What Does It Mean To You To "Live Off Grid"?


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Categories: Homesteading, On The Farm

What Does ‘Off Grid’ Really Mean To You?

Last year our friends at Homestead Dreamer wrote an article trying to describe what "Off Grid" really meant.  We are very curious to hear your thoughts on this matter.

For my family and I, living off the grid is and represents a way of life were you depend solely on yourself, you provide your own utilities; your work and abilities to procure all the essentials to live life. Not depending on anyone but ourselves to provide our own electricity, food and our own sources for water. Living close to nature, caring for animals and raising them for food, as well as growing our own vegetables and nuts and fruits.

Skills are important too, carpentry, sewing, knitting, preserving food, processing food among others, will allow us to provide for ourselves the shelter we need and live a life full of satisfactions and rewards.

The term “Off Grid” gets tossed around a lot in the homesteading, prepping, and survival communities but the actual definition of it can be a topic that sparks a heated debate.

It seems that no one really agrees on the exact definition of “Off Grid” or “Off the Grid,” as evidenced by a quick Google Search.

  • Dictionary.com definition: not involving or requiring the use of mainstream sources of energy. They further define “Off the Grid” asnot requiring utilities such as electricity, water, etc.
  • UrbanDictionary.com definition: Term used to describe a state of being off of the internet, no Facebook, Twitter, Skype, AIM, Gmail chat, Myspace etc. The only exception being e-mail and phone calls (only school/work related).
  • UrbanDictionary.com also defined “Off the Grid” as: Unrecorded, untraceable through normal means.
  • Wikipedia.com has “Off Grid” defined as: The term off-grid refers to not being connected to a grid, mainly used in terms of not being connected to the main or national electrical grid. 

See? Not even the websites out there agree with the dictionary and it also seems to depend about what context you are speaking in. For millenials, off grid would be more like the Urban Dictionary definition because they have never known life to be anything other than as connected as it is today. For the older generations, it tends to lean more toward the Dictionary.com and Wiki definitions.

I have seen comments made by people online regarding being off grid with accusations that you aren’t really‘off-grid’ if you are still on the internet, or have electricity, or running water. If you cook with propane, you aren’t ‘off grid.’ Others define it as being off municipal services. I found the whole thing interesting and went to the people of Facebook and fellow bloggers to see what they had to say.

From their Facebook Page:

  • Off Grid, in my mind, would be one who is not tied to any public utility, and able to sustain ones self solely on what one produces, grows, raises, harvests, hunts, etc.
  • I think off grid is a spectrum. Some people are able to source some resources but not yet others. I do believe that for some the goal is completely off grid, but for others it is piecemeal… like maybe just off grid of grocery/retail.
  • Untraceable by any means…meaning you do not have connection to any of the grids (electric water cable phone etc) but you also do not have a “job” or dr….a lot of people use the term loosely, I don’t have electric service so i’m off grid , no you are only in small part off grid….if you are off grid how are you posting to FB (KWIM) if one wants to claim to be off grid they either have to specify which grid they are off of or get off all grids.
  • I think of off grid, in a technical sense, as disconnected from public utilities. Living the “off grid lifestyle” strikes me as further removing oneself from dependency on society.
  • My gf is completely OFF THE GRID. Her family bought a piece of land 15 yrs ago…raise their own animals for good, have a well, use no hydro, gas, or water from social agencies, have no phone …completely self sustaining. We communicate thru letters.

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