Safari Tents and Glamping in Gatlinburg

On a recent camping trip to the Gatlinburg, TN area my wife and I were driving around literally searching out tiny houses and tiny cabins. Certainly I can’t be the only one that does this. Alas, if you have ever visited the Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge areas you will know that small cabins or even small campers are certainly not what the rental market there is comprised of. Long gone are the Smoky Mountain hollers and hand-hewn cabins of mountain lore and in their place 2- and 3-story chalets and condos to rent. That is until you drive by a place like Camp LeConte Luxury Outdoor Resort with their quaint, adventurous, Safari Tents for rent.

Safari Tents

Originally built in the early 1960’s, the LeConte Vista RV Park was a favorite place on Highway 321 for a number of families looking to visit Gatlinburg but still feel connected to the Smoky Mountain park(s). Originally closed in 2007, the property was completely remodeled in 2013 and is now Camp LeConte managed by Linzy and Ian Nicely. In talking via email with Linzy I found out how such unique units made it to the mountains.

“My dad, Clarence, travels all over the world. He first saw the tents in Australia and thought they were neat. After finding where the tents were made, Ian [husband] and my dad went to South Africa to find some. The ones in South Africa were in fact neat, however, they had metal frames and weren’t really the look we were going for. My dad and I then went to Europe and found the tents you see at Camp LeConte. They have wooden frames, furniture made from reclaimed lumber, and were built well. They were perfect!” Great story and so fitting for our impromptu visit to Camp LeConte.

Driving down Highway 321 and seeing the inviting pool (of course, a true, blue pool with only a guest or two resting in chairs is always inviting) we decided to stop in and inquire. It was only after turning in to what we thought was a typical campground (albeit one with incredibly manicured spots and well-landscaped common areas) did we see the Safari Tents. At what I can only guess is about 320 square feet or so the nine Safari’s are imported from Europe, set up on a wood platform, and a true touch of “glamping” right in the the Smokies.

LaConte Maps

There are four configurations of the Safari Tent offering different sleeping arrangements for your specifications. There are five bunkhouses (a Queen-size bed and a set of bunks), one ‘double up’ which has two double beds, two ‘honeymooners’ which have a Queen-size bed and a sitting area, and one deluxe bunkhouse with a Queen and two sets of bunks. Each tent save the deluxe bunkhouse has a great storage area before the sleeping area which has both closed and open cabinets, a countertop, and ample lighting overhead. All the Safari tents though have a very “fold art” style round table with four chairs as well as a porch swing complete with view of the mountain-scape.



Starting at just $119 per night the Safari Tents are made of quality materials including heavy duty vinyl, zippered, all-season windows, zippered entry, wooden support posts, and forged metal braces and brackets. The electrical work runs through contractor conduit and each space has a heater for the cold months and an air conditioner for the warm months. There are also overhead lights, a ceiling fan, and GFI outlets in each tent. We spent nearly thirty minutes walking around the tents, walking in them, swinging on the swing, talking about their application possibilities in other settings, and the like. They were…well, so cool! In their ruggedness they all at once gave off the sophistication and joie de vivre of glamping, the pure style and adventure of a Hemingway novel, and the cozy, warm feeling the Smokey Mountains are know for.

Whole SafariIn addition Camp LeConte Luxury Outdoor Resort also offers full hook-up RV and Camper sites, primitive tent sites, a well-stocked camp general store, full-service laundry room, in-ground swimming pool, high-speed and dependable WiFi throughout the park, and a Gatlinburg trolley stop on property.

To make your reservation contact Camp LeConte online or by calling (865) 436-8831. You can also LIKE them on Facebook, pin them on Pinterest, or tweet to them on Twitter!

By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]

Allotment Sheds

The British concept of allotments might be foreign to most Americans. These small garden plots are temporary, but that doesn’t stop many gardeners from building their own creative allotment sheds—many of which could become a tiny house, as it happened to this man a few years ago.


An allotment garden, or just allotment, is a small plot in a community garden given to a group or individual for growing food plants. The gardens are granted for a short amount of time and are rotated through different paid memberships. The term victory garden, coined in World War I and II, can also be used for these small (usually between 500-5,000 square feet) plots of land. Allotments are utilized in many countries including Denmark and Sweden, the Czech Republic, Russia and Greece.

While allotments and their sheds are not for residential purposes, many sheds built to house tools and other garden implements become temporary homes for gardeners as they work on their land. These sheds will sometimes have small wood stoves to keep gardeners warm in some of the rainy, cold weather that plagues Northern Europe. Other sheds have seating and tables, cots for napping and small camping stoves or a storm kettle to stir up some fresh garden fare. What is also fun and unusual is how creative some people can get with their sheds by using recycled materials or whatever is lying around the allotment.


The lovely Katie Lane gardens, cooks and eats at her allotment with a storm kettle and a small gas stove and oven. She writes about her adventures on Plot 15c on her blog, Lavender and Leeks. She even gives us a peak into her “girly” shed on YouTube.



This allotment shed is made from recycled pallets. This website gives you tips on how to build an allotment shed.


Skansens koloniträdgård





Photos by Wikimedia, The Telegraph, Mary Ellen Garden, Democracy Street, Rule Brittania


By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Sheep Wagon Living

sheep wagon

Hi, my name is Rick Brown and I have been following your blog for quit some time.

About a year ago me and my wife Barbi saw a old sheep wagon for sale and we have some property in Idaho. We often get visitors and ask them to stay but they feel like they are intruding on us and don’t stay. When we saw this sheep wagon I suggested that we buy it and fix it up as a guest house.

When we inquired about the price we were floored at what they were asking, $7,000 and it was in really bad shape. I told my wife that I could build one brand new for that kind of money. I spend approx. $9,000 on materials including the trailer. Here are the results.

You can contact me at rickandbarbi (at) if you would like to learn more.

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