Trail Blazing To The Cabin Build Site 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 did and we also found the perfect piece of land to build our off the grid cabin on.
The only problem was it buried deep down a mountain side through 650ft of thick Canadian forest.
As first time off grid home builders we were excited to get going but we had little to no experience with marking out property lines, finding land markers, or blazing a trail.
You can go and see how we got started with the trail blazing here in case you missed it.
Even before that was finding and buying our property.
To see where we got started with buying the land head on over and discover how we bought our off grid land for half price.
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We’ve just finished up blazing the access trail through a thick forest by hand.
But before we show you that here’s a walk through of the old access trail we had to use in order to access our property.
This trail runs through other properties that are still for sale and it’s the reason we simply didn’t build a road along this existing path.
I have to give my wife huge props for all the hard work she put in helping me down the trees, go full Paul Bunyan with an axe and maul every small sapling and shrub into submission.
We’d spent pretty much every waking hour blazing the 650ft trail for the road builder to follow down to the build site.
Why Blaze By Hand?
You might be wondering why we didn’t just let him drive the excavator through the woods along a bunch of marked trees and build the road right then and there.
Well, our property shape is quite irregular and there are some sections that are barely wide enough for an excavator, a road and not to mention downed trees.
When the excavator puts in a road they don’t simply push down trees and smooth out a road as they roll backwards to the start of the road. They have to actually clean the trees, pile them up as several places, and drive beside the road they are building.
Hence the reason we needed to be extra careful where the excavator operator was driving on our irregularly shaped property.
We obviously can’t go onto other properties, even if they are thickly forested areas that may never see a person.
A good rule of thumb is…
When clearing your property be sure to stay a minimum of two feet away from other the adjacent property line. This includes trees falling onto other properties.
But of course BEFORE you start clearing your land find out the specific code(s) in your area.
Every area is different and the 2 foot property line rule is what applies to us here.
Our Irregular 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
Proper Safety Equipment
- double layer leather gloves
- safety glasses
- steel toed boots
- ear protection
- 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.
As you saw in our first trail blazing post we first had the notion of 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 chainsaw in fact.
I did something most people might not do… I read the owner’s manual.
When you are using power tools do yourself a favor, if you aren’t familiar with the tool read the owner’s 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.
For the larger trees and blazing the majority of the trail we used this 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.
Trail Blazing Day 2
Here’s a short video of what was completed on day two.
The Trail Is Complete
A quick walk through after the trail blazing is finished.
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 build our road the trail.
However, what we didn’t see coming was the road builder had to put us off for six months!
What we didn’t know was that there are certain weight restrictions on the roads that go to our property during the winter. Most heavy trucks and equipment are not allowed (by law) on certain municipal roads in the winter. We had to wait until spring before the roads would “harder up” enough to allow our road builder to bring out his equipment.
We ended up having to buy that ATV that we planned on using to plow the snow off our roadway a little early.
We also needed to buy a small folding utility trailer in order to transport all our building materials down to the build site through that old access trail in the first video at the top.
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 an upcoming post to stay tuned.
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