We’ve been hearing a lot lately about living “off the grid.” Every other reality television show is billed this way. Whether it’s a survival-type competition show or just people choosing to live in an isolated manner, it’s a term that is becoming more and more familiar. But, what does living “off the grid” really mean?

There are a few instances when the term is used quite literally, such as relating to the electrical grid. People may opt to get their power from solar energy or other sources and not even hook up to the public utilities. But, the term has taken on a more distinct connotation the past year or so.  Living off the grid can actually mean eschewing many other norms of society besides just electric power. All you need to do is turn on a few cable channels and see what type of shows are almost constantly playing.

One of the latest “off the grid” shows is entitled, “Ice Lake Rebels,” and these folks are truly living off the grid. When they drop anchor on their houseboats in the frozen Yellow Knife Bay, just a short distance from the Arctic Circle, they are not under the auspices of any government. They don’t pay taxes, and they don’t receive any government help, either.

So, what is the growing fascination with this type of “freedom” lifestyle? Could it be the growing suspicion about government spying? Could it possibly be related to the predictions that our national power grid is subject to enemy attack? Perhaps some people just don’t want to rely on anybody but other than themselves. Maybe it’s merely a craving for a simpler, more basic lifestyle.

Whatever the case, the shows that follow people living in Alaska are particularly popular right now. The quiet existence is very tempting, but the temperature, well….not so much!