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Ten Things Learned Living Off-grid in Canada
It was in 2011 that I first understood what off-grid living really meant. Before then I had heard people claim they were off-grid if they switched their cell phone off for a day or two. Other people thought anyone who lived in remote places was off-grid. None of that made any sense. It was when I first visited British Columbia's Lasqueti Island and later the floating home community of Clayoquot Sound that I got a real taste of the off-grid life: life, that is, in a place disconnected from large natural gas and electricity networks.
For the next two years, photographer/videographer Jonathan Taggart and I travelled close to 105,000 kilometres together across Canada to find people who live off-the-grid and visit them in their homes. Occasionally we lived with them for a short period of time. Sometimes we followed them around as they fished, harvested, collected wood and built or fixed their homes. And we too practiced living in off-grid homes and cabins for short stretches of time. Overall we visited about 100 homes and interviewed about 200 off-grid Canadians, as well as many American and British expats living in Canada. We managed to find off-gridders in every single province and territory, and through our book and forthcoming film we narrated our travels and chronicled the experiences, challenges, inventions, aspirations and ways of life of a few of them.