Sacrifice and survival: How to deal with the downsides of prepping and living off-grid
By Zoey Sky // Sep 27, 2023

For non-preppers, living off the grid may seem freeing and idyllic. But preppers know that before you can relax in your homestead, it takes a lot of time, hard work and resources to ensure that your projects provide you with the resources you need to successfully live off the grid.

Before you quit your office job and buy a plot of land in the countryside, learn about the downsides of off-grid living and how to deal with these issues. (h/t to

Going off the grid involves a lot of work and patience

Modern life is fast-paced but convenient. Technology has made it easy to buy supplies and even order food at home when you don't feel like cooking.

But when you choose to live as a prepper and go off the grid, you will have to say goodbye to most or all of these conveniences, which means you'll have to work much harder to get your daily tasks done.

You can have running water on your homestead, but you first need to figure out how to set up the pumps and pipes that will take water from the source into your home.

Aside from water and electricity, you also need to secure your food supply before SHTF. To ensure that your family has access to nutritious and organic foods the whole year round, you can plant fruits and vegetables in your home garden.

If you're not sure where to start, here are some of the easiest fruits and vegetables to grow:


  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Chives
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
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  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Squash
  • Zucchini


  • Apples
  • Blackberries
  • Gooseberries
  • Grapes
  • Melons
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Remember that some crops may take months or years to bear fruit. This means you also need to have enough food supplies to tide you over until you can harvest your crops.

You can raise animals for meat, eggs and milk. Another option is to hunt, but this method requires money and learning skills.

Gardens and raising animals are beneficial, but they require a lot of work. While hunting may be cheaper, it can be time-consuming. These activities are critical to your survival if you want to live off the grid.

Everything around your off-grid homestead can be broken, destroyed or stolen. When SHTF, you can't call a plumber or contractor, so you must also learn how to fix everything from your car to your indoor plumbing.

Being able to fix problems around your home will require knowledge, tools, supplies and skills that will take you some time to develop or acquire.

Going off the grid requires manual labor

Committing to an off-grid lifestyle means accepting that your new routine will include manual labor, such as home repairs or digging in your farm or garden.

If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you'll need to make changes to your habits because physical fitness is needed for prepping. The manual labor required for a self-sufficient off-grid life requires a level of physical fitness that you can't get from a 30-minute home workout or daily gym sessions.

To get in shape before you move to a homestead, focus on functional fitness that mimics the stamina and strength required for the types of tasks that you will be doing off-grid.

Going off the grid requires a reliable power source

Most preppers already have plans and a backup plan for off-grid power before they decide to live off-grid. Whether you choose solar, wind or hydroelectric power, these systems require care and maintenance that you have to do yourself.

The batteries for these renewable systems have a shelf life, so you should stock up on replacement batteries. In a long-term survival scenario, you may not be able to access replacement batteries once you run out. (Related: NASA can only give a warning 30 minutes before a killer solar storm, so PREPARE before SHTF.)

The same is true of solar panels, which have a shelf life. If they break after SHTF, it will not be easy to buy replacements.

Going off the grid means you don't have sick days

You can't simply postpone all your chores if you get sick when you live on a homestead.

Staying healthy ensures that you and your family are ready to work daily. But if someone gets seriously hurt or sick, your survival can be compromised.

Knowing first aid can save lives, but you also need to have essential first aid and medical supplies, especially if a family member has a health condition that requires prescription medication.

When you move off-grid, you will need to learn how to treat common medical emergencies like broken bones, deep cuts or burns, especially if you don't have access to the local urgent care center.

Preventing illness requires taking measures to keep your food and water sources safe so you don't get sick. Cook food properly, especially fish and meat, to avoid food poisoning.

Going off the grid can affect your mental health

Even if you live off-grid with your family, being away from your neighbors and friends may have adverse effects on your mental health.

Preppers occasionally miss the social interactions of modern life, but you must find new ways to keep in touch with them since you will lose access to texting or social media once you go off the grid.

Finding other ways to communicate with family and friends is important for preppers because these social connections help support your mental health. If they are removed, living off the grid can make you feel lonely or cause depression.

Living off grid may also cause added anxiety because the lifestyle involves a lot of planning ahead. When something goes wrong, in most cases you have to resolve the issue before it worsens.

The success or failure of your off-grid homestead rests on your shoulders, which can trigger stress and anxiety if you are under a lot of pressure.

You also lose access to mindless entertainment that can distract you from your troubles. The silence and simplicity of off-grid living means you will spend a lot of time in your head.

If you don't like yourself, this can be another burden. Before you start a homestead, adopt a healthy mindset so you can deal with the stress and pressure of being a prepper. Learn how to be self-sufficient enough to live off-grid and become reliant on no one.

But before you choose a location for your homestead, ask yourself if you can deal with the many challenges of this hard but rewarding lifestyle.

Watch the video below to see two people try living off the grid in Slovakia.

This video is from the Pool Pharmacy channel on

More related stories:

Survival 101: How to protect your family during civil war.

8 Forgotten skills that helped the Native Americans survive harsh times.

Texas Ready’s Lucinda Bailey and the Health Ranger discuss how to MAXIMIZE food garden production when it matters most.

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