Welcome to The Off Grid Cabin

Have you ever dreamed of building your own off grid cabin?

We did.

For a long… long time.

But we came about it in a very strange way.

A Little About Us

We’re your average run of the mill working class family living on the East Coast of Canada in Dartmouth. 

We do own a home in the city that’s on the grid and also have our off grid cabin that’s just a thirty minute drive from the house. 

My wife and I both worked full time jobs, or we did, and we’ve been here in Nova Scotia since 1993. 

Life changed drastically over the past year for us both.

If your interested, you can read the details about how cancer threw a wrench into everything and pretty much changed our lives forever on your about-us page.

I was a military helicopter pilot and now… I help others discover life off the grid. 

We’re not vacationers. We don’t travel the world. I did quite enough of that in the military.

We have no expensive hobbies or exclusive memberships anywhere. We do love the outdoors and are avid hikers. My wife is actually running an 100km trail run this year (2020). Crazy… I know! 

Why We Love Being Off Grid

We love the outdoors and the simplicity of a small tent, a camping stove, a wood fire, late night stargazing and the freedom of being away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

There’s something unappealing to me about living within ear shot of neighbors on all sides of you.

Surrounded on all sides by everyone else’s comings and goings.

This is one of the may things that led us to building off grid and away from society.

When I was leaving the military we began talking about how we might be able to escape the hustle and bustle at the drop of a hat any time of the year if we had some property and a small cabin of our own. 

That was the spark that set it all off.

We’ve since designed and built our 20 ft x 25 ft cabin, something we now teach others to do, and are continuously adding new and exciting projects to the build and sharing that as well.

Why Are We Sharing All This?

Honestly, it all started for two reasons

  1.  I could not for the life of me find all the information I needed to build an off grid cabin from start to finish.
  2. As a way to share photos of the build process with friends and family.

Now there’s a place right here!

This is your one stop shop to discover the truth behind what it takes to design, build and live in an off the grid  energy efficient solar powered cabin. 

Pin It Finger Image

Off The Grid Welcome for Pinterest

If One Thing’s True Its This

This will be a most epic adventure for those of who have the desire and the passion, or even just that raw curiosity to learn the complete in’s and out’s of designing, planning and building your own off the grid cabin.

The number of people who are joining the ranks of living a subsistence lifestyle is increasing daily and for good reason.

For some its a necessity.

While for others (like my family) we are doing it to reduce our carbon footprint, save money and help others discover a life off the grid.  

Even if it’s just part time!

What Is Living Off The Grid Anyway?

Well in short it means…

Living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

So, Why Would Someone Want To Live In An Off Grid Cabin?

Great question and honestly… we get asked that ALL the time.

Since the day we decided to share our off grid intentions, we’ve had friends & family, co-workers, people from around the world asking what it’s all about, how do we do it, where do we live, and… do you REALLY have a water-less toilet?

What in the blazes did I just read on Facebook that you and your family are building an off the grid cabin? Have you gone completely mad? i thought you were a military pilot! Are you broke or something? Does this mean your eating granola and doing yoga all day now? Hey wait…. can we still visit you? How do we find you in the mountains? What about this blogging thing you’re doing? Do you have electricity, a fridge, heat…?

Yup… we’ve caused quite the stir with our friends and family with this one.

We did a complete write up about off grid living here

The Off Grid Cabin in Sept

So Here’s The Deal With The “Rustic” Cabin

When we tell people we live in an off grid cabin some people imagine some shanty build. But in reality it’s a tiny house that’s structurally built to local code and is simply self sustaining.

  • We have solar for power.
  • A wood stove for heat.
  • A propane wall heater to heat the cabin while we’re not there.
  • An on demand propane hot water heater.
  • A water-less toilet
  • And we even have wireless Internet for our solar system, internet based thermometer and security cameras.

Not so “rustic” after all is it?

We’re Just Like You 

Like me, you may very well be growing tired of the ever increasing expenses that comes with modern day life.

Things like the monthly energy bill, water, heat (natural gas for us) and property taxes.  

Our daily desires have blanketed us with a never ending requirement to upgrade, have the next “new fancy thing”, buy the bigger, faster, better version of something we already own.

It’s a vicious cycle.

And it never seems to stop.

So, What Are You Sick Of?

Utility Bill Power Cord Cash

We seem to never stop paying an ever increasing fee for power, water, fuel, cable, phone, insurance, taxes… etc.

It all keeps going up and up and up!

Having an off grid cabin has helped us to off set a large portion of the fees, despite having a “second property”. 

There’s no reason to have two properties.

In fact, my wife is insisting we move to the cabin full time.

Income Off The Grid

Our site may be different than most other blogs you come across because for me this is now my “full time career”.

from the other off grid bloggers out there (yup there are others out there like us and I’ll be sharing the BEST of their stuff with you down the road) is that we’re sharing our complete build costs, the money we’re saving and yes… even the income we’re making by living off grid.

This whole “Off Grid Cabin” thing you see before you has now actually become my personal full time career and while it’s expensive to do, people are able to help us out (without paying a single dime) and that is actually helping us to pay the monthly fees to keep this site up and running.

If your interested, learn more about how you can help us out by simply doing your online Amazon shopping through our Amazon Storefront.

Military Helicopter Pilot Gets Cancer


So the short and skinny of it all goes a little like this…

I’ve been in the Canadian Military for 24 years. I  was a CH-124 Seaking Helicopter Pilot and LOVED my profession.

Following a 9.5 month deployment to the Gulf in 2012 I came home and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

My career came to a complete finish.

I was grounded permanently and released from the military.

I’ve learned more about my life and what I want out of it more in that time period than any other.

More importantly, I’ve learned what it really takes to live happy and healthy.

Steve Barnes off the grid in the sky

Thankfully, I’ve learned that I could still serve people and make a positive change in the world. Mostly through helping folks with information found on my blog.

So, What You Can Expect From Me?

We’re still working on the interior of the cabin getting everything just perfect.

We’ve got step-by-step photos and write ups of every phase of the build. 

I’m really going to do my best to give you ALL the info you’ll ever need

I’m also curating the best possible off the grid content and information from other sources around the world as well and I’ll be sharing it all with you.

I highly encourage you to share our website on social media as it really helps me to help more people and know I’m heading in the right direction. 

What’s Your Role?

You get to read, ask questions, share, learn, correct me when I’m wrong and like something if I’m doing it right 🙂

Go ahead and ask questions  when they come up.

You can always comment at the bottom of a blog post or you can send me an email directly using our contact us page.

Also, share with us your craziest off grid adventures, all your outdoor stories, send us photos of your off grid home or the one you would like to build.

I look forward to seeing you back here real soon.

We’ll keep the fire burning for you.


Steve Barnes Off Grid Cabin Sidebar Photo

Steve Barnes