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Thread: Going off the Grid

  1. #1

    Cool Going off the Grid

    Hello,

    My name is Daniel.
    I'm 15 years old.
    I live in Toronto, Ontario

    I really want to go off the grid when I'm finished highschool. I love being deep in the forest. I feel so happy when I'm out in the forest. I find that I am just not very happy being in the city. There is a small forested park about 15 km from my house and every sunday I bike there. I built a small lean-to and I shoot my slingshot and cross the river in my underwear, and track deer. I also like to sleep out in my backyard in a tent when I just can't stop thinking about how I'm stuck in the city.

    I'm not like all the other teenagers. They are all constantly checking their twitter and Facebook and texting, and acting cool and wearing the new fashionable clothes, and listening to the latest music with loud bass beats (i personally listen to pink floyd). For a school baseball game we were sitting in the dug out and a honey bee fly's by, everyone screams and runs for it. I have no problem with bugs and I enjoy getting muddy and dirty to keep the mosquitos off me. People here won't even walk on nicely manicured grass for fear of getting dirty, meanwhile I've bushwacked for many hours with nothing but my underwear and a shirt, not even shoes, crossing fast flowing waist deep rivers and hiking through ravines.


    I know a lot about bushcraft, but still not enough. Knowledge is the best tool.

    I need some help with the equipment I should bring.
    I would be going with a group of about 5 people (I've already got the people), to northern Ontario in the boreal forest. Mostly pine, balsam fir, spruce, and tamarack. Game animals are moose, caribou, and black bear. There aren't too many deer because the winters are cold and harsh and deer can't handle very harsh winters. I plan on going for at least 5 years before stocking up on supplies.

    I here is my general list. Ive left a lot of the little things out:

    Wool clothes
    Winter gear
    Paracord
    1/4 inch twine
    Air rifle for small game
    Rifle for large game (I was thinking a Remington mountain ss in a .308 or .30 06 or a Remington xcr ii, any suggestions?)
    Revolver
    Ammo for everything
    Magnesium striker stick
    Bushcraft knife
    Fillet knife
    Skinning knife
    Hatchet
    Axe
    Diamond sharpening stone
    A Compass or two
    Good quality topo maps of the area in 1:250 000 and lots of 1:50 000
    Sunchoke tubers for planting
    Asparagus for planting
    Fishing gear
    Cookware
    Small heating stove for the winter to put in my shelter (the winters are cold up here in Canada. I dont want to freeze to death).
    And a lot of knowledge

    I made a bigger list but this what I can think of right now. I plan on squatting on crown land. I want a high calorie crop for the winter so I was thinking sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes). For every 100 grams for sunchoke tubers there are 70 calories. For a 5*5 square foot patch you can harvest up to 50 pounds of tubers. The asparagus is just cause I like it and it would be something to put in my stomach.

    Northern Ontario is filled with lakes and streams so there is no shortage of fresh water.

    Im seeing this is a long post so wrap it up soon.

    The biggest obstacle must be faced before I leave anywhere. That obstacle is my parents. My parents love me and want the best for me. But we are on different pages as to what the best for me means. If I stayed in the city, my parents would be happy but I wouldn't. I am very smart. Just not in school subjects. I scored 140 on an IQ test. Just the other day I fixed the back catchers shin guards with some twine and a multitool I had on me. My parents want me to go to university and be a doctor or a scientist or something. I really dont want to so maybe I'll take a break year and go for an extended camping trip and come back and say I've had a change I heart.


    Any tips? How much ammo should I bring with me? What about gun parts? Anything is helpful, don't be afraid to post any constructive critism.


  2. #2
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Kid, you have three years before you are going anywhere.

    My advice as a parent, grand parent, career educator and lifelong outdoorsman is that if you have an IQ of 140 you need to start applying yourself to your assigned task of getting an education and stop the "I'm good at everything but book work" retinue.

    Concentrate on your grades. Concentrate on getting into a good university. Concentrate on a career field that will pay you a small fortune, then buy a piece of wilderness and vacation there for 6 months out of the year.

    That way you can look foreword to being in the great outdoors while you are working and when you get to the great outdoors you can look foreword to having a flush commode when you return to civilization.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 05-08-2015 at 02:00 PM.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    I would add that maybe you should look at the trades. Nothing wrong with fixing or making stuff for a living. You could even look into the forest service or even the Mounties.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    With 3 years to go....things change very fast.....
    Try short camping trips, and collecting gear, and gain experience...with your people.

    Your parents are not you problem....they may even help you out if you let them know your desires and plans.
    Good luck.
    Check this out for lists and supplies.....

    http://survivalblog.com/letter_re_grub_and_gearlessons/

    Letter Re: Grub and Gear–Lessons Learned from an Alaskan Trapper
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    Good attitude. You can do this. You can walk away and make a living...

