11 Practical and Fun Hobbies for When You’re Living off the Grid


If you’re a bit of a wanderer and are regularly living off-grid, or perhaps even permanently, there’ll eventually come a point where you need something to keep you going to stimulate your mind or keep you fit.

That’s why we’ve came up with 11 handpicked hobbies that are both practical and fun that can be done during off-grid living.

In fact, living off-grid is becoming far more popular these days due to rising costs in the city and the general unhappiness that comes with urban living.

In turn, we’ve seen a huge demand for hobbies that can be done both practically and can help you have a good time whilst you’re out in the wilderness or living without constant power.

We dare say that off-grid hobbies can be far more entertaining as you probably won’t have neighbors to bother and you won’t have to worry about normal social etiquette for the most part making it an ideal scenario to try something new.

Enhance Your Wanderers Lifestyle: 11 off the Grid Hobbies That Are Both Practical and Fun

1. Photography

You might assume that you need a direct power source to keep your phone charged, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth as you can actually get a solar-based power bank meaning you can keep your smartphone charged to take snaps when you’re out in the wilderness.

Alternatively, if you’re wanting to use a proper camera then you’ll have to splash out on a larger solar power charging station and also a USB A to USB mini B cable that can be plugged in from the unit to the camera.

Most reports confirm that this can charge most devices within about 3-4 hours which isn’t actually too bad to keep up with your hobby.

And in fact, photography is one of the best hobbies that you can do when you’re out in the beautiful wilderness as it will allow you to immortalize those moments forever that are very hard to replicate.

2. Play the harmonica

Many suggestions we’ve seen previously mention acoustic guitar playing as one of the best hobbies for off-grid living, however, we prefer the harmonica due to the smaller form factor and relative inexpensiveness.

Literally, you can store your harmonica in your pocket and you won’t even feel it’s weight meaning it’s not slowing you down or causing you to get tired when you need to move around or navigate the terrain.

An important point to mention about harmonicas is that they come pre-tuned for a certain key (usually C as this is the most popular) so you’ll have to buy other versions if you’re wanting to play music in a different key.

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than serenading the soul with your own musical artistic expression which can really help to lift the mood after a hard day.

3. Reading

We’ve previously talked about reading as a hobby and it’s origins, however, it’s also one of the best options you can engage in whilst living off the grid.

It’s extremely cost-effective, requires no power, and can provide endless entertainment depending on the book you pick.

There’s an almost limitless selection of books to chose from and many categories such as fiction, non-fiction, political thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, action, adventure, and basically anything else you can think of.

If you’re wanting to go deep with your imagination while you’re sitting under the stars then reading is one of the best hobbies to go for.

4. Blogging

If you’re traveling or living off-grid then writing about your experiences on your very own blog can be a great way to share those moments with millions of people.

In fact, there’s actually a term for bloggers who travel which is “Digital Nomad” — Essentially, you move around the world earning money whilst you’re on the go with nothing but your laptop and a camper van.

The only caveat with this hobby being that you will need a direct power source in most cases or something like a portable generator that can store power drawn from the power grid.

We also recommend taking up photography alongside blogging or trying to combine both of them as it will allow you to get pictures to make your website more engaging for your readers.

As a final point, it’s also worth mentioning that in most cases you’ll want to use WordPress to type up your articles and a hosting service to host your website from.

Luckily, DreamHost offers a service called DreamPress that can accomplish both tasks in one fell swoop to get both your website up and running with WordPress pre-installed on it.

5. Foraging

If you’re choosing to live off the grid then you may want to get acquainted with some of the natural food sources that you can forage for nearby such as wild mushrooms or plants.

It’s worth mentioning that some plants and mushrooms are inedible (and potentially deadly) which is why we recommend picking up a book on foraging before you start indulging in the local cuisine.

It would also be most prudent to contact a local expert in regards to foraging for wild food sources as they can give you a more detailed overview regarding the land you reside on that can help you to get started quicker.

Foraging has been done for thousands of years and is actually one of the ways we’ve discovered medicinal compounds meaning it’s a really worthwhile hobby to have; you’ll also save plenty of money on food so it’s a win-win.

6. Birdwatching

When you’re out in the wilderness then it’s also worth trying to embrace the natural wildlife around you.

