Welcome to Project Gridless!

Hello! Project Gridless is dedicated to off the grid living, foraging / hunting for food, traditional survivor skills and modern tips for off the grid living. To join Project Gridless and become a contributor email cardiotrek at gmail dot com.
Sign up for archery lessons in Toronto by visiting CardioTrek.ca

Learn more about archery in Toronto by visiting the Toronto Public Archery Range Facebook page
or by joining the Canadian Toxophilite Society.

The Beauty of Rabbit Hunting for the Off Grid Hunter

#1. Rabbits breed like rabbits. They are in zero danger of going extinct.

#2. Rabbits are pretty tasty. Good for making stew, hamburgers and the meat can be frozen, smoked, and saved for later.

#3. If you hunt them with blunt arrowheads you can also salvage the fur. The fur can then be used for a variety of items in your home and for making clothing.

#4. Getting a H2 bowhunting/falconry license is easier than getting a H1 rifle/bowhunting license because you can skip the PAL. Once you have your license small game like rabbits is more readily available then larger game animals like deer and moose, and not limited to such a short hunting season. Plus you don't need to purchase tags like you do for large game.

#5. While rabbits are small and challenging targets, that is actually part of the fun. Any decently skilled traditional bowhunter will be able to nail a rabbit at 20 yards or less pretty consistently.

A good way to practice rabbit hunting... set up a moving mobile archery target like the one in the video below. Rabbits don't like to sit still.

How to "Steal" Off the Grid Land in Ontario

Okay so let us pretend that you live in Toronto or Kitchener or wherever and you dream of leaving your current life and living off the grid somewhere - and eventually owning the land you are living on.

There are two routes.

Option A. Buy the land you are intending to live on, preferably someplace relatively remote so that is there no electricity or water/sewage and you have to rely on getting your own electricity and water (and managing your own sewage).

Option B. Squat on someone else's land, usually without them knowing you are living there. Basically you would be a homeless squatter, but there are laws concerning this and squatters do actually have rights which would allow you to eventually legally claim ownership of a chunk of land (without paying for it).

To accomplish this "theft of land" there are a number of hoops you need to jump through...

For the Squatter...

#1. You need to build a permanent building structure on the property, preferably still following some kind of standard for safe building methods (otherwise your property could be condemned for being unsafe).

This means you cannot be just parking a trailer home on the property, as that can be easily moved. You should aim to build something with a foundation - possibly even a basement.

The more things you build on the property - such as digging a well, a garage, laneway, walking paths, garden, decorative garden, whatever - further establishes your claim to the property. With each new build, you should document the date(s) they were built for record keeping purposes. You could do this with a Property Log Book and/or photographs / videos, and even record everything on a website online if you wished to.

#2. You need to build a fence around the edge of your property, or a fence bordering the property you will be severing your new property from.

The fence could be wood, barb wire, chain link - whatever works. It could even be mortared stone or a mix of materials.

Lets pretend you built your property in a chunk of forest at the back of some farmland - and, to keep a low profile, you chose farmland that doesn't have any houses or structures on it. You would then build the fence between the farmland itself at the edge of the forest. Possibly with a style of fence that would blend in with the forest itself and not be noticeable. eg. A barbwire fence could work quite well.

Note - The fence issue is a concern for regular property owners as well. Lets say you live in a town and your neighbour builds a fence on your property. If you don't protest the location of the fence, you can up losing that section of your property. You need to be certain the fence is built on their side of the property line, because if it infringes on your property then they can claim ownership of anything the fence touches.

#3. Document the building of the building / fence with photographs and video, so that you have proof that you built any structures and the fence - preferably with the date you built the fence on the video somehow (like the newspaper from the day) so you can prove when you built it also. Every time you build something you should document it. Using videos uploaded to a YouTube Channel would be excellent proof as each video has a date as to when it was uploaded.

Note - With respect to the newspaper you could make the claim you have been living there much longer, you just need a newspaper from years earlier that is in brand new condition. Many other records could then in theory be fraudulent using the wrong year and similar false info, however there is problems with attempting to do this - all it takes is one witness who knows you lived somewhere else during the fake time period to prove that you faked everything. One private investigator and one person from your past who hates you and your whole claim can be made to seem bogus. So the newspaper approach is tricky. You need to document everything perfectly, and as much as possible to establish a timeline of how long you were living there - and casting any doubt on the timeline could be problematic.

#4. Keep all of this a secret from the original property owner - it is possible you can still end up owning the property if someone discovers what you are doing and realizes you could end up invoking Squatters Rights, but you stand a much better chance if the property owner doesn't realize what you are doing until it is too late.

Note - To keep the structures a secret you could even camouflage them so that people passing by wouldn't necessarily notice there is a structure built there. You could also build underground, disguise the building as a hill by building up dirt on the outer walls, or even build a treehouse-like structure - because sometimes people forget to look up (in which case maybe don't make it so brightly lit like the treehouse on the right).

#5. Wait ten years and live on the property - and document living on the property - for the duration of those ten years. After ten years are done you can apply to legally own the property.

It is possible to do this sooner, but ideally it is easiest if 10 years has passed, you have been living on the property and jumped through all the hoops, and the original owner was completely unaware what you were planning until it was too late.

#6. You should read up and become an expert on Canadian and Ontario real estate laws - because this will be handy later for making sure you jumped through every hoop successfully. You will want to pay special attention to anything related to Squatters Rights (aka Adverse Possession).

In Ontario for example the law states you must have "open, notorious and continuous" possession of a section of the true owner's land for at least 10 uninterrupted years. This suggests that the owner is aware that you live there, and all your neighbours are aware you live there too. However there are ways around this:
  • The property is owned by a foreigner who rarely visits the property and might not be aware you are on their property. (Although it would be funny if you sent them xmas cards or penpal letters every year pretending to be their "neighbour", thus establishing that they know about you. Even better if they send xmas cards or penpal letters back, which you keep as evidence.)
  • The property is owned by a farmer who only uses the farmable section of the property and is either aware or not aware you are squatting there, and doesn't care enough to protest your presence.
  • A common method is to live on a property owned by a relative or friend for more than 10 years and they are aware you are living on their property and not charging you any rent.
#7. The property you are squatting on must not be registered as a Land Title. This is really important because Adverse Possession (aka Squatters Rights) is not permitted if the property has a land title attached to it. You need to own the title. eg. All properties in the Greater Toronto Area are registered as titles under the Land Title Act, so squatting on any property in Toronto or the broader region of the GTA would be useless.

Since the advent of the Land Titles Act many properties in Ontario have been converted to titles and are now protected from Adverse Possession. It is possible to still claim ownership of title land, but one would then have to prove that they were living on the property for 10 years BEFORE it was converted to a title.

In this way Squatters Rights is effectively a dying law in Ontario. So if you want to take advantage of it, you need to use it NOW before any land you attempt to squat on becomes title land.

Meanwhile the Property Owner...

#1. The property owner should immediately dismantle the fence as soon as they discover it and demand that you leave their property. They should also document that they did this and get a lawyer who specializes in real estate law. They cannot legally force you off their property however, as you do still have rights and should invoke them by claiming you now own the property behind the fence (and immediately repair any fence which is destroyed by the original owner).

#2. They should quickly start charging you rent for the property - however there is a trick to this, the moment you start paying the rent this means that you admit that the property is theirs and that you are just a renter. Do not fall for this trick. Refuse to pay the rent they are demanding and respond that you own the property - you want this to be solved in court, because you will be able to prove you lived on the property and built a fence on the property. The property owner will want to insist that you either pay rent or leave, but you need to keep squatting regardless of their legal threats.

#3. The property owner should sue the squatter for back rent - and to have them removed the property. The amount of money they are asking for doesn't really matter. They could be asking for $100 per month for X number of years, it doesn't matter. Their goal should be to get you to pay for it, which in turn proves that you admit that the property is legally theirs. However just because someone sues you for money doesn't mean you have to pay it. You can use delaying tactics when it comes to payment, and you should keep delaying until you can establish your squatters rights.

#4. Property owners should check the status of their property on a regular basis - not just to check for squatters, but also to check for anything potentially dangerous that could be a liability. Not doing this for 10 years means that they have essentially abandoned a section of their property and don't care about it.

#5. The Legal Expenses Battle - the property owner and you are both going to be incurring legal expenses during this ongoing battle and this becomes a battle of financial endurance. If you can establish you have been living on the property for 10 or more years your legal claim is much better and it will cost less, but if you haven't been on the property for very long it could end up being a very costly legal battle. Your goal has to be to make the legal battle short and cheap, and to outlast the property owner's willpower and financial wherewithal to continue the fight - and to make it past the 10 year mark as that will make everything easier. Thus you need to fight this battle until you get past the 10 year mark, at which point you will have won the battle.

Safety Note

It is known to happen that property owners might attempt to (and sometimes succeed) in murdering the person who was squatting on their property. Such a brazen theft could raise their anger to a point that your life could be in danger. You should establish safety protocols and take actions to ensure you don't deliberate provoke the original property owner to violent action.

More commonly it would be vandalism that is the result, but violence is known to happen. Vandalism of your property would actually help your case, especially if you have hidden security cameras documenting them committing a crime. The original owner can try to claim that they were destroying something on their own land, but legally they were still destroying your property so it still counts as vandalism.

Final Note

Going through this whole process is time consuming and could end up costing more money than you intended. It would arguably be easier, simpler, less time consuming and less of an headache to just buy a small parcel of off the grid land which has no water/electricity. Such properties can be found in northern Ontario for as little as $5000. Depending on the size of the property and their closeness to a major town or city they will end up costing more, but still likely in the $10,000 to $50,000 range - which makes them pretty affordable.

One thing to do is to buy a $5000 property, build something on it that a fellow off-gridder would like to live in (like a cabin with solar panels) and then sell the property for $10,000 or $20,000, etc. Then take that money and buy another empty plot of land and build something better than the first property, improving your skills, designs and methods along the way.

Bowfishing Spots in SW Ontario

So I have been trying to create a map for use by people who are into bowfishing in Ontario.

The trick to this is fishermen sometimes don't like to share their favourite fishing locations. Which is sad, because our chosen prey for bowfishing is CARP - an invasive species the Ontario government wants killed off.

Which means bowfishers should really be sharing this information so that we can help each other to eradicate carp. Below is a list of locations I recommend checking out:

  • Sixteen Mile Creek, near Oakville.
  • Guelph Lake Conservation Area, near Guelph. Especially near the dam bridge.
  • Conestogo Lake Conservation Area, near Dorking. Below the dam.
  • Listowel, river in the park east of the hospital.
  • Ayr, Ninth River.
So yeah, no map at present. But if you want to recommend places to go bowfishing please leave a comment below.

Why you should NEVER use a PVC Bow

Within the sport of archery there are people who make their own bows and their own arrows.

Such is the norm with many sports, there is always going to be a percentage of people who are unhappy with their options available and think one of the following things:

  • "I bet I could make my own equipment."
  • "I don't like what I am seeing, I think I could make something better myself."

Unfortunately with the first category, there is also a percentage of people who are, for lack of a better word, LAZY.

They don't want to do the work or learn how to tiller a bow properly. They just want to make a bow as fast as possible with as little using their brain as possible.

Looks like a bow. Works like a bow. Breaks like PVC shattering.
Enter the homemade PVC bow...

To illustrate this problem lets discuss the pros and cons of making and using PVC bows.

  1. Very cheap to make.
  2. Very quick and easy to make.
  1. Horribly inaccurate.
  2. Break easily.
  3. When they break, they shatter - possibly injuring the archer.
  4. Aesthetically ugly (if that matters to you).
  5. Very difficult to make a PVC bow that is over 40 lbs.
  6. The poundage of the bow weakens quickly over time.
  7. Sluggish arrow speed compared to normal bows.

Now lets not just take my word for it either. Here are some quotes from bowyers on Reddit who had tried making both PVC bows and wooden bows...

"Black locust is what I consider one of the three best bow woods and pwnd both PVC bows no matter what the design." - Huisme.

"With PVC you're pretty restricted to what you can cut out and then squish the remainder back together, but that naturally means the more stretchy material is going to bend in the area. With wood it's easy to make a narrow stiff area at the end of a bow like with a mollegabet to increase mass efficiency." - Huisme.

"It's like Russian roulette. Not always terrible, but always stressful, and at the end of the day it's probably best not to." - Unit712.

Basically with a PVC bow there is always going to be problems with it. It is inaccurate. It breaks easily.

And lets pretend for a moment someone was actually tempted to hunt with one. That means they need a minimum of 39.7 lbs for deer, or 48.5 lbs for elk/moose/black bear - and because PVC bows don't stay a constant poundage and become weaker very easily, the bow could end up being illegal to use for hunting if it becomes too weak to be able to make a kill.

Thus for a survivalist tool, a PVC bow is basically a hunk of junk. A kid's bow, and it should never be used by serious archers or bowhunters.

Part of the PVC problem is the emergence in recent years of so-called "Zombie Survivalist Clubs", fans of the TV show "The Walking Dead", who like to hang out and do various fun activities, talk about their favourite zombie movies / TV shows, etc.

And sometimes they make PVC bows that they believe would be useful during a Zombie Apocalypse, but would in reality would be utterly useless for hunting, during a zombie apocalypse, or even just a home invasion. Useless.

For the very simple reason that if your life is on the line, are you really going to trust your life that could break when you pull it back to shoot?

Zombie Survivalist Clubs are essentially people who are romanticizing the apocalypse. They not so secretly wish that it would happen because they think they could survive in that situation.

For example all you have to do is look at the group below from Toronto, Canada and you realize that Zombie Survivalist Clubs are basically a bunch of young Centennial/Millennial yuppies with too much time on their hands and are basically clueless.

"Oh look at us. We made PVC bows. We are so getting eaten by zombies."

 And what is worse is I almost never see these PVC zombie fanatics at the archery range practicing. Seriously, it is very rare to see them practicing. Which means that if they don't practice, then they guaranteed suck at shooting.

It would be like owning a rifle but never practicing with it or learning how to adjust the scope.

But they think because they own a PVC bow that they are suddenly awesome and don't need to practice. They hang their PVC bow on the wall next to their collection of beer bottles from Europe and whatever else Centennial/Millennial yuppies decorate their walls with.

In reality what they would be is easy pickings for anyone with:
  • A gun.
  • A sword and shield.
  • A baseball bat and garbage can lid as a shield.
  • A real bow.
Even modern compound bows wouldn't last that long in a situation involving wear and tear. It is an important aspect of compound bows that the risers are made typically of aluminum alloy or carbon fibre in an effort to save weight, but in a survival situation they could and would break easily. They don't make them like they used to... In contrast old compound bows from the 1970s and 1980s were made of steel and steel-alloy risers. Heavy. Durable. And many of those old compound bows still work today, which means they would be a better choice if someone wanted a "survivalist compound bow". At least a steel bow can take a fall and won't snap in two.

Now this doesn't mean that wooden bows are superior or are not breakable, simply that wood can take a fall, hit a rock, and doesn't break on impact.

During a life and death situation what people should be reaching for is a wood/fibreglass recurve. A nice sturdy one that presumably has already withstood the test of time.

Yes, they cost more - but they are so much more accurate and durable. And if a person is really serious about getting into bow making, they should start with wood. Don't even waste your time with PVC.

If a person has a modern compound bow, fine, but they should be careful to keep it in peak condition, never drop it, and never use it as a melee weapon because it is not meant for that - and doing so would dent the cams, at which point the compound bow would be useless once the cams get bent out of shape.

For any Zombie Survialists who read this, here is a movie tip for you. Stop watching zombie movies. Watch survival movies that are based on real life and not "romanticized zombie fantasy".

Maybe someday someone will make a gritty and realistic zombie film, but at present we are more likely to see "glitter zombies". eg. The 2013 film "Warm Bodies" is basically that, a glitter zombies film.

Is it so much to ask that Hollywood make more realistic and gritty survival films?

For example the 2013 film "Killing Season" stars Robert De Niro and John Travolta and has a good amount of archery in it, both longbows and compound bows. And is comparatively realistic.

More Gritty Survival Films Worth Watching:

The Grey

The Edge


New Compound Bow and my love of Vintage Compound Bows

On the right is a photo of my new compound bow:

It is a circa 1969-70 Black Hawk Chief Scout, 45 lbs, 50% let off.

So by "new" I mean I just purchased it three weeks ago and had it shipped to me. The bow itself is 46 years old.

It is my 2nd compound bow and also my 2nd Black Hawk bow, my first being a 1972 Black Hawk Avenger recurve.

One of the things I have discovered about Black Hawk is that they are very beautiful bows. The Avenger is downright exquisite.

This one here is by far one of the prettiest compound bows I have ever seen.

They're also a little tricky to date.

Fortunately I found this blog:


The site is dedicated towards dating and tracking the history of Black Hawk bows, which were made by the Cravotta Bros. in McKeesport Pennsylvania between 1951 to 1975. The website also tracks the prices of Black Hawk bows being sold on eBay, and other similar auction websites.

The Black Hawk company president James Cravotta died in 1969. Then the factory burnt down in either 1973 or 1974, hastening the company and its workers into early retirement. (It is unclear what year the factory burnt down, but given the relatively small number of bows that were made in 1974 and 1975, I am guessing it burnt down in 1973, and apparently it took two years to rebuild the factory during which they finished a number of orders and then probably decided to call it quits due to financial problems / lack of new orders.)

Around the same time Black Hawk closed up shop various other archery manufacturers were being bought up by other bigger manufacturers, so it was a sign of the times. eg. Damon Howatt died in 1965 and his company/brand was later sold to Martin Archery. Many of the bows made by the older "vintage" bow manufacturers are now considered collectors items and still shot by many an archer and bowhunter, as they are considered desirable.

Vintage Compounds hold a special place in my heart. They are often very beautiful and elegant to look at. Especially when they use wood.

Compare wooden compounds to modern compound contraptions which look like Darth Vader had sex with a robot jellyfish, and the modern compound bow was the result of that unholy union, and you realize that with wooden compounds beauty and function can co-exist in the same bow - without having the bow look like the unholy creation by a mad scientist.

Furthermore - to make matters worse - video games and movies then see modern compound bows, think that the weirder a bow looks is somehow better, and you end up with these ridiculous compound bows in video games that don't even make any sense at all.

Example: Just count the number of things you see wrong with the image below.

What we really need is for manufacturers to realize that there is a market for wooden compounds and start making new ones, to make compound bows beautiful again. Like the Black Hawk Warrior compound bow shown below.

Worth repeating.

Make Compound Bows Beautiful Again.

Black Hawk Warrior Wooden Compound


I even made a meme for this.

Deer Ribcage with Arrow Splint

In this photo below you see what happened when an arrow only injured a deer and it got away. The arrow broke a few ribs and later broke off, but the arrow was used as a splint and new bone grew around the shaft (see the Bear Razorhead).

The deer was later shot by someone else years later, and when the butcher discovered the broken arrow they made this rather bizarre piece.

From the angle it looks like the deer was shot from a tree stand up above. Clearly it was a bad angle and the bowhunter should have waited for a better angle in order to guarantee a killshot.

This is why it is important to get a killshot when hunting. If you only injure the deer, you need to track it and finish it off. Don't leave it to suffer for years.

Aiming is Useless, according to Funker Tactical

Thompson .50 Calibre Rifle
I am not big into guns. I learned how to shoot rifles at summer camp when I was 10-11, which includes the time my uncle Duncan handed me a .50 calibre rifle he was going moose hunting with. The scope bounced back and gave me a black eye, but I was only 1 inch off from the bullseye at a distance of 50 yards.

I also got hearing damage in my left ear from an incident when I was 12 when someone was shooting at me while I was trespassing. The shooter was NOT the owner. Long story. After that incident I generally stayed away from guns.

Back in the early 2000s I got into airsoft guns and pellet guns, mostly because I had a girlfriend who was into such things. That interest later dwindled. I have a box of old pellet guns somewhere that I never use.

All of this pales in comparison to my love of archery and bowhunting. Still, for the purposes of hunting, rifles certainly have their uses.

What I find fascinating about rifle and handgun shooting is how horribly inaccurate they are. I have seen people shooting many times and I am always amazed how many people are really horrible shots. They couldn't hit a pop can at 60 feet to save their life - and yet I can do that with a bow easily and consistently.

This tells me several things.

#1. People need to practice shooting a lot to get good at it.

#2. People are making a lot of amateur mistakes when shooting.

#3. Some people never learn how to shoot properly.

Earlier today I was browsing YouTube when I came across the following video, which was thoroughly educational - and made me realize that I already correctly do the three things he mentions in the video.

Which made me feel good about myself, because it means I am an above average shot - certainly in comparison to some people who apparently are completely clueless.

It also brought back good memories of summer camp and my uncle Duncan teaching me how to shoot, to which I must conclude that they did a good job teaching me. My experience with archery also teaches me patience, attention to form and detail, which doubtlessly improves my form and accuracy when shooting rifles too.

Regardless, for those people who are learning how to shoot / hunt with rifles, this is certainly a good video. In the demo he is demonstrating using a handgun, but the principles discussed still hold importance with rifles, crossbows, etc.

Aiming is Useless - Funker Tactical

Profitable Solar Power, Here to Stay

In recent years you may have read headlines like:

"How to Profit from Solar Energy"

"How can electricity from solar energy be profitable?"

"How to sell Solar Power and make Money."

"How to invest in the Solar Industry."

"So How Quickly Can We Shift to Solar?"

"Top 6 Things You Didn't Know About Solar Energy"

"Solar Energy Jobs Outpace U.S. Economy"


If you are seeing these headlines or similar headlines, you will understand that isn't just a trend anymore. It has happened. Solar power is now profitable. What it really comes down to is several things...

#1. Solar panels are a lot cheaper than they used to be. The price of photovoltaics have dropped 40% in the last 2 years alone.

#2. Solar panels are significantly more efficient than they used to be.

#3. Solar technology in general has come a long way during the last 50 years.

If you are a James Bond fan like myself, then you should know that solar power was a big theme in the 1974 film "The Man with the Golden Gun".

Ignoring the fact that it was a villain showing off his solar power and that in 1974 the idea of a super efficient photovoltaic (or Solex as they called it in the film) was basically science fiction back then - and so valuable it was worth killing people for it. Today, efficient photovoltaics are a science fact. They are more efficient, they cost significantly less, and nobody is going to be killing people over a bit of technology that will be obsolete in two years when someone invents a more efficient photovoltaic.

For the Off Gridders however, more affordable solar power means they have more options for how to get solar power in their off grid home.

So lets see what one website now charges for such an installation?

Back in 2013 pricing for installing a solar power system for your home would cost:

"At today’s pricing [June 2013], a solar system would typically cost you anywhere from $20,000 – $40,000 in Ontario depending on the size of the system (40k for a 10 kW system and 20K for a 4.5 kW system)."

So now that it is January 2017, and the price of photovoltaics have dropped 40%, shouldn't we see a significant drop in the price?

Yes, but the price of the manpower to install it has probably stayed the same. Much of what you are paying for during an installation is a bunch of men showing up at your home, climbing all over your roof and installing the solar panels.

In Ontario you need all of the following and each of these things comes with a price.

  1. Solar Panels (which is the only thing that is now cheaper)
  2. Rails & Flashing units
  3. Inverter(s) & monitoring
  4. Permits (varies per jurisdiction)
  5. Design
  6. Complete system wiring, disconnects & sub panels
  7. Engineering (if required)
  8. Labour
  9. Electrical
  10. Assistance with OPA & Ontario Hydro paperwork (if you intend to sell power back into the grid)
  11. Squirrel Guard
However in theory if you did most of the labour and other aspects yourself, a real DIY project, then you really just need the solar panels, an electrician, the permits, etc.

If you do end up selling power back into the grid, with a 10 kW system you are expected to make $4,000+ per year for a period of 20 years or more. The more basic 4.5 kW system is for people who want to be self-sufficient, don't think they need the extra energy, and are not intending on selling energy back into the grid.

So the 10 kW system really seems pretty obvious when you think about it. The system pays for itself in approx. 8 to 10 years, plus you save money from not having to pay for electricity for all that time.

Lets do the math... My wife and I currently spend over $800 per year on our electricity, so saving $16,000 over a 20 year period, while getting paid $4000 per year over 20 years...

Minus $40,000 for installation (2013 prices).
Plus $16,000 in savings.
Plus $80,000+ in revenue.
Profit of $56,000.

So yeah. More than doubles our money in 20 years, all while providing electricity we use anyway. This is definitely going on our To Do List when we buy our first home.

In Ontario there are now Solar Panel Investment companies which buy up land which isn't being used for anything else, build a solar farm with as many large solar panels they can fit onto the property, and then reap the profits over the long term. With the low interest rates for borrowing money, investing in solar power right now is ridiculously profitable. Companies can basically borrow the money, and then pay the interest for the loan using the profits from the solar farm, pay any land taxes, pay the government their share because of income taxes, and voila, they still walk away with a sizable profit.

In July 2015 the Canadian Solar Industries Association released an estimate that was commented on in the Globe and Mail:

"Within five years Ontario homeowners could save enough money by putting solar panels on their roofs that they won’t need any [government] subsidy to make installation worthwhile.

[T]he plunging costs of solar equipment, combined with rising overall electricity costs, will put the two in balance by 2020.

Currently, many Ontario homeowners are installing solar panels, but the incentive is a provincial program that pays them high rates for the electricity they generate – considerably above market prices."

And then there is wind turbines and wind farms, which are even more profitable and cost efficient than solar power. It pisses off the NIMBYs, but frankly their opinions rank up there with conspiracy theorists who think cellphones cause cancer.

You see I can remember a time when solar panels were a joke. That only hippies used solar panels. But today farmers (who are often the salt of the earth, Conservative types) are installing wind turbines and solar panels because they have realized it is a smart investment and uses non-arable land that they would otherwise not be using. So if the farmers are doing it, it must be profitable.

Conclusion: Solar Power is Profitable.

And it is here to stay. It will only get more and more profitable as the years go by.

Which means for people looking to power their off grid home the future is a bright one, where solar power and wind power gets cheaper and more affordable - and the dream of being off the grid is that much closer because it isn't a dream anymore. It isn't science fiction. It is affordable and profitable NOW. So why delay and procrastinate? Do you like getting ripped off by Ontario Hydro and their ever increasing bills? No? Well then hurry up and get solar panels and a wind turbine already you silly stubborn mule.

Cleaning your Clothes Off the Grid

I saw the video below posted on Facebook and then decided to share it here. The Drumi is an Off Grid Foot Powered Washing Machine for your clothes. (Although they should totally make a version for washing dishes too.)

The Drumi is available for sale via http://www.yirego.com/drumi

However if you were expecting it to be super cheap, think again. It is $265 CDN. Or $239 USD.

So that does seem awfully expensive at first glance. Certainly there are other ways to clean your clothes off the grid that cost less $$$?

So how does the Drumi compare with a more old fashioned version of a washing machine, the old washboard and wringer?

How to use a Washboard:

And the Pioneer Version:

You will note in the Pioneer Version that he doesn't use the soap directly on the clothes and just sort of sprinkles it on the water/clothes instead. I recommend using the method mentioned in the first video, which is putting the soap directly on the clothes so you are not wasting soap.

I saw other videos on this subject, but opted not to use them as I felt they didn't do that good of a job and were sometimes overly long-winded videos.

So how does that compare to the Drumi up above?

Well, I found a package deal on http://www.bestdryingrack.com/hand-wringer-washer.html which sells everything you see below (except for water and soap) for lumpsum of $439 USD. (Which means the Drumi is actually cheaper.) The one below is pretty fancy however. In theory you should be able to find an old used washboard and a wringer for significantly less.

Washboard and Wringer Package Set

Tips for Selling Bows on eBay

Awhile back in 2015 I posted about buying antique longbows and recurves.

