Can We even go Off the Grid Anymore?

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 Can We even go Off the Grid Anymore?

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Going off grid and living off the grid mean different things to different people.


Fos some it means escaping the madness of the modern “civilized” world, permanently or during a crisis. For others it may just mean living a fully independent life.

Wild Bill from the Prepper Journal has the stats about the viability of off-gridding in America today. His metric of being off grid, by the way, is distance from a paved road. Makes sense.

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In the lower 48 the answer is 22 miles. You can get 22 miles from a paved road in Wyoming. That’s a pretty long hike but not far at all as the helicopter flies. There are plenty of places that come close but you have to go to Alaska to exceed the distance.


“Every prepper needs to challenge themselves and their family to practice. To get off the grid. And the key to this is to start small and safe and then remove the fallbacks. One night at home, from dusk to dawn with no utilities, no electricity, no running water, no natural gas (fireplace, stove, BBQ hooked to home gas system) is a good first step. And no running water means no “bathroom” facilities unless you operate them using buckets of water carried from a water source such as a pool, or pond or lake. I assure you if you have not done this it will be eye-opening. And no cop-outs, no “we did this after that thunderstorm last year”, you know the one after dinner was cooked, consumed and the dishes were cleared and dealt with, the one where only the electricity was off. Dusk to dawn, with a meal at both ends done without electricity and running water, and no natural gas either, do it on a camp stove on camping cookware. It will be easy, it can be fun, especially if you don’t recharge phones and tablets the day of;-) Discussing and writing down “lessons learned” afterwards will be invaluable and help you comprise a survival list based in reality.”

-Wild Bill


This advice sounds a lot like backcountry camping or hiking. And that makes perfect sense. A night or a weekend or a week in the woods of a national forest or park can provide excellent training for the way things will be if an EMP hits or if you just someday decide to run away from it all.


This testing method is an excellent way of determining how well you react to being all alone and without comforts. You can plan and tweak your supplies, methods, regimen, and training. And The practice never hurts.


You’ll need to consider and stock the essentials: water, food, fire, security, etc. The good thing about a camping test is that even if you mess up and miscalculate, you can just hike an hour or two back to the car and start all over.


No, you don’t have to go all 22 miles to get away from civilization. There are plenty of places that might count as “off grid” that are much closer to roads and people. This summer I went horseback trail riding. Technically I was, at most times, less than a mile from a U.S. Highway. Yet it seemed like another world. It was and is.


For those looking to remove from the grid full-time or for most of the time, consider the areas where you can do that. Might I recommend Google Maps or another geographical service? Use Maps to pick the area you’re interested in: Wyoming, southern Alabama, West Virginia, upstate New York, the Everglades, etc.


Start zooming in. Look for cities and towns, of course. Examine how far apart the roads are. Avoid things you’d rather not have around – power plants, military bases, etc. You can use the traffic overlay to see how busy those roads are. There’s even a topographic feature. Use it all and plan your next move.


Most of the planning Wild Bill recommends centers on preparing yourself, mentally and physically and gear-wise. There will always be wilderness areas somewhere. In fact, the wild can even intrude into urban areas – see Detroit.


So, yes, we can still get off the grid. It’s a matter of determining what that means to you. Then you need to plan for how to go about doing it. Then, there’s the doing. All of this requires some effort. Then again, going off the grid isn’t about living easy, it’s about living free.


Perrin​​ ​​Lovett​​​ ​​​writes​​ ​​about​​ ​​freedom,​​ ​​firearms,​​ ​​and​​ ​​cigars​​ ​​(and​​ ​​everything​​ ​​else)​​ ​​at​​.​​ ​​He​​ ​​is​​ ​​none​​ ​​too​​ ​​fond​​ ​​of​​ ​​government​​ ​​meddling.

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