Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

monkey for him


The house heats up really quickly with our new stove.DSCN3225

It isn’t a big house (900 square feet).

Wood supplies, stoves and heat are pretty important issues when you are living off grid… Neighbours would ask us what temperature we keep the house, and how fast it heats up and what temperature it goes down to if we leave the island for a few days… Lots and lots of temperature questions… We didn’t have a thermometer so would just shrug in response.

When it is cold we close the bedroom door to heat it faster. When it gets too warm, we open the bedroom door.. A pretty simple way of regulating the temperature in a two room house.

After our Christmas trip to town we returned to a very cold house.. We could see our breath.. In our naivety we invited the MR’s and A for dinner as the MR’s were leaving for Hawaii the next day. If we didn’t see them the night we got back we wouldn’t have a chance til April.. so we got back to the island after a two-week absence at 3  pm and had company coming at 5 for dinner…. The house was freezing… We built up the fire… we hoped they would come with their slippers as the floor was like ice…. our house sits on stilts on a cliff and there is a lot of cold air moving underneath our living room floor..

Our company knew better than us.. they arrived with their slippers, flannel lined jeans and fleece jackets… it was a wonderful night and by 7pm the house was toasty and warm ….

Our curiosity got the best of us and we bought a thermometer the next time we went to town.. It measures the temperature inside and out..

We have found that during the night we don’t need to keep the fire going. We like it cool in our bedroom at night and the house heats up so quickly in the morning it isn’t worth the effort to get out of bed in the middle of the night to add wood to the fire.

Now with a thermometer we can actually see what we are dealing with and I do find it interesting… It has been a mild winter and most mornings we wake up to the house temp at about 15 degrees. (celsius) and outside reading 5 degrees.  We lit the fire and now three hours later it reads 24 degrees inside.. that sounds too warm for an urban house but if I open the bedroom door now the whole house will settle in to about 21 degrees and that is comfortable.

I am making bread right now so I will wait an hour before I will open the bedroom door… if I am a little toasty right now it is the price I have to pay to have some nice warm bread come out of the oven this afternoon.

March seems to be the coldest month here that we have had so far. Last night was windy and the house felt really cold this morning. Colder than usual. It was handy to have the thermometer to look at. It read 12 and really felt colder than that..  Sammi was shivering and kept hiding under my blanket to stay warm… I thought maybe playing with him would warm him up faster. I got him running back and forth across the living room floor by throwing his

monkey for him

Author: Off Grid Islanders

We are a retired couple living on an off grid island on the West Coast

3 thoughts on “monkey for him

  1. Stove looks great! I can almost see, “Sam Magee” in the flames.

  2. wow. you went completely off-grid. that is something that we are working towards. we live in a tiny community in cape breton island – kind of in the middle of nowhere like you guys. i am so glad that He got a new lease on life and that you are living your dream together. i found you from another blog. you can click on my name if you want to read our story of leaving ottawa, all the bright lights and crap and moving out here. we love it. i will go back and read all of your other posts so that i can catch up. you are very inspiring!

    your friend,

    • Thank you

      Nice to meet you.. I look forward to reading your story and welcome you to read ours… We are on a small island just off of Ladysmith..
      I was on Cape Breton back in the 70’s and I remember it as a wonderful spot.. I remember sleeping on the hill outside a church under the sky with a bunch of university
      students in a french immersion program.. we sang all night…. what a wonderful place to live…

      talk soon

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