Guide to the Items You Need to Live Off the Grid

Living off the grid is a very difficult task to accomplish, as we have already become accustomed to how our homes are connected to power grids that provide electricity, as well as water and gas lines that serve as access to public utilities. In case you don’t know, living off the grid is a way of life wherein a person, a couple, or a family would need to live without relying on power grids and public utilities.

There are many reasons why there are people that live off the grid, and some of the popular reasons are that they will be able to save more money from producing their own sources of energy and utilities, they can rely on much cleaner energy that is better for the energy, and they can live almost anywhere since they don’t need their homes to be connected to a power grid. [1]

However, living off the grid is not really as simple as just disconnecting your life and your home from a power grid, as you also need to learn survival skills that can help you in case of an emergency where your primary source of energy and utilities would be inaccessible or unavailable. There are certain items that you will need to not only improve your survival skills but also help in having a much more comfortable and safer time living off the grid, and in this article, we will talk about those items and see their features and benefits. Here is a guide to items needed to live off the grid.

Guide to the Items You Need to Live Off the Grid Infographic

Water Filtration System

Because your home is most likely not connected to a water line if you are living off the grid, you would need to have an alternative source of clean and drinkable water. One of the best ways to get clean water is by having a water filtration system, which is usually a machine that turns water from lakes, rivers, and ponds into drinkable water that doesn’t have bacteria or parasites. [2] Water filtration systems come in different sizes, and if you want to have an ample supply of clean water every day, you would need to have the largest systems.

A hand pouring filtered water

However, in times when large filtration systems fail due to damages or faulty parts, you would need to have portable water filtration devices or tools that can help you get clean water instantly. These portable systems have different mechanics in how they filter water, so you may need to check out different products to see which one is more effective and suitable for you. Here are a few water filtration systems that you may want to get:

  • LifeStraw Personal Water Filter – this portable water filter will be able to provide clean drinkable water in an instant, as it is basically a straw that has a filter in the middle. All you have to do to drink water from this water filter is to place one end of the straw on a pond or lake and then sip on the straw at the other end.
  • FS-TFC Portable Reverse Osmosis Filtration System – this three-stage water filter features a low-pressure hollow fiber membrane that uses reverse osmosis filtration to remove 99.9% of bacteria, parasites, and other harmful elements found in the waters of lakes, rivers, and ponds. 
  • Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System – this simple filtration system has a filtration straw that you can insert on a plastic bottle or on the included drinking pouch filled with water from bodies of freshwater. The straw will then automatically filter the water from the bottle or pouch before you can drink it.

Sufficient Supply of Food

Small pantry of food

Besides water, food is also another necessity for our survival. When we are living off the grid, we would often have to store as many food products as possible since the nearest grocery store or mall would most likely be miles away from our home. In addition to storing a lot of food, you would also need food that can last for a long time, and these types of food are canned and dried goods that can last for six months to one year. Here are some of the best canned and dried goods you should have at home:

If you don’t want to store a lot of canned and dried foods in your pantry, then you may want to get some of your food from natural sources, which means that you can farm, fish, or hunt for food. [1] In order to do the said tasks, you will need to develop several skills for them. To hasten the development and learning process, you may want to watch or read online guides on how to fish, hunt, and farm.

Rain Barrels

rain barrel

If it is constantly raining in your area, you can make good use of the rain by having rain barrels in your home. These rain barrels would allow you to collect rainwater, which you can then use for growing different kinds of plants. [2] So, if you have a small farm where you grow your own fruits and vegetables, then the rain barrels would be very beneficial for you. You may also use the collected rainwater as drinking water, although you may need to utilize a water filtration system first to ensure that the water is clean. Check these three rain barrels out and see which ones are suitable for your home:

  • FCMP Outdoor RC45 Rain Barrel – this rain barrel has a 170-liter or 45-gallon capacity and includes a debris screen, a shut-off thumb valve, and a garden hose for easy transfer of water.
  • KMJETNIVY Rain Barrel – this barrel feature three outlet valves so that you have a choice of where to get the water inside the barrel. This product is made from PVC, which means that it wouldn’t corrode and lasts much longer compared to wooden and metal barrels.
  • LOSTRONAUT Portable Rain Barrel – this lightweight rain barrel has a 53-gallon capacity and is made from durable PVC that is weather-resistant and built to last outdoors.

Fire-Making Items

using a firesteel

In order to cook food without a stove or cooking appliances that are usually connected to gas lines or propane tanks, you would need different items for making a fire. These fire-making items can help you create a campfire to keep yourself warm while cooking food, or you can use them to apply fire to charcoal on a grill if you want to grill meats and other types of food.

While the lighter is considered the most common way to create fire from tinder and charcoal, it is not an item suitable for living off the grid, as it still uses liquid gas. Fortunately, there is an item that is perfect for people living off the grid, and this item is the firesteel, also called by some the fire starter. The firesteel is a fire-making item that is made from metal that can easily generate sparks whenever it is scraped continuously.

