10 Effective Lost Ways to Live off the Grid
The concept of living off the grid appeals to many people. After all, the idea of living - not just surviving - at a very small cost seems stress-free.
But here’s the common challenge homesteader wanna-be’s encounter: How to get their plan of living off the grid to take off.
It’s easy to daydream about having all your basic needs met at little or even no money at all. However, it’s always tricky getting started.
One thing’s for sure, though. Once you have the plan laid out, with concrete steps in place, then living off the grid should be a doable feat.
And on that note, let me share with you these 10 effective lost ways to live off the grid that every aspiring homesteader needs to know. If you want a deeper dive to these steps, I highly encourage you to check out my book, The Lost Ways Review. But for now, let’s jump right into this list.
Table of Contents
- Lost Ways to Live Off the Grid - 10 Things You Need
- 1. Secure your free or cheap land.
- 2. Build your shelter.
- 3. Know how to grow your own food.
- 4. Have a reliable water source.
- 5. Get your power source.
- 6. Use an effective heating system.
- 7. Set up a trash disposal system in place.
- 8. Build your toilet.
- 9. Create a stove for cooking and heating purposes.
- 10. Consider joining a community.
- Bottom Line
Lost Ways to Live Off the Grid - 10 Things You Need
You may find it surprising to know that to get started with living off the grid, you would need some funds to set everything up.
Essential things you need include land, shelter, your source of food, power source, water purification system, and waste disposal.
It may seem like a lot to cover but here’s the kicker - you can definitely get by with just minimal cash on hand. These 10 effective lost ways to live off the grid can get you started in no time:
1. Secure your free or cheap land.
You may be wondering - is there such a thing as free land?
After scouring various sources, I can say with conviction that free land is definitely out there. Some villages and towns - mostly remote ones - offer plots for free if you choose to live in that area.
Moreover, farm caretakers have vast opportunities in the countryside to set up their home and live for free. The main thing is knowing where to begin your search.
In the US, for instance, there are free land programs worth checking out to learn more about your options.
2. Build your shelter.
Once you have figured out where to find free land, the next hurdle is building your home.
Homesteaders can choose from a number of housing options that won’t require them to dig deep into their pockets.
If you have some carpentry and plumbing skills, you can build your very own tiny home that should fit your budget thanks to the plans you can find on TinyHousesInside.com. Additionally, there are other types of shelter that are pretty easy to set up such as yurts, log cabins, and cob houses.
Several ways to obtain materials cheaply include scoping out building or construction sites. You can always inquire if there are some discarded materials that are free for you to take.
For log cabins, you can simply cut down trees and stack up the logs to build yourself a log cabin. As for cob houses, materials include sand, straw, and earth.
Tools for building homes are available for rent. But I suggest that you keep your own since these will come in handy when repairs are needed. Check out garage sales or thrift stores for building tools at discounted prices.
3. Know how to grow your own food.
Did you know that there’s such a thing as free food?!
You can forage, fish, hunt, or grow your own vegetable garden at relatively no cost. And best of all, you can be sure that the food you eat is nutritious.
Fishing and hunting require skills and practice, as well as the right tools to catch your food. But gardening is more complex since you need to make sure that your soil is fertile enough to grow something in it.
This is why you have to start by improving soil quality either by using compost, natural fertilizer and bio-char. What it simply means is burning some branches or brush to add charcoal into the soil.
Other options for you to consider include asking for starter plants from your local produce department, participating in a seed exchange program, and starting a food forest. Here is a video to learn more about food forests.
4. Have a reliable water source.
Next up, you want to make sure you have clean water in your home… And for free.
Avid DIY-ers can make their own water filter, which includes a solar bleach generator and a charcoal and sand filter.
This video teaches the basics of this system, and you can modify it according to the amount of water you need to filter.
You can also collect rainwater, which is a no-brainer way to obtain water. Rainwater is perfect for irrigation, toilet use, doing the laundry, and so on. If you want to use it for drinking, you can simply purify it and it is good to go.
5. Get your power source.
Having a secure and cheap (ideally, free) power source is essential in living off the grid.
Common options include solar, which requires photovoltaic panels to collect energy from the sun. You can also consider a battery-based system including an inverter to convert DC to AC.
To learn more about how to create your power source, check out this video:
6. Use an effective heating system.
Unless you’re homesteading in a tropical region, heating would be the least of your concern.
But for those in frigid areas, this is an essential piece that requires attention.
Heating options when living off the grid include using a compost water heater, geothermal heating system, and a rocket stove. The latter is quite simple to do, which you can design yourself with the help of below video:
You can effectively use the same heating system as a garage would, You have a variety of choices including 120v, 240v, propane and natural gas. The most efficient heat source will be the natural gas or propane option.
7. Set up a trash disposal system in place.
Just like in a regular home, you will be generating waste over the course of time spent living off the grid.
Organic waste should be easy since you can simply add these up to your compost pile.
However, if you have non-biodegradable waste such as plastic, you can either create a mini landfill in your property or place the trash in a barrel and burn it up. These are common practices used by folks who have been homesteading for quite a while.
8. Build your toilet.
Human waste is the next big issue when it comes to homesteaders.
After all, septic systems are expensive and hard to maintain. But there is a cheaper option for you using a waste composting system that you can make yourself.
This video explains perfectly well how a composting toilet works, which you can find very helpful in designing one for your home.
9. Create a stove for cooking and heating purposes.
A wood stove is every kitchen’s primary feature.
And when living off the grid, you use a stove not just to cook your meals but also to make coffee, heat your home, and perhaps even dry your boots!
Simply get yourself a wood stove, which is primarily a cookstove that requires wood to activate it.
You can easily collect some scrap wood, newspaper, and then kindle the fire to get the stove started.
10. Consider joining a community.
Now, if you want to live for free or for cheap with everything else set up so you don’t need to get things from the ground up, you can join an off-grid living community.
These are basically work-exchange arrangements where you can live for free or for cheap by trading your skills.
One example is WWOOF, where you can work as a volunteer for someone’s farm in exchange for living space and maybe even meals. In the US, there are over 2000 hosts for WWOOFing enthusiasts that you can check out.
Living off the grid is an effective way to cut down expenses while enjoying every single day at its fullest.
If you are considering homesteading, these 10 effective lost ways to live off the grid should help you get started and pursue that path. Thus, you can experience freedom and contentment that living at your own terms offers.