The SpacePlease note that the cabin is for rent for one week minimum at a time… Saturday to Saturday rentals for the summer and shorter in the fall - winter season.
This is an off grid cabin in the heart of the Canadian Shield north of Kingston, Ontario Canada. The cabin is 4 season -- fully insulated and heated with wood in the winter.
The cabin is located on 60 acres of pristine wilderness with 3200 feet of rock/sand deep fresh water shoreline. Hiking trails, rocks, meadows, ponds, and raw untouched beauty abundant.
Swimming is the best it gets in Ontario -- deep clear and clean. Lots of birds and wildlife. Fishing is fabulous. Ice fishing awesome in the winter.
There is a deck at the lakeside, a floating dock that anchors out from shore, and a little boat launch for the Grumman Canoe. Weedfree, rocks and sand shoreline -- shallow for about 5 feet and then drops into deep clear water.
The Cabin is a boat/ski/walk in only cabin -- think of it like an island. There is a boat public boat ramp on the Lake and parking on the side of Bedford Road --and the cabin and property is only about 10 minutes by canoe (800 meters from the boat launch) or 3 minutes by motor boat. Boat rentals are from Frontenac Outfitters 7 km north of the boat ramp or bring your own boat, paddles, life jackets. In the winter when the ice is safe, it is about 10 minute walk along the edge of the lake... or shorter if the ice is solid and you ski or snowshoe in.
The cabin is fully furnished and on a solar panel for charging batteries of phones and computers and there's lots of power for small reading lights. There is also a generator that is easy to use should it be required. Off grid means an outhouse -- lovely as it is. There is a gravity fed rain water system for washing dishes and hands and things. In the winter, water is augered from the lake and you bring your own drinking water or boil lake water/snow. In the summer, drinking water is provided through a Berkey Filter (very fancy international rain water filter for drinking water! and also big blue jugs of good filtered water). There is a professional Cambro fridge/cooler that keeps ice blocks cold for 5-6 days and is perfect for keeping dairy and meat cold. There are also two big Coleman coolers on site that require ice blocks to keep extra things like drinks cool. Ice blocks are for sale in nearby Sydenham. The kitchen is fully equipped with everything from sharp knives to cast iron frying pans. We are lovers of food and cooking so you shouldn't need anything in that way.
The town of Sydenham is 7 km from the cabin -- it has everything you need from Hardware, to grocery store, to liquor and beer stores. Ice cubes and blocks can be bought there.
There is is a 20 X 12 screened in porch that has a 180 degree view of the water.
Sleeping is a double futon bed in the screened in porch, a double futon in the main house, three movable single foam mattresses that are stored in the loft. Families need to bring bedding and towels, tea towels. Beds are two doubles and three singles.
Swimming is pristine and beautiful. Guests have been known to swim all the way around the lake.
Cronk Lake is known for great fishing. There are a few motor boats on the lake but the cabin is located on the quiet end of the lake.
The terrain is rocky with narrow paths. The cabin is about 20 meters higher than the water. Toddlers and seniors will be challenged with the footing in places.
See Cabin Information Package for full and serious description of the place! Guest AccessAccess for guests to all things at the cabin: Little metal Grumman canoe (minimal daily rental fee ask host for details), docks, decks, life jackets, paddles, house, veranda, barbecue…everything that is there unless it is clearly market for "host only". Interaction with GuestsI am available only as much as you need me to be (except if i am out of the country and then there will be a back up person)… it can be your quiet self sufficient adventure or i will be here if you as guests need me but will leave you to your tranquility and privacy if that is what you need too. The NeighborhoodCronk Lake is about half full time residents and the other half, cottagers. It can be ultra quiet and other times, busy on a holiday weekend. Mostly, it is quiet as the lake is small. Getting AroundParking on Bedford road at the boat launch. Boats for rent at Frontenac Outfitters 7 km north of the put in or in arrangement with the host. Other Things to NoteI ask that you please contact me to confirm that you have arrived at the cabin! text or email will work on data from the cabin.
