bill. But not having power to run devices to make your life easier. Off grid just means there is a greater awareness of what uses how much energy and is there another more efficient way to get to the same end.

  124. Darrell Caldwell says:

    Living Off The Grid – it might be more informative to tell you what it *used* to mean to me versus what it means *now* (and how I’ve changed between the two takes). Living Off The Grid used to be one of those phrases I associated with Neo-Hippies, New Age/GreenBean Types, Conspiracy Freaks and so on. This is when I was in my mid 30’s, had a high paying job in I.T. and my biggest concern in life was forcing myself to go to the gym, making sure I had the coolest tech toy gadget, and collecting whatever SciFi Action Figures I currently obsessed over (yes, NerdGeekFanBoy all the way!). Life was – in retrospect – pretty much carefree, happy, and simple.
    I’m now in my early 40’s. Since that time, I left my cushy high paying job to return to school to finish my degree (yes, it was a stupid move – especially at this point in history…in some ways anyway). Obviously much more has changed than this post can cover, but significantly, somewhere along the way I stopped reading conspiracy theory sites merely for the entertainment value and began to actually research some of the more disturbing claims, which led me to the realization how vastly different my perception of the world was from how it really is – at least the tiny amount we are privy to, and that’s disturbing enough. I had started the process of “Waking Up”. I never dreamed I would one day be one of the “Paranoid Freaks” that I was so dismissive of in my more innocent and ignorant days – even though I was always drawn to such things, interestingly enough. Foreshadowing? A sign of mental problems even back then? I dunno, but here I am now! :-) Don’t get me wrong – I still research any and every theory/claim before making any decision as to its veracity, and tho plenty of the Wacky Folk and IntentionalDisInfoAgents are out there, there are also a good number of rational, intelligent, and truly concerned people who work tirelessly to make the masses aware of the bizarre and the inexcusable and horrific injustices visited on the unknowing, the innocent, and even ourselves. What I never realized in my earlier days of scoffing is that much of the “crazy tall tales” are absolutely real *AND* verifiable for anyone willing to invest even a modicum of effort to see the world as it really is. Don’t believe the first thing you read – especially the “Official” version of events from the leading and supposedly impartial News sites, the Grand Jury’s Findings, or Government Reports. Instead, do your own research and find out what the victims or “under dogs” had to say, and then research those claims and and go where the people or corporations who stand to gain something from dismissing the issues don’t want you to go. THAT is a good start for any search for the Truth.
    Nowadays, “Living Off The Grid” is now something I currently consider a near-necessity for those who are working against the elitist factions in power who are concerned with nothing but maintaining that power and regard the majority of humanity at best as a resource to be exploited, and at worse as an irritant to be swept away as soon as possible. I have even recently started to view LOTG as quite possibly inevitable for anyone who wants to survive the chaos and societal collapse the world seems inexorably heading for. I know how out there this all sounds – I used to laugh at it myself. But sounding so bizarre that no one will believe it is a significant reason Conspiracies manage to remain secret for so long, and so often. Think about that for minute – if something sounds so crazy that few will believe it, then you can be as blatant as you want in bringing it about. And indeed they are blatant – people need only to take a good, ernest look, listen to what so many are saying, have been saying and pleading for the masses to take seriously – read something more than just the headlines and “official” version, and listen to all sides to start the waking process….I even try to reassure myself that I’m just being ultra paranoid, a diagnosis my friends agree with when I try to get them to also “Wake Up”. I have never hoped so strongly to be wrong about something as the Future that appears to be coming. For I’d much rather be crazy and all the world laughing at me than all of us crying together. Those that are still around to cry of course. And I’m not implying some religious-style end of the world – I’m talking about a very real financial and societal collapse, and vast reduction in the standard of living for the majority of Americans, and the consensual loss of our civil liberties – All engineered and brought about by the elitist power players who want to ensure most of us are absolutely dependent on them for our basic survival – and those who aren’t can simply be eradicated. I am fully aware of how crazy this all sounds – I used to hate hearing people say things like this because quite frankly, it scared me. Now I have become convinced those people, some of them anyway, were sincerely trying to make the masses aware of something that is so beyond belief that trying to convince people it’s not only possible but probable is a vast undertaking of its own as we have been so lulled into false security and certainty that “that can’t happen here!” that it happens while we’re standing there denying it.
    So, Trauma Drama aside (I really wish I could have made this post sound more like “me” than the dry, paranoid conspiracy freak it comes off as), anyone know of any good communes where me and my 3 Kitty Cats can go to live? Cabins in the mountains are okay too, even Native American Reservations if they’d have us. I want a home, but also want to stock up and fortify a serviceable Safe House for me and my disbelieving friends and family and our various critters. Something Off The Grid so The Powers That Be will leave us alone when they take the world to hell and back – and if that never comes to pass (please let the predictions and indicators and all that be wrong, wrong, WRONG!!!) then it can be a nice quiet place for me to live the second half of my life with my Meow Chitters and a nice place for my friends to visit! :-) :-) :-)

  125. John Smith says:

    I live off the grid In Australia Its hard to do when ASIO has a file on me and I got a lot of left wing political views that go against the grain of the establishment I only use public access internet when I choose to go online so don’t think anyone out there Is smart enough to track me but the governments always paying IT companies for better technology for finding Individuals like myself.

  126. JF says:

    Living off the grid means not using any oil.

  127. Robert Farmer says:

    Living off the grid to me means providing consumables for my self. This would cut the umbilical cord that attaches us to the industrial complex. This system funnels money to the top 20% of the population in this country. The top 20% has 84% of the wealth.
    The bottom 20% has .1% The top 40% has 95%. The bottom 40% has .3%. See the NewsHour report here
    We are country “C”
    Everyone can do something if it is only to grow some of your own food. This is not going to go over good with the top 20%. They are going to fight to hold on by buying political power and public misinformation. Unplug their life support.

  128. Sandy says:

    I am in amazement of all the conversation since 2009 concerning ‘living off the grid’. We lived on a farm when I was little. It was hard work and we depended on all members of the family to do their chores. No romantic notions toward that way of life but we lived simple. We had an acre garden, canned, froze and dried food. We shared with the community when disasters were unfortunate set backs for local families. Going to town was a treat. I know this sounds very Little House on the Prairie but that is my memory. I am too old to really go off the grid, but I am glad so many are so passionate about it.
    I agree the government has and is continuing to intrude into our daily lives, but we ask for it. The minute a storm hits, floor occurs, etc, the first thing we do is call on the city, county, state or feds to come in and supply us with food, water, clothes and rebuild our lives. I always told my family if you don’t like the way something is stand up and don’t tolerate it when you see it is harmful or damaging to another human, or animal for that fact. We can change our path, It won’t be easy. Not sure the youth of today are ready for it. I see a burning in folks to return to for the We the people attitude. You have a voice. Vote! It starts locally.

  129. Jay says:

    Living off the grid, now even the phrase has gotten complicated….

    We (wife and I) have bought a small lot in an undeveloped since the 60’s subdivision. The nearest power pole is over a mile away. I’ve spent numerous hours poring over the computer doing research and countless more drafting a self sufficient house plan. To us, living off the grid means being completely wireless, still having the comforts of society without being tied into it. Wireless internet, solar panels and wind generators, catchment water, satellite tv, a good garden and ample resources surrounding us.

    Our lot gets 120″ of rainfall yearly, mostly at night, and has a pretty steady 8-12 mph breeze above the dense jungle, Lots of sunlight during the day. We’re using clear poly roofing panels, one minimum for every room, to minimize lighting costs, solar and wind power, along with a battery bank, of course, for power needs, instant propane water heater and propane appliances. Our goal is to retain the ability to stay in touch with the world while still living the more relaxed, down to earth life away from society.

    In other words, off grid for us is being away from society while still being able to observe it from afar.

  130. Virgi says:

    Off grid living was a dream come true! Found a spot on Nv Highway truck route 10Highway miles NE of Carson City,what a location! carved a 1/2 acre and the driveway out of the mountainside, and proceeded to build a carpenter gothic 1000sq ft home,3 story, with a great well,600 gal storage tanks,insulated well house/battery,control room, an infiltrator system,600′ long gravel drive,eight 130w panels/Outback 3500inverter,two windmills,400w each,back up 12kw propane genny for our 2.5 hp water pump/charging.Theres 8 batteries configured for a 24v system. It has a small 2 story garage insulated,lighted,septic conection.There are 8 local channel with rabbit ears,good radio, cell phone and broadband. We are growing a lot of trees and shrubs successfully. been here since ’03,for personal reasons it is time to move on,other projects to complete…gonna miss the 8 acres on Kate Peak by Silver.Appraised 811,000 in ’03,january ’11 appraised 207,000.Truely we have felt like royalty living here. Good karma and $200,000+title cost could make it yours.

  131. tomr says:

    My dream is to unplug from the Matrix, gain control over myself and live the rest of my days as a free man, from my youngest years I never fit into society and never wanted to fit I understand now that I was born and raised in enslavement. Only the idea of living simple life somewhere far away from zombieland
    gives me hope and purpose and lack of knowledge is my main obstacle, I would like to here from someone who has wisdom and
    knowledge of life outside the matrix. please help

  132. Granny Sue says:

    I’ve been living “off-grid” off and on since the early 70’s. Part of the “back to the land” movement then, I lived without electricity until 1989. My second husband wanted power, so we got it installed but you know, I missed the simpler ways. I worked for 20 years at a job 50 miles away so I have to admit having electricity was easier. But now I’m retired and find myself moving back to those simpler times–and now we have free gas so it’s even easier. Off-grid for me means more than power sources though. It means not shopping at the usual retail outlets and buying secondhand as much as possible. Ir means not buying corporate food and raising as much of our own as we can. It means working for myself, making money that does not come from corporate America. It means thinking about my choices. It means not tuning in to the media but making my own decisions without being influenced by hype and spin. It means living in tune with nature and with myself.

  133. impecunious1 says:

    I want to get away from people and stop depending on money for everything. I want to the chance to build my own little world, where I can be happy every day. It is my dream, an adventure awaiting me, and a lot of fishing :)

  134. John says:

    Hi there, enjoyed the reading. I am 38 years old and I live in Maine. About 4 years ago I decided When my children were grown I was moving from the cul de sac. I have spent these years learning. I have several parcels in mind. My research and experiments included motors + electrical, farming, hunting, construction, food storage and preparation, Tool making, Survival, Medical and so much more. I have about another 4-6 years to go before my dream becomes a reality. in these coming years I will be finishing the improvements to my home so that the sale will hopefully yield the 70-100k I will need for financing. My design for everything from heat to shower to electricity and communication with my kids is complete. I will be self sustaining in every aspect, though bimonthly to bi annual trips to civilization for salt and parts are a possibility. I have always planned on electric rechargeable tools where micro hydro will play a large roll, though recent reading about ethanol production has peaked my interest. I have been trying to do time estimates in my mind, to see if there are enough hours in the day to maintain this lifestyle in a harsh climate. I think there is if I invest in the right tools and technologies to assist in my daily tasks….Ive bookmarked this and will check back from time to time – John the Dreamer.

  135. Dean Scott says:

    Vermont is where I will be next year. It may not qualify as totally off grid since we will use propane. Heating will be wood, propane for cooking and electricity. Solar or other option are not practical at this location. Satellite and amateur radio will be the on;y communications. The place is paid for I will just need a simple part-time job for incidentals like gas and taxes. Not much to my plans as we are going to do it and see what happens. I never was much of a planner.

  136. tammy says:

    To be really “off” the grid, you can’t have a SS#.
    Your social security number keeps you on the “grid”.

    My definition of being off the grid is paying cash for everything.
    I have had thoughts of buying an RV, selling my home and traveling the USA, but never considered that as being Off grid.
    I have had thoughts of living,(surviving) in the wilderness.

    I do believe even if people can’t go completely off the grid,
    we do need to know how to survive off the land in case a disaster should happen, natural or other type.
    If people are not able to go green, or of grid with power and utilities, they can always stock up on canned food and water, grow their own food and learn how to sew and repair.
    Some of these posts I have read sound like people want to go back to “caveman” ways and some people just want to provide for themselves and live a simple life.
    Kind of like the Waltons or Little House on prairie.
    In real life, people who lived, (and some still do) in the mountains or country wouldn’t think that was a “good” life.
    up way before sun-up to feed livestock, having to shoot your only transportation because it got sick and there was no vet to take care of it, your family members dying way too young because there was no doctor to help them, starving to death in the winter because they miscalculated how much wood they would need and how much food they would need. and lets not forget the droughts that happen that prevent you from growing food or the heavy rains that wash away the crops right at harvest time.

    Back in those days the people lived that way because they had to. It might have been a “simple” way of life, but it definitely was not easy.

    It’s a good thought to get back to basics and be one with nature and away from corporate run system,
    but you will Never really be off grid, not until you die.
    and then who would bury you or do you just rot and go back to dust where you lay when you died??

  137. Bryan Hascall says:

    My perfect idea of living off the grid is to start with one electric RV, and a solar/wind/water charging station, saving up money and selling off electricity, upgrading to 4 medium houses, with their own energy sources, and each capable of sustaining two more houses, upgrade to more houses each the same as the last, with the same abilities as the last, eventually have a community that feeds power to the rid, and attracting more people to the area, investors and such, and finally found my own town, that uses on;y renewable energy

  138. Spence the Elder says:

    While I am not planning form disappearing off the face of the earth, I am planning on a much lower profile. I am looking for much less reliance on “provided” power, food, transportation and reliance on a suffocating, “Orwellian”, government to protect me telling me from myself.

  139. Nemo Da Gypsy says:

    Okay so Off the grid means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But most say electricity!

    I think it is to late to think about these things. What you need to do is start right now, in the place you now live! I for one work, pay tax, love high tec stuff, ect ect! But slowly I am starting to rely less and less on the grid.

    1st thing I did was buy 2 truck batteries and a solar panel, took my lights off the DB board and hooked my lights to it! Then made a veggie garden and now self can lots of food stuff!

    I play around with H2O fuel cells and slowly try to save money or bring down my cost of living! This mite not be what you are all talking about but! One day I will know and can live off the grid!

    Stop Dreaming and wishing start now even if it is slowly!

  140. Ronin427 says:

    My best friend and I have been tlking about this. for us it means our own electricity,our own water source minding our bussiness leaving everyone else to mind theirs

  141. Dr. Wolfe says:

    I have lived off the grid. I had to come out of the cold if you will, because my mother needed care as she was slowly passing from cancer.
    In the process I found many things I did not know about or that I had seen and did not really find out about until I had to once again mingle in society.
    My mother did pass and now I am thinking of returning to the life in plain sight, yet off the grid.
    How, I moved from WalMart to WalMart. I also used land like that of AEP in Eastern Ohio where I could find food in the forest and get a permit to spend many months moving around their different camping grounds. I would find wild honey, berries, and nuts that would support a storehouse of quality food. (YOU HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL!)
    In doing this I met many people that we would barter for different things. I found that the one thing that always was in need was fresh water. So I would carry water for those that needed it and in exchange I would be given food or fuel. Sounds bad two quarts of food for five gallons of water, but it worked for years.
    My home was a One ton Chevy with a 1970’s era Airstream. They did the job to keep me secure and on the road as life led me.
    Now I am in search for the place to start again!

  142. Steve says:

    For us – it’s not having a mortgage, making our own power, catching water, but having a normal job / family life and all the stuff normal folks have – so if needed we can live self sufficiently (earthquake or financial disater) – we have a forest an orchard some land and a large garden.

    Next an electric car which we will also run from solar power so we will be mobile yet independant from the gasoline grid.

    My blog here if you are interested :

    I am 1/2 hr drive from work on 5acres in Christchurch, New Zealand

  143. Kyt says:

    Ever since I saw “Good Life” UK comedy show, I’ve wanted to be so off the grid that it was nature and I. I even did a 28 day solo camping trip. However, I am a social creature, and have since discovered the internet. Because of that I can never go truly off the grid. I need my internet. 😉

    If I could…Off Grid to me would be Green Energy sources that were free (solar, wind, water), water purification system such that every drop is used in as many ways as possible (recycled), a greenhouse that could withstand strong winds, and anything else that would make you as self-sufficient as possible.

    From the perspective of someone who has always been financially strapped, living off grid made so much sense. I’ve often daydreamed about buying the most energy efficient RV available on my limited budget and taking my SS$ and traveling the states, using coffee shops for internet. I’d use my parent’s or Sister’s house as my “official” address.

  144. wilfred costas says:

    I just don’t want my privacy invaded to the point that I have to watch my ass everywhere I go. We will drown under the weight of our own technology. Hope to die before then.

  145. ASNYDER says:

    I have always seen a life off the grid as a life closer to God. I sincerely feel that we have strayed from the life we were meant to live. I see off the grid living as a life of working ones own land, or working with others on a larger portion of land. I see it as being energy independent, raising ones own food (be it live stock, vegetables and fruit, or both). I feel that when you put sweat in, and truly reap what you sew, you see and feel Gods love.

    Even if you are not a person of faith, I see it as being closer to nature, to the foundations of life and to a world in which one works hard, and gets ahead as a result of that hard work. I see it as a world more like the days in which this nation was founded…where you were only limited by you work ethic and no one was given hand outs or lived off of the government. I am not political, I just feel that one should earn what one receives.

    I don’t live off of the grid right now because I was raised on the grid, am only 25 and recently married. It is hard to kick the addiction of on grid life when all you make goes directly into the bills that it brings with it. We have no land and are diligently working to remedy that. It is nice to see that there are so many out there who want or live this life.

  146. Judy says:

    ASNYDER, I totally agree with you. Living life in harmony with nature – we were givin this beautiful living thing we call Earth and asked to care for it. Have we done that? Absolutely not – not one bit. It’s time for a huge change. Time to work side by side with our children to live – not leave them every day to go to work for 8 hours and come home so spent that there is no way to spend quality time with them – not for enough hours anyway. Time to teach them ourselves. Teach them to servive. Teach them how to grow things. Teach them how to live life – not give them expensive technology and send them off to their rooms to text or email their friends instead of walking to the park to see them. Teach them ourselves instead of shipping them off to a huge school to be taught how to live in a society that is wrong. Love – that is what needs to be taught – love for nature – love for self – love for each other. the way we live life now is sick and a crime. Search your soul. I feel very sorry for White who called hippies loosers. He has no idea what living is. I love you all and hope nothing but best for you! I want it more than anything else and I want all my friends and family to come with me. All work together to create a better world. :)