In 2016 I purchased several more bows via eBay. Some more antiques, including a wooden compound bow, a Bear Grizzly Static, and an Archery Craft Toronto flatbow.

One of the things I noticed while browsing bows is that some sellers do a really horrible job at taking photos of the bow, describing it, and it consequently discourages people from bidding on a bow due to lack of information / lack of quality photos.

Thus, here are some tips for anyone looking to sell a bow on eBay (or other websites).

#1. Accurately describe the bow.
  • Year of manufacture.
  • Manufacturer
  • Model type + any numbers.
  • What condition the bow is in. eg. "Shoots like new, just a few scratches."
 #2. If you don't know, admit that you don't know.

Even better if you do some research and say something like "I think it from the early 1970s, but I cannot be certain."  At least then you are being honest while still providing the potential buyer with needed information. If they want to narrow it down with their own research, that is up to them.

#3. Photos, Photos and High Resolution Photos

Don't forget to show the bow's vital stats.
If you plan to sell a bow on eBay you really need lots of photos. The more the merrier.

  • High resolution.
  • Use something that makes a good background so it easier to see details.
  • Front and back of both tips.
  • Front and back of both limbs.
  • Front, back, and 2 side views of the riser.
  • 4 views of the entire bow from different angles, including one which shows the bow's stats.

16 photos total. Minimum.

On eBay 16 photos is basically the bare minimum if you want a good price. Bows that don't have all the above and/or poor resolution don't sell for much because people refuse to bid on bows where they cannot see the details.

#4. Describe any problems with the bow.

Be honest and list any cracks, major scratches or problems with the bow (eg. Twisted limbs). People get points for honesty and even a bow with problems can still be sold to a collector who just wants it for wall decor.

If you hide any faults with the bow the buyer may demand their money back and return it, so it is best to be honest from the beginning. Otherwise you could end up losing money on shipping and not actually sell the bow.

#5. Do NOT add extra keywords. That only annoys people.

Some people on eBay describe a bow by adding extra keywords like recurve, compound, hunting, longbow, etc to describe a horrible bow that they are just trying to get attention for. It is super annoying when you as a buyer is looking for a particular topic and some jerkoff has flooded the search results with cheap bows made in China that don't even accurately describe the bows they are selling.

Super annoying.

#6. Mention anything else you are including with the bow as a "package deal".

So if it is coming with arrows, a sight, bowstring, spare bowstring, any extra goodies make a list of everything that is coming with it.

#7. Find out the shipping costs for all parts of the region you are willing to ship to.

So for example, if you are only shipping to people within North America, confirm the cost of shipping your bow within that region. Then list the cost on eBay. If the cost varies, mention that the cost may vary based on location, but include a range to range estimate of the cost.

Note - If the shipping cost is ridiculous, many people will refuse to bid at all. So shop around for a good courier which offers a decent rate. Browse eBay to sell what other sellers are using for couriers and this will give you a better idea of who has the best prices for shipping.

#8. Set a reasonable starting first bid price.

eBay is an auction website after all. You need people to bid on an item by being interested in its potential price. The more people who get interested, the more likely they are to have a bidding war.

The price of a particular item, if there are multiple bidders, can skyrocket suddenly in the last half hour. Especially the last minute as many bidders will try to outbid each other and swoop in during the last minute to claim an item.

But that will never happen if the original minimum bid is too high. Too high = no bidders = your item doesn't get sold.

A good way to guess a good starting bid is compare what other archers will say they bought a bow for at a garage sale. If they bought a bow similar to yours at a garage sale for $60, then that is a good starting price for bidding.

#9. There is always the Buy It Now and Best Offer options.

Another thing eBay has is an option for sellers to list a Buy It Now price.

Eg. $200 or best offer.

That means people can still bid on the item, but it has a maximum price. If someone really wants it badly, they can click Buy It Now and just pay the full price.

Or if the seller selects a particular setting which allows for Best Offers, buyers can submit a best offer price, which the seller can then choose to accept or reject.

This way if you want to guarantee your bow gets sold for a minimum price, you can list your ideal price and if anyone gives you a good offer that you like then you can choose to sell it for the lesser amount.

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