Your great-great grandfather lived off grid. Your children’s children will live off grid. So the question is, could you? If you had to start from scratch, build a house, generate your own energy, plant crops, find your own water, and raise a chicken or two?
Our Off Grid Shell is the toughest rain jacket there is
The Off Grid Shell is an all-terrain, all-purpose rain shell for life off grid. Highly windproof and tear-resistant, it has an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio thanks to the Dyneema composite we’ve used to build it. If you’re heading for a life off grid, you might as well take the strongest rain jacket ever built. You’re far more likely to be carrying knives, axes, trowels, tools or potatoes covered in mud than an iPad.
Living off grid in its purest form means that you’re responsible for everything. Take a raft to an uninhabited desert island and you’ll get the idea. Drinking water? That’s yours to find. Fire? You’ll need to light it. Shelter? You’ll need to build it. Clothes? You’ll need to make some. Food? You’ll have to catch it or forage for it.
Our Off Grid Shirts are built with materials and techniques that pre-date the grid.
Every shirt starts with high-strength fibres stripped from nettle stalks that are resistant to bacteria and mildew, get stronger as they age, and even get stronger when they’re wet. We combine them with lightweight and cooling Pima cotton fibres, before finishing the material with a Japanese kneading technique called Ōmi sarashi that makes the fabric ultra-soft. Finally the shirts are dyed with red turnips left over from the production of Japanese Sunki pickles, and old blueberries from a Japanese fruit farm.
The grid might not be the solution we thought
We’ve spent almost all our entire time on Earth living off the grid. It’s been just 140 years since Thomas Edison switched on his generators at Manhattan’s Pearl Street Station in 1882 and the first electrical grid was born. Your great-great grandparents might have remembered it. It was 3pm on a Monday. Today we are truly plugged into the matrix – with the electrical grid, running water, gas, and Amazon all on tap. But what if the grid is a blip? Or an experiment we’ve outgrown? After all, we survived for two million years without it.
The grid defines modern life
When Thomas Edison flipped the switch on his generators in Manhattan, it was really all about making his cool new lightbulb work. To power those bulbs in a way that was affordable across the planet, he created an electrical grid. And to make the grid work he and his team assembled light sockets, wiring and electric meters and put it all into a single system. It sparked over a century of innovation and invention – from power and water networks, to space travel, the internet, groceries on demand and government surveillance.
The Grid might be doomed
While early sci-fi writers imagined it creating a Utopian system with limitless personal time and freedoms, things aren’t necessarily going to plan. The resources that currently power the grid are running out – most of the electricity generated globally today is still produced by fossil fuels which take millions of years to create, and oil alone is controlled by just 15 countries. The grid itself is possibly doomed to collapse. Some thinkers like James Lovelock, the pioneer of the ‘Gaia hypothesis,’ believe that the grid will soon fall apart, and that within our lifetimes most of us will see rationing of not just energy, but food and water too.
A Vest made from the same stuff as body armour and military parachutes
The Off Grid Vest is insanely versatile. It’s made from the same stuff as body armour and military parachutes, which makes it incredibly abrasion resistant. It’s waterproof to over 10,000mm. It’s lined with compressed insulation to keep you warm. And it comes with massive detachable pockets on a high-strength Dyneema belt tape so you can collect your own lunch.
As parts of our planet become increasingly difficult to live on, and we’re forced into new and unknown terrain, our Off Grid range is hard-wearing utility gear built for self-sufficiency and living off the land.
Hard-wearing, high-strength utility pants
Built from military strength canvas, with rope-tied ankles, a crazily tough reinforced seat, air vents, giant pouch pockets, storm flaps and gadget loops, the Off Grid Pants are incredibly hard-wearing, low-maintenance pants that are easy to clean, easy to dry, and hard to damage. The seat is double layered and stitched 5 times. Two huge front thigh pockets act as storage pouches that can handle maps, tools, flasks or spare kit. And the cords are finished with macramé, an ancient ‘square knotting’ technique dating back to Babylonian times.
Are natural resource wars next?
Wars over natural resource are nothing new. Humans have fought over sugar, spices and oil. And with global temperatures and population rising, the world’s freshwater could be next. A recent NASA-led study suggests that just the melting of the glaciers could reduce water supplies disastrously, as they provide nearly 70% of the world’s freshwater. As the population grows, the demand for water to grow crops will only increase. At the same time, heat waves, droughts, tornados, dust storms, rising sea levels and desertification are likely to create planet-wide disruption, food and water shortages, and environmental refugees.
Get your spade out
The fancy answer to the resource crisis is that we’re probably heading towards a more decentralized future, with local microgrids and communities more connected to the things they consume and how they’re created. The blunt answer is it’s time to get your spade and toolkit out – you’re going to need to become the master of your own small universe. Learning to go off grid early is all about building some simple skills. You need to be able to generate energy, source your own water, grow your own food, turn waste back into fuel, and maybe raise a chicken or two.
We already know how to do it
Humans are masters of adaptation. Around 1 million homes lived off-grid in 2010. That number rose to over 99 million in 2020. So the shift is already happening quietly. After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, dozens of Japanese municipalities shifted from a traditional utility-based grid power system to a more local, resilient model of generating and storing energy when and where it’s used. And today off grid communities are emerging everywhere. From the colder climates of Scotland and Lasqueti Island off the coast of Vancouver, to the heat of California, and Aogashima, the Japanese volcano island.
The Off Grid Fleece Jacket
The Off Grid Fleece Jacket is built with materials and techniques that were around long before the grid existed. It starts with wool that’s compressed and strengthened in boiling water – a technique that’s been used for centuries to make clothing for brutal Siberian and Alpine winters. A soft, bonded lining turns it into a two-layered jacket that’s insulating, wind resistant, breathable and hard-wearing. And giant front pockets, which are big enough to replace a backpack, transform it into a wearable shelter that can take on the coldest, harshest weather.