On the surface, Louisiana appears to be a perfect destination to live off grid because of its amazing food and great jazz. There are a few obvious drawbacks to living off the grid in this state though. People are subjected to heavy humidity and hot temperatures, like most of the southern states. The climate is primarily hot and humid, with the occasional rainstorm providing relief from the heat. When I first visited rural Louisiana for the first time, I noticed two things: mosquito nets and fly traps in every home.
General Statistics For Living Off The Grid in Louisiana
Living off grid in Louisiana is legal, and at first, glance, you may consider the cost of a home and local taxes, you might believe it’s an off gridder’s dream come true. The climate is pleasant, and the growing season is long; in some regions, you might even grow crops all year. However, the warm environment has a lot of negatives, such as high humidity, which might cause a lot of problems if you live fully off the grid in the long run.
Because of the high heat and humidity, various kinds of pests reproduce quickly. There’s no sitting on the back porch enjoying the sunset here… unless you want to be eaten alive!
Almost the entire state is covered in marshes, and the elevation is so low that flooding is a common occurrence. If you visit Louisiana, make sure to visit some of the cemeteries; you’ll note that people are buried in raised positions rather than being buried below the ground. This is because much of the country is below sea level, and in the event of a flood, the water would be tainted and unfit to drink.
Louisiana is one of the wettest states, but the truth is that most of the water is found in marshes, which are regions where a lot of bugs reproduce; thus, drinking from here will result in a poor situation. The climate is similar to that of Mississippi, albeit Mississippi is undoubtedly a better state for living off the grid. I also recommend checking out my Complete Guide to Living Off Grid in Alabama.
What’s the Climate in Louisiana?
Summers are generally hot, with an average temperature of 90°F; however, the temperature dips to roughly 66°F in the winter. Keep in mind that the temperature difference between night and day is rather considerable in both the summer and the winter, and it drops much farther during storms. Furthermore, there is a temperature differential between the northern and southern regions of the state; the closer you travel to the Gulf of Mexico, the hotter it becomes.
Louisiana is one of the wettest states in the US, but that is typical of the Southeast. The good news is that rainwater can be harvested, so you’ll have water even if you don’t have access to groundwater. Just keep in mind that rainfall levels are at their lowest between October and March. If you’re from a place with all four seasons, you’re in for a rude awakening when it comes to the local temperature. If you prefer a more moderate location for off-grid living with a similar demographic, I recommend checking out Kentucky.
What are the Best Crops To Grow In Louisiana?
Louisiana is recognized for its cotton and sugarcane crops, but there are also lots of rice, corn, and grain growers. Because of the humid environment in the area, you won’t have any trouble collecting water for your crops, albeit too much water will most likely be the main issue. Corn and grains are the finest crops to plant if you want to grow crops; other crops require a lot of land or a lot of people.
What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Louisiana?
Louisiana has a lot of water, and some could argue that it has too much. When it comes to water for off-grid projects, you’ll have two choices: groundwater or rainfall harvesting. Groundwater is a hazard since it can be contaminated with chemicals or seawater. In general, the cleanest groundwater is found in the northern parts of the state; nevertheless, as you travel south, the likelihood of contaminated water increases significantly.
On the other hand, no matter where you live in the state, you will have no trouble harvesting rainwater. Keep in mind that rainwater should be filtered and purified due to the various bugs larvae.
What Kind of Wildlife Does Louisiana Have?
Rodents such as beavers and rabbits make up the majority of Louisiana’s wildlife. You can also find bobcats, turtles, and a lot of alligators. Because the state is primarily marshland, alligators are active in the wild and on alligator farms. In Louisiana, there are approximately 2 million alligators. People hunt alligators for both their meat and their skin.
If you enjoy fishing, Louisiana will be a dream come true for you, as there are several freshwater and saltwater possibilities. Just keep in mind that you’ll need a permit for both fishing and hunting, and there are two types of permits for fishing: freshwater and saltwater.