Renters need to have house insurance that covers them for renting cottages. This is standard in most home insurance plans.
Here is the Cabin Information Package:
Pristine Off Grid Cabin
Cronk Lake, Sydenham, Ontario.
Your Host: Heidi Mack Cell (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN) – text or phone or email: (EMAIL HIDDEN)
Your helper in case of real emergency (and sometimes as a transition person) if you can’t connect with Heidi: Gary in Kingston Ontario.. (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN).
Arrival is 3 p.m.
Departure is 11 a.m.
This is a cabin. It’s glorious and pristine and awesome and it’s just a wee step up from camping (a.k.a. Glamping – glamour camping). Expect this to be the case – peeing in the woods, outhouse, mosquitos at night, critters in and out, raw life! But the cabin is bug proof and beautiful, safe and sound and cozy and equipped… Please keep your expectations low with respect to electricity and running water! While we have both, there is the possibility that they both could run dry/out if it’s either been raining too much and not charging solar batteries or raining too little and not filling the rain barrels. Best to think conserve conserve conserve – one light on at a time, charge batteries in the day, think of the running water and electricity as helpful extras but not as main sources.
Caution: Please do not paddle in an electrical storm and do not attempt to find the cabin in the dark – you will not be successful – could be an adventure, but it won’t be too fun! Paddling in the rain is fine, just not in electrical.
If you are not familiar with canoes.. Read this: (URL HIDDEN)
REMEMBER: You will be travelling by canoe to come to the cabin – this means that you should think about packing in waterproof bags – even garbage bags or a tarp can be a back up for a rainy day. It’s only about a 7 minute paddle from your car to the cabin but things could get wet. I suggest a “dry bag” for your electronics for sure and if you are inexperienced paddlers, I suggest big waterproof backpack bags clicked onto the centre thwart in case you dump.
Boats – locks and combinations
•If you have arranged to rent the white Grumman canoe – it is locked to the tree at the CRCA Cronk Lake Boat Launch and you will be given the combination from the host. There are two paddles under the boat. You are responsible for life jackets and a boat safety kit.
•Grummans can be tippy… pack evenly and don’t stand up in the boat, pack in waterproof bags, wear your life jacket, paddle along the shore in shallow waters if you are tentative or there is big water (which is rare but does happen), don’t paddle in electrical storms –even far away.
The cabin is on 60 acres of land which is a very good chunk of the eastern side of the lake.. please feel free to explore. There are trail markers along the way. Please be smart… it’s easy to get lost out there and/or bring your phone/gps as there is reception in the woods.
I will likely be out of the country when you are at the cabin but the hope is that I will be in text range. (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN) and email (EMAIL HIDDEN) There won’t likely be anyone to come to support you if you need it but this manual should answer most of your questions and very little can happen.
To begin: There IS cell reception at the cabin (about 1-3 bars on the BELL network which seems to be the worst company). However! there is very little reception at the boat launch. If you want to meet someone at the launch – PRE-arrange the time and have them text from Sydenham. Phone reception is sketchy at the cabin but texting is reliable and really good. And you can tether from your phone for Internet access at the cabin – movies and youtube etc. draw a lot of data.
The Recreational and Retail Areas:
Gould Lake Conservation Area
Frontenac Provincial Park
Some random things we’ve learned living off grid
•it’s camping really – except waaaay more comfortable!
