In an initial armchair approach to preparing for some longer and tougher hiking trails (I’m starting to train for Mount Whitney), I’ve been reading some great books on people tackling the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. The popular book “Wild” was fun, but I am really enjoying “Awol on the Appalachian Trail” by David Miller.
David’s 2003 hike is documented in this beautifully written story that really brings the trail to life. He also goes into details about his “homes” along the trail since he rarely used a tent: the AT shelters that dot the 2,172 mile long passage across the mountain range. There are around 250 backcountry shelters along the trail where both section and thru-hikers can stay for free. Most of them are basic and open to the elements, but some are actually beautifully constructed and take advantage of views, light and airflow. Most of the shelters are near a creek or a stream and some have a privy or basic toilet nearby. They are kept clean and in shape by hikers and trail volunteers.
Most of the shelters have basic sleeping platforms, but no cots or beds. Food is either kept away from bears and other critters in boxes or hung from strings on the ceilings. Some shelters have picnic tables and food prep areas and most of them do not allow open campfires.
Top photo: William Penn Shelter. Photo by White Blaze.net.
Today’s Tiny House in a Landscape is from Fred Beal in Helena, Montana. My wife and I spent our first two years of our marriage in Helena and it is one of my favorite places.
Fred is an expert with the Log Dovetail technique in building log cabins. He has built this little 11 foot by 15 foot log cabin and is currently living in it full time.
Fred has designed a jig that makes it easier to cut the dovetails in the logs, thus making it more accurate and an easier process. You can learn more about the technique by going here. http://logdovetailjig.com/
Following are some photos of his cabin and a short video of the building process. Enjoy!
For anyone who has dreamed of having a real log cabin in the woods, but still wants to keep it small, Washington based Mr. Cabin, Inc. builds substantial and very affordable log cabins that stay under 200 square feet. Rhett Conner and Robert Burrington of Mr. Cabin also claim that you don’t need level land to have one of these cabins. Many of them have been built on hillsides that still have beautiful views.
Rhett and Robert are childhood friends with over 45 years of exterior and interior construction experience and build tiny cabins and other structures like garages and sheds out of real four-inch milled logs. To them, real logs add more value to your home as well as beauty and warmth. The logs are protected with metal or cedar roofing with an eight-inch to one-foot overhang and some even include dormer windows. After construction and when the logs have had time to dry, each of the cabins are chinked to close up small gaps and add insulation quality.
The largest cabin is the Grizzly (show below). It’s 10×20 feet with a loft, a nine-foot sidewall and measures 14 feet at the peak. The Grizzly sells for around $11,600 if built on site and $9,600 for the milled kit which you put together yourself. This price does not include the dormers. The smaller MaMa Bear cabin (shown above) also has a sleeping loft and runs about $6,600 for a built cabin to $4,800 for the milled kit. The kit is not available for purchase in Washington and Oregon. Final costs of the cabins will also depend on the types of windows, doors and roofing. Please contact Mr. Cabin for questions on cost, building services and kit delivery.
Photos by Mr. Cabin, Inc.
by Beth Tacular
As a long-time reader of Tiny House Blog, I’m really excited to share with all of you the tiny building project I’m working on. I’m an artist and musician, living in rural North Carolina. For the last six years, my partner, Phil, and I have been busy with two projects: touring around the world as the Bowerbirds, and building a set of small live-work buildings out of salvaged materials.
We write reverent songs, mostly about our love for the natural world and about finding ways to make a life outside of mainstream culture. We’re currently working on our next album, which we want to record in our small cabin, and for which we are running a Kickstarter campaign. We thought some of you might be interested in hearing about our project (http://kck.st/SxZEg2) or might want to order music and art made in a tiny studio, for holiday gifts, or just for yourselves, which we’re giving away to funders of the new album.
We first started our small building project with no real construction experience, but with a crazy obsession with handmade houses, especially really little ones. In 2007 we bought some cheap land in rural North Carolina, on which we parked an AirStream trailer that we got for a steal ($900!). We lived in the AirStream for three years, with no running water, electric lights or real source of heat, so that we could afford to start the band, record albums, make art, go on tours, and put all our money back into the building project.
(above: Inside the Airstream in winter)
The first thing we built was a 240 square foot art studio, where I make art and write songs on a very small piano, and with a sleeping loft where we’re sleeping while we finish the larger (but still small – 493 feet plus a 168 square foot loft) cabin. We’ve been inspired by stories on this Tiny House Blog about how many people have chosen to live with less and more simply, in order to save money, to create more time for doing what they want with their lives, to be more self-sufficient, and to have less of a negative impact on the land they live on. Because we work at home, in professions (art and music) that require a lot of gear, equipment, and supplies, we can’t really live in as tiny of a house as some people can get by with, but we can create small, multi-use spaces, just big enough for us to get everything done that we need to do. And if we feel cramped, there’s always the woods outside. Continue Reading »