Best place in British Columbia to live off the land

8:10 p.m. on February 21, 2006 (EST)
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I am sick of chemicals in everything I eat and breathe and Im tired of society. Im planning to move to the bush where i can live in a treehouse and simply hunt , bird watch and fish all day. I dont plan to carry a gun (dont have license dont wanna get one). I would just like to know the best place in British Columbia to do this. Water is the main problem but Im not really experienced so I dont know.

8:27 p.m. on February 21, 2006 (EST)
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I think we just went through this, but, I will give the short answer just for fun. Unless, you are currently a Canadian citizen or legal landed immigrant, you CANNOT just move to British Columbia and live where you please. We have immigration regulations (not nearly strict enough) and you must meet these BEFORE you can live in any part of Canada.

You cannot ...live off the land...here, the fisheries, both aquatic and marine, are very tightly regulated as is hunting for ANY animal. The climate is wet, very cold and harsh, people frequently die of hypothermia on hiking trips in the most mild parts of B.C. and the winters in the interior will kill you, very dam quickly.

I am a member of a pioneer B.C. family, grew up in the wilderness of the Kootenays, have 50 years of backcountry experience here and have lived in the most remote wilderness areas of this Province, alone, for months at a time. However, this was as an employee of the Provincial Government in resource management agencies with some logistical support and in the warmer half of the year. I have lived in mountain tents, in the winter, for up to six weeks at a time in the bush and this takes experience, skill and a certain type of personality, it is NOT for novices from urban areas in foreign countries.

All of this is simply to advise you that your dreams are an unworkable fantasy and you should change your goals. By all means, come and visit us, but, living in the bush here is NOT particularly pleasant or even legal.....there are dam good reasons why most Canadians live along the border with the U.S.A. Just for example, have you ever been alone for weeks when it is -40F and the nearest human is 50+ miles away AND you have no communications OR vehicular/aerial transport....I have and it ain't always fun. Forget it and go backpacking to lessen your troubles!

3:52 a.m. on February 22, 2006 (EST)
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I live in Surrey, man. I was born in Canada. I just want to know the best place to do it.

4:10 a.m. on February 22, 2006 (EST)
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What is kutenay's problem? Nobody asked him about about how hard it is. It is obviously hard because nobody does it. I have lived in the bush in Penticton and on Vancouver Island and it was the happiest time of my life except the lonliness fresh water was my only problem. Can somebody just tell me something good. I have a harder time living in the city the bush ANYDAY!

8:11 a.m. on February 22, 2006 (EST)
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I was simply trying to help someone avoid a potentially dangerous and possibily illegal situation, I had no idea where you live. Given your last post, I think that your admission of inexperience/lack of knowledge should be a signal to you concerning your suitability for this "project",but, I do not want to impose my "problem" on you any further, so, will refrain from further comment.

10:12 p.m. on March 22, 2006 (EST)

Okay to live of the land you first must consider a wide assortment of varibles and factors. To start the fellow with 50 years experience is right in that you don't want to just jump into this head first you Have to do your homework on the very particular location you chose to do this in. you need to understand animal behavior and thier feeding and travel patterns need to be willing to eat things like bugs in do or die situations and must be versed in edible wild plants. Its worse on the mind then the body if your not ready to handle what might seem like harsh facts you cannot surviv as well as you need to be able to caculate and handle life or death situations on a day to day basis as life and remember life and death closey co-exist in the wilderness and that you have to remember this natural order will treat you indifferent. As for the laws I understand and accept that they do exist, I don't agree with them because I think that if you are a canadian HECK even a creature of earth for that matter then it is your every right to live the way nature intended its creatures to live in the wild as they have since the dawning of earthly existence and besides the whole point of "leaving it all behind or quiting the rat race as they say" is to basicly become one with you self and do as you chose without an unseen hand guiding you or outlaying the choices thet think you have to make. If you want to do it just do your homework and remember what I said its all in the mind if you can handle it you should do just fine and lol I might just run into you out in the mountains someday as I've got quit simmilar plans.

