By Jane Marsh
Living off the grid offers advantages like liberating yourself from your utility bills and letting you experience life closer to the land. However, you do need to make some adjustments if you plan to succeed in the lifestyle. Doing so with little ones entails some extra considerations – here are 10 tips if you want to live off-grid with kids.
1. Supply Power
You have several choices for power when it comes to living off-grid, but you might want to double up if you have children. Adults can tolerate extended power outages, but little ones get antsier in the dark and cold.
It’s wise to have a backup generator attached to a mini-split heat pump that can keep your cabin lit and toasty if your solar or wind system fails. In some regions of the desert Southwest, getting one with AC keeps you from dangerous summer temperatures in the daytime.
2. Let There Be Light
Part of the charm of off-grid living is not needing an electrical hookup – goodbye, soaring monthly utility bills. However, you want to design your space to let in as much natural light as possible.
A skylight in your kid’s bedroom works better than a rooster for waking them up in time for crack-of-dawn chores.
3. Mind Their Health
You might be a healing herbal vixen, but you can’t fix every “owie” with marigold ointment and a kiss. As much as you want to divorce yourself from society, covering your kiddos with health insurance is still smart. Doing so avoids unnecessary care delays – even if you qualify for free help, you don’t want to waste time on paperwork when you should be comforting your baby.
4. Select Crops Carefully
Tiny tots are notoriously picky eaters, so keep their taste buds in mind when selecting your crops. If your 3-year-old can’t eat enough radishes, plant a bunch.
Avoid future food fights by going a little light on the eggplant if you know they can’t stand it.
5. Get Them Involved
One of the most substantial rewards of off-grid living comes from teaching your children independence. Kids as young as 4 or 5 can feed small animals and plant seeds. Teens can help with heavier-duty chores like tilling and plowing.