Frequently Asked Questions

Eclectic Curiosity

Renting at Big Calm

Big Calm is a tiny homestead community. That is, it is a community (or pocket neighbourhood) for those with tiny houses on wheels (THoWs), nestled in nature, with ample space around each pad. 

Big Calm is just getting started and will grow in phases over the coming years. Most of the pads will be for long-term renters, with at least one reserved for guest-stays.

Rent is all-inclusive: it includes your THoW pad; internet; electricity; water; septic; garbage and recycling removal; snow plowing; a contingency reserve; and access to the shared community amenities (trails, garden, greenhouse, tool library, and, if needed, laundry facilities). 
The rental amount is based on your THoW’s needs and capabilities (off-grid/solar capabilities, heating system, grey and blackwater management needs, etc.) and whether you’d like to provide services to the community as consideration for rent (i.e. a work-trade arrangement). Please complete our tiny homesteader questionnaire and we will reach out to you to discuss these factors and provide a rental quote.
  1. Pre-application is now open. Fill in the Homesteader Questionnaire here.
  2. Based on that, we’ll reach out to chat, answer any questions, and potentially schedule a site visit.
  3. If you’re serious about proceeding, we’ll request to conduct background and credit checks.
  4. And if everything’s a fit, we’ll reach out about pad selection and timing.
  5. As we approach pad completion, we’ll set a move-in date and sign a BC Manufactured Home Site Tenancy Agreement (RTB-5). There is no security deposit.
  6. Finally, we’ll coordinate the date and logistics to roll in and set up your tiny homestead!

Sign up to our newsletter for key updates. And feel free to email us with any specific questions.

Yes. Please contact us to discuss what you have in mind.

No, we do not permit tiny homesteaders to sublease their pads.

We may, however, be able to manage your tiny house as a guest-stay unit. 

Yes! Besides pets that remain in your tiny home (such as fish and birds), we allow cats and dogs. They must stay in your tiny home overnight, or in an appropriate shelter, for safety reasons (there are predators in the region).

During the day, cats and dogs must be supervised when they are outside. We have a zero-tolerance policy for aggressive animals.

Please contact us to discuss the possibility of bringing other kinds of animals.

All animals must be up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Not at all! 

Careers of some of those interested to date: software developer, carpenter, soil geochemist, skills coach, life sciences innovator, interior designer, wilderness guide, arts fundraiser, farmhand, yoga instructor, financial analyst, arborist, midwife, teacher, retiree, painter, power plant administrator, and entrepreneur.

Generally, if you can tow it on the highway without a special permit, you can park it at Big Calm.

Our driveway and various pads can accommodate small, medium, and large 8.5′ wide THoWs. You are responsible for arranging your own towing.

We will only be accepting homes that can easily be towed on and off of the site (including THoWs, RVs, campers and Airstreams).

Yurts that can be easily erected and dismantled will be considered, however we are unable to accept any homes on foundation.

Please contact us if you’re interested in parking something other than a THoW at Big Calm.

No, but preference will go to those that are. We encourage you to work with one of the many premium tiny house manufacturers that build to CSA Z240 MH Series, CSA Z240 RV Series, and/or RVIA NFPA 1192 standards.

Weather information for the Slocan Valley can be found here.

Winters are generally mild but can reach as low as -25°C. Summers can get into the 30s and even the 40s. We encourage THoW owners/prospective buyers to ensure their homes are/will be appropriately insulated.

We provide pedestal hookups for power (30 or 50 amps), water, and septic. It is your responsibility to purchase the appropriate connectors for your specific house. If you use propane, there are a few nearby gas stations for you to re-fill/exchange your bottles.

We highly recommend that you winterize your tiny house – including but not limited to skirting, heated water hoses, and protective snow cover for any tanks.

Affordable housing projects are important and much-needed, but they’re also not financially feasible or profitable (at least for us) without institutional support. Our location also isn’t appropriate for the density that might be required to make it work.

