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Off-Grid Living : Survivalism and Self-Reliance with an Outdoor Wood Boiler (2024)

Introduction: The Rise of Off-Grid Living 

In recent years, the allure of city life and conventional housing has been overshadowed by the increasing challenges of high mortgage rates, escalating rents, and the soaring prices of conventional energy sources. This has prompted a significant shift in the North American lifestyle, with many seeking refuge in the serenity of rural living. The ‘self-sufficiency’ movement is not just a trend but a conscious choice made by families who are moving away from urban centers, generating their own power, using an outdoor boiler as the main heating source for their heating needs. This paradigm shift is not just about escaping the financial strains of modern living but is deeply rooted in a desire for independence, sustainability, and a closer connection to nature. It is a lifestyle.

Off-Grid Living in Numbers

The numbers paint a clear picture: off-grid living is not just a fleeting trend but a growing movement that promises a sustainable, self-reliant future. 

The U.S. power grid’s fragility has been glaringly revealed in recent years, with extreme winter weather conditions impacting a vast majority of the nation. In 2022, a particularly severe Christmas holiday weekend saw power disruptions for an estimated 1.7 million businesses and homes.

States like Texas, traditionally accustomed to milder winters, were caught off-guard by the chilling onslaught. California, too, despite its Mediterranean climate, grappled with power challenges during unexpected atmospheric river storms. The Tennessee Valley Authority’s report of a heating demand surge, nearly 35% above the norm for a winter day, further emphasized the widespread nature of these challenges.

This also implies that the future of power grid reliability will only be challenging, consider more people choosing to live off grid and have access to energy in their homes.   

Benefits of Outdoor Wood Boilers by Portage & Main Boilers 

This notable shift towards off-grid living calls for innovative solutions that cater to these evolving lifestyle demands and the challenges posed by unpredictable climate changes. Enter outdoor wood boilers. These sustainable, reliable, and efficient heating systems present an ideal solution for those aiming for independence from the traditional power grid, while also providing a haven of warmth during the biting winter months.

More than just a tool for comfort and survival in the wilderness, outdoor wood boilers resonate deeply with the principles of self-sufficiency and environmental stewardship that underpin the off-grid movement. They have a low operation cost and their reliability is unmatched, as it can optimize and reduce your monthly energy bills significantly.

The allure of off-grid living is undeniable, but its practical implementation requires careful consideration of various factors, especially when it comes to heating solutions. As the heart of many off-grid homes, outdoor wood boilers play a pivotal role in ensuring comfort, safety, and sustainability. Let’s delve into the myriad benefits these boilers bring to the table, solidifying their position as an indispensable asset for those embracing the off-grid lifestyle:  

  • Eco-Friendly Heating: Outdoor wood boilers offer an environmentally responsible heating solution. When wood is burned, it results in no net carbon dioxide increase, aligning with Portage & Main Boilers’s commitment to reducing carbon footprints and promoting sustainable living.
  • Cost-Effective: For many homeowners, especially those who source their own wood or utilize scrap wood, outdoor wood boilers can significantly reduce or even eliminate heating bills, ensuring an economical heating solution. 
  • Safety First: Portage & Main Boilers emphasizes the safety of outdoor wood boilers. By moving the combustion process outside the home, risks associated with indoor burning, such as smoke inhalation, dust & ash, indoor air quality issues, and potential chimney fires, are effectively eliminated. 
  • Optimized Energy Efficiency: Portage & Main Boilers designs its outdoor wood boilers to be highly energy-efficient. By optimizing fuel consumption and heat distribution, homeowners can expect to use less wood while achieving the desired warmth for your whole house. Not just one room, fireplace or the stove. 
  • Convenience and Low Maintenance: Say goodbye to the mess and time-intensive maintenance associated with traditional indoor wood burning. Portage & Main Boilers’s outdoor wood boilers are designed for convenience, requiring minimal upkeep and offering a cleaner heating alternative. 
  • Versatility in Fuel Options: With Portage & Main Boilers, homeowners have the flexibility to choose from diverse fuel options, allowing them to select the most economical and readily available fuel type for their regions- coal, wood, wood chip pellets and grains. 
  • Consistent and Reliable Winter Heating: No matter how harsh the winter conditions, Portage & Main Boilers’s outdoor wood boilers ensure consistent and efficient warmth, keeping homes comfortable and cozy throughout the season. 
  • Customized Solutions: Recognizing that every home is unique, Portage & Main Boilers emphasizes the importance of selecting the right boiler size tailored to individual heating needs, ensuring optimal performance and fuel efficiency. 
  • Supporting Local Economies: By promoting the use of locally-sourced wood and materials, Portage & Main Boilers not only offers an eco-friendly heating solution but also supports local economies and communities. 
  • Future-Proof Heating: As the world moves towards more sustainable energy solutions and with increasing vulnerabilities in traditional power grids, Portage & Main Boilers’s outdoor wood boilers present a future-proof heating solution, ensuring homeowners are prepared for any eventuality. 

