Which Is the Best State to Live Off the Grid? Top 7 Options

Off-the-grid (OTG) is the term used for a special lifestyle where people live without any remote infrastructure. For instance, they don’t need an electrical grid, nor municipal sources of natural gas, water supply, sewer, or other utilities. Living in this way means operating your house independently. But where can you do this? For those of you who would fancy such a lifestyle, today we are going to see what is the best state to live off the grid.

best state to live off the grid solar levels map

Map with the solar light levels across the U.S. Image courtesy of TreeHugger

The Best State to Live Off the Grid – 7 Choices

7. Montana

best state to live off the grid rural Montana state

Often mentioned in conversations related to off-the-grid living, Montana is a beautiful state that lets you enjoy plenty of wide spaces. The weather varies throughout the state, so you can choose the area you like most. But the most important reason for which it should be included on this list is the fact that it offers a lot of natural resources.

Here you can find lax homeschooling laws, so as a parent you don’t need to let the state know that you choose this way. Moreover, it has liberal gun laws and relaxed farm animals’ laws. The downside would be that you must pay high prices and taxes for properties, but the building code laws are quite liberal.

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6. Tennessee

best state to live off the grid Smoky Mountains Tennessee

Besides the country music we all know, Tennessee is great for the rural areas. These make it compete with other states that allow homesteading. Here, you can experience all four seasons and you can live free with some of the lowest tax burdens in the entire U.S. The state allows you to freely collect rainwater, share cows for milk and grow your own food. Another advantage would be that it has low property costs as well, so you might want to consider Tennessee for living off the grid. Moreover, homeschooling is allowed, and so is owning a weapon, although you need a gun permit.

5. Oregon

best state to live off the grid Columbia River Oregon

Besides the decent rainfall and fertile lands, Oregon enters the competition with a very attractive advantage: amazing off-the-grid communities! One example is the Three Rivers Recreation Area, which is a huge community that shares water supplies and solar energy. Here, you can find people who have the same interests as you and maybe even integrate into their community.

Another place you should know about is the Breitenbush Hot Springs, a holistic community that also works as a vacation spot. You can stay and work with them for a year to see what’s it like to live off the grid. These aren’t the only live off the land communities that live in Oregon, so you might want to do some research about them.

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4. Wyoming

best state to live off the grid Grand Tetons Wyoming

For those who are looking for less populated states, Wyoming is a perfect choice. It competes for the title of the best state to live off the grid through its natural beauty and abundance of natural resources. Here, you will find a semi-arid weather with desert conditions. Due to the lack of water in certain areas, it might be prohibited to harvest rainwater.

The authorities in Wyoming are relaxed when it comes to homeschooling, so you don’t need to inform the state if you want to do so with your children. The gun laws are also lax, making it a rather free state. You can also build freely in the countryside. What’s more important, you don’t need to pay any income tax, and the sales tax amounts to only 4%. The property tax is quite high, but all in all, Wyoming is a great option for living off-the-grid.

3. Washington

best state to live off the grid Olympic National Park Washington

Yet another place where you will find plenty of natural resources is Washington. It’s an attractive place where you can build your off-the-grid piece of heaven. One downside might be the fact that it rains a lot, but you can harvest as much rainwater as you want. Just like Tennessee, Washington doesn’t go harsh on homeschooling laws. However, you must send in professional evaluations or tests scores.

Another disadvantage, if you move here, is the fact that they have strict building codes. The cost of living also goes higher than average, but you might save some money if you live in the rural areas. Raw milk is legal and farm animals can graze all year round. However, if you want to sell eggs, you will need a license. Gun laws also require you to carry a permit for handguns.

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2. Alaska

best state to live off the grid Rocky Mountains Alaska

Alaska is often said to be the best state to live off the grid in the U.S. Despite this, it has some downsides that made us put it in the second place. The most obvious drawback for this state is the weather. It’s exceptionally cold here, and make sure you completely understand exactly how cold is it before deciding to move there. Water isn’t a problem since you’ll get 74 inches of snowfall and 16.57 inches of rain a year on average.

This state doesn’t have any homeschooling laws and you don’t even need to notify the state about it. Moreover, it has the lowest tax burden in the country: no estate, inheritance, sales, or income tax. It’s so popular for off-the-grid adepts because only 25 municipalities require a property tax. Alaska doesn’t prohibit gardening, farming, or gun ownership either, so you’re free to live as you wish here.

1. Hawaii

best state to live off the grid Kauai Island Hawaii

Many people claim that this is the best state to live off the grid in the entire U.S. It might look a little expensive at first, but when you’re done with the costs, you will see it’s a tropical heaven to live in. The main city there is on the grid indeed, but if you go inward to the island you’ll see there’s no grid whatsoever.

There’s a lot of rainfall here, though the weather is generally sunny. The soil here is filled with nutrients, so you have a great farming source and sustainable energy provider. If you’re not convinced yet, find out that you can also grow your own coffee beans in Hawaii!

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Conclusion

Even though we placed Hawaii in the first position, this doesn’t mean you should only consider this state. The rest of the places to live off the land for free are excellent possibilities as well, it only depends on your personal preference and needs. Besides living on your own, you also have the chance of joining an off-the-grid community and share your resources with them. Whatever state you may choose, make sure you are well-informed and prepared before moving there.

Images source: depositphotos.com

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William E. Eubanks
 

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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