Most people who have learned how to live off the grid have embraced independence early on and have had the desire to be so for quite a while. The youth of today will think of it as an impossibility given the technological advancements that we are currently experiencing, but older Millennials find it a convenient way to escape being shackled to a desk and slaving for things that they could have lived without in the first place.
Living off the grid used to be an unpopular term during the eighties and the nineties but ever since the Y2K scare, more and more people have embraced the philosophy of living outside the normal convention of society. Being off-the-grid simply means living without any dependence on any institution or government agency for existence, only using money at times when they really need to.
A common misconception about living off-grid is that people who do so sever all forms of communication and become wild men with no concept of manners and decency. This is not true though. People who have chosen to live-off-the-grid retain whatever they know before sauntering off into independence and they do keep in touch, albeit not in the conventional way, and only with those who really matter to them.
Knowing how to live off the grid with no money offer some great benefits which includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Low Levels of Stress – probably the most stress one could get would be when a natural disaster strikes and their current dwelling is not equipped to handle it. Most “off-griders” prepare well for such incidents.
- Zero Dependency – being off the grid really means being off the main supply lines of the necessities but that does not mean that one should not live without them, it’s more finding ways to get the same necessities, only for free.
- Everything’s Free (sort of) – not everyone a person deals with will accept non-monetary items in exchange for what they offer but bartering has had some surge the past years and one can also work for the items that they need using skills that they have like carpentry, masonry and such.
- Freedom – probably the best thing about knowing how to live off the grid with no money is having a greater sense of independence.
Going back into the wild is not as easy as it sounds, one needs to prepare mentally, physically and emotionally before heading off to the woods. Here is a list of items one should consider before running off:
Water –water is fast becoming a commodity nowadays but there are still plenty of free water sources available. Make sure that the target location would have unlimited access to it and that the water is potable. This can be in the form of a stream or a brook as long as it is running, clear and does not come from a polluted water source.
Food – it might take a while to get used to harvesting or catching food rather than buying them cleaned and packages but living off the grid means being able to sustain one’s self by applying traditional farming and hunting methods. Another good thing about harvesting one’s own food-stuff is that they can barter any surplus for items that they need.
Energy – this is the most expensive part of living off the grid. One can start off with solar panels that are increasingly becoming cheap to purchase and install. Wind power can also be an option and there are several DIY wind turbine projects that one can use to avoid purchasing a pre-packaged system.
Waste – living off the grid means zero-wastage. Nothing is ever wasted, extra food items can be bartered; used clothing can be hand down or turned into rags; even human waste can be turned into a biomass reactor to add to the energy sources.
Communication – this is optional but if one would want to keep in touch with people important to them, they can always keep a PO Box for communications purposes or have their mail sent to a trusted friend’s house. If they are nearby, one can always do with exercise and walk to visit them, it’s much better that way.
Medical Care – most of the medicines being taken today can trace its roots to herbs or herbal infusions and several apothecary classes are now available online.
Cooking – unless one likes their food raw, learning how to cook can be a viable survival skill. Being off the grid means one would not have access to gas for cooking but one can always use wood for cooking. It’ll taste better too.
Living off the grid is knowing how to sustain yourself without money and doing so is much better if it is done with a group rather than as an individual. Members can share tasks and contribute using their own set of skills while learning other skills, forming them into a stronger community.
Andrew McKay is a seasoned hunter and fisherman from Anchorage, Alaska. Andrew thinks that he is the luckiest person in the world, as he lives in the most gorgeous place in United States and does what he loves to do.