These days I see many people talking and posting on social media about going offgrid. It seems that the idea of going offgrid has become a fad and everybody wants to get in on the act. There are more groups on social media devoted to this subject than I can count.
There are many reasons given for wanting to go offgrid; the high cost of electricity, insurance against power failures, and independence are just a few of the many reasons given.
After living offgrid for many years I have talked with many different people from all walks of life that express an interest in going offgrid themselves. Looking back over the years and all the people that have wanted to go offgrid I have noticed there are basically three different types of people that I have encountered;
Most people fall into this category. They will seem enthusiastic and talk and post about how much they want to get a rural property where they can live offgrid.
They will talk about how they will grow a garden and home can their produce, have chickens and other animals, bake bread in a solar oven, forage in the woods for wild foods, hunt, fish, and in general live an idealistic lifestyle while leaving all their problems behind in the city.
They may gather supplies, tools, and solar panels they think they might need and show them to all their friends and explain their reasons for needing these things and talk about how they are going to use them to accomplish this idealistic lifestyle they plan to build for themselves.
Sounds good doesn’t it? Very few of these people will ever make the first effort to get anything done to accomplish this goal. They are dreamers and procrastinators or they are just going along because they think it is the popular thing to do. Their tools will remain shiny and new and never see the first hour of actual use.
The second group of people are a little more serious. They will plan and save and gather supplies and tools and actually make the commitment to get it done.
They will actually find their dream place and get it bought or leased or whatever financial arrangement suits them and move onto the property. They will spend the first few days walking around looking the place over and deciding all the things they are going to do with it.
Now comes the part that separates the truly committed from the pretenders. Getting things done in a rural environment is WORK. Supplies are not just around the corner and many times must be trucked in from somewhere else, everything is harder than it looks and takes longer than you think it should, expect to sweat a lot and get blisters and calluses.
Basic changes to lifestyle must be made. From the kind of clothing you wear on a daily basis to the way your wife cooks and washes clothes must be altered to fit the situation.
Most of this group eventually move back to town or hook up to public utilities if they are available in their location.
These are the pioneers, the fully invested, the ones that will succeed at what ever the cost. They are willing to do the work, sweat, and deal with the blisters. They will make the necessary changes in lifestyle. They are committed to an offgrid lifestyle and will not take no for an answer.
While going offgrid may sound good to many it is not a good fit for most. Yes, it is easy to imagine yourself living in a cabin in the woods, heating with wood, and drinking fresh spring water, but the reality is quite different for most.
So look before you leap. Talk to someone that is actually living offgrid. Find out what the challenges are in the area you have chosen and decide realistically if you are willing and able to meet them successfully.
Going offgrid can be the best decision you ever made. The benefits are more than you can imagine. It can also be the worst nightmare you ever had if you are not able or willing to meet the challenges head on.