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Is An Off-Grid Community For You?

off grid communities

The concept of off-the-grid living has become so popular that a whole new realm of real estate is developing. Real estate agents typically refer to the evolving genre as sustainable communities, off-grid colonies, or intentional communities. Regardless of what they are called, catering to the needs of preppers and survivalists is becoming big business.

Finding the perfect spot of land to use for off-the-grid living or homesteading can be a challenging yet exciting task. Those preppers and survivalists who do not mind being lumped in with other prospective buyers can browse the attributes of such properties during an “open land” tour.

Just as communes began dotting the landscape during the late 1960s and early 1970s, off-the-grid communities are beginning to emerge in North and South America today. The Citadel is just one such community garnering headlines recently. Real estate agents in rural areas are used to keeping boots in the back of their SUVs to show large tracts or farmland and Amish homesteads, but the off-grid colonies take the concept of “hiking” while showing property to an entirely new level.

While some off-the-grid folks prefer to live in solitude and keep their primary or bug-out location quite private, others are embracing the idea of a sustainable community and resource sharing concept.  The level of “roughing it” varies widely in each off grid community. Most all largely rely on solar power to accomplish at least some of their career and homesteading tasks.

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A 2006 USA Today report noted that 180,000 American households were living off the grid. Although more recent comprehensive statistics are not readily available, the tens of thousands of dollars being spent on acquiring land and advertising off-grid colonies indicates that the number has grown significantly.

Documentary filmmaker Nick Rosen interviewed some off grid colony inhabitants when gathering research for his book, Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America. Rosen discovered what most of us already knew: some off-grid folks are preppers seeking to enhance self-sufficiency skills in case of a man-made or natural disaster; other off-the-grid homesteading families are environmentalists looking for a more sustainable way of life. Of course, there can easily be some crossover between the two groups; a love and respect for the land is not a mutually exclusive concept.

The Earthaven off-the-grid community consists of about sixty people and thirty-five buildings. The Black Mountain, North Carolina colony garners energy by both hydropower and solar panels. The hydropower is generated via the micro-hydro system that was set up in Rose Branch Creek. Roof water is used for crop irrigation. The 320-acre sustainable community reportedly hopes to ultimately include fifty-six homes sites and 150 people.

Breitenbush is an off-grid colony in Detroit, Oregon – not Michigan. The 154-acre property includes the Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center. The idea of running a business and inviting the public to roam about probably won’t appeal to most survivalists and preppers, but the strictly environmental off-grid fans might enjoy the sixty-person community. Geothermal wells are used to generate heat, and a hydropower plant offers electricity.

The Dancing Rabbit community in northeastern Missouri is deemed an eco-village and is part of a land trust. All of the adult residents are self-employed and work in the local community or telecommute. The sustainable community residents include midwives, teachers, builders, gardeners, and even massage therapists.

Posts about starting off grid communities are growing more and more frequent on social networks and online survival and prepper forums. Although there might not be such a community established in all fifty states yet, they could change relatively quickly. Do you like the idea of being part of an off-grid community, or do you prefer remaining on your own land and inviting on a select few to join you if disaster strikes?

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30 comments

  1. Yolanda Polanco

    Please give me more info on off the grid communities!

  2. How do you get around the building permits and the building inspectors.

  3. I am seriously looking for a off grid community to join. Would like more information , facts, who what when where so that I can do this for me

  4. Michelle Lower

    I am seriously considering this lifestyle. How do I get more info

  5. I am willing to work hard to live in a community where we gather and help each other. I do not have money to invest but will try my best to be a great member. Would love to be in Oregon , Washington, or California

  6. I’m a white male 40 yrs old smart hard worker very handy and inventive looking for a offgrid community to join with zero start up costs.meaning I’d work my way and earn my place but absolutely no money up front unless its earned on sight.I have no money but I do have a great deal of gear and knowledge. Skills in a wide range of farming. construction.emergency medical treatment. Etc etc lots of useful knowledge and a great attitude and sense of humor any response would be appreciated thanks for your time

    • Did you get a response from anyone? I’m interested in do the same thing. Thanks

    • I have 30 acres on river. Would like to start a off grid community.

      • Hi Jolynn,

        Do you have any plans to seriously start building an off the grid home in the future or possibly sometime early next year? I would to talk to you in more detail about this process if it’s something you’re planning on doing. I’m a production developer and work with major networks and we are trying to find people who are about to start a process like this and capture that on film. Let me know if you’d be interested!

        -Jeanette

      • Have you started this. What part of Oregon. I’m on board but the hubby not so much. He’s disabled in a scooter so harder to do this. We live in northern nevada. Would live to visit and see how it’s progressing.

  7. I’ve been wanting to get otg for some time. I am ready. Have some money. Can forge my own way, just need a place to set up and start to work. I’m curious, after reading the posts above, has anyone actually been successful in their endeavor to be ‘free’ yet?

    • I have 30 acres on River between Portland and Seattle.
      Am interested in making it an off grid community.