•get inside and get cozy before dusk and don’t let the mosquitos in after that – best to use the little indoor pee bucket/porta potty to avoid having to let even one mosquito in to ruin your night;
•Flip flops don’t work really well on the path to the lake because there are pine needles and it’s slippery;
•Up with the sun, down with the sun;
•if a lot of people are on the floating dock and it starts to submerge, the dock spiders will come up through the cracks.. just in case you don’t like spiders… ;
•The sun hits the deck/docks at about 10:30 – 11 a.m. We generally have long slow breakfast and coffee mornings and then pack up the gear and drinks in baskets and head to the dock;
•Pee in the woods (do not leave toilet paper in the woods though) poo in the outhouse – it keeps the outhouse smelling not so bad;
•you can also pee in the bucket (plastic portable toilet) inside and pour it into a hole or under a rock well away from the cabin and rinse the bucket if you aren’t fond of going in the woods;
•do not leave toilet paper in the woods, bring it in and compost it;
•Sprinkle about ½ cup of lime powder after each time you go – lime is provided and in a bucket in the outhouse;
•Keep the lid on the toilet paper jar;
•Please do not put any menstrual products in the outhouse that contain plastic of any sort (like pads or tampon applicators)
•Drinking water is available in the big blue jugs – there will be 2, 15 litre jugs provided for you..
•Tap water at the sink is from rain water and is not drinkable.
•Drain at the sink goes directly into the woods, work to prevent food from going down the drain else the raccoons will be very interested.
•Put the plugs in the sing drain when you are done there – at night and away – because wood roaches and spiders can/will crawl up the drain (sorry but it’s true).
Compost, Garbage, Recycling
•Please do not store garbage on the back veranda. It will be found by animals. If you must store garbage, pack it up and put it in the underneath area of the cabin and lock the door being certain to take it with you when you go. There is still a good chance that mice will find it under the cabin.
•Best case is to compost food and meat and clean all containers for recycling – there should be very little left at the end of that process. Compost container is behind the cabin on the path toward the plastic owl.
Fires in the Pit
•please please have a bucket of water available, use only deadfall, and sticks from the pile..
•Marshmallow sticks are hanging on the veranda wall.
Inside: there are two double futon beds and three on floor single mats; two IKEA lounge chairs with foot stools, a couch, table that seats eight, eight chairs, a big table and side board for food prep.
Outside: at the water there are two Adirondack wooden cedar chairs, three low to the ground lawn chairs, a big hammock. There are a few pool noodles.
There is a big fire pit and benches around it behind the cabin . There is a covered back veranda with a little swing.
*** Please roll down the blind in the screened in porch when you leave for a day trip and at the end of your stay and if it is going to rain. Also, if you can see that it is going to rain while you are here, roll down the blind and put the tarp on the futon in the porch. The futon MUST be covered with the tarp when it’s going to rain by putting a pile of pillows in the middle (make a high point) so the water runs off it.. the green tarp will NOT stop water from slowly seeping onto the futon in the middle if you go out and it rains and gets the tarp wet. This will ruin the futon. It can’t get wet!
•Water is shallow for 5 feet of sand then sharply drops off to about 20 – 25 feet by the end of the first floating dock.
•to be safe, do not swim under the docks;
•Water is clear and clean with a few lily pads for decoration;
•Please do not use soap or shampoo in the lake unless it is certified lake friendly
Candles and firey things:
As you can imagine, the cabin would catch on fire in an instant and burn to the ground. There is no way to get firefighters there to extinguish. Do not ever, please, ever leave a candle burning when you are not at the cabin. Use candles INSIDE jars ONLY – no tall candels, only tea lights IN glass or metal containers.
Please imagine this cabin is our dream place and we ask you to be super careful with fire.
No smoking is permitted in the cabin. Please use a water filled butt can for your cigarettes.
Note that while we hoped to have a propane fridge, we made a decision to bring in a pro CAMBRO cooler where your ice block may last up to 4-5 days. There are also three other small coolers there. Sometimes we bring one to the lake for drinks. We will often paddle out once in a week to get another couple bags of crushed ice but our ice blocks last a long time. Generally we refrigerate dairy and meat. Veggies and fruit can stay on the counters (except lettuce).
