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Off The Grid With Les Stroud 2006 NR CC

3.3 out of 5 stars (49) IMDb 7.7/10

If the utility infrastructure were to ever fail, a vast majority of the populace will find themselves ill prepared to face a world free of electricity and clean water. Les demonstrates that we do not need to make a huge sacrifice to live off the grid.

Starring:
Les Stroud, Sue Jamison
Runtime:
1 hour, 8 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Max Bervy
Starring Les Stroud, Sue Jamison
Supporting actors Logan Stroud, Raylan Stroud
Studio Vivendi Entertainment
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first learned of Les Stroud through his TV program "Survivorman" which I really enjoyed. When I read that he produced this documentary, "Off the Grid," about his family's efforts to move into the Canadian wilderness and generate their own power, I decided I had to buy it. The show is down-to-earth but really lacks much of a story. It's like Les didn't quite finish it, and the film suddenly ends before the real end of the story.

To tell a more complete story, he should have done more planning and gone into more details about his family's surroundings and life in the city, first. He should have also given a little more of the background of the area where they decided to move. For instance, watching the DVD, we're led to believe he bought this property without any idea of whether there was usable well water.

The family's efforts to build a home in the forest had several setbacks, but it seemed like as soon as they had the house functioning, suddenly the credits appeared and the documentary was finished. What happened next? Was it everything they wanted? Did they ever sell off their city house and live only in the cabin? And what about their children? Did they find other kids to spend time with, or are they growing up knowing only each other?

I got the feeling that Les shot a bunch of footage with a general idea in mind, and then had some deadline he rushed to meet and quickly edited what he had into something resembling a story. But it's missing important parts before, during, and after their move off the grid.
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Wow. A helicopter to bring in supplies! While I think that's awesome to have those kinds of resources, most people wouldn't. Good for him though...

That said - I am currently comfortably "off the grid" and loving it. I have only a few acres set in the middle of several hundred of state land - and I have a gravel road not far from my door - but - truly, I can't understand why more people don't use solar. I am a 62-year-old female - and I live with solar power EXTREMELY comfortably!

The documentary is correct to show what people face with going off-grid in modern society. Some will approach it with more resources than others. I currently have to dig a well, as well - and deal with a 100+ farm house's "issues". Les has children and other issues that will confront him. It's exactly what it purports to be - "one man's story of going off the grid". Your story and my story will be different as well - it doesn't invalidate his or his family's experience.
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As much experience as Les Stroud has with bushcraft, outdoor survival and primitive living (ex: his one year honeymood off-the-grid), he clearly demonstrates that the idea of having a sustainable, ecological, zero-footprint life just outside of society is impractical without a larger community to help make this possible.

A key statement Les makes in this documentary is that, even with being off the grid you still have to make money, to buy and maintain alt power, toilet systems, rain catchment systems, etc. So he buys logs from a mill instead of harvesting to save time, because he has films and music to make. He runs a generator to run his recording session because the show must go on. These are real concerns.

If one is to go off the grid completely, one must expect to 'run out' of consumables such as fuel, toothbrushes, toothpaste, food that you don't yourself grow, solar panels if they break; etc. Essentially, the key lesson learned in this documentary, which is also the reason I think this documentary is great, is that even if you have a lot of money to get set up well, you will eventually 'become a primitive bushman' because all of modernity will disappear once your burn through your income and don't have any residual or supplemental income coming in. Sustainability, in essence is chasing a dream. Society, which is another way of saying, the larger community, is the key to sustainability. Sorry.

Of course, you could always become a farmer and sell / barter, and that's a good option also. This is an example of community that makes your efforts sustainable.
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Stroud is an expert in survival skills. He feels we are going to run out of vital resources and we are woefully unprepared. I'd agree. The DVD follows the steps he took and the problems he needed to solve to be able to live off the grid. It also had some personal things; home schooling his kids, his gutsy wife, his music. Wish it went into more detail on how everything went after it was finally set up. It is still an interesting DVD and worth the time to watch. There needs to be alternatives to how we are living now. I would think people who have resources, if things break down, will be very vulnerable to those who find themselves without.
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Pros: for a newbie to self-sufficiency, you get to see some of the emotional challenges of going off-grid and some ideas for helping little kids adjust. They seem like a nice family.
Cons: Les must have had a lot of financial resources to start because almost everything was contracted out, never showing how to DIY anything. Nothing on food supply, very little on building and energy. I think it showed more video of the puddle and snow than of the building process itself. Secondly, a little melodramatic and sounded like he was the first and only to do this (been there, done that in 1990, without all the expensive high tech gear). Lastly, the ending was awful; it just cut off, as if he ran out of video camera battery. Not really impressed and cannot recommend, sorry Les.
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