Does Louisiana Have Any Off-Grid Laws?
There are no rules in Louisiana forbidding you from living off the grid; you can also harvest rainwater without a permit, though you should be aware of the statewide regulations surrounding cisterns if you use them to collect rainwater. When it comes to homeschooling, the rules are relatively permissive, yet you will need to obtain some permits in order to do so legally, so learn more about the homeschooling laws.
What’s Road Access Like in Louisiana?
In general, road access is not a problem in the northern portions of the state, but the situation changes dramatically as you travel south. The state includes a lot of marshlands, and many properties don’t have any form of road access, so people have to rely on boats to go about.
What’s the Price of Land in Louisiana?
Land prices in the northern portions of the state are, on average, lower than those in the southern regions of the state. The prices will rise as you approach the larger cities, and there will be a significant difference between counties. Overall, pricing for off-grid properties is reasonable, especially given the high local poverty rate and the fact that few people rush to this state to buy land.
What’s the Property Tax in Louisiana?
The property tax in Louisiana is the same as in Mississippi, at 0.52 percent, making it one of the lowest in the country. Texas has a property tax that is more than three times greater than the rest of the country. A low property tax, in my opinion, is critical when it comes to off-grid living; there’s no purpose in living off the grid if you have to pay an arm and a leg in property taxes every year.
What’s the Cost Of Living Off Grid in Louisiana?
The cost of living is comparable to that of Mississippi, which is lower than the national average. However, if you are looking to rent an apartment until you find a nice property to buy, you should consider renting in a smaller city or town, as rent in major cities is very pricey.
In total, Louisiana is 14% cheaper to live in than the cost of other states. The housing market is most noticeable in the difference, as it’s around 40% cheaper than the national average.
What’s the Job Market Like in Louisiana?
The unemployment rate is around 4.3 percent. The majority of the population works in agriculture, oil, natural gas, commercial fishing, or the restaurant industry. In general, if you want to work in agriculture, you’ll have a better chance in the northern sections of the state. If you want to work in commercial fishing, you’ll have a better chance in the southern portions of the state. The poverty rate is roughly 17%, which is slightly higher than Mississippi’s.
What’s the Crime Rate in Louisiana?
Louisiana has a rather high crime rate; in fact, it has one of the highest crime rates in the country, according to the FBI. The high proportion of poverty and the opioid problem may play a role in the high crime rate.
In general, the east part of the state is notably safer, although that’s not a given. Louisiana has 48 crimes per 1,000 people.
How to Generate Off-Grid Power in Louisiana?
Solar Power: Because the state receives enough sunlight throughout the year, solar panels will have little trouble generating electricity. There is a federal tax credit of 26%, and you may be eligible for tax credit from your local government.
Wind Power: Wind power is a good choice, particularly in the state’s southern regions. The federal tax credit for wind energy is roughly 30%. I recommend cutting your costs even more by collaborating with other homesteaders.
Hydroelectric Power: In general, creating hydroelectric power in the northern portions of the states is not difficult. Small hydropower generators are usually sufficient to power a small settlement, though you could even use one to power a farmhouse. There are tax credits available for this as well; however, you’ll have to check with your county because not all of them offer incentives.
You can find my Complete Guide to Off-Grid Power here.
Do Natural Disasters Affect Louisiana?
Louisiana has it all when it comes to natural disasters: earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and plenty of thunderstorms. Hurricanes are by far the most serious hazard; remember Hurricane Katrina, which wrecked many cities and crippled practically the whole state?
Can You Live Off-Grid in Louisiana?
As you can see, Louisiana is definitely not the finest state for off-grid living, but that doesn’t mean it’s not doable. The majority of people who live off the grid in Louisiana were born and raised there; nevertheless, if you are from the north, you will likely struggle to acclimate to the high temperatures and humidity.
There are successful off-grid communities in Louisiana, but frankly, this wouldn’t be my top choice.