  147. Lori says:

    I am 49 years of age, and I am sincerely and entirely fed up with how often decisions, by government, or corporations for example, are primarily influenced by the almighty dollar or bottom line. I’m super tired of advertising which tells people they need to be thinner, younger, better looking and if they just try this diet, or buy that face cream, or get that face lift, they will become suddenly happy and successful. I’m tired of the focus being on make more and more money to spend more and more money. I’ve had it with the appearance obsession that the media propagates. I’m sick and tired of that hamster wheel I’m on financially; just barely squeeking by each month because I’ve been self-employed and the recession caused my 15 yr piano lesson business to fail after 14 successful years. I’m TOTALLY FED UP AND SICK OF THE RAT RACE!!!!!!!!! I’m tired of the % of people who hold highly materialistic values and are status hungry and don’t acknowledge that all people are equal as human beings. I’m sick of this illusion that status makes a person superior over another; I’m sick of people confusing a person’s worth with their income. I’m sick of the competitive game and I want to opt out of it. I want to think for myself, and live on my own terms. I’m sick of the b.s. that the American dream is real because it’s not. I’m sick of corruption in academia and societal structures in general.
    I’m not trying to disappear from the world. But I want to end my debt. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life paying rent and utilities and then having no money to retire. I want freedom from the burden of owing thousands each month!!!!!
    My plan is to research all aspects related to purchasing rough land where a well is allowed to be drilled, then buying a yurt which is insulated for winter and summer, and learning all aspects of types of energy; I’ll probably opt for solar and propane, hoping also to have windmill back up. I don’t have a car now; ride my cycle everywhere so that will continue. I plan to learn all sorts of self-sufficiency skills. My goal is to pay no monthly rent or utilities other than propane or wood purchase if I have a wood stove for heat. I live simply in a non-materialistic way but do want a couple extravagances like coffee in the morning, so I’d say I’ll be 85% self-sufficient. I am a massage therapist as well as pianist, so I plan to partition a massage area (in the yurt) and offer healing massage therapy, but not with intention of making great amounts of money, but just for the little I’ll need for propane, land tax, and the couple little extras like coffee. Clothes, lol, it’s funny because I buy new clothes once every three years at most :.) So I guess if I learn to make my own awesome, but if not I know I don’t give a shit about fashion AT ALL and will only buy barebones necessities. I just feel like I can’t breath in our modern world where everyone thinks a best friend is someone on facebook who they’ve never met in real life! And as much as I’ve tried to understand why people love to twitter, I just don’t get it! Do people really understand how disconnected all our modern technology has made us? I am tired of materialistic values and people who have to keep up with the jones and think their shit doesn’t stink but yours does, lol. Which leads me to the idea of a composting toilet; I’ll probably make my own. It looks easy. Hopefully my shit won’t stink.
    Now I wish I could do this TODAY; but alas I’ve got to work for it because I’ve got to save money for land and solar and yurt, etc. Plus I’ve got to research and develop survival skills so I succeed when the time comes.
    I’m not afraid of my age or whether I’ll be able to live this way in my 60’s; I ride my bicycle every day and feel like my health will be enhanced by this wonderfully back to basics lifestyle; The reward in relieving of stress will be huge!
    I’m not afraid of aging or death; I don’t believe in treatments that extend life while leaving a person bedridden. I’ll be glad to live and die the way people did before we had medical insurance. I know a lot of people won’t understand this, but I feel like we’ve been b.s’ed about needing medical insurance; it really is a choice. I’m not saying I’ll live as long as someone who has insurance; I might not because there might be an operation I can’t have, but I’m not at all afraid of dying so I’m at peace without insurance. I’m looking to live as long as possible and I’ll smile when I see the light at the end of that tunnel. I just want life to be simple and genuine and authentic. It doesn’t feel like enough people can live authentically anymore because the values are too much placed on consuming material goods and materialism really makes people less rather than more happy. How often do you see someone on t.v. and feel they’re truly authentic in their communication? Usually they sound phony and full of shit. I’m sick of calling any business and getting a computer instead of a person!
    When I saw the commercial for the cell phone that talks to you like it’s a female human being (Cyrie?), I kind of wanted to puke; enough’s enough. We’re being sold a bill of goods!
    I don’t think there’s another country that’s better or where I’d rather live, but I just want to live here with the values that I believe in, and they aren’t the mainstream materialistic values at all.

  148. […] data A YEAR coming through their data pipeline.  On petabyte equals 1 quadrillion bytes!  Maybe Living Off the Grid will take new meaning you the next time you hop on the Internet or drive with your OnStar or your […]

  149. Bob says:

    I Wanted to Post This at the Bottom of Your Article on Marijuana and Same Sex Marriage — but couldn’t find the Leave a Reply box. Could you please post it there?

    I just came across your blog after living nearly all my life in New York City and thinking of going to the Pennsylvania countryside to live.

    I loved this column, and I have to say it was a lesson. The reasons for wanting to live off the grid are many and varied: some are dissatisfied with contemporary culture (that’s me), or the direction the country is taking (ditto), or they want to help the earth by leaving a less toxic footprint, or they can be beglamored by the thought of a more austere pioneer aesthetic.

    Like you, I thought that there might be some consensus on policy issues like marijuana and same sex marriage simply because our desire to live off the grid made all of us, to one extent or another, outsiders. I guess we were both wrong.

    Like yourself, I wonder how anyone living off the grid could oppose same sex marriage. Aren’t freedoms, both philosophical and physical, the whole purpose of this exercise? And while I’m 50 and have never smoked marijuana in my life (believe it or not), I don’t see where I would want people to tell other not to. (Just as I would be very unhappy if someone tried to take my single malt scotch away from me!)

    At any rate, Potter County, PA, is looking really good to me and my husband. (Yeah, I’m in a same sex marriage; been together for 22 years now. Longer, I’m sure, than many of the posters here have been married.) Maybe you can showcase that location in an upcoming blog post?


  150. Phoenix says:

    Hifolks, I may have to choose a life style of living off the grid. No connections to the outside world, no forwarding address, nothing. I’m being crushed by multiple bills in a society that does that to millions of people. I’m willing to disappear forever. Has anyone succeeded in doing this, and if so, how?

  151. Bob,

    If you’d like to write a post about that area I’d happily publish it. As for sharing it with others, I get lots of people asking where good places are and after I feel out whether they are real live-and-let-live freedom-loving person I’ll certainly tell them to check out Potter County, PA. While you’re at it, check out Floyd, Virginia. Rednecks and Hippies get along really well here. Everyone just wants low taxes, some decent land, good music, good friends and to be otherwise left to their own business.

