Self-Sufficient: How Much Land Do You Need to Live Off the Grid?

If you've discovered an interest in becoming completely self-sufficient, you'll almost certainly need to acquire some land. How much? Read on to find out.

Self Sufficient

For countless Americans, living off the grid has never held more appeal. Fed up with rising congestion, overpriced cities, and what has been described as a general malaise with modern, consumerist lifestyles, people are flocking to the country to set up their own homesteads at an unprecedented rate.

With so many Americans looking to kick-start their own self-sufficient lifestyle, knowing what you need is key. Land values are rising across the United States, meaning that the cost of being self-sufficient is rising all the time.

Fortunately, the amount of land you need to live off the grid is a lot less than you might think. Here's everything you need to know. 

The Minimum You Need to Be Self-Sufficient

If you want to know how to live off the grid, you'll need the numbers. Many would-be homesteaders assume that they'll need a vast estate in order to meet their food and energy needs, but this isn't the case.

According to this handy infographic, you only need 0.44 acres per person to meet all of your food needs. This works out to about 77,000 square foot for a family of four, assuming that each person maintains a vegetarian diet of 2300 calories a day. 

Eating meat, dairy and eggs will increase your land needs significantly, so you might want to start thinking about skipping the steaks. 

How to Reduce Your Needs 

Of course, you might even find that this amount of land can be a challenge to acquire. Therefore, you should consider all of the different ways you can reduce your resource needs. 

As mentioned, one of the best ways to do this is to go vegan. Rearing your own livestock requires huge amounts of land and water, as well as considerable manpower. 

When growing your own fruit and vegetables, you can also consider avoiding crops such as potatoes and tomatoes, which require more space than virtually every other crop in existence. 

Living in a so-called 'tiny house' is also a way to get maximum usage out of your land. 

Other Resources You'll Need 

Of course, it's not all about the land. You'll need to meet your energy needs, which cannot be achieved with wood burning alone.

Solar panels on the roof of your homestead are the most efficient way to meet your energy needs if you're building off the grid.

One year of electricity for an individual only requires 375 square foot of roof space for solar panels. Given that the roof of an average American home if about 2000 square foot, this should not be a problem. 

Legal Considerations 

Those looking to lead a self-sustaining lifestyle should know that doing so is not a straightforward legal process. County and city zoning might prevent you from building a homestead in your desired location.

Likewise, you may find that it is illegal to live completely off the grid in a certain area, due to laws pertaining to energy and land usage.

Always check with the local authorities to find out what is legally feasible, to avoid problems further down the line. 

Learn More 

A self-sufficient lifestyle is only a few clicks away. If you want to learn more about the rural properties available to aspiring homesteaders, don't hesitate to get in touch with us today for expert advice and opinions.