With Portage & Main Boilers, homeowners can enjoy the perfect blend of sustainability, cost-efficiency, safety, resiliency and convenience, making outdoor wood boilers the ideal choice for modern heating needs. 


In an era where self-sufficiency and environmental consciousness are paramount, outdoor wood boilers emerge as a great solution. They not only offer a tangible solution to the challenges of off-grid living but also symbolize a commitment to a sustainable future.

As we navigate the complexities of modern life and the unpredictability of nature, it’s comforting to know that solutions like those offered by Portage & Main Boilers exist. They remind us that with the right tools and mindset, we can carve out a life that’s both independent and harmoniously intertwined with nature. Don’t be left in the cold this winter, take the first step to a sustainable, reliable energy future today – purchase an outdoor wood boiler from our selection of quality products!  


Q. What are the primary benefits of using an outdoor wood boiler for off-grid living?

Outdoor wood boilers are ideal for off-grid living because they provide a consistent and independent heat source. They offer a unique blend of sustainability, cost-efficiency, and reliability, ensuring homeowners can enjoy warmth even without traditional power grids. 

Q: How do outdoor wood boilers compare to other off-grid heating solutions in terms of efficiency and sustainability?

Portage & Main Boilers’s outdoor wood boilers stand out in terms of efficiency and sustainability when compared to other off-grid heating solutions. They are designed to optimize fuel consumption, reduce the carbon footprint, and provide a cleaner heating alternative. They will heat all your building, no matter the temperature.

Q: How do outdoor wood boilers help you become energy efficient and ensure an unlimited supply of directly heated water?

Our boilers are meticulously designed for energy efficiency, allowing homeowners to use less wood while achieving the desired warmth. Additionally, they ensure an unlimited supply of heated water, enhancing the overall comfort of off-grid living. So, be sure to also check out why Portage & Main boilers burn less wood.

Q: What are the safety measures and best practices for operating outdoor wood boilers in residential areas?

For optimal performance and safety in residential areas, it’s recommended to place outdoor wood boilers at least 50 Ft  away from homes. Additionally, using seasoned wood can further enhance the boiler’s efficiency and safety. 

Q: How cost-effective is it to set up and maintain an outdoor wood boiler system compared to traditional heating methods?

Investing in a Portage & Main Boilers outdoor wood boiler system is a decision that pays off. Our system offers a compelling advantage over traditional heating methods. With a payback in some cases, of just 4 years, it becomes a financially prudent investment for long-term savings. It is worth noting that depending on factors such as energy costs, size of the buildings being heated, and the climate in your specific region, the payback period could be even shorter than 4 years. 

Disclaimer : Note coal is the primary fuel source in some areas 



Globenewswire (2023, February 21). Off-Grid Housing Market is Projected to Reach USD 68.6 Billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 4.3% from 2022-2028: Growing Inclination toward Sustainable Living Powered by Renewable Energy Solutions. Retrieved from https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2023/02/21/2612167/0/en/Off-Grid-Housing-Market-is-Projected-to-Reach-USD-68-6-Billion-by-2028-at-a-CAGR-of-4-3-from-2022-2028-Growing-Inclination-toward-Sustainable-Living-Powered-by-Renewable-Energy-Sol.html

Daily Mail (2023, February 25). Self-sufficiency movement sees rise in people living off-grid. Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11780923/Self-sufficiency-movement-sees-rise-people-living-grid.html

Skyquestt.com (2022, November). Off-Grid Housing Market. Retrieved from https://www.skyquestt.com/report/off-grid-housing-market

Vision Monday (2023, February 6). Off-grid living is expected to put a strain on utilities. Retrieved from https://www.visionmonday.com/business/research-and-stats/article/offgrid-living-is-expected-to-put-a-strain-on-utilities/


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About Portage & Main

Our head office is located in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. Our dealer network spans North America and we would be glad to put you in touch with one of our knowledgeable agents. Our staff oversees the development of new products, monitors production, designs heating systems, and offers tech support for installers. All our wood furnaces are designed for installation outdoors and deliver wood heat indoors.







(306) 922-1722


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