No matter the journey, they all start with a first step.
Transitioning off-grid will require many steps. But the first is to imagine what living off-grid will look like to you. Are you in the same home as you are now? Or, have you moved to that perfect little in the middle of nothing, where the nearest neighbor is over a mile away?
Regardless of where your destination is, you need a plan on how to get there. So, let’s start with making a plan. And like all good plans, they start with questions.
- Why do I want to go off-grid?
Do you realize that you will soon be retiring and your retirement plans will not be enough to maintain your current lifestyle?
Or perhaps you just want to get out of town, away from the hustle and bustle?
- How large a home will I need?
This is always a difficult question to answer because it can be difficult to answer. You may be interested in living off-grid, but what about the rest of your family?
- Define your expected comfort level.
Do you want cable television?
Are you OK with using an out-house, or do your demand indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water?
These three simple questions are what you will need to answer to even get started. And though the questions are simple, the answers are far from easy. As an example, cable television as a creature comfort. It has many solid values from entertainment to news that educates on the events of the world. But, what systems are required to support that television? City cable services are expensive and there is some really good programming on the ‘free to air’ channels. But, there are more choices with city cable systems. And out in the country … Is cable even available at the future homestead? Or will it be a satellite system?
And don’t forget about the electrical system. How large a television do you want to use? The larger it is, the more power it will require. The more work and resources and expense will be required to support it. The same with those cable and satellite systems. Will you be fully off-grid or just partially? Partially, and you may have grid power to your home. That means a monthly bill that will forever be increasing. If you are fully off-grid, then the electricity for that television has to be created and stored so it is available, on-demand.
Start answering these questions, write them down. Consider how important each is to you.
Evaluate that indoor plumbing question. Is it really practical for you to use an outhouse? That indoor plumbing is very exciting when the ground is frozen solid and the well-pump is buried under snow.