Why people fail at living off the grid

cabin snowscape

Ahhhh, off grid living. Freedom, peace of mind, self sufficiency, sustainable living, healthy organic food, clean air and water, no building codes, nature at it’s finest. But for most, all the pros are overlooked for the simple fact that life off the grid is hard. Surprise! yes, that is right, life off the grid, life as a homesteader is HARD. So for most people those positive notes would be replaced with something like the following. “I need my fast food!, It’s too cold!, It’s to much work!, I want a more convenient life, like I used to have!, Growing my own food is to much work!, I don’t have a cell signal!, To much work to butcher my own chicken, Its to hot!”

Dogwood Hollow Homestead used to be an off grid intentional community. We have watched folks come to the homestead, set up life, cabin and all, and then make one or all of those comments and allow those comments to rule their lives all the way back to the city. We have watched it hundreds of times folks! We have watched people come and go, in the off grid development, where we have our homestead, and we have known those people. The same story is with them all. The bottom line is, they could not handle it. I am going to be very honest here and cutthroat because recently I was challenged as to why people fail at living off the grid, by someone  that left off grid life and went back to the city after only about a year.


If someone ever tells you it is more expensive to live off the grid you laugh at them. because they are ignorant. Text book definition of ignorance is, not knowing the truth. Why do people fail at living off grid? Simple, it’s just to hard for most modern day people, that is all. I have said it hundreds of times, “you have to be completely fed up with modern day life to succeed off grid”. This could never rang more true than it does today. If you are not fed up, you will quickly discover off grid living is NOT a walk in the park. It is NOT for the faint of heart. Live off the grid on a homestead is very, very hard. It is trying, harsh, dangerous, hot in the summer, cold in the winter and anything but convenient! But if you love this way of life you will succeed. And to love it, you have to love nature. You have to be FED UP with life as a 21st century American slacker.

Lets be real, American’s are spoiled. Life in the city is easy, it is expensive as heck, but it is easy…for the most part. Then you move off grid thinking, well if it’s called the simple life then it must be simple. Hahahahahahh! Excuse me for falling over in side splitting laughter. Simple means living simple! It means living with less, sometimes- less than nothing. Real off grid homesteaders might own 5 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of old shoes, a pair of boots and possibly 5-7 shirts with a few pairs of socks that get worn 3 days in a row sometimes! And that is the extent of my wardrobe, or about. You see, when you move off grid you are supposed to give up many things, this makes life more meaningful. It also makes your home, which is supposed to also downsize, less cluttered. The simple life means simplicity such as raising your own chicken. If you look at raising your own chicken it actually IS much simpler than the commercial setups that feed the world chicken today.


Some of you remember we ran an off grid community, for years, and we watched people come and go and we know what it takes to make it and what those folks lacked. So here is what we have learned during our 6 years off the grid. More people fail and go back to the city because they are literally weak, they can not take it (the whole aspect of life off the grid). Temperature wise, they can not take the heat or the cold, people in society are actually addicted to the AC. They have come from their bubble of comfort into a life that is less than comfortable, most of the time. Granted, it is very hard disciplining yourself to this change. Making yourself accept the discomforts of off grid homestead life is NOT easy. It took me, personally, 9 months to get to a semi point of comfort, when I first moved off grid.

They have came from an automated way of life into a manual way of life where they don’t have heat unless they cut, split, haul and stack their own firewood. Where they don’t have AC to cool off in when it gets in the high 80’s, plus, with humidity as high as 109 (in MO. Ozarks), unless they know tricks of the lifestyle! Where they don’t have good healthy food unless they grow it themselves, using manual tools, such as a shovel, pitch fork and a hoe. Working on their soft, clean knees in dirt and mud, makes them cringe. Where they have to wake up with the sun and go to sleep with the sun, because if they don’t their chickens and ducks and goats and what ever they have, will die of starvation. They can not fathom a life where they have to actually WORK, do manual labor ALL the time.

Fire wood pile 2

We are talking manual labor that will make most modern day grown men break down. Women have to face the cold hard fact that they will be needed to perform domestic chores because their man and boys will be outdoors working hard in the heat and not have any time to cook for themselves or find some left over meal stored in a nice cool refrigerator. They refuse to face the cold hard truth that modern day society has made them SOFT and old at a young age. They can not deal with a home that is not atmosphere controlled, another aspect of modern day living that has made people soft and weak, lazy and frankly….pitiful. There is no debate that most “men” in today’s society are weak, lazy, ignorant and distracted compared to how men were in the original homesteading days.

As talked about in the modern day book titled, “The death of the grown-up“. Those days when people actually had to work hard for what they had, to make what they needed and wanted or they had nothing. They had to build their home instead of having it contracted out to companies. Had to put the seed in the ground and make their food grow instead of shopping at their local grocery store for poison “food”. You see, off grid living is work, and a heck of a lot. It is hard work and those in society can not seem to do it because it is just to dang hard for them. Humans have become weak, soft, sad, sick and brainwashed into thinking that is how life is, that there is no other way of living and that is beyond absurd!


THIS is why people fail, because they are used to a life of convenience and easy street USA! Not because it is more expensive, as some have tried to argue.

I laid it out for you and some of you personally know I can vouch for that truth. Dogwood Hollow Homestead has been there for many, and we have devoted our lives to teaching folks just how to do it, how they to can escape the BS societal life and make it on their own. How they can have better health and true freedom through a self reliant, sustainable life. As it should be, totally non-debatable! The off grid, tiny home, homestead, self sufficient, sustainable life movement is in full swing and is gaining momentum. But people are still waking in mass, like lever before, this has been reported all over alternative media for years, the truth tellers. People are going back to the way living was meant to be! But is people are going to be more successful at living off the grid they have got to understand the good life calls for sacrifice, sacrifice of a way of life that you have decided to turn your back on…and totally.

If you or someone you know is trying to get off grid, or wanting more information on how it works, my book, titled, “Off grid with Merlyn Seeley” is a great gift for you, or someone you know. In my book I tell exactly what we, at the homestead, have done to make our off grid life successful, if I can do it…anyone can, believe me. If I have offended anyone, I apologize, but this is one area of life that I am very passionate about and to be successful you have to be just as passionate. Sometimes the truth hurts, and it can be hard to take, but those of you who know me know I do not cover the truth, I do not sugar coat and I do not lie to you. This article was meant to educate. Good luck to all those that try and congrats to all those that make it.


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