Off the Grid
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Off the Grid

Nature  -   103 Comments
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Ratings: 7.32/10 from 98 users.

Off The GridThoreau said that if an emergency struck, a man should be able to leave his home with nothing more than the clothing on his back and feel like he left nothing behind.

Self sufficiency is almost impossible to obtain in modern society.

Did you know there's a dream that still prevails now as strongly as it did in 1882 when Thoreau wrote Walden? It's that of a return to the wild.

This is not the story of hippie-communal-back-to-the-landers, this is the story of what it takes to live with alternative power sources now - to live with nature in this modern age.

This is to be our permanent Walden; a life lived off the grid.

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tom
tom
5 years ago

hey all you. Les tell us with in the first 30 seconds exactly what to expect from this documentary. This is NOT the story of "back to the landers" but of alternative power sources now, living with nature in this modern age.
I can assume that none who commented below live the life you espouse to, let a lone his scenario. After all you plugged your computers into a nuclear or coal powered electrical outlet to watch a video. Give the guy a break.

Charyn Whitaker
Charyn Whitaker
6 years ago

This film is nothing more than propaganda. Also nothing more than an advertisement for the solar, wind, and whatever water product company he was using. Nothing that he did, is in harmony with nature. Everything he has will have to be replaced, and he has to still make money to live his lifestyle. He might be off grid but he's nothing more than a rich guy pushing industry in the wilderness. He Says he can't afford to drill through bedrock, and I completely call his bluff. This guy can afford all kinds of things, but apparently he can't afford enough common sense to do things the right way. Anyone here wanting to know how to honestly live off-grid, the most simple way for a battery is a magnetic battery, based on the way the world rotates. This energy can be used and produced for the masses , or personally, and produces strong currents until it slows, at which point you just turn the magnet, so that it rotates full speeding again. That system can never fail. And I called it, so did my husband, that he would bring in a bulldozer to dig that well. What a lazy loser. Polyurethane foam? Water treatment cartridges he'll have to buy forever for the rest of his life, solar panels that will need fixing and replacing, that wind powered dealio that will obviously have problems, ..... What he's doing in this film , is grasping the people's attention who want to live off-grid first off, and then pounding them with industry and pushing ideas of Industry as a way to simplify your life. When he couldn't be further from the truth, and he knows it. This film is ... Propaganda propaganda propaganda

john
john
6 years ago

I think this response said it all. It's just playing pretend but in style.
Vipeyr said:
What about the overall cost? Helicopters delivering supplies? Latest technologies, no recycling of building materials. Using chemicals to insulate your house. Give me a break. I could pay electricity bills for two lifetimes on what this 'sustainable' lifestyle cost. Typical mainstream attempt at taking the city into the bush.

Luke Mullen
Luke Mullen
7 years ago

Its good for more than one generation folks...just think about it 50 years from now

Linda
Linda
7 years ago

Although this is a great watch, it is not actually going off grid.
They are taking the city to the wilderness.
Off Grid means no actual link to the city amenities. (They shop in town for all groceries etc)
They started in the wrong season for sure.

NOT IN ORDER OF NUMBER>
First is cabin and finish it.
Second is bring in chickens, rabbits, ducks, geese, small animals like that ... not raccoons to hinder what you are doing.
Third is Solar Panels and setup.
Fourth is water, they left it to last and now they have no fresh water.
Fifth is that they haven't learned to fish and hunt.
Wow ... I have family that are off grid and realistically off grid.
There's more but I may rant so I'll leave it here.

Kate
Kate
8 years ago

wow. This was really disappointing! First off, what kind of fool begins building in northern Ontario mid-fall? They could have lived wherever it was they were living, waited for spring, and done things sensibly without needing to hire helicopters (!!!), pay teams of builders, etc., etc. throughout the whole thing I just kept thinking what idiots they were.

The wife wants to live a natural life but that doesn't stop her from bleaching her hair regularly. Wants the "natural life" but has to be a bleached blonde while doing so? Huh?

