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Anyone gone off-grid in Ontario?  RSS feed

 
                      
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I was wondering if anyone on here is off-grid in Ontario, Canada? I'd be interested in reading about your experiences with local bylaws and the baleful bureaucrat eye warbling on anyting outside the box? Also, keenly interested on how hard the winters in southern to mid Ontario were on your resolve!

Peace,
Jim
 
Posts: 92
Location: Ontario North and South - right now, moving North Permanently soon. Timmins Cochrane areas
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Hello Jim,
I am off grid now as I live in my Camper/Truck and and starting to help out someone with a property in exchange for living there as well. Off grid it is a 4km walk into the property and the property is all natural.
Except for the Mosquitoes and Black Flies it is paradise.

Will keep you posted on events. We have planned;
3 sisters gardening
permaculture/hugelkulture (sp?)
Jean Pane Method of Bio Heating and Bio Fuel
cleaning out the bogs, to hold more water and use for topsoil
building some strawbale or cordwood homes/cabins for usage
off grid but have some solar/propane and rocket stove makings
chain saw is your friend in this case as well as a come along and the quad
I am making a trailer for my bicycle out of a golf cart to haul my stuff into the place until I get my own quad or keep using it for exercise.
Personally I have lived in a Tent - Dug out - Small U-shape underground gun position in Northern Ontario, the Arctic and in the Prairies so really acceptance and planning you can live in the Arctic and feel comfortable without too much work, so long as you do not want to live in a normal sized box house!
 
                      
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WR

Thanks for sharing. Have you used your truck/camper to survive a Canadian winter yet? I was wondering (among about 1000 questions) how you winterized it, heated it and what your backup was for if your primary heat failed?

I'm really getting fed up to HERE with the rat race and am targeting end of spring in 2012 for my fall off the grid. I need that time to save up for a van or old camper van I can convert or update. I've already started the slow process of downsizing how I live and am looking at the changes I need to make to how I cook, shop, buy food, prepare food for a much smaller live style.

My only real bug-a-bear about it right now is surviving the good ol' -40 to -60 we get in northern Ontario. Right now I live in Toronto, originally from the East Coast via Montreal.

And thankyou VERY MUCH for taking the time to share!


Peace,
Jim




 
Max Tanner
Posts: 92
Location: Ontario North and South - right now, moving North Permanently soon. Timmins Cochrane areas
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HI there,
no I just got it, but have been inside trucks and lived in them in -40c before.

Insulation is only the bare walls right now with one wall having some insulation but not much. I will be adding in the thick silver reflective type that you find in garages/Water tanks and covering them with plywood. Adding in some right this weekend actually!

Heating will be with Propane and perhaps a (smaller lighter) rocket mass heater vented to the outside. (there is a large Vent already on the side of the truck)
In the winter I plan to mostly live in a Yurt that I am making or in a Winter Yurt! My words, a strawbale with post and beam that has a sod covered roof, it will be mostly round, look very similar to a Yurt but, easier to be defensible against, bears and the cougars in the area.
I got this one for $1000 off Kijiji.ca you can find some deals out there keep looking.
 
                      
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I've seen some videos of the rocket mass heater, didn't know anyone created them for in a vehicle. They seem like a very efficient design.

If it's not too personal, how do you split percentages of hard costs vs. soft costs? What I mean is, what percentage of your life requires hard currency and what percentage are you able to trade for work etc.?

Also, do you or anyone else reading know cheap vehicle insurance in Canada? I know that is probably going to be my highest cost and the one to keep me finding jobs.

Peace.
 
Max Tanner
Posts: 92
Location: Ontario North and South - right now, moving North Permanently soon. Timmins Cochrane areas
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I have not seen a rocket mass heater for a Vehicle, I will just build one. The basics are there from Paul and others, I will need the following to make it right for a vehicle;
size
weight
type of mass that is light and conducts heat
determination to do this!

$$ Insurance,
right now I am with State Farm for all my insurance needs, my Camper costs $27.50 per month, as I pay monthly.
It is not my primary vehicle, my work vehicle is my primary vehicle, so I get a multi-vehicle and multi- product discount as I have Business Insurance as well

Vehicles that are converted or campers that people are getting rid off seem to start at about $300 and up, you need to be willing to work on them though or go straight to the $5000 ones that need no work.

Your other question is harder to answer as I am lowering my costs monthly and just got offered a stay on the property and work on it in exchange for no rent.
As for actual $$ as in my bills, I do not discuss things like that on-line in a forum.

My goal on the other-hand is to pay as little for living expenses as possible, save up for a piece of property for myself and park my camper and work vehicle on it, build a Yurt or Winter Yurt and live comfortably never losing my house and land due to a Wife racking up Tens of Thousands in debt again, losing everything to the lender again!
 
                      
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A-Men to the wife story. Been there three times. Never again.

Thank you for your responses. Like I said, I have a thousand questions but I won't take up your time with them. I appreciate what you have shared and you have had a very positive effect on my resolve. I started posting my extra guitars and furniture on-line today to start selling things. I'd like to be able to buy a van by the beginning of September. Thanks to your tips I've found good ideas about winterizing it. Right now I'm thiking I'll live stealth in the van until the spring, keeping my job, to save up as much mony as I can to get me through the first year so I can get a handle on the emotional changes as well as the psychological changes and start building some work. At least I have a skill I can apply on-line.

Thanks again for sharing!!

Peace,
Jim


 
Max Tanner
Posts: 92
Location: Ontario North and South - right now, moving North Permanently soon. Timmins Cochrane areas
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send me a private email, we can do coffee, you can see the set-up, have tons of info, but only a Rocket Stick from Rogers, sucks to upload pics etc, way too slow and costly.

I live at the top of Courtice and my office is in Bowmanville. Self employed so erratic schedule lets connect.
ps saw the exact same Camper/Truck in Courtice yesterday in a yard. I will keep my eyes open for you, there is an old camper/truck in Courtice for sale, but it has not moved in 3 yrs, so problems, but you could work on it.

There are websites dedicated to people living in their vehicles, and just a note; living in your vehicle is not degrading only peoples attitudes. I feel more at home now that I have in at least 2 yrs! Home is where your heart is not the house with brick walls. Paul will tell you that as well!

Just a note for Paul, found two permie farms in the Durham Region, will be introducing both of them to the forum, the other in Lindsay already knows about this site.
cheers Ed
 
                                      
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I have planned for just such a thing for the last five years and am heading up to Northern Ontario this sept. As a Northern Ontarian who has spent extensive time in the woods during the winter I can say that you will need a well insulated and wood stove heated residence. I am fortunate to have a great southern exposure and this accounts for amazing heat during the day. So if possible I would recommend it. Of course everything depends on your available resources.
 
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Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
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I moved from Toronto to the hamlet of Gore's Landing (south side of Rice Lake, north of Cobourg) exactly 12 years ago. I'm not off grid, unfortunately, but doing what I can.
 
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