The item or tool that should scrape the firesteel is either a knife or a scraper, which is a thin piece of metal that usually already comes with the firesteel. Once you have tinder or pieces of wood ready, you can then scrape the firesteel at an angle above the tinder so that the sparks would go directly to the items you want to burn. Here is the best firesteel that you can pair with a great pack of tinder to create a campfire or to fire up your grill:

  • Texas Bushcraft Fire Starter – this firesteel has a wooden handle and a paracord wrist lanyard so that you can place it on your belt or backpack. This also comes with a scraper, so you don’t need a knife anymore to generate sparks on the firesteel.
  • Bushcraft Survival Fire Starter Tinder Rope – this standard tinder rope is primarily used to increase the chances of making fire using the sparks generated by the firesteel. What’s great about this tinder rope is that it is waterproof, so it will still be effective in producing fire even after it gets wet.

Grill or Smoker

grilling meat

The grill is arguably one of the best appliances to get when you want to cook food while living off the grid, as its version that relies only on charcoal would allow you to cook delicious food without the need to connect to a gas line or propane tank. However, the propane tank grills are also good options if you don’t want the hassle of waiting for minutes or hours just to get the charcoal ready for grilling. [3]

If you want smoked meat, then you may also want to get a smoker, which is a version of a grill that cooks much slower so that the smokiness from the charcoal would be absorbed much better by the meat. But the smoker isn’t really necessary if you already have a grill and you don’t want to add more appliances to your home. These are three charcoal grills that are suitable for people living off the grid:

  • Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker – this large charcoal grill has porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates for durability and better heat distribution. Along with the grill, it also has an offset smoker if you want to increase the smokiness of the meat you are grilling.
  • Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill – if you want an affordable option when it comes to grills, then you should check out this portable charcoal grill by Cuisinart. It has a chrome plated grate and a dual venting system so that you will have better control of the temperature inside the grill.
  • Char-Griller Outlaw Charcoal Grill – this charcoal grill has a 950-square-inch cooking area that allows you to cook up to 38 burger patties. The grate on this grill is made of cast iron, which is considered one of the best materials for even heat distribution.


portable generator

The generator is arguably one of the best sources of power for people living off the grid, as it can power almost anything at home, from lights to appliances. [2] However, the generator should only be used in emergency situations, as you will consume too much power from it when you use it regularly. Then, once it is out of power, you would need to either connect it to a propane tank or recharge it on an electrical outlet, which is connected to a power grid.

So, if you are using a generator regularly, you really aren’t living off the grid. Only use a generator during emergencies where you cannot produce light and power using other items. Here are two portable generators you can check out:

  • Westinghouse 12500-Watt Portable Generator – this portable generator features a remote electric start so you can easily turn it on, and it also has a fuel selector switch so that you can choose whether you want it to be powered by gasoline or propane.
  • WEN 4750-Watt Portable Generator – if you want a smaller generator for home use, then you can get this portable generator from WEN. This generator has an electric start and low-oil shutdown for fuel efficiency.

Solar Panels

solar panels

If you don’t want to use the generator constantly, then you may want to install solar panels on the roof of your home. These solar panels would collect and retain solar energy, and this energy would then be transformed into a power source for the lights, devices, and appliances in the house. In order to collect sufficient power for your home, you would need to have 20 to 25 solar panels on the roof of the house or in an area where the panels can get direct sunlight. [2] Here are three solar panels that you can install at home:

  • ROCKPALS Foldable Solar Panel – this solar panel can be folded so that you can set it up anywhere, not just on the roof of your home. The solar panel is also IP65 waterproof, so it won’t get damaged easily by rain.
  • ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Panel – another portable solar panel that is great to use for charging smartphones and other devices. What’s interesting about this solar panel is that it has a USB output, so you can directly charge devices on it.
  • SOLPERK Solar Panel Kit – this portable kit features an adjustable mount bracket so that you can set where the panel is facing. In addition, it also has a weatherproof film so that it can withstand different weather conditions.

Flashlights and Lamps


At night, if you just want to inspect different areas of your home without using power from a generator or solar panels, you can use flashlights or lamps. Flashlights are normally powered by batteries, while lamps once only had candles inside them but are now also battery-powered.

The downside to flashlights and lamps is that you would regularly have to replace batteries on them in order to keep them working, so you may need to buy multiple packs of batteries just for these sources of light. Fortunately, there are now rechargeable lamps and flashlights that you can just charge using a power bank or through an electrical outlet, although charging them can be difficult if you are living off the grid. Here are three flashlights we highly recommend for people living off the grid:

  • GearLight TAC LED Flashlight – a flashlight that provides super bright light that can illuminate an entire room or yard. This item is made from military-grade aluminum, so you will know that it can last for years.
  • Lumore Pen Flashlight – this very compact flashlight is made from anodized aluminum and has an 84-meter viewing distance that makes it suitable for medical use, work use, or hunting use.
  • RECHOO High-Powered LED Flashlight – this flashlight has three modes of illumination, which are high, low, and strobe, and these modes can be changed by simply twisting the flashlight head.

Alternative Sources of Light

green glow stick

When the lights of your home aren’t functioning, or your flashlights and lamps run out of batteries, then you will need to find alternative sources of light. Luckily, finding sources of light today is very easy, as there are now different kinds of lighting products that are readily available on the market.

One of the best lighting products you can use is the long-lasting candle, which is a type of candle that can last for hours. However, the downside to using candles is that you would need to keep an eye out for them so that they won’t tumble or fall and accidentally cause a fire in your home. If you want a safer alternative, you may also get some glow sticks, which can also provide light for nine to twelve hours. Take a look below for a few products that can serve as alternative sources of light:

  • UCO 9-Hour White Candles – this set of candles can last for up to nine hours, which is quite impressive for white candles. These candles are used for emergency purposes, especially in situations where you need to have a long-lasting source of light in dark areas.
  • Glow Mind Safety Light Stick – this ultra-bright glow stick can provide illumination in dark areas for up to 12 hours. This is also made of high-quality materials, so you will be sure that it will last for a long time.
  • MediTac Green Glow Stick – this glow stick can also last for up to 12 hours in terms of illumination. However, this stick comes with a string that you can loop on the hook so that you can strap the stick on your waist or any body part so that you don’t have to hold it in your hands, especially if you need your hands to do various tasks at night or in the dark.

Different Tools


Tools are also important items for living off the grid, as they would enable you to fix the different items and appliances we mentioned above in case they get faulty or damaged. There are various hand tools that you should have at home, and these include saws, hand axes, survival knives, shears, and hammers. However, one of the most useful tools to get is the multi-tool, which features a set of small tools that will allow you to fix and break almost anything. Multi-tools usually come with pliers, scissors, screwdrivers, a corkscrew, a small knife, and more. These are three multi-tools that you can check out:

  • Hayvenhurst Multi-Tool Plier – this is a 12-in-1 multi-tool that is made from stainless steel that is corrosion-resistant and very durable. Besides the pair of pliers, this multi-tool also has a bottle opener, screwdriver, cutter, and other small tools.
  • GIRIATUS Multi-Tool – a multi-tool that is considerably larger in size compared to most multi-tools, and the reason why it is large is that it has a compact hammer and axe attached to it. So, besides having pliers and other normal tools, this multi-tool also has an axe and hammer that can be used to handle bigger repairs.
  • DEWALT MT16 Multi-Tool – this very popular multi-tool has rust-resistant parts for extra durability and a longer lifespan. However, it also has soft grip panels so that it is much more comfortable to hold compared to most multi-tools.

Off-Grid Shelters

tent and sleeping bag

In order to truly live off the grid, you would need a shelter that isn’t connected to a power grid or water line. A great shelter for living off the grid is a cabin in the woods, which is a place that will truly test how well you can survive without proper electricity. However, in times of emergency where we have to leave our cabin, we would need to have emergency shelters ready. The items you can use as emergency shelters are tents and sleeping bags. If you have the budget, you may also get an RV or recreational vehicle, which usually has a kitchen, a bathroom, and a bedroom. [1]

If your budget can only get you a sleeping bag and a tent, you should buy the ones that have insulating features so that you will stay warm at night during colder weather or temperatures. But in hotter seasons, these tents and sleeping bags should also have breathable properties so that your body won’t overheat when you are just resting or sleeping. Here are a few tents and sleeping bags that you can buy:

  • Don’t Die in the Woods Survival Tent – an emergency tent that is made from NASA-designed mylar that is waterproof and reflects about 90% of a person’s body heat. This tent is large enough to fit two people.
  • Grizzly Gear Emergency Thermal Tent – for colder temperatures, this emergency thermal tent by Grizzly Gear is the best form of shelter to set up, as it is effective in retaining a person’s body temperature while being resistant to different kinds of weather conditions.
  • Zmoon Emergency Sleeping Bag – this sleeping bag features reinforced taped seams so that it can prevent weather conditions from affecting the temperature inside it. In addition, it has thermal properties to retain the user’s body heat.

So, this is a simple guide to selecting items that are perfect for living off the grid. You will need a lot of adjustments in the first few months when it comes to living off the grid, as many of us have already become accustomed to having power grids, water lines, and gas lines at home. But once you get used to doing different tasks like farming, fishing, and collecting water, you will be able to see how worth it living off the grid truly is.


[1] Pelican Flyer. (2020, June 21). How to Live Off the Grid. Pelican Products. Retrieved December 1, 2022, from 

[2] One Step 4Ward. (2022, January 2). Top 10 Household Items for Off-Grid Living. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from

[3] Vukovic, D. (2022, November 14). Off-Grid Equipment and Gear List: 101 Things You Need to Live Successfully. Primal Survivor. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from