There are many reasons why someone might want to disappear off the grid. Maybe they are running from their government’s oppression, or maybe they just want to start over with a clean slate. Whatever the reason, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration before disappearing. This guide will cover everything you need to know about how to disappear off the grid successfully.
But first, a disclaimer. I do not condone any criminal behavior. The methods listed here are perfectly legal and within your human rights. If you are running because you have committed a serious crime, please turn yourself over to the authorities. This guide is directed to people who wish to start fresh, or who are escaping from an unjust system.
With that in mind, let’s begin.
A part of this article is summarized in the following video:
1. Create a New Identity
Congratulations! You have taken the first step to disappearing off the grid: creating a new identity. This can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and execution, you can successfully create a new identity that will allow you to live your life off the grid. Here are some guidelines:
Choose a New Name
This is perhaps the most important part of creating your new identity. Your new name should be unique, yet not so strange that it would be difficult for others to remember or pronounce. It should also be reasonably common, as this will make it easier for you to obtain documents in your new name.
Once you’ve chosen your new name, stick with it – don’t slip up and use your old name by accident.
Get New Documentation
Once you have your new name picked out, you’ll need to start obtaining official documentation in that name. This includes things like a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, social security card, etc.
Depending on where you live and what type of identification you need, this process can vary greatly. In some cases, simply changing your name on existing documents may suffice; in others, you may need to obtain entirely new documents (such as changing your Social Security number).
Do some research ahead of time so that you know what types of identification you’ll need and how to go about getting them.
Establish New Financial Accounts
Opening a new bank account, getting a credit card, and establishing other financial accounts under a new name may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to do it:
- Open a checking and savings account at a local bank branch under your new name. When you go to open the account, bring along your new driver’s license or passport as identification.
- Get a secured credit card under your new name. A secured credit card is one that requires you to put down a deposit equal to your credit limit (usually $200 – $500). This deposit acts as collateral in case you default on your payments. Once you’ve established good payment history with the card, you can transition to an unsecured credit card from the same issuer or another company altogether.
- Apply for utility services in your new name. This includes things like phone service, Internet service, gas and electric service, etc. When applying for these services, you’ll need to provide proof of identity and residency. However, if you fully live off the grid, some of these utility services are not obligatory, since you produce your own electrical energy.
- Establishing other financial accounts, such as investments, loans, etc., can be done through various online channels by providing some basic personal information. These include setting up a PayPal account linked to either your checking account or debit/credit cards.
Change Your Appearance
Changing your appearance doesn’t mean you have to go through a complete makeover (although that can help). There are some simple changes you can make that will help you blend in and become less noticeable.
- Get a new haircut and style. If you’ve been sporting the same look for years, it’s time for a change. A new hairstyle can not only help you look different, but also feel more confident. Don’t be afraid to try something completely different – it may just be the fresh start you need. Shaving or growing facial hair can also produce a significant change in your appearance.
- Update your wardrobe. Along with a new haircut, take some time to update your wardrobe as well. Again, this doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul, but adding in some new pieces (or getting rid of old ones) can make a big difference in how you look and feel. Pay attention to both style and function when picking out clothes – remember, you want to blend in while still being comfortable.
- Change your makeup routine. If you wear makeup, now is the time to switch up your routine. Try out some new products or colors that you wouldn’t normally use – it can really freshen up your look without requiring much effort on your part. And if you don’t usually wear makeup? Now might be the perfect time to start experimenting.
Create a Believable Backstory
A believable backstory should include where you were born, what kind of childhood you had, any major life events that have shaped who you are today.
Once you have a general outline of your backstory, start filling in the details. Think about how your parents met, what their jobs were, what kind of house you grew up in. What were some of your favorite memories? What were some of the things that made you who you are today?
A few essential tips on creating a back story than can help you blend in:
- Make up a history that’s similar to those around you. If you’re moving to a new town or city, research the area and find out what kind of background most people have. Then, create a backstory for yourself that’s in line with that.
- Be consistent with your story. Once you’ve created your backstory, stick to it! Try not to change too many details about it, or people will start to suspect something is up.
- Keep it simple. The more complicated your backstory is, the harder it will be to keep track of everything and the more likely it is that someone will figure out you’re not who you say you are. So try to keep things as straightforward as possible.
- Make sure there are no holes in your story. If you’re going to create an elaborate lie, make sure everything adds up and there aren’t any inconsistencies that could trip you up later.
2. Sever All Ties to Your Old Life
Severing all ties to your old life is a necessary part of disappearing off the grid. If you want to be truly hidden, you can’t keep any connections to your previous identity. That means giving up your job, your home, your friends, and your family. It might sound drastic, but it’s the only way to ensure that no one can find you.
The first step is to quit your job. This might mean resigning or simply walking away without notice. Either way, you need to sever all ties with your place of employment. This includes deleting any online accounts associated with work, such as email addresses or social media profiles. You should also cancel any memberships or subscriptions connected to your work life, such as professional organizations or trade publications.
Next, you’ll need to leave your home. This doesn’t necessarily mean selling everything and hitting the road; you could rent out your house or apartment while you’re gone. But it does mean getting rid of anything that could tie back to you, such as utility bills in your name or personal items with identifying information like photos or address labels. Once again, delete any online accounts related to where you live (including social media), and unsubscribe from any physical mail that gets delivered there.
Now it’s time to say goodbye to your friends and family – permanently. This is probably the hardest part of disappearing off the grid, but it’s important not to have any loose ends that could lead someone back to you. Cut off all communication with loved ones – no phone calls, emails, texts messages, letters, or even social media posts.
If anyone asks about you, tell them honestly that you don’t wish to speak about what happened and politely ask them not to pursue the matter. In some cases, particularly if there’s a risk of domestic violence, it might be necessary for police involvement; but in most situations, a simple conversation should suffice. Finally, change any shared passwords so that ex-partners or other relatives cannot access private accounts.
The following video gives a few more tips on deleting your online tracks that connect you to your old life:
3. Choose Your Location
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an off-grid location. You need to think about things like climate, access to resources, and quality of life. Here are some guidelines to help you choose the right location for you:
- Consider your climate preferences. Do you want to live in a warm or cold climate? Do you want to be near the ocean or in the mountains? Consider what kind of climate will make you happy and comfortable.
- Think about access to resources. If you’re planning on living off the grid, you’ll need to have access to things like water, food, and firewood. Make sure that your chosen location has these things nearby.
- Consider your quality of life. Living off the grid can be a challenge, so it’s important to choose a location that suits your lifestyle and personality. Make sure that you’ll be able to find happiness in your new home.
You might ask, how to decide what country or state are the most suitable for off-grid living? I dedicated several posts on this blog to choosing the best possible places in the world to live off the grid. For example, I list the best places in the USA to live off the grid, the best places in Canada to live off the grid, and the best places in the world to live off the grid. In addition, I offer full guides dedicated to living off the grid in the UK, living off the grid in Australia, and living off the grid in Alaska. If you see the name of the country you’re in, I strongly recommend you to click for important, detailed information.
It’s also possible to live off the grid in a city, see the linked article for detailed explanation. Naturally, this will have to be a different city from the one you previously lived in.
4. Construct or Purchase your Shelter
One of the most significant things to consider is where you will live. There are two main options here: you can either construct your own shelter or house, or purchase an existing one. If you have the time and resources, building your own shelter can be a great option as it will allow you to customize it exactly to your needs. However, it might also be more expensive and requires more work than purchasing an existing property.
If you decide to build your own shelter, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that the land you purchase is large enough for both your home and any outbuildings or greenhouses that you plan on constructing. You’ll also need to factor in things like water source (well, spring), power (solar panels), and waste disposal (septic system). Of course, if money is no object, you could always hire someone else to do all this work for you.
Purchasing an existing property is usually cheaper and easier than building your own from scratch. But it’s important to remember that not all properties are created equal – some may come with their own set of challenges (like being located too close to civilization). When searching for property, look for something that already has some infrastructure in place, so you won’t have to start completely from scratch.
In terms of size, anything from 1-5 acres should be sufficient depending on how many people will be living with you and what sorts of animals/livestock you plan on keeping.
And finally, don’t forget about access! Make sure that whatever piece of land you choose has good road access, so you can easily get in and out as needed without having to hike miles through the woods every time (trust me – this becomes old very quickly).
5. Establish an Untraceable Residence
An important step in disappearing off the grid is to establish an untraceable residence, an off grid homestead. This can be done in a number of ways, but the most important thing is that your residence cannot be linked back to you in any way.
One option is to purchase a property using cash or cryptocurrency, so that there is no paper trail linking the property to you. There are cheap lots and affordable tiny houses that can be bought for a reasonable price, without involving any bank transfers or credit cards.
Another option is to find a rental property that does not require a credit check or background check. There are a number of websites that cater to people looking for these types of rentals. Once you find a suitable property, you can pay for it in cash and make sure that there is no paper trail linking you to the address.
There is another alternative that you may consider. Instead of buying a house and land, you can live off the grid in a van or live full time in an RV. Both linked articles explain in detail how such possibilities can be accomplished. Living in a fully equipped vehicle can replace a permanent residence, and they certainly cannot be traced to you. There is nothing like an open road to fully realize the off-grid dream.
The following video discusses several ways of disappearing and going completely off the grid:
6. Acquire the Supplies You’ll Need
You will need to acquire some supplies before you can move to your new residence. This list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good starting point.
- First, you’ll need a way to generate your own power. Solar panels are a popular option, but you’ll also need batteries to store the energy for use at night or during cloudy days. A generator can be used as backup power, but keep in mind that it will require fuel (which may be difficult to come by if you’re trying to stay off the grid). I will go into more details when we discuss setting up power infrastructure.
- Second, you’ll need water. If you have access to a natural source of water (like a river or stream), then purifying it yourself with a filtration system is ideal. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase bottled water or collect rainwater. We will talk about water and food more in the next part of this article. Also, don’t forget about hygiene; soap, toothpaste, and other personal care items are essential.
- Third, food is obviously important. If you’re planning on growing your own food, then make sure to research what crops will do well in your area and how much land you’ll need to grow them effectively. You will need to read the article about off grid farming for more information. Hunting and fishing are other options for acquiring food, but again – doing your research ahead of time is crucial. You don’t want to find yourself in an area with no game or fish! Lastly, remember that stored foods like canned goods and dried beans will come in handy when fresh produce isn’t available.
- Fourth, clothing and bedding should be selected based on the climate where you plan on living off the grid. If it’s cold where you are, then make sure you have enough warm clothes and blankets; if it’s hot, then pack light-weight clothing that will help keep you cool. In either case (and all cases in between), sturdy shoes are always worth having around! They’ll protect your feet from hazards like sharp rocks and broken glass while also providing support for long hikes through rough terrain. You can read a few good recommendations in the article about best hiking boots.
- Fifth, medical supplies are something that often gets overlooked but is absolutely essential. Be sure to include basic first-aid items like bandages and antibiotic ointment, as well as any prescription medications you might take regularly. It’s also not a bad idea to throw in some extra over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen and allergy medicine; you never know when they might come in handy. Please read my recommendations for best first aid kits.
- And lastly, don’t forget about pet supplies! If you choose to live off the grid with a furry friend by your side, make sure their needs are taken care of, too.
7. Store Food and Water for Long-Term Survival
When it comes to disappearing off the grid for a long period of time, one of the most essential things is storing food and water. This will ensure that you have enough to last before you start growing your own food, or before you feel safe enough to venture to the nearest settlement for shopping. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind:
- Store food in airtight containers. This will keep it fresh for longer and prevent pests from getting into it.
- If possible, store food in a cool, dark place. This will help it stay fresher for longer.
- Make sure to rotate your stored food regularly, so that it doesn’t go bad. A good rule of thumb is to use the oldest food first and work your way down to the newer stuff.
- When storing water, make sure to use clean, sanitized containers. You can also purify water before storing it by boiling it or using a water filter system.
- Try to store at least a gallon of water per day. This will ensure that you have enough in case of an emergency situation where you can’t access clean water sources.
If you are planning to get a lot of affordable, yet delicious and nutritious food, try ready food from Augason Farms. It has a long shelf life and can be prepared in moments. Augason Farms has something for everyone, with a multitude of flavors, food groups, meals, and life-sustaining nutrients. Check their store on Amazon for exclusive deals.
8. Set Up Power Infrastructure
The next logical step is setting up your own power infrastructure. Solar power, wind power, and hydropower are all viable options for generating electricity in an off-grid setting.
