Living off grid has many definitions and here is mine: living off the electric grid, drawing your own water from natural sources, having no land-line phone or cable service, and living truly happy and as free as you can where the paved road ends. My journey as a woman begins here, learning to be as free and happy as can be and living off grid in the wilderness.
I have read a lot about men or groups of people who choose to live off grid in permaculture communities but I have not come across single women who choose to live this way. Where the paved road ends for me is the wilderness of U.S. National Forests. If you want to camp for free, you can in U.S. National Forests as long as you camp primitively and follow all rules.
My journey as a woman toward living off grid in the wilderness started where the paved road ends and the Oconee National Forest begins. I left behind a good paying job at a hospital and a home I was renting in the mountains of North Georgia to not just follow my dream but to actually live it.
First, I packed everything I did not need to live off grid in the wilderness and put it in storage. Stuffing everything I could into the back of my truck, I set off for the end of the paved road and into the wilderness.
So, with just me and my dog, this woman’s journey off the paved road began the week deer hunting season started. My first ten days of camping in a tent I spent avoiding hunters and collecting acorns that I could later process into flour for bread. What I learned on this campout was to never camp on a slope (even a slight one) and collect acorns as soon as they begin falling from the trees (I collected them a little too late).
The wilderness here in the Oconee National Forest is very quiet, even with all the hunters. My journey toward living off grid sent me packing to warmer Florida for Thanksgiving week as my propane heater would not work. It was good to spend this holiday with family and the warmth was a nice change-at first.
My experiences as a woman living off grid in the Florida wilderness begin where the paved road ends and the Ocala National Forest begin. My continued personal journey toward, living off grid, freedom, and happiness in Florida can be found here in part two.
For other topics by this contributor please see
Is Permaculture the Hope for a Sustainable Future?
Authors’ Disclaimer: While every caution has been taken to provide my readers with the most accurate information, please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information in this article.