Off the Grid
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Off the Grid

Nature  -   103 Comments
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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103 Comments / User Reviews

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    1. I found it amusing at the end he was talking about environmental concerns while sitting by a large rip roaring fire pumping smoke and carbon into the air.... "...being environmentally conscious...".

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

    1. I agree, to live off the grid means you need to plan. You don't start building in October, you build in spring. What about food? Living off the grid means growing your own, canning and reserving for winter. This can be done BEFOREHAND you move off the grid.

      Living off the grid, in my opinion, is living with the seasons. What is wrong with candle light? Or reading by the fire at bedtime. Cooking by fire. Baking in or on a wood burning stove. The children love to learn how to bake and cook.

      What's wrong with living in 20 square feet until spring when you can start building again?

      I'm most appalled at the use of so many trucks, AND helicopter? How much oil, pollutants were used during the filming of this documentary?

      I agree with one of the other posts, you don't need 150 acres to live off the grid. Even 5 acres would be fine.

      If you read Thoreau's WALDEN, he built his cabin all by himself. He ate only the vegetables he grew. He committed himself to be self sustainable.

      Lastly, I don't think it should be such a chore for children to live off grid. They have school during the day, they have the opportunity to learn about the Canadian Landscape just out the door. Plus, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, Fort building, snow man making. Plus, you can invite a friend for a sleepover! When you are a child anything can be an adventure.

      Perhaps I expected too much from this documentary. I recently read Wendy Tremayne's book THE GOOD LIFE LAB, which I found so inspiring. This may have skewed my hopes.

      I do thank you for creating this film, I hope it inspires others to try either living off the grid or creating a more sustainable life in the suburbs.


    2. I checked out "The good life lab" and it looks excellent. Just ordered it. Thank you so much for the heads up! :D

  11. 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 !

    1. "off the grid" I believe is a direct reference to being disconnected from the electrical grid from which most people draw there power. The saying has received a broader meaning as it has gained popularity and use.

  12. 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.

    1. "Off the grid" doesn't mean quite the same when you can call in air support. I agree with you.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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 know?...recycling an existing home?
    Just another spoiled rich kid who wanted to make money off of a documentary to further line his pockets.

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

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

  19. 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?

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

    1. You are wrong, Les Stroud's show was called Survivor Man. Bear Grylls has man v wild and he wasn't alone, he took a big camera crew with him. Les did it alone.

    2. You live in Central Or? I grew up in Bend. Rough country to get set up in (also expensive living).

  22. 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.

    1. He might have done most of the work himself, but they probably only had so much time for the camera crew, you know scheduling? And wanting to get in before it really started snowing. But I heard him and wife got divorced already, so I guess she wasn't as keen on it as she said.

  23. Lot of Haters!

  24. 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''

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

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

  28. 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.

  29. 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??

    1. Buy a sailboat

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

    1. Do you mean WHAT a joke? Throw SOME money at it? How about some (sum) spelling classes? What (wot) do you think of that?

    2. why the melodramatics? i, just like you, understood quite clearly what he had to say, yet you find it within yourself to insult the man on his grammer -slang- for no apparent reason. don't let your lack of concentration take you away from the issue at hand!

    3. Sorry to offend you by pointing out someones' bad grammer! I think it's horrible that there are soooooo many spelling mistakes in the comments people leave. In this day and age, we as a people should be better spellers than that, also should know the correct word to use, they may sound alike, but, aren't spelled the same. It just annoys the heck out of me!

    4. "But I heard him and wife got divorced already," Don't you mean "he and his wife divorced already"? Pot meet kettle.

    5. you shouldn't complain about spelling when you can't spell grammAR

  31. .

    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..,


  32. 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?


  33. 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!

    1. It was the middle of winter, where were they supposed to put a garden? I think there was supposed to be another segment continuing in the spring with all that stuff but it was canceled.

    2. If it's the middle of winter... move :)

  34. 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

    1. What do you do when the SHTF? One of the reasons to go off grid is to exist without needing exterior utilities. If SHTF, there will be no city water, and in case you weren't aware...a dependable water source is one of the initial 3 things you MUST have if you want to survive off grid.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

    1. Building a greenhouse so you can continue to use gray water during winter months is a good idea. You could also use this liquid water for your compost since you will likely only have snow/ice during the winter months.

  37. 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"?

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

  39. 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.

  40. 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

  41. 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!

  42. 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.

  43. Thoreau was a hypocrite.

  44. 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 machinery what so ever! I want to totally live off the grid, totally be self sufficient.

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

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

    1. I watched this twice lol... that water douser was the only crackpot there.. he was kinda funny though.. after applying pressure on his hands.. he showed the camera how they changed color lmao

  47. 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.