In the last scene they are shown sitting around a camfire while every light in the house is ablaze. Ever heard of conserving electricity by turning off the lights when you leave a room?

sorry, but this was pathetic and these people are idiots.

Realist
Realist
8 years ago

One word - Helicopter.

Here's an idea..... build it in the summer. For someone who wants this lifestyle, this is an example of how not to build an eco friendly home.. great example though.

On a plus side.. the Raccoon was funny. You would know that this guy worked in TV, absolute bluff.

This reminds me of the honda prius carbon footprint story, a car that was marketed as an environmental saviour... yet it had the highest carbon footprint of any car produced in 2012 and contained a toxic magnet motor which would only last 5 years.

Buy in to this lifestyle.. this is a sell out, and buying in timber and you live in a forrest... thats like taking sand to the beach... a bluff. Cut the timber a year and a half earlier.. let it season.

.. and not a cost breakdown anywhere.. now thats TV!

GadgetGuy
GadgetGuy
9 years ago

Why not just buy an RV camper with all the comforts of home? You can then add solar and portable generators as a backup. Nice to haves would include a poured concrete slab, satellite internet, and a black water pump.

Instant modern living in the wilderness.

garey
garey
9 years ago

I didn't hear what the price tag on this project was. with all the equipment and such I would think it quite costly . Living off the grid is supposed to save money not to spend your life savings. There are cheaper ways to do it. KEEP LOOKING

Chad
Chad
10 years ago

Between the trucks, equipment, lawn mower, helicopter... where is the living off the grid? How much oil was used in the making of this film. And it takes 150 acres to live off grid? Rediculous.

pasquello
pasquello
10 years ago

By the way... Why is talking about "Off the Grid" always connected to alternative electricity ? Maybe because of our addiction to it ? People were "Off the Grid" before it was invented... Check out on how to live "Off the Grid" or "Off any modern convenience at all" : look for Tales from the Green Valley or The Victorian Farm or even the Edwardian Farm inhere. Top !

Seth
Seth
10 years ago

I had to turn this off after the use of a helicopter. I wanted information and ideas from a documentary, not a "made for TV drama reality" show. Watch it for entertainment, but nothing more.

Nosyparker
Nosyparker
11 years ago

Watched this a few years ago, never did find out what the mystery bundle was in the pond. The home is located in the area of Burks Falls Ontario.

Devon Griffiths
Devon Griffiths
11 years ago

There isn't any way to make as much money as you would need to do this, without leaving behind a footprint of ecological devastation equal to 10 ordinary households. And money aside, the resource and energy inputs involved would mean that if we all *could* do this, and tried, we would cause ecological devastation on an unprecedented scale.
There's nothing ecologically friendly about living in the country anyway. The amount of infrastructure in terms of transportation and communication is many, many, many times greater per household than in an urban area, where everything is compact.

Chaos_11
Chaos_11
11 years ago

You are some whiney . You do know Thoreau was widely criticized in his day for relying on other peoples handouts at Walden right? You think Thoreau didn't ever use an axe? He's setting up a little cabin with a solar. Big deal he used a chainsaw. Who said you have to devolve back to the paleolithic to be self-sufficient? It's not Luddites - The Documentry

jjpubs
jjpubs
12 years ago

These self indulgent m*rons would have done the whole world a favor by donating the land for preservation and then purchasing an existing home and retrofitting it to be self sufficient...you know?...recycling an existing home?
Just another spoiled rich kid who wanted to make money off of a documentary to further line his pockets.

Stephen
Stephen
12 years ago

What a complete pile of crap.Typical "more money than sense".

Christopher Ryan Bryer
Christopher Ryan Bryer
12 years ago

This is why Les Stroud is way more awesome then Bear Grylls

the555hit
the555hit
12 years ago

Excellent comments here.

These guys 'r tough stuff and worth anybody's respect -- but.. "I love being able to take power from the sun and not destroying any rivers or trees or anything like that" does kind of bring on a chuckle. I guess if i'd never quite made it to Bono or Sting status i might also try to change the world in my own quaintly rock 'n strolly little way..

