How to Live Off the Grid: The Complete Guide for Beginners

Would you like to live off the grid and stop city life from stressing you out?

Urban living has some advantages, we all know them.

But have you noticed that global warming is turning cities into ovens?

And if that’s not enough, we also have to deal with traffic noise, air pollution, lack of privacy, and more.

It’s not surprising that many people prefer to live off the grid.

Imagine you could move to the woods, build a cabin, use the power of nature to light your home, and grow your food.

You could sit on your porch, relax with the sounds of nature, and stare at the natural wilderness around you.

That said, living off the grid is easier said than done.

Leaving modern life behind takes a lot of planning and requires more than just installing a few solar panels. 

But don’t worry, we’re here to help you! In this guide for beginners, you’ll learn how to live off the grid and build a self-sufficient homestead. 

So, let’s start with some general information to learn the basics of off grid living!

What Does It Mean to Live Off the Grid?

Living off the grid means living in a property without connection to public utilities, like the main electrical grid. In other words, off-grid homes are completely autonomous.

For example, they rely on alternative power sources and natural sources of water.

Simply put, off grid living is all about being self-sufficient.

This sustainable way of life is also known as homesteading, permanent camping, or living off the land.

That said, going off the grid completely can be difficult or unrealistic for some people.

If that’s your case, you could go partially off the grid. 

Is It Possible to Live Partially Off the Grid?

Some people go fully off the grid by generating their electricity, digging wells, using septic tanks, composting, and growing their own food.

They usually stop using phones and the internet as well.

On the other hand, some homeowners prefer to live partially off the grid. Keep in mind that this can be different from person to person:

Those who live partially off the grid usually generate their own power from the Earth’s natural resources, like the sun.

But some of them might still rely on other utilities, like city water or sewage.

Likewise, some homeowners still buy food at grocery stores, while others might even have internet access.

As you can see, it depends on what works best for you.

Whether you decide to go completely or partially off the grid, it’s important to know the basic requirements of off-grid living, which we’ll describe in a moment!

Off-Grid Living Is Peaceful & Will Help You Reconnect With Nature
Off-Grid Living Is Peaceful & Will Help You Reconnect With Nature

Top 5 Reasons to Live Off the Grid and Be Self-Sufficient

Let’s be honest, living off the grid is not for everyone.

But this sustainable way of life could give you some wonderful health benefits.

Moreover, off-grid living can also reduce your environmental impact.

Want to know more? Let’s explore some reasons to live off the grid:

  1. Small Environmental Footprint: You’ll use less water, produce less waste, and rely on renewable energy sources to generate electricity.
  1. Deeper Connection with Nature: Off-grid living will help you reconnect with nature. And that’s because you’ll be able to explore beautiful natural areas and enjoy new experiences.
  1. Better Health: When moving to the wilderness, people usually become more active, which might help prevent many health problems
  1. Greater Personal Satisfaction: Learning new skills to survive without public utilities and solving problems on your own will boost your confidence.
  1. Lower Stress and Anxiety: While modern life makes people feel stressed and anxious, living surrounded by nature can help you feel relaxed. 

Cool Camper Van With Self Made Interior, A DIY Project.
Cool Camper Van With Self Made Interior, A DIY Project.

Off-grid Living for Beginners: Essential Things to Survive

Before learning how to live off the grid, you should understand the basic requirements of homesteading.

Let’s remember that the practical concept of survival involves three things: food, water, and shelter.

If you’re planning to go forward with this lifestyle, make sure you have access to these essential things:


As you might know, hydration is essential to your survival.

Without this valuable resource, you’ll only be able to survive a matter of days. Besides, you rely on water for many other activities, like showering, cooking, cleaning, and more.

On-grid residents don’t have to worry about sourcing water. 

But when you go off the grid, you probably won’t be connected to the public water supply.

So, you’ll need to find a way to get enough clean water to drink and use each day. 


Getting food isn’t complicated when you live in the city. But when you live off the grid, you have to figure out a way to find food.

Although you could go to the city and buy certain foods, it will probably be difficult to do this on a regular basis.

That’s why it’s important to become skilled at hunting, fishing, gardening, and farming.

These useful skills will help you meet your nutritional needs, survive, and achieve self-sufficiency.


And finally, you need to have a safe and reliable place to live off grid.

It could be a cabin in the woods, a tiny house, or even an RV.

That said, there are some things to consider when choosing the right option for you.

When you’re living off the grid, you have to make sure that your shelter can protect you from predators and prevent home break-ins.

Likewise, it should also keep you safe from the elements, including wind, snow, rain, and extreme weather conditions.

Don’t know how to build a self-sufficient homestead?

Later in this article, we’ll teach you how to live off the grid.

But first, let’s discuss a few important things you should know to prepare for your new lifestyle and have a sustainable homesteading scenario!

Shower Cabin Made of Bamboo Straw Sticks with Water Flowing From Metal Shower Head
Shower Cabin Made of Bamboo Straw Sticks with Water Flowing From Metal Shower Head

7 Clever Things to Consider When Going Off-grid 

We all want to stay healthy, safe, and more importantly, alive while living off the grid.

That’s why having enough food to eat, drinking enough water, and having a safe roof over your head should be your priority. 