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    Kid, you have three years before you are going anywhere.

    My advice as a parent, grand parent, career educator and lifelong outdoorsman is that if you have an IQ of 140 you need to start applying yourself to your assigned task of getting an education and stop the "I'm good at everything but book work" retinue.

    Concentrate on your grades. Concentrate on getting into a good university. Concentrate on a career field that will pay you a small fortune, then buy a piece of wilderness and vacation there for 6 months out of the year.

    That way you can look foreword to being in the great outdoors while you are working and when you get to the great outdoors you can look foreword to having a flush commode when you return to civilization.
    I agree and would add this. Maybe think about getting a degree in wildlife management or forestry and get a career where you will be paid to work in the wilderness !
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Actually those careers are scarce, highly competitive and don't pay crap!

    The National Park Service actually operates mostly on volunteer labor and unpaid internships during the busy season.

    I know several doctors, dentists and lawyers that go on safari to Africa every two years or so. None of the wildlife biologists and foresters I have known were able to do more than scrape out a living.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

  8. #8

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    Depends on what you do kyrat. I've worked with a few wildlife photographers that make a decent living doing work for Nat Geo.
    There are over-winter or year round caretaker positions out there too. Not a lot of money but the solitude is there.
    But like you say, good paying jobs are few and far between. If you like it and can make enough to manage the lifestyle you want, go for it.

    To the OP, does one of those 5 people actually own land in the Canadian location you will be hunting and trapping? Do you have a license to carry that rifle and revolver in Canada? Do you know the hunting seasons of the animals you intend to harvest? There is very little land available that isn't owned by someone. Squatting in any sort of national forest is exceedingly frowned upon and subject to possible legal action.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowKey View Post
    To the OP, does one of those 5 people actually own land in the Canadian location you will be hunting and trapping? Do you have a license to carry that rifle and revolver in Canada? Do you know the hunting seasons of the animals you intend to harvest? There is very little land available that isn't owned by someone. Squatting in any sort of national forest is exceedingly frowned upon and subject to possible legal action.

    No one owns any land yet but we might pool some money to buy a small lot. There is actually a lot of land in ontario called crown land. 80% of ontario is crown land. Crown land is public land and can be used for various activities like hunting and camping. So finding owned land is not a problem. I do not have a license but do intend on getting one when i turn 18. I would need a PAL and a RPAL. Just a question out of curiosity; do you need a license to own a gun in the states? And does everyone carry a handgun on them when they go shopping and the like?

    To hunters post, I do go camping every year with my family for 2 weeks, we go on large canoe trips and hikes, and I also practice bushcraft in my backyard and a forest near where i live. Its hard to collect gear without people getting suspicious about where my money is disappearing to, but i'm trying.
    Last edited by Daniel G; 05-08-2015 at 10:57 PM.

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    Best thing you can take with is, like Kyrat suggests, an education. My suggestion, as far as that goes, is study something that could be useful in the north, be it northern ontario or anywhere else. actually building a home in the wilderness and sustaining it can be ungodly expensive. It's going to be a lot harder to build the kind of life you want to live without a good education, and one specifically that can lead to a good job (pro tip from a fellow ontarion..don't study history. Fascinating subject matter, no future in it). But there's nothing stopping you, once you're launched, from living in northern ontario, or northern quebec, or the territories. You could make a real contribution in one of those places, maybe earn a good living, and have that closeness to the wild that you crave. Doctor isn't actually a bad idea...they *need* doctors in the north. Teachers also, if you're at all interested in the territories, they always need good teachers, and a person who loves the land is a person who is likely to stick around and give the kids some consistency.


    Now, with regard to knowledge for the life you're dreaming of...there's no such thing as useless knowledge. It's good you are practicing bushcraft, that's a useful skill no matter what. how are you at cooking, and at carpentry? How's your math? Geometry in particular, but I use math more than I ever would have imagined in day to day life. Can you sew? cook? preserve food? Bake using sourdough?


    Also, what are you reading?

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  12. #12

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    I think you are going to find that even on "Crown Land" there are still restrictions and hunting seasons.
    http://www.ontario.ca/rural-and-nort...ing-crown-land
    http://www.ontario.ca/document/ontar...ations-summary

    No not everyone in the States carries firearms full time. There are Federal/state/town gun-free zones as well. And most states require some kind of license or at least that one be 18 and not have a criminal past. Just about any judgement before a court can disqualify you.
    Last edited by LowKey; 05-09-2015 at 07:46 AM.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
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    Hey, I admit I'm asking this for my own peace of mind as much as anything...but you boil water before drinking it, right? Like when you're camping, and if you do go off the grid at some point?