Critters and Plants:
They exist in our area… and they should be avoided and prevented and dealt with if you get one…do a tic check each night to be sure you don’t have one, if you do, learn about how to remove one. There are tic removing tweezers in the cloth envelope hanging on the wall in the kitchen area.
Poison ivy: (URL HIDDEN)
Snakes , flying squirrel, loons, frogs, spiders, beavers, deer, rabbits, eagles, turtles, fish of all sorts.. and on and on and on.. they all live here too… there are lots of field guides if you want to know what is what…
Note that we are in the only triangle in Canada (Kingston- Cornwall – north to Westport Ontario) where lives the Black Rat Snake. It’s a fabulous COMPLETELY HARMLESS creature! really – no teeth because it’s also a constrictor! yes! and it climbs trees. We have seen many of these snakes at the cabin and if you are lucky, she/he will leave you a glorious full length skin on the roof or back deck. Now, don’t freak out.. they can be as big as 6 feet long – 2 meters. But they are not aggressive and they are private and quiet. Now, water snakes on the other hand… !!! you can chase them away too but they are meaner… I’m banking on guests at this cabin being outdoorsy-types and not freaked out critter haters so I’m telling you like it is.. it’s pretty darn wild here and fabulous. To date (6 years here now) I have not seen nor seen signs of black bears. I think no matter what, it’s worth being respectful of bears…
From time to time, there are critters in the screened in porch. We have never had mice or critters in the main area of the cabin. Keeping the porch door shut at night is a good idea.
What we have there for you…
•Propane and Weber Barbeque (one small green canister is provided, should you plan to barbeque a lot, you might want to pack some to come with you);
•Toilet paper – there should be lots but the person before you might have used a lot! or if you need a lot, maybe bring some back up;
•drinking water – there will be 2 X 15 Litres of drinking water.. beyond that, please bring some of your own or use the Berky Filter at the cabin to make more;
•all dishes and cookware
•coffee paraphernalia including a hand presso espresso maker
•a CAMBRO fridge that will keep ice frozen for 3-4 days with an ice block and your food cool
•clothes lines and pegs
•board games, cards, craft materials
•salt, pepper, olive oil, some basics for spices
•first aid kit
•hammock, lawn chairs
What you should bring:
•Flashlight and batteries
•little boat safety kit (URL HIDDEN)
•Sheets/linens (beds are 2 Doubles, 3 singles/matts in the loft) for your beds
•Extra small (1 lb) green propane cannisters for the Weber Barbeque if you like to Barbeque.
•hats and clothes
•tea towels and face cloths
•all food and alcohol
•whatever else you need to make yourselves happy and comfortable
•a bag of tea lights
Sometimes things happen…..please expect it might.. what if:
•A screen gets torn – you can use the glue gun under the sink and some screen from the roll of screen in the basement to cut a piece and glue it on.
•The solar panel batteries are out of juice – See video and instruction at the end of this document. Remember, the solar power is for very light loads and will run out if you watch movies or use anything that heats.
•The water at the sink runs out – you will have to fill jugs from the tan coloured rain barrel or haul water from the lake and put the jug on the side of the sink – like you are camping.
CONSERVE CONSERVE water from the barrels and solar power.
