Packing for a stay in an Off-Grid cabin can be frustrating if you don’t know what accessories you should bring. The same goes for off-grid living. We’ve done a little research to help you pack or prepare the most helpful items for your trip.
Instead of giving you a random list of items to sort through, I’ve decided to divide the items up by room.
The most obvious items you will need are cooking utensils and dining ware. Remember that you will probably be cooking over a wood stove, so you will need to use cookware that is appropriate for this type of cooking. Cast iron cookware is a popular option for cooking outdoors since it is durable and heats up quickly.
You will also need a full set of utensils such as spatulas, knives, and spoons. Amazon has some relatively inexpensive cooking sets for first-time campers all the way up to experienced campers. Here is a link to one of their more pricey but effective options. This option contains forks, spoons, knives, as well as all sorts of other little accessories for outdoor cooking.
Another item you might not have considered is an outdoor sink to wash dishes with. There are several cheap options, but we recommend this table/sink duo for food preparation and dishwashing. Here is a link to the product. This sink/table is useful if you are going to be staying off-the-grid for a longer period of time. The only downside to this product is that it does not come with a bag or hose to hook water too. You will need to have a way to run water through the faucet prepared. It recommends using a garden hose, but there are other options you can use.
You will also need to purchase firewood if you are staying in a rustic cabin that is off-the-grid. Firewood is essential for cooking your meals and heating your cabin. If you are living off-the-grid, make sure that there are no laws against you cutting your own wood before you start collecting it.
Another important item to consider is something to store your food in. If you are living off the grid, you will want something more permanent, but if you are simply vacationing for a few weeks, coolers are probably the best items for you. It will also be helpful to note that since off-grid cabins are located in remote areas, you will want to avoid having a lot of perishables or items that need to remain frozen. Here is an option we’ve found for a good cooler. This cooler is meant for longer stays where lots of food needs to be stored over time. We’ve picked it mainly for its size and high rating. There are several more expensive options that you can also look into if you want something more durable or portable.
Your cabin will most likely not have running water which means that you will need some way to take a shower. We’ve found that a solar shower bag is the best option for getting a quick warm shower without complicated procedures or products. Here is one we found on Amazon with high reviews. Besides a shower, you will need to make sure to pack toothpaste, a toothbrush, and something to store those in to protect them.
If you’re not too keen about showering naked outdoors, Amazon also has a nifty shower tent you can use for privacy. Here is a link to it. This shower tent comes with its own shower bag, but if you don’t like this one, you can buy another and hang it in the tent.
You will want to be comfortable even while you live off-the-grid, so it’s important to pack comfortable bedding. If you are staying or living in a cabin where you know there are bunk beds, you should also probably know that these bunk beds don’t have mattresses and will pretty much be a wooden plank.
A sleeping bag is your most basic, and least comfortable option and air mattresses are out of the question. Your best bet is to bring a comfortable camping mattress pad to place on your bunk bed. There are several options, but here is one that we recommend.
This pad inflated by blowing air into it with your breath. It only takes a few moments to inflate and is durable. The main perk to this option is that it easily deflates and can be stored in a compact pouch. If you aren’t worried about storage, you can use another type of mattress, though we’ve found that the most comfortable and highest rated mattress pads are inflatable. A standard foam pad will also work, although, it won’t be as comfortable.
Besides a mattress pad, you will want to make sure you stay warm as most off-grid rustic cabins don’t include heating. Bringing lots of blankets will be ideal, but if you don’t have a lot of space to pack things, here is a good blanket option for your stay. This blanket is compact, making it easy to store and carry, but even though it is compact, it provides good warmth on cold nights, making it ideal for off-grid living.
You will probably want some light for those hours after the sun has set but you aren’t quite ready to turn in for the night. There are many ways to light your off-grid cabin during the evening including kerosene lamps, battery-powered flashlights (these are typically better for short stays when you will not need the battery to last more than a week tops), candles (a simple and inexpensive way to light an area), oil lamps (these typically use olive oil as their base), and solar lights (this is a great option if you are living in a rustic cabin).
A lot of these different lighting options depend on the type of lighting you need and if your off-grid stay is temporary or permanent. Like I said above, candles and battery lights are your best option for temporary off-grid stays because they are cheap. Battery powered light can be pretty bright too. However, if you are planning to live off-grid, you might want to consider more long-term options such as kerosene or oil lamps and solar panels. Solar panels are the most expensive option but are a necessity if you are living off the grid and want a good light source.
What does off-the-grid mean? Off-the-grid is a term for a style of living (or vacationing) where the individual or family functions without modern infrastructure such as piped water or electricity. The grid could refer to not using the electricity grid that most homes in the United States run on. However, this does not mean that the individual cannot have their own electricity grid.
Is it legal to live off-the-grid in the United States? This is highly dependent on the area you live in. Off-the-grid living can become illegal when an individual violates city ordinances and zoning laws. For example, if you want to use your land to raise your own livestock as part of your off-grid living and your city or county has ordinances about raising livestock on a property, your off-grid lifestyle becomes illegal.
Can I live off-the-grid for free? It takes a lot of preparation and research, but in some cases, you may be able to live off the land. However, you should be aware of the laws in your local area. There is also an initial investment for materials to live off the land such as livestock, lighting, gardening materials, seeds, and property.