Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
For those that don't live off-grid, it can be hard to understand what our life is like on a daily basis. When they picture us living on our land in our rustically-accommodated trailer, they may envision big, dirty mountain men living in the middle of nowhere, completely detached from normal society and all that is civilized. They may think we wear nothing but camo.
The truth is a whole lot more boring. Just because we are living in the mountains, we haven't turned our backs on our civilized ways forever, and we almost never wear camo!
Actually we have found that people's conception of living off grid as being dirty and gross is a complete misconception. Adopting an off-grid lifestyle doesn't mean giving up all the comforts of home, it simply means you will have to be more creative to provide for them.
For us, being able to get clean at the end of a work day is always a priority. Even while living off-grid, our lifestyle can provide that.
Staying Comfortable While Living Off-Grid
We won't pretend otherwise - sometimes living off grid is down right unsexy. Our cramped 19-foot trailer can definitely get old. We've changed just about every aspect of our lives since moving to our land in Idaho, and spending each day in significantly less living space can make everyday task challenging.
Even seemingly simple projects like storing propane, getting drinking water, and even curling my hair take lots more planning than before. We work hard to structure our days so that these tasks don't become overwhelming and so we don't have to live with too much discomfort.
This is especially important for the health of our relationship. Being uncomfortable for long periods of time can create a lot of tension in a relationship and could certainly be enough to make someone quit the off grid journey all together.
Dealing with Periods as a Female Homesteader
Since I moved off the grid, lots of women have asked me about how homesteaders can stay sanitary during their periods. There is a lot of misinformation on the web about subjects like this, and I want to clear some things up about what my experience has personally been like.
Personally, I am a big proponent of the menstrual cup, a cup made from medical-grade silicone that is used like a reusable tampon. One brand I have is the Lily Cup because it's small, is completely safe to use before you get your period, and fits in a cute travel case when you aren't using it. Best of all, menstrual cups carry absolutely no risk of toxic shock syndrome.
Most menstrual cups will last over 10 years and cost less than $40. When you think about how much money the average woman spends on period products in 10 years, that's a fantastic investment.
Homestead Work as a Female
Some women may struggle with the more physical side of homesteading. My partner, Jesse, is bigger and stronger than me and can do lots of jobs faster and more efficiently than I ever could. It's been necessary for him to adapt projects around the homestead to make them more manageable for me in case I would ever have to do them by myself.
Taking precautions like this is absolutely necessary for us, because life is unpredictable and it isn’t wise to assume that we will be together 100% of the time. If something were to happen to Jesse, I want to be able to pull my own weight and take care of our home.
The last advice we want to leave with you all is to be flexible with your expectations and always be open to trying new things. Five years ago I never imagined I would be living off grid and I never would have thought I would love it this much.
I know there are many women out there that are interested in living a more simple lifestyle and you may find that if you try it out, you just may like it. Don't be afraid to experiment with different ways to be more self-sufficient, and have fun while you do so!
Alyssa Craft moved to Idaho after purchasing 5 acres of land where she will build an off-grid homestead from scratch. She is blogging about the journey from start to finish in hopes of inspiring others that wish to take a similar path. Follow her many DIY projects including building with reclaimed materials, building an off-grid hot tub, milling lumber with an Alaskan chainsaw mill and starting an organic garden. Keep up on the journey by following her blog Pure Living for Life, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channel. View Alyssa’s other MOTHER EARTH NEWS articles here!
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