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Project Gridless's Most Popular Posts, 2014 and Prior

Below is a list of websites from 2014 and previous years that are the most popular. I am going to try and make an effort to make similar posts in the future, for 2015, 2016, etc - but only listing the popular posts from those years.

This post, being the first of its kind lists both 2014 posts and those years prior. They are listed in order, starting with the Most Popular.

25 Examples of Off the Grid Homes + Green Architecture - 2013.

How to find off the grid homes - 2012.

The Treehouse Idea - 2011.

How to Buy, Design and Build your own Shipping Container Home - 2014.

PVC Longbows and Double Limbed Bow - 2013.

8 Real Estate Websites that Specialize in Off The Grid Homes - 2014.

How to make your own Bowfishing Reel - 2014.

Making a Homemade Crossbow - 2014.

100th Post of Project Gridless - 2014.

Tillering and Staining my New Longbow - 2014.

As you can see by the order of popularity and the topics, the real estate topics relating to Green Homes, Sustainable Architecture, how to make your off grid home, etc, are the most popular posts. Coming in a close 2nd is posts about archery, bow making, bowfishing, etc.

One post which was surprisingly popular is the 100th Post of Project Gridless. I guess because it is an overview of previous posts, similar to this one.

The Heart of Robin Hood / Merry Survivalists?

"The Heart of Robin Hood" is a theatre production which is in Toronto at the
Royal Alexandra Theatre (260 King Street West) from December 23, 2014 - March 1, 2015. Ticket prices vary between $45 and $105.

History is full of theatre productions of Robin Hood and you can read up on the history of Robin Hood in theatre productions on Mirvish.com. Expect to see lots of archery, swordplay, swashbuckling and singing.

And possibly even some survivalism. I don't know. I haven't seen it yet, but I will be. The set production alone should be interesting judging from what I have seen on YouTube (see the video of the Robin Hood set from when it was in Manitoba).

Was Robin Hood and his Merry Men survivalists?

It is an interesting idea. A band of outlaws / highwaymen living in the woods, preying on the rich who pass by the roads nearby. Wood skills, archery skills and a dose of swashbuckling.

If you watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) the 'Merry Men' even build treehouses and bridges in the trees, effectively a village in the trees for their defense.

Sort of like the treehouses below.

Given time such a 'village in trees' might eventually look more like Lothlorien (the elven town from The Lord of the Rings).

But whatever. Robin Hood's knowledge of traps, hunting, ambushing targets and skill with a bow would give Rambo a challenge. (Or possibly beat Rambo easily. Who would win in a game of woodsman skills / fight.)

We leave you to decide whether Robin Hood should be considered to be a survivalist. If such a person ever existed.

Money Shuffling Companies and Unhappiness

I find great joy doing DIY projects. I get a great deal of fulfillment and happiness from building things with my own hands. Earlier today for example I put on some of the finishing touches on a new flatbow and then took it out to the garage to practice with it (and test its accuracy).

Years ago I worked at a series of what I call "money shuffling companies". They included a pension company, an insurance company, a stock portfolio brokerage and several other companies that don't actually build anything. Each of these jobs were very unfulfilling and regardless of how much money or paper I shuffled around working there, I never felt like I had accomplished anything.

Instead I developed the belief that I - and everyone else working there - was leeching off the rest of society. Syphoning off money as we shuffled the money around, performing a service that could and probably should be done by a computer program.

At least 90% of the work could be done by a computer program. Much of the work I did there was data entry (which could have been replaced by a scanner and a robot to feed the scanner), the sorting of files and folders onto shelves of records (which could have been replaced with digital records), the delivery of files (could be done by a robot with a bar code scanner), and the boxing up of old files (which should just be recycled thanks to the digital records).

The only staff member needed would be a robot repairman and people (lawyers, doctors, experts) that could not be replaced by a robot... Although to be honest, if we replaced lawyers with robot lawyers I think we would be making a great step towards real justice.

There were many other people working there that were likewise unnecessary. Accountants, human resources, management. All of these occupations would be made obsolete if most of the staff were replaced by computers. Accountants doing payroll for hundreds of employees? Not needed. HR for hiring new employees? Not needed. Management for twiddling their thumbs and firing employees? Extremely useless.

