Page 1 of 1

Built your own camp in the Canadian North

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:30 am
by Pe4r
When im a big fan of Ice Pilots and Buffalo Airways Company i start be more
intrested of Canada and just the northern area and just have a idea i thinking
about a long time ago. But sorry i have some cabin fever...
maybe some years in school can solve that problem for me.....

Up there in the northern you have a totally winderness and can find many good places
to be totally alone on, you can go by air, snowmobile skiis and maybe wanderer etc.

What you think about to sale all thing you have and go north, built your own camp
and make your own runway there - and the only way to your camp is by the sky
and planes or maybe a snowmobile.

Its a idea i thinking of long time, yes im from Sweden and have read about the canadian north
and play some flight simulator there i fly around, latest example are to fly from Norman Wells
to the mountains in the west and landing on skiis - in winter.

But back to the topic, the idea are to go up to Yellowknife and from there take off with my own
Cessna 120, 172 for example and flying north to a place good enough to make a good living.

I think i need to be near the water, and not a long distance flight with this small planes.
But it will be in the wilderness. Maybe a 25 minutes flight from YZF - or maybe YHY.

What i need are to find a place there they say its ok to built my own home or camp,
and i need to make my own runway, anyone here know how to make this possible?

And the other thing i need is to built a cabin big enough and some storage,
maybe a hangar to a smaller plane and other stuff.

I will be glad if someone can give me some info of this.

Re: Built your own camp in the Canadian North

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:46 am
by NunavutPA-12
North of 60 is very, very empty, as you already know. There are a good many beautiful places where you can be truly alone. But ....

Almost all the land is Crown Land, i.e. government-owned. Since Canadians are presumably "the government", it should be our land, but it's not that simple. There are a great number of regulations and roadblocks that will be thrown in your way. Also, much of the land is either owned by natives or subject to some kind of land claim.

There is almost no exception to the rule that you can't buy any land in the north. You might be able to get a lease, but a lease for recreational property will probably be refused. Build your own runway? Good luck with that!

What kind of "living" did you have in mind? Even if highly qualified, government jobs go first to natives, second to long-time northerners, and third to other Canadians. I guess fourth would be foreign nationals, though the hiring process rarely gets past applications in the second tier.

So government employment is out. Private-sector employment is scarce and generally low paid, at least outside the major centres. If you truly want to live in the bush, there are almost no options that don't include, at some point, starvation. Trapping has all kinds of regulations attached, and a non-native is unlikely to get the required permits. And you need some skills for that job as well.

I hate to burst your bubble, but what you're asking borders on the impossible. I wish it were otherwise.

Re: Built your own camp in the Canadian North

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:57 am
by digits_
You can easily avoid the runway issue by flying an amphib or a float plane.

You might not have to go north of 60 even. Norhtern Manitoba has lots of lodges/fishing/hunting camps. Same with northern quebec. Your best bet would be to talk to some lodge owners. Maybe they'd even sell you their company, as the economy is going a bit downhill in that area. All depends on what timeframe you are talking about of course.

I am also curious to know what would happen if you were to just start building private stuff in the middle of nowhere on crown land. If you are all-in and actually live there off the grid, I have no idea what they would possibly do to stop you. Or go extra crazy and put some camo stuff on the roof :mrgreen:

Re: Built your own camp in the Canadian North

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:13 pm
by NunavutPA-12
Good points!

Buying an existing fishing/hunting lodge is probably the simplest route to living in the bush, that's true. Then you own the land or at least have a long-term lease.

There's still the problem of making a living, though. An available lodge may not be a money-making proposition, otherwise it probably wouldn't be for sale.

A light airplane on floats and skis would be the ticket, but you'd still be faced with some major expenses to fly in much of your required supplies on larger aircraft.

I know many people who have simply "squatted" on Crown Land for decades without any problem. Of course, they are native :? , but the precedent has been set. And if you are willing to take it to the human rights tribunal ......

"A friend" built a camp on Crown land that is owned by his (native) wife. He was just the contractor :wink:

Re: Built your own camp in the Canadian North

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:33 pm
by BE20 Driver
An old friend of mine once told me that all you had to do was stake a mining claim and then you could put up a cottage er, um, mine exploration building. Just don't forget to test your dirt every year for the presence of what ever mineral you staked your claim on.

If anyone pulls this one off, be sure to invite me.

Re: Built your own camp in the Canadian North

Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:41 pm
by jspitfire
Dave Olesen and family has made it work very well. He's got a couple fascinating books about his life out at Hoarfrost River.

Edit: here's his blog, right up to date

Re: Built your own camp in the Canadian North

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:04 pm
by anofly
You could buy land in northern ontario that would be privately owned and you could do as you wish. They do "catch" the odd person that builds a "home" on crown land now and again and they frown on it and often make them take it down and burn it. If you get or got a trapping lic you could build a trapping cabin in certain places , but a runway might be a bit much.

Re: Built your own camp in the Canadian North

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:16 am
by co-joe
I'd start by working for a lodge for a year or two. Cooking, flying, guiding fishing trips, swishing toilets...whatever gets you up there. You'll learn about the area and meet like minded people and may find a way. Problem is you're not really getting away from it all, more like catering to rich americans so they can get away from it all, but it's a start.

Re: Built your own camp in the Canadian North

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:02 am
by HansDietrich
That would be the stuff of nightmares. Stuck in the North by yourself?

No thanks! But hey, I wouldn't mind going back to Europe. Let's switch places. You can come to Canada in my place; I'll give you my pilot license and I'll go to Sweden and do whatever you do there... play FSX? Sure as hell won't have to worry about SIM rides and such. Also women in Sweden are better looking than the broads up North. I can promise you that. I've been to "Sverige" quite a few times in my younger years...