Photovoltaic panels, battery arrays, plassy home insulation ( so very eco) , helicopters, trucks, bandsaws, it appears never used any conventional power and oil sources. Earthmovers, welldiggers, building crews ----- jeez this lot must have cost half a million. But most of us aren't earning musicians and we didn't inherit a family fortune or win any lottery. So this little eco drama must remain in the realms of pornography since it sets no realisable example. Thanks to the film makers for a good laugh though. The kind of amusement one feels when the guy who spends his entire salary each month on homeopathic medicine, cures and crystals all his life suddenly subscribes to orthodox medicine when he's diagnosed with cancer. And i thought i was delusional..

If as he says the central message was 'get off the grid' perhaps it would have made more sense to show people how to do it in the urban setting as opposed to some unattainable Walden pond. Just remind us to start in March.. not phekken November?

the555hit
the555hit
12 years ago

Excellent comments here. These guys tough stuff and worth anybody's respect -- but.. "I love being able to take power from the sun and not destroying any rivers or trees or anything like that" does kind of bring on a chuckle. I guess if i'd never quite made it to Bono or Sting status i might also try to change the world in my own amusingly rock n rolly little way..

Photovoltaic panels, battery ararys, plassy home insulation ( so very eco) , helicopters, trucks, bandsaws, it appears never used any conventional power and oil sources. Earthmovers, welldiggers, building crews ----- jeez this lot must have cost half a million. But most of us aren't earning musicians and we didn't inherit a family fortune or win any lottery. So this well-intended eco show must remain in the realms of pornography since it sets no realisable example. Thanks to the film makers for a good laugh though. The kind of amusement one feels when the guy who spends his entire salary each month on homeopathic medicine, cures and crystals all his life suddenly subscribes to orthodox medicine when he's diagnosed with cancer. And i thought i was delusional..

If as he says the central message was 'get off the grid' perhaps it would have made more sense to show people how to do it in the urban setting as opposed to some unattainable Walden pond. Just remind us to start in March.. not September?

B G
B G
12 years ago

I own 10 acres of land off the grid in Central Oregon. I can tell you it is not as easy as Les makes it out to be. Thats right- It is a lot harder if you don't have the resorces that Les has. You might not know that he has had the show called "man verses wild" and probably has a good size bank account to help him and his endevors. The average Joe doesn't and to do what he has is more difficult that he made it out to be. I have been working on my 12x20' cabin for nearly 2 years. I still am not able to move in. Working and trying to make a living take up much of my time. One has to be able to live where they are trying to build their dream which is often not possible. You want to live away from society and the rat race which means it takes a lot more time and effort (not to mention money) to be self suffient. You have to really count the costs and effort it takes to do this. It may not be what you think it is. I know- I have been trying to live the life for 30+ years. It is not easy.

thomas_5900
thomas_5900
12 years ago

this was not what i have expected. trucks, helicopters, teams of workers, going to and from the city...

i was expecting them to build a house like pioneers, not with a shitload of high tech tools and people at their disposal. guess living simply really is impossible now.

Mark Sutherland Jr.
Mark Sutherland Jr.
12 years ago

Lot of Haters!

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

This started out well and promised a lot, turns out that for a simple life off the grid you need a team of builders, more money than sense and a helicopter.
'' that's life in the bush''

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

Although I understand where everyone is coming from. I can't help but point out that I don't recall him ever speakng about going "green". He just said off the grid, which means POWER grid. Not that they were abandoning the society their from... There were some points where I wonder why on earth they spent sooo much wasted time and money.

gagarine
gagarine
12 years ago

This is so lame. Pretentious enough to feel "off the grid" just because they got 3 solar panel and fix a house... I will not be surprise if they got a TV after the fridge.

lovewild
lovewild
12 years ago

Paying high price for high tech and live a low life. What a pay off?

earth warrior
earth warrior
12 years ago

alone in the wild
this film shows how to do do it with nothing but tools and a backsack
the man stayed in with his cabin he built with his hands (free) for over 30 yrs
best film ive seen to date.

Marshall Jarreau
Marshall Jarreau
12 years ago

I was hoping this documentary would be helpful, but I see now that I'm not in the right income group to make my dreams come true.

