Overhead, light filters through the thick evergreen canopy of the Pacific Northwest as Sam Medysky heaves a sturdy oak-handled ax into a halved, now quartered round of Douglas Fir. It’s fall time in Squampton, the colloquial nickname that Squamish’s locals have bestowed on their logging town turned Vancouver/Whistler bedroom community turned, more recently, the outdoor recreational capital of Canada. Winter is on its way and Sam’s off the grid lifestyle demands preparation for the arctic temps and snow that’s approaching.
In his two-story A-frame perched in mountain bike heaven, wood is the primary source of heat, just as the water running through the creek above supplies not only domestic water but serves as Sam’s main source of electricity in the darker months. Here in the outskirts of Squamish, 15-minutes by gravel road from town, Sam’s self-reliance and off the grid approach to life is simply a continuation of a common theme surrounding a series of unconventional decisions that began the day he graduated from high school.