Nevada is located in the western portion of the United States, and it is the driest and highest-elevation state in the country. Nevada has a population of roughly 3 million people, with five cities with populations above 100,000. The majority of residents live in smaller towns and cities strewn across the state. Some even are living off grid in Nevada.
General Statistics for Living Off Grid in Nevada
Although there are no laws forbidding you from living off-grid in Nevada, there are several restrictions that make off-grid life nearly impossible, such as harvesting rainfall, which is illegal in much of the state. Overall, Nevada is a poor choice for off-grid life; land costs a lot of money, there aren’t many places where you can grow crops, and you can’t catch rainwater.
Nevada’s population was around 150k during the height of the cold war when most of these nuclear tests were conducted, but the population has grown dramatically since then, and no one knows what the long-term ramifications of these radioactive lands will be. Because the majority of Nevada is classified as a desert, you will have limited alternatives for both growing crops and watering them.
Nevada has one of the worst education systems in the country, and when you combine that with the numerous casinos and gambling venues, you get a high crime rate and a lot of people who have lost everything because of gambling. If you have an addictive personality or have trouble controlling yourself, Nevada is probably not a great state for you. To be fair, all of this can be avoided if you’re going truly off-grid. If you’re interested in another off-grid state, I recommend checking out my Guide to Living Off-Grid in Nebraska.
What’s the Climate in Nevada?
The climate in Nevada is semi-arid, which means that summers are hot and dry while winters are freezing. Nevada’s average elevation is roughly 5500 feet above sea level, which means that temperatures will vary greatly throughout the day and night, regardless of whether it’s summer or winter. During the summer, the average temperature is around 100°F, with a temperature differential of around 40°F between day and night.
The winters in Nevada can be quite long, with average temperatures of roughly 57°F during the day and 38°F at night. In some years, Nevada experiences a couple of days with temperatures below freezing, and temperatures in the plains can drop as low as 15°F.
Interested in a state with a more moderate climate? Check out my Minnesota.
What are the Best Crops to Grow in Nevada?
Even though much of Nevada is classified as desert or semi-arid, crops such as wheat, rye, oats, barley, potatoes, alfalfa seed, and hay are nonetheless farmed. Nevada also produces a wide variety of veggies and even fruits. If you wish to grow crops off the grid, you will encounter a few challenges, such as much of the land not being ideal for growing crops, the majority of the land in the state being held by the government, and the state’s semi-arid environment making it difficult to locate enough water to irrigate your crops. Check out if you’re seeking a state with an abundance of fertile land.
What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Nevada?
Even though much of Nevada is classified as desert or semi-arid, crops such as wheat, rye, oats, barley, potatoes, alfalfa seed, and hay are nonetheless farmed. Nevada also produces a wide variety of veggies and even fruits. If you wish to grow crops off-grid, you will encounter a few challenges, such as much of the land not being ideal for growing crops, the majority of the land in the state being held by the government, and the state’s semi-arid environment making it difficult to locate enough water to irrigate your crops.
In other words, if you can’t capture rainwater, you won’t be able to live off the grid as cheaply as feasible. In this state, people who live off the grid must usually buy their own water, which is very expensive.
What Kind of Wildlife is in Nevada?
Despite the fact that Nevada is semi-arid, there are still plenty of animals to see; however, no large game. Scorpions, rabbits, foxes, snakes, lizards, bobcats, sheep, and pronghorns are among the more prevalent creatures. Bull trout, rainbow trout, mountain whitefish, and Lahontan cutthroat are all found in the area’s lakes and rivers. Both fishing and hunting licenses are required and can be found on the state’s website.
How to Generate Off-Grid Power in Nevada?
Solar power: Nevada is a great state for generating electricity with solar panels. You can also apply for a federal tax credit of between 26 and 30%. The problem is that Nevada raised solar panel taxes by roughly 40% a couple of years ago, and they also abolished or reduced local solar power subsidies, effectively limiting your ability to live off the grid.
Wind power: Because the state is at a relatively high elevation, the winds will constantly be blowing. Setting up a wind turbine can be expensive, but you can still qualify for a federal tax credit. As for refunds, some counties do provide them, but they aren’t always available.
Does Nevada Have Any Off-Grid Laws?
There are currently no regulations forbidding you from living off grid in Nevada. Rainwater collecting is forbidden, which will limit your possibilities for living off grid. Even if you purchase water and keep it on your land, there are limits to how much you may store and how you can store it. The education system is similarly poor, and you would be better off educating your children; homeschooling rules are quite permissive, albeit you must notify the local authorities.
What’s Road Access Like in Nevada?
The majority of Nevada’s roads are in decent condition; the issue is that there aren’t many of them in some locations. Most people living off grid in Nevada the grid drive 4×4 cars because they can navigate the rough terrain.
What’s the Price of Land in Nevada?
You may think that because Nevada is such a vast state, there should be plenty of affordable lands available. The truth is that the federal government owns the majority of the land, and there isn’t much available for purchase. Overall, land and housing costs are around 28% more than the national average. It will be incredibly difficult to find land that is both reasonably priced and allows you to grow crops.
What’s the Property Tax in Nevada?
The average property tax in Nevada is 0.69 percent, with Clark County having the highest property tax at 0.705 percent. When you compare Nevada to its neighbors, you’ll discover that it has some of the lowest property taxes in the western United States.
What’s the Cost of Living in Nevada?
Overall, the cost of living in Nevada is roughly 10% higher than the national average, with housing costing around 27% more and transportation costing around 17% more. Despite Nevada’s poor healthcare system, you will pay roughly 8% less for healthcare and around 3% less for utilities than the national average.
What’s the Job Market in Nevada?
Nevada’s unemployment rate is 2.2 percent, lower than the national average of 3.9 percent. The biggest issue with the unemployment rate is that it has started to rise in recent years. The tourism and casino industries employ the majority of the residents. Cattle ranching and mining also employ a large number of people in specific sections of the state. Nevada’s minimum wage is $9.00, greater than the national average of $7.25.
What’s the Crime Rate in Nevada?
Nevada’s crime rate is far higher than the national average; it now stands at 5.41 crimes per 1000 people, compared to the national average of 4 crimes per 1000 people. The gambling sector and drug misuse are mostly to blame for the high crime rate. Dyer, Wells, Washoe Valley, Spring Creek, and Round Mountain are the safest places to be. Reno, Las Vegas, Lovelock, West Wendover, Eureka, and North Las Vegas are the locations with the highest crime rates.
Is Nevada Affected by Natural Disasters?
Natural disasters such as floods, heatwaves, storms, earthquakes, and wildfires are common in Nevada. Heatwaves, wildfires, and even floods are the most prevalent. Flash floods can happen in some years; however, they aren’t very often. Because Nevada receives very little rain throughout the year, most of the land is dry and compacted. This makes it difficult for the ground to absorb much of the water when a larger storm arrives.
Can You Live Off-Grid in Nevada?
In general, I cannot suggest living off grid in Nevada. The fact that rainwater cannot be legally harvested makes a living off the grid exceedingly difficult. Furthermore, the local government does not provide any assistance to persons who want to invest in solar or wind power systems.
To be fair, living off grid in Nevada is possible, although it may be difficult.