      • Hi my name is Michael I am 32 years old in good shape and want to join an off the grid community, I have wanted to for a long time now, I know how to do a lot of things and think I would be an asset to a community

      • Hi have you started your off grid community yet? I am 32 in good shape and I’m looking to join, I know how to do a lot of things and I’m a very hard worker, I live in Michigan at the moment and have a good job but I am just tired of society anyways if you’re still looking for people please let me know

      • I am interested in your project. I am a 52 year old female with over 20 years experience living off grid and have had much experience living in community. I recently moved to the city to be with family, however i don’t do well in the city. I am looking for an off grid place to get back into the wild. I am an artist/creative innovative person with lots of skills, abilities, knowledge and enthusiasm. I am friendly, peaceful person and i like to be effective in all that i do. Please contact me and let me know how you’re coming along in your project. Perhaps we can help each other!

  8. My son…age 21….is ready to go…..hates society and all the problems in this world. Looking for someone to join him in the hunt and help of living off the grid.

  9. Just Google Modern Day Communes and the Intentional Communities website will pop up. A lot of these Off The Grid communities are listed there along with contact info.

  10. I am a single mom,with 2 boys with autism, I am desperately looking for a safe off grid community to join in North Carolina. I dont want to raise my sons in this society. I am also getting out of a bad relationship. We have no one to turn to. We desperately need to leave from under his control. Please if someone can help I would appreciate it. Thank You

  11. Hello I’m 25 black male looking to escape my world. I own a house and two cars I’ll put that all up just to live off grid. I’m a very fast learner and have just about every basic skill in about every trade

    • I am a single mother of two girls I am passionate about survival or off-grid living looking to learn willing to donate my time and energy to this concept very interested in entering an off-grid community

  12. Hello! I am 24 with a one year old, currently working at a dental office. I am looking for an off grid mentor to show me the ropes. Its always been my dream and passion to learn how to raise and make materials on my own or with others. I have such a love for nature living in a city with no time can really strip that from you. Waking up every day knowing that you depend on the system for living really makes me sick when God gave us land to live off of. I just feel in my sprit its time to wake up and get away from the system life. ”I guess you can call this a cry for help”. loyalty, love and hard work is what runs me, so if anybody can guide me in the right direction a blessing to you and to others will be given =] <3 Thanks for reading.

  13. I live in the tri state area of Ky , Oh , W.V. I Want To Get Off The Grid ASAP , Im Looking For The Survivalist Like Minded Lone Wolf Folks, That Knows What’s About To Happen Any Day Now , Im Single Age 46 , Was Raised On A Farm As A Young Man , My Biggest Asset Is Intel Secuity Keeping People Safe !! ( Contact Me Asap) Secured 1-800-693-1366. My Fb page Is Mike J Justice . Read Then Pm Me!!

  14. I want to live off grid permanently. I do not want a community. I want to be on my own or with maybe one other person. Does anyone have any tips and ideas of places in California.

  15. Wow, this is amazing to find to find so many people who feel the same way I do about removing themselves from this ridiculous system of society. Progressive, super-creative, adventurous guy here who has plenty of things going on for him, but I know I am going to lose it soon. I’m just exhausted of so much in society, I’d love to find or build a community of multi-skilled individuals who are survivors and who prefer living in a small community relying on ourselves.

    • OMG!! This world is so chaotic!! That’s It,I can’t breathe and live amongest the sleep walkers not another day. Please help me. I need an honest and like minded guide. Its just me, an SUV filled with only the personal items i need. I am from Texas, single 46 yr old strong female. I have walked away from it all an temporarily sleeping at a friend in AZ but hate it here. I desire to go to Oregon. I’ll be homeless in about 2 weeks due to my friend and her husband is moving to Washington DC. Desperately seeking safe community to Work, and Build a better existance to survive what is to come together. Someone please contact me. I’m new at this but I jumped out on Faith asking for Favor and Opportunity of New Better Life.

      • Hi can any one tell me how i can put up a post my self thanks

      • Hi can any one tell me how i can put up a post my self thanks I’m trying to live off-grid I have a 4-man tent have plenty of seeds to grow out then when I find a location I’m looking for the setup I love life love nature and I’m 38 equipped with everything that I need to be out there the survive let me know if ther anybody close in mass im from taunton mass here my email its [email protected] thanks for ur time

  16. I am looking for any off grid communities within australia. I have a great love of nature and love talking and listening. Willing to do my fair share and be a pleasant part of any off grid vegan community. Any information would be gretly appreciated. I love earth so much.

  17. Hi. I’m a 57 year old female with a lot of experience living off grid (about 20+ years). I have recently moved to the city to be with family, but i have lived in the woods too long to do the city downhill slide. I am looking to get back into the wild and off grid again. I am energetic, intelligent and hard working, with a lot of practical knowledge of how to live off grid comfortably. I am an artist/creative person who is innovative, friendly, peaceful, and good with people with lots of skills and abilities. I like to be helpful and effective with whatever i do. Anybody needing help to get started, or looking for an addition to an already existing community? Please contact me!

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