Les Stroud: Off the Grid

Thoreau said that if an emergency struck, a man should be able to leave his home with nothing more than the clothing on his back and feel like he left nothing behind. Self sufficiency is almost impossible to obtain in modern society. But wilderness survival expert Les Stroud proves that it can still be done.

This is not the story of hippie-communal-back-to-the-landers, this is the story of what it takes to live with alternative power sources now – to live with nature in this modern age. This is to be our permanent Walden; a life lived off the grid.

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  • http://rumbelow.org Billy

    This is a disappointing documentary in a number of ways. Although I admire the creator’s intentions, they go about doing their “off the grid” project in the most energy intensive methods they can think of. Helicopters, tractor trailers, and solar panels might be helpful, but right now, every human on the planet can’t do what this family does. I’d also critique their “ruffing it” attitude. So long as we view nature as an “other,” and something we are opposed to, we won’t understand what sustainability is.
    All this and they didn’t even plant some food. The Thoreau quote mentioned in the beginning was totally abandoned. All that said, I wish I had enough money to go off and do this like they did.

    • Guba.com dead

      He bought his way off the grid, spare no cost. Though I was no disappointed by the doc, it’s worth watching despite the disappointing consumerist means depicted.

      • Seanvout71

        you and Bill must have been watching some other documentary I see  by your comments the two of you are obsessed with MONEY.
        MAN VS WILD is for you.

  • manitou_mike

    I enjoyed this film quite a bit…but not without deep reservations.
    My opinion is the goals of this family are VERY admirable….but lacking in so many ways.
    That said…I can’t help but feel that this guy is nothing but an intelligent idiot (I agree that His/Her hearts and motivations are in the right place with respect to the environment).

    Dance classes and Hockey in the wilderness…?
    Get real…!! Where’s the sacrifice…?

    HELLO…?
    Contemplate the following….

    Multiple building projects with winter setting in..?
    (Just ONE COMPLETED STRUCTURE would have sufficed for the winter…and remember… they were commuting between TWO properties..? How nice).
    A simple $6K Yurt would have done wonders for comfort and space FOR YEARS…could have been their School house (or whatever) for many moons after completion.

    HELICOPTERS…?
    Heated Outhouse…?
    Prefab…?
    Boutique Saw Mill…Tractors?

    Clearly a lack of planning and foresight (starting construction in OCTOBER…? WTF…?)

    Folks…do the home work before you put yourself AND Family (not to mention wallet) through an ordeal like this…remember, divorce court is a simple filing fee away…!

    Further…If this Guy can’t even understand the “Spec’s” of his Solar installation (and the planning and lifestyle changes it WILL REQUIRE to live within the “Battery Bank” budget) well then- I can’t wait to see the problems down the road.

    In the end it’s his wallet that had to take the hit…most NEVER have that BUDGET nor luxury.

    Good thing he made a film…I’m certain that the 100+K (or more) spent on his “back to nature simple life” would never have occurred without deep pockets.
    I know folks who’ve do the same on less than 30K….so I do KNOW IT CAN BE DONE for far less.
    (150 acres…? Jeez…wouldn’t less be best..? 20 is at most more than enough).

    Suggestion to anyone attempting this as a “change”….just three words.
    SIMPLIFY…SIMPLIFY…SIMPLIFY…!!!

    In the end…I AM GLAD they got as far as they did….failure is not an option no matter your budget.
    Most would NEVER have succeeded without the money this couple had to make it happen.

    (By the way…I did rate this film a 8 of 10…because some of this Info. could save the next Idiot “City Slicker” a ton of money).

    Peace-Out.

    • Brettisonfire

      Do you have any idea who Les Stroud is?  He’s done more outdoor excursions  and done more for environmental awareness then I care to mention.  He is definitely no city slicker.  Check out Survivorman on OLN if you want to have a glimpse at your “city slicker” at work.

    • Seanvout71

      you should watch this again and get the facts right or JUST GO BACK TO WATCHING YOUR MAN VS WILD.

  • http:katiejohnsonwriter.com Katie Johnson

    Excellent film!Different people get to simplicity in different ways. This is one family’s journey to living off-the-grid. Snow, rain and problems galore make me grateful to live in a warm, sunny place that’s easy to get to. If I was dealing with the environment they were, I’d have used a lot of high tech solutions too. It’s good to see how someone else achieved their dream, in spite of the challenges facing them.

  • Pingback: Great documentary on building “off the grid” | Katie Johnson Writes()

  • Anonymous

    Man, if I had the dough to set myself up in a place rigged for self sufficiency, out in the bush, i’d do it in a heart beat.