Most folks probably can’t imagine what it would be like to live without being connected to a power line. We have become so used to flipping a light switch for illumination, popping something into the microwave for dinner, then after dinner clicking on the TV. When you live “off-grid”, you can still do this, so long you have the proper equipment.

Preferably, solar panels would supply the energy, along a charge controller, an adequate battery system and inverter. The size of your system will determine what you will be able to power.

For the last few months, I’ve gotten by with a 5W solar panel, a 7Ah battery, and propane. The solar panel supplies enough juice to charge a lantern and a cell phone. I rely on AA batteries for my FM radio and flashlight. The propane is necessary for heating and cooking. I buy my water and ice in town. My total utility cost is less than $20/month.

Ideally, I would have enough solar power and battery reserve to be able to power a computer, microwave, refrigerator and AC. For this, a 1000W solar array is required, along with a 12VDC 250Ah battery bank. Power can also be supplied by gas generator.

The electrical grid is not the only grid. There’s the water grid, sewer grid, cable TV grid and internet grid.

In order to “dry camp” (living off the grid), these other components need to be considered. That’s why RV’s have fresh, grey and black water tanks. For entertainment, OTA (Over The Air) TV antennas are popular, as are satellite dishes.