12:19 p.m. on March 23, 2006 (EST)
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to live off the land

Kutenay has a lot of experience in the part of Canada you are asking about, so I would consider his advice very carefully. Your comments are rather inconsistent and self-contradictory. You say on the one hand that you have little experience, yet you claim to have spent time wandering around Vancouver Island. You say you only had a problem with fresh water, yet Vancouver Island's wilderness areas have lots of sources of fresh, potable water. I guess I would say that you probably have just enough knowledge to be really dangerous.

A book you should read before heading into the "survivalist" mode is one of Jon Krakauer's early books, "Into The Wild" (no, not Into the Void). It retraces the experiences of a young (in his 20s) man who headed into Alaska with much the goal you state. He did reasonably well for a few years, until he made a fatal mistake. One of the edible plants he was depending on turns out to be edible only during certain seasons and only certain parts of the plant, but is extremely toxic during other seasons. There are lots of plants like this (same plant is found in BC, by the way). You should become very well educated in the plants, their seasons, and their parts. As someone else posted, you should learn which animals are edible (yes, bugs and grubs are edible - some, that is) and which are not. One of the big problems is getting the variety of foods to avoid various dietary deficiencies.

I have to agree with kutenay and the other posters here that your hubris will not serve you well. Even though you are a Canadian, you still have legal restrictions. And by your own admission, you lack significant skills and experience to make a go of it. I would suggest that your best bet, if you are really serious (and not just a troll), is to do a bit of research on people who train people to survive, select one or two, and spend the time (a couple years at least) and money (it ain't gonna be cheap) hiring one or more of them to mentor you. The basic skills you will need include, among many others, finding and preparing food (including nutrition as well as plant and animal knowledge), water, clothing, and shelter in all 4 seasons, navigation, medical (does "bush doctor" mean you have a medical degree?), animal behavior (grizzly, black bear, lion, and wolf may well view you as food, or at least invader/threat), use of firearms and fishing gear (this ain't sport fishing with a fly rod, it's getting food), and much more. You are unlikely to cut off from civilization completely, so that means having money available, maybe earning it - you probably will need to replace clothing at the least, and may need construction supplies for your shelter, plus ammunition if you hunt (got a valid license?).

Living off the land sounds idyllic and all that. But it ain't that easy. I know. Been there, done that for short periods in a very different environment (a more benign one, at that).

Think hard about what you are getting yourself into, and do a lot more research into what's needed.

9:52 p.m. on March 26, 2006 (EST)
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Re: to live off the land

I am from Alaska (1964 on). I admire anyone willing to "live off the land." As to where? Perhaps there is a part of the caribou area that is unbeaten, but if you want to escape - not sure where you would go. I have seen Alaska and western Canada become fairly tame in my 45 years. Perhaps Yellowknife and once the frozen lake they drive every winter melts from global warming - well then you'd be way the hell out there.

But reducing our footprint is a great idea. Perhaps not the hunting all that moves and growing a garden is a better idea. Yeah, you can still die in these parts. But come on, with the right equipment, neighbors (white and native), GPS and satelite, well things are different now for those who seek the wilds. Polartec and lightweight snowshoes have replaced heavy wool and wood/sinue. but the bugs are still just as bad. Some celebrate this, others, like me are sorry to see that aspect of Arctic life go.

But I say go for it. Find the deepest part of the Yukon (legally of course) and go for it. Enjoy the wilds, while we have them. Just make sure that you give back as much as you take. Dont bring pesticides cuz you hate bugs, petro fertilizers cuz your too lazy to work the soil, and an attitude that the ol'timers would be embarrassed about.

Cheers to all you Canadians. Hey, when are you taking Alaska back anyway?

10:03 p.m. on March 26, 2006 (EST)
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Re: to live off the land

oh, yeah, one more thing....

listen to the wise advise provided. These folks know what they are talking about...don't wind up in a bus...

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