Winter Updates

Photo0067I’d like to thank everyone has messaged me with either concerns, good wishes, or inspirational stories from their own lives.

I have not updated this is a while, my apologies. So here we go!

Seems like a lot of people concerned, and so first off, I have food (I live 11km from Dawson City, and I have a vehicle, other than the one I live in). I am warm, it is usually about 30C in here when I am home, nice and toasty warm! The CO levels… well there aren’t any in here, my CO detector takes a reading every minute, and there are no registered parts per million ever on it.

I have fallen in love with my little homemade wood stove, it has its own Photo0065 personality, and we have been becoming wonderful friends since winter hit. I’ve figured out a great way of getting a 6 hour burn out of it when its -40c outside… First I make sure I have a nice hot bed of coals, then I put “green” spruce on top, then I put dried spruce on top of that, the last to go in are a couple pieces of firekill (spruce forest fire wood, pretty much dead standing really hard dry wood). Then I shut down the stove (close up the flu and damper), and voila! a 6 hour burn, which means a nice nights rest, when I wake up its about +10c in here. I craw ‘outta my duvet blanket, stoke the fire and cuddle up with my dog until it warms back up in here.

I’ve slowly been sealing up drafts, and every once in a while I throw a little more snow around the base of the van… I’m not sure if it does much, but it feels like it does and thats good enough for me!

Photo0066Yukon Winter, its very interesting how fast the human body can adapt to the cold, I’m finding myself a week or two into a cold snap, and already my body is dealing with the cold very nicely. Its dry cold here, so as long as I bundle up, and don’t sweat, its Photo0063pretty warm. There is still so much I need to learn, and I’m thankful that everyone around these parts is so knowledgable and willing to share that knowledge with me.

Until next time,

Oh, and heres a song I’ve been working on, I wrote it in my van a couple weeks go, had the pleasure of playing it at a show I opened for Christine Fellows (if you have a chance click on their name to check out the amazing music they make). The song is written on Banjo, but played with a fiddle bow, plucking with my thumb and “chopping” with the bow. You can check the song out below.
I’d like to thank “Big” Al, who also lives out in Bear Creek, for taking the time to record this at his place with me.

Welcome!

Photo By Dandy Denial
Photo By Dandy Denial

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.Strawbale3

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.Strawbale10

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.

Getting Cozy, Shelves & Space

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!

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Heat & Safety

Had to rebuild the chimney 2 times, but alas! it is done, and retrofitting the van went well!

I made a platform for the stove to stand on, that is off of the wood floors. I also put metal against the walls, then using aluminium spacers I laid down some more metal about an inch away from the metal on the walls. This way, as the metal heats up the cold air rushing past it and cools it.
The chimney is also tripled walled now, there is the insulated stove pipe, then I put corrugated tin, then a metal casing to hold it all in place as it exits the van window.
For added safety, I started putting down my collection of sings and licence plates, this is just in case an ember or spark flies out of the wood stove, instead of landing on my “hard wood” floors, it will burn out harmlessly on the metal!

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Step 1 Clearing & Acquiring

So, first things first I guess…
visit the dump every day to collect as many free supplies as possible.

Thought it would be a great idea to have a floor, to keep me/the van & the straw up off of the ground… less moisture…. keep away from the permafrost.

So I collected (with the help of Olin & Devon) 6 6″X8″ Pieces of old sidewalks from Dawson City… Yes, these beasts are made entirely of 2″X6″‘s.
I plan on laying them out so that I end up with a platform that is 6 inches off the ground, and that measures a wopping 24 feet by 12 feet. Also, something strong enough to support my 1 &1/2 ton camper van.

Also, I forgot to mention, first off… I had to clear out the brush.. and find a nice spot!
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