Going off the Grid?: Don't Forget These 8 Essentials

Moving to a beach-side property is a disaster waiting to happen if you forget to purchase flood insurance, but failing to pack an off-the-grid essential is life-threatening. Without in-depth preparation and packing, your wilderness adventure becomes a living nightmare. An unprepared venturer makes simple mistakes like relying on city power grids instead of reading up on solar power basics. Misunderstanding the typical back-country homestead leaves the unsuspecting traveler oblivious to the realities of hunting and fishing. Ultimately, without survival skills and a spirit for self-reliance, your off-the-grid exploit is doomed from the beginning.

To set yourself up for success, start by learning how to grow your own vegetables and carefully research your area of choice. A low-maintenance garden can flourish anywhere and is a life-saving tool when it comes to starvation. Raising your own chickens or goats is an essential off-the-grid practice. You can even house smaller farm animals within the comfort of your home.

Ready to say goodbye to lavish city living? Don't forget these eight off-the-grid essentials.

A spotting scope

A reliable spotting scope allows you to enjoy the great outdoors fully. Pointing out a rare bird or tracking your next meal is not possible without a high-power magnifier. These devices offer increased visibility–compared to binoculars–and are surprisingly easy to transport. You can also purchase additional features like tripod mounts and zoom-lenses to enhance a long-term stalking session.

A water filter

Clean water is the ultimate essential when it comes to living in the wilderness. A large-capacity filtration system can produce up to 170 gallons of clean water per day, meaning you can take all the showers you want without risking sickness. Invest in a high-quality system and individual filters you can carry with you during a long hike. You should also bring along some water purification tablets you can use in a pinch.

A solar generator

You probably won't be spending hours scrolling through Instagram, but access to the internet is essential when living in the wild. A powerful solar generator will be able to charge all your devices and potentially power your homestead. Go the extra mile by purchasing an electric generator that can be charged with a solar panel and will hold a charge for an entire year.

An all-encompassing first aid kit

Living off-the-grid means you might be miles from the nearest hospital. Prepare yourself for whatever illnesses or accidents may come your way, and invest in a medical kit. Consider a kit designed for multiple people. That way, you can stock up for the months ahead.

Reliable shelter

Until you build a sturdy log cabin, you will spend many nights under the stars. When choosing your temporary shelter, consider the extreme temperatures or potential storms you'll face. A large tent might accommodate more people but is prone to collapse during high winds. Single-person tents are ideal for campers on the move and stand up to heavy rainfall.


Without bright city lighting, the wilderness can be dangerously dark. Arm yourself with sturdy rechargeable flashlights and handy headlamps, don't forget a few candles too. If all else fails, make sure you understand the basics of starting a fire.

Shelf-stable food

Foraging food and hunting game are ideal for a homestead meal, but make sure to bring plenty of backup items. Freeze-dried products are essential for an emergency stock, and pantry-friendly pasta is perfect for a quick dinner. When packing soups, rice, and canned goods, make sure to store them in a place that won't expose you to extreme heat or cold.

A reliable fire-starter

An experienced outback resident will tell you to never rely on matches or fuel alone. Stocking your homestead with a variety of fire-starting tools will ensure you never endure a freezing winter night. Solar fire starters will quickly spark a flame but are useless at nighttime. Ferrocerium strikers withstand most weather conditions, although you can only use them a handful of times. By coupling the average lighter with these tools, you'll be able to start a fire anytime, anywhere.

Go wild

Living off-the-grid is an empowering experience, but without the essentials, you'll quickly run back to civilization. Prepare your wilderness abode with a high-capacity water filter and plenty of shelf-stable food. Combine your knowledge of fire-starting with a solar-powered kit, and you'll never spend a night in the dark. As you spend time in the great outdoors, you'll quickly learn why so many choose to live off-the-grid.

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