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

  49. 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.

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

    1. aggression?.. seems like he was more worried about what his kids will think.. and how they would adjust to this change... being a little worried is not aggressive lol

  51. Wow, I've seen this done a LOT easier.

    Why live off the grid in Northern Canada anyways? There are so many US locations where you have sun and warmth all year round - the kind of weather you NEED for living off the grid.

    1. if you were born here, grew up here, if this was your home. you'd understand.

    2. Hellooooo! Les is Canadian!

  52. I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary. However, as many commentators have already stated, this isn't exactly green living, or a realistic project that most people can embark on.

    It would have been far 'greener' to re-use existing city structures. Renting an apartment that's walking or bicycling distance to work and school would be far greener. How much gas does that truck consume, anyway? Raising up new buildings, buying a bunch of crap, and trucking it in is not the right way to go. Re-using existing infrastructure is.

    Let's face it: living in nature, being away from it all, living off-grid... that was the real aim. The greenest was secondary.

  53. This is more like an expensive family outing than anything to do with living off the grid for its so called environmental benefits.

    And he is smart enough to record it in reality show style. nice way to recoup the expenses and have other tangible/intangible benefits for future adventures, I guess.

    Very disappointing.

  54. are You kidding me? the guy talks about living with nature and all those nice words but he drives the biggest and most polluting truck there is (dodge), I mean... really? wtf

  55. I would have liked to hear a lot more detail about the building process,the technology involved, and the costs. I could do without the family drama interviews. However that is the current standard formula for TV documentaries. He seemed to have done very little planning- ie: using a helicopter to longline in his cabin in the middle of winter, (lets face it at least half his energy was actually spent thinking about how to film it and trying to make it interesting). I hope he does a follow up when everything is finished but with more detail and less drama. I also hope he invests in a pair of chainsaw chaps or pants and learns how to do a proper falling cut.

  56. Totally unrealistic attempt at showing life 'off the grid'; I believe Thoreau would be thoroughly disappointed; obviously a product of the mainstream; but, what do you expect? It was still better then watching a documentary on Dancing with the Stars.
    Did anyone else think of the Yearling by Rawlings when his daughter was talking about having wild animals as pets? :(

  57. This can only be achieved with the help and technology supplied by the rest of society. Imagine everyone in the world owning and living on 150 acres of farm/wood land... Not enough good areas in the world for the 6.5 billion of us to do that! So this idea that these people have of sustainable living is only possible because the rest of us can't. Once again the privilege of the few who can afford to do this, while the rest of the world have to content themselves with dirty polluted water and most of them without electricity, gas or other energy source because it is too expensive.

  58. Lost alot of respect for him when he said believed in water dowsing! next he will say he believes in god lol. Off his head!

  59. To continue...after posting I realized that perhaps I should explain the worst case scenario if a solar flare from the sun should fry their electrical circuitry.

    The emp from the solar flare would overcharge the entire system from the batteries to the circuit boards in any electrical component and all that is in between, the wiring to the lights and all a/c outlets ect.

    To fix, they will need to communicate but their phones will be fried and the electrical grid will be down so there would be no one to call anyway...their truck, car, snowmobile and tractor will all be unusable...anything with a battery and electrical circuitry will be fried...they will be stuck - stuck in a time where...


  60. This is not for those on a tight every obstacle he was able to do (spend more $$$) what was needed to overcome, such as an auxilary cabin that doesn't even get done in time...that whole ordeal was costly, by its self.

    If you wanted to see a how to do video, this is not the one to watch.

    Finally, living off the grid implies the ability to not be the 21st century, this is not off the grid, this is living outside of a town or community - there is a difference.

    By the way - modern technology can still completely disrupt their lives as can the sun.

    EMP weaponary and solar flares can completely fry their electrical circuitry...whoops!

  61. Wow .... you guys are really clueless. There are no titanic start up costs here at all. I have gone and the research on the products and methods he used because I live here in Ontario , Canada as well. I am going to be using some of the same suppliers , if your think a 2400 square-foot home for $60,000-70,000 CAD is a lot of money than do some research.
    There is all kinds of affordable natural land available here in Canada ...... it is not for anyone priviliged. Get off your butt and move if you want to live somewhere beautiful and natural.

  62. Too bad we can't all go out and get a piece of land in the middle of nowhere. A lot of people live in areas that have practically no natural terrain left. Where are they supposed to go? Stuff like this is mostly for the priviliged.

  63. I totally agree with Vipeyr. This is just another mainstream 'reality' program that took more energy to produce than it ever would have saved.

