How Much Land You Need To Go Off The Grid?

The original homesteaders, the pioneers who went West, were following the American dream as it was understood in the 19th century — they wanted a house, and land, and a farm, of their own. Those who become homesteaders today aren’t necessarily aspirational in the same way; instead, they’re looking to escape mainstream America. They want to do so for many reasons: privacy, radicalism, a philosophical belief in self-sufficiency.

But “going off the grid” is a daunting proposal, especially for those with families. Non-homesteaders rely on others for virtually everything; not just our haircuts, but our electricity and our eggs. It’s hard enough to figure out the right amount of groceries to buy for a week. Figuring out how many crops to plant to feed a family of four is exponentially more daunting. There are plenty of resources to help – message boardshow-tos. And here’s one more, aesthetically pleasing resource from solar panel discount company One Block Off the Grid: a useful chart illustrating the typical land requirements for a family of four seeking nutritional and electronic self-sufficiency.

According to the company’s research, a family of four that eats meat, dairy and eggs would need around two acres of land to feed themselves for a year. Ready to try it yourself, but short on land? A 2.9-acre plot of land in South-Central Alaska is available from the State for as little as $2400, payable by MasterCard or Visa.

Here’s the chart.

How Much Land You Need To Go Off The Grid?



14 Responses to How Much Land You Need To Go Off The Grid?

  1. Phillip King March 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    I’m moving to Alaska. That settles it. Off the grid us the best way to live. No strings, no unwanted opinions. Perfect.

    • De_Strayz May 14, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

      And in 2 years you are divorced and moving back to the lower 48. Broke, and Nothing to show for it.

  2. millenniumfly April 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    That sounds like a fairly reasonable estimate. Thanks.

    • Jess December 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

      I am not an animal rights advocate by any means. I grew up on a ranch in Nebraska, and am a beef producer.

      The idea that you can keep a goat in a 10'X10' is fine i suppose, (even though I think no animal should have to spend its life locked in such a small lot), but what is that goat going to eat? You will have to produce of buy some foraging material for the goat. That is going to take a reasonable amount of land. You will also have to have multiple goats. One female is only going to give you a few months of milk production. Then she will have to be re-bread.

      Are you going to let those chickens run around? Hens lay much better when they have some open space and some grasshoppers to chase.

      Can you really expect to live on pork for an entire year? Better get some broilers around to butcher, fried chicken would be a welcome change to a pork and veggie diet.

      My family ranches on around 2000 acres, and I would be there working in right now if it could support all of us. 2 acres is fine in theory, but the first hard winter, first goat that puts a hip down, first time the bugs/rabbits/raccoon that get into your vegetables could spell disaster if you are living on such narrow production limits. Agriculture is a game of averages. Just because you can produce it does not mean that you will.

  3. Justin Doody April 16, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    5 acres to me sounds like enough to do everything I need. Gardens and living space, space for storage buildings and seems to be small enough to easily protect the land. I have had 80 acres before and the cost of security would be astonishing. So 5 acres now to me seems much easier to defend if you don't have the luxery of living in the middle of nowhere.

    • Bob July 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      Wow, 'defend'? Maybe take less land somewhere less lethal. Joking aside on your downsizing, there's a great of literature from people living well from just an acre, although this would give little for selling on

  4. guest April 19, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    I"m not dealing with that cold, ice, snow, etc, for 7+ months of the year. They can keep that. I'd consider living in British Columbia for most of the year, then in Mexico, away from the border, tho, for the winter. I see no reason at all to make myself deal with either heat or cold, when a simple change in location fixes such problems.

  5. Whatever works April 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    If you grow indoors in a secured concrete dome (underground entrance and no 1st floor openings) using aquaponics, our calculations reduce that 2 acres to less than 1/2 as a homestead and and if you go up in height as well, to far less. So thinking outside the box and you will find even an urban homesite could do it. And a concrete or earth dome gives far better security and top can be fixed safety glass for growing. We know this because we did it for a client and the size is only 6,000 sq feet on the ground plus two stories up with aquaponics gardening on top and water harvesting, gray water recycle, 100% solar and wind, with well indoors for protection using 12V pump. It can be done.

  6. Matt May 22, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a casting associate with a Los Angeles-based television production company that develops television series for a variety of cable networks.

    Our company is in the beginning stages of development for a new reality series that will center on the day-to-day life of a unique community, family or couple living off the grid. We are now casting for a community, family or couple that resides anywhere in the United States and lives off the grid. Are you an outgoing community, family or couple comprised of interesting characters who are living without electricity or basic housing needs and have dynamic personalities? Although on-camera experience is not required, all family members must have big personalities, be comfortable speaking on camera, and able to legally work in the U.S.

    Please see the attached press release for your review and consideration. We are respectfully requesting that you share and forward this information to any individuals, families, businesses, clubs, groups or organizations that may be interested in being considered for the project. To be considered, please email us photographs of your community, family or significant other. Please tell us, in detail, your story of why you would make for compelling television, what city and state you live in, the description/function/role of each person and include contact information (name, number, email) via: [email protected].

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Best wishes,

    Matt Labinski
    Casting Associate

    • Felcher July 14, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

      Oh, I’m sure this guy’s legit. He has an email.

  7. Cassie May 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Right Matt, just like the Prepper shows on tv where the caustic nararater demeans and degrades the “big personality” prepper and spins the show to prove to the vast majority of viewers that in fact the prepper is a silly person with a vivid imagination. Oh and seriously just sayin…why would an individual who is a true survivalist living off the grid desire to let you or the feds into their life style intentionally? The entire point is to get away from and survive without media/gov’t interaction. If you are looking for a circus try Chicago…there was 40 shootings there over Memorial Weekend. What an insipid and perfunctory request on a survival blog. Anyone serious about survival won’t let you exploit them or their families on tv. Disgusting.

    • Lillian July 14, 2012 at 8:44 am #

      I agree with you. We are keeping our all our stuff hidden. If you go on TV with it you run the sure risk that one- you will be recognized and two several may make a note that even though they are not stocking up they know where they can get it.. Looters are going to become a real reality when things get bad. Don't set yourself up as a target by broadcasting your resources.

  8. Tammy January 7, 2013 at 3:09 am #

    This doesn't take into account container/square foot gardening, which would reduce a great deal of space needed.
    Otherwise, it's pretty good.

  9. Sean August 31, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    People might want to go on TV to teach others how to do it…not everyone is paranoid. Also, you can't grow many crops at all in most of Alaska…the growing season is very short. You can go off the grid with two acres or less in many parts of the country, but I wouldn't try it in Alaska.

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