What does “off the grid” mean? Who lives off the grid? How exactly do they live? There are as many answers as there are people doing it. The author traveled around the country talking to as many off-the-gridders as he could. To some people, it means using no electricity, while others will use electricity as long as it generated by solar panels and not connected to a utility company. Some are wealthy; some are destitute. Some are hermits retreating from society, others are trying to be an example for people to follow. Off-the-gridders may live a solitary existence, or have a spouse and children, or even be part of a commune.
There were a multitude of reasons for going off the grid. It could fit with their ecological beliefs. It could be for religious reasons, such as the Amish. It could be an attempt to hide from someone who they fear may hurt them. Some feel it is a healthier way to live. In some cases, it is a political protest against a corrupt government that they don’t want their currency going to support. Others fear that the economy is about to collapse, and they are preparing to be self-sufficient. For some, they have just run out of money, and are forced into it until they can get back on their feet. Living off the grid can be a temporary lifestyle, a part-time lifestyle, or a totally permanent way of living.
The book had a somewhat disjointed feel about it. I did finish reading it, however, because I wanted to know what would possess people to make such a drastic change in their life. Now I know. The author himself was living off the grid at the time of publication. Much as I admired some of the people I read about, it doesn’t sound like anything I want to attempt. But my hat is off to those who can make living off-the-grid work for them.