Anybody have any good ideas for the average family??

vince axworthy
vince axworthy
12 years ago

wot a joke is all i can say!!!!!! Got a problem - lets throw sum money at it!!!

DFrye
DFrye
12 years ago

.

How are you teaching your children or anyone else the value of being environmentally aware, concerned, or proactive by sitting around a campfire and with all the lights burning in an empty house in the background?

I don't think Thoreau's sentiment had anything to do with being able to survive walking away from your life with just the clothes on your back including a pickup truck, lots of money, and an available commercial, transportation, and technological infrastructure to help you pretend to live off the grid by employing technology allowing you to mimic you on-the-grid lifestyle. Helicopters? Yea, there are your basic down-to-earth primitive nothing but the shirt on your back survival skills...

In the post "fall of civilization as we know it" world, which I agree is inevitable, where will you get your light bulbs, batteries, and guitar strings,not to mention all the replacement parts for the hi tech gear required to live your "simple' life?

I salute the spirit of your endeavor but I think you have somehow missed your and Thoreau's point entirely..,

Respectfully,
G

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

Maybe a few things to finish up as some say but I guess that was not the point of the author. In any circumstances, I found that the guy wasted quite a bit of money just to make his point. Live secluded in the wild.

In selecting the place where one would build such a property, why not a little water stream on the land? And use the water stream to generate electricity?

Bottom line, is that burning wood to heat up a residence is not helping polution. Which is not that documentary topic.
Rather get away from the standard billings.
Which includes the property taxes?

Pierre.

Leila Brown
Leila Brown
12 years ago

there are a lot of things I would have done differently although I enjoy the idea and watching his attempts. Should have begun winter insulation earlier and with natural materials excavated from the site or earthship style...the house is cute but would have done better as a barn. There are far more efficient housing designs. Where's the passive heat, the utilization of constant ground temperature? They didn't start on a garden?? What about these greenhouses he spoke of? No goats or chickens for the kids to tend and fall in love with. Rain harvest off the roof but what about keylines and swales? He could have done some contour dams in a day with heavy equipment for irrigation and fire control which is a major concern in inland BC. And no anearobic digester, which is a great way to get a bit more power-hot water being the most efficient use, and who doesn't want on demand hot water? I am interested in that Sprite Turbine though!

D
D
12 years ago

Well you can just make it look nice. all but the water, would be city water thats all. I did it I live in a small towm / city , county cap.
Any how I put up 14 soler pannels. and made it look nice. people realt like it. so my out go for my place is the coust of my water & sewer.$60 month. $720 a year. what do you think it would coust to have 150 acers
If you own your home out right then $720 a year for water ant bad till some thing better come a long .
all you would have to do is take your soler stuff & wind with you if you move. Not that hard .
I put my system in in about 8 hours . and it would only take about haft that time. to take it all out.
Good luck. and have fu. Nick

Nick_Sporek
Nick_Sporek
12 years ago

It sucks that you have to move out to the middle of no where to live off the grid. I wish the bigger cities would get in on the alternative home building methods a lot faster.

Kumamori
Kumamori
12 years ago

I'm sorry but this is more of an entertairnment-type document. A lot of documents can show what's wrong with something, but when it comes to living on your own, off the grid, the point is in showing what works. What works without loads of money.

I'm planning to live off the grid, permanently. To make a living from farming the lazy style, to get the electricity from whatever power source I can find, solar panels being the first candidate. And doing it in same latitude with similiar winters. I'm still in the planning phase and my biggest concern is what am I gonna do with the gray water (shower, dishwashing & clothwashing water) in winter. When plants are awake, from spring to autumn, you can make a graywater disposal system that benefits your plants, but it doesn't work that way when the earth is frozen and snow is on the ground. I've been forming an idea about a greenhouse that can work during -20C winters, if it works it may also solve the graywater issue in a manner that satisfies the byrocrats. One solution is what we in here Finland call avanto, or ice-swimming if you like. Another one is sauna: you might as well wash yourself there since you sweat there so much. The dishwater should just be conserved and used in some indoor compost, possibly. Or for fish food in a nearby pond/lake.

They use fridge, that's a real waste of electricity. You should build a cold storage for your food and learn to preserve your food with what you got in hand or what you can store for a longer duration, like with salt or alcohol or sugar or vinegar. I don't know about salt production but I know you can buy loads of it from the shop and it doesnt go old in tens of years, correct me if I'm wrong. There's a high value in having a food garden that doesn't require maintenance in order for it to survive, both in comfortability and self-sufficiency. I don't understand why he avoids that point so completely. If I had kids, my first concern wouldn't be whether it's candlelight or lightbulb they use but do they eat healthy food, and will they keep eating healthy food even if something happens. You can survive without light sources, but try survive without food.

Collecting rainwater is a good thing, but you might as well dig a big cellar/hole and make it a water storage, better yet build it in ground level or second floor so you can take advantage of gravity when using it. Make it a steel tank with appropriate steel mixture, reinforce it with concrete from the outside. May sound silly but what you do if it breaks up? It's your source of life when a drought hits (in terms of drinking and watering plants if your garden cannot sustain itself), it's your source of hygiene. If you really strive for being self-sufficient. It's really not so bad, you can even make it come from the tap like your usual water. Whatever filter was sold with that water storage he bought, you can just buy a filter of your own and install it on the mouth of that hard water storage if you like.

Jordana McLeod
Jordana McLeod
13 years ago

I live in Northern Ontario, and a) He's insane and stupid for building in the winter, b) maybe a little brave, and c) Are we supposed to believe that building in the winter and airlifting supplies by helicopter is environmentally friendly and "off the grid"?

Jack1952
Jack1952
13 years ago

I've watched Stroud's survivor series on tv. He's about the last guy I'd want to depend on in the wild.

Ed
Ed
13 years ago

This Movie should be called " Building a house from the frame up, in Canada, starting in November, is a terrible idea."

This whole movie is more about Les being short sighted and undertaking a HUGE project with no time. Id bet he spent way more on paying people to work in the Canadian winter and hiring that helicopter then he did on the whole property.

Living off the grid is about more then having a house on a few acres and some solar panels. Its about sustainability.

Justin Lambert
Justin Lambert
13 years ago

What career is Les speaking of? Campfire guitar music? Was this done before his spot of the Discovery Channel? As a musician (and not a successful one), there's no way he can afford all this rubbish

jimmy james
jimmy james
13 years ago

I like this a lot and commend them for this film and choosing a more sustainable lifestyle. However, trucking in chopped down trees and water from other sources, and destroying the land with a chainsaw to make a bike trail seems to kind of taint things. Why not start a garden and add to nature? Also, they started the film saying they were going to try this without spending a lot (or something to that effect), and yet they must have spent thousands on contractors and supplies! Yikes!

TDRPETE
TDRPETE
13 years ago

Tts obvious from watching this documentary that sustainable living doesnt come cheap,neither do helicopters,plumbers,electricians and enough power tools to open a walmart.

Robert
Robert
13 years ago

Thoreau was a hypocrite.

Nancy
Nancy
13 years ago

Good film but like most people what was the overall cost? I plan to live off the grid, but my thinking of off the grid is totally different....no machinery what so ever! I want to totally live off the grid, totally be self sufficient.

torquemanda71
torquemanda71
13 years ago

This sucks!
Garbage Warrior is the documentary you want to be watching.

Murderman
Murderman
13 years ago

i lost interest when they brought in the water douser guy and they pretended like it was real science

Genc
Genc
13 years ago

This is so awesome! - I'm really gonna make something like this in the near future.

It kind of relates to Jack Fresco's ideas.

A hoping giving film.

nick
nick
13 years ago

it came from the wrong angle. i love seeing robbie on my tv screen though. what a soul that mandolin shows

loz
loz
13 years ago

I like a good documentary, one that gets you inspired and active, I switched this off 1 minute in.

but maybe that's just me.

andy
andy
13 years ago

why is he so angry? ..every narrated word spoken is with such aggression.