That said, we hope our modest project will relieve some of the middle-market pressure on housing inventory in the area. And we’re big believers in the role that tiny houses in general can play in solving this solvable challenge. For inspiration, check out The Revelstoke Community Housing Society’s microhome pilot project, first championed by Adrian Giacca.

And for more background on our intentions, please see The Bigger Picture on Tiny Homesteads.

Living at Big Calm

Absolutely! Please let us know if your THoW has a compost toilet. We have a humanure compost station available for you.

Yes, power outages do happen occasionally. We recommend that tiny homesteaders have an alternative way to heat their homes in the event of a power outage (wood stove, propane heater, and/or a battery).

Over time, we hope to build out a solar array and micro-grid that can improve Big Calm‘s self-reliance in such events.

Noisy, gas-powered generators are not allowed – except for emergency use.

Check out Portable Electric or Ecoflow for quiet, exhaust-free generator alternatives.

Absolutely! Keep in mind that some of the pads have better sun exposure than others and that the area can be overcast for long stretches during the winter.

Yes. We will likely have firewood available to buy on site.

Yes. We encourage tiny homesteaders and guests to educate themselves on how to safely transport, store and hook up their propane tanks. Please see FortisBC’s tips on how to use propane safely.

Yes. BBQs must remain on your gravel pad, at least a metre away from the grass and kept clean to avoid attracting wildlife.

There are levels to this question.

First, you should know that much of the Slocan Valley – particularly between Slocan Park and the Village of Slocan – does not have cellular coverage. Many residents simply don’t want it. The “No Service” is both refreshing and frustrating. Parts of Big Calm pick up a signal from the tower in Slocan. 

We are connected to the internet via Starlink. We were part of their beta launch and have enjoyed speeds of as high as 120 Mbps down and 22 Mbps up, with latency from 20ms to 40ms.

Longer-term (~2025-), Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation and/or Telus will be lighting up a fibre-optic backbone up the Valley. That will provide a big boost to the region.

The products we all use will be discharged into Big Calm’s septic system and ultimately our soil, whose health we want to protect.

We require that tiny homesteaders and guests use biodegradable, non-toxic products. Antiseptic and antibacterial products, including bleach, and products designed to unclog drains are especially harmful to our septic system, so we ask that tiny homesteaders and guests not use these products.

The maximum number of people in a tiny home is likely limited by space. No clown cars, please.

Fires will initially only be permitted in the designated community fire pit and only when fire bans are not in place (which is increasingly common).

There is parking space at your pad, next to your tiny home.

Planned community projects include trail building, community garden and greenhouse, and upgrading the old sauna in the backwoods. There’s no obligation to chip in but we see these projects as a great way to be outdoors, active, and social. We’d love your help!

Despite excellent mitigation efforts by the Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative (SIFCo) and the readiness of British Columbia’s well-trained crews, wildfire is the biggest natural threat in the region (one came very close in Summer 2021). Big Calm is located within the Slocan Fire and Emergency Services area and approximately 10km from the Slocan Fire Hall. There are already sizeable fire breaks on the property and we engaged forestry pros in 2022 to implement further fire mitigation strategies, including selective thinning.

Caution with wildlife is advised, including care while driving on highways in the Kootenays.

Winter tires and back-up power and water are essentials for the colder months of the year.

There is a wide variety of wildlife (and insects) on-site, from wild turkeys and deer to bears and even cougars. Guests and tiny homesteaders should be prepared to encounter wildlife at any time.

We recommend exploring the property and mountainside beyond in groups, making noise to avoid surprising anyone, keeping trash indoors, carrying bear spray in-season, and generally remembering that we’re guests in these creatures’ home.

Guests and tiny homesteaders are not permitted to hunt on the property.

ATVs are not allowed at Big Calm. If you have an ATV that you’d like to use elsewhere, we have an outdoor area where it can be stored.


Va/Work/Stay-cationing at Big Calm

Yes. See our Visit page for details and booking links.

Not yet, but check back later. Some options may open up over time.

Not presently. 

Not presently.

We’d like to eventually – especially permaculture oriented ones, near the old cabin by the garden.

Investing in Big Calm

Yes. For more info, contact us at invest@bigcalm.ca.