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Alternative Living

Urban living has many modern conveniences we often take for granted. Utilities for water, electricity and other services are examples of readily available resources for city dwellers. Some people choose to abandon this lifestyle, however, and pursue a more self-reliant way of living. These pioneering spirits begin with a few essential tools and skills and accomplish remarkable feats of independence. However, embarking upon an off-grid lifestyle requires preparation, such as providing for electricity and water supplies.


While it may be possible to live without electrical energy, the cost-benefit of solar or wind technologies make them a worthwhile option to consider. Generating electricity with a solar or wind system makes remote living feasible. For example, enough solar panels North Dakota to operate a typical home would likely cost about $15,000 to $20,000 or less. There are also highly efficient models of common household appliances that reduce the solar energy system size and cost.


Clean drinking water is an absolute necessity. Potable water options exist and often the best solution is some combination of resources. When locating a remote off-grid homestead, water resources should be a top priority. Naturally occurring sources like creeks, rivers and ponds are ways of meeting this need.

Rainwater is another resource but depends upon climate and weather patterns in the area. Storage and filtration systems for rainfall are other considerations. Another potential resource is well-water. Drilling a well is an expensive and sometimes risky undertaking, but ultimately, the need may outweigh any risk aversion.

If those options are inadequate, there are systems that collect drinkable water right out of the air. Commonly referred to as atmospheric water generators, these use a combination of cooling condensation or wet desiccation. Cooling ambient air to the dew point temperature causes humidity to condense into liquid form. It can then be collected, filtered and purified for consumption.

A self-reliant lifestyle is attractive for many adventurous people. Becoming familiar with the potential pitfalls is a necessary step to ensure adequate resources are available. Once these are handled, the off-grid life can be a very satisfying experience.