Analyse, adapt, overcome, win
That simple line should be your mindset if you plan on living OffGrid successfully. Whatever your baseline of skills and information is, whatever problem you are facing, I recommend using this approach.
Analyse the problem, your skills, your resources, your options. If you’re unsure about information, it never hurts to double check with experts or even just someone who has more of an idea than you. Spend a few hours on your favourite search engine or find some video material. The more information you have, the better you are able to analyse what is needed.
Adapt to the Situation.
Organise/manage the conditions that are needed to approach your problem. This might mean acquiring skills, materials, experts, tools, legal permits etc. Whatever is needed to get the job done (in at least semi-professional way).
Overcome the problem and get things done. Put all that acquired resources to use.
Of course, depending on the actual subject, use care. Being too careful or passive might never get things done, everyone has to find a balance.
Can’t do worse then “shit job”, back to step 1, analyse what you fucked up and learn from it.
Not much to say here.
Open a beer or something, showoff to your neighbours, buy your significant other a flower and enjoy a resolved issue.
When you plan your OffGrid life, you should be realistic about what you’ll be able to do. Some things may be out of your control or not within your available resources. You might not be able to jet off to the store whenever you need a quick snack.
Living OffGrid is not as dangerous as some believe it is, but you should still prepare yourself for bad times. Things like animals, location, weather and health all pose potential threats.
There are awesome places all over the world to go OffGrid. Remember to be respectful of the communities around you. Part of this process involves getting closer to nature, so respect and protect the environment you live in and the people you encounter. Be aware of what animals and plants share that environment with you, some might be toxic or aggressive.
Recommended baseline of skills
This list is in no way perfect, or complete and it should only be seen as a guiding idea. Scale goes from 0 ( no clue whatsoever ) to 10 ( Professional).
- Technical Drawings – 3
Having a reasonable understanding of what plans/blueprints represent and the ability to draw them somewhat correctly does help a lot.
This functions also as international language! You might have no word in common with your hired workers abroad, but if they are half decent professionals and you present them a technical drawing they will understand!
This skills is easy to learn ! ! Few hours of self study should give you reasonable base skill in this area.
- Language – 4
The ability to speak at least one international language and/or the local language. This obviously helps in just about everything.
Depending on your part of the globe one or multiple of these will get you around: English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, German, French.
- Computers – 3
A lot devices nowadays come with some sort of software/app or hardware connection via usb for configuration.
Basic understanding of how to use the web, save a file, use Skype, send emails is good enough.
These skills are a base to acquire further information, if you’re having trouble surfing (browsing) the internet, there’s a good chance you will have a hard time finding needed knowledge.
- Electrics – 6
Electricity is rather important to keep most household functions operational, of course this depends very much on your lifestyle. Examples of this would be: understanding how electric circuits work, how your batteries function, how charging cycles work, when to use high demand devices, how to start/run a generator, which devices can be run on generator, etc..
If your setup is done by a professional electrician, that has experience building off grid setups, most of that knowledge can be obtained “on the go learning by living”.
More information on this is available in the Electricity section.
Inform yourself about what your are allowed to do according to local law on electric systems.
- Medical – 5 (- 8)*
Life is the most important thing we have.
Living OffGrid can mean being rather distant to the next doctor or hospital.
*(The need for these skills becomes much more important the further away you are from society, or if you have family members with complex medical conditions.)
Hopefully there is never the need to replace a doctor/hospital for a serious injury or medical condition.
But your skill level can be the difference between a funny memory how “mommy broke her leg back then” or a family member bleeding to death.
Weather, animals or hazardous surroundings can lead to injuries, illnesses or worse.
The ability to use diagnostic tools for basic human functions like pulse, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and temperature is very easy to learn. Usually these devices take 20-30 minutes training to provide good results.
Most of the time this can be good enough information for a doctor to diagnose remotely via video conference, or at least judge if there is a need for transportation to a hospital and at which urgency.
Most countries offer 1st aid and medic courses for all needs, scale this up accordingly if you have family members with complex conditions or children in young age.
More information on this is available in the Medical section.
- General Working Skills – 4
Being able to use a hammer, saw, screwdriver and such classic tools is quite helpful. The basic ability to solder, connect a few wires, dig a hole, etc.
The type of skills most beneficial here is highly subjective to location, your building materials and such.
It is key to maintaining and repairing both structures and machines.
- Firefighting – 3
You should have the basic abilities to fight a small or medium fire.
If you tend to freeze up in critical situations, work on that, get more information, do a bit of training with the tools needed etc..
More information on this is available in the Fire Protection section.