And middle management? Pffff!!!

So what would all the people put out of work by computers and robots do with themselves???

Farm, hunt, build things, science, build robots, become astronauts maybe, explore the laws of nature and the universe. Gain a sense of fulfillment by actually accomplishing things instead of just shuffling paper and money around. Imagine all the things society could accomplish if we wasted less time shuffling money and paper around.

Imagine for a moment if you wasted 35 years of your life working for an insurance company - knowing that your job could and should be replaced by a robot - and knowing the insurance companies primary employees are lawyers there to reduce the amount given to people who signed up for insurance. In other words, screwing over people the company rightfully owes money to.
And then one day the company fires you in favour of a younger employee who can be paid half as much.

Wouldn't you feel like you spent most of your life working for an greedy corporation that was solely motivated by money and had no interest in helping customers?

Having wasted your life, you would likely think back to past opportunities where you could have changed your life and found something you know would have been more fulfilling. It might have been paid less, it might have been hard work physically (building things often are), but you would have been happy, physically buff (a nice bonus), and have job security.

 Some people go through many years working in an office and dying of boredom and unhappiness. Such people often dream of giving up the city life, moving to the countryside to become farmers, adopting a nomadic lifestyle, buying a cabin up north - but many of these people never do because of fear, laziness or commitments they are unwilling to break. eg. Taking your spouse and kids and moving to a place far away in the wilderness seems like a huge risk when compared to staying in your comfort zone in the city and working in a concrete office building shuffling money around.

So my advice for those people who seek a life with more happiness and more of the great outdoors? Get a hobby that takes you outdoors. Canoeing, camping, archery, bowhunting, woodscraft, tracking, bird watching, dog sledding, etc. At least then you are only wasting X number of hours per week in an office place and you are finding your fulfillment in other ways.

Mankind wasn't meant to waste their lives away inside concrete blocks. We crave the outdoors. We crave the wind in our face, swimming in crystal blue lakes and the thrill of exploring the wilderness.

Bowhunting from a Treehouse

Bowhunters / archers pay attention.

Ever fallen or nearly fallen from a tree stand way up in the tree because you were cold and needed to climb down to get more coffee?

Or just fallen out of the tree for whatever reason, regardless of whether you were cold or if there was hot coffee involved?

Next time, instead of using a tree stand - build a treehouse instead!

Imagine sitting inside your treehouse. Relaxing. Safe from falls. Your coffee handy. Bowhunting magazines to read. Beer if that is what you prefer to drink. And windows from which you can look out as you wait for the deer to pass by.

Maybe even a balcony on which to stand and shoot at the deer.

Well then take a gander below at the collection of photos of bowhunting treehouses various other bowhunters have built over the years. It doesn't even have to be pretty. It just has to work. Obviously you would need to build this on your own property. That should go without saying.

How to bag Big Bucks during Deer Hunting Season

The following is a collection of hunting tips for people looking to bag "Big Bucks" during Deer Hunting Season. Follow these tips and you will have much better luck consistently harvesting large deer.

These tips are specifically for southern Ontario, encompassing everything south of Sudbury (including Manitoulin Island).

#1. Understand the different periods of the fall hunting season and how to hunt during that period: The October lull, pre-rut, rut, post-rut and late season.

The October Lull (the first 3 weeks of October) is the worst time to shoot big bucks. During that time period bucks live in a small core area and only travel about 200 and 300 yards each day. Chances of seeing bucks will either be at their bedding place or when they are travelling between the buck’s bedding and their food supply. But doing this without being noticed is next to impossible.

Your best chance for even seeing a buck during the October lull is to scout quietly, move during low light, hunt from bed to food or on food sources. Have quiet enter and exit strategies.

The Pre-Rut (the week before and after Halloween) a buck’s testosterone levels are peaking as they establish territory and dominance, with less focus on food. This is when hunters will begin to find antler scrapes on trees and “licking branches” above those scrapes.

During the Pre-Rut feel free to make as much noise as you want. Rattle and grunt even, crash through the brush and use your horn - basically act like a 250-pound buck. And don't be surprised if the bucks come looking for you.

The Rut (the remainder of November) is when bucks are solely focused on breeding. They start scraping trees less and are traveling 3 to 5 km per day searching for does to breed with.

Your best strategy during this time period is to find a doe, and then just follow the doe and eventually it will meet up with a buck. All day long your goal should be to either use aggressive tactics to cover more territory and/or choose tree stand sites with extremely good visibility.

The Post-Rut (very end of November to December 10) is a good time to bait the deer with corn, which is the deer’s food of choice this time of year as they want to build up fat before the snow falls.

The best strategy for the post-rut is to scout quietly, same as you would during the October Lull.

#2. Leave sanctuaries of land where you never hunt. These are segments of land, two to three acres, on hunting properties that you never, ever hunt on. The idea here is that it provides a place year after year for the deer to become attracted to - because deer live by their ears, eyes and nose and if you’ve been there, then the deer know about it.

#3. Use tree stands on a windy day to prevent your smell from scaring the deer away and always use a harness.

#4. On days when the wind is calm tree blinds are better.

#5. Scents do help, but they're not a necessity. Arguably scents are just a placebo for hunters who don't know how to scout and want the deer to come to them.

#6. Deer are colour blind. You don't need to wear camouflage. But you do need to wear something that breaks up your form so it appears as different shapes.

Of course all of this hinges on whether you get a buck tag in the draw. You will be using sometimes dramatically different hunting techniques if you are looking for does.

Bow Making with Ed Scott

The video below is of Ed Scott, an American bowyer who specializes in artisan bows - each one is individual and unique. He also teaches bow making skills, including Native American bow making skills.

Bow Making with Al Herrin, 1990

Al Herrin was a bow maker during the 1980s and 1990s.

I should note Herrin was an advocate of air dried wood and opposed to kiln dried wood. It should be noted that the concept that kiln dried wood is somehow inferior to air dried wood is actually just an urban myth. If you read chapter two of Volume Two of The Traditional Bowyer's Bible you will understand why it is an urban myth that kiln dried is inferior. (The reason is due to amateur bowmakers using kiln dried wood and breaking the bow during the tillering process - and then blaming the wood, when in reality the error was with the beginner bowyer who was clueless about how to make a bow. In scientific testing kiln dried wood is actually superior to air dried wood when it comes to bow making.)

Ignoring Al Herrin's perpetuating the urban myth, the video below is very handy for people looking to get into bow making. I also strongly recommend that people purchase The Traditional Bowyer's Bible volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4. Volume 1 is basically mandatory, but the other volumes are also extremely useful.

Seven Bizarre Houses

The following homes are examples of DIY projects you could do if you wanted to think "outside the box" when it comes to sustainable architecture / green homes. Many of these homes (including the airplane) were built on a tiny budget.

House on a Tiny Rock Island

Dumpster Home

Flintstones Home

Hobbit Home

Airplane House

Waterfall House

Glass House with many levels.

DIY Dental Care??? Crazy or Feasible?

I recently went to a dentist because I thought I had a chipped tooth but it turned out I just needed a deep cleaning. But the incident got me thinking about what could people do if they are living in the middle of nowhere and don't have access to a dentist.

(Incidentally, the dentist I went to was Archer Dental in Toronto - which according to multiple sources is the best dentist in Toronto.)

If you've ever read any website about DIY Dentistry (google it sometime if you don't know what I am talking about) what you will discover is that the people listing DIY things to do on your teeth are actually brain-dead.

No seriously. They're more than likely brain-dead.

How do I know? Horrible spelling. Grammar mistakes. Plus the kind of advice they were giving sounded like it had been written by a redneck with his two remaining braincells being rubbed together.

eg. One of the DIY Dentistry websites I looked at was claiming "making your own fake vampire teeth" to "putting a crown on your tooth" was basically the same thing. WOW.


I have to say it again. WOW!

Also let me explain what he was recommending putting inside your mouth. Fibreglass and a toxic epoxy. Fibreglass pieces as we all know is so tiny it gets under the skin and causes irritation. If it gets into your lungs it causes all sorts of problems. And this moron was suggesting that you stick fibreglass in your mouth - with a toxic epoxy as the glue!

HOLY **** WOW!

Then there was a different website claiming people could fix chipped teeth using Krazy glue - which is also toxic. The container even has a warning on it of what to do in case you swallow it.

I should point out that not all of this websites are written by braindead rednecks. I have even seen similar articles posted on more reputable websites - but at least they are limiting their advice to things like how to get rid of canker sores.

Want to have nice teeth?

#1. Get dental insurance - you don't have to get it through your workplace. Many insurance companies offer dental insurance for individuals.

#2. Find a nice dentist. I recommend Archer Dental in Toronto. But if you live in the boonies just find the nicest dentist that is nearby.

#3. Brush, floss and use mouthwash daily - brush/mouthwash 2 to 3 times daily, floss once per day, all three, every day.

#4. Eat healthy and your teeth will be happier.

#5. Avoid doing stupid things with your teeth. eg. Fibreglass and toxic chemicals is a bad idea.

Don't want to do these things and still think DIY dentistry is a good idea? Well then you are one crazy MF.

Well then you might as well start carving yourself a pair of wooden dentures now. DIY Dentistry at its Finest.

Bowmaking with Bamboo

I found this video about bowmaking with laminated bamboo very interesting.

Insulate your Cabin + Never run out of firewood

Want some quick tips on how to keep your cabin warmer in the winter?

Insulation Tip #1

Pile most of your firewood on the north side of your cabin, blocking the north wind from causing a wind chill effect on your cabin. The wood - even though it is outside - insulates your cabin from the wind chill coming from the north.

Insulation Tip #2

If you have tonnes (literally) of fire wood handy, you can also insulate other sides of your cabin. This effectively makes an insulating barrier and will keep the cabin warmer regardless of which direction the cold wind is coming from.

Insulation Tip #3

Cover your firewood with plastic tarps to keep them dry and weigh down the tarps with rocks or logs so they cannot blow away in the wind. The gaps between the firewood will then be dry air instead of getting wet or clogged with snow. This gives the dual effect of keeping your firewood nice and dry, but also prevents the wind from blowing through the gaps between the wood.

Insulation Tip #4

Fill in excess gaps around your cabin with additional wood. Under the stairs, around the foundation, under the porch, balcony, etc. You can even have fun with how you fill in the gap and make it more decorative, like the image below.

Insulation Tip #5.

You can even build additional structures on your property next to your cabin, creating additional wind breakers to prevent the wind from sucking all the heat out of your cabin. Such structures are also handy for storing non-essentials in - such as bicycles, canoe paddles, and anything which won't be damaged by the cold, but it would be nice to keep drier.

Insulation Tip #6

You can even make firewood fences around your cabin, creating a barrier that will keep out predators and scavengers - and simultaneously create more windbreaks that insulate your cabin.

All of these wind barriers around your cabin slow the wind down and allow your home to save on energy needs because the wind chill effect will be significantly reduced.

So where do you get all this firewood?

Well you can either buy it, cut down the trees yourself (with a chainsaw), or you can even get firewood for free on Craigslist or Kijiji - because sometimes people give it away for free, you just have to pick it up and remove it.

If you get really inventive you can even make mazes, ramps, archways, decorative fences - or even a house or castle. Not that those will insulate your cabin necessarily, but depending on how you use them I guess they could. Add a roof to the maze and suddenly it becomes an useful structure for storing things in.

Double Turkey Decapitation - Bowhunting for Turkeys

Want to see something pretty rare? How about a double decapitation of two turkeys with 1 arrow while bowhunting?

Fast forward to 8:40 to see the double decap.

Farming Livestock in the Wild

Want to know something interesting?

If you shoot a deer and have it butchered for the meat, that is hunting.

But if you raise a deer, feed it, pay for the vet bills, slaughter it and then have it butchered for the meat, that is livestock farming.

Basically it is the difference between hunting for your food and raising your food and taking it to the slaughterhouse.

Deer farms and also buffalo / bison farms are becoming more popular, not just in Ontario, but in North America in general. Demand for unusual meat is going up and that means the prices of venison and "beefalo" are going up.

There is no challenge to hunting deer or buffalo in a farm setting. The animals are so used to humans feeding them that have little or no fear of them.

The overhead costs of raising deer, feeding them, keeping them safe from predators (and poachers), veterinarian bills and so forth means that raising the animals for food is considerably more expensive than hunting, but with large numbers the livestock farmer can mitigate their investment and make good on them when it is time to take the meat to market. Making deals with local butchers / restaurants for the meat it will add more lucrative opportunities.

However if your goal is to raise the deer for your own consumption, then you really only need to worry about raising enough deer each year to cover your personal needs - and to keep X number of deer each year to be used for giving birth to a fresh crop of fawns.

I know I titled this post "Farming Livestock in the Wild", but what it really is about is "farming wild livestock", as opposed to traditional agricultural animals like chickens, pigs, goats and cattle.

How to Properly Pack a Backpack

Two things first.

One, if you're one of those over-confident jack***es out there who think they can do anything, you probably think you already know how to pack a backpack - and you would be wrong. I pity the fool who thinks he already knows everything.

Two, militaries around the world teach the proper way to pack a backpack - and it is extremely detailed. So pay attention because what you are about to learn could even save a life.

Some of the things you need to take into consideration are:

How to properly fit your pack.

Waterproofing your pack.

Weight Distribution.

Cummerbund (hip) strap.

Efficient use of space.

Logical packing strategy.

Packing Logistics.

"Negligent" Weight.

Necessities vs avoiding excess "stuff".

Remembering the essentials - map, compass, GPS, food, water, knife, multi-tool, etc.

Placement of tools / weapons in readily available locations - don't store something you might need in an hurry at the bottom of the pack.

And also...

How to put on a pack safely.

How to safely remove a pack on the trail.

And lastly, how you pack a backpack for a woman differs slightly from how to pack a backpack for a man.

How to Prepare your Kids for the Apocalypse

Call it the ultimate in mental time wasting if you want to, but preparing for some form of the Apocalypse (even though it will probably never happen - especially if your mental image of the Apocalypse includes zombies) can actually be a fun exercise and series of activities.

And by fun, I mean it is fun even for kids.

Lets start with the basics:

#1. Teach your kids how to fish. (Note: In Ontario, kids under a certain age don't need a fishing license to fish.)

#2. Teach your kids (when they reach a responsible age) how to make a campfire.

#3. Teach your kids how to cook the fish they caught.

#4. Teach your kids archery. (This will be a handy skill for bowhunting or bowfishing later when they get older.)

#5. Teach your kids how to tie knots. Don't have time? Sign your kids up for Boy Scouts / Girl Guides.

#6. Teach your kids basic woodworking skills.

#7. Teach your kids how to swim.

#8. Teach your kids how to climb trees and rocks.

#9. Encourage your kids to exercise every day. No excuses.

#10. Teach your kids how to conquer their fears by helping them to build confidence.

See my point? A lot of these activities can actually be quite fun.

Taking your kids camping and do all sorts of survival activities will help prepare them for many of the challenges they will face - both in life and during any hypothetical Apocalypse.

How to Haft a Flint Arrowhead to an Arrow Shaft

Similar to flintknapping (the skill of carving flint arrowheads and similar objects by chipping away at flint, obsidian, glass and similar materials) there is also the skill Hafting.

If you want to learn more about flintknapping read my post on Flintknapping Arrowheads made of Flint, Glass and Obsidian. If you are looking for How to Fletch an Arrow watch the video on Project Gridless' YouTube Channel.

Hafting is all about attaching a finished arrowhead to an arrow shaft.

Here is a simple 3-step breakdown of the process.

Step 1

Notch the arrow shaft a size that is close to the arrowhead you are attempting to haft.

Step 2

Use pitch (or a similar material) as a glue inside the notch to help affix the arrowhead to the shaft.

Step 3

Using soft deer sinew (or a similar material) wrap around the shaft, the notches in the arrowhead both horizontally and diagonally. (To soften deer sinew, chew or suck on it in your mouth for several minutes until you feel they are soft.) After you are done the deer sinew with harden and tighten up, holding the arrowhead in place.

Below is several videos which demonstrate various ways of how to haft an arrowhead.

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