    Thanks for posting here, but I hope it doesn’t get another discussion going about that thread. I was at the end of my rope on that one.



  152. Phoenix, lots of people have succeeded in doing that. Heck, the entire east coast of Canadian wilderness is dotted with plenty of draft dodgers conscientious objectors from the Vietnam war. You’re just not going to find them posting on a blog.

  153. Amanda says:

    We are getting older and don’t want our hard earned retirement going to a bunch of narrow minded utility companies.I want to keep what we have earned in our pockets!

  154. Amana says:

    I love these interesting responses from all
    you thinking and intelligent people.

    Although I still live on-the-grid physically, mentally I
    try and live off the grid by detaching from the ‘norms,’ becoming more aware, and relating to like-minded individuals.
    It is easier for me of course, because I am retired and do not
    have to deal with the daily grind that many workers do.

    I have lived on alternative communities when I was in my twenties and found it to be an enriching experience in spite
    of personality clashes and conflicts of interest.
    Much frustration but also much personal growth.

    I am now in my ’50’s and regret having raised by children in
    a society that doesn’t match my core values. If I’d been wiser,
    I would have found another way but out of fear, took the path of least resistance.

    So I say to all the younger people here who have a heartfelt desire to raise their children in another way, just trust that
    deeper feeling……..fear of the unknown stopped me from living my truth.

  155. John S says:

    I don’t really try to live off the grid – I try to live simply….and sometimes that means I need to be partly off the grid. We just bought a second farm, but it currently has no service, and at least for the next several years, we will be on that land occasionally with no utilities. I think there is a lot to be gained from the efficiency of utilities, because often small scale power generation and adequate water supply is more costly and can be more resource intensive than purchasing the service.
    In short, “living off the grid” means to me a lower cost / more practical alternative to the typical approach to living in the US.

  156. Kiva says:

    To me living off the grid both means to disconnect from the physical grid as well as the larger meaning to disconnect from societal norms and demands. The two go hand in hand, though not always. If you’re living in a developing nation where power is an afterthought, even when the power goes down, as it often does, it’s not a big deal. There are other ways to get by.

  157. Remo says:

    Stay one step above corporate America. I dislike paying $32.00 a month for hOlding one end of their wire on my property .

  158. Angela says:

    Esmaa Self, you might consider rain harvesting for your water needs. A fellow by the name of Mike Reynolds has been building “Earthship” homes for years in Toas, New Mexico that allow the homeowners to live without wells or the grid for their water supply. All of their water is provided by harvesting the rain – and it’s my understanding that it is a pretty dry area most of the time.

  159. Angela says:

    Off-the-grid living for me is about living in a more earth-friendly sustainable, self-sufficient way, and living more free. I currently have enough space to grow the food I need, but I don’t want the mortgage and all the trappings (or should I say traps?) that go with it – including being tied to the 9 to 5 J.O.B. I like doing my own work and growing my own food, but don’t care for being caught in this spider’s web of a society where it seems like so many are on the take, and none more than the large corporations and ancient “wealth-mongering” families that use the masses to gorge their coffers. So I’m looking for a piece of land to build my off-grid home on, to live as self-sufficiently and environmentally friendly as I possibly can, and to live peacefully in my community. The land should allow me to grow all of my own fruits, nuts, vegetables and grains, grow crops to provide fiber to weave cloth, rope, & twine, to grow bamboo for everything from tools, housewares, baskets, furniture, flooring, even musical instruments and more, to drill for and harvest ground and rain water, to harvest sun and wind energy, and so forth. I am no stranger to hard work, so it is a little surprising to me that even though I will be doing so much more work living off-grid, I am excited about the freedom that comes with it and already feel “lighter” and excited at the thought of it.

  160. Angela says:

    By the way, I like and enjoy the ease that “modern conveniences” bring to our lives – just not at the current costs to the environment and our health, and not at the cost to my personal freedom. Perhaps we can weigh in on and influence the creation of more environmentally responsible versions of our beloved modern conveniences.

  161. Angela says:

    I’d be surprised if ‘White On’ wasn’t penning for the large wealthy corporations and old wealth-mongering elite. They can’t have their workforce – the everyday citizens – going off on their own and seizing to be used for the profit of the few now can they?

  162. James says:

    I grew up in northern CA, not “off the grid”, but in a small farming community. We had cattle, grew crops and my father worked in a lumber mill. I couldn’t wait to get out into the world…. what a mistake…. I have since done well, I had a good job, big house and everything the media told me I needed. I hated it. After 3 years of trying I finally convinced my wife to sell the house and buy some land. We built a smaller house with a well and septic system and have slowly been working toward Solar Power. We have some livestock and a veggie garden but I still work because at this point I still have kids to put through college, and I also need to pay for fuel, ammo, and hunting gear/license. It is amazing how much money you can save by downsizing and simplifying your life. The new property will be 100% paid for in about five more years, and at that time I will re evaluate how much farther I can go toward being “OTG” The hardest part of this transition has been for the kids, anyone thinking of going totally off grid with kids should really evaluate how practical/possible it is.

