The 8 Best Essentials for Off-Grid Living

Living off the grid doesn’t have to be a step back into colonial times. Here are some high-quality must-haves that can help you live your best life off the grid in the 21st century.

By Mel Childs | Updated Dec 28, 2021 4:05 PM

off the grid living

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The picture often painted of off-grid living is one of difficulty and hardship—of living without modern conveniences. However, living off the grid doesn’t have to feel like your great-grandparents’ era. Off-the-grid living can be just as high-tech as residing in an on-grid system. It’s all a matter of choosing essential items that allow you to live with modern conveniences and meet fundamental needs while reducing your carbon footprint.

Off-grid living starts with finding the best place in America to live an off-grid lifestyle. It also involves making sound choices with appliances and other essentials since energy conservation is of utmost importance when living off grid. Choosing appliances that use minimal or no electricity is an important step toward reducing consumption from off-grid energy sources such as solar power and backup generators.

Another critical component of an off-grid lifestyle is access to water, which you’ll want to clean via a well water filtration system or other whole house water filtration system. With the pandemic changing the way so many people live, the off-grid lifestyle is becoming more popular now than ever. Are you ready to embrace the life of a cabin inhabitant, tiny house dweller, or container house resident? Or perhaps you simply want to convert your existing home to off-grid status? Read on to learn more essential off-grid tools that allow you to enjoy modern conveniences while reducing or eliminating the need for grid connectivity — just about anywhere you want.

1. EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station DELTA 

off the grid living

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While off-grid solar panels may be a great source of electricity, there are times when these may even fail, and a backup generator becomes crucial for powering essentials. Or off-gridders may simply choose to hold solar power in reserve on occasion, and rely on a generator instead.

In these situations, the EF Ecoflow Portable Power Station Delta is a terrific backup generator to have on hand. This generator comes with many charging outlets including six AC outlets, a DC port and two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports—including one for fast charging.

The unit also has a lithium battery pack that can be charged using the adapter or car charger that’s included. It can also be charged with a 10-65V solar panel that can be purchased separately. In just a couple of hours, this station can go from zero to 100–recharged and ready to meet the demands for indoor grid living without the gasoline smell that most traditional generators produce. This generator can power just about anything except an RV. But there are other ECOFLOW products that can support such high-powered items.

Get the EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station DELTA at Amazon for $1,099

2. Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator

off the grid living

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Another critical consideration when living off the grid is keeping food fresh and unspoiled. The Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator is a good place to keep perishable food cool and fresh. This compact unit can act as either a refrigerator or a freezer, getting down to as low as 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The unit is made of high density foam to minimize air leaks. And, it has three settings to prevent battery run-down if it ever needs to be plugged in a vehicle. Since the unit is portable, it can easily go from house to car and back, making preparation for road adventures easy.

Get the Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator at Amazon for $219.99

3. Amana 5.1 Cu. Ft. Freestanding Gas Range

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Photo: Bestbuy.com

Cooking food is just as important when living off-grid as it is on-grid. It’s good to know that this can be achieved by taking an ordinary gas stove and converting it to one that uses LP (liquid propane) to prepare delicious meals as you would on the grid.

The Amana 5.1 Cu. Ft. Freestanding Gas Range is a stainless steel stove with four burners delivering 9,500 BTUs and 11,500 BTUs of heat. The product’s height, weight, and depth is 46 1/4 inches, 29 3/8 inches, and 27 3/16 inches, respectively. The delivery team can convert this to a LP stove upon installation.

Get the Amana 5.1 Cu. Ft. Freestanding Gas Range at Best Buy for $549.99

4. Farberware Professional Compact Portable Countertop Dishwasher

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Photo: Amazon.com

Keeping dishes clean may be a challenging task when living off the grid. Water resources may be scarce. Therefore, using water wisely will be critical. One way to use as little water as possible to get dishes clean is to get a Farberware Professional Compact Portable Countertop Dishwasher.

Not only does it take up little space on a table or countertop, but it also has a 5-liter, built-in water tank, allowing it to operate without a water hookup. It also includes a water hose if the user prefers to hook it up to the sink faucet, however. Despite its compact size, this dishwasher delivers the cleaning power of a full-size regular dishwasher. Washing programs include normal, rapid, glass, fruit wash, and baby care to clean and sanitize baby bottles. In 40 minutes, dirty dishes will be clean and ready for use.

Get the Farberware Professional Compact Portable Countertop Dishwasher at Overstock for $397.99

5. GE White Laundry Center Washer and Vented Gas Dryer

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Another arduous task to perform when living off-grid may be keeping clothing clean. Wet jeans may be a tremendous struggle to wring out and dry. Rough, air-dried towels may not be inviting to use either. Luckily, the off-grid dweller can use a modern choice to clean clothes by getting a GEWhite Laundry Center Washer and Vented Gas Dryer. Both run on liquid propane and will need conversion kits to switch from natural gas to liquid propane.

This compact combo is featured in our guide to the best compact washer and dryer for your laundry space as the “best overall” for its space-saving design and 11 wash cycles that clean various fabric types. It also produces minimal noise when in use.

Get the GE White Laundry Center Washer and Vented Gas Dryer from Home Depot for $1,439

6. Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet

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Photo: Amazon.com

Lack of plumbing may be another obstacle associated with off-grid living. In such cases, an off-gridder may need to use a composting toilet. One such toilet is the Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet. It has a modern, ergonomic design offers a huge capacity that holds waste for two people for up to six weeks and results in organic compost that is easy to dispose of. This plastic, lightweight, waterless toilet is ideal for off-grid living and does a great job of containing odors. Another advantage is that it requires no maintenance.

Get the Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet at Amazon for $1,030

7. Camplux Pro 1.58 GPM Tankless Propane Water Heater

off the grid living

Photo: Amazon.com

Access to hot water is often taken for granted at a house on the grid. Off-grid living may only provide access to cold water. Camplux Pro 1.58 GPM Tankless Propane Water Heater is a way to heat up water for cleaning and showering. The tank runs on propane and is battery-powered so it’s accessible even if power isn’t available.

For use indoors, install a flue pipe or duct (purchased separately) to prevent toxic gases from the propane tank from leaking into the home. Water temperatures can get as high as 114.8 degrees Fahrenheit and the maximum water pressure is 110 PSI (pounds per square inch).

Get the Camplux Pro 1.58 GPM Tankless Propane Water Heater at Amazon for $189.99

8. Express Water 3 Stage Whole House Water Filtration

off the grid living

Photo: Amazon.com

Having clean running water for consumption is critical when living off the grid. The Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter is a great choice for off-grid living because it doesn’t require electricity to operate. This filtration system removes about 80 water impurities, and water pressure gauges monitor inflow and outflow to ensure the system is working correctly. Featured as the “best overall” pick in our researched guide to the best well water filtration systems for clean drinking water, this system delivers high pressure, and clean water that’s great for drinking and bathing in.

Get the Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter at Amazon for $499.99

The prices listed here are accurate as of publication on 12/28/21.