Murray and Becky Monk yearned for the best of both worlds: life in the breathtaking wilds of northwestern Ontario and the conveniences of modern life.

They turned their wish into reality by moving to the solitude of a remote lake and setting up their own eco-friendly power system.

With solar-sourced electricity and wind powering their home in the wilderness, they have full internet and telephone access through a satellite dish — and they never even have to miss a favourite TV show. But living "off the grid" does mean a few sacrifices and some modifications to daily habits.

From battery maintentance to stoking the hot water heater, here's what life off the grid looks like in 2011.