  163. Chickadee says:

    My boyfriend and I are buying land and saving for solar panels and wind power for it. It has been a slow process because we are paying cash for everything so we don’t have bills to pay for when we actually go live on our land. I am happy to hear that other people are doing the same thing, or similar to what we are doing, and that we aren’t the only ones that see that living off grid is so much cheaper in the long run than being tied to the grid.

  164. dawn says:

    Living off the grid to me, means finding happiness in things that others take for granted. Having plenty of what I need, and sharing what I don’t. Having peace of mind from knowing, that even if the economy, environment, or government collapses, I am capable of taking care of those around me, and teaching them to do the same. It does not mean anti social behaviors or ducking from society, it simply means, not depending on it for survival.

  165. OffGrid101 says:

    Off grid: deconnect from the lifestyle we think is normal (but in fact is a world driven by commercials and advertisement). Going back to a way of living that might be harder work, but so much more satisfying. Being independent. Self sufficient. Respectful to resources…..

  166. Daniel says:

    To my wife and I, living off the grid (which we are currently in the process of working towards) Is living off on your own, being self sufficient. What we want to do (and other “Self sufficient Off grid”)is either find a bus and convert it to a home then live off it while traveling and finding land, just a couple ac. we are looking for, then building a yurt/eco home. We want to grow all (or atleast the majority) of our own food. We just want to get lost and not have to deal with the bull shit of day to day living and being told how to live YOUR life.

    Simplicity would be the word i would use to describe what “Living off grid” means to me.

  167. ranefyre says:

    I would like to differentiate between off-grid and being environmentally dedicated. When you spend every waking moment dedicated to your survival hauling water, chopping wood, cooking over a camp stove or the wood fire, butchering your own animals and running your own garden to maybe have enough to eat all the while still relying on outside supplies and worrying about the money for those, well, it sucks. Straight out sucks. Not only that, but you are polluting the air with your woodstoves, and unless you are truly being compost savvy with those animal remains or feeding them to the dogs, you are polluting the groundwater. Now, if you convert your house to solar or wind, still use a butcher, and use modern tools to grow your food, while lessening your carbon footprint (i.e. biodiesel or other conversions), and making your house and actions environmentally sound, then that is the way to go. Oh, and if you’re going both ways, yeah, turn off the TV and quit paying them to be trained singing and dancing monkeys. Even though I’m not either yet-still working on converting the house-no TV has been the best choice I have ever made.

  168. JP says:

    I do not do facebook; I don’t give out my social security number; I don’t give out the phone number I use; if I go on the internet, I use throwaway email addresses; I don’t use retail “rewards cards” that track my shopping habits, etc.

    It feels like having a peeping Tom at your window watching you shower to have all of this digital intrusion going on.

    To me: off the grid means trying to minimize or suspend my digital footprint. It’s really, really hard to do. Even this post is part of the problem….

  169. It’s funny how those who admittedly are “not either yet” like to tell other people what is and what isn’t green. Consider the wood-burning pollution from my wood stove compared to your burning of electricity (which comes from coal or nuclear power, typically), or of an oil furnace to provide heat in the winter. If you think you’re going to heat your house with solar panels you are in for a shock, no pun intended. Yes, you can offset your heat costs by building a passive solar house, but in most places you’re still going to need some additional heat in the winter. Is it more eco-friendly to build a new, passive solar house, or to insulate a small cabin or old farmhouse well and put in a wood stove? Which uses up more resources? Is it more eco-friendly to heat with wood or to buy solar panels? Not that solar panels would “heat” your house in the dead of winter, but assuming they do have you factored in the energy, waste and toxicity of building solar panels? Do you know what is in them? Worse yet, do you know what is in the batteries?

    I’m all for solar panels, passive solar, solar hot water, biodeisel, etc… But I’m not into someone from the city who knows nothing about anything coming on here and acting like their way (I mean the way they “want” to be, but are “still working on” and haven’t started yet beyond turning off the TV) is the best way and that we are all “polluting the air with our woodstoves”.


  170. Kickstand says:

    Living off the grid, well after reading all these comments not sure what I want. I am 52 years old disabled and spent 3/4 of my life locked up. Oh well now that I been out now since 2003 there has ben nothing good out here, it scares me to death how our government is run and all the people out here JUST HAVE TO HAVE ALL THESE RULES AND GUILD LINES. Hell they never had then way back when. My thought of living off the grid is just like being left alone, live off the land your on, being self safiecient (can’t spell)sorry. Find a creek for water, dig in the side of a hill and make it home. What’s wrong with that? Sure the government sticks their nose in there only reason is because they want us to pay their bills, and keep THEM out of debt. They put themselves there they should get themselves out. I live in north Idaho hating everyday I wake up what’s next???? I would love to here from some others that would be willing to take some time with me and help guild me to my off the grid ideas. Thanks

  171. Cindy Staten says:

    What living off the grid means to me: I can imagine living totally independent of government, utilities, money, and society. I am a 57 year old female in relatively good health that has never had a “dream” in her entire life except this one. I’m tired of life as I know it and want to enjoy the remaining time I have left on this earth in harmony with nature and God. I can imagine a community of fellow believers working together and helping each other for the common good. I can imagine healthy home grown food instead of the garbage we are forced to buy at the supermarkets. I can imagine someone creating a way in this day and age to harness energy to use efficiently for comfortable living. I am not to old to learn new skills. I just don’t know where to look or how to go about making this dream a reality. My mother says its sounds like “cult” living but I disagree. Cults are all about “control” where I see this choice as pure freedom. If anyone knows how to get me started in the right direction….PLEASE EMAIL ME. Only serious parties please respond. God help me now!!

