Tired of the work grind and eager to slow down and live a more sustainable lifestyle, a Canadian filmmaker decided to build an off-grid cabin from scratch — without any prior building experience. Fortunately, his friends and family helped him design and build his cozy micro-cabin in the remote Canadian forest for just CA$65,000 (approximately $50,000). Powered with solar energy and engineered to harvest and store 3,000 liters of rainwater, the off-grid abode is now the filmmaker and his girlfriend’s full-time home, where they embrace slow living and share their experiences on Instagram @canadiancastaway.
Located atop a cliff in an untamed forest, the Canadian Castaway home took about three years to complete due to lack of road access and the difficulty of bringing building materials to the site. The micro-cabin measures 18 feet by 22 feet and comprises a main floor with a combined living and dining area with a wood-burning stove, a kitchen with a propane two-burner cooktop and 110-volt fridge, and a bathroom with a sink and a bath (the composting toilet is located in a freestanding unit outside). The cabin also has two lofts, one for the bedroom and the other that serves as a workspace and secondary living space.
To make the home operate off-grid and generate enough power for the filmmaker’s workstation and satellite internet service, a 1,300-watt solar system was installed and connected to four 550-amp-per-hour deep-cycle batteries. The home is also hooked up to a backup generator.
Since there is no well, three 1,000-liter tanks are used to store collected rainwater from the roof. Potable water is sourced from a nearby spring. In addition to a wood-burning stove, the cabin stays cozy in winter thanks to thick insulation. The total cost of the project — including the price of land and the solar system — was CA$65,000.
Images via Canadian Castaway