Man Spends 6 Years Living Off-Grid with Rainwater & Solar in a Self-Built Cabin

Canadian Castaway has been living off-grid in his self-built cabin for 6 years now, and we sat down with him to find out what it’s like day-to-day, how much it cost him to build and live off the grid, and what he’s changed over the years to make his alternative lifestyle more comfortable and functional.

You can follow Canadian Castaway on YouTube and Instagram here:

He also has plans of his cabin for sale here:

Canadian Castaway lives in an 18′ x 22′ cabin with his girlfriend and his cat. It has a kitchen, living room, and bathroom on the main floor, and a movie-watching space, a home office, and a bedroom in a couple of lofts above.

His electricity is from two solar arrays that are set up in different spots on his land to maximize sun exposure, and the panels charge a pair of lithium batteries. He also has a generator for backup electricity, which he runs for about an hour a day during grey winter days to top up his batteries.

His heat comes from a wood stove and his hot water and cooktop run on propane, although he has installed an electric water heater for use on sunny days (when there’s extra solar power) so that he can reduce the amount of propane he uses.

He collects rainwater from the roof of the small house, and stores it in a 6,000-liter cistern in a shed. During summer months when there is plenty of rain, the tank is always full. During the winter, he goes for about 5 months without rain, so he has to ration the water (about 1000 liters per month). The tap water is filtered through a nylon filter to remove sediment, and the drinking water goes through a UV lamp filtration system.

He initially bought the land and built the cabin for approx. $64,000 CAD but that was done by taking a risk and building without a building permit. The building inspector has since required some upgrades that significantly increased the cost of the project, including putting in a road, putting in an engineered septic system, increasing the size of his cabin’s footprint to meet the minimum building code size, etc.

He initially wanted to build and live off-grid because it seemed cheaper, and with the cost of land being so low, the entire project cost less than what an empty lot costs now. But he does say that while he enjoys the feeling of being self-sufficient, it’s also very limiting because you can’t leave the home unattended. He might eventually plug into the grid if the power lines get closer to the point where it would be affordable to do so.

Thanks for watching!




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Music Credits: Exploring Alternatives

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Filming Credits: Exploring Alternatives

Additional clips provided by Canadian Castaway
(volthium battery and UV water filter)

#offgrid #offgridliving #cabintour

15 Replies to “Man Spends 6 Years Living Off-Grid with Rainwater & Solar in a Self-Built Cabin”

  1. I like it, but I'm not taking 2 or 3 showers a week. I shower every day. I also like washer/dryer in unit. My real issue is I leave my computer on 24/7. I edit video, photos, game, etc. Also, I'm not going to wake up in the middle of the night to put logs in.

  2. The owner is refreshingly honest about the challenges of being off-grid — very refreshing!

  3. I know there's the matter of having to melt snow to use it as water but I had to laugh when the video talks about tons of rain in the summer and none in the winter…when the cabin is literally hemmed in by feet and feet of snow as far as the eye can see. There must be some way to create a system to melt snow for water use…If not…I hope there will be soon cause "water water everywhere but not a drop to drink" should not be the case here.

  4. What a beautiful home, and property. This man has done a wonderful job. I’d live there forever

  5. Wow what an inspiring dude !!! The place is beautiful!!! Since they are young they should remain off grid and as they get older then they can plug into the grid. By then it would be cheaper and easily available!!!! Thier catto is really sweet too !!! Beautiful.cabin / life !!!

  6. Very practical guy. I lucked out and as a condition of sale the sellers provided a letter from Nova Scotia Power that the 25 yr old line already here would be renovated for use at closing. They tried to get out of it. Too bad, so sad. But, they are hardly a reliable source of power. It’s privatized and their lines arent maintained and outages last way too long. It’s a coal based grid as well.

  7. what a great looking home!! I love his transparency . Thank you so much! I hope for nothing but the best for him and his partner!

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