There has never been a better time to live off the grid than the 21st century. We have the best of both worlds. We can employ old and efficient methods that still prove useful today, and the latest and greatest technology of our day.
Just like our ancestors, people today looking for a homesteader lifestyle, have the ability to provide for ourselves and grow their own crops. The only difference between us and those before us is that we are not entirely reliant on a good crop or healthy livestock or finding enough fuel for the fire just to stay alive.
Things back then that would have taken a major toll on homesteaders- because of their dependability on their homestead- will likely not do as much damage to homesteaders today. The world we live in today provides us with such easy access to the necessities that the risks for homesteaders today is not the same as it was for homesteaders in the past..
However, the fork in the road is found when deciding on which of the two options to pursue. You can lean towards ancient skills and tools that have helped carve the way of life for centuries, or you can lean towards modern technology, which tends to make life so much easier- but is it as reliable? Many people find that the best way is some middle ground between the two.
You will find it helpful to not view these two options as complete opposites, but rather as a scale of gradual progression in our way of life, with each new era providing something useful and unique to it’s time. You will find that allowing some flexibility for yourself to view all of your options and employ any of them will result in the best possible outcome.
In order to accomplish this, we need to come back to the reason we have chosen this way of life. There are as many reasons for living the homesteader life as there are people who live it. For some people, it is about saving resources, money, or energy. Others do it to honor the way of life that used to be or preparing for the worst that may come of our modern world. There are also those who do it for the health of the planet, animals, and other humans.
Being a homesteader is not about reaching a certain level of skill or ability or meeting a certain goal. Whatever it is that you view or define as a homesteader, that is what you should focus on becoming. It is about being who you think you should be. Whether you are completely abandoning all modern technology and tools to survive purely on what mother nature has to provide, or keeping a few laying hens in the backyard.
Focus on accomplishing what is important to you and meeting the goals that you have set for yourself. Homesteading is about doing the things that you need to do to make your vision of an ideal life become reality. There is not a rigid outline or set of milestones you need to accomplish to run a ‘homestead’. Some things will be more important to you than to others, and vice versa. Your homestead is going to be built around your needs and your desired way of life, so focus on your priorities
You may even find that it is best to lean more towards old or new techniques just depending on what time of year it is and what your needs are at the time. For example, you may be chopping your own firewood and building your own fires all through the winter to keep warm and to cook your food. But a fire during the summer to cook your own food is going to make your house unbearably hot. So you could use other fuels during that time of year.
While our modern tech can make life infinitely easier, it is vital that we not become too dependent on it. You never know when everything may be taken from you, and you may find yourself completely unprepared. It would be wise to have hard copies of the essential things that we tend to store only on our electronic devices. Keeping backups in more reliable places is always a good idea. After all, being completely reliant on any tool or technique completely defeats the purpose of homesteading and the self-sufficiency it provides.
The most important thing to remember is that you make all the choices. You are the master of your life, the way you live it, and the tools you use to accomplish it. If you stick to the idea of employing the best from both worlds and leaving everything else behind, you will be as happy and as successful as you can be.