Living Off the Grid in Washington State (What to Know)

Washington is a state in the United States with a population of 7.53 million people. It is located in the northwest corner of the country. Because most of the state is pristine wilderness, living off the grid in Washington State is relatively common. The off grid living lifestyle has become increasingly popular over the years. Furthermore, Washington has one of the greatest populations of preparedness in the country. Preppers are those who plan for the worst-case situation and strive to be as self-sufficient as possible.

living off the grid in washington state

General Statistics for Living Off the Grid in Washington State

The majority of the northwest states lack large cities; however, Washington is an exception, with eight cities with populations of over 100,000 people. Seattle has 700,000 people, Spokane has 215, Tacoma has 210, Vancouver has 180, Bellevue has 145, Kent has 130, Everett has 110, and Renton has 100. Although Washington may be mostly an urban state, the truth is that, except for a few places where larger cities are located, most of the state is rural.

When you first visit Washington, you will note two things: first, that it is one of the most beautiful states in the country, with plenty of forests and natural wildlife, and second, that it rains practically constantly. Mist forms in some locations frequently during the morning hours of the day; normally, this mist is so dense that you can hardly see anything on the road; mix this with many wild animals crossing the roadways, and you have a prescription for disaster.

Many people believe that Washington has some of the worst drivers in the country, yet, driving in this state can be rather hazardous. The roads are in poor condition, and this, along with the continual rain, mist, and snow, will undoubtedly test even the most experienced drivers. Check out my latest piece, Off Grid Living in Vermont, if you’re more interested in states on the east coast.

What’s the Climate in Washington State?

Due to its enormous size, Washington has two sorts of climates: a continental climate in much of the state and a semi-arid climate in the western regions. The average summer temperature is around 78°F, and the average winter temperature is around 25°F. The majority of the state is humid, and mist and fog will form on some days, both in the summer and winter. Check out my previous article Off Grid Living in Nevada if you want to learn more about a desert state.

What Type of Crops Are Grown in Washington State?

The climate in Washington is great for growing crops, and it is one of the top producers of a variety of fruits and vegetables. There are several farms cultivating wheat, peas, spring wheat, lentils, pulse crops, and fruits and vegetables. Washington produces over 80% of the country’s hops, 70% of wrinkled seed peas, and 72% of the country’s apples; in fact, Washington produces approximately 12 distinct varieties of fruits and vegetables.

Check out my previous article on Living Off the Grid in Virginia if you’re interested in a state with a strong growing year.

What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Washington State?

The state of Washington has no water shortages, and you can lawfully capture rainwater without any restrictions, thanks to the humid continental climate. Furthermore, the ground and above groundwater sources are rather pure because there are few animal farms in this state to pollute the groundwater. The average annual rainfall in most of the state is around 42 inches, whereas, in the western section of the state, where the climate is semi-arid, it is around 7 inches.

What Kind of Wildlife is in Washington State?

Mountain goats, cougars, American black bears, coyotes, red foxes, lynx, mule deer, and white-tailed deer can all be found in Washington. Because the state is frigid practically all year, the types of fish that reside here are limited, despite their abundance. There are sturgeons, pikes, salmon, mud minnows, and smelt. Calico surfperch, white seaperch, walleye surfperch, striped seaperch, and more varieties of seaperch can be found along the coast. Always check the official website which can be found here.

How to Generate Off the Grid Power in Washington State

Sun power: While generating electricity with solar panels is a fantastic concept in some regions; it will be nearly impossible in others owing to fog and mist. The State Renewable Energy System Incentive Program, generally known as RESIP, is available in Washington. The amount of money saved by applying to RESIP depends on the county and a few other parameters. You can also apply for the federal tax credit, which is roughly 30%, and RESIP. 

Wind power: Installing a wind power system in the country’s western portion will be more efficient. The concern is that all that saltwater would harm the wind turbines for years. Several wind turbines can tolerate saltwater corrosion, but they are usually very expensive. You can also claim a federal tax credit if you use wind energy.

Are There Living Off the Grid Laws in Washington State?

There are no laws forbidding you from living off the grid; in fact, many individuals live off the grid in this state, including many preppers. You should have no problems if you follow the building regulations, notify the authorities, and install a septic tank. Homeschooling is also very popular in Washington; the homeschooling rules are not particularly rigorous, and you will simply need to submit some documentation.

What’s Road Access Like in Washington State?

You will have some difficulties with road access since when it rains in Washington, it pours, and snowfall will further restrict your access. In the remote sections of this state, those who live off the grid frequently use 4WD trucks and, in the winter, snowmobiles.

What’s the Price of Land in Washington State?

The cost of housing and land in Washington is quite high; you will pay roughly 64% more than the national average in this state. Although some homesteads will be less expensive than the national average, they will nonetheless be more expensive than the national average.

If you looking for cheaper land, I recommend checking out Oklahoma.

What’s the Property Tax in Washington State?

Washington’s property tax rate is 1.03 percent, lower than the national average of 1.08 percent. Although this appears to be a good thing at first glance, the problem is that house and land prices are far higher than the national average. With a property tax rate of 0.93 percent, King County has the lowest property tax rate.

What’s the Cost of Living Off the Grid in Washington State?

In general, Washington is expensive, with the cost of living almost 18% higher than the national average. Housing costs are up to 64% more expensive, transportation is up to 13% more expensive, and groceries are 2% more expensive. On the other side, you can expect to pay roughly 17% less for healthcare and 26% less for utilities.

What’s the Job Rate in Washington State?

Washington’s unemployment rate is high at 4.5 percent, whereas the national average is 3.6 percent. The minimum wage is $12, slightly more than in surrounding states. Agriculture, forestry, transportation, communication technology, and tourism are the major businesses in which most people work.

What’s the Crime Rate in Washington State?

The crime rate is now 3.11 crimes per 1000 people, lower than the national average of 4 crimes per 1000 people. The areas of St. John, Lyle, Colton, Palouse, Black Diamond, and Colfax have the lowest crime rates. The cities with the highest crime rates are Shelton, Spokane, Ritzville, Chehalis, and Tacoma.

Is Living Off the Grid in Washington State Affected by Natural Disasters?

Wildfires, floods, storms, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and even volcanoes have struck Washington. Except for floods, storms, and floods, which can be rather common in some locations, most occur infrequently.

Is Living Off the Grid in Washington State Possible?

Overall, I would not recommend living off the grid in Washington State. The expense of living and housing, in my opinion, is far too high. You will also have to contend with harsh winters and fairly changeable weather throughout the year, which will be a hardship if you are unfamiliar with the local climate.

living off the grid in Washington State
The Pacific Crest Trail runs through the entirety of Washington State.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply