If you are looking to try and improve your lifestyle, you might well have thought about trying to become more self-sufficient. This simply means that you are relying less on the world around you in order to eat, wash, sleep and do all the other things you need to do. It also generally means that, once the lifestyle is set up, you will have a reduced or even eliminated need for money.
But is it even possible to actually live completely self-sufficiently in today’s world? And if so, how do you do it? In this post, we will look into this in some detail, so you can see how you might be able to make it come true for you.
What Is Self-Sufficiency?
So what does it mean to be self-sufficient, anyway? Essentially, you are living in a self-sufficient manner if you are able to provide for yourself all of your basic resources. There are degrees of self-sufficiency, but for it to be ‘complete’, that would probably mean that you’d have to have zero reliance on anyone else, or any of society’s normal structures.
That is not for everyone, but for an increasing number of people, it really is the dream. If it is the dream for you, you will need to do all you can to research it thoroughly, so you can be in a much better position to make it come true for you.
There are two basic paths you can take towards greater self-sufficiency: the gradual or the sudden.
The Gradual Path
To become more self-sufficient gradually, you are simply going to need to do more and more things that are not reliant on other people, society or the grid. Your final goal might not even be to become entirely self-sufficient – you might just want to make certain movements in that general direction. Whether or not you do aim for that, the gradual path can be handy in a number of ways.
First of all, going gradually is often less of a shock to the system, meaning that you can incorporate it into your life in a much easier, less messy kind of way. That can be enormously helpful. It is also useful if you are simply keen to make some improvements to your life but you are not sure exactly where to begin.
There are a lot of ways of becoming more self-sufficient gradually, so this is worth thinking about.
The Sudden Path
If you would rather shake up everything in your life and completely start afresh, you might prefer to take the sudden path. As the name implies, with this method you are simply changing everything in one go, and it can be a really powerful way to make a series of big changes in your life.
Generally, this will look like a big gesture, such as moving to an off-grid setting, completely changing your location and so on. This is not for the faint of heart, but it is definitely a much more exciting way to live.
Why Do It?
At this point, you might be wondering why you would choose to live in this way at all. It can seem as though you would be giving up too much, and indeed it would be fair to say that there are some sacrifices that will need to be made as you do this. But there are also a huge number of benefits to living in a more self-sufficient way, and understanding what these are in detail could be a good idea before you do anything, or to help you get more motivated as well.
One of the most compelling reasons to follow this kind of lifestyle is that you will be more ready for a wide variety of future global scenarios. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to appreciate that there could be some kind of awful situation in the future, with supply lines cut and so on, and so having your own supplies could really be useful at such a time.
But even without thinking about that worst-case scenario, you can see many other great reasons to try and live more self-sufficiently. For instance, you can have a feeling of strength and pride, and a sense that you are doing something challenging but worthwhile. You might feel as though you are taking a stand against a world that you disagree with. All of that can be a great feeling to have, so it’s something that you are going to want to think about if you are wondering whether to do this.
On top of all that, there is great joy to be found in any lifestyle that you have to work hard for, and it’s something that you are going to find can really help you to feel more alive.
The Importance Of Being Frugal
One of the main tenets you are going to need to take on board in order to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle is that of being frugal. This simply means that you are living to your means, and not constantly seeking out more expenses and purchases and so on. It also implies that you are not being wasteful, which is in itself a very central concern when you are trying to be self-sufficient.
If you generally struggle to be frugal, you will have to learn how to do it soon, otherwise this kind of lifestyle just may not be for you.
The Basics: Food & Water
To be truly self-sufficient, you are going to need to have the ability to provide your own food and water. This is likely going to be one of the early challenges, but it is also pretty much the most basic thing of all, so it’s definitely something that you should think about as soon as you can. You might find that it takes quite a lot of planning to know how you are going to get food and water, so it’s never too early to start planning it out as best as you can.
To make the food side of things easier, many self-sufficient people avoid eating meat. That way, you don’t have to keep any animals – except you might like to keep a few chickens for their eggs, but they are quite easy to take care of in general. Without having to think about meat, you can simply ensure that you are growing plenty of vegetables of a wide variety. For that, you will of course need space, and lots of it – and plenty of water to water your plants with, of course.
Once you start to think about this, you will see how you can actually make most of the food you love from scratch by growing the right plants. Grow some wheat, and you can continue to make your own bread, for instance. You should be a little creative here and think outside of the box, and make sure too that you are planning out your crops for good rotation year after year. That helps to avoid pests and diseases, and ensures that the soil remains high-quality as well.
Speaking of the soil, you’ll likely want to create your own compost so you don’t have to rely on buying ready made compost. This is actually a very simple process to do. You just need to collect all of your kitchen food waste, your scraps and so on, as well as any garden waste, all in one pile. You can do that in a compost bin or simply an open area surrounded by wood palettes – and make sure that it gets enough moisture too. Then you will have compost for next year, and the cycle can continue after that.
For water, you have a few options, but the best is to set up home somewhere where you have a natural spring nearby. If not a spring, you could opt instead for a lake – and then simply make sure that you have a purifier so you can actually drink it. Remember: you can always boil water to purify it too, so that is a fall-back should you ever need to use it.
Chances are, you are going to need energy of some kind or another, even if you don’t want to watch television. You’ll certainly have a need for lights either way, so make sure that you are thinking of good ways to provide yourself with enough energy. These days, this is easier than ever: just call around and find the best solar company in your area, and have them install some solar panels.
If you are worried about your health, the most important thing is to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. But you should also have a first aid kit, and make sure that you know how to perform first aid as well. At the end of the day, if you need a hospital, there is nothing wrong with that – the important thing is that you are looking after yourself first and foremost.