Thursday 25 June 2020

Solar Power


There are a number of power options for off-grid properties. The most commonly seen on the coast are a combination of solar power and gas generator. Occasionally there will be small water power (hydro) sources as well, depending on if there is a good flowing source of water on or near the property.


Solar power has become a more mainstream and affordable system in the past decade. With outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and campers wanting a portable power source for electronic devices the industry has made great strides in creating more user-friendly and travel-capable systems which has benefited home systems as well.

Seeing an array of solar panels on a property is normal for regions that are outside of the BC Hydro service grid. Depending on where the most direct sunlight is, the panels may be on the roof of a dwelling or secondary building, or sometimes on the ground. These panels are part of a solar photovoltaic system (PV) that generally are comprised of solar panels, inverters, breakers and mounting equipment. The inverters are required to change the electricity taken in by the solar panels to a form that can be either used in the home or stored in batteries.


Because we do not always experience high sunlight on the coast, especially in the fall and winter seasons, most people will also have a gas generator system. If the property gets a lot of sunlight during the spring and summer the gas generator might only be used in the off-season.

You can find lots more information about solar power and residential solar power use here and here.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday 11 June 2020

Overnight Hikes on Vancouver Island

With most of us staying closer to home, we are looking for adventures to be had in our own backyard. Overnight hikes are a great way to be outside and be social distancing as well. So whether you are planning ahead for a visit to come or looking for something to do on the island this summer, here are some great options. Be sure to check the websites before heading out to see what special rules or regulations might be in place this year.

Vancouver Island is renowned for water-based recreation and exploration, but there is also a lot of land-based recreation available. The island has such a variety of ecosystems that someone looking for a multi-day hike adventure has many choices. 

You want mountains? Head to Strathcona Park where you will find a number of over-night or longer hikes that will take you to a number of iconic mountains in the park, such as Mt. Albert Edward.

Strathcona Park

Looking for southern rugged shores? Head to the Juan de Fuca Trail.

The West Coast Trail is a world-famous trail that requires signing up to a waiting list at least a year in advance to even get to hike it.

Looking for remote? Head over to Nookta Island and the multi-day trail there. Or drive to the northern tip of the island and hike the Cape Scott Trail, along boardwalks and mud, and then move onto the North Coast Trail which extends from the Cape Scott Trail.

Cape Scott

Want to add some canoeing into the hiking adventure? Della Falls, Canada’s highest waterfall, is the spot for you.

There are many more that can be done by pushing in one long day or split more comfortably into two days. The island is absolutely the place for outdoor adventuring of all kinds, including serious hiking.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!