    Also, I had a thought....if you do a gap year, say, and that's not a bad idea if you aren't sure what to do with yourself (but you should still go to university. or college. if you find you have a specific kind of job or career in mind, and there's a college program for it, go to college. ) why not be a WWOOFer for a bit? Or try tree planting and see how you really like those northern ontario woods...I used to know a guy who spent every summer when he was at university with a shovel somewhere in the general vicinity of thunder bay. made pretty good money doing it.


    And in the interim, keep at your school work, and stick around here, because this is a good bunch of people we've got here, we talk about every topic under the sun, and we all know stuff about *something*, and are more than willing to share.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    You seem to like to make lists....kinda give substance to the dream.
    But you need to set hard goals.
    Just saying >Quote
    I really want to go off the grid when I'm finished highschool. I love being deep in the forest. I feel so happy when I'm out in the forest. I find that I am just not very happy being in the city. There is a small forested park about 15 km from my house and every sunday I bike there. I built a small lean-to and I shoot my slingshot and cross the river in my underwear, and track deer. I also like to sleep out in my backyard in a tent when I just can't stop thinking about how I'm stuck in the city< Quote
    .....isn't a goal, but a dream at this point.

    So for starters.......make a list.

    Many people subjected education, possible jobs, and ways of getting there.....To make a living.

    What are your goals for employment/making a living/getting by?
    What are you planning on living in?
    Food sources are limited in deep dark winter.....your asparagus and sunchokes are not a complete diet and available year around....what else do you plan on eating?

    Where are you planning to be in 5 years after you embark on this journey?

    Make your list....come back a review it in 6 months and see if it still valid.

    I have to say girls have a way of messing up your plans.....Thank God....LOL
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    yup girls or I should say a girl will mess a guys plans LOL. Did mine, twice.
    so the definition of a criminal is someone who breaks the law and you want me to believe that somehow more laws make less criminals?

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    Believe I was going to be living in a cabin myself by now, only when I was 23 I got to talking witha girl with a pretty face, the most beautiful hazel eyes and an incredible brain. All plans that didn't include her kind of went out the window in the space of a few weeks. I've no regrets. She's worth it

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    You weren't wearing your tin foil hat were you? I don't know what it is about wearing a tin foil hat but gals don't mess with your brain waves when it's on.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Wrong head....Rick....wrong head......
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
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    Member Wahoo Killer knives club....#27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel G View Post
    No one owns any land yet but we might pool some money to buy a small lot. There is actually a lot of land in ontario called crown land. 80% of ontario is crown land. Crown land is public land and can be used for various activities like hunting and camping. So finding owned land is not a problem. I do not have a license but do intend on getting one when i turn 18. I would need a PAL and a RPAL. Just a question out of curiosity; do you need a license to own a gun in the states? And does everyone carry a handgun on them when they go shopping and the like?

    To hunters post, I do go camping every year with my family for 2 weeks, we go on large canoe trips and hikes, and I also practice bushcraft in my backyard and a forest near where i live. Its hard to collect gear without people getting suspicious about where my money is disappearing to, but i'm trying.
    Why the need to hide it? "Hey dad, I have this money saved up for an XYZ and was thinking of buying this one. What do you think?" Sounds like your family understands the joys of the outdoors. Why would you buying outdoor gear be concerning to them?
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I am quite sure that if my son had informed me, when he was 15, that he had a few hundred dollars saved up to buy a piece of land I would have swatted him on the back and yelled "ATTABOY !!!".

    I am noticing a trend, among our young inquirers this year, which indicates a lack of trust in or care for the parental unit.

    I am not sure if this is normal teen age rebellion or stems from the parent repeatedly stealing the piggy bank.

    If my memory has not deteriorated too badly I think that my primary concern in life, at age 15, was access to a vehicle rather than ownership of property in the wilderness and escape from civilization.

    Fact is, I wanted the car so I would have unlimited access to the wilderness! First thing that went into the trunk of the car was camping gear and if I remember correctly my first full night out from under adult supervision involved the vehicle, a campfire and a small pup tent and occurred about a week after the drivers license was issued.

    I found that if I had vehicle access to all that public land (your Crown Land) there was no need to own a piece of it and live on it like a savage. In fact, going savage never occurred to me. My grandparents were still living with an outhouse in the back yard and it was no big accomplishment to be "off grid". We had spent a full generation trying to get everyone on the grid!

    I enjoyed camping beyond reason, but I still finished HS, got a BS degree, held a job, went to the Army for a while, married and had a nice little family. And I still managed to spend a reasonable amount of time out in the woods. For many years it was almost every weekend between May and November.

    And a word to the wise; most of the worst life changing decisions I made were between the ages of 15 and 21 (back then 21 was legal age, not 18) and involved trying to escape from parental control. I am now 65 years old and I am still paying the price for some of those bad decisions.

    Hind sight being 20-20 what should I have done???

    I should have marched myself down to the recruiting station and joined the Army/Navy/Airforce the day I graduated HS.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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