  64. Hi Kain - good point, I did feel a bit sorry for the kids! You're right Thoreau's life at Walden was an experiment in "living deliberately". I do think though that greater simplicity is an essential factor in living sustainably - and Thoreau repeatedly makes that point. Our complex, high consumption lives require a lot of energy - mainly fossil fuels. Surely the "off grid" movement is about reducing dependence on our oil addicted society's goods and services? It got me wondering how Thoreau would have interacted with modern western civilization. Would he have saved time with a chainsaw? Food for thought!

    Best Wishes


  65. i quite enjoyed this prog, will have to watch survivor man when i get the chance.
    i found some things particularly interesting, i,e, the human waste/compost potty - a shame he didnt use this it would have been interesting to view - something we used to do a few hundred years ago, funny how we downgrade to become greener. it did annoy me however how they had the chimney poking outside - it could have a water tank curled around it to gain warm water and minimise the heat loss via smoke...just an idea, i could be wrong.

    welshman - firstly, glad to see another welshman online!:)
    secondly, i thought the idea was to (as Thoreau) live 'off the grid' yet still live a normal life from a social standpoint - some sort of medium between self sufficiency and having a suburban lifestyle. not to trivialise your point at all but Thoreau didnt have a growing family with him nor did he intend on living indefinitely in the wild

  66. Thoreau is turning in his grave! They may have been technically "off the grid" but they were as dependant on petroleum based technologies as they would be in a city, if not more so. (chainsaw, SUV, mobile sawmill etc). Thoreau's underlying philosophy was "Simplify, simplify". But these people seemed intent on finding hugely complex ways of recreating all their city based luxuries in the wilderness. Thoreau lived frugally - I'd like to have seen the total price-tag for this venture...

  67. Oh and just a quick one, if your looking for good ideas for greener living (living without electricity typically) It is well worth investing the time reading up on what the WHO (world health org) recomend for 3rd world countries. The irrigation systems ive seen recomended are so simple it boggles the mind how they are not used in big industry today as their mass manufacture potentials are incredable.

  68. Yup Ive got to agree with the above, to live off the grid and self sustaining sounds great. However every doc/show ive seen on the subject uses the same format. Massive expenditure on 'green living' gimics that will never return the initial investement within their lifetime, and titanic start up costs which seem only atainable to the more well off people. As said before, it really is a case of trying to move the city into the woods. The doc is worth a watch if only to get a grasp of how not to do the green thing.

    There are many ways you could achieve a greener life, but none that i have seen rely on clockwork systems and there is bugger all on the internet on adapting clockwork gubbins to use in labor saving devices, i would recomend have a look into this avenue of R/D. Cast steel gears are not difficult to make to a good standard and will last you atleast half a lifetime.

  69. I love survivoman. His shows are awesome.

  70. as an architecture student I can tell you that the design of a truly net zero or off the grid house is a far more in-depth challenge than is presented here, and would make for an entire series not one single show. It puzzles me how little interest the media generally shows towards environmentally conscientious design. it is a vibrant and interesting field of endeavour, however its core philosophy (for want of a better word) is almost the polar opposite of the wider capitalist society which we now live in, moving into a new order of society based upon efficient and long term management of available resources; whilst still clinging to the ideology of capitalism will be almost impossible, or perhaps if it is forced upon us unbearable.

  71. I understand that but how much does it cost to BUY your own home. I'm sure the price would be comparable. The only difference is that he is now sustainable. Can you boast that?

  72. Well said Vipeyr, I mean really this is just a reasonable well off semi rich guy's dream home in the woods, awesome though it is.

  73. The dialogue was silly at times, but I guess it is just a show.

  74. I really admire Les Stroud, and am a big fan of Survivorman (having used several of his techniques on various occasions), but I must admit I partially agree with Vipeyr on this one.

    The horrible judgment in deciding to start building in mid-fall, the neglecting of his road in/out, etc was a little scary.

    Ultimately, Les' "let's try to outpower Mama Nature through semi trucks, back hoes, and helicopters" approach smacked more of his competitor's Man Vs Wild style, not the simple elegance I've come to admire in his series.

  75. I hope he does a follow up, this is a good film. I've seen it several times.

  76. 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.

  77. Worth while watching for any one with a mind and a conscience.

    1. I think it was an excellent video. For those that want to live off the grid.once your off the grid,, then life is yours to enjoy forever . Now I will try it this summer,2012 when I go in search of some land in Northern Ontario.

    2. Welcome to the north. Still a little chilly up here.

    3. Is it snowing up there yet:) Its either Northern Ontario, Or New Brunswick for me to try the off grid life:)

    4. I didnt make it up there yet but still trying lol