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Where is the Best Place to Live Off-Grid?

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where-is-the-best-place-to-live-off-grid

OK, so you caught the off-grid bug and now you are looking to cut the apron strings, quit the rat race and head for the big outdoors to try your hand at off grid living. But where do you go and how do you pick the land to settle on? It's not as if you are choosing an apartment and can just up and leave if you don't like it. So what does a person do, where is the best place to live off-grid? In my opinion the three most important criteria for locating an off-grid homestead are water (or lack thereof), cost and community.


Thank God for the internet! We now have access to all kinds of “off-grid” websites, classified ads and You Tube videos that will help us navigate our uncharted course to “off-grid” living. I have put links to all the websites and pages below. There are sites that will match you with people who are already off the grid who need help and conversely with people who are looking for off-grid communities that have been established already. If it's land you are looking for they have classified ads, if it's information about a well drill, someone out there has that. You have only to seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened. Off-grid living can be lonely and difficult, people who are living in the wild want to share their experiences and you can benefit from the information and experience they have to offer.



WATER

Many people have asked me where is the best place to locate an off-grid homestead. There is no easy answer to that question as it depends on you and what you want. However, having said that, I have my preferences. For example, I would not want to go off-grid in the desert. There ARE people who do it and God bless them, but it seems to me that the lack of water and isolation would really put you in a precarious situation. Water is THE most important asset when living independently and off grid. Without water you will not be able to survive for very long at all. The life that people live off-grid, in the desert, is not for me. So that cuts out a good deal of the southwest. Furthermore, the isolation that the desert has can be a problem. If the SHTF and we have a total breakdown of our society how long do you think you could survive with NO outside contact? For this reason Alaska and Hawaii might not be the best choices either.

COST


Another consideration is expense. A property can be the most perfect property in the world but if it is too much money what good is it? If you are Ted Turner, I doubt you are reading this article! So the cost has to be right.

If your goal is to go off-grid then your goal is to be independent. One cannot be independent if one has debt. Therefore, the cost has to be something you can afford without going into debt. If you must go into debt then it should be at a bare minimum with the intention of paying off the debt as soon as possible.


COMMUNITY

Thirdly, and this is something I have come to after reading many articles about off-grid living...thirdly, I think it's very important to locate where there is a community of like-minded people if not nearby within a short distance. Now, some of you may want to be totally isolated from the world but that gets old for most people pretty fast. I think it's very important to have a community near-by that is supportive of you and your life-style. You can have the most beautiful place, the most independent off-grid homestead known to man, but if you have neighbors that are not friendly or even hostile to what you are doing and who you are it can ruin everything. Face it, we need each other and even in an off-grid lifestyle you might have to depend on a community at some point. This can make or break your off-grid experience in my opinion. After all, one of the things that makes off grid living doable is being able to sell your products to your neighbors. Things like raw milk, eggs and wool from your sheep can bring in some extra money and help you make a go of your homestead. If the local (or state) laws make this difficult, well it is something to consider when choosing your homestead. If the local or state laws are going to make it difficult for you to build your cob house and nickle and dime you to death over permits, fees licenses or the property taxes are prohibitive then another location may be in order.



Now there are other things to consider but I don't think that they are nearly as important as the three things I just mentioned. Some might say that the growing season is important. And, yes that is important but with the addition of a a greenhouse or two and/or aquaponic systems you can overcome this almost anywhere. Another problem for some might be extreme weather. Again this can be overcome and animals can live in almost any climate, including very cold weather. You might not WANT to live in extreme weather but that is another issue entirely. Also, gun laws have been mentioned. Personally, I think that a state's gun laws should be considered however, I would not put that as a “must have” for the simple reason that even this can be overcome. If you are using guns for security you can usually use rifles almost anywhere in the United States. If you need extra security you can use dogs and cameras. If the laws in the United States become so draconian as to make even owning rifles illegal, well then, that is unconstitutional and as far as I'm concerned those laws are not “lawful” and should not be obeyed.


So there you have it, my two cents as to what you should look for when trying to decide where to locate your off-grid homestead.

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Comments

Leah on June 17, 2017:

Actually, living off the grid is not illegal in Florida. This is a misconception based on one case. I find it funny, because in the case that this is based on, the woman wasn't even completely off the grid. That was the problem. Unlike most people who live completely off the grid, the woman apparently didn't want to pay for her own water or septic. Instead she was connected to the city water and sewer (i.e. Still grid tied.) She got in trouble because she didn't pay for it like everyone else. So, basically, she got caught stealing and cried foul and said it was because she was off the grid(even though she really wasn't.) it is perfectly legal, and in many places necessary, to live off the grid in Florida.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 28, 2015:

As far as I know Florida is the only state that is doing this.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 01, 2015:

I actually have articles on each state (although I haven't written about every state yet)..which state are you interested in?

Traci L Golden aka Dillard from Texas on January 01, 2015:

Thanks for the input, but you didn't answer the question (the title of the article). Perhaps providing a list of states/areas that are favorable would be a good idea.

Thomas Byers from East Coast , United States on November 23, 2014:

Thanks Brie

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 23, 2014:

Thanks "crazyhorseghost". I also wrote about going off the grid in Alaska; here is a link:

https://hubpages.com/living/Is-Alaska-a-Good-State...

