It is the dream of many burnt-out urbanites and corporate workers to unplug and go and live off the grid. They envision days working the land and nights knitting by the fire. It can all seem idyllic. Although it is an enriching lifestyle, it isn’t always the dream life people imagine for themselves.
One of the reasons it is harder than people realize or that it doesn’t live up to expectations is that there are many mistakes made. There are a lot of challenges to overcome to live off the grid and make it work. When mistakes are made, setbacks can mount and cause you to not enjoy the lifestyle. In this article, we will go over some common mistakes to avoid.
1 – Not building resilience
One of the most important aspects of going off the grid is to be as resilient as possible. There are going to be things that come up that you have to be prepared for and overcome the challenges. This means that you have to build up some resilience.
Resilience comes from thinking ahead and setting yourself up in a way that you can keep moving forward even when things happen that you didn’t expect. Many of the resiliency systems will look a lot like being a prepper or survivalist, but they are simply ways of being prepared.
Some forms of resiliency are preparing for the worst even though they may be low risk such as having a nuclear survival checklist. Most of the time it involves being able to keep providing electricity even when the sun is not shining enough for your solar system to produce.
2 – Not understanding the costs
Many people think of how unplugging from the grid also means that you no longer have the bills that come with it. You’re producing your own energy and using water from a well, for instance. However, there are a lot of high costs that you have to be aware of before you get to the point where you are saving money.
It costs a lot to set up solar panels with batteries that you will need to produce enough electricity even through the winter when the sun is low. It also costs money to replace the batteries after ten to fifteen years and even the solar panels themselves will need replacing eventually.
3 – Unrealistic ideas
Very often, the fantasy of off-grid living doesn’t match the reality. This is because many people have unrealistic expectations of what the lifestyle really is like. It is a very busy way to live and there isn’t much downtime. It takes a lot of work and being in good shape to be able to live off the grid since you are adding complexities to just about every aspect of your life.
Talk to people who live off the grid or are homesteaders and ask them a lot of questions. This will give you an idea of what you are really getting into.