If you’re like me, you’ve always dreamt of moving to an off grid cabin.
An incredible number of people are thinking about moving to a more secluded and rural location. Some want to wistfully dream of a hobby farm to escape their office shackles. Others might be looking more for a more natural and “back-to-the-land” type of living.
If you’d like to learn more about my experience of moving to a cabin- check out my other articles:
- 3 Ways Moving To a Cabin Can Change Your Life
- Why We Gave Up Our Jobs and Things To Move To a Cabin
- What No One Tells You About Moving To a Cabin
No matter what you want out of your off-grid home, there are several important things to consider before making the leap. You will eventually learn or realize countless things once you have left city life. Still, too many people jump into this lifestyle before factoring in some relatively major considerations. Here are the most important things to consider before moving to an off-grid cabin.
Look into everything you possibly can regarding your potential location. Look at the annual average temperatures, precipitation, and schooling options if you’ll be moving with kids.
Be sure you’re well informed on how land purchases go, taxation, and any potential building codes you may have to abide by. Also, before buying any piece of land, make sure you visit it if at all possible and get USGS and soil survey information where possible.
Many people assume that if they don’t have a spring or a creek on their land, they’ll set up a rainwater catchment system to supply their water needs. While this is an excellent option in areas that have the rain to support it, many people find out too late that catchment is illegal in their state.
Power will be a concern as well. While you can always use solar or wind power for free juice, they both require a relatively significant initial investment into equipment and batteries. The alternative is either a generator, which will need gas, oil, and maintenance, or living without electric power.
If you’ll be growing, map out your garden beds and order your seeds before you move. If you are hunting, make sure you know how to process that squirrel, rabbit, deer, or other animal and get it ready for consumption. Be aware of the hunting and fishing laws and requirements in your area, and make sure you’re prepared for the season once it rolls around.
Even off-gridders can’t eliminate the use of the almighty dollar, no matter how self-sufficient they are. If you have an off-grid home, you will likely need to pay property taxes annually, and the more you build, the more those will be. You’ll also need some tools, spare parts, and gasoline, so you’ll need money.
Figure out how you’ll get that money once you move. Will you work remotely, sell crafted items, or start a blog? Will you perform a service or labor for hire, or will you drive to town daily for a traditional job? These are all questions you should answer easily once you have a cohesive plan for moving to an off-grid cabin.
Read all that you can, now, before you’ll need to apply it. This applies to not only books but forums, social media groups, and even formal courses that can get you professionally educated. Some of the most valuable skills you can learn will help you stay safe and operational while away from towns or cities.
This is a big one since living off-grid usually means you will be miles from any form of medical attention. Taking a course to get CPR certified would also be handy if you are around other people.
You should know how to handle most minor injuries like cuts & breaks. At the very least, make sure you have an extensive first-aid kit around that you keep fully stocked.
Be sure you know not just the ins and outs of having a garden and producing your fruits and vegetables, but also make sure you know how to preserve those things in areas that experience winter. If you hunt, this is particularly important since you can often only hunt during specified portions of the year. Canning, dehydrating, cellar storage, and smoking are all great ways to preserve your food for long periods.
Even if you aren’t planning on making your own furniture for your cabin, basic carpentry skills are indispensable. Things are going to wear down, wiggle loose, or even break, and you’re going to need to know how to fix or adapt them. Those who find they have woodworking skills can often turn it into extra cash.
Unless you’re planning on living a very primitive existence that eschews mechanical help, you’re going to want to know how to make mechanical repairs. From your car or truck to the highly versatile chainsaw, you will most likely have to change out a spark plug here or there, and more serious repairs are not uncommon.
Networking is super-important when going off-grid, as odd as that may seem. You will want to join social media groups for the area and lifestyle that you decide on. This will give you a place to actively ask questions, follow similar experiences, and even swap & barter for goods and services.
Many people find that they aren’t ready to give up a lot of conveniences, and food is at the top of that list. Start preparing yourself by cooking more meals from scratch and giving up delivery and take-out. Not forever, of course, but you’ll probably only have access to convenience foods while you’re in a nearby town.
Moving to an off-grid cabin might seem like a dream, but with some preparation, you can be ready to leave the city behind in a few short months. Be sure you consider all of the factors here, but don’t stop there. Keep learning about everything you can. Once you’re off-grid you will be