- Solar power is perhaps the most popular option for those looking to disappear off the grid. Solar panels can be used to generate electricity, which can then be stored in batteries for later use. Solar power is a renewable resource, so it’s a sustainable option for those who want to live off the land. The setup is very simple, you can start with a couple of affordable portable solar panels (see the linked post for top recommendations).
- Wind power is another renewable resource that can be used to generate electricity in an off-grid setting. Wind turbines can be used to harness the energy of the wind and convert it into electrical energy. Wind power is a reliable source of energy, but it requires a bit more planning than solar power since you’ll need to ensure that there’s enough wind where you’re living. For an in-depth explanation, please visit my article on off-grid wind power.
- Hydropower is yet another renewable resource that can be harnessed to generate electricity in an off-grid setting. Hydroelectric turbines can be set up to convert flowing water into free electricity. Hydropower is a reliable source of energy, but it also requires some testing and planning. To find out whether your property is suitable for this type of power infrastructure, see my guide on off-grid hydropower.
9. Finance Your Off the Grid Life
You will need to figure out how you’re going to finance your new lifestyle. If you have savings, that’s great! You can use that money (at least for the first few months) to buy supplies and set yourself up in your new home. But what if you don’t have any savings? Don’t worry, there are still plenty of options available to you.
- Start a homesteading business. If you’re good at growing vegetables or raising chickens, you could start a small business selling your produce or eggs at local farmers markets or online.
- Do odd jobs for your neighbors. In exchange for rent-free living, you could offer to do odd jobs for your neighbors – mowing lawns, shoveling snow, etc.
- Barter goods and services. When living off the grid, it’s important to get creative with how you earn money. One way to do this is by bartering goods and services with others who are also living off the grid. For example, if you’re a good cook, you could trade meals with someone who is good at fixing cars.
- Start an online business. Just because you’re living off the grid doesn’t mean you can’t start an online business! There are many businesses that can be run entirely remotely – all you need is a laptop and an internet connection.
There are many more ways to cut down your off-grid expenses while earning a decent living. I warmly suggest that you check out my article on living off the grid with no money; it lists every possible solution to living off the grid with little to no expenses.
10. Stay Connected While Living Off the Grid
Just because you’re living off the grid doesn’t mean you have to be completely out of touch with what’s going on in the world around you. In fact, with today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to stay connected even while living in a remote location. Make sure to keep up with news and current events by listening to podcasts, reading newspapers online, or following news outlets on social media. Here are a few ways to stay connected:
- Get a satellite phone. A satellite phone is perfect for staying in touch when there is no cell service or landline access. Just remember that calls can be expensive, so use them sparingly. Use an off grid communication – the linked article lists several ways to stay connected while living off the grid.
- Use email and social media wisely. Email and social media are great ways to keep in touch with new friends, but they can also be used to share important news and information quickly and easily. There are several affordable ways to get an off grid Internet, see the linked article for all the information.
- Invest in a good radio. A radio is essential for listening to the news, weather reports, and other vital information. Choose a model that has both AM and FM capabilities so you can always find something interesting to listen to. American Red Cross Emergency Radio is always an excellent choice, since it receives the AM/FM/NOAA bands and also has several additional functions, such as a phone charger, emergency beacon, flashlight, and more.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest technology developments. Even if you’re living off the grid, you don’t have to miss out on all of the latest tech advancements. By keeping up-to-date on new products and services, you’ll be able to take advantage of any breakthroughs that could make living off the grid even easier (and more fun)!
Final Words and Further Reading
So there you have it, the complete guide that explains how to disappear off the grid. A new beginning can be tough, but with the right mindset and careful planning, it can be achieved. I hope that my guide has successfully clarified this subject, and now you’re more prepared to take the necessary steps.
There is more to learn about living off the grid. The linked article is another highly detailed guide that has all the knowledge regarding this independent lifestyle. It explains all there is to know about expenses, legality, finding the right place, generating off grid power, farming, water and sanitation, and more.
Speaking of expenses, I posted an article that answers the question “How much does it cost to live off the grid?” This is where we get to crunch the numbers and see exactly the level of initial investment that off-grid life demands.
And finally, allow me to recommend my own book, “Going off the Grid: The Complete Guide to Your Personal Freedom”. I am positive that it can be your personal handbook in your new journey. The book covers every possible off-grid-related issue. Give it a try, this might just be the book to take with you as you start your new life.