Trail Blazing To The Cabin Is Complete
Have you ever dreamed of owning your own little slice of heaven on the planet and then molding it into the perfect retreat?
We found the perfect location to build our off the grid cabin! However, it was buried deep down a mountain side through 650ft of thick Canadian forest. As first time cabin/home builders we were excited to get the project under way but, we had no experience with using chain saws, blazing trails, designing or building a solar powered off grid cabin. If you’re new to our blog then welcome to living off the grid 101. We’re here to share with you every step of our adventure.
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Here’s Where We’re At So Far
At this point, we’ve created the basic plans for the cabin on paper, on a white board, build a miniature model and even created some digital floor plans. And we have the perfect piece of off grid land that is now bought and paid for.
You can see all previous posts here in our Building The Cabin section.
Video of the Old Access Trail
Before we marked the trees and started blazing the trail we were able to gain access to the build site through an old logging trail that led through multiple properties to get to ours. In this video I’ll speed walk you down through that old trail.
Here’s the INTERESTING PART… we actually brought ALL the materials for the cabin down through this trail either by hand or using the ATV and trailer we had to buy because the road didn’t get put in until AFTER the cabin was built![video_player type=”youtube” youtube_remove_logo=”Y” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20vd2F0Y2g/dj1rb0R2dV84Q2tERQ==[/video_player]
The Next Phase
We’ve just finished up blazing the access trail through a thick forest out in the middle of nowhere just to access our build site.
What an incredible feat. I have to give my wife huge props for all the hard work she put in helping me down the trees, attack it with the axe and pretty much maul every tree and shrub into submission. I think her favorite part was wielding the chain saw. I know it was mine!
We’d spent pretty much every waking hour blazing the 650ft trail for the road builder to follow down to the build site. It wasn’t enough to simply mark the trees and let him drive through the woods for one major reason, it’s too tight a squeeze in some places for an excavator to start pushing down trees left and right and not have him end up on someone else’s property. A good rule of thumb is…
When clearing property stay two feet from other people’s property line.
But of course BEFORE you start clearing your land find out the specific code(s) in your area. Every area is different and the 2ft rule is what’s in our books. Find your and stick to it.
The Property Layout
There is something incredible about carving out your own little piece of the world and honestly it’s one of the most rewarding achievements so far. When you can finally visualize and walk through the path you’ll be taking for the 40-50 years… it’s pretty inspiring.
The trail we’ve been blazing is roughly 650 ft long and it runs from the top of a small lane (at the very the top of section #3) all the way down to the bottom of section #1 where we’ll be building the grid cabin.
Trail Blazing Equipment We Used
When you’re taking on a task trail blazing there’s a few things I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
Proper Safety Equipment
- double layer leather gloves
- safety glasses
- steel toed boots
- ear plugs
- chain saw chaps (if you want to be EXTRA safe)
- first aid kit
- cell phone
Always use the right tool for the job. That includes safety equipment.
We first had the notion of clearing out the trail using manual hand-tools. That lasted an hour before we gave up. We wised up and got a chainsaw. It was my first time picking up a chain saw in fact. I did something most people might not do… I read the owners manual.
When you are using power tools do yourself a favor, if you aren’t familiar with the tool… READ THE OWNERS MANUAL.
I can’t stress enough that knowing your tools and practicing safety is critical. And more so when you’re off the grid and/alone. You’re out in the middle of nowhere and people aren’t just around the corner to help you out if you need it. A lot of the time you may be isolated and long distance from medical facilities and most times even people.
That’s part of the appeal to living off grid.
Our Favorite Tools That We Wouldn’t Be Without
When you’re taking on a task trail blazing there’s a few things I highly recommend.
Think safety first. When your out here blazing a trail alone using a chainsaw or even sharp hand tools you can never be too safe.
Wear the right protective clothing and gear!
For the larger trees and blazing the majority of the trail we used a Husqvarna 952802154 Chainsaw Model 240, 16-Inch
For the smaller saplings we used this Stanley – Hack Bow Saw 300Mm 12In
For the small brush we used the Fiskars Brush Axe
Trail Blazing Day 1
Here’s a short video of what was completed on day one.[video_player type=”youtube” youtube_remove_logo=”Y” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20vd2F0Y2g/dj1BLTNOMlR3eVU5SQ==[/video_player]
Trail Blazing Day 2
Here’s a short video of what was completed on day two.[video_player type=”youtube” youtube_remove_logo=”Y” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20vd2F0Y2g/dj1sQXBTS3FWbjdDaw==[/video_player]
The Trail Is Complete
A quick walk through after the trail blazing is finished.[video_player type=”youtube” youtube_remove_logo=”Y” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20vd2F0Y2g/dj1WSWZYYktMR01GNA==[/video_player]
Well, as this chapter of the adventure comes to a close it really just marks the beginning of it all.
Next up is “supposed” to be the road. Our road needs to be 14 ft wide in order to accommodate the building material delivery trucks as well as the excavator(s) and dump trucks that will be required to create the trail.
However, you’ll see that the road builder put us off for six months and we ended up having to buy that ATV a little early. We also needed to buy a small folding utility trailer in order to transport everything down to the build site through an old access trail. Unfortunately we won’t be using our newly blazed trail for some time!
YUP… life off the grid just got interesting to say the least!
We’ll cover the road building, materials, construction and cost in a later post.
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