One of the best ways you can do that is by partaking in some birdwatching, traditionally known as birding, which can really help you to connect with the nature around you in all of its stunning beauty.

You don’t necessarily need anything special but most people carry around a pair of binoculars so they can observe the birds from a distance without disturbing them or their chicks.

It could also be prudent to wear a set of hiking boots, especially if you’re crossing uneven terrain as it’s easy to slip at some point when you’re walking around for a good few hours.

7. Survival

When we talk about survival, we don’t mean trying to stay alive per se; what we actually mean is following the pursuits of surviving in the wild such as catching your own foods, creating a heat source, and bunkering down in your own natural shelter.

With that said, survival as a hobby isn’t for the faint of heart and can really challenge even the toughest people, however, it’s very rewarding if you do it right by planning ahead.

Since you’re off the grid, or intend to be off the grid then having these survival skills can really come in handy but it’s also just a very fun, minimalistic way to live.

Most people spend a good few weeks, or potentially months researching where they’ll be performing their survival escapades which is why it’s always best to arm yourself with the wisdom of knowledge, such as through a survival book or through video sources such as on YouTube.

You’ll also need to kit yourself out for your adventure and in most cases will need stuff like a survival kit, medical supplies, hiking boots, a thermal jacket, thermal layers, a water canister and a source of food to name a few.

This list isn’t exhaustive and we really suggest doing some meticulous research if you plan to do this hobby long-term as it can easily test your limits and quickly turn dangerous.

8. Crochet

Crochet is a great hobby for folks who exist mostly off the grid as you can knit functional objects like clothing, blankets, cushion covers, and hats.

All of these items will come in handy at some point depending on the climate which means even if you’re caught unprepared in terms of your wardrobe you can quickly fashion up your own cosy garments.

If you live off the grid with any of your family and friends they’ll also be more than happy to receive a homemade gift that has been painstakingly crafted by you for their birthday or any other special occasions.

You don’t need much either, and most people only use a few basics such as crochet hooks, a hook case, yarn needles, and the yarn material itself.

9. Gardening

Gardening is an essential hobby if you’re planning to live off the grid long term as it will provide you with yearlong sustenance that you can make salads with or add to your meals for additional flavor.

Vegetables provide nearly all the essential micronutrients that our body needs and some important macronutrients meaning you’ll be able to stay healthy and nourished whilst being able to avoid succumbing to illnesses so easily.

You can also grow herbs alongside vegetables which contain some important medicinal compounds that can aid digestion, prevent bacteria from building up in the mouth, and even provide antiviral benefits to ward off sickness.

You’ll need to do thorough research beforehand which is why we recommend a mixture of YouTube viewing for visual learning and a book about gardening.

10. Listen to music

The great thing about solar technology is that it allows us to take our modern pleasures out in to the wild without many drawbacks.

For example, if you want to enjoy listening to your collection of music then you’ll be happy to know that you can actually get a solar-powered Bluetooth speaker now meaning you can take your favorite tunes wherever you go.

Combine that with a solar power bank to charge your smartphone and you’ve got a mobile music bonanza that can’t even be tamed by the wilds.

In fact, we dare say that listening to music whilst viewing some of the most scenic vistas on the planet may just be the best way to do it.

11. Cooking

Last but not least, cooking outdoors can be a great experience as you can really go wild with the smoke and heat without worrying too much about starting a fire.

Better yet, if you’re a dab hand at hunting and foraging then you’ll be able to have a completely organic hand-caught meal that can’t even be rivaled by Michelin dining.

Cooking outdoors takes a good bit of research and prep which is why we recommend getting a book on cooking outdoors and also watching some videos beforehand so you know what to look out for.

You don’t have to go wild with tons of seasoning either as most fresh ingredients will taste fantastic, however, you should always keep on hand some coarse Himalayan salt and a pepper grinder to really bring out the flavors.


Hopefully, you should now have a better idea of what hobbies you can do outdoors or whilst living off the grid.

You can get really inventive with some of the things we’ve mentioned but you can also stick to really basic stuff like reading.

Don’t forget that hobbies are always better when done together with a significant other or your family members so try to get them involved too.

As always, if you enjoyed the article, don’t forget to share and save our homepage to your favorites for more hobby updates and advice.

You can also browse our ultimate list of hobbies for hobbies similar to the ones mentioned and more.