There is a huge movement towards living off-grid and for very good reason. Not only are cities swarming with overpopulated neighborhoods, but rents and utilities are sky high. With recent threats of violence on mass scales, it is evident why many parents want to move their kids out and away from pollution, overcrowding, less-than-excellent educational institutions, and of course, crime. But, living off-grid does present a number of challenges which must be overcome when making the move.
1. Availability of Potable Water
Anyone who has ever lived off-grid can tell you that one of the biggest obstacles to overcome when living off-grid is the availability of potable water for drinking or cooking with. Some areas of the country have well water that is contaminated with arsenic and even if a well was dug, it wouldn’t be usable for humans or animals. That would be something to investigate prior to buying land to build your homestead on.
2. Costs Associated with Wells and Septic Tanks
In one area of the country in particular, residents have been faced with both arsenic in the water and wells that must be dug several hundred feet down. Who would pay as much as $50,000 (sometimes more!) to have a well dug that would bring up non potable water? The costs associated with having wells and septic tanks dug may be prohibitive, but you can always find workarounds. Some families have gone to renting porta potties for use as bathroom facilities either long-term or in the interim while a local contractor can be found. Living off-grid is probably never going to be easy, but it offers benefits you can’t find anywhere else on earth!
3. Proximity to Emergency Services
Living off-grid usually means setting up a homestead miles from any populated area. This can pose a real danger if there are no nearby emergency services. Some areas can only be reached by air and that does take time, even though it is faster than the ambulance service. Also, cell phone reception may be at a minimum, if at all available. Towers may not be close enough and if you are in need of emergency transportation, how would you notify 911?
4. Natural Dangers in the Wild
If you’ve just moved off-grid, and even if you have a permanent dwelling erected complete with running water and plumbing, there is always going to be the danger of wildlife in certain areas of the country. From bears raiding your garbage to wildcats going after household pets and livestock, if you’ve never lived off-grid, it would behoove you to do a bit of research into the dangers that you should be aware of.
Yes, there are obstacles to overcome when living out there miles from ‘civilization’ but there are many more amazing benefits. You aren’t subjected to as many pollutants and certainly won’t be violated all hours of the day and night by sirens and loud music when you are just trying to relax. Crime is rare when no one knows where you are and you can enjoy what realtors call ‘quiet enjoyment’ to its fullest extent. Looking for a quiet, more peaceful life? Off-grid living may present a few obstacles, but if you can overcome those, you will be in for a wonderful experience few ever get to enjoy.