Those who travel in off-the-grid and prepper circles put a lot of emphasis on survival — and rightly so. Knowing how to survive while being “disconnected” is an essential skill, yet it’s a concept that most people aren’t familiar with. While going off-grid takes a lot of work, the imagery of end-of-the-world preppers stocking up on MREs and ammo, survivalists hiding out in a remote underground bunker or neanderthals digging for mushrooms are common misconceptions. Under the umbrella of off-grid, you’ll find homesteaders and preppers, environmentalists and farmers, homeschoolers and even post-college graduates working in programs like WWOOF or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

In modern society, where information is readily at our fingertips and convenience is found on every corner, one might wonder what makes off-grid living appealing.The benefits of off-grid living are vast — from mental health and connecting with nature to advanced survival and sustainability skills. Off-grid living teaches you skills that are harder to acquire in today’s society, especially skills like:

  • Self sufficiency
  • Preparation
  • Environmental responsibility
  • A healthier lifestyle
  • A smaller footprint
  • Knowledge of preservation

People choose the alternative lifestyle of off-grid living for a variety of different reasons. While it’s not for everyone, it is becoming increasingly popular as more people want to assert their independence and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and consumer goods. If you’re looking to test your waters of off-grid living, it’s important to consider the different “ways” you can do so.

1) Roughing It: Going completely off-grid with little or no running water, electricity or plumbing

2) Half-On/Half-Off the Grid: Relying partially on the power grid for power when necessary, supplementing with alternative power sources when possible.

3) Modern Off-Grid Lifestyle: Using technology to live a modern lifestyle independent from the energy grid.

For those new to off-grid living, visiting an already established and sustainable community is a great place to start. Some are more of a “roughing it” style while others function half-on/half off the grid. To give you a better idea of where to find these sustainable communities, the infographic below highlights 10 off-grid and sustainable communities across the U.S. The guide includes important information about community practices, access, amenities and what to expect when visiting these locations.

off grid communities

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