Category Archives: Vehicles

Something Positive

I read this on a forum, post something positive in your life to share or be thankful for, then sat thinking for 45 min before finding something positive, the last few weeks and months have been very negative, bad luck, negative people, bad health, etc etc.

a few days ago there was no snow here, it was muddy, cold, wet, miserable really. Two nights ago I Pulled up at 7pm, took the dog out of the neighbour’s barn (Canadian Redneck doggy daycare!!!) had to use flashlight because it was so dark.

We romped a bit in the dark, playing fetch then into to the box truck camper to make dinner. A few hours later we came out so she could do her nature calls outside. Both of us stopped dead in our tracks, for within two hours there was about 4 cm of snow on the ground with snow falling gently from the sky. The thing that made us stop dead in our tracks was the fact that it was so light outside now, remember just two hours ago at 7pm I had to use a flashlight to see, now the entire sky and area was lit up in a quite bright glow.

The fresh snow was glistening on the ground whilst the snow falling down was like brightly reflective pixy dust in the air. Everything was calm and O so quiet with the only sound being the crunch of frozen ground through the soft powder that was dusting our feet. With the calm snow the temperatures inside had risen another 5 deg celsius so we were warmer, the incessant winds of the last two weeks had finally been abated as well.

My dog was running around happily jumping in the snow, I started scooping up snow to toss at her, she jumping down in that grinning doggy play way, paws spread with her face close to the ground. Tossing snow while she attacked it in mid-air or tried to catch it in her jaws is a favourite game to play with fresh powder here.

The purity of freshly fallen snow glistening in the night or day is magical, something that only people from the North can fully love and appreciate. The quiet that enshrouds the land dampening all sound is another wonder and breathtaking experience, so peaceful and serene in its own purity.

Winter is both lovely and dangerous at the same time, lifting the soul in joy with its beauty!


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Filed under Blog post, Inspiration, Shelter, Vehicles, Writing

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


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

Power Tools & Enya

So how do they go together?

Well lets see, after trying for 3.5 hrs to remove rusted, striped bent bolts by hand tools, I resorted to borrowing some air powered tools. After busting up knuckles scraping my hands and banged my elbow so hard that it is still hurting 3 days later due to using hand tools. So I paused that night put in a Loreena McKennitt CD “The Book of Secrets” right now I am listening to Enya’s CD “A Day Without Rain” .

The day I picked up the Air Powered tools it made me sad that my Ex in BC got rid of all my tools including some air tools, miss those things ūüôā So borrowed tools it was, 5 min… yes 5 mins later all bolts¬†loosened. Crawled out, put the jack under the trailer hitch to hold it up while I removed the bolts so it would not fall on top of me. All time included 15 min from start to finish.

If you have ever heard air tools you know the sound they make to a person who does not work with tools probably not impressive. To someone who works with their hands and their minds they sing a kind of cadence that makes you smile. That 5 min cadence was pure music to my ears that did indeed remind me of the Loreena McKennitt CD songs.

Today has been an empty, sort, toss, keep, pause and reflect day. As I empty out two vans at the same time, one van to keep one to go to the Bone Yard. The keeper is being emptied as well, repacked and sorted, not necessarily in that order! As I reflect and pause today working in the warm Sunshine, listening to the birds and insects hum and chirp, I thought of the Solitudes Music Series. Now as I take a pause and a break from the work, I listen to Enya which is powerful, moving, calming, reflective and peaceful.

Each activity was punctuated with thoughts and sounds of Music, each activity was rife with references to the music. So reflect on the sounds of air tools, birds chirping, bugs zooming, dog snoring and remember that in your Prepping for Life and Prepping for hard times, power tools and music both have their place in the sun and rain. Both will make your tasks easier and your heart lifted.



Filed under Blog post, Survival Prepping, Vehicles, Writing, Writing Free Form

Projects Bug Screen

This will be the Annual Bug Screen post.

Below is a close up of a window in the cab of the Ford E 350,

E 350 Ford door with bug screen added

1988 E 350 Ford Door, bug screen inside door with Velcro to attach to the door frame and the bug screen.

attached to the door frame permanently is the soft side of the self stick Velcro. Soft side of obvious reasons.
The Drivers side will be made the same soon, though with one difference. The tape that is around the bug screen will be put on both sides of the screen not just the one side, so it will be folded over. Next it will be field stitched and by that I mean expedient stitching, with a STAPLER! Same as the other soft side of the Velcro on the frame and prickly side of the other Velcro mate on the side of the bug screen.

Love bug screen, one of the best inventions ever!!! 

Last year, I put the bug screen over the top on the outside and used magnets to hold it in place. That way worked not too bad, though I had to re-adjust too many times after opening the driver’s side door.


Soon I will post some photos of what I did in the back last year, though the back will be changed shortly and a new system will be in place, a much better system by the way.

1988 E 350 Ford Door, close up showing the bug screen

1988 E 350 Ford Door, close up showing the bug screen, yes it needs a bit of a trim up to make it purdy!


Filed under Blog post, Vehicles

Simpler is Happier







van in meadow nature sunny day

my favourite afternoons,
In Nature

These are my goals for the rest of my life. Does this mean I want to live alone and grumpy like a Hermit in the woods. NO !

I do wish to live in the Bush up North, live simpler, create my own food, build my own Home and enjoy Life. Since some have wondered, some have criticised and some have complimented. Well now this post will be filled with links on a regular basis that show that others have the same dreams and aspirations.

So if your offended, go back to your HUGE carbon footprint life, walk away now! Others will find some of the links to be enlightening and peaceful.

Simpler Healthier Lifestyle

Here is a big shout out to a Lady who created a guide to Minimalist Health and Living
find it here;
he is wanting everyone to download this, share this, give it away as it is Un-copyrighted !

Simpler Raw Vegetarian foods

Simpler Wild Foods

Hoping to get a property up North, looking to build a home from the land. Small footprint and eco-friendly home. Ideas depending on the terrain include: The $50 and up underground house, Yurts & Gers РWiki Yurt, Tony Wrench Round House, Salish Pit House and a PDF of a Salish Pit House, Ojibwa Wikup or another Ancient structure , a Winter Pit House that is half underground with straw bales and a living green rough, Celtic or Viking Longhouse.

Lifestyle of simpler Living ideas

Here is a big shout out to a Lady who created a guide to Minimalist Health and Living
find it here;
he is wanting everyone to download this, share this, give it away as it is Un-copyrighted !

Site that shows how to live simpler and cheaper

Forum for Vandwellers as well as a subset who live Cheaper and freer

This page is for modifications to Vans for short term and long term living

Here is a special page that a person did some amazing re-fits on a North American Van

‘technomads’ since 2006, their blog

Bus Conversion page

So those are a little fast for you, well there how about a Gypsy Wagon

How about Small Footprint Homes

Tiny House Blog

The Tiny House blog also does videos and Derek is very funny!  and
Dereks blog very funny and informative

Shout out to Ernie and Erica with their Natural Building blog, they also are huge in the Rocket Mass and Rocket Stove movements

pic of bulrushes at side of pond

Bulrushes, so versatile, edible, fire starter, cordage, building material

Energy Heating Fire

Converter page so you can determine you usage of power

How to have Electricity being mobile

Princess Auto for anyone in Canada and they ship to the USA as well. They have, lots of everything but furniture unless it is for the outdoors


Hobo Stove Directory

Rocket Stoves, starter info



Filed under Blog post, Health, Shelter, Survival Prepping, Vehicles, Writing

Maintenance Greasing Hubs

If you do maintenance on vehicles and trailers then you know spring time is grease the wheel hubs time. A few days ago I noticed this little jem of an improvement on my buddies car hauling trailer. The simple addition of the grease nipples on the hubs is so simple that it is astounding.
hub with grease nipple simple modification

hub with grease nipple

Normally to grease the hubs you must remove the cover (some set-ups need the tires removed others do not), then remove the cotter pin, unbolt the centre locking device. Now I say locking device because it is not always a large nut, just something to lock the bearings in place.

Next you must remove the bearings, clean them completely then compact grease them. Double check that the grease is impacted around the bearings then re-install, doing everything in reverse!

Addition of the grease nipples on the hub covers ensures the following;
– daily to monthly greasings mean security for the bearings
– ease and quickness of greasing the hubs to the point of just a few pumps a month
– no more big grease the hubs adventures in the spring when there is so much more to do
– grease just before winter storage, drive the trailer around the yard or to town to make sure the grease is warmed and flowing around the bearings
– park the trailer, add one to two more pumps, then in the spring, do that again and hook

OFF you go!
WOW so simple and fast so easy, so why have I never seen anyone do this before?

dual grease ease of maint

hub with grease nipple simple modification for ease of maintenance

To make this mod yourself;
– remove the bearing hubs,
– clean
– drill a hole for the grease nipple
– install grease nipples on the hubs
– replace onto the trailer hubs, make sure they are on snug
– grease them up, drive till warm
– grease one more time to make sure the cavity is full now and you have the proper amount of grease in there

Now off to another maintenance job, or plant more seedlings, or play with the dog, or the Girlfriend or Wife (note those activities although playtime would be different per person involved!)

all pages and writings copyright @ WildernessReturn


Filed under Blog post, Vehicles

Tiny House Sites

Hi there,
I live in a Tiny Home, I am happy with my dog living in 7×9′ though will be happier when I change the inside and use the full 14′ so 7×14. This¬†spring I will be building my own Yurt, there are a lot of guides online, google yurt plans, or ask and I will send you some by email.

Here are some Tiny House Sites and some that offer plans both paid and free.

So there are a lot of link to help you out, good luck and have fun.
ps. the last link uses trailers, building the house on top of the trailer. My tiny HOME!, yes it is a home to myself and my Rescue Dog, is smaller, so what it is comfortable and is all anyone really needs. My living room is the entire barnyard, although at the moment due to climate change and the weather it is very muddy! This spring I will be building a Yurt as it is easier to heat and maintain. Then this Box Truck Tiny home, will be used more for travelling as well as my workshop. People need a workshop to feel happy. In the old times, women called them their sewing room or crafts room, men called them the workshop or shop or hobby room. It does not matter what you call your creative space it only matters that you let yourself create for then we become truly happy.


my Ford Home

Mine little hobby shop will be mobile and that is actually not unique and dates back to the 20’s. Mobile shops and homes where much more common back then, back before consumerism invaded our lives so!

Zeldy feels better, grabbing little sticks, Cane Corso

Zelda feels better, grabbing little sticks

Be honest with yourself, think back to simpler times with Great Aunts and Uncles with Grandparents, our favourite memories is normally sitting around chatting at the kitchen table or working on a craft or hobby together. Not sitting in one of our way to big rooms in our way to bit houses which has a huge carbon footprint.

Both of us are much happier and enjoy life more playing stick. Fetch the stick, tug on the stick, throw the stick. So what is your stick in life? What makes you happy outside, what truly makes you happy inside? My best memories of my ex Wife was sitting playing a game at her parents, either with the Dominoes or some other game, in the kitchen, chatting and having a good time.

My little home is quite cozy, so after two years, I will be building a slightly larger one, and using this one for travel for work as well as a workshop. The 7.3 ltr diesel gets good mileage so by using this and living in this, my carbon footprint is very small.

Dare to think outside of the box! 


Filed under Blog post, Survival Prepping, Vehicles