Its -30C (-22F) and I’ve slowly been sealing up little gaps here and there.
I had to wake up at 4 in the morning to put more wood on, thats only a 6 hour burn… But! its the challenge!
I have about 6 big rocks I keep on top of my stove, thinking that they might create more surface for transferring heat into the air. They also stay warm a while after the fire has gone out. The best use I have found for them is warming up my feet, or throwing into my bed in the morning, they warm me up!
Hello, my name is Cud Eastbound & on june 6th 2014, I set off on an adventure to move to the Yukon.
I packed/gave away everything I owned, released a new album, left Halifax and went westward on a 2 month cross Canada tour, leading me all the way up to Dawson City Yukon.
I toured with my 77 Dodge Camper van, who’s name is “Night Danger” (like those moose signs through northern ontario). Night Danger has been around the continent a few times and I found it was time to find a place for it to rest for good. I’ve made a few modifications, and love living out of the van, so I figured I would try and see if I could survive a Yukon winter by living in my van.
The first challenge was to find a way to efficiently heat my little abode, so before I left Halifax I constructed a wood stove that would fit nice and safely in the back of the van. Second Challenge was to find a way to hold in the heat I would produce to stay warm all winter. I was not keen on using traditional insulation, because at that point I might as well just build a little shack, so I came to the conclusion that straw bales would be my best bet. Once I was finished with the first winter, I could donate the bales to folks who have live stock, or dog sled teams or something.
I was lucky enough to have a friend lend me some land in Bear Creek to try out my project on. (<3 thanks Cat). I have since cleaned up a lot of the dead trees laying around, made the road a little nicer, built a wood shed, an outhouse and wrapped my entire van in 117 Straw bales.
The adventure continues as I try and seal up leaky doors and windows, its a constant learning process. There are many folks helping me out with ideas, labour, time and most important of all support. Thanks to all of you <3
I have to go stoke my wood stove now, its starting to get cold, the ferry is getting pulled out of the water tomorrow, and I am so very excited for my first winter up here in the Northern Yukon.
So… the straw bales came quite late in the season and I was planning on mudding “stucco” or “cob” whatever the outisde of the bales. However the temperature dropped too quickly and anything I would have applied to the the bales would have either not stuck, or cured properly.
I decided to purchase house wrap… $70 dollars later and some tuck tape I was in business.
Had some awesome help from friends and we got it all taped up…. Oh before that I used rope and twine to tie all the bales together, so they would not fall down.
Also, I’ve noticed a lot of people concerned about my well being… I’ve been burning wood in my fireplace non stop for 2 months now, and I clean my chimney pipe (in case of creosote build up), I check everything every day. I DO NOT leave my dog in the van, the only time he is there is when I am there with him.
I have a Carbon Monoxide detector (Thanks Diana!)
Last week has been around -25 or colder, I’ve noticed the van is very nice and warm, holds the heat well, except for the floor… as the fire place sucks air, cold air from the outside creeps in along the floor… I fixed that by drilling a 2 inch hole in the side of the van right next to the woodstove, put in a PVC pipe & on/off Valve I was given by Martin (Thanks Martin!).
So, I am still alive and well, I appreciate everyones concerns, comments, outrage and love.
Night Danger is a big van, but there are many more things I could change on the inside in order to optimize space, and a lot more to come, but for now…
Taking out the front seats was good, I need to borrow a grinder to get the bolts out of the floor, but for now it will be good.
Shelves! little shelves, big ones, any kind of shelf is great!
Here are some photos of my really quick outhouse,
Its getting cold, and… I am not very fussy about where I poop.
But I dug out and berried my main poles, then hucked some tin over it!
For the poles I used some of the wood I’ve been getting up the Dempster highway, its old forest fire wood. Spruce I believe, and its light and strong.
Normally I would not expose wood to earth, as it will rot, but its a temporary structure that will need improvements in the future.
Not sure how well this will work,
but I figured I can keep a nice journal of the process of building, and then living (or dying) in a straw bale vehicle in the far north of Canada.
I’m set up on a friends land in Bear Creek, just outside of Dawson City, Yukon. Thanks Cat!