Many people dream of moving off-grid to start a homestead, but one common hurdle often hits them before they do. That hurdle is whether they should homestead alone or with family, or together with friends, or in a community.

We’re all at different stages of our lives. Some are single but have the urge to start an off-grid homestead. And there are those with a partner and kids who want to do the same.

In these two scenarios, who do you think is in a position to go off-grid?

In my opinion, there’s a clear answer, but before we jump to any conclusions, let’s lay out all the pros and cons of homesteading solo versus with other people to see which one’s for you.

The Lone Wolf Route

Choosing the lone wolf route probably means you’re single, very skillful, and have a strong mindset. If you don’t embody these characteristics, you’re going to have it tough out there.

The Pros

Homesteading alone may seem like a scary endeavor for most, but for some, it’s a dream come true. Let’s see why:

  • Living alone means you get to decide on everything you want and don’t want in your homestead. You get to choose the type of animals to rear, the crops, fruits, and vegetables you want to grow, and the paint on your house. All the decisions lie in your hands.
  • Completing a task without anybody’s help boosts your ego. It gives you some sought of pride, reward, and encouragement that you’re growing in skill and as a person. That’s one of the best feelings you can get as a human.
  • When you live alone, you become very resourceful, because if you’re not, you’ll die. You start becoming crafty, intelligent and super-skilled at everything you do because you do everything yourself.
  • You become more mentally resilient. Mental toughness is one of the crucial components of living a purposeful and successful life. Solo homesteading affords you the luxury to evaluate and work on your strengths and weaknesses, which helps you become a better person overall.

Related: Leaving the City? Here’s What to Look For In A New Community

community member or lone wolf

The Cons

Although the pros of solo homesteading may seem enticing, you shouldn’t get ahead of yourself and jump into it because there are cons to consider first, so continue reading.

  • Living alone is lonesome. The God-given bond you can only get by being around other people gets diminished, which may leave you depressed. You’ll have to find fabricated forms of bonding, for example – with animals, which is unnatural; or with house objects, which may sound a bit strange.
  • Moving heavy items is almost impossible without the help of machinery or someone else. You need people to help move kitchen cabinets, farm machinery, or furniture.
  • Your safety is compromised when you live alone. Something can happen to you with no one around to help. A wild animal can attack you with no one to help scare it away. You can get a sudden illness with no one to call for an emergency.
  • Although you may learn a lot of skills by yourself, some need an expert to implement them. Dealing with electricity and drainage systems is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re going to need someone to assist you, which can be costly if you hire someone.
  • You’re going to be overwhelmed by the work you have to do around your homestead. Tasks like trimming trees, cleaning the house, cooking, feeding your animals, looking for lost animals, watering your garden, and knitting clothing will be too much for you to handle by yourself.

community member or lone wolf

Homesteading With Other People

Choosing to homestead in a community is a popular choice that most have taken. There are many upsides and downsides to choosing this route, which I’ll discuss with you below.

The Pros

A wise old Chinese man once said, “Two is better than one.” A saying that holds up to this today. Why? Because there’s strength in numbers.

  • When anything was to attack you like wild animals, sudden illness, or injury, there’ll be someone to call for help.
  • Homesteading with family or friends means you’ll have people around to celebrate your accomplishments, birthdays, and special occasions. There’ll be less loneliness and more joy in your homestead.
  • Working on tasks around your homestead will be less of a hassle because there’ll be people to help you complete them. You can work on odd jobs while your partner works on the house chores and your children feed the animals.
  • You can teach each other new skills. Having a spouse, relative, or friend with a different skill set from you can come in handy. Apart from using that skill to improve the homestead, they can teach it to you.

community member or lone wolf

The Cons

Sharing your homestead with others can prove to be a bad idea for various reasons, here are four of them:

  • It can be costly because there are more mouths to feed, you use more utilities, and you’ll need to build a bigger house.
  • It can be stressful. There are some things that you don’t approve of in your homestead that your community members do. For example, your uncle smoking while your children watch him. Or your kids might also stress you by not doing what you told them to do. Where there are people, there are always disagreements that happen.
  • Living with other people can cause you to change the trajectory of your goals to focus on someone else’s, leaving you confused and unclear.
  • You can become complacent and look to others for help in everything. That can keep you stagnated in skill and knowledge because you’ll be leveraging others’.

Are you a community member or a lone wolf?

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