•Please take your garbage and recycling and all your food with you;
•Leave the cabin as you found it;
•No smoking in or around the cabin – water extinguish;
•Play the guitar in the cabin/porch but please do not bring it to the water or docks – no sun, no moisture, store in the case;
•Bring the canoe onto land and tie it to a tree if bad weather or wind is coming;
•No open flames – all candles must be in a glass containers/tea lights (we have them there for you) --No unattended flames in general;
•Make a soup of your ashes with a bucket of water at the campfire pit when you are done;
•No harming wildlife! catch and release as much as you can if there is a critter inside… feel free to annoy the beavers though and chase them off the land; please make sure dogs don’t chase the deer if possible;
•Remember to sweep out and leave the outhouse nice for the next folks and close/latch the door;
•Bath with only biodegradable camp soap in the lake;
•Please do not use tools and motors etc. from the basement of the cottage (unless it’s an emergency and you need to for safety);
•Please only Airbnb renters at the cottage.. no parties, no added overnight guests;
•Do not allow dogs to bark for long, no music (blaring) on the shore;
When you leave:
•Clean and leave it as you found it including all dishes – washed and dried and put away;
•Close the door between the screened in porch and the house and make sure it clicks tight;
•Empty the fridge and clean it all out;
•Pack up and out all garbage and recycling;
•Turn off all propane tanks;
•let Heidi/Gary know if propane, drinking water, dish soap, toilet paper etc are low or need replenishing;
•Unplug the two small inverter clips on the solar panel battery;
•Lock the door and return the key to the nail on the veranda;
•Strip beds and fold blankets;
•There may be an incoming guest on the day you leave. You must take your recyclables and garbage out with you and clean it beautifully. Your leaving garbage and/or recycling means a trip to the dump for the cabin cleaning person in the 3 hours between your departure and the incoming guest. There will be a charge for this;
•Report any breakages or losses or damage;
•if you have noticed/heard/seen any critter (mouse) activity… set a couple of traps under the sink and under the side board – only do this if you don’t get the heebee jeebie’s from mice and trapping them.. it’s okay to just make sure the porch door is closed!
•write in the guest book!
How the solar panels and batteries work:
The solar panel is small. It is meant for very light work – one or two small lights at night, charging phones and computers, and brief bigger work like the little blender, coffee grinder, even vacuum if necessary and it’s been sunny and the batteries are charged. It cannot work hard like having more than one or two little lights on for extended periods, and no heavy machinery, even laptops for a long period, or anything that requires heat like a hair dryer.. you simply can’t do it. Charge things during the sunny daytime hours when the battery is being recharged by the sun and not at night when it can’t recharge and this will help.
If it’s not sunny for a few days and you are using a lot of power, you will run out of power. In five years, with two of us, we have never run out of power except when we were watching a movie on our computer one night and it had been dull for a few days prior.There is a generator in the generator shed (key on the house key ring) if you are in great need of power for emergency purposes.
Otherwise, be sure that you order some sun…
These are the components:
•Two deep cycle solar batteries;
•One black and red wire running from the rooftop solar panel to a charging box with two wires that attach to the battery and charge it. It has a light indicating if the battery is charged or not. These wires have little silver rings on the ends of them;
•One BIG 1500 Watt Inverter that is under the table nearest the wall and has an on/off little power surge switch on the wall above the table and this makes a noise of a big fan. Turning this on can give you a bigger power surge for short times for grinding coffee and the little blender. TURN IT OFF WHEN YOU ARE DONE. This also has three prong power capacity. This inverter is also working to deliver (silent) power even if the surge switch isn’t on. This inverter has two fat cables (positive and negative) coming from it to the battery;
•One small 75 watt inverter that goes into your cigarette lighter in the car and converts your battery power to power you can use like in a home (DC to AC). This little inverter has two wires going to the battery with CLIPS on the ends of them and also has passive (non surge) power for lights and charging. It is silent.
Usually only one battery is being charged and used at any given time. However, you could charge one battery and use the other if it’s full. You would just need to move the little black and red solar pael wire charging wires to the other battery (the ones with the rings on the ends of them). These can be moved around as desired. Best to keep both batteries charged when possible and if you need a lot of power. Full power can be seen by turning the power surge button of the BIG 1500 Watt inverter and seeing what the red number says on the front of it – (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN) is a full charge… 11:50 is getting low and 11.00 is getting dead and there won’t be enough juice to use it and you will have to move the inverter wries (the ones with clips) over to the other battery – provided IT has juice. If neither have juice because of no sun or no charging, then you will have to read by candlelight.. and that’s not so bad.
If the solar inverter is beeping or your device/light starts to fade in an out every few seconds, it means that the battery is dead and needs to be charged..