But of course, that’s just the beginning! Here are a few other things to consider:

  1. Power Your Site: Living off the grid doesn’t mean you have to live without electricity. In fact, it can be useful to keep you warm in winter, cook your food, communicate with others, and more. Many homesteaders rely on wind or solar power to build a self-sufficient power system and keep some aspects of modern life!
  1. Reduce Your Waste: Since waste collection services will probably be unavailable in your area, reducing your waste should also be part of your off-grid cabin life.
  1. Reduce Your Electricity Needs: Although you’ll be producing your own electricity, you should learn how to save energy at home. This way, you’ll be using it wisely!  
  1. Opt for High-quality Supplies: Avoid disposable items and try to invest in durable options so that you can use them for many years. If you don’t know what things you’ll need to live off the grid, below you’ll find a supply list!
  1. Store Water: Remember that drought can be a serious problem, so it would be a good idea to store water for emergencies and learn a few tips to conserve water at home tool.
  1. Start Composting: Composting can be a great way to reduce kitchen and garden waste. When you compost these organic materials, you can return valuable nutrients to your soil!  
  1. Work Out: Living off the grid can be exhausting and demanding. You should work out regularly to have the strength to build and maintain your off-grid homestead properly.

Solar Panel On Top Of A Canal Boat. Living Off Grid Concept
Solar Panel On Top Of A Canal Boat. Living Off Grid Concept

Step-by-Step: How to Live Off the Grid For Beginners

Living off the grid can be a wonderful option to avoid the stress of city life.

But you might be wondering: How can you make this possible? And more importantly, is off-grid living a good idea? Let’s find out.

Here’s how to live off the grid for beginners:

  1. Find the Right Location to Live Off the Grid

    First of all, you need to know what are the local laws regarding living off the land.

    Then, you can compare potential locations, but don’t forget to ask what water sources are available.

    And finally, choose the right option for your budget!

  2. Build or Buy Your Off-grid Shelter

    Once you know where you’re going to live off the grid, study shelter options

    The easiest option would be to buy an off grid cabin, a modern RV, or a rural home that you can modify to live off the grid.

    Many off-grid homes already come with a septic tank or a power generating system. 

    You could also build your off-grid home from scratch, but this would take more time and effort.

    Whether you decide to build a tiny home or another type of off-grid home, try to use sustainable materials to reduce your environmental impact. 

  3. Study Your Energy Options

    Now, let’s discuss how you will make your home energy independent while living off the grid. 

    To figure out what’s the best way to generate your own electricity, you need to know two things:

    how much energy you will need to run all your appliances and what are the renewable energy options available in your area.

    To estimate how much power you use daily, you can check past electricity bills.

    Next, you can study available off-grid energy options in your area.

    Most homesteaders rely on solar power, but some of them also install a wind turbine as a backup for the solar panels to keep generating electricity when it’s cloudy. 

    Besides having a power generating system, you should also have a battery power storage system.

    This way, you will be able to use your appliances even if the wind stops blowing at night.

  4. Examine Your Water Options

    There are several options to get water while living off the grid, but the best option will highly depend on where you live, your budget, and how much water you use every day.

    You could drill a well, install a rainwater collection system, haul water, or rely on water delivery.

    Keep in mind that depending on what option you choose, you might have to filter or purify the water before drinking it.

  5. Install a Septic Tank

    In the city, you don’t have to worry about sewage disposal.

    But when you’re living off the grid, you disconnect from main services, like the sewerage system. To solve this, you could install a traditional septic tank to collect your sewage.

    However, make sure to get your septic tank emptied periodically. 

  6. Increase Your Food Self-sufficiency

    If you don’t have everyday access to grocery stores, you should improve your ability to live off the land and increase your self-sufficiency.  

    You could grow some fruits and veggies in your garden, you just need to choose varieties suited to your area’s climate.

    Additionally, you could even have a few farm animals, like chickens.

    Hunting and fishing can also help you get protein for your diet while living off the grid, but you have to follow local rules and regulations.

    And finally, don’t forget to learn how to preserve and can your food!

Using A Compass Will Help You Find You Way Around When Living Off The Grid
Using A Compass Will Help You Find You Way Around When Living Off The Grid

Off Grid Living: Basic Supply List for Beginners

Would you like to live off the grid? We’ve created a beginner’s supply list to help you gather some essential things for your new lifestyle: 

  • First-aid kit with bandages, medications, thermometer, cold packs, etc.
  • An emergency blanket and warm clothing
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Wood-burning stove
  • Hearing protection
  • Eye protection 
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pots & Pans
  • Work gloves
  • Wood saw
  • Hand drill
  • Duct tape 
  • Compass
  • Hammer
  • Screws
  • Shovel
  • Pliers
  • Radio
  • Torch
  • Axe


Off-grid living is all about self-sufficiency, safety, and survival. 

If you’re excited to start living off the grid, remember that it takes time to learn how to survive without municipal utilities and grocery stores. We also recommend you read how much does it really cost to live off the grid?

So, don’t feel bad if you need to return to the city to get medical attention or to restock supplies, that’s completely normal. 

Learn everything you can about living off the grid and give it a try once you feel ready to deal with the challenges of off-grid life!


  • Zero & Zen

    Dedicated to the cause of sustainability and eco-friendliness, our mission is to raise awareness about the importance of eco-conscious living.

    We firmly believe that individual actions can spark collective change and recognise the need for sustainable living to be tailored to your unique circumstances and pace.

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