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    I’m 18 years old and have practically 0 experience with living off the grid or being self sufficient, but its all I think about, day in and day out. For a long time I’ve thought about running away, ideally to the wild where I can try and manage for myself. I have no future in society, I have no work experience (mostly because I hate the idea of the people I might work for and the culture I contribute too), I did well in school up until this year, I have no progress towards my driving license, and I have nothing to look forward to except for a free life in nature.

    Now that I’ve explained a bit about myself, I’d like to get any help or opinions what I can do or on how I can prepare for a long term escape, by foot, in northern Ontario. I also plan on bringing along a collection of books that will help me with building some things and identifying plants, so if there’s any must have books, please share!


    you need to learn before you go, one wrong wildgreen and youre dead
    eat one wrong mushroom and youre dead
    how do you plan to build a shelter and out of what?
    do you know how to fell atree without dropping it on yourself?
    do you know which types of trees are best suited to cabin building?
    do you know how to build a foundation to set your cabin on so the logs dont rot away on you in 2 years?
    what materials would you use for roofing and how will you attach them?
    these are just a very few of the things you need to consider and know something about, before you wander off!
    there is also the bits about hunting, fire making, weapon building so you can hunt, taning hides for clothing and blankets, butchering your kills, preserving the meat for later and ways to store it safely from all the wild creatures that will come to take it from you
    have you ever spent much time alone in the wild? how do you tell where you are and where youre going?
    how about water purification, water that looks perfect out in the wild may well carry liver flukes, worms and other nasty little critters that will make your life miserable and short
    then there are the creepycrawlies like skeeters, ticks, fleas and lice, they will be on you like stink on dung, do you know how to keep them away? do you know how many diseases they carry?
    i remember when i was 18 and all set to wander off to northern BC, someone gave me the same lecture….lol
    take time and learn first, learn everything you can and spend some time camping locally, do it the hard way
    no tent, no food, no water, see how well you do that way. when you can survive a summer like that, then consider going off alone


    Like Beast said, you don’t just go to the woods and think anything is going to just work out. Living may be hard, but dying is damn easy.

    Assuming you haven’t done any real camping yet: A really good start – go camp in the woods for 2-3 days. Bring a tent, sleeping bag, plenty of food, everything you might need, (borrow it all if you have to, and camp where you are not to far from your vehicle and extra supplies). If that goes OK, go to the wilderness for up to a week. After that, everything will start to make a LOT more sense. You say you have close to zero experience, so if you have never even camped at a campground for longer then overnight, you probably ought to start with that. There is a good chance you will be really surprised at how it all goes, and I can guarantee a serious education will result.

    It takes a LONG time to become a Grizzly Adams type. Everything comes at a cost, exactly what that cost may be is usually not readily apparent. Start off by making sure what this is you want, finding out what you will put up with (you will probably surprise yourself), and what it is you can reasonably attain. It may or may not end up being what you want, but please take this easy opportunity to find out before committing to anything more than a few days of time and a few bucks worth of canned food.


    I would like you to watch a movie called “into the wild” its based on a true story about a guy who does what your talking about—-Going alone with no knowledge about how to do things, or anyone with you is not a good idea– If your serious about going off the grid, please do research and lots of it. Your on this website which is a good place to start learning. Join an exsisting off the grid village so you can learn the life first, many of them have work exchange programs. Good luck Honey!!
    let me know if you need any help


    I am trying to start an off the grid ( as eco as we can) village if you possibly want to join that ? Let me know


    Lady April: you beat me to it! Thank you for recommending that cautionary tale of a film about that stupidly selfish “Alexander Supertramp” aka Christopher MacCandeless. THIS post isn’t the first one I’ve read at this site from young Millennial males who either want to copy Christopher (you mean, DYING!?)  or hold him in the same light as Thoreau. His taking risks to extremes was eventually his hubris which led to his downfall. And by the way, he didn’t “poison” himself by eating the wrong food; that’s been proven to be pure fiction for the film. He died of starvation, down to 80 pounds when found after his death by a pair of moose hunters.

    In his book, Jon Krakauer went to where Christopher died and found that there had been a bridge less than 1/4 mile from the bus he perished in, leading to town.  In addition, the author describes at some length the grief and puzzlement of McCandless’s parents, sister, and friends over Christopher’s rejection of everyone and everything in his life.


    Boogey: here are two quotes about Christopher and his plan, which mirrors yours:


    Alaskan Park Ranger Peter Christian wrote:

    When you consider McCandless from my perspective, you quickly see that what he did wasn’t even particularly daring, just stupid, tragic, and inconsiderate. First off, he spent very little time learning how to actually live in the wild. He arrived at the Stampede Trail without even a map of the area. If he [had] had a good map he could have walked out of his predicament [… ] Essentially, Chris McCandless committed suicide”

    Sherry Simpson, writing in the <i>Anchorage Press</i>, described her trip to the bus with a friend, and their reaction upon reading the comments that tourists had left lauding McCandless as an insightful, Thoreau-like figure:

    Among my friends and acquaintances, the story of Christopher McCandless makes great after-dinner conversation. Much of the time I agree with the “he had a death wish” camp because I don’t know how else to reconcile what we know of his ordeal. Now and then I venture into the “what a dumbshit” territory, tempered by brief alliances with the “he was just another romantic boy on an all-American quest” partisans. Mostly I’m puzzled by the way he’s emerged as a hero<sup class=”reference” id=”cite_ref-13″>.”</sup>

    Eric T Daniels

    Yes I agree going into the wild is a very dangerous thing to do even for those who are extremely well equipped and knowledgeable. I like to get ideas from you tube on projects I would like to try. The whole bug out mania to me is just as dangerous. I grew up in north eastern Pa. It once was a great place to live. The average folk in the area were poor. Together the people for the most part got by with the help of neighbors and family. Much of the small family farms are gone and the area is filled with weekend homes of people from many city areas in Pa and Ny. Other then the Public forest lands there isn’t any place to bug out to that you wouldn’t be met with groups of people who would force you out and run you off. Other then the extremely harsh areas there is no refuge.

    I ask myself everyday, Where do I start. I have plenty ambition and an overall dream. I have a wife and children to provide for as well. If America was still connected with it’s community and the land as it once was the situation we face wouldn’t be that grim for the average person. It is a shame that we have so much more technology and equipment today but can’t seem to fix the simplest hardships.

    My wife and I settled into Jersey Shore Pa four years ago in a small community of Riverdale Mobile Home park. We struggled to fix up our home. We also helped many of our neighbors when we could and they helped us. I then set out to find out what could be done to make our community more self sustainable. It became our dream to also help out communities around the country.

    Last year our community was taken for a pumping station for the gas industry. Those who would like to gain a better understanding of what happened can look up My post here and topic about riverdale isn’t to gain money, rather its for people to understand the direction our country and the world is headed. If people don’t start reaching out to help those in their community and become self sustainable we are all at risk. Our energy consumption has got out of control.

    Many of the people we got to know from the Riverdale resistance continue to hold protest and lobby hard every day to stop the industrialization of rural communities around the world. We support and respect those who do both resist and prep however it still won’t be enough.

    Our dream still is to travel and organize everyday people to get together in communities to help each other. The average person today doesn’t understand the energy they use and the loss it has. I get people everyday ask me questions about putting solar panels on their home to become self sustainable. They talk about the cost vs the gain. The average person thinks it’s a choice between one or the other.

    I like how Michael Reynolds explains it. His community is self sustainable, however if the rest of the world goes over the cliff, they will take him as well. I have only one way to get a project started. A win win. To be able to live for little to nothing and contribute to the community. Once that community has a handle on the project our family heads to the next community. If I have to continue to return my job earning back into living expense I will never be able to break this cycle.


    cigg johnson

    Northern Ontario is rough country it’s best to always go with others in groups as survivability is greater, there are meet up groups that are into surviving found in various locations get acquainted there first. I’m also trying for a Northern Ontario off grid “group” living in nature is romantic, ideal for only a moment, you need vast information and supplies to make a go of it. In Ontario you do not necessary own the land think of it as a lease, the government owns at all times, without the rights to the land your limited to what your actually allowed too do, even on you own property. Gets lots of experience first, camping, hiking and talking to others with similar values.

    New Dawn Project

    Consider The New Dawn Project as a good place to start.  Good people.  Good ideas.  Fun.  Spiritual fulfillment.  And we are not “actually” off-grid… we have all the modern amenities (for now).  But we are moving as quickly as we can for complete self-reliability within the community.

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