If you live in a ski town, keep an eye out for a truck towing an elegant tiny house and five ski bums on the lookout for some great powder and free Wi-Fi. For six weeks, Molly Baker, Zack Griffin, Neil Provo and their videographers Sam Griffin and Andy Walbon will be road tripping around North America in a 112 square foot house on wheels and will be posting their videos online. The idea behind the trip is to find grassroots ambassadors for the outdoor gear company, Outdoor Research, ski some of winter’s best deep powder and meet fellow ski enthusiasts. They also wanted to take this trip in a tiny house to show that a passionate and low-impact lifestyle could be had for little cost.
“We are refining the entire process of living as ski bums,” Zack said. “It is really about figuring out what you do and don’t need. For me, I want to ski and there isn’t much else that I need.”
Initially, the group thought they would take the trip in a van with a wood stove – similar to one that Zack lived in in the parking lot of Mt. Baker. But, after seeing some of the Tumbleweed tiny houses, the crew decided a custom built house would meet all their needs.
“Zack (who works as a carpenter in the summer) built the tiny house over the course of seven weeks,” Molly told me as the group made their way up to Big Sky, Montana. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone work that hard every day with no breaks. It was a labor of love.”
While building the tiny house, Zack and his crew had to deal with snow piling up on their open frame, a freak cold snap and a tree falling on the tiny house. Zack utilized some reclaimed pieces of wood, doors and windows and re-used some cherry trim from an old job site.
The tiny house has a loft that sleeps two people, plus a “drawbridge” bunk bed that comes down from the loft and a pullout sofa bed. A storage area above the door hold ski and camera gear. There is no bathroom or shower, but there is a kitchen sink and a hot water heater as well as a small refrigerator. The group relies on hostels and the kindness of friends and strangers for their bathing needs. The tiny house has electricity, a battery and generator, and the skiers cook with a toaster oven and a two burner propane stove. The handsome, French wood stove came from a mill in the old mining town of Gold Hill, Colorado.
“The only meals we’ve really cooked are breakfast and maybe some bagels,” Molly said. “We’ve yet to do a full-blown dinner. We are usually too tired from skiing all day.”
The ski bums and their tiny house have had extremely warm receptions from the places they’ve visited. Firewood has been gifted to them when they are out during the day and they have even received some Secret Santa gifts. Molly also said that her parents, who are in their 60’s, also want a tiny house.
As the group makes their way around to various mountains, Molly is also impressed with how easy the living is in a tiny house – even as the only woman living with four men.
“They are really tidy,” she said of her fellow ski bums.
Photos and videos courtesy of Outdoor Research