Murray Monk, off-grid trapper, battles against cold

The deep freeze currently gripping northwestern Ontario has many people turning up the thermostat. But for one couple living off-the-grid near Nipigon, that's not an option.

Monk and his wife share a cabin 44 km from nearest plowed road

Murray Monk has lived off-the-grid in a cabin outside Nipigon for 33 years. He said last month was the coldest December he's experienced. (Supplied)

The deep freeze currently gripping northwestern Ontario has many people turning up the thermostat. But for one couple living off-the-grid near Nipigon, that's not an option.

Trapper Murray Monk and his wife Becky share a cabin in the woods northeast of Nipigon, a 44-kilometre snowmobile ride from the nearest paved road.

They use solar panels, wind and diesel generators for electricity, and heat their home with a fire stove.

Monk said the first snow came in October, and the frigid temperatures have meant it's accumulated since then. (Supplied)

"Becky and I actually sleep in shifts," said Monk. "She stays up until four in the morning, I get up at four in the morning, and just keep the fires hopping."

Monk said last month was the coldest December he's experienced in 33 years of living in the bush, and it's not just he and his wife who are struggling.

"The wildlife in the bush is suffering really bad," he said.

Monk said despite the freezing temperatures, the lakes in his area haven't frozen.

"The lakes are slush, there's so much snow on the lake."

He said the first snow came in October, and the frigid temperatures have meant it's accumulated since then.

"But that's nature," he said, "we have to live with it."

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