Thomas Byers from East Coast , United States on November 23, 2014:

Really great Hub Brie with a lot of great information. I have for years thought about moving to Alaska to 170 acres I own there in Southeast Alaska. I probably never will but I like to think about it. I love traveling to much. But all your Hub Pages on this subject give a lot of useful information that someone could use. I have a 4 bedroom log cabin on my Alaska land and I plan on staying there a month next summer. I have only ever stayed there a week or so before. But Brie you've really given me some useful information and made me think. Thanks for a great Hub Page. I enjoyed reading it, voted it up and shared.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 19, 2014:

Yes water is very important. Thanks for commenting "raquelle148".

raquelle148 on November 19, 2014:

I don't have experience living off-grid. However, if ever I plan to live off grid. One thing I will consider is water.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on October 26, 2014:

I agree and I'm from California!

ca visitor on October 25, 2014:

Hi. I like your site about off-grid living. That sounds like what I want. Don't look at all to California. The rural areas might sound good but they are not. Neighboring states are better than CA. The drought and the blue state over-regulating statism out of Sac. rules CA out entirely.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on October 10, 2014:

Thanks "ash75".

ash75 on October 10, 2014:

I did and it was fabulous! Keep up the good work!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on October 10, 2014:

Wow, that's awesome. Did you read my article about going off the grid in Utah?

https://hubpages.com/living/Is-Utah-a-Good-State-t...

ash75 on October 10, 2014:

This has been a great hub...Thanks Brie! I am getting ready to make the move to off-grid here in Utah. I have been planning this for several years, and I have recently purchased some land with many resources, water, etc.

On this land, I have shipped all the materials for a small cabin as well as solar power. I grew up in the mountains here and I am very skilled in the ways of the land, and I plan on living at the site while I build the cabin. With this in mind, I know that the winters can be brutal here, but I will be using a primitive shelter or possibly a 4 season tent until the cabin is ready. I have chosen this as I do not want the added expense of propane, or any other fuel that would require a trip to town in order to maintain. This may not be the best choice for everyone, but I for one feel that there is no better way to become in tune with the land and life than to become a part of it. I mean, what's the use of going off grid if you bring the city with you? Sure I will still make the occasional trip to town as we all tend to overlook a needed necessity, but I hope to eventually not need to leave my small patch of paradise and be completely self sufficient.

My only recommendations to anyone wanting to go off grid, is to plan well, and if possible find a community or someone to keep you company. As humans are social in nature, and living in isolation can be very taxing on the mind and spirit. Planning ahead will ensure that the transition to an off-grid lifestyle is a stress free as possible, and will also help to mitigate many factors that may cause the transition to fail, or worse, cost you your life. I wish everyone that is heading down this path the best of luck and the utmost happiness in their new life!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on October 01, 2014:

Thank you "emi sue", glad to be of some help.

Emily Lantry from Tennessee on October 01, 2014:

Very good points and things to think about when planning to go "off the grid". I enjoyed reading this. :)

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 01, 2014:

I've never been so it's hard for me to say but good luck to you and thanks for stopping by "nathalia27".

Nancy on September 01, 2014:

Choosing from the countries mentioned in video. I prefer Australia when relocating.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 31, 2014:

I agree Montana is no good, Idaho is much better. Thanks for commenting Bevin.

Bevin on August 31, 2014:

Hey, We are thinking about how we can head off the grid and this site is VERY helpful. I might warn those of you who have children, count Montana out - it recently passed a law that ANY 3rd party person can sue you for custody of your children, and expect to get at least legalized visitation . #rd party means they do NOT have to be related to you or the child. A live -in lover, teacher, daycare worker - all qualify. BAD place for families right now. I know this is true as it happened to me and my children. Try Idaho.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 22, 2013:

I like Bonners Ferry and Sandpoint, I don't like Boise because its too hot for me. A steel container wont hold the heat very well..a cob cottage will. It totally depends on how big and how fancy you want it to be.

Urgle on August 22, 2013:

Sweet, and great answer because i agree with you also.

I also though of Idaho when getting ready to make my move. And that is

soon. Right now I live in Vancouver BC. Canada.

Hey, Brie how much do you think i can also make a Cob home like you. I mean what have you estimated on the cost of making one? Have you thought about steel container? might be cheaper.

I am right now looking for land to buy there. Any ideas on the best areas? Bonners ferry? Sandpoint, or Boise area by the mountain??

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 22, 2013:

I really like Idaho for several reasons: One, it has a lot of natural resources, two the government tends to leave you alone, three the people are wonderful, four the taxes are lower than most and five I like the weather.

urgle again on August 22, 2013:

i mean after extensive research, i also picked Idaho. Just wondering if their was any method you your choosing, of the "where"?

Urgle

urgle on August 22, 2013:

why did you pick idaho?

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 04, 2013:

Yeah, I saw this when it aired..interesting huh.

Remnant on May 04, 2013:

Thought you might enjoy this off grid article.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prN8xW_e4A0

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on April 12, 2013:

Start planning for it..little by little. That's what I am doing. You can do it!

ArockDaNinja from Massachusetts, USA on April 12, 2013:

I wish I could live a life like that. Maybe someday.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on April 11, 2013:

Good Luck liesl5858, I'm on my way to making it happen for myself as well.

Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on April 11, 2013:

The way the world is becoming this days I would love to live off the grid. My parents did it before when I was young so am sure I will be able to do it again. I am thinking of doing just that when I retire but it won't be here in England, it will be in the Philippines. Thank you for your lovely hub.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter from Fontana on December 23, 2012:

I will. Thank you!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on December 23, 2012:

That's fabulous...be sure to watch the film "Back to Eden" before you start your garden.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter from Fontana on December 23, 2012:

I was not aware of "off grid." Your Hubs came up on my Hub about Hot Springs Village Arkansas. This makes me thing outside the box. Instead of just getting a lake view, I should get enough land to grow food.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on October 22, 2012: