Life Off-Grid: Tools and Techniques for Comfortable Off-Grid Living
In today’s society, we are overloaded with sensory information. Technology in the form of smartphones, smart cars, and even e-readers can affect us. It can stop us being able to get a good night sleep and even ruin our relationships with other people.
Even though it may seem unlikely, there are many ways in which we can get off the grid and live our lives without the help of technology.
Whether you want to get away for a weekend or a week in the woods and want to know how to survive or you are trying to survive for longer here are the best tips for how to live a life off grid.
What Do You Mean By Living Off Grid?
Living off grid can mean a lot of different things. To many people, it is simply living without the internet or communications ability. But others take a much wider definition, which is that it should also include any mains connected appliance.
So this means living without a connection to electricity, running water or heating. It is important to decide how far you want to take this and what you have the time and commitment to go with.
Consider Getting A Solar Panel
If you want to generate your own electricity then be sure to get yourself a solar panel or several which you can attach to your roof or place in your garden. This can really save the planet.
Studies have shown how using electricity at different times of the day can really help to save us billions of dollars. Use your time off the grid to think about the effect of your electricity use.
How much electricity you generate will depend on the area in which you live. If you live in somewhere like California, the Golden State, where the sun is said to shine for more than 300 days a year, then the chances are you will generate a lot of electricity.
In some countries, there are even schemes which allow you to sell any excess energy you have back to the national grid.
However, if you live in a country such as Finland or Norway then solar panels will only offer you limited electricity and may not even be worth the investment.
Other Forms of Electricity
If solar panels are not for you then consider hydroelectricity generators or even wind turbines. Both of these can give you the power you need to generate your home with heating and other appliances you may need.
Bear in mind you may not need that much power if you have decided to go off the grid from all of your devices as well.
If you are planning on going camping and this is your reason for going off the grid then you might want to consider purchasing a Generator Diesel. These are perfect for cooking on a stove or for powering some lights.
Social Media Detox
One of the best ways of moving off the grid is to start with a social media detox. As a society, we are increasingly reliant on social media and this can be unhealthy.
Whilst this is understandable given how global the world is now: we all want to be able to stay in touch with friends who live in the furthest reaches of the globe.
We are also obsessed with how many likes we get on Instagram or Facebook or how many retweets we get on Twitter. But the truth is that trying to get that perfect photo for the ‘gram can ruin our holidays and our everyday lives. It is seen as integral to our identity.
Start this process by contacting your closest friends and telling them of your intentions so that they don’t get worried. But, as for some friends on the outer reaches of your network, letting go might be good for your mental health.
Those that miss you might make more of an effort to contact you which can only be a good thing whilst those that don’t notice you are gone might not be worth keeping in touch with anyway.
The best thing to do to ensure that you are properly off the grid is to hide your phone or lock it in a drawer, along with all of your other computers and tablets.
If you have gone fully off the grid then you will have the added protection of having no WiFI at home so that even if you switch on your devices you will have nothing to connect it to.
Next, you need to give yourself distractions. Fill your day with exciting things. Go parasailing or go for a massage. If you live with family and friends then play board games with them in the evening.
Go to bed earlier and revel in the fact you are not looking at your screens before drifting off to sleep, hopefully improving and deepening the sleep that you get.
Get Back to Nature
One way to really get off the grid is to go back to nature and get out of the city. If you work a busy 9-5, the city can be an exhausting place. Try reaching out to living off the grid communities to see how they do it and consider leaving the concrete jungle.
Getting off the grid can also present its own challenges as cities often rely on technology meaning you will need to use your phone to get around.
Instead, consider renting a tent at a campsite and avoid using the electricity. Better still why not head really off the beaten track to the desert and sleep under the stars, watching the world go by.
This can be fun because it involves having to prepare and think about what you need before you get there.
Make a Supply List
Some of the items you might need for the journey are a portable gas stove, a lantern or some matches in order to light some candles.
A compass might also be a good idea as well as an old-fashioned map with some helpful pointers in case you get lost.
You will also need to bring with you some food supplies as well as some precautions in case of an emergency: a phone for you to call for help, left switched off and not a smartphone.
One way of entertaining yourself late at night is to light a fire and to tell stories with each other or perhaps with other travelers you have met. But this is not the only way. Be sure to bring a pack of cards to play games and to bet against each other.
Books are also really important. Take this time when you are disconnected from everything to take some time to read important books on topics that you are interested in. Even with an e-reader or audiobooks, you are not getting the full experience of reading a physical book.
Another experience that it is really important to do is to write. In our every day lives it can be really difficult to find the time to reflect on what has happened to us and attempt to make sense of it all.
This can prevent you from getting bored or worrying too much about what is going back home or online.
Water And First Aid
The most important thing to remember when living off the grid is water. You need to ensure you have access to clean water at all times. This is most true in hot climates such as a desert.
Be sure to camp within a walkable distance of the nearest water supply and if you are going to get more off the beaten track then bring water filters with you and a big enough supply to last you for your entire trip.
This could entail thinking about how to carry large amounts of water long distances and can make going off the grid – without the use of a car or van – a challenge.
Life Off Grid – Everyone Should Do It
The world is a challenging place. Whilst we think computer equipment and social media makes our lives easier, in fact, they can often over-complicate it.
Social media can ruin our mental health and destroy friendships whilst dealing with computers for everyday tasks can stress us out. Living a life off grid can help us reconnect with nature and can also make us feel alive again.
It can also reconnect us to our inner thoughts. Often we are overstimulated by the modern world and do not take the time to properly reflect or process our emotions to decide what we want from our lives.
Divorcing ourselves from the electronic world can be very useful. And we can do this either by staying at home or by removing ourselves in the form of a tent.