  172. […] Well, that’s what it’s about for me at least. But more importantly: What is living off grid about to you? […]

  173. R00STER says:

    Living “off the grid” to me means living life without leaving a traceable footprint to follow, electronic, energy, or monetary. Do I think I can live this way? Sure but not for very long at some point I would probably feel the irresistable urge to “Prairie dog” it. I don’t things have gotten to the point of having to button up yet, but I’m also equally certain I may not realize its time until its too late. I am a late comer to this not so distant realization I’ve thought about it for quite a while, i just have not done anything about it and I foresee my circumstances changing soon as I will become single again within a year.

  174. Peggy Padgett says:

    Living off the grid means not being connected to the power grid or using public utilities. Period. The other meanings you listed are MINIMALIST. There is a HUGE difference between living off the grid and living minimalistic.

  175. Kassandra says:

    I don’t want to bust anyone’s bubble, but . . .
    If you live anywhere other than Alaska, Maine, N CentralWashington , North Minnesota, N. Michigan or High in the Appalachian mountains, or Eastern or Western Canada–you will shortly be without water due to global warming. This is especially true due to the fact that the aquifers are drying up and are not being replentished. Check out the Ogallalah, for example. Rivers are also drying up. Check out the Colorado River, for example. For a real clear picture, read the IPCC reports–complete with maps. If everyone had recycled and unplugged in the 60s, we wouldn’t be in this mess–but, the tipping point has come and gone. About all anyone can do now is grab a perch and watch the hell we’ve made of the planet do a slow burn. But, those safe off-grid perches will also come down to smoke and ashes as well. During the next century Mother Earth will cleanse herself of the Super Virus callef homosapian.

  176. Steve Fricke says:

    When my working days are over my PLAN is to move to the coastal area or the mountains of NC/SC or Tenn. Living off the grid to me would be with Medicare/SS and possibily a small inheritance. My plan would be to have a small motorcycle, a older pick up truck/VAN or trailer to use for travel and a very small house with a small fenced in area for my dogs.

    For me being free from cell phones, TV, computer and most of the luxuries people lived very comfortably without for 1000’s of years. WHO knows what the future holds ?

  177. C Smith says:

    I’ve lived without power from ‘Outside sources’ since ’06. I need to haul my own water, hay for horses, I drive an old pickup. Due to expense in driving, I now have 4 hens and a Roo. I unplugged the tv long ago since only 1 station came in & WAY TOO POOR for cable or high speed internet. In my humble opinion, I think Off The Grid means to live as self suff. as possible. NOT DEMANDING Mother Nature to provide for you. Why I am in this cabin; Pretty obvious the first owner, builder, expected solar to meet HIS demands. Reality: 1 cord of wood, isn’t going to make you through a Montana winter with a wood stove only 7 in high; gas powered generators are not meant to run as long as the dryer is needed, Water pumps can suck your batteries down FAST.
    Off the Grid is as it was early in the last century; COMMON SENSE. Eggs needn’t be refrigerated, water needn’t be ‘clean’ to water the pets. Dishwashers using Bleach, ‘elbow grease’ and air dry are fine. Propane ovens heat just as well, more thoroughly, than microwaves. Hauling 4-5 gallon buckets of water = 40-48LBS of GYM weights, Chickens LOVE bugs caught in small jars & can keep bugs away from the house. Gravel in mouse holes stop mice from digging. Expectations are pre-mediated Resentments. One has to be happy in their own skin, to be happy off the grid. Losing electric Co. Won’t replace what isn’t there to begin with~

  178. katlupe says:

    I have had this subject come up a few times on my blogs and my Facebook pages. Technically, off-the-grid, means the utility grid. So you are correct in your thoughts on it. It has just come to mean something else to others over the years and on the internet.

    I lived without anything electrical in the beginning too. Used the kerosene lamps and a gas refrigerator. But you know what? Once we got our solar and wind system in place, we don’t have to purchase kerosene or propane.We now use a solar refrigerator that uses less power than my laptop. I do cook on a wood cook stove, but we live in a forest so wood is free too.

    As far as the kerosene lamps, kerosene is expensive. Instead our system powers our lamps for free. Free power means you are truly off-the-grid. No running to the store to buy those things. Our generator doesn’t run all spring, summer and fall. And not every day in the winter either.

    There really is no rules. I am off-the-grid with solar and wind. I work on the computer so the system also allows me be off-the-grid in that situation also.

    By the way, nice blog!

  179. Aaron Murphy says:

    What sort of computer work do you do? Thanks for chiming in. Sorry it took so long to reply.

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