Vandwelling in Canada

Hello there,
Atmosphere in Canada for vandwelling is pretty good in most places. This would be the wrong time for someone from Arizona to come up though since it is September! For me it is hot, for y’all eh, jackets!

There are a lot of signs saying no overnight camping or sleeping, though if you go speak with a manager, it is normally alright. I have just said, passing through need to stay overnight to sleep and I never litter.

Due to the size of each province there is so much to see, do and travel you could easily spend each season travelling around and never go to the same spot twice. The downside is the lower parts of each province only offer paid camping, most Crown Lands you are not allowed to camp in for overnights or at best only a few days.

There are very few true vandwellers here, though there are some, most in the BC area as it is much warmer than the rest of Canada.
There are full timers and snow birds who go south or to BC for the winter then head back to the home range in spring.

In spring, fall and winter, you stay out of the wind! In summer stay in the wind and hope you do not get eaten by bugs.

There is so little crime up here or aggression with guns and such that even traipsing through the woods, most never carry a firearm. In Bear and Cougar country a small radio or music player warns them the Two Leggers are coming and to stay away, yes it does work and is the best repellent ever. That being said I always have large hunting knives on me when I hike and have other weapons located near each door and sleeping area.

Most people have forgotten the rules of living in the bush;
keep your food area and food prep area, 25 feet away minimum distance
do not camp right by a water source, move your tent away the residents want to drink and cool too
cooking fires are always 25 feet minimum away from your sleeping area, not near your vehicle
no food in vehicles
hanging food cashes are great, again not near your sleeping area
never had food issues even in my vehicle that was in cans or such like that.
some special food containers will keep the food smells in and bears out, but then again hanging it up 25 feet away is good insurance
animals are territorial, in the old days they used to pee in containers and then circle their living quarters sprinkling as they went, thus the animals knew to stay out of that area (yes it works)

Most places can be accessed with vehicles that are 2 wheel drive, though with higher suspensions. Just can’t beat the 4×4 with the tent top campers and Alaska campers, so compact and the 4×4 is a go so many places option.
In Canada the best way to hide is in plain site here, if it looks like an RV or some sort, people leave you alone. It is harder to live in a car here though as we need so many layers of clothing and insulation that most of the room of a car would be taken up with sleeping bags and warm weather gear. Even in Summer time, I have had to dig out the jackets and gloves, along with the sleeping bag that is rated to 0 degrees to be comfortable.

There are some great Rv’s some great camper vans and everything else on the road up here as well. My conversion is done on the $$ figure conversion. Bad health and lack of work means found objects and creative living space inside. I have too much stuff, and hopefully this month will see a big chunk of it goes, somewhere somehow I am feeling very toxic due to stuff and storage issues. Some other conversions I haves starting at just $100 are quite nice up to the Tens of Thousands of dollars, these conversion just make you go, wow!

For the curb shopping types Canada offers a variety of dates to find good items, and if you drive around close to the garbage days, there are always deals to be had from people getting rid of things for so many reasons.

For the $$ crowd, we have a multitude of places to buy equipment although it is most times more expensive than our cousins south of us, so keep that in mind as well.

For insulation reasons I say spend more on the floor and make sure there is no metal or the fiberglass showing unless covered over or it will rain inside from the condensation! Wood heat is dry so there are less issues with heating your place with wood, be it a tent, yurt, vandwelling, conversion or RV.

modified small propane heater in old Kerosene heater shell with plastic items close to show they do not melt.

modified small propane heater in old Kerosene heater shell with plastic items close to show they do not melt.

Heating is of course a popular thing to do here, along with Alaska and the Northern USA States. People here heat what they live in using conventional wood fireplaces (seen them in long term tents as well) to portable wood boxes and camping stoves. The advent and development of Rocket Mass Heaters and Pocket Rockets are becoming more popular and gaining a larger following as well. I am turning one of my camping portable wood stoves into a Pocket Rocket with a mass to heat and hopefully stay warm all through the night. Of course I will be having a propane backup heater just in case.

Propane heaters for me right now, are the small older Sport Cat style and a Big Buddy heater with the propane condensation issues that plague them.

Most places have a live and let live attitude, although there are hot heads and people with hidden agendas just like anywhere.

Hope this helps,
cheers from wild_E

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3 Comments

Filed under Blog post, Equipment, Improvised Stoves Heaters, Rocket Mass Heater, Rocket Stove, Vehicles

3 responses to “Vandwelling in Canada

  1. Lake Lili

    Monkey and I lived in an old stationary 5th wheel for 5 months between homes last year on the back of a friends farm. The key to all friendliness was a horse trough for showers and we rented a porta-potty for $120/month (cost of TP and week empty inc. – they also emptied the grey water tanks of the trailer for free). We had a great time but by the end of October, propane costs made it too pricey to stay, so we moved into a regular house again. I do it again with him but only if we had a trailer that had twin over queen bunks.

    • Hey Lili thanks for sharing, what do you mean by Twin over queen bunks?
      I have an Ikea bunk with a convertible seat to a queen bed now, is that what you mean?

      • Lake Lili

        Hey E! A lot of the old towable travel trailers have a queen bed at the back with a twin bunk above. A much better set-up than a 5th wheel’s bedroom with a queen bed and a foam pad on the floor for the kid. I would also turn the bathroom into a pantry/storage area. I remember once reading that the gypsys wouldn’t buy a trailer if it had a bathroom as they felt they were unsanitary. I am not sure about the cleanliness – I suspect that is a house keeping issue but the bathrooms are so small that they are hard to keep clean and a single shower will fill the tank… and given the size, horse troughs are much better… When they were around Great Lakes RV in Lindsay made some excellent trailers but they are now making modular homes and are called Canada Builds.

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