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We faced a medical release from the Canadian Military in 2018 and decided that we needed to cut a new trail for our lives. We did so by starting a homestead from scratch. Here are 10 tips we have for you if you are looking to do the same.
- Life doesn’t wait for anybody and we have to deal with the hand we are dealt. Don’t wait for everything to line up perfectly, you only live once and if it is something you are passionate about or something you feel you need to do, go for it. The circumstances will never be perfect.
- Buy land, look for land that will cover your needs. Water, how far from a town, zoning (which will indicate what you can build on your land, etc). Take all things into consideration that you will need.
- Shelter. Have a trailer or a tent, something you can live in while you build your permanent home.
- Learn some skills if you don’t have any, the internet is a beautiful thing and you can learn darn near anything on it. Also remember, experience is the best teacher, if you don’t have any, you will have plenty once you take the leap, so go for, don’t be afraid to try.
- Save up money so you can build your home.
- Build your home in steps so you don’t need to do everything all at once. Save up, build the foundation. Save again, build the walls. Save again, roof. You get the point.
- Make money. Find a way to begin to make money from your homestead. We personally share our story online to help sustain our efforts. We also produce maple syrup and have acres of blueberries if we need to make money that way. In the mean time they are sources that save us money as we consume those resources.
- Be on the same page. If you are alone, then stay on the same page with yourself and don’t let other deter you from what you know you need to do. If you are with others, you need to have the same vision or it will never work. Don’t expect every day to be perfect but be on the same page.
- Work, its going to take work to do this, so don’t give up, because you may want to at times, it isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Think Freedom from others.
- Reach out to others who have done it for inspiration and motivation as well as tips, ideas, etc. There are lots of other people out there doing it and pretty much everyone is willing to help out. Subscribe to our email list for this very thing and get out there and do it!
As a Bonus, here are 10 things that may help you out once you first start out on your new land:
1. We lived off grid for nearly the first three years, I can’t recommend this battery operated shower head enough, you just need to heat your water and drop this in a bucket and have a normal shower head tied above you, which this has. It is a great value https://amzn.to/3qwou4Q
2. Buckets! We used these to collect water from the spring, poop in, you name it. Don’t use the same bucket you poop in to collect water 😉 On the poop thing, we used wood shavings, peat moss, dirt, etc to cover the mess and would say the peat moss and dirt worked the best. Anyways, you will need buckets for a ton of applications. Get some here https://amzn.to/37cDbmg
3. Hatchet. You will need to cut kindling for fires, etc. This is a must have tool on your new homestead. https://amzn.to/3d9jAHd
4. Matches. To start those fires, camping stoves, you name it. Matches are a must. https://amzn.to/37dTwa7
5. Machete. Awesome for cutting brush, clearing paths, this has really come in handy for us, especially starting out. https://amzn.to/3tX7Ihx
6. Generator. This one here is a beast but it will power anything you want it too, we built our whole house, running power tools with this one and it still is working great after being used and abused over the last 5 years. https://amzn.to/2ODapEX
7. A smaller power supply at 500 watts but very handy! We have been using this little unit for a couple of years and it gets used every day. It can charge or run your computer, phone, tv, etc. Great product without having to run the generator. https://amzn.to/3b0ShfO
8. An easy way to make coffee! This little pour over coffee unit is awesome! Very simple to use and makes your favourite coffee no matter where you are. https://amzn.to/2N81pae
9. Trail Cam. It’s nice to get to know what lives on your land and this camera will give you good video or pictures for a very affordable price. This is still the trail cam we use on the property many years later. https://amzn.to/3u0hGiq
10. A hammer. You need to build. https://amzn.to/3d6eThw
Here is the recipe for Peanut Butter Bumble Bees:
Jeremy & Ashley are living in the backwoods of Canada. Jeremy is a former member of the Canadian Forces who was released medically and had to find a new path for himself and his family.
Follow their complete build of the Off Grid Cabin below!
Well, today was brutal! It rained all night and wouldn’t you know, I woke up to a leaking roof. Luckily it was leaking through the sunroof and into the tub so it could have been worse. It also let me know where to look on the roof for the entry wound (of the leak). I got a tarp out from under some pallets that I have picked up over the weeks and threw that on (no small task alone!) That worked well and I got the leak stopped. Now cold and wet, I went into have something to eat.
After eating, I went back outside to find my charge controller completely submersed in water. I had it sitting in a battery box underneath the camper. Well, the lid to the box had blown off and the box was full of water with the charge controller inside of it. Disheartening to say the least. Anyways, this meant I had to take the wiring off the batteries where it was hooked up. Task complete. For now.
During all of this, my carbon monoxide detector started going off in the camper. I believe this was because of me running the kerosene heater. Anyways, I did not want to listen to it going off after the morning I had been having. I took the battery out and opened the door to air out the camper (the battery is now back in it).
Another thing I needed to get done was find a folder holding all of my families passports, birth certificates, etc. We need this in order to change over all of our information at our new residence. My licence is to expire in 8 days so it is absolutely necessary that I find it. Problem is, it is in a shipping container completely packed! I ripped and tore through that thing for hours with no luck.
Well if it wasn’t for bad luck, I would have no luck at all.
Oh, and a skunk was lurking around. So I guess some good luck on that one as I didn’t get sprayed. He would have become mittens if that happened.
If you would like to see a video of this day, you can check it out here: