by NICK ROSEN on MARCH 24, 2011 - 24 Comments in OFF-GRID 101
Some simple hints if you are going to come here to Canada.
1) The cheapest land is in northwestern Ontario or maritimes. Forget about BC unless you really want to get way off the beaten path like on the Cassiar highway.
2) Be prepared for winter. Yes it is cold here half the year except for areas in the okanogan of BC on on the coast. You might like the constant rain though being from England. Kamloops is a neat deserty place but the ecomony kind of sucks. Okanogan nice but expensive.
3) If you want to buy a rv cheap go to a public ADESSA auction in the prairie provinces or to a police compound sale somewhere. i bought a car for $120 WHICH IS PROBABLY 70 euros and a 1969 trailer for $200. there are even ads now offering older vehicles for free. Nope not kidding about this. Just make sure you know the regulations of the province you are in. Just make sure you have some mechanical skills. Go to auto wrecking places where you take off the parts yourself like PICK AND PULL. Schoolbuses are another option especially older ones you could convert into a RV. did this twice
4) The cheapest provinces to get insurance are the ones that have government insurance. Most likely Saskatchewan and manitoba.Stay away from Bc, (though government), Alberta, Ontario and the maritimes. Quebec I don’t know.
5) Become a freegan to save money on food. we throw crazy amounts of food away here. also buy food from dollar stores and store that offer discounts on dented or older foods. auctions are another good place to stock up
6) learn to fish and forage from locals in smaller communities for things like berry picking and mushroom picking (this takes many connotations in BC as you will learn)
7) Adverse possession or squatting is different here then in the uk, WITH MUCH OF THE LAW NOT RECOGNIZING it though this differs from province to province. Though because our nation is so damned big, it’s easier to hide.
Some books that you should get are the BACK ROADS OF… which show many campsites off the beaten path where one can stay for weeks on end in the boonies for free though they will be rustic. stay away from the national parks. They are nice but murder on your pocketbook.
There are other ways of getting land as long as you don’t build a permanent foundation house like gold placer claims and leases and traplines. Stay away from areas that have many land claim disputes with local aboriginal bands. too many cans of worms in that one.
8) get a hostelling card. goes without question. gets you 10 to 20 percent off of greyhound as well.
9) check out intentional communities on the web though beware that many are just looking for free labour from gullible foreign students over long periods of time. not all of them. just some.
10) if you want a yurt go to yurtco.com. i will be buying one off of them if i don’t make one myself.
they make about the best yurt in canada.
11) learn how the underground economy works here if you don’t have work permit like Cash Corner in calgary or picking fruit in okanogan(talk to a young person in quebec about this). Just be careful. If you have work permit then ignore this one.
12) Know that film INTO THE WILD? Well don’t be like the guy in it. Learn from the people in area how to do things like hunt, fish or forage, or learning about solar and windpower. Learn and absorb from everybody be it a native elder, an older